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Famous At Home: Josh and Christi Straub

Family Life Today / Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine
The Truth Network Radio
November 21, 2022 3:00 am

Famous At Home: Josh and Christi Straub

Family Life Today / Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine

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November 21, 2022 3:00 am

Culture competes for our time, attention, identity. On FamilyLife Today, Dave and Ann Wilson host Dr. Josh & Christy Straub, authors of Famous at Home. They'll show how to avoid family getting the leftovers.

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Fellowship in the Word
Bil Gebhardt

Hey, before we get to today's program, I want you to know that Dave and I were perfect parents until we had a child. Exactly. And we used to think there were perfect parents, but there are no perfect parents. And that's why we wrote the book, No Perfect Parents. And we're excited because now we have an online video course for you.

And you can go through it as a small group, individually, or even just as a couple. And to get that, you can go to to find out more. Again, slash not perfect. as it is in your world around you. And so it's no wonder we start chasing fame outside the home, and we start to neglect it, and our family starts to get the leftovers.

or on the Family Life app. This is Family Life Today. Alright, I got a question for you. Okay. Looking back, what would you say the toughest years were for parenting? For you? Yeah, probably five and under.

Yeah. Because we had three boys, five and under, and you were always gone, and you were starting the church. Somehow it came back to me.

I felt like I had no life, and I felt like I was dying, and it was really hard. I figured you'd say that. What would you say?

Zero to two or three, because I'm like, I want them to do something. They couldn't do anything. And I was working a ton. Oh, is that why you were always gone? Yeah, that's why I was gone.

I didn't want to come home. Well, we get to talk about home today with Josh and Christy Straub. They are back in the studio. It's been a couple years, but welcome back to Family Life Today.

Thank you for having us. You guys are known for famous at home, and you wrote a book. This is the first book that's actually titled after your ministry? Yeah.

That's what I thought. We've had, just through the years, just coaching families and speaking on this, so many people will come up and say, hey, do you have this in a book? Do you have this? Like, no, no, we don't, we don't, we don't. Well, now, finally, we do.

You do. Well, tell our listeners what famous at home means. We know, and it's an awesome title, not only for a book, for a ministry, but you guys speak, you write, you coach.

You're a therapist. I don't know how many years you've been married, but you've got three kids at home, so you're living what we just talked about. Twelve years, so we're only 12 years in.

Twelve years? Yeah, and three kids, so our kids will be 10, 8, and 2, and famous at home came about really realizing, you know, at the end of our life, if you look at the end, with the end in mind and go backwards, what really matters is if we were famous at home. And the fact, it's such a double entendre, really, even in the title, because not only does it mean famous at home in our earthly home, because we know, like, that sounds like a good goal, like we want to be, but the second truth is we already are.

If you think about, like, there's nothing to earn there. As a spouse, as a parent, our children, we are famous to them. We just need to settle into that role. As a spouse, we already have earned that just by who we are, and I think that's so much a credit to how God has created us, and that's the second meaning, really, is famous in our heavenly home. Because all of the things that we're doing and building on this earth, every action that we take, every loving and grace-filled action that we take with our spouse, with our kids, even in relationships outside of our home, they're building heaven on earth.

Really, it's kingdom come, right? And so, but we're building for this heavenly home, and we want to be famous there, not just on earth, but it's been such a, I think it's not just a catchphrase. You know, we end our podcast, which is also called Famous at Home, with this tagline that says, the greatest red carpet you'll ever walk is through your front door.

And yet, we live in a culture that is basically celebrating everything that happens outside the home. And not that those things aren't good, but if that's what we're chasing, and that's what we talk about in Famous at Home, is the chase. We all have this chase that is pushing us to just run after something, accolades, celebration, if it's around a boardroom, if it's on social media, whatever it is you do, we're looking for someone to say, I see you, good job. But the people under our own roof, they're the ones that are saying it to us, and we're not hearing it. And I think that's where, you know, for us, one of the most frequent calls I would receive would be from business leaders or pastors or other leaders where there was a moral failure or an ethical failure or just burnout in some way.

And there was a common denominator to all of that, and that is that they were chasing, the family had at some point been neglected because they were chasing fame outside the home. And when we get these priorities the other way, where you realize your identity comes, first of all, from the Lord, that identity right there, and we start the book out by talking about that, your identity, but then prioritizing home because, as Christy said, you know, the greatest red carpet you ever walk is through your front door. Hey, by the way, who came up with that phrase?

That is genius. I think, I mean, I've been saying that for years. We're going to give it to you.

I don't think I ever heard it. Yeah, that's so well, I mean, it captures the... I just came home the other day. Like, I was out working at a coffee shop and I came home and the kids, our two-year-old, just comes bolting, sprinting to me as soon as I walk in the door. Like, you're the hero. You're already famous at home and so often we go awry when we do not prioritize that or see that and all of a sudden the accolades and the dopamine bump in your brain from followers and likes and cheers and whatever you are on your stage, from a board member or wherever, you get these accolades and you get this dopamine bump and coming home and now you're asked to play Chutes and Ladders with an opponent that has no idea which way is up and which way is down. Or, you know, Polly Pockets or whatever it is and you can't sit there because there's not a dopamine bump the same way as it is in your world around you and so it's no wonder we start chasing fame outside the home and we start to neglect it and our family starts to get the leftovers and that's really what our heart is all about. I mean, you guys start the book very honest about your chase. Our listeners got to hear that because it was, I mean, it's one of the reasons I asked Anne about that because we could so relate to your story.

I think a lot of couples can. So talk about your chase. Kristy, start with your chase. I think for me, I mean, it was those early years, Anne, like I became a mother and I realized what didn't come as natural to me as I thought it would. But you were probably super excited. Oh, we're gonna have a baby. It was just like everything I'd ever wanted. And then the reality is like, oh, this is super hard.

This is so hard. Like I didn't sleep. I was postpartum. Like everything's leaking and it was just awful.

And Josh is gone and he is off. I will remember, I mean, I've told the story in the book, but like I remember it like it was yesterday. He came in wafting the smell of some coffee shop that he'd been at and I was in the kitchen. I'm like in sweatpants and, you know, big baggy t-shirt. My hair's in a ponytail. I have no makeup on and I'm spackled in, I remember it, pureed sweet potato and banana because I was teaching Landon our oldest.

He was a baby at the time. I have to just ask you when you smelled the coffee, because you can't smell when somebody's been at a coffee shop. It wafts in.

Yes. Did you just think, oh, I wish I could sit and have a coffee. Oh, and then, right. So we always talk about you tell yourself a story, right?

So you have a few data points and your brain, the story I was telling myself was he had this lovely, relaxing day at this coffee shop talking to like super interesting people about all these great projects he has going on. And I have not talked to someone who knows how to tie their shoes. I haven't actually brushed my teeth in, I don't know, days. And I'm left behind. Like, I just felt left. I felt like I had sacrificed myself on the altar of motherhood. And I felt embarrassed even saying that because it was guilty. Yeah. Oh, absolutely. Because there was such shame around.

I got to be a stay at home mom. That's what I wanted. And yet I wasn't feeling the joy or even like the celebration of the gift that that was. And so for me, this chase was like, I needed someone to validate me, to see me, to tell me that I was doing a good job.

I was looking for some sort of identity that told me who I was and that what I was doing was worthwhile. But that causes you to stop looking at the little faces in front of you or even Josh when he came home. I was so mad at him when he walked through that door. And all I'm doing is trying to provide for our family.

And I'm trying to keep our family alive. And you come in and I just remember him starting to talk about like all these exciting things that he had going. And I just looked at him and just the tears just flowed. And I didn't even know where it came from. It overwhelmed me in the moment of how unseen I was and not celebrated, not validated. I felt hidden and left alone. And so I just said to him, like, why do you never ask me about what's on my heart? And he looked at me like deer in headlights like what?

I don't know what I just walked into. But it was like in the moment, it just hit me that I felt unseen. And this began this real wrestle between the two of us of realizing he's off chasing work. And you can tell your chase and your story.

But my chase was just for some sort of validation. And that's really hard. And I think so many of us, like we look around, we get to work with so many beautiful families who are just it's not unique to us. We all have it. You know what I did to Christy during that time is because I started looking inward and then I started looking at Dave thinking he's at fault. He could fix this. He could fix my problems. If he would just be more engaged, if he would see me, if he would ask me, how are you doing? And then I get into this cycle of like, he never asked me how I'm doing. I have no life. His life is amazing. You'd think he'd look at me once in a while. But what I was doing as I was looking at Dave and I was looking inward is I started taking my eyes off of Jesus for my fulfillment.

And then it was catastrophic. I mean, all I know is when I read, Christy, your story, I'm like, that is Anne. I'm guessing it's many, many, if not all women and wives and moms feel that it was so real.

Well, then the working moms have their own piece of guilt and shame and worry and wonder. And we guys get it. So when I read that, I'm like, I mean, I think if I remember right, you hugged her. You held her. Well, I didn't know what else to do. In that moment, I didn't know what else to do because I mean, our natural and that's the one moment I think out of every one that I've gotten it right.

But, you know, because there's so many where I've gotten it wrong because the natural tendency is to defend myself. I want to go, I've just been busting my butt all day. And that's, you know, and I think that's the natural, like stereotypical thing, like, well, you've been home all day.

What have you been doing? You know, but you don't say that like everything in me. I hear that.

I know you're joking, but everything in me like. But I just want to say this, too, for those listening, like if you have children under the age of eight, like this is when marital satisfaction dips the lowest at any point in your entire marriage. And so grace upon grace is hard work in that season. You said that. Someone said that the other day. And to see the relief on it was a couple's face. They were like, oh, is that a thing?

Oh, no, that's a thing. Like we're normal. That's exactly it was like the hope they needed.

Like, oh, so this does get better because it's just the season that we're in. And I think sometimes it's that communal understanding of like, oh, we're all in this. It's a sense of universality that in this. Wait, wait, wait.

What did you call it? Universality? Universality.

Wow. It's a group therapy term. We're with some smart people here.

He'll say good words. I'm like, ooh, hmm. Well, it's a sense of like that we're all in this. Like we all experiencing this same issue, but you feel alone in it. Like you feel alone in your.

I felt so alone. I'm sure you did too in that season. And I think, you know, for me, what was fascinating about that season was, and I think it's important to say this too. You were saying you made Dave out to be the opponent.

You made me out to be the opponent, which then in turn makes me want to see her as the opponent. And I think that's so often what we end up doing. And as you said, like, you know, when we come back to the Lord, like the Bible says to guard your heart for it is the wellspring of life.

Right. So guard your heart, like pay attention to what's going on in your heart. Well, I think when we get married, we become one flesh and we have one marital heart that we need to guard. And what ends up happening is when we split that marital heart, when we start to make each other out to be the opponent and we play into the enemy's game plan. And so instead, how do we come together on the same team and go, now, wait a minute, we both have children under the age of eight. We both need to figure out how we're going to make a living, how we're going to make a difference in the world. We're in this together. We are a team.

Let's take that approach. And, you know, researchers have found that this us against the world mindset is what leads to marital satisfaction. So positive relationship thoughts. So you think positively about the relationship rather than negatively towards the relationship. So, for example, like when you first start dating, you're like, you like spaghetti?

So do I with meatballs, we're destined to be together. Right. You see, you see everything with this confirmation bias that we're meant to be together. Well, then all of a sudden, when times start to get tough, that negative confirmation bias start and we start to see everything that's wrong. You were at a coffee shop today.

Why were you at a coffee shop? You are the most selfish person. You start throwing those spaghetti balls at each other. As opposed to seeing the gratitude of your spouse and going, you crushed it today here at the house or you crushed it out at work today or whatever that looks like. To have that positive, like we are on the same team. Well, you say in the book later and we say this at the weekend to remember marriage getaway with family life. Your spouse is not your enemy. Yeah. Now we are talking in the weekend trying to bring up this spiritual reality that there's actually an enemy named Satan who would love to take down Christian marriage if it's trying to reflect God to the world. You do that plus more.

I loved it because it wasn't just Satan's your enemy. You say you need to identify. Yeah.

Give us an assignment. Identify what the enemy is because you are a team. I think that's the big thing. We don't tend to bring things into the light. The Bible says to bring it out into the light.

When it remains in the dark, the enemy gets to twist it in your brain. All of a sudden, you come into agreements with these things. In other words, Christie can come into agreement with, he's not even helping me around the house.

I can come into agreement with, she doesn't appreciate me. Then all of a sudden, we don't voice that. We don't voice our opponents. We talk about our greatest opponent came into our marriage weighing eight pounds and one ounce. These opponents can be good things. It can be a new baby.

It could be a negative thing like a job loss or financial difficulties. But until we bring them up, we have to name them. It's like any team, any great team, and you know this just from NFL and everywhere else. Well, you remember the team I was with, so maybe I don't know this.

Sorry, Detroit Lions fans. Go ahead. You get into the locker room and you're studying the game film. You're studying your opponent and how your opponent is coming at you. Well, if you have a new baby in the house, you put that on the film and you go, okay, this is how this opponent's coming at us. I'm not getting sleep. You're not getting sleep.

I'm feeling less confident in who I am and what I'm called. Some people just said, wait, your child is your opponent? Oh, I know. And I think that's what, Dave, that's like what you're speaking to, right? Yes, we know the enemy is coming after marriage. Kill, steal, destroy.

That's it. We're aware of that. I think we let a lot of things fly under the radar, though. So yes, calling that out is so powerful and necessary, but it is important to recognize the natural things that come into a marriage and into a home. Yeah, the stressors. The home environment that are combating your joy, your peace. And your marital intimacy.

I think that's the thing that we like. What's the opponent that's coming and warring for your marital intimacy? If you think of marital intimacy and your level of connection on a scale of 1 to 10, I don't think we're always living at a 10, but we want to strive for that, right? If you live consistently, if your foundation is at like a 5 to a 6, I don't want to live there.

I want to be leveling up. But so often we get stuck there because we fail to name. Yeah, that's good. It's working.

You know what I mean? Bring it out into the light. It's in the dark.

The dark always wins. I know how to fight for her heart and she knows how to fight for mine. There's another one that maybe, I don't know if Josh, you experienced this, but the other thing I felt about our first son, which was a blessing from God.

We all would, no question. But I started to feel like she cared more about him than me. I really got jealous. It's like all your time, you know, we can't even...

There were times I just liked him more. Well, there it is. Now we know why. Because I was resentful. And even Scripture when it says to take every thought captive, oh, my thoughts were not captive.

They were running around the zoo going crazy. And what I was afraid to do, what you guys were just saying is such a good advice, is I was afraid to name that. I was embarrassed. I was like, I'm actually like a four-year-old feeling like my little baby son who I love to death who's waking up at night.

She cares more about him than my needs. I just didn't say it out loud. I'm like, I'm too immature to say that.

And if you're like me, though, I think it's hard for men for us to label it and call it out loud because we feel ashamed. I feel like I'm failing my wife. I don't feel like I'm not praying with her enough.

I start to come into these agreements with I'm not praying with her enough. I'm not stepping up to the plate in this enough. And so I just am like, oh, I better not bring that up because that actually exposes it. I'm already feeling it. And now it just makes me withdraw even more. Right.

Well, and this is going deeper. And I don't I mean, when we talk about the seven decisions that we make to be famous at home, when you talk about feelings like that's one of the first ones because it's such an unnatural, I think, way of communicating. We most of us did not grow up in homes where feelings were talked about. I think we could all identify feelings that were either dismissed or punished or not allowed. But to actually have conversational language around feelings, especially for men. But we stereotype that.

But like, it's the same for women. And so that is one of the, I think, most powerful ways that we can start to transform our family lineages is by talking about feelings. And the reason is, like you just said, you felt like a four year old boy.

That's because the four year old Dave was feeling that right there. And one of the things I think talk about, you know, your enemies and identifying those is really powerful. I think second to that is seeing your spouse. Like we talk about guarding your one marital heart. I see him as like little Josh, like the little boy, like his mom and dad are not responsible for caring for him anymore. That's my job. I get to nurture and care for his heart and the same vice versa. He gets to care for little Christy. But like we all have the inner child that is still with us. That gets hurt.

That is needy. And it's triggered. Those are human things that we love to deny because we think we're, you know, big, strong adults now.

We are and we wear really good masks. But we are at our core, we're still that little girl and that little boy. And there's something has happened, I think, when you can see your spouse as that little boy or little girl.

First of all, it makes them make sense. Their reactions, their defensiveness, their anger, because they're trying to protect what they couldn't as a child. And if you, I think especially for mothers, to see your spouse as that little boy, like we know how to nurture the hearts of our kids.

And we would not attack, demean, punish when they feel scared, alone, afraid, like all the things that our spouses are feeling. Like they are. They're trying to put on a really good front by providing for us. But inside, I think what I'm hearing even you say, like, there's this insecurity, there's fear. Of course there is.

There is for all of us. Just don't call him a four-year-old. No. You're acting like a four-year-old. Well, you guys, let's go back to you're dealing with all this, Christy. Josh, you walk in the home smelling like coffee.

You're upset. Like, what's the best way? Because that scenario happens to so many of us. Maybe we don't have little kids, but we've had a really rough day at work and we're not meeting one another.

Yeah, coach us up. Yeah, walk us through. Well, I think one of the biggest things is to not allow, like clearly, so just even the way the brain grows, she's in fight or flight or freeze in that moment, right? Like she's like, why don't you ever ask me about what's on my heart?

So this is like the amygdala, the caveman part of the brain. This is like the protective, she's going into protective mode, the little girl who's feeling hurt and unseen is coming out. And for me to defend myself in that moment is only going to ratchet because now, all of a sudden, I'm functioning out of that part of my brain and we're not functioning out of the reasoning part of our brain.

All of a sudden, everything is going to get emotional and it's just going to keep ratcheting up. And what we're going to end up doing is we're going to end up in this dance. Which we did many times. And we do many times. I mean, we still do. I was going to say, no, you don't because you're a therapist and you don't know.

No, we do. And I think the trick is, it's not that you're never going to go there. Like that's how God created the brain. Fight, fight or freeze. Like we need to be able to function in that to survive. Like it protects us. But we have to recognize that's what it is and have tools to get out of that.

And there's ways and it's getting back to safety, really. And I remember during that season, right after that, I think it was like a week later, I had left Christie for an entire week to go to a leadership conference in California. Yes, you did.

So I left her at home. But we had already planned it and it fell at an interesting time. And so John Townsend, who's been a friend and mentor of mine for many years, I remember him telling you. So I went out to their leadership conference and he said, Christie, if you let Josh come to this for a week, you just let him away for a week, it'll pay dividends in 10 years. Here we are 12 years later and it's paying massive dividends for us. So I remember coming home from that. So when I went to that leadership conference, the thing that we learned was that the greatest leaders know how to have the ability to be able to label in their brain the right side of the brain, which is the experiential here and now.

It's what we're experiencing. The left side of the brain is that linguistic side where we put language to what it is we're feeling and experiencing. And so when we can put language to our here and now, to what we're feeling and experiencing, what it does is what I call it the binding of the book.

So the neurons fire out of the right and left side of the brains and they wire together in the corpus callosum, the middle part of the brain. Because if you have the right side of a book and the left side of the book and you bind it together, you create a whole story. And so often what ends up happening is we react out of an unfulfilled story, out of a story that's not fully written because we've never put language to what we're experiencing. The way to do that is to begin to identify our emotions.

What are we feeling in the moment? And the top leaders have the ability to be able to do that in how they interact with other people. They know what they're feeling and why they're feeling that way. They know what the other person is feeling and why they're feeling that way that they're in communication with.

And they get the most out of the relationship. And so I left that going, I got to do this in my marriage before I can do it anywhere else. And so I went home with that whole idea of guarding your marital heart.

It is the wellspring of life. We have one marital heart and I clearly wasn't paying attention to hers. So I came home with this really awkward strategy that I came up with when I was there where I said, OK, Christy, I want to hear what was one positive emotion you had from your day to day. And so instead of doing a high and a low, I want to hear what did you feel positively and what was one uncomfortable feeling you had today? Maybe it was rejection, embarrassed, ashamed, sad, fearful. I want to hear one of those.

And we'll take 15 minutes a day and we'll just listen to each other's hearts. What was one positive and one negative emotion we felt today? And if I'm honest, I think I rolled my eyes. Maybe not actually, but in my head I was like, uh-huh. Sure. Because if I don't know what's going on in her heart, this is the one way to be able to figure that out. I just want to defend you, though, for a minute. Not that you need defending.

But when you said you weren't defending my heart, nor was I. I didn't even know it was on my heart. And I want to just speak that out for a lot of people who just feel confused right now. Numb. A lot of our generation is numb because we've been taught not to feel. And we numb out by shopping. I mean, all the things, right? Eating well.

All the things. That's normal for us. And so I couldn't have told you what was on my heart. That's why all the emotion just came out of my eyes when he walked in that door.

I didn't know where that came from. I didn't know I was feeling lost. So even though I wasn't aware of what I was feeling and I rolled my eyes at Josh's suggestion, what I realized was it was, that's why 15 minutes a day, that's what we called it, was so powerful is because I started to make sense of my story, my heart, my life.

And as I was verbalizing it to him. So it not only healed something in our marriage and truly transformed our marriage, it healed something in me. And it became a regular practice for me to start to not just exist through my days, but to be aware of where I was at, where my heart was at. And to share that with the one who was defending my heart with me. You're listening to Dave and Ann Wilson with Josh and Christy Straub on Family Life Today.

Have you ever been asked how you feel only to not know? Well, Dave's going to talk about the challenges of sharing your feelings in just a minute. But first, Josh and Christy's book is called Famous at Home.

Seven decisions to put your family center stage in a world competing for your time, attention, and identity. We'd love to send you a copy of their book. It's our thanks to you when you partner financially today with us. You can give online at or by calling 800-358-6329.

That's 800 F as in family, L as in life, and then the word today. It is hard to believe, but we are in holiday season. And as a listener, we are incredibly thankful for you during this season. Therefore, we want to make you aware of this upcoming opportunity to walk alongside our mission and participate in the Christmas Gift Guide. So now through November 28th, you can get up to 60% off of 12 different specific resources that we've chosen. Things like a Weekend to Remember gift card, the No Perfect Parents small group course, and even one of my books called Pressure Points. Again, you can log on to to find the entire Christmas Gift Guide.

We'd love to bless you this season with some amazing resources. Okay, here's Dave with some final thoughts, including the struggle to share your feelings, even with your spouse. You've already hit two of your seven decisions. You know, when I read it about the 15 minutes a day, I'm like, oh, that's easy. No, it's hard. You've got to be intentional. But when you do what you just said, it changes everything. Let's start doing that, Dave. Well, I mean, we did it at Seasons in Our Marriage, and we're empty nesters now.

How hard could it be? And yet we still, it's like you got to sit down or whatever. We used to call it couch time and just sit on the couch and turn toward each other.

I got to be honest, though, and we don't have time to do it now, and I want to hear about your chase in the next program. But I often, it took me years to even know what I was feeling. Ann would say, what are you feeling? I'd be like, I don't know. And she'd be like, yes, you do. And I'd be like, I really don't. It took me time to learn how to know and then verbalize, oh, this is what I'm feeling. And I think a lot of people are wired like that. Yeah, and we have a list of feelings in the book. During that chapter, you can kind of take a look at it. Well, I remember your kid's book with the spin, and I'm like, that's for me. Not just for a four-year-old. You're not alone.

So many people, that's why we made it, is it teaches kids, because most of us weren't taught this as children, but you can learn it anytime. You ever feel like you're losing touch with your children? That's a scary feeling. Well, tomorrow on Family Life Today, Dave and Ann are joined again with Josh and Christy Straub to talk about how reconnecting might come down to a little humility and your willingness to change. That's coming up tomorrow. On behalf of Dave and Ann Wilson, I'm Shelby Abbott. We'll see you back next time for another edition of Family Life Today. Family Life Today is a production of Family Life, a crew ministry, helping you pursue the relationships that matter most.
Whisper: medium.en / 2022-11-21 10:27:57 / 2022-11-21 10:41:50 / 14

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