Did you know there are two main types of thinking in marriage?
If you want a thriving marriage you have to learn to think both emotionally and transactionally.
Emotional thinking is subjective and is tied to how you "feel."
Transactional thinking is objective and is tied to "logic."
Typically, you will fall into one category more naturally than the other. But when you learn to think both ways, with the ability to pivot naturally, you'll discover a powerful tool in your relationship.
The Bible gives us two examples of this type of thinking - in the life of King David and Jesus.
In this episode we will dive into both of these examples as we discuss the power of thinking both ways and the practical steps we can take to switch between the two.
And, if you haven't read our book Beauty In Battle, you can grab a copy HERE!
* Learn more about Jason and Tori HERE
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THE POWER OF TWO-WAY THINKING
By Jason and Tori Benham
Today we are talking about something I think is really fun. And I think it's really fun because it's something Tori has modeled. I'm talking about, two-way thinking I'm not talking about being a two timer. I'm talking about two way thinking. And, uh, so Tori and I want to share this with you. We're going to share with you the two types of thinking in marriage that will draw you close to your spouse.
But before we do that, uh, you know, the. You know the drill. I'm not going to give you a drum roll if we can make Jason laugh. Yeah. That's what we're going to do the drill. All right. Tour. Okay. Here are a few cheesy Valentine's because Valentine's day was yesterday. Yes, that's right. We are, we are pre-recording this podcast, so sorry.
We've dated ourselves, but yes, it was yesterday. And so in honor of Valentine's day, knock, knock. Oh, great. We're starting with a knock knock joke. Okay. Olive. All of who? Olive you,
all of you. All of you. Okay. Oh, that's that's a good one tour. I like it. Okay. Knock, knock. Who's there. Honeydew, honeydew. What? I mean, how do you do who? I don't know. Honeydew. Who? You, there you go, honey. Do you want to be my Valentine? Okay. I like that. The answer's yes. Okay. You got another one? Why was six scared of.
Y because 7, 8, 9. Oh. Now I have heard that one. That was good. Tore. This is awesome. That was, I felt like that was three for three. Okay. Are you wanting to do one more? Nope. Stop right there. Let's keep going. You want me to start? Yes. Go for it. I'm going to start. And then you jump in. All right. Okay. So we got two types of thinking in marriage that are going to help you.
So I'm gonna go ahead and tell you what these two types of thinking are, and then we're gonna break them down. Like Jay, break it down. Like Jane, what song is that? That's a song. No, I've never heard it. You've never heard that. Okay. But you're a lot older than me. Yes. That is true. Six and a half years older than Tori.
So there I am. I am a cradle, Robert. Yes, don't do the math or anything. He thinks the song, the 80 songs. I can't relate. Yes. I was a baby, but every person should love eighties music. For sure. Now I'm 46. So Tory's still in her thirties. This is great. She's got a couple more months for she's in her forties.
That'll make me feel good. Okay. So two types of thinking of marriage is going to draw you closer to your spouse. Two types of thinking they are emotional and transactional. So emotional thinking is subjective and it's tied to you feeling, right? Yes. And I can I just say that I had known this early on in marriage, this would have helped me so much.
Oh my goodness. Yes. 'cause I just, I had no concept of that. There were two different ways to shift in and out of thinking, and it's really, really powerful, but you, you gotta get, okay, so you want me to, okay. I'll give him the context and then, cause I want you to share some stories. I want you to share some stories because I have said to a number of people in the past, uh, when we talk about thinking in marriage and the power of your thoughts and, and I've said it jokingly, but.
Tori. And I started getting a lot, uh, getting along a lot better when she started thinking more like a guy. And then of course I don't leave it there if guys think more transaction well, but you see, okay. But I was going somewhere with that. And then I always respond, uh, after that. And I say, and at the same time, I learned to think more like a girl, right.
If, if I'm going to very well. Yeah. If I'm going to be stereotypical insight guys, think transaction. And women think, uh, emotionally, uh, it's not always the case, but by and large, it is an emotional thinker. Subjective. It's tied to feeling, uh, transactional thinking is objective. It is tied to logic. Now you need both in marriage.
If you're going to draw close together, uh, to glow close to each other. There are, there are ditches on both sides of the road. So for somebody to think only emotionally, without the ability to think transactionally, you are doomed to failure. And, and the other way is just as true for someone to only think transactionally, right?
Without the ability to think emotions. You are doomed, right? You can't have connection without both of them. Um, so when, when we're talking about emotional thinking, let's just start with that. Okay. So Tori and I know from counseling couples and from my studies, um, get my master's degree that in order to foster emotion, you really need to try to stir up the five senses.
Now, not all. But your five senses, taste, smell, touch. What else is there hearing? Yes. I don't know what else there is. There's another, I think that was four, but anyway, so. When you dated w like what was, what was lifelike like? W what was your dating? Like? Did you, did you just go to the Chinese restaurant with all the halogen lights on and the loud music, or did you try to find some quaint little cafe that had low level lighting and soft jazz music playing?
I mean, you gotta think there. Soft lighting, you know, low-level lighting, there's their sound, you know, you're hearing, there's soft, jazz music, you're eating, there's taste. You're probably reaching across the table and holding hands or whatever there's touch. Right. You know, and obviously it smells good.
I've figured out what brings people back by appealing to their senses. Yeah. That's right. So you need to be an emotional thinker. Uh, and what I mean by that is tapping into your feelings. You gotta like get into your fields. Like, uh, somebody watching a movie, uh, what, what got me into my fields? I know what got Tori into her fields was the note.
You know where the dude's name was? No, I think he had the beard and he's like, it was never over. It's still not over Torres. And you know, that didn't get me in my fields quite as much. But Rudy did when I watched the movie. Football. It's it's interesting. What happens. There's called mirror neurons inside your brain.
You've got these mirror neurons. So when, when you're engulfed in a story and you're totally like not thinking of yourself or whatever, and you're watching that movie. And then when the, when the actor actress begins to cry or they begin to feel something, you begin to feel the same thing that they're feeling in that moment.
That's a mirror neuron. We have to foster that type of emotion when we're hanging out with our spouse. Right. Right. It's so healthy. There's the emotional side, but then there's the transactional side. Now this is what comes natural to most of us dudes, you know, our wife is crying or whatever. We're like, well, I know how to fix it.
There's a box for that. There's a box for everything. Yes. Yeah, that's true. But transactional thinking, uh, while it may. Us men, you know, in the short term, in terms of we have to hold back our desire to fix things. Um, it, it's also the way that God created us and being transactional in that moment, uh, might not be the right move, but being transactional at some point is very good.
And did you know that transactional thinking is tied to trust? It's tied to your sense of security and. It's not always the case, but when you are thinking transactionally, you're like, we got nothing to worry about. Like, okay, so here's the deal, you know, honey, I'm not going to get lost, you know, um, you know, as I'm driving, you're, you're thinking emotionally, like, would you just stop and get directions?
This is the way life was before. Uh, GPS, right? This isn't really the issue anymore because we always get directions through the GPS, but the, but the old days where honey, would you please stop and get directions? I'm like, honey, I got this. I know where I'm going. I've been this way before, like transactional thinking is oftentimes tied to trust and we need to be an emotional thinker and a transactional thinker.
And I want to give you two quick examples and then I want Tori to share some stuff. Okay. So the first example is Jesus in Matthew 20, just look at how awesome this is. Jesus and Matthew. He goes from any emotional thinker to a transactional thinker. He's on his way up to Jerusalem. He's about to be betrayed.
Uh, he's going to die the most gruesome death known to man and listen to what he says in verse 17 of Matthew. 20 says now Jesus was going up to Jerusalem on the way he took the 12 aside and said to them, we are going up to Jerusalem now, just stop there for a second. So he took, he took the 12 aside and he said, we are going up to Jerusalem.
So he's referring to himself in. We're going up to Jerusalem and then look at the shift in this verse, he says, and the son of man will be delivered over to the chief priests and the teachers of the law. He went from first person to third person. That would be like me saying tore. So we're going to go to dinner.
And Jason is going to pay for your meal. It's like now all of a sudden I went from first person to third person, see in first person were emotional thinkers in first person. It's like, if it happened to you tore, it happened to me. I'm right there with you, you know, I'm the empathizing with you. But then moving from first person to third person is moving from emotional to now transactional.
So Jesus knows in that moment, I can't let my emotions get the better of me. I have to fight through this. I've got to die. This painful grueling death. I mean, can you imagine, but yet he refers to himself in third person. And I think what that does is that transactional way of thinking got him outside of his situation, outside of himself.
And he was able to look down on the situation and he basically saw himself as a player in a larger story. He could move towards the will of the father. There you go. That's exactly what you possibly in that moment. Be thinking and agonizing over what is to come and what you're about to do. Yeah, there's just absolutely.
He had to separate himself. He had to, but he went from emotional to transactional. In doing that, uh, he altered his perspective. And so this is a powerful thing because I've told so many different people when Tori learned how to do this, it unlocked me as a man. I'm not joking. It wasn't. She was just.
Saying things that were so incredibly emotional and I'm trying to get down on that level, but there came a point where, and I think she read, what book was it that you read by? Um, yeah. Battlefield of the mind, thinking about what you think about just allowing yourself to pause and to think, wait, where is this coming from?
Where's this thought coming from? Yes. And that when Tori read that book, all of a sudden. Uh, w w her and I would have certain conversations and I could feel the emotion picking up, and then all of a sudden she'd stop and go. Okay. Now I know I'm not thinking about this, right. So give me about 10 minutes and I'm going to get my head straight.
And I'm like, wait a second. Is that the girl I'm married to like, what? That just happened and she'd come back. And she was now she removed the emotion from it, and she began to think transactional, and I could see how she was looking at it objectively. And I'm like, wow, it's, it's a very powerful. Place to be when you can separate your emotions from something and to get outside of yourself and to think, wait, am I like, what, what is really happening?
What is the truth here? Because I'm obviously my emotions are heightened and I'm thinking this way and it's not serving my family. It's not serving my relationships. And then you can, when you can pause and separate and say, well, you know, and kind of bring the holy spirit in and say, okay, give me the, the right mind.
Give me your mind. You know, in, in scripture it says that we can have the mind of Christ. Like that's so powerful. Why would we not do that more? You know, why are there so many times I don't do this and then just all hell breaks loose. And I'm like, oh, why didn't I just stop for a second? And think about what I was thinking about before it turned into this tornado.
And if we have the mind of Christ liquid Christ, did he went from first person to third person. So he went from emotional to transactional. Now I would also. You've got to be able to go the reverse as well. So Tori has taught me how to be more of an emotional thinker. Like in that moment, I don't need you Jason, to fix the thing.
I just need you to listen. And when you're listening, we're connecting. Right, right. Like the way to connect with people, honestly. And what I have learned from being with Tory for 21 years now, When she's speaking and when she's talking to me, she needs to know that I understand what she's saying and that I feel it with her.
If she can feel. That we have connected on an emotional level. And one of the things that's helped, that's helped. I'm not joking. When I say this, you go into our house. Anybody that knows us goes into our house, they'll know we don't have, we don't put overhead lights on ever. It's true. Yeah. It's just lamps.
It's low level light. And if we have overhead light, it's got a dimmer on it. They're soft music. It's like we have to foster this environment and it really does foster an environment of connection. So you've got to have that. So moving from transactional to emotional and then moving from emotional to transactional.
Now, I said, I'd give you two examples in the Bible. Matthew 20 with Jesus was the first one David in Psalm 13 was the second. I, and I love this because when you're reading the. You'll see, David's thinking like his deep emotional thoughts. Cause this is his prayer journal and he's pouring his heart out to the Lord.
And you'll see at, at certain points when he's pouring out his heart to the Lord, all of a sudden, he. You see, there's a pivot. And, and as, as I started noticing these pivots, I learned what he was doing was moving from emotional thinking to transactional thinking. And it is so powerful. And it's not that he, you D you don't want to think emotionally.
No, you do. You want to go through it? I know plenty of dudes who can think transactionally and do not want to let themselves move into the realm of the. Um, that is danger. Like you have got to allow yourself to feel, and if you don't know how to feel, your wife will coach you, she will coach you because she knows how to feel.
Right. Shields coach put us together. We are perfect compliments of each other. Yeah. Well, so in Psalm 13, listen to what David is saying. He's like, how long a Lord will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me? I mean, just listen to the emotion of that. He's like, how long must I take counsel in my soul and have sorrow in my heart all day long.
He's like, how long shall my enemies be exalted over me? He's like, consider an answer me. Oh Lord, my God light up my eyes. Lest I sleep the sleep of death and he S he goes further in verse four and he says, and less my enemy say, I've prevailed over. He's like, God, this is like serious. But then in verse five and I love this, but he says this, but I have trusted in your steadfast.
Love my heart shall rejoice in your salvation, which means you're going to save me from all this. I will sing to the Lord because he has dealt bountifully with me. You see what he did right there. Verse one through four was straight, emotional verse five and six move from emotional to transactional. Why?
Because transactional thinking is. To security. It's tied to trust, right? Notice what David says, but I have trusted in your steadfast love. There are times where Tory and I have been talking and maybe she's feeling emotional or whatever, and, and I'm not doing the best job of, of communicating to her. But the thing that has helped her is that.
When she moves from emotional to transactional, by trusting that my motives are pure by trusting that I have her best interest at heart, even though I'm not communicating it right by any stretch. You know, and the reverse is true when she approaches me like that. Oftentimes it tears down just that transactional thinking in me.
And it's like, oh man, she's listen. I'm so thankful for her. Right, Tori. And I've talked so much about gratitude and the power of gratitude, the power of gratitude will move you into emotional thinking more than anything else. There is. Thinking about what you have to be grateful for. And I think, um, tell him the example of, of when Lundy was in the hospital and how you went from.
And there was a time there was a time in our lives where I remember really experiencing. Um, just the power of that shift from emotional to transactional. And it wasn't something that I was doing consciously. It was something that I later looked back on and was like, okay, wow. That that's how that works.
And, um, so it happened with when our youngest Lindy, and we T we tell this story in the book, um, got really sick and we thought that she just had an ammonia. We had gone to the hospital cause she was just not, not doing well. When we got there, they said she had, uh, had pneumonia and I was just freaking out just crying and like, I couldn't even catch my breath.
I was just like, what in the world have I done? How did it get to this point? How did she get pneumonia? And I didn't know, I had taken her to the doctor earlier that week and they thought it was just a cold. And in, in my heart, I kind of knew it was more, but I didn't push because we were going on vacation.
Um, and anyways, it was just. Overwhelming sense of responsibility as a mom that I had missed this and I was in my, and my heart just broke for Lundy. And then they come in and say, she has a collapsed lung and it was just this, Ugh, just this heavy, heavy weight. And I was just completely emotional. I was just crying and crying and crying and.
We, they transferred us to another hospital. They're like, you know what? It may be something else. And turns out that Lundy has pertussis and it's way worse than we think than we thought. It's not just pneumonia. It's not just a collapsed lung. She has pertussis, which is often fatal and infants whooping, cough.
Right. So she would just cough and cough and cough until she couldn't catch her breath. And in, in, so in just a moment, I'll never forget. I looked up on my phone. What is pertussis? The doctor was like, it's going to get worse before it gets better. She's kind of preparing us for what it could look like. It could be very bad, you know what, you know, what we're dealing with.
And I just remember looking at offices often fatal and infants. I took my phone. I exited out and I put my phone in my pocket. I never again looked at my phone or looked up anything because it was like, in a moment, there was no way I was going to operate out of emotion for the life of my child. Like it became a life or death situation and there was no room for emotional.
It was like, we have to. Move towards this in the most strategic way Lundy has to live. We have to make it through this and whatever it takes I'm, I'm, I'm not gonna like, uh, I'm. I have to transfer my mind into what is very, very best for London firm. And I knew it wasn't going to be crying at the end of the.
It was going to be locked in with every day. Every doctor that came in, locked in with every nurse what's going on, like, it was just this, I am ready to do whatever it takes. We're going to, we have to win. I can not lose this child. And it was the shift from emotional to transactional. I actually didn't cry again until there was this really, um, horrible moment that we thought we lost.
And then right when we knew that we had her back, it was right back to transactional thinking and it was just, it was, it was a war. Like we had doctors coming in saying she, you know, her blood count were so high that they believe she had, uh, leukemia. And it was just what it was just felt like the weight of the world, right?
Like all these, all this bad news after bad news, after bad news. And it just became this really, um, like I was sure that there was no other way to fight this. Then to be transactional and to be locked in and to have this mindset of. What do we need to do to get here? I'm not going to, I'm not going to overthink it.
I'm not going to get emotional with it. We're just going to do this thing and going to be regretful. Like I couldn't go. That was something for later. Yeah. This was time to be transacted. And what I loved about that, obviously, if you read our book, you'll see God spared Lundy's life. And it was amazing, but I saw Tori go through that.
And that was, um, 11 years ago. And then I saw her applying that same line of thinking in our marriage. Especially when it came to me going out of town, I went out of town a lot. Yeah. It was like, the Lord was really good. He was just, the Lord speaks through everyday events. Right. And so like, even as we wrote this book beat in battle, it's just Chronicle.
Like the, the, the God stories in our life where God spoke to us and through our relationship. And so, yeah, there was another time where the Lord had to teach me, the opposite, like going from transactional, thinking to emotional thinking and. It was Jason traveled. Like he said, he was traveling all the time.
And the kid, when the kids were really little and poor wife, I had to go from emotional to transactional. Every time we left, I had to be single mom doing kind of everything and wearing all the hats. And then Jason would come home. I was like, had this wall up, like I'm, I'm like in go mode and there's, there's like, there's no time to get, can I, can I get a hug, a little hug?
No, not right now. No touchy touchy. Yeah. And so anyways, I, I could, this story could last forever, but the long and short of it is. Is that the Lord had to show me that, okay, there's time. There's now you have to shift from transactional to emotional. There's a time where you have to be really strong and you have to keep, you know, keep everything straight, but you've got to let your husband in.
You've got to be emotional with him and connect with him on an emotional level. And you can't do that by staying in this transactional. Um, and so, yeah, the Lord had to show us this, you know, at, through the example of Jesus, that the end David in the Bible that we have got to be able to transition in life from emotional to transactional, from transactional to emotional, and we can do it and it's going to help our relationships if we do.
Yeah. And I think about Jesus when he was teaching the crowds and there was often time when someone would say something or do something or ask a question or a paralytic, I'm a paralytic comes up. And, and, uh, a man also with leprosy comes up to him and it says Jesus stopped. And he was filled with compassion.
And then he healed the man, right? Uh, he did it with a rich young ruler. When the young ruler said, I want to turn a life. And it says, Jesus felt compassion for him. Now compassion in that moment looked a little different. He told him something he didn't want to hear, but Jesus went from transactional to.
Back to transactional, like just knowing that little dance and making sure that you and your spouse are on the same page with this. It's going to help you in your marriage a lot. Now, are you going to close this out with a bang tour? You are. What do we got here? Would you rather, oh, okay. Would you rather, this is rather okay.
Would you rather suffer from spontaneous, shouting or unpredictable farting spells so I'll take the farting all day long. I totally would. You said unpredictable, shouting. That would be so alarm on Tania's shouting. Yeah, that would be alarm. Unpredictable farting smells awful, especially when, as if I don't know what this means with you living with you, we're on a podcast.
You can't share these things. Okay. Um, that's good. I like, that's a good one to end with. Should we end with that one? Yeah. Save the rest in your bag. Okay. Well this I like this one too, where you taught me a lot. All right. We'll see you guys soon. See you next time.