Your marriage will move in the direction of your strongest thoughts. Recognizing that your thinking will naturally gravitate toward the negative is the backdrop to today's episode as we show you how to keep your thinking on the positive side so that you can experience relational strength.
Using Craig Groeshel's best-selling book "Winning The War In Your Mind" we'll dive into how winning the battle in your mind is the secret to winning the heart of your spouse.
And, if you want to dive deeper, jump over to the Beauty In Battle Bootcamp and take our course that will help you change your thinking to transform your relationship.
So today we're talking about winning the war in your mind, and I'm piggybacking off of the book by the same title written by Craig Groeschel, and it is a fantastic book. I just finished it. Tori just finished it as well. Um, a hundred percent, like there's over half a million copies sold. It is really, really good.
And if you've read our book, Beauty and Battle, you know that Tori and I talk a lot about the power of thinking and how your thoughts determine the direction of your life. And certainly it's true that your thoughts determine the health and strength of your relationship. So, And early on in our relationship, I think it was like year two of our marriage, I read the book Battlefield of the Mind by Joyce Meyers, which shares all the same principles as this book that Greg Groeschel has just written.
Um, and it changed my life. It literally changed my thinking. It was the beginning of a new journey for me, um, to change my thinking. Yeah, it was so good. I hope you can share some of those principles, but, so we're gonna, we're going to dive in today. We're going to share a story from our book, beauty and battle.
Um, we're also going to talk about a few of the things that we learned from, from these books that we've read. Um, just because it is so powerful. Like my dad used to say the warfare for your soul takes place on the battleground of your mind. Um, nowhere more is that true than in marriage. So the warfare for your marriage takes place on the battleground of your minds, right?
So both of you individually thinking thoughts that align with truth, not believing the lie is going to help you have the type of marriage that God wants you to have. Okay. That being said, we're going to start with a song. It's called falling like the stars by James Arthur. And this is a newer one. And I love this song.
He's writing it from the perspective of a guy who's, who's either out of town or he's been gone a long time. And he's telling his girl, I swear, when I come home, we're going to get married, we're going to fall in love. And he gives her a vision of what their life is going to be like, right? And Tori and I just loved it so much.
And you brought this home. You were on the, on the road last week and you came home with this song. So I was like, Ooh, I like this. We're doing this, but Tori and I have four kids. So when you hear this verse, you'll understand why we love it. It
resonated. That's a little vision right there.
This is a good, good chorus right here.
All right. I forget how it all ends, but it's a really good song. James Arthur falling like the stars. It is great. I love it. Yeah. So, uh, let's jump right in and talk about the power of thinking. Tori and I, when we first got married, uh, we didn't realize that how, however we thought individually would literally determine the strength of our relationship.
And we learned that really quick. Yep. Battle of the Mind, as I mentioned earlier, was pivotal for me. Yeah. Um, because basically, she, uh, Joyce Myers helped me to see that there's a battlefield going on in your mind and the enemy, Satan. Yeah. He, um, is really hell bent to get you thinking. Certain ways That's so true.
Certain lies that are going to keep you from the relationships that God, um, has for you. Yeah. And specifically I remember just really coming to the conclusion like the enemy, Satan really wants me to think about you and people who are really important in my life. Mm-Hmm. A certain way to keep me divided from them.
To keep me Yeah. Away from them, but. God wants me to think in alignment with him, and it's possible to think in alignment with him because when you do every aspect of your life changes, changes for the better. So good. Yeah. And you know, there's a verse Psalms 121 to says, I lift my eyes to the mountains.
Where does my help come from? My help. Comes from the Lord, the maker of the heaven and earth. And that's really the big where she begins in the book battlefield of the mind is like we have a helper The holy spirit is our helper and we can we can call upon him and say I need I need your help in my thinking I need help in um And moving towards and not away from the people that I love and the people that make me better in life Right and so it's it starts with your thinking It always starts with your thinking and, um, Greg Rochelle wrote this book and it's very, very similar.
Um, he uses, he covers all the same principles. That I read and bow for the mind. So it was just really refreshing to kind of read over that all over again, a bunch of the same principles that we use in our book. Yes. You know, our whole thing is, you know, Satan's attack strategy to rip your marriage apart is that he comes to distract, deceive and divide, right?
Distract you from your God given purpose, deceive you into believing the lie, divide you from God and from your spouse. And you counteract that by recognizing, renouncing and replacing, you recognize that. It came from the devil, like that negative thinking came from the devil. Like he's there. You renounce the lie behind it and you replace with the truth.
So we have that battlefield of the mind. Joyce Meyer says it a different way. Craig Groeschel says it a different way, but we really just want to dive in and talk about how you can. Start thinking in a way that's not only going to be healthy to your own life, but it's going to be healthy to your marriage.
Yes. Yep. And in Beauty and Battle, we talk about this in chapter six, it's a chapter called I'm Triggered. And, um, just tells the story of our experience with, with this. And, um, you know, at a time where we were really researching neuroscience and learning about neuroscience, how our brains work and, um, and.
Um, you were traveling often and, um, we, I had just learned that, um, from Caroline Leaf that our minds are really, and our thoughts are like a forest, they're real things, and, and the thoughts are like trees in that, in that forest. And the more. We, we create neural pathways by what, from what we think about.
And so the more we think about something, um, we create these paths of least resistance. And it's easier to think that same thought the next time. Exactly. And so just, um, like the forest in the back of our woods, I tell a story about when we first moved in to our home and, um, I, we at the time just had three kids, very small.
I think they were. Um, at the time that I discovered our little forest, Jake was a baby and Allie was two and Trey was four. And I had discovered this path in the back of our woods and it was just amazing. I just was floored by it because, um, it was exactly what I needed. It was like a really cool nature trail.
Yeah. It was perfectly formed. Yeah. It was easy to walk on. And I was so excited. I called Jason like, you're not gonna believe this. I found a trail in the back of our woods and we, me and the kids used to walk the trail and it was just therapeutic to me at that season. And, um, I remember meeting my neighbor, Dave next door, um, as I was going down this path and I was like, this is incredible.
And do you, you know how this path was created? And he said, Oh yeah, I just, Took my bike through it a couple years ago and now I go down it every pretty much every day and then we've got a couple kids and Next door that have four wheelers and they started taking my my path And so it's made it a little bit wider and I was just amazed that this What I thought was like, you know, I was envisioning like who brought a bobcat out here He's like who create who had created this incredible path, but it was just Dave going Over and over and over until it became a well established path and that's exactly What happens in our minds?
yeah with our thoughts that when we think a thought and a lot of our thoughts are just repetitive thoughts because We choose the path of least resistance over and over and over again and so and from a negative standpoint that destroys you But if it's positive, it's really gonna help you, right? So the key is repetitive thoughts over and over need to be focused on truth exactly, and if the thoughts that you are thinking are not leading you to Yeah, to where you want to go, then you need to, yeah, change 'em.
You need to change them , right? So that we have to take a hard look at that in our lives. Like how are these thoughts that I'm. Um, continuously going down that bring me to the same place every time. Are they working for me? Are they working against me? I've heard Tori say that before to couples that have come in where we can see that they're obviously having a conflict and they're not happy with each other and the wife is very upset at the husband and I, I can remember several times hearing Tori say to the, to the wife.
Um, the thoughts that you're having towards your husband right now, I know they're probably negative and she's not in her head. Yeah, they are. And then Tori says, is that getting you what you want? Is that getting you what you want? What do you really want? Well, You know, you want to be connected to your husband.
Well, are those thoughts getting you what you want, right? Regardless of whether or not they're lining up with reality. Yes. It's a different matter, but dwelling on those negative thoughts, it's not getting you what you want. Exactly. And this became very apparent for me, um, that. In our relationship. This is about 15 years ago or so.
Um, you're traveling often. Um, you know, a couple times a week you're gone and I'm with the kids and I find myself that when you come home, I'm distant and cold. Yeah. And, um, It takes us a long time to reconnect every time you go out of town and I begin to Notice this pattern and realize it's not good for our relationship.
It's leading to disconnection. Yeah, and And it wasn't what I wanted but yet I was just it was my natural response Every time and so I began to ask the Lord What this was, and I really felt like as I began to understand the neuroscience of thoughts that I was thinking a certain way every time that you were leaving that was leading me down this path of least resistance that was leading to disconnection in our relationship.
And so as I began to bring it before the Lord and to you, I realized, I remember, you know, out of the abundance of. Your how your heart the mouth speaks and so be Be aware of what comes out of your mouth because often you'll see the root of something Yeah, and for me as I was asking the Lord to show me what is this?
Like what what am I thinking that is making me so distant from though from Jason and I remember you called one day and You were checking in on me and I found myself just highly annoyed, you know, at even hearing your voice. That's great. Just to be honest. And I remember I just started crying and you're like, what's going on?
And I said, I just don't think it was very nice. You're like, what, what the heck are you talking about? And I said, I didn't really even dream that big. I didn't have a selfish dream. I just wanted to do life with you. And I just don't think it's very kind of God. Um, to not give that to me and honestly, I was very like, it was very, I was very unaware of these things that were kind of going on in my heart.
And you and I just kind of got to the bottom of what this, this thing was that was happening every time you leave. And it was like this feeling of, I had always dreamed and we talked about it in the book. Like I grew up in, in a small town in, um, Connecticut where. It was a very, every, everything was very familial, like everybody worked together.
It was mostly Italians that lived in this, in our little small town. And Um, yeah. I don't remember very many people, many couples and families that didn't work together. My parents worked together. My grandparents worked at my house. It's an Italian thing. Yeah. Like every, you know, there's Lombardi's bakery owned by the Lombardi's.
You got the Milo's who had their gas station and it's just was everything was family run. And I subconsciously, you know, I had the dream and my expectation was that I'd be working alongside of you. And we talked about that when we dated. That was one of the visions that we had for each other. Yeah, exactly.
And so now here I'm living a life that I didn't dream of, that I didn't anticipate and didn't expect. And my interpretation was, wow, God must not really be that nice. Yeah. And, um, and I remember, you know, as we began to talk through it, I began to like, just being aware of that lie, like that I was believing that God didn't really care about my dreams, that he didn't really care about what I wanted.
Um, it, it really helped me to, to rewire my thinking because the, the root of the lie that I was feeling was that God wasn't kind. Yeah. And that was the beginning of replacing that lie with truth. Yeah. Was becoming aware of the lie and so I began. To just and I remember once that even even in that that very day that the awareness came I was like, oh my goodness.
Like I can't believe I just said that I I really don't know I really don't fully trust God that he cares about me enough to give you know to care about my desires and my wants and and all those things and as That was happening. I remember my kids just running by they were just having a blast of homeschooling at the time and They, I just see these mini Jason and Tories running and having a blast around me, and I just remember.
The Lord saying I am good like I'm like this was a dream that you had do you remember dreaming about having kids like The song that we just listened to that's why we related to it So well because we did we had this dream of having four kids together and yeah all these things and then here we are Here I am I've I've A dream fulfilled, but I'm focused on the part of the dream that's not fulfilled yet.
Yeah, that God ultimately was going to fulfill, which is what we're living now. But at that season in your life, it was a long, long, it felt like it was never going to come. Exactly. And so the Lord just used that as a season for me to really, um, start digging into truth. Yeah. And, um, replacing. That lie that God isn't good and with the truth and as I began to do that, it was a gradual process, but I, it really was the root of this disconnection between me and you and we, and we began, I became very open with you about it and, and it was something that actually ended up drawing you and I very close because we were able to work through it together.
And it took you probably. A decade to make that discovery that ultimately the negative thinking toward me when I traveled, um, the ultimate root of it was that you didn't think God was good. And that sprung from the fact that you had an unrealized life dream of working together with me, but that the season, it wasn't the right season, you know, and you have to surrender to the season.
Tori and I know couples all the time where they're in a tough season. Maybe you have young kids or whatever. You're not really getting to do what you want. Um, you just have to understand there are sacrifices that you make to have those kids and to be able to have that family. Yeah. Now you can sacrifice the kids.
Right. And then fulfill your life dream of career or whatever, whatever the case may be, and then you end up having to sacrifice the kids. Or you can sacrifice your career for a little bit and focus on the kids. Or you can have a nice little mix of both. We know of couples that have done all three. And you can make that work, but either way you have to surrender to whatever season that you're in.
Yeah, exactly. And that's a tough thing. And surrendering to the season is a recognition of the battle that's going on in your mind. Exactly. And it's such a tendency for us to take out our frustrations with whatever it may be, with life in general, on the person that we are closest to, the person that we feel safest to do that with.
And for me, the safest person I felt was... To take it out on was you which is really sad, and I'm really sorry. It's okay We worked through work through it, but it was it was that too You know you kind of were were a little bit of the punching bag. Yeah, because of you know believing a lie Dr. John Gottman said that one of the roots of marital issues is unfulfilled life dreams.
And so it is when you have either spoken or unspoken dreams that you want to accomplish one day or a vision or a goal, and then you get married. And then, especially when you have young kids, that those dreams are put on hold. In the moment, it feels like those dreams will never come back. You know, it's like when a tree loses its leaves as the trees are doing right now.
You think, Oh man, those trees, if they had feelings, they'd be like, Oh my gosh, I hope the leaves don't fall off that I'm going to be naked. I'm going to be naked forever. Well, little do they know, give it five months and they're coming right back. It's going to be okay. You know, you don't have to worry about it, but you have to control your thinking in that moment.
And as Tori and I say in our book, it's a very simple three step process. Recognize, renounce, replace. I'm not going to dive deep into that because I do want to give you a very practical exercise I learned from Craig Rochelle's book. But recognize, renounce, replace is recognize that it's, that Satan, Satan is the root of all negative thinking.
Okay, and you've got to get to the lie. That's where the whole renounce thing comes. Recognize that it's Satan, there's a lie, and then renounce the lie, and then replace with the truth. Okay, now what does that look like practically? Well, from Craig Groeschel's book, he gave a great exercise, and I love it, and I added in a little bit of a step, but I'm going to give it to you here, and what he says is, you've got to think about whatever it is that you're struggling with.
Um, you know, He used a really good one in terms of money where he grew up kind of in a very tough situation financially, and he. Even when he started doing well financially, he always felt like there wasn't gonna be enough money. So he he kind of you know, was was hoarding it. Not hoarding it in a bad way, but I can't think of the other word you know where he was a saver.
Yes, but he really wasn't being as generous as he wanted to be. He was still tithing, but the Lord really convicted him. And, uh, and so then he realized that he had an issue with money. So then he picked a Bible verse that had to do with money and that God, you know, was, would, would, you know, support all his needs and provide all his needs.
And then he wrote down a declaration, like I am. I've got all the financial, uh, means that I need. I've got all the, the, um, things necessary to provide for my family. I am radically generous. And he wrote down this declaration. So he picked a verse, wrote down a declaration, and then he went through this process, he would write it.
So he'd write the verse and then he would write down his declaration. Then he would say it, he would say it over and over and over again. Then he would think it, he would be thinking these things. And then repeat it until he believed it. And he just did that over and over and over again. For an example, if you struggle with contentment, then memorize Philippians 4, 12, I've learned to be content in any and all situations, finish the rest of the verse, and then write down a declaration.
I have everything I need because God is my provider. Write down a couple more sentences and then. Think it say it repeat it so good and just do that over and over and over and over again Yeah, until you create that new pathway. Yeah that that healthy pathway So then whenever you do have a month where you had a bill and your transmission went out and man You are getting right up to the edge of The amount of money that you've got in your bank account, and you're starting to feel that anxiety coming in, guess what's going to happen?
Your brain is so used to going to Philippians 4. 12, I have learned to be content in any and all situations. God is my provider. I have everything I need because God is my provider. And you'll start saying your declarations and that verse, uh, habitually. And the next thing you know, you're free, you don't feel the anxiety.
It's how I overcame cussing when I was 16 years old, man. I had a bad, bad issue when I was in baseball, if I didn't. I cannot even picture you a cuss word. I know, but, but I had this goal of getting drafted and playing D1. And at 16, you know, I'm 10th grade. I'm not, I'm thinking I'll never make it, you know, and I would say a cuss word or whatever, if I struck out and my dad was like, pick a verse.
Yeah. And say it over and over and over again whenever you're tempted to say that cuss word. And so I did that and you know what it took about six months, but I was free and I've never struggled with cussing since I could stub my toe in the middle of the night and a cuss word does not come to my mind.
If you'd have told me that at 16, I was like, there's no way. How do you do that? It's right there. Right. So it's, it's replacing the lie with the truth, but you're coaching yourself through it by writing it. Saying it thinking it and repeating it until you believe it. Yeah, and the really cool thing about Neuroscience is that it has helped so many people to see that our minds are Plastic that this thing this renewal thing that the Bible talks about over and over and over again We now can see it in scan brain scans that this is actually possible and it's literally changing the pathways that are inside your brain.
The little grooves are being changed. Exactly. So these little pathways they're seeing as as people are intentional about choosing their thoughts crazy in their in their doing brain scans. They see these patterns in these paths. Change into totally new patterns. And I just think that's incredible. And that's the way God made us because we can choose our thoughts.
Our thoughts don't have to choose us. We can choose what we, what we think about, and we can choose where they're going to lead us. And that's exactly what you were. You, you know, were able to see in your own life at 16 and something that. I saw in, you know, 15 years or 15 years ago, like there was this change that was taking place.
And my thinking was changing and it's, you know, and it's a continuous thing, right? It's like you never, once you get through one thought, you're onto the next bad way of thinking. You don't want that. And you know, the, the best thought that you can have is a thankful thought. So think a thankful thought and, and, uh, another little, uh, relationship hack.
Um, Give your spouse the benefit of the doubt, Dr. John Gottman and, um, Emerson and, and Sarah Eggerts. Give your spouse, learn to give your spouse the benefit of the doubt. So don't think the negative. Oh, he probably this, or she probably that give them the benefit of the doubt and think that way, and then think thankful thoughts.
And those will be the positive thoughts that will begin to change your relationship. So good. Um, okay. Then share a recipe. Let's do it. It is so cold here in North Carolina. It went from 75 degrees to. I think it was like 48 degrees this, no, no, it was like 20 something this morning. Two, two mornings ago, it dropped down to 48.
And then the next morning, which is today's a Wednesday, it was 20 something degrees. So it's freezing cold. The fall is in full effect. The leaves have all changed. It's absolutely beautiful. And so I'm going to share with you guys another fall recipe. It's from half baked harvest. Um, if you have not followed half baked harvest, you really should.
It's this homeschool girl. This is how I found her years ago. Um, she's just like a young homeschool girl and she started cooking for her family at a really young age and just super creative. And now she has this like incredible business. Um, she's very well known and she has, I don't even know how many cookbooks out, but she's amazing.
And I just, I also love. to follow her because she, her whole family's behind her. Her dad is like, he does the grocery shopping, and her mom does the web design and the media and everything for her. And her brothers are the taste testers, so it's just like this whole family. It's a family thing and I just I really enjoy her recipe.
She's just really gifted. Anyways, she posted this maple glazed baked doughnut recently and I made it and Trey came home. He was really excited about going apple picking and we were going to, um, you know, get the apple doughnuts that we always get and we couldn't find a place that was open that apple doughnuts, yada, yada, yada.
So I'm like, okay, I'm going to make some, I'm going to make this recipe and tell me what you think. He flipped. Over it. He absolutely loved it. And you loved it too. It's everybody. It was so good. And then, um, It's a little bit labor intensive, really, because one of the things that you have to do is you have to like boil apple cider, and so it's supposed to like boil down to get more, whatever, what's the word, um, I guess like when you boil it down, it gets thicker.
It, that never happened for me. So I will, I'm now that I've eliminated that, just don't, don't even worry about that whole step of trying to get, get the apple cider vinegar boiled down, but it's really not that hard. And it's, you just, you buy these, um, apple baking dishes, or not apple, um, donut baking dishes.
You buy apple bottom jeans, boots with the fur. Okay. Um, and you can buy them at like, I bought mine at Target, but they're just like donut pans. So you can do baked donuts. And if you don't have those, you could just make these into muffins. And they'd be amazing too, but they're really good as donuts. So anyways, I'm going to share, um, that recipe with you guys on Jason and Tori Instagram.
They are full of apples, little chunks of apples, and I think that's what makes them incredible is the apples chunks. And I think I almost doubled the, the, the chopped apples. Because it's just they're so good. Um, and then the maple glaze, it calls for instant coffee. I did not do the instant coffee in that because I didn't want it to taste too much like coffee.
I didn't think the kids would like that. So I just did the maple syrup, the butter and the, um, confectionery sugar. And oh my gosh, you guys, it's, it's really, really good. Trey's like, you have to make these every single fall. They're so good. It is. I'll share that with you guys. Yeah. Thank her later. Yeah.
Thank me later. Tell me what you guys think. It was great. Well, why don't you go inside and let's start doing that now. Let's do it again. All right. Hey, thanks for hanging out with us. Don't forget, rate, review, subscribe and, uh, win the war in your mind. In the meantime, it'll draw you closer to your spouse, closer to God, closer to everybody.
All right. We'll see you next week. See you guys.