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August 3, 2020 2:00 am
In a discussion based on their book The 4 Habits of Joy-Filled Marriages, Dr. Marcus Warner and Pastor Chris Coursey offer practical guidance for how a husband and wife can work together to experience greater joy in their relationship.
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I'm talking about the resources the tools all things are focus were trying to equip you with so you can practice a good marriage. So he said the other day to me.
You know, we spent a lot of time getting a license to do something else or working hard vocationally, but we really don't put unfortunately a lot of work in your marriage, and I think it's a good reminder that if you don't do that. The weather and sometimes die so we want to plow that good ground around that plant of marriage seated nurturant. Sometimes I do that well sometimes I don't do that well and today we want to be able to talk about the tools that you need to do it better know the New Testament. First Thessalonians, it says rejoice always, and sometimes in marriage and certainly in other relationships. It can be a challenge. You know the joy sucking occurs rather than enjoy the fountain and that today we want to give you some tools to cultivate that spirit of joy in your marriage. Dr. Marcus Warner and Chris Corsi will help us do that. Dr. Warner is the president of deeper walk international. He and his wife Brenda have two adult children and Chris is an ordained minister in pastoral counselor and he and his wife Jen have two young boys, and together these men wrote the four habits of joy filled marriages and course we have that here check the episode notes for more Marcus and Chris, welcome to Focus on the Family, thank you year you have already got the ringing endorsement of my wife, Jean, because we were looking at the book of the concert that this morning early. When I was prepping for the show she went wow this is good stuff.
So for all the wives listening, at least you have Jean stamp of approval on what were about to talk about as our best endorsement that I think it's because she wants to put a few these things and practice his mind for me to do these things but you know so often we look at the purpose of marriage and some marriages. I'm sure they shake their heads at times, the people in those marriages thinking Lord, why did you create marriage like this. And the interesting thing. It typically if not always point back to us because what the Lord is trying to do. I think in the institution of marriage and what he created. It is to make us more like him by making us more selfless, you know, giving yourself to another person and the big question is now how do you find joy in that thing that does not come to the human nature. The fleshly nature so easily where we find joy in that nice great question because a lot of times we forget that we's we usually we get married because were convinced will have more joy with this person without them, and so is flawed. By the way I early on is that his father wants allies because were having so much joy yeah like this is so great there's all this energy looking forward to the next time you can see the person what we've also found is that brain science is shown as the joy is far more fundamental to the human experience that we've made a note to many of us are treated. Joy like it's the icing on the cake of life.
Instead of that it is actually the fuel on which life is meant to run that's and Chris again what from your perspective, what role does joy play in marriage.
You know, joy, foundational joy is very easy to start early on in our marriage is what happens for a lot of marriages is joy is hard to sustain you actually have to be proactive. It's like tending a garden you got pulled weeds got to work the soil little bit and you have to be a very purposeful about maintaining that joy that let me ask you this question because it is a great point because so often we feel like were waiting for joy like were at the fountain okays it cannot happen. We just went to Yellowstone saw Old Faithful kind of that moment right here waiting you're waiting you're waiting at bone. There is joy is at what we do. Too often in marriage, instead of cultivating it were waiting for a circumstance definitely dictate that you really were waiting were hoping were praying and we just sometimes wish that God would just zap us without full bottle of joy and in many times it's it's kind like Adam and Eve had to tend the garden, you know we have to tend the garden of our marriages tend to really sustain those low levels. What's critical about that. I want to make sure were hearing that it's not. It can be, but it's not exclusively an external thing that joy comes from within to and that's probably the most sustainable. We should probably define what we mean by joy because people are all over the place on that it did work for us from a brain perspective writer that is that your you know we have the right side and the left side of the brain. Joy is a right brain experience now are choosing our thinking on the left side of the brain's a lot of us are trying to think her way into joy and choose her way into joy but really joy is this reaction that we had to being was somebody's. A lot of times what happens marriages. I'm waiting for the other person to make me joyful instead of doing the things that cause us to be happy to be together. So what were doing enjoys were looking for more more reasons to be happy together more more ways to be happy together and because our brain reacts to that and so from a brain science perspective. It is always a relational word okay that's good and working to get to that throughout the program. Let me move to something you call the joint gap fed the positive side, I was thinking, joy, gap, Jean got it right away. I know exactly what they're talking about what's is joy gap while joy gap is simply the length of time between moments of sheer joy suffered some couples. It's like hours between if you've got out, if you're measuring your joy gap in hours you got a really good marriage.
If you are measuring your meal the last time we share joy together was like a month ago there were some problems here week so that gap is how long is it been since we were both experiencing joy from being together and you and and Brenda have your white friend that you have. She's here. Yeah he told me to say is ours is a safe story that you could share as an example of this. Something your marriage may be struggled joy gap will we got part way into our marriage realized that we had a huge joy gap and was all those things were. I was oblivious to it because I was kind of a workaholic pastor and I thought of it and was fine because as long as there was enough wiring mess. I figured our marriage was fine and then you were managing I was managing the marriage, but I know I realized was that she was actually withering away from this lack of joy, because joy is the fuel in which the marriage runs and so there isn't enough joy going on there. She's going to feel like she's not important to me.
She's issues that are marriages actually withering and I'm not aware of it. So, we realize we need to do some things we can have this vocabulary back then but realize we need to do something so shrink this joy gap in our marriage and infuse it with more more relational joy and we started doing some things I've been using the basic things that you are always so like start date nights. What we did date nice but we would have fights on our date nights is very honest, I have because we knew it was we hadn't spent enough time really doing the kind of habits we talk about in this book that you need to develop in order for things like that to be successful is always good when authors write from their experience. Let me ask you, in terms of this.
This label, you call the brain magnet. What is the brain magnet and what of the different types of bonds we have with other people. The brain magnet is really the foundation and the emotional brain. In other words, we are created for relationships. We are designed so true for for bonding is kind of like you know gorilla glue where you you really strong adhesive that can clue things together so the brain magnet is really windy when Marcus would started bonding with Brenda and his his brain magnet is looking for her on campus and just looking for that young lady to walk around the corner because his brain magnet is now bonded and his brain magnet is saying you are personal to me and I want to spend more time with you.
So with this powerful force that God designed in the brain so that we will you also mentioned a term called the joy bucket.
Well, the joy bucket is is a very specific part of your brain is called the right orbital prefrontal cortex satellite joy.
Yeah, you see the terminology. Basically this part of the brain is faceted. It's the high it's the part of the brain, we would identify his and that is when I say I am doing this. I feel this I am reacting. This is the part of brain I self identify as my identity center is also my joy center and so what happens is that the larger the capacity for joy.
The larger my capacity to act like myself, which is a lot of ramifications for a whole lot of things, but in marriage. The ability to sustain myself even when I'm in pain is incredibly important because if if there's pain in my marriage and that pain makes me overwhelms my capacity for joy my joy bucket can handle that much pain, I will turn it to somebody else and I will go from acting like a friend to you to act like an enemy to you how powerful. Yeah, it just changes everything.
And so I need a big enough joy bucket to be able to absorb the level of pain that's going on in the marriage and if those things get out of proportion. There's just way more pain than there is joy in my marriage. Things are going to start turning tipping and going south so many responses I think of in that regard people that when you say of them of their comfortable in their skin that would remind me of that person and he he or she is very comfortable being who they are, that I have to pretend right is that evidence of a person who says evidently suck it right. That means it is a well-developed joy bucket in their brain. Yeah, I think Marcus you have this acrostic were you relate the on and off switch in the back of her head. Now I say again, so men listen to this in him and get this Jean let up on this one said yes this is so true.
So what is that acrostic the acrostic is take right.
I love that I like cake writers like this is a piece of cake to have a better route marriage. So the idea here is that the on-off switch in your brain means that on the right side of your brain are most of the relational circuitry and the idea here is that when my relational circuitry is functioning and everything is going well. It's easy for me to act like myself. It's easy for me to stay engaged, you know, we can. It goes well but if something happens in the switch goes off.
I relational circuits that when they shut down. I stop acting like myself.
I turn into a different person all of a sudden. I don't feel like I want to be with you so cake helps us analyze if I how I can tell that my circuits have gone off okay good right so the first one is curiosity and that is I lose my curiosity about you and the main reason I lose my curiosity about you is that I think I have you all figured out right so if I think I got you off your I know why you're having this emotion.
I know why you're making this decision. I know why you're being the way you all because you always do this and you never do this so I know curiosity about you. I don't like cake anymore. You tap out yet you think you know it all. That's exactly what happened with men.