A fully formed marriage is the result of two fully formed brains! If you want to experience health and wholeness in your life, marriage, and family, you must tap into the power of two-brained thinking.
Based on a powerful book on the subject, we dive into the difference between the left-brain and the right-brain and the two key components that lead to health in every aspect of our lives and relationship.
This episode is a must-listen as we learn how to experience joy in everyday life.
And if you haven't gotten our most recent book yet, Marriage A to Z, you can grab your copy HERE.
So today we're talking about a fully formed marriage. And what I mean by that is, a fully formed marriage is the result of two fully formed brains. I like it. How about that? More about the brain. Yeah, more about the brain. And as Tori and I, uh, always say, we're not the experts, but we do learn some really cool things.
And we take it upon ourselves to learn these things and then share the cool stuff that we learn, uh, to share it with you. So, that's what we're going to do today. Yes. I'm excited. Okay, um, now I want to play a song. A really cool song. It is December. It's December the 7th. I don't know when we're releasing this.
You know what? I guess we'll release this today. Um, but it's December and Tori said we have to put out a Christmas song. Yep. Like a really good love Christmas song. There's so many good ones. Yeah. And so she said we should do the Mariah Carey, All I Want For Christmas Is You. Which I think might be The most played Christmas song of the last few decades.
Now, obviously not as much as Nat King Cole, um, chestnuts roasting on an open fire and stuff like that, but I remember growing up in Texas and we didn't like the Mariah Carey version because that wasn't very Texan. Really? Yeah, we liked Vince Vance and what is the name of this? The Valente's or whatever.
Anyway, it's this blonde hair girl. I do love her voice. It's very unique. I like it better. I'll be honest. I do like it better. I love Mariah Carey at Christmas time. I'm not gonna lie. Nicole Milo introduced me to Mariah, and I've been a fan. Yeah, okay, well, until we saw Mariah completely drunk at a, uh, you remember when the ball dropped?
I'm not talking about Mariah as a person. I don't know her as a person. I'm just saying that she lip, she lip synced. And she, she couldn't get the words right, and it was crazy. Anyway, I digress. I'd just say her Christmas album. That's, that's really the only one. Yeah, true. Okay, this is, uh, Vince Vance and the Val Valente's.
Uh, man, the, the writing is too small. I can't see it. All I wanted for Christmas is you. Here's, here's the best part.
So true, Tor. You know? See,
that's Tori's song to me. Yes, it is. I love her voice. It's good, isn't it? It sounds like it's back in the 40s. Yeah, well, I think I don't remember when, when she recorded that, but to me, that's the best version of that song. So anyway, you can thank Tori and I later for finding that song and playing it for you.
All right, Tori, you want to talk about a fully formed marriage? Fully formed marriage? Yeah. I thought it was fully formed brain. It is. A fully formed marriage is the result of two fully formed brains. Okay, now, let me just stop for a second. Um, I've been reading this really good book. It's by a guy named Jim Wilder.
It's called The Other Half of Church. And he talks about how, by and large, most discipleship in the church has taken place on the left side of the brain. This is super interesting. Yeah, but in his mindset, uh, The church has been missing the key component of right brained training. So the left brain is logical.
The right brain is relational and emotional. So left brain is really focused on scripture, memory, Bible study, the stuff that you and I talk about, right? Thinking, yeah, you're thinking, yeah, it's left brain is I got to get my thinking right, right? And that is intentionally bringing your thinking into the right form.
So that's a logical approach. And it's actually a fantastic approach. It's a great approach. What his hypothesis is, is that if we only focus on the left brain and we missed the right brain, Which is the relational emotional component, then we're gonna, we're, we are missing a fully formed life, a fully formed brain, fully formed character.
And so he goes in and talks about what it is that makes up the right brain thinking. Now, before I do that, there's two components to right brain thinking we're going to talk about today that we want to. Help you with. Okay. Things that we've talked through things that we've learned. Um, but let me go back to left brain.
So what you think Dramatically impacts how you think feel and act well Tory and I've talked a lot about this. We even have a chapter in our book Where we talk about when Satan comes to distract, deceive, and divide, what you need to do is recognize, renounce, replace. You need to recognize that Satan is giving you that negative thought, renounce the lie behind it, and replace it with truth.
That is strong. I mean, Jesus himself did that. So we don't discard the left brain. We don't discard good thinking. We don't discard that because now we're going to focus in on the right brain. But what we need to do is make sure that in our, uh, quest to, to help ourselves and our marriage by thinking the right thoughts that we don't miss the key component of the emotional relational connection that we have now, what he discovered, um, in his research.
Your Jim Wilder in this book is that people in the church who only have left brain training, which is scripture, memory, Bible study, church attendance, stuff that you can check off a list. Okay. It's, it's thinking and it's all good. He said, but the people who only focus on that, um, are, are those who typically have right brained obstacles and those obstacles for him, he would be low joy, isolation, lack of loving community, unhealed trauma.
Right. If you're only focused on the thinking. Okay. And then he says that spiritual fruit is inconsistent where there's low joy shallow or inconsistent attachments Unstable identity or weak community. So I say that to give a foundation for right brain thinking it consists of tooth two key things joy and healthy attachment, okay, so Let's go back.
Left brain thinking. It's powerful. You know, we've got to think, counteract the negative thoughts with the truth of positive thinking, right? With stuff that lines up with truth. That's very good. The right brain flourishes on joy and healthy attachments. Apart from joy and strong relationships, you stunt your growth.
So to me, the, the, the left brain is the thinking and processing, and then the right brain is embodying it. Yeah, that's great. Yeah, it's living it. It's living it. It's experiencing it in the physical form. Yeah, that's a good point. That's exactly right. Now, I love the way he explains joy. Because obviously most all of us recognize healthy attachment, right?
So if we're gonna say that the right brain consists of two things that you know The right brain flourishes on two things joy and healthy attachment. Most of us understand healthy attachment Mm hmm Like we need to be healthily attached right if that's a word Right to those people that are close to us in our inner circle and then we need a larger community around that, right?
So you need healthy attachments to people who are close to you. Yeah, and then you actually need a community around that I think you know Tori and I were We have healthy attachments in our own core family and in our own core, you know, relationships. But we also have, you know, a community around that, several different communities, which I love.
Yeah, me too. You know, we've got the CrossFit community. We've got our church community. We've got our neighborhood community. You know, I've got, you know, my work community in terms of life surge and what we do there. So we've got a greater community, which is good to me. That's insulation. Mm hmm. It's, you need that greater community, but you also need the healthy attachments that are deep where people know you, you know them, you could look at them a certain way and you kind of know what you're thinking.
That type of attachment. Okay. So now we understand attachment, but joy. This is what kind of got me thinking like, okay, so I don't know that I fully understand what joy is. And so he started talking about joy and he described it in two ways. And I want to pause on these because this, to me, when we talk about a fully formed marriage is the result of two fully formed brains.
We got the good thinking on the left side. The right side, we really need to focus in on joy and those healthy attachments. But joy is the feeling you have when you see someone you know and they've got a sparkle in their eye. Like they're excited to see you. Okay, so they're excited to see you. The way that your body and your brain receives that is joy.
So good. It's like you see somebody. They're important to you. You see them. And when they see you, they light up, man. That is so good. That just reminds me. I remember a psychologist posting. This was maybe a couple years ago. Um, something to the effect that when your kids come home, greet them the way your dog greets you.
That's the best parenting advice I could give you as a child psychologist. That's what she said. And it, it really hit me hard because we, we only have had a dog for how many years now, like five. Yeah. And so we never really knew like the joy of having a dog, like they, they are emotional beings. When you come in, they, their whole life revolves around you.
So when we come home, Rocky, it's like, It's like we haven't seen him in a year. He's so excited. We've only went to the grocery store. And he's like, He's peeing all over the place. I'm so happy to see you guys. He's so happy. And man, they're, they really are emotional creatures. And that just changed the way I, I had real, I still struggle with it.
Sometimes I get so busy and I'm just like, my mind is like lost in all the things that we, I need to accomplish and get. Done. Which is left brain. Yes. But if I can be like, I am so happy, like, it's so good to see you just what a difference it makes. Like I have friends at CrossFit, I have this one friend, I'll tell you about Amy.
She like when I see her, her whole, she is so excited to like to see everybody. She's just like the picture of joy. She and everybody loves Amy because she makes you feel like you're so loved. She's so excited to see you. And it. She teaches me just the power of that, exactly what you're saying when you, when, when your eyes light up and you're like, you could see that someone is happy to see you and you're happy to see them.
It's just this instant connection. Like this is going to be a fun day. This is going to be exciting. Yeah. So, you know, I think about Amy Bennett and it's true that. Um, not only is she joyful, you know, she's allowed, obviously she's got the joy of the Lord. She's got a good relationship with her husband.
She's a good mom, that kind of stuff. So there's joy coming out of her. But what we want to focus in on is the joy that. That's what you get when you see the sparkle in her eye. See, that's the key. It's like, so when your spouse comes home or your kid comes home, if you're excited to see them and they know it, you are giving them joy.
Their body is experiencing joy and they don't even realize it. It feels good because of the sparkle in your eye. So that's one of the things that. I wanted to park on today because I just think about that, you know, with our own relationship, how, how excited are you around your spouse when you see your spouse for the first time in a bit?
You know, like what is it, is it just consistently moving to the left brain? It's like, Oh, Hey, good to see you. Okay. So here's what we got to do. Boom, boom, boom. Now that's important. It's important stuff. Yeah. But the right brain. Yeah, they're joy. It's the difference between I'm going to think joyful. I'm going to like be grateful.
Like you're thinking, thinking like you have the right versus versus you're going to embody it. You're going to smile really big when you see your spouse next. Like that's embodying it. That's actually physically doing what you're thinking. Yes. And that's, that's what this is about. It's like, do what you do it now.
Yeah. And it may be, it makes it, you know, yeah. We got a lot of parents who listen to this podcast and, um, all of us are feeling convicted right now because when I was reading this, I was convicted about me with my kids. You know, Lundy comes in from volleyball practice. I haven't seen her most of the day and I'm pounding away on emails and she's like, dad, check this out, you know, and there's just this sometimes a tendency where I don't even look at her.
I'm like, okay, hold on, honey. I'll be with you in just like, I need to fix that because then I'm not giving her joy and here's what happens if that continues in our family, then her growth is stunted because her right brain is not being fed the joy that I could have given her. Yeah. Right. And that's why I think communication is so important.
It's like, hold on, hold on line. I'm in the middle of something. I really want to hear this. It's just taking the time to say that. Yeah, I need, give me one second to finish this because I really want to hear about what you're talking about because I can't wait to hear about your practice, but I don't even do that half the time.
I'm like, uh, just like in a zone, like doing something right. And it's like, if you just, just that in and of itself, it's like, okay, you just You've at least acknowledged, yeah, and you know, people think, um, well, if I'm not really happy to see him, should I fake it? Well, just pause for one second. You know, I do believe that there is a, there is a play for you to fake it because when you.
When you start smiling, when you don't feel like it, that smile on your face, the physical movement of your lips upward showing your teeth will translate into your heart. And you'll begin to feel more joy. So yeah, I'm not saying fake it in terms of stay fake. I'm saying, I'm saying if you don't feel like, you know, having a bright smile for your spouse, when you see them do it anyway.
Yeah. And you're going to tell your heart. Secondly, if you really did take the time and take 60 seconds to think about your spouse in that moment, like. You know what? I really am thankful for them. I'm glad to see them. You, you wouldn't be faking it. It would be genuine and real. Exactly. But sometimes it just comes on you so fast.
Exactly. That you don't have time. So, just get into a habit of smiling. Get into a habit of having that sparkle in your eye when you see people you love. Not just for you, but for them. You'll be putting joy In their hearts. So that's the first component of joy. The second component of joy is, and this is coming straight from the book.
So the first component I'll reiterate, it's the, when you see the twinkle in someone's eye who, you know, and you know, they're excited to see you, you experience joy, secondly, is the sensation you get when you experience the world. And what he's meaning by that is God has created the wind. He's created the grass.
He's created the trees. He's created the stars. He's created our five senses, good food, that kind of stuff. When you take that in, like if I bit into a fine Wagyu ribeye. And that sensation in my mouth, that's joy. When you walk outside and it's the crisp, cool air blowing on your face, but it's not too cold, it's not too hot, like it's perfect, that's joy.
And the key with that is being fully present. Opening up yourself so that you can experience God in that way. That's why grounding is so important. Take your shoes off, walk in the grass. You are experiencing God. You are experiencing life. Now, when you experience God, then I would say move that one step further and now experience your family.
Experience your spouse. Your spouse has pheromones, which are those, that specific scent that God has given to them, that only they have. Now sometimes it's mixed with perfume or cologne or whatever, you know, and Tori and I would say if you're going to ride in the same car with us, Don't put perfume or cologne on please dear God in heaven, but we're so sensitive to the yeah, please just don't or if you're gonna if you're gonna spray cologne on then spray it in the air and walk into it.
Don't like squirt it on top of your clothes. Anyway, I way digress. Are you okay? Yeah, I'm getting a little angry right now. But anyways, I'm talking about pheromones. Um, go up to your spouse, hug them and smell them, you know, like, just take a deep whiff and, uh, and then just take it in. That's joy. You will experience joy in your body.
You physically will experience joy. That's how you can do it. And you hear the joy of the Lord. It is my strength. I went through a bout with anxiety a year and a half ago, and I'm telling you the way that I got, you know, the lots of different things that I did, maybe one day I'll tell you guys about it.
But one of the things that I did that was key was I started getting up early. I was, I mean, I was always getting up early, but I was really experiencing the Lord in nature. Yes. Taking them in completely. What I didn't realize is my body was experiencing joy. That was the joy of the Lord because he's the God of nature.
He created it. Yeah. And the joy of the Lord made me stronger. Yes. And I say do the same thing with your spouse. Yeah. Take them in. It's the embodiment of joy. It's not just thinking. It's actually experiencing it. And I remember when you were going through that, one of the things that you did, um, it was during Jason, I mean it was probably, I don't even know exactly how long, but it was a really intense, um, Yeah.
Anxiety attack, I guess. Several months. And I just remember you telling me that you went out to your car and you just screamed. I yelled out to the Lord. Crying out to Him. And it was like this Um, physical thing, it was like a primal, it's like, I'm thinking, yeah, but it was, yeah, exactly. Shout to the Lord.
Yeah, exactly. But it was, you know, inside you're, you're thinking it, but now you're doing it. You are shouting to the Lord. It's good. And I think I remember you coming in and you're like, that felt. Incredible. Yeah. Like it was something about actually embodying it. Yeah. Actually physically doing something.
Cause that's written somewhere in the Psalms, I forget where, but it does talk about shouting to the Lord. Yeah. Um. It's powerful. We have, like, we are physical beings. We are, we are physical, wait, body, soul, spirit. We are tri, what's the word? Uh, triune. We are triune. Triune. Just, well, I mean, we're made in the image of God.
Yes. He's Father, Son, Holy Spirit. So we are mind, will, excuse me, we are body, soul, spirit. Body, soul, spirit. And the soul. It's the mind, will, and the emotions. Yeah, exactly. And it's so important that we use all three. Um, another thing that I think of, for those of you who it's like, I just, it's just not me.
Like I just can't, you know, it's, it's harder for me to, to get into, to the emotional part of my brain. Um, it is absolutely possible. Um, my son, Trey, I think it was a year ago when a mentor, um, Trent Pruitt, I don't know if he's listening now, but he really encouraged Trey. I think, so thankful for the body of Christ, by the way.
Yeah, this is what community is. Trent is awesome. Yeah, when you have people that are willing to pour into your kids, it's, there's nothing that blesses me more, like it's just so incredibly thankful for those people in our lives. And, um, he was pouring into Trey and just telling him like the importance of, of really Being present trade, it plays division one basketball and it is a real tendency to eat, breathe and sleep basketball to be one dimensional where you just start thinking so much about the thing that you're working towards.
Yeah. And. Trent was really just encouraging him to be present to take in, to be, to be thankful to get outside of just thinking basketball, just thinking about himself because basketball was, you know, it was just him playing basketball. So it could be such a tendency to just really get inward. And Trey took that so seriously, so seriously and practicing it for the last year.
And we have seen. It's crazy. It is not the same person. It's not the same person. He literally, he embodies joy. Like he's so excited about the little things. He's excited about his brothers and his sisters and what they're doing. And he's just, he's practiced it really hard and now it's becoming who he is.
Yeah. And it just has encouraged us. I think it's been like just great leadership for our family to see. Him in body joy by just you know, he'll just be looking around like oh my word like just take yeah Look at the stars. That's amazing. Look at that tree I love Concord, North Carolina, like he just goes on and on about like all the things You know, in our neighborhood that he just never even realized how much he loved and all these things.
He's just really embodying it. And that just took an intentionality. Mm-Hmm. and a, and a and, and really just being present with his body and his mind and his eyes and his emotion, everything. His senses. Yeah. Um, and really embodying it and not just thinking. Positive, not just thinking thankful, but like getting out there and being it.
And that right brain thinking it's joy and healthy attachment when you have joy when you let that sparkle in your eye Produce joy in others, you know specifically that are close to you and when you fully take in What's around you, you know, all of God's creation, you will experience joy. Okay. And then that will give you healthy attachment.
That's right. Brain thinking, add that on top of the left brain thinking that we've already talked a lot about, you know, recognize, renounce, replace that kind of thing with healthy thinking. You are going to have a fully formed brain, and if you and your spouse are both doing this, you're going to have fully formed marriage, a fully formed family, and the one thing that I love about this, when we talk about joy and healthy attachment, one of the things that we've seen with our kids, and this is why I love it around Christmastime, one of the things that creates joy Mm hmm.
Is good memories. Yeah, good memories and memories are based on a lot of times just stuff that you do together, but often, especially in Christmas time is traditions. Exactly. It's the traditions that we that we have. Our job as parents is to create good memories and traditions that anchor our kids so that they have things that they can look back to.
Yes, I'd say this is what it was like. This is what it was like. Let's do this again. Yeah, right. And, uh, we're finally kind of reaping the harvest of that, I think finally, I mean, our kids are took a minute, um, 21, 19, 17 and 13. And man, traditions are tough sometimes, like they're not always easy and they're not always fun.
Let's just be honest. Like some of those were not always fun. Like there was just fighting there, but it was like, you know, there were so many times we're like, just forget it. Right. But the ones that we look back on that we stuck to. Um, man, they really are anchor activities for our kids to where they're, they talk about them.
They're just such great conversation around our table now. And the kids, they just loved some of those traditions and they've really grown us close as a family. And I'm so glad that we did, did those like Christmas time is when we really, when those traditions really come alive. Yeah, and one because I wanted to share instead of sharing a recipe with you guys this week.
I want to share one of the traditions that I just I'm I really really am loving and especially as the kids are getting older and I don't even know exactly when it started. I know the kids were relatively young, but I decided to get Ornaments for each kid like our Christmas Eve tradition is that they open Um, Christmas pajamas and like cozy socks because they're going to watch a movie while you and I get all the presents ready.
So we had to get them like all, you know, excited for bed and then also an ornament for each kid that represented them. Or something that happened that year. I think it started out by just like, this made me think of you. So it's like, you know, some of them are, are, um, like we have this massive set of teeth on our tree because of the year.
Was it Lundy that lost all her teeth the year? Lundy lost all her teeth. So each ornament that we would give them, um, That year would represent that year to them or something kind of the and now, like, as we're putting up all the ornaments on the tree, we're like, Oh, my goodness. Remember this? Remember that?
Um, and it's just when our kids were younger, we had no idea that this would be a thing. Yeah, we had no idea that this would be so much fun. Like Allie's in Florida and I'm sending her pictures of her ornaments. Remember this? The cool thing, the best thing that I like is taking our, taking the digital photos of your, um, um, Christmas cards that you make right and making that into an ornament.
Yes. So then every year. Yeah, you're seeing your family grow Just by standing in front of your Christmas tree and looking at some of the ornaments. Yes, like Shutterfly you You can get it like when they're 50 percent off you can get a metal ornament with a picture of your family for ten bucks And so we have one for pretty much every year And putting those up is just like, Oh my, like, I can't believe how little, look at Lundy, how, how much different she was from 2000 set, uh, you know, 15 to 16 anyways.
Um, like some of the ornaments, just to give you guys ideas, like, um, I sent this picture to Allie, it's a Christmas tree and it says Allie 2008 with the quote. Can I please sleep, sleep with you guys tonight, mom and dad. That was like the thing that we heard every single night. Yeah. And it was just so cute.
Like, I just can picture her voice now. That's, you know, Lundy's done that for the past, however many years. Just this morning, Lundy woke up with a bad dream and she came and jumped in bed. So there's our 13 year old in bed with us. Yes. And don't judge us. Uh, and then like I've got, we've got this hot sauce bottle ornament cause Jake was became obsessed with hot sauce when he's never let up.
And then I like have this, uh, this lion and that was, that was the year that Trey, um, had 32 stitches in his head because he, uh, uh, He fell down a mountain . It did. It was awful. It was bad. Did not laugh. But he, man, we saw a warrior, the warrior spirit in Trey came out that year and we were like, you are lion hearted.
Yeah. We got him a lion that year. And when he lets his hair grow out, he kind of looks like, looks like a mane. Yeah. And his first Halloween costume was a lion. Oh, geez. He's meant to be. He's a lion. There we go. He's lion hearted. And then, um, I've got this little Coke bottle ornament, um, and on the bottom it says, Owl, Owl, Owl, which is what Nana called Allie.
In memory of Nana, and that was the year that Nana passed, and Ali stayed up all night with her, giving her Coke. And it was just a really special moment between Ali and Nana, and so we now have an ornament. It's funny, because I was telling that story of my mom, and how she passed, and how miraculous it was, and great it was, and how mom didn't want to take morphine.
When she passed, because she wanted to be fully present, but at the same time, she wanted coke, you know, and I'm like, man, the coke, there's so much sugar and caffeine, and it's like, but your mom, she doesn't want morphine, she wants coke, give her the coke, she drank coke for two solid days. But these ornaments, they're just so fun.
They're, they're fun to look back at. Like just all, like one for Jake that I have from last year is a picture of a little, um, bear in a basketball jersey, sitting on a basketball, it says nothing but net because that was his first dunk, the year that he had his first dunk. So it's like the little things that, that you go back, you're like, it's just fun.
It's just, and then I, as the husband have to remind Tori, when you say nothing, but net, that means he hit a three pointer. He didn't dunk it. Really? Don't replace the, uh, ornament. Cause yeah, but I wrote first dunk, first dunk, nothing but net. Your first dunk was nothing but net. He never even thought of it.
Yeah. Okay. Well, I won't say it then. Don't tell him. So anyways. Yeah. So that's just been, that's such a fun one. Um, can I just tell you guys something? I went on a trip with Lundy. We went to Fort Lauderdale to speak at a life surge. Lundy was working the event. I was speaking at the event and I came home and Tori had made four and a half dozen Ranger cookies.
And can I just tell you that in the last three days, I think I've eaten. Two and a half dozen cookies. I know. It's Tori literally walked in and she's like, How many have you eaten? I'm like, what? What? She leaves them in dough balls. Yes, in the deep freezer. If you guys are like, die hard Ranger Cookie fan, or like any kind of cookie, Brittany Hoyt gave me the best idea ever.
She told me, just put them in balls, like on parchment paper, on a cookie sheet, throw it in the freezer, and then once they're frozen in balls, you put them in a Ziploc bag. Yeah. It may have changed your life forever. I, and I love it, but you know what, Brittany's husband Tanner needs to woe down on those things because he's getting a little.
He's getting a little spare tire. Oh, stop. I can say that because he's a young man and it's not true. You know, one thing that I love you, Tanner. Brittany said that her neighbors now come to her freezer to get Ranger cookies. Oh, you're kidding. I'm like, that's a lot of work. That's really nice of you. Okay, so rule of thumb, don't tell the neighborhood.
Yeah. So fortunately, Tori and I don't have anybody in the neighborhood that listens to our podcast. Yes, don't tell them where they are. Alright. Well, hey, thanks for hanging out with us. Listen, fully formed marriage is the result of two fully formed brains. You need left brain, you need right brain. That's joy, healthy attachment.
You can get the joy by having that sparkle in your eye and by receiving it and by fully taking in God's nature, God's creation. So I like this. Thank you, uh, Jim Wilder for writing that book. All right. All right. We'll see you guys next week. Happy holidays. Merry Christmas. There you go. That's a rebuke now.
Oh, yeah, you can't say that. You gotta say Merry Christmas. Merry Christmas