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Long Distance Dating, Discipline, & Boundaries

with

Juli & Addison Bevere

Today we have a stellar couple on that we admire for so many reasons. Addison and Juli Bevere! We were super grateful to interview 2 of the other Bevere brothers, Alec and Arden, and now we are excited to speak to the veterans of the family, the oldest brother and his wife.

Addison is a husband, dad, son, brother, and BOSS man. He was married at 22, had his first kid at 23, and became the COO of Messenger International at 24. He even co-wrote a book at 27- WOW! His passion in less than 10 words is “to not undersell the gospel.” He wants to dedicate his life to helping people realize their place and purpose as sons and daughters of God.

Addison is married to Juli. She is 28 going on 40, yet somehow also 28 going on 18 . . .a mix of wisdom and a kid at heart. She actually met Addison when she was a 19 year old and she quickly dove into all things marriage and family. She says that she hustled and pretended her way into what she thought a mom and wife should be. This left her in ways confused, exhausted, and disappointed. Today God is leading her on a journey of discovering His design for her life..she has is determined to experience more and encourage others.

So would you just start by sharing with us a bit about your story together?

The two of them have a big of an unconventional dating story. Juli was coming out of a strictly non Christian lifestyle and was experiencing a lot of hopelessness.

During this time, the two of them met one another and quickly knew it was something they wanted to commit to… in fact in 4 days! However, after that they went through an uphill battle as Juli went into a deeply legalistic bible school program where she was unable to speak to Addison at all for 9 months (SAY WHAT?!).

It was in that time that they really needed to lay their relationship on the altar and surrender full control during a time when they were not allowed to date or communicate at all. Despite the absence and distance, their hearts truly grew FONDER.

They knew that there was something different about each of their commitments to the Lord. Their 9 months a part ended up being a time for each of them to pray diligently and put God first through all that they did. Juli especially said she needed this time to make sure her relationships was solid and strong with the Lord, making sure she was fully dependent on Him and not Addison in the relationship and in her life.

Juli says, “The right thing at the wrong time is the WRONG thing.” Addison also adds that in this relationship he found that he “had a profound desire to lay his life down for her.” Addison claims that in navigating who you should marry the question should not be “does this person meet all the things on my list”, but rather “ Am I willing to lay my life down for this person in the context of marriage?

Though your commitment and relationship process was quite fast, what would you say to the listeners dating that don’t know within 4 days that they want to be with that person?

It is important no matter what the timeline to have hard conversations with the individuals that you might normally want to have. These kinds of conversations are vital in the season of dating to help prepare you for marriage.

What advice would you recommend for couples doing long distance? How about communication in long distance? How much communication ideally what do you think? What are the keys to success?

Juli first says, do not constantly text or DM, ect… you cannot be in constant contact with that person. Phone calls and video calls are important, but don’t force some of those conversations to be big and long every single time. Juli says, “it is an excellent opportunity to get to know someone with an elimination of that physical distraction.”

Addison says for anyone doing long distance it’s important to talk about the hard stuff! Even if it is over the phone.

What if you find that your love language and communication style is SO different from one another? How do you manage that in long distance?

There is value in having some different love languages, the entire idea is if we are doing relationships right the relationships should make us more whole and a more complete, better version of ourselves. Different love languages will challenge our idea of love and how to show affection to one another.

If you are not finding that the other person cares to understand how you communicate or the love language that is important to you, it is important to bring that to attention. Juli adds that she believes “It is selfless to put yourself out there to be vulnerable and say that “what you’re doing is not enough for me.”” . From here you can gauge their level of commitment and desire for self sacrifice by making changes or not making changes. There is really nothing to loose in doing that.

Addison says “you do not want to commit yourself to someone who has a fixed mentality that this is just “who they are” because that gets challenging when you navigate the different challenges life throws at you”. By doing that the other person is missing out on a growth opportunity.

Make sure that while you are stating your needs, you do not condemn the other person! Say it in a way with kindness and love, in a way that they can actually hear.

Why do you think discipline is so important in dating?

Addison starts by saying he believes that discipline is, "exchanging a short term negative for a long term positive.” you do this because you have a vision for something that is bigger than the present. having a WHY is so essential, you must know why you are committing to something. Addison continues to say “When you don’t have a compelling WHY discipline is just work. No one wants work without gain. You have to have perspective, a competing WHY for the relationship of what your life could look like in order to embrace discipline, otherwise it is just work.

It is super important to “start doing the things in the seasons of waiting and start to become the things you want to define your season of marriage.” You need to start practicing the behaviors and disciplines NOW.

Juli adds that, “Do the things that you know to do and stop looking for some sort of formula.” Kait totally agrees and says that is so vital because you need to ensure that you are not trying to fill any holes in your life WITH that person. "You are already as full an complete of a person as you possibly can be without that other person.”

Juli adds “Being LONELY and being alone are not the same thing. Being alone truly is a gift, and if we start to see it that way. Silence and solitude is RARE in our world and we need to take hold of it and if you don’t have it create it, and prioritize it. That is where you will hear directly from the Lord WHO you are and then you go out and BE that person.

What about discipline in physical intimacy?

Addison says first and foremost “KEEP IT VERTICAL. The moment things go horizontal it gets difficult.” We have to go back to having a compelling WHY when it comes to physical boundaries. We have to know why we do not want to cross them, and understanding that intimately will help us stay strong in our pursuit of that.

Addison & Juli recommend to have the conversation with the other person early and if boundaries are crossed there has to be some level of consequences. Having accountability partners is key, but make sure to choose people who will ACTUALLY keep you accountable, and not just laugh it off with you.

We are programmed NOT to stop when it comes to physical intimacy. Which is why it becomes such a slippery slope when it becomes a part of the equation. Crossing these boundaries will affect your relationship. Juli says, “If you toe the line with physical intimacy in dating, it will take you longer in marriage for intimacy to become a safe place.”

Some practical steps?

Have CLEAR physical boundaries.

Have a curfew.

Have accountability partners that you are a little bit afraid of.

Have a CODE WORD. When it is said, someone has to flee.

The three joke about IF they had asked John & Lisa Bevere (Addison's parents) to be their accountability partners… it would have been awkward but SO impactful!

What are some other things you know now, that maybe you wished you knew when dating or could impart wisdom to those who are currently dating?

Juli says that expectations are really important to manage. Too many expectations can steal a HUGE amount of joy because everything can be compared to those expectations.

Rather, it is in the tension that you learn and grow. Iron sharpening iron. It is all about your posture to and for growth that will make such a profound difference. In this also make sure to protect yourself from comparison against other relationships.

Addison adds something profound, “ In order to grow something new, something old has to die. in order to go north you have to go south."

What is your final nugget of dating advice?

Juli says, “Look for someone absolutely COMMITTED to growth."

Addison says, “Look for someone that sees you not just for who you are but as you could and should be.

Other Resources:

Follow Addison on Instagram @addisonbevereFollow Juli on Instagram @juliannabevereFollow Sons & Daughters on Instagram @sonsanddaughterstv

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