185 episodes

You were made for fulfilling relationships. Listen each week to stories of people finding hope and encouragement in their relationships so that you can too. Host and award-winning author John Certalic, together with his guests, share principles of life-giving relationships.

John’s relationship story starts with his birth to a single mother and placement in foster care for the first 16 months of his life. From this comes four different careers, 50 years of marriage to the same wife, and much he has learned about relationships. John draws from all this, along with inspiring stories from his guests, to share how you can find more fulfillment in the relationships you were made for.

You Were Made for This John Certalic

    • Religion & Spirituality
    • 4.9 • 28 Ratings

You were made for fulfilling relationships. Listen each week to stories of people finding hope and encouragement in their relationships so that you can too. Host and award-winning author John Certalic, together with his guests, share principles of life-giving relationships.

John’s relationship story starts with his birth to a single mother and placement in foster care for the first 16 months of his life. From this comes four different careers, 50 years of marriage to the same wife, and much he has learned about relationships. John draws from all this, along with inspiring stories from his guests, to share how you can find more fulfillment in the relationships you were made for.

    Thankful for Life After Death

    Thankful for Life After Death

    My friend Larry Goring died 2 months ago after a nine-month battle with cancer. He was only 73, and I miss him greatly. Larry was one of the original board members of our missionary care ministry, Caring for Others, and was always a great encouragement to me. His wife Jill gave me permission to share some of the details following Larry’s death that I want to share with you. I’m doing so because here in November 2022, the month we celebrate Thanksgiving, Jill’s response shows us how we can be thankful for life after death.
    What she did for Larry’s funeral service is quite encouraging, and I thought you would appreciate a little encouragement today.
    But before I tell you what Jill did, here’s what this podcast is all about.
    Welcome to You Were Made for This If you find yourself wanting more from your relationships, you’ve come to the right place. Here you’ll discover practical principles you can use to experience the life-giving relationships you were made for.
    I’m your host, John Certalic, award-winning author and relationship coach, here to help you find more joy in the relationships God designed for you.
    To access all past and future episodes, go to the bottom of this page, enter your name and email address, then click on the follow or subscribe button. The episodes are organized chronologically and are also searchable by topics, categories, and keywords.
    Thankful for Life After Death Thank you, Carol. I’ll start by reading part of the email Janet and I received from Jill, the night Larry died at home, surrounded by Jill and their two adult children.
    “We are grief-stricken. At the same time, we are so thankful that he is pain-free and joy-filled and enjoying the glories of heaven, meeting his savior, reuniting with his parents, his brother-in-law, my nephew, and so many other dear ones. We are grateful for what the Lord Jesus did to make this possible. We were sitting with him and playing one of the many songs he loves [The Holy City] when he took his last breath.
    “Everywhere we turn in the house makes us weep with his absence. We wish we could just sit and cry and hug all of you who loved him.
    Thank you for your prayers.”
    The burial service Twelve days later Jill wrote:
    “Tomorrow it will be a week since Larry’s burial service. It crushes my heart to write those words.
    “We gathered for some family time at the funeral home, and whoever wanted to read a verse took a printed one before we crossed the street to the cemetery.
    “At the graveside, all we did was read these Scriptures.
    “Each voice was loud and clear with not a single stumble—from the eight-year-old to the teenagers to the nieces and nephews and us older ones.
    It was powerfully comforting.
    “Tonight—my first night home alone--I am reading them again. As I will do over and over again. I hope you are blessed by them.
    “Thank you again for your prayers.
    Jill”
    Scriptures that assure us of life after death Several weeks later when Jill was visiting us in our home, she told us more about Larry’s burial service. 15- 20 people gathered around the gravesite, ranging in ages from 8 to 73. Jill had printed scripture verses on 5x7 notecards that spoke of life after death and the encouragement we can draw from them. Anyone who wanted to read the Bible verses could do so.
    Here are the verses people read standing around the gravesite. I hope you can picture the scene. May they give those of us with a relationship with Jesus great comfort, both now, and for when our time on earth comes to an end.
    John 3:16-17 [Jesus talking to the religious teacher Nicodemus]
    God loved the world so much that He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. That’s why God sent his son—not to judge the world, but to save the world through him.
    John 5:24-25 [Jesus’ promise]
    I’m telling you the absolute truth: those who listen to my message and believe in God who sent m

    • 33 min
    Thankful for Curious People

    Thankful for Curious People

    For the past two years, my grandson George has been a resident assistant in his college dorm. Before students check in at the start of the school year, each RA creates a bulletin board for their floor with here’s-who-I-am information about themself. It’s a way to start building a sense of community. I wish they would have had something like this when I was in college.
    The only thing posted in my day was the time and place of the next anti-war protest rally.
    Demonstrations about how the South succeeding from the Union was going to lead to war. That kind of thing.
    Anyway, I've included a photo of George’s RA bulletin board . As you can see, at the top he posted in big bold letters, "Are You Curious About George?,"  accompanied by a cut-out of the Curious George monkey. He then attached pictures representing his interests and things important to him.
    I’m going to tell you what happened as a result of that creative bulletin board, but before I do, here’s what this podcast is all about.
    Welcome to You Were Made for This If you find yourself wanting more from your relationships, you’ve come to the right place. Here you’ll discover practical principles you can use to experience the life-giving relationships you were made for.
    I’m your host, John Certalic, award-winning author and relationship coach, here to help you find more joy in the relationships God designed for you.
    To access all past and future episodes, go to the bottom of this page, enter your name and email address, then click on the follow or subscribe button. The episodes are organized chronologically and are also searchable by topics, categories, and keywords.
    Was anyone curious about George? Just recently I talked to George about his RA bulletin board and asked him if anyone on his floor was, in fact, curious about him. Did anyone ask about any of the things he displayed about his interests?
    “Just one person,” George said. “And it was only a very brief conversation.”
    Yeah, that’s how it usually goes, I thought. There aren’t a lot of relationally curious people out there. And that’s a shame. I talked about this in several episodes in the past, and I’ll have links to them at the end of the show notes:
    Why I’m thankful for Curious people But here’s why I’m thankful for relationally curious people, though they are few in number. Not nosey people, but curious people. I talk about the difference in episode 165.
    Curious people honor others by wanting to know someone’s story. By being interested in a person’s history, and why someone is the way they are. With the questions they ask, they give people a voice and an opportunity to be known. I’m thankful for people like this.
    Curious people try to connect with others by listening, rather than talking. Oh, there are so many talkers out there today, but so few really good listeners. Most talkers are good people and mean well. But sadly, they engage with others by using their words rather than their ears.
    Curious people aren’t like this. They tend to be good listeners. They draw people out to make them the center of attention, rather than themself. I’m always drawn to someone who by their very nature makes other people the focus of a conversation, rather than themself. Curious people are like this, and I’m thankful for them.
    Another thing about curious people that I appreciate is how they deal with relational problems. They are curious enough to look below the surface of an issue to discover what may be causing it. Curious people look beyond the obvious. They consider possibilities that may go unnoticed by others.
    So what does all this mean for YOU? How can you use what you’ve heard today about curious people to help you find more joy in the relationships in your life?
    I suggest giving a try at being more relationally curious yourself. In conversations with people make fewer statements and instead ask more questions. Ask just one follow-up question and see how

    • 9 min
    Thankful for Parents Who Discipline Their Children

    Thankful for Parents Who Discipline Their Children

    A family friend and listener to this podcast told me about an unpleasant experience she recently had at a big box retail store that got me thinking about climate change. Not the climate change we hear environmentalists and politicians talk about. I’m thinking about relational climate change. How the climate in a room changes when parents fail to discipline their children. And how it improves when they do.
    Continuing our “Thankful in November” series, today’s episode is about how we can be thankful for parents who discipline their children because of how it improves the relational climate we live in.
    But before we get into today’s episode, here’s what this podcast is all about.
    Welcome to You Were Made for This If you find yourself wanting more from your relationships, you’ve come to the right place. Here you’ll discover practical principles you can use to experience the life-giving relationships you were made for.
    I’m your host, John Certalic, award-winning author and relationship coach, here to help you find more joy in the relationships God designed for you.
    To access all past and future episodes, go to the bottom of this page, enter your name and email address, then click on the follow or subscribe button. The episodes are organized chronologically and are also searchable by topics, categories, and keywords.
    The need for a relational climate change I think most of us at one time or another experienced what a listener to our podcast went through recently while in the check-out line at Walmart. A father in front of her had a toddler strapped in his cart, while another young child, standing at his side, engaged in all manner of behavior to irritate the kid in the cart. The poking and taunting of the toddler elicited back-and-forth yelling between the two kids.
    And what do you think the father did about this? You guessed, it. Nothing.
    It got so irritating to our listener friend that she stepped out of line, abandoned her cart, and went across the street to a grocery store to buy the same items she left behind at Walmart. The climate change between the two stores was palpable. From chaos at Walmart to peace and calm at the grocery store. No undisciplined kids creating tension for fellow shoppers.
    The sad thing for me about stories like this is that it’s not the kids’ fault. It’s on the parents for failing to disciple their children. The dad in this case needed to go sit on a chair in the time-out corner.
    My thoughts on child discipline Having raised two kids of my own with my wife, and then watching them parent their own children, I learned a few things about disciplining children.
    I’ll start with this. Parents who discipline their children well when they are younger will have to discipline them less when they’re older. When you don’t discipline kids when they’re young, it is much harder to do so when they’re older as teenagers when the consequences of bad behavior are much greater.
    And then if you don’t discipline them as teenagers, you get adults like Meghan Markle who’s at the epicenter of the family dysfunction in Britain’s royal family.
    It’s been reported that he said he regrets not disciplining his daughter when she was a child. “I gave her everything she wanted,” he said. “I never said no.”
    Parents are sometimes reluctant to discipline their kids because they want their kids to like them, to not be upset with them. They want their children to view them as a friend. Children don’t need you to be their friend. They need you to be a strong parent to teach them the most important thing they need to know as a young child, and that is to obey.
    The most important thing a young child needs to know The main job of young children is to learn to obey. Oh, there is so much disobedience out there. But it doesn’t have to be that way.
    Years ago I attended a week-long conference featuring Christian Counselors Larry Crabb and Dan Allender. During a Q & A session, som

    • 15 min
    Thankful for People Who Inspire Us

    Thankful for People Who Inspire Us

    In last week’s episode, no. 182, we began our Thankful in November series by talking about being thankful for the last time we experienced something. Today we continue this series by considering the blessing of being thankful for the people who inspire us.
    Welcome to You Were Made for This If you find yourself wanting more from your relationships, you’ve come to the right place. Here you’ll discover practical principles you can use to experience the life-giving relationships you were made for.
    I’m your host, John Certalic, award-winning author and relationship coach, here to help you find more joy in the relationships God designed for you.
    To access all past and future episodes, go to the bottom of this page, enter your name and email address, then click on the follow or subscribe button. The episodes are organized chronologically and are also searchable by topics, categories, and keywords.
    Two words to describe our podcast If I could use only one word to describe our You Were Made for This podcast, it would be “relationships.” And if I could add one more word to the description, it would be “joy.” As in how to experience more joy in the relationships God designed for us. It’s what we were made for.
    Inspire One source of joy in relationships is to be thankful for people who inspire us. “Inspire” is an interesting word. It literally means "to fill someone with the urge to do or feel something."
    My wife used to love going to a home furnishings store by the name of Inspire. It sold decorative items for your house like pillows, small pieces of furniture, things to hang on the wall. Stuff like that. It certainly filled my wife with the urge to do something. I’ll leave it to your imagination to guess what that urge might have been. She doesn’t go there anymore because the store went out of business. At least that’s what I’ve been telling her when she talks about going back there. Let’s just keep that a secret between you and me. Okay?
    When my book came out in 2016, THEM - The Richer Life Found in Caring for Others, Writer’s, Digest Magazine awarded it “best inspirational book of the year.” My purpose in writing the book was to urge people to care better for each other, which would make us feel good about ourselves, because we were made for this.
    “Inspire”: to fill someone with the urge to do or feel something.
    People can Inspire us The Inspire store and my book were intentional about their purpose in urging people to do something or feel something. I would add motivational speakers to these two intentional sources of inspiration.
    But for me, I’ve always been thankful for people who inspire us unintentionally by the way they live. They’re the examples I would like to be more like. They don’t tell you how to conduct yourself, they show you. They’re the people who inspire us without even trying to do so. Here’s a recent example from just two months ago.
    Queen Elizabeth II When Queen Elizabeth II died on September 8, 2022, there was an outpouring of admiration for her and the way she lived her life. Ruling England for over 70 years, you’d be hard-pressed to find someone who didn’t admire her. A particularly insightful article by Daniel Henninger, one of my favorite newspaper columnists, appeared in The Wall Street Journal a week or so after she died. I’ll quote a few paragraphs from his piece, entitled “The Countercultural Queen”:
    Within the hour of her death, Queen Elizabeth II was praised by commentators from left to right for representing so many traditional values. Reserve, self-containment, duty, responsibility. modesty of demeanor, graciousness, civility, prudence, fortitude…
    What is most notable is that this instant outpouring of media praise for the queen’s traditional virtues comes amid a contemporary culture that elevates daily, even hourly, a value system of self-regard, self-promotion, changeability, acting out, and anything-goes behavior that

    • 14 min
    Thankful for “The Last Time I Will Ever…”

    Thankful for “The Last Time I Will Ever…”

    It happened a few weeks ago, another one of those It was the last time I will ever … moments. It was the last time I experienced something so meaningful and enjoyable that it brought on a tinge of sadness knowing I will never experience it again.
    But based on several other last time I will ever … events in my life I know I can be thankful for what comes next. And so can you. It’s what I talk about in today’s episode, the first in my “Thankful in November” series starting today.
    But before we get into today’s episode, here’s what this podcast is all about.
    Welcome to You Were Made for This If you find yourself wanting more from your relationships, you’ve come to the right place. Here you’ll discover practical principles you can use to experience the life-giving relationships you were made for.
    I’m your host, John Certalic, award-winning author and relationship coach. I'mhere to help you find more joy in the relationships God designed for you.
    To access all past and future episodes, go to the bottom of this page. Enter your name and email address, then click on the follow or subscribe button. The episodes are organized chronologically and are also searchable by topics, categories, and keywords.
    The last little league baseball game I will ever see I’ve got three, “the last time I will ever… " stories to share with you today. Events in my life I’m thankful for this November, a month we celebrate thankfulness. I’m talking about them today hoping it will get you thinking about your the last time I will ever… moments in your life that you can be thankful for.
    The first of my stories is prompted by the times I drive past a local park near where we live. It’s where our twin grandsons, Grant and George played little league baseball when they were young. They’re both 20 years old now and in college.
    They played in this baseball league through 6th grade, which was the age limit by which they could participate. Driving past this park reminds me of the last baseball game they played in. They played for one of those leagues that downplay competitiveness so that everyone on the team gets to play in every game. Even if it is just for an inning. It was all about fun, not about winning.
    The last out to win the game and end the season In the boys’ last game for the season at this park, their team was up by a run at the top of the last inning. George was playing first base, Grant was at third. The batter for the other team hit a grounder to Grant, who fielded the ball cleanly. He then reared back and with all his might and strength threw the ball in the air as hard as his skinny arm would allow to his brother at first base. George easily caught the ball on the fly, and stepped on first base to make the final out to end the game. The final play, of the final game, of their final season as little league baseball players.
    Shortly after this. it hit me, this was the last time I will ever see them play little league baseball together again. It was the end of an era in their still very young lives. It was the end of the joy Janet and I were so thankful for that we could be part of as spectators. More joy would come later for other things, but this one last moment. This one last time I will ever … moment filled me with joy I am still thankful for years later.
    I’m thankful for being part of the joy they experienced in playing well together for the very last time. Thankful to see that last play that so symbolizes their connection with each as twin brothers.
    Her last tennis match I will ever see Another of my the last time I will ever… moments happened just a few weeks ago. Our granddaughter Eleanor is a high school senior and has been on her school’s tennis team since she was a freshman. It’s been a great run for her in many ways.
    Girls’ high school tennis is a fall sport where we live. Each season concludes with a state tournament that began a few weeks ago. I drove out to the school wher

    • 16 min
    Tenderness Found in Two Unusual Places

    Tenderness Found in Two Unusual Places

    A friend I hadn’t seen in a while asked me the other day what was going on in my life. “Lots of death,” I said, filling in my response with examples.. Another thing going on was a moment of tenderness I saw in a man consoling his wife in a restaurant. I’ve been thinking for days about the tenderness I saw in both the restaurant and the deaths I described. It’s what we’re looking at in today’s episode. Tenderness in relationships found in unusual places.
    But before we get into today’s episode, here’s what this podcast is all about.
    Welcome to You Were Made for This If you find yourself wanting more from your relationships, you’ve come to the right place. Here you’ll discover practical principles you can use to experience the life-giving relationships you were made for.
    I’m your host, John Certalic, award-winning author and relationship coach, here to help you find more joy in the relationships God designed for you.
    To access all past and future episodes, go to the bottom of this page, enter your name and email address, then click on the follow or subscribe button. The episodes are organized chronologically and are also searchable by topics, categories, and keywords.
    Two Funerals Last week’s episode, no. 180 was about finding joy in an unusual place. Today we’re going to look at tenderness in relationships, and two unusual places to find it. The first is in the context is death. It’s certainly an unusual place to think about tenderness, but I saw it at the funeral of Dennis, the husband of a former co-worker of mine who died unexpectedly.
    I didn’t know him all that well, but I saw his tenderness in the photos of him with his wife and children. The slideshow that flashed across the screen at the front of the sanctuary showed a man who loved his family. You could see it in his smile. You could also hear it in what the pastor shared about him and his faithfulness and commitment to his family.
    Another place I saw tenderness was at the memorial service for a longtime friend and missionary who succumbed to cancer. I couldn’t make it to the service in person, so I watched it online. He was a leader and visionary in his mission organization and several of his colleagues talked about what a kind and compassionate man he was. With tears in their eyes, they spoke of his humility and how he mentored each of them in ways that brought out the best in each one of them.
    His wife and son also spoke. His wife, in particular, showed how devastated her loss has been. She spoke briefly about how much God hates death and the impact it has had on her. The tenderness in her loving relationship with her husband made the pain of her tragedy all the more difficult to watch.
    Shouldering a difficult responsibility The last example of death that’s been surrounding me lately began with a text I recently received from Martin, my former missionary friend. I talked about him in episodes 071 and 072.
    Martin wrote. “Josephine went to be with Jesus this afternoon and is now again united with Suzanne.” Josephine was his wife Suzanne’s mother who lived with them. When Suzanne died two years ago, Martin became the prime caregiver of his mother-in-law.
    This was a difficult responsibility for Martin in the context of his deep grief over losing his wife so suddenly and unexpectedly. It was also burdensome because of the significant health challenges his 80-something mother-in-law faced. I don’t know of many men who would have accepted this responsibility. Over the past two years, Martin and I talked about how wearisome it was for him.
    But in his commitment to his mother-in-law, I saw a tenderness in his relationship to his deceased wife. By caring for her mother, Martin was honoring Suzanne. Both of them returned first from China and then Germany to move to Chicago for the sole purpose of caring for Josephine. And Martin followed through on that commitment even though his wife was no longer with him to help. It

    • 14 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
28 Ratings

28 Ratings

Yonette Belinda ,

Necessary for growth

John your podcast is encouraging. Relationships are necessary to improve and grow into the places we can't get to personally. It is just necessary to develop a greater depth of empathy in our interactions with each other. Your voice communicates that you trulty care. Thank you for your encouragement.

Pepin24 ,

It’s All About Relationships

It’s true! It’s all about relationships. And isn’t this the most important aspect of anyone’s life? John’s perspective on relationships makes me stop and reflect on how I can improve my own. He has such a clear understanding, and a winsome way of sharing and identifying with his audience, that I always feel engaged with his topics, and later find ways to incorporate these concepts into my own personal conversations with others. Thank you, John. And please keep up the good work!

dslkjgfjgafd ,

Thoughtful Help on Building Better Relationships

John has such an engaging way of presenting practical tips on building relationships. Sometimes we all need quick reminders of relational "best practices" to encourage us and help us understand how even difficult relationships can be improved. John consistently delivers that and more in his weekly podcast!

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