#23 - Creating emotional safety in your home by the posture of your parenting with Dr. Josh Straub

July 25, 2023
Josh Straub

Episode Summary

Join us on this week's episode of The Aro Podcast as we bring you an incredible guest, the renowned Dr. Josh Struab - an inspirational speaker, author of three books, and podcast host. In this captivating conversation, Josh and Joey talk about the true meaning of being "famous at home." Josh opens up about the common challenge of not knowing how to effectively lead our families. He offers solutions such as changing the posture of your parenting rather than solely relying on parenting techniques to create emotional safety for your family in your home. Discover how changing our approach and focusing on building genuine connections can truly make a difference in family dynamics. You'll leave with a refreshed perspective and a strong desire to cultivate a "famous at home" environment where love, understanding, and emotional well-being flourish.

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Episode Transcript

Josh Straub (00:00):

Working with a guy. His, his 14 year old daughter wanted to go to a Friday night football game. And, and, and he said no. And she looked at her dad and she said, dad, I hate you. And she went storming to her bedroom. And the the way that I say this is the posture of emotional safety isn't punishing the negative emotion. It's not saying, don't you go to your room. I'm taking your phone for a month and don't you ever speak to me that way again. Um, you know, it's also not minimizing it by saying it's just a Friday night football game. Who cares? And it's also not dismissing it by going, uh, don't be mad at me. Right? Like, what are you doing?

Joey Odom (00:32):


Josh Straub (00:32):

The posture of emotional safety is our ability to enter into our child's world and look at her and say, honey, what is it about that Friday night football game that matters to you so much? And what that dad found out is that his daughter had been rejected by a group of friends that she hung out with in the previous school year. And she would see them posting pictures on Instagram and Snapchat of them hanging out without her. And this was the first Friday night they invited her to be a part of something and her dad said, no.

Joey Odom (01:02):

Welcome back to The Aro Podcast friends. It's Joey Odom, co-founder of Aro. I'm so glad you're here and you're gonna be so glad you're here. When you hear my conversation with Dr. Josh Straub, Josh and his wife Christie, they've written a book called Famous At Home. It's all about, you guessed it, being famous at home to the most important audience in your life. They've also had a podcast of the same name since 2017. You've probably listened to it. It's so good. We dive into a bunch of stuff. We talk about the book, the concepts of the book, the importance of being famous at home, what that means. And at the end, he gives an answer to what his intentionality mean to him. And I forgot to prep him for it. Sorry, Josh, but he gives an off-the-cuff answer. That's so, so good, so rich, so insightful. You're gonna love that. Stick around to the end for that one. And we also talk about his dumb iPhone 13. In fact, he has the dumbest iPhone 13 on the planet. You're gonna wanna hear a little bit about that for now. Just sit back, just relax and enjoy my conversation with Josh Troub.


Well, man, this kickoff, I mean, I feel like I'm, I'm just by proxy. I'm, I'm cofa at home cuz I am with, I mean, I'm with Mr. Famous at home, right? So now just, just by being with you, that makes me kind of famous too, doesn't it?

Josh Straub (02:20):

Man, I don't know. It's so funny. My, my, uh, it's

Joey Odom (02:22):

Good to see you, bro.

Josh Straub (02:23):

My, my, uh, son asked me, I have a 10 year old, eight year old and a, I have a 10 year old son, an eight year old daughter, and a, and an almost three year old son. But my 10 year old, my oldest asked me the other night, I was tucking him in bed and he goes, dad, be honest with me cuz he sees me speak sometimes and things like that. And, uh, and so, you know, people will ask for an autograph on a book or something. He's like, dad,

Joey Odom (02:42):


Josh Straub (02:43):

Not bragging at all, but are you famous? And I <laugh> I said, buddy, I am not famous. I am famous right here with you. And that's what matters most. That's it. And, uh, so it was funny. <laugh>,

Joey Odom (02:57):

God, that is awesome. That's so, I, I, you know, you gotta think like a kid, a kid's perception of the world. Like not really knowing what all of that means. You know what I mean? Like, trying to put it together. Like, okay, my dad has a book and, and you know, my, my parents have a podcast. And, and, and so what does that mean? Like, and they speak in front of people. That's gotta be such an interesting thing for a kid to try to wrap their head around.

Josh Straub (03:17):

Yeah. Oh, totally. Yeah. And, uh, and you know, and we're super careful too about how we are. I mean, uh, the nice thing for me is I've been able to bring my kids with me to, uh, sell books at, at the book table when, you know, we take 'em on, you know, I'll take 'em on a trip, a speaking trip with me, they'll help me, and then we go, you know, I do something fun with them. So I get to have one-on-one dates with each child. Yeah. As you get to do that. But in that process too, you know, I'm just talking to them about this is, this is how we serve people, this is how our family serves other families. And, you know, really bringing it to that level of going, you know, this isn't about book sales. This isn't about Sure. That's what makes the world, like, that's what helps keep food in the table. But at the same time, this is about right. Let, let's pray for the family that just got that book and just got that, that you know, that they're changed, that their lives are influenced, that they're, it's bringing them closer together. And, and so that's really what we're, we're about. Uh, even with our kids like that, they're part of this message as well to help other families, um, yeah. Really connect at a deeper level.

Joey Odom (04:14):

And they're the most, interestingly, they're probably <laugh>, they're may be the most important part of the equation cuz it's one thing to have a bunch of ideas and it's another thing to have fruit, right? So if your kids are, if you're so, I mean, I'm sure with some people, they look at, Hey, what do your kids like? And how is this actually playing out in real time? So there your kids are, are maybe the most important part of the equation, right?

Josh Straub (04:33):

Oh, man, I I always say this, I will not, the day that this starts to pull me away from what matters most, I will quit doing it. I I'll give it up immediately. Like I, this is raising my family. Those three kids are my greatest disciples. And, you know, I wanna make sure that I'm shepherding and st stewarding their hearts really, really well. And so I am, um, unapologetic about prioritizing my family, uh, in, in the midst of doing all of these things. And so, um, I mean, do I get it right all the time? No. Um, but am I keeping it at the forefront? Do I have people around me that kick my butt if they start to see me go, go, go, go away, you know, go, go by the wayside. Yes. Like, and my wife is, is number one at that. I mean, she, we just really do a great job of trying to keep each other on task and focused on, on the main thing. So,

Joey Odom (05:26):

Yeah. Will you talk about that real quick for, I've always thought that accountability, you know, anytime you'll see like a, you'll see a pastor who has a moral failure or something. Oh, he just didn't have accountability. But accountability is only as good as what you're willing to share, right? Yeah. So how do you, how have you set up those controls in your life? What is it, what is that like to where it's actually effective, where it's actually a real guardrail and not just kinda lip service?

Josh Straub (05:46):

Yeah, it's wild. I, I, I think for us, I, I don't know, like we literally share everything. Um, you know, we have our, we have our, yeah, our Google calendars, we have each other's, I, you know, passwords, our phones, we've got all of that kind of component. Um, you know, I can give my phone to Christy at any given point of, of a day and have her look at it and yeah. Be okay with that. Um, so, so I think there's that. And, and to be honest with you too, we have built, and I think this is the key, getting rid of the accountability word and getting rid of the, you know, um, making sure that, you know, we have no secrets, that type of thing. I think it goes deeper than that. I think, you know, my wife and I have built such a relationship where she's genuinely my best friend and everything that happens to me in a day, I want to go tell her.


Like, I want her to know. Yeah. I want her to be the first to know if something bad went wrong, if something went wrong, something went right. I just want her to be the first to know. And I think you've gotta cultivate that friendship with your spouse in order for all true accountability comes down to relationship. I think it's the same thing in with our relationship with God, right? Like, when we experience God's love for us, there is a, it compels us to love other, it it, it leads us to obey him. We want to obey him because we experience his love for us. And I think it's the same thing. It's that love when there's a deep love and connection. You don't wanna do something that's gonna hurt somebody else or yourself. You wanna do everything you can Yeah. To prioritize and protect that relationship. And I think that's where it really starts.

Joey Odom (07:23):

Yeah. I love that. May it take us back to, so fa so famous at Home is the name of your podcast. It's the name of your book, it's, um, and, and it's your ethos. Will, will you take us back to the beginning of that? Where did that, that term where that idea, where'd that come from? Give us a little bit of the kind of the origin story of all of that.

Josh Straub (07:40):

Yeah, I think it really starts, honestly, personally, uh, I don't know that there's anything that God gives us or that we get passionate about, um, that's not somehow born within our own personal story. And, uh, my parents divorced when I was 10. Uh, my dad had another, uh, divorce when I was 19, and I had great parents. Like I, I love my parents dearly. Uh, but what I started to see as I started doing my own therapy and looking at back into my genogram and just seeing like my family history, every single person in my family, from my parents to my grandparents, my aunts and uncles, my sister, every single person that had been, been divorced at least once and, and a lot of 'em twice. And it was one of those things that I saw this generational pattern in going, okay, I don't, I don't, I don't wanna experience that.


I, I want to, yeah, I had such a great relationship with both of my parents, but yet I as then ended up splitting time with them because I couldn't experience both of 'em at the same time because of, of, of the divorce. And so I think it starts there. Ultimately, I just wanted to have a, I had a deep desire to have a great family and to really write the, the generational lineage. But then also too, as I got my counseling degree and was seeing, you know, one of the, and and being a crisis response, uh, working in crisis response, we started getting phone calls related to, as you mentioned earlier, ethical failures, uh, pastors, um, leaders, um, business owners, um, just people who were burned out, uh, people who were really, uh, I think all of us at some level, uh, as Tim Keller says, we're all spiritual addicts.


We believe this lie that, you know, um, that, that we can seek fame outside the home. That we can seek identity outside the home and, and that some that that's gonna fuel us and fill us up. And I think somewhere along the way, just living in the western cultural world that we live in, it's easy to become sucked into that. And what ends up happening is, is you slowly over time stop prioritizing the, your biggest fans under your roof and start paying attention to your biggest fans outside your roof. And, and whether that's board members, whether that's, you know, Instagram followers or, uh, clients or whoever it is, you all of a sudden start to give them more affection and attention and your family's getting your leftovers. And we just started to see this trend and just realizing like, at the end of the day, what we really do is we help people be famous at home.


Because when you're famous at home first, that's when you can thrive on your stage. That's when you can thrive on whatever stage God has called you to. And, and we just wanna make sure we prioritize that. I, I mean, the other component of that is most end of life surveys will show that people the thing that they regret the most is that they work too much and they wish they would've spent more time with their loved ones, Uhhuh. And so, you know, what will really matter at the end of life? And I try to keep that at the forefront of my mind in terms of how I lead my family as well.

Joey Odom (10:24):

Yeah. We've been hit, we had a, an all day session yesterday, basically on our why at ro. And, and the thing we came down to was basically this idea of that our time is much more limited than we understand. And you know, this idea that 90% of the time we'll spend with our kids happens by the time they're 18, it's done right. But we're living as if we have just this unlimited amount. Think about that. Yeah. Let that sink in for a second. Wow. So here, Josh, here's what that means for me. Practically, my son's 14, he's almost 15. If I get 40 minutes with him a day, 40 minutes, which seems like a little bit, but between sports and between homework and work and everything, I, so 40 minutes is, is probably on average between now and 18. That means I have 40 days left with him until he leaves grief, 40 days grief.


Right. And so and so we're living and so we're, we're living as if we have this unlimited amount of time and it's just, and that's not okay. And, and you know, here's the cool thing is that what if someone said that, Hey, you can extend that and you can extend it by, you know, maybe I, you know, we think about phones a lot. You can extend it by not checking your texts, uh, on the weekends or after five 30 on weekdays or not, um, checking work emails for during that same amount of time. And I can double that amount of time. The answer is yes, of course. Right? And, and, and so that, that's not a dramatization. We, we, we play like it is a dramatization, but that's actually an option all of us have. And if you're focused, just like you're saying on being famous at home, and that's what's most important, that's what ultimately lives leads you to a place where you're not, you don't have regrets. Cuz how much of that factors in, it's a long statement, but the question associated with that is how much in what you talk about is about regret elimination. Does that, is that a, is that a something on the forefront or is that just kind of an underpinning in in all of that?

Josh Straub (12:10):

Oh, it's so good. Yeah. And I think there's a, I think there's an underlying, uh, whether it's subconscious or unconscious, I think, you know, if you're listening and there's, there's moments we lay in bed at night, you know, looking at our lives and, and the biggest pain point might be a child that we don't feel like we're connecting with, or maybe it's with our spouse. We just don't feel like we're, we're connecting. And a lot of times that pain will be there. It's the thing that's keeping us up at night and, but we don't know where to start. And I hear this a lot, particularly from men. Yeah. I hear, you know, I can go to work and I can lead hundreds of people, but I come home and I don't know how to lead my own family. And, and I just wanna say, I think, you know, that regret kind of lives there or that, that thought of regret kind of lives there and a lot of people just don't know where to start.


Yeah. And I would just say that, that the biggest place to start is looking at your, uh, realizing you're not alone. Realizing you're not the only one. And also realizing too, that really all our family members desire, all our biggest fans, your spouse, your kids, all they desire is you. They just desire your presence. Yeah. Your time. Uh, that, that's where great leadership starts is just entering into their world, entering into their story. That might look like taking your spouse on a date night. Um, uh, yeah. And, and, and doing the planning, not waiting till the night of and saying, Hey, what do you wanna do? Like actually putting the work in and planning where you're gonna go and, and that type of thing. It also looks like, hey, if I gotta get on the floor and build a trains track, you know, with my two year old or I, um, uh, draw with my daughter, she loves drawing and sketching and you know, if I sit down and she says, daddy, will you draw with me? It's just, yes, I'm gonna put my phone away. I'm gonna put my work away, whatever it is. Yeah. I'm gonna give her that undivided attention. And I think that's where it, it, it really is as simple and as complicated as that.

Joey Odom (14:03):

I like how you said that is that it is as simple and as complicated as that. It it's both and and that's okay. And just the identifi identification, when I've gone to therapy in the past, one of the most comforting things, and it is when I describe something about what I'm going through, what I'm struggling with, and then they give it a name and I think, oh, the fact that it has a name means that other people are dealing with it. That means that I'm not the first one and that means that this is a common thing. That means that there's something I can do about it that's happened before.

Josh Straub (14:29):

That's exactly right. I think so often we get, we feel lonely or alone when we feel like we're the only ones and just voicing, Hey, this is the issue. This is what I've got. Realizing you're not the only one.

Joey Odom (14:41):

Yeah, exactly. Uh, one thing I'd love that you, you say, you said, when you said, I knew raising kids wasn't easy, this goes back to what you're saying, it's simply and complicated. You said knew raising kids wasn't easy, but could it be simpler? Yeah. Will, will you give us a little glimpse into that statement? Cause I love that statement.

Josh Straub (14:58):

Yeah. That goes back to when we first had our, when we had our first two, and I was just, we were completely overwhelmed. And I mean, if you understand, like I did all my doctoral research on attachment and this whole idea of emotional safety. And I started going back into the research because, you know, there's so many things that parenting experts are thrown our way. You know, like, uh, so many debates, so many pressures, so many fears around, you know, you can't even leave the hospital before you have to make a decision about whether or not you're gonna immunize your child. And we all know what that debate's like today. Um, you get 'em home. Yeah. And then you're gonna say, Hey, do we breastfeed or do we bottle feed? Do we spank or do we not spank? Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, do we do timeouts? Uh, well maybe experts are saying timeouts aren't so good, we have to do time ins, right?


Well, what's that look like? And I, I'm not even getting into BPA free products and gluten-free diets and, and everything like that. So it was so overwhelming that I decided, I was like, I'm going back into the research and I wanna see when I'm at the end of life, I'm 80 years old, I'm sitting on my rocking chair, I'm watching my grandkids, uh, run through the backyard, seeing my adult kids grown up, what will have really mattered and every major outcome that I desire in my kids from getting good grades to extracurricular activities as children, to having good friends as children, all the way to finding a career as an adult, uh, that you love and that you enjoy getting married, staying married, and having high marital satisfaction actually enjoying your marriage. All of these things were linked back to this whole idea of emotional safety in the home.


And so we just really came to this place of going, you know what? We are going to prioritize, uh, simply making our home an emotionally safe environment for our kids. And, uh, is it, is it gonna make parenting any easier? No. But can it simplify it so that we're not caught up in all of these other debates and all these other things if my children feel emotionally safe with the people that they trust and love the most, that wires their brain for relationships over time. And it leads to all those major outcomes that we desire. And so that's what I really meant by that. And, um, we've just, yeah, we've seen it happen over and over and over again. So we're just, that, that's, that's kind of our clarion call is that whole idea of how can we be safe for our kids?

Joey Odom (17:19):

What does that mean? What does emotional safety mean?

Josh Straub (17:22):

Yeah, great question. So I, I like to describe it as it's the posture from which we parent more than the techniques. It's the posture from which we're parenting, uh, not the techniques that matters most. And so, so many of us, we get caught up by techniques because we get caught in the day to day with our toddlers or kids that, you know, they're, they're dis misbehaving or whatever that looks like. And so one technique on one child might not work on that same child. And one technique that works today on one child might work tomorrow on that child, right? So techniques will always come and go and they'll ebb and flow. And a lot of techniques are very one way relationships. So it's like, I'm the parent, I said, so don't do this. Go to timeout, or whatever that looks like. Or it's, you know what, you're sure you can go to Johnny's house for for, for to play this afternoon, you're gonna wanna do it.


So it's, it's just either permissive or, or this authoritarian. Whereas what we really talk about is the posture. It's getting into the heart of our child, entering into their story and seeing what is causing the overwhelm, what is causing the frustration, the anger, the sadness, the, the heartbreak, the, even if that anger's coming at us as an a parent, how can we enter into our child's world and enter their story and help have that has a calming effect on their brain in a way that really, um, does that. Uh, I, one example of this is I had a, a, uh, was working with a guy, he, his 14 year old daughter wanted to go to a Friday night football game. And, and, and he said no. And she looked at her dad and she said, dad, I hate you. And she went storming to her bedroom.


And the the way that I say this is the posture of emotional safety isn't punishing the negative emotion. It's not saying, don't you go to your room. I'm taking your phone for a month and don't you ever speak to me that way again. Um, you know, it's also not minimizing it by saying it's just a Friday night football game. Who cares? And it's also not dismissing it by going, uh, don't be mad at me. Right? Like, what are you doing? Yeah. The posture of emotional safety is our ability to enter into our child's world and look at her and say, honey, what is it about that Friday night football game that matters to you so much? And what that dad found out is that his daughter had been rejected by a group of friends that she hung out with in the previous school year, and she would see them posting pictures on Instagram and Snapchat of them hanging out without her. And this was the first Friday night they invited her to be a part of something and her dad said, no. Wow.


And so the, I hate you wasn't personal. The I hate you is coming out of that fight, flight or freeze response in the brain, the overwhelming limbic system of I'm that rejection coming back up again. And I'm not saying that, uh, the, the, the posture from which I described this is lead in grace and follow in truth. So we wanna lead in grace with our kids, enter into their story. And it's not that this dad shouldn't set consequences for the way she disrespected and spoke to her dad, but if you lead in truth, my friend John Townsend says, true without grace will always be received as condemnation. And so we wanna lead in grace and follow up in truth. And, um, and that's just the framework for what posture looks like.

Joey Odom (20:28):

Dude, that's strong. Because it, it, and just very candidly, you know, hearing emotional safety conjures up in my mind a little bit of like coddling, um, yeah. Just, just by the term. And even at the beginning of that, even at the beginning, my question was gonna be was where does discipline fall in there? But as you said all of that, it's just like, oh dang. Like yeah, you gotta, you gotta find out the response. And, and, and part of it probably depends. And I, and just candidly in my, I I think I was, I think probably in my kids' first 10 years, it was, I, I think I parented from a position of like behavioral control. Like I know I was really good at it too. Yeah. I mean, it was just like, you know, I made some pretty good robots there. And then I've just learned more and more like, holy crap, I gotta, I gotta, I gotta make a little bit of a change. Cuz there is a lot behind that. There's, there's, there's a lot behind. I hate you dad. And Okay, what does that mean? So it's, I think in that explanation, that story really hits because I can, I can feel it. And I think mine would probably be truth first, grace second, which they only hear as condemnation.

Josh Straub (21:29):

Well, and I, and I would say this too, that a lack of discipline is also unsafe. If there's not discipline, our kids feel unsafe. If there's not discipline in the home, our kids, they are given free reign and all of a sudden they feel out of control. And that just increases anxiousness. And you know, and rou, kids need routine. And so just to follow up with this example, you know, basically what his dad did was he, he listened to what, you know, what was going on in his, in his daughter's heart. But then he also shared, you know, his concern that hey, what if you go to this game and they reject you there, you know, and he didn't wanna leave her out and that type of thing. So they come to an agreement where, okay, you're gonna go to this Friday night football game, but I'm gonna go. But the dad says, Hey, I'm going too, and I'm gonna be in the stands in a different location and if anything comes up, you let me know. I wanna make sure that this is a, that this is a good, you know, dynamic, but you're also gonna get your cell phone taken for two weeks or a month for the way you spoke to me. Right? So,

Joey Odom (22:30):

Oh, interesting. After,

Josh Straub (22:31):

After the football game, here's the consequence, right? And I can't remember what consequence he actually did set, but he did follow it up with the consequence. And I think we've got to be able to model that grace and truth in, in, in every circumstance. Cuz you know, um, I, you know, I, I love Mr. Rogers definition of discipline. He said, I think of discipline as the continual everyday process of learning self-discipline.

Joey Odom (22:54):

Wow. Interesting.

Josh Straub (22:55):

And at the end of the day, that's what we're trying to teach our kids. We don't want our kids to be robots, as you said earlier. Yeah. We want our kids to leave our home and have self-discipline. And that's where that comes into play. And as you said earlier, with the phones, it starts with us. I mean, it it, at the end of the day, yeah. It starts with how we're, how we're doing with it. So,

Joey Odom (23:13):

Hey gang, you remember our very first guest on the RO podcast? It was Tanner Clark. I know you didn't forget him. He was great. If you loved him then you can love him again cuz he just launched his own podcast. The second of Strength podcast, go listen to it wherever you listen to podcasts and you know, you should do, you should have him speak of your kids' schools. He goes to schools and tells students how to find their second of strength to spend some time away from their digital devices and boost their self-worth. Just go to second of strength.com. I want to, I want jump in. I'm, I'm gonna, I wanna dive into, into the book that that released, um, was it May of last year? Yeah, yeah. Yep. So I, I wanna dive into that, but before I, I wanna hear about, you've done something, you said phones, I want to, and I want to go you to go into a little bit of the drastic measure that you've taken with your phone recently and maybe a little bit of the why and some, and then a bit of the what as well.

Josh Straub (24:08):

Yeah. So I basically took my iPhone and I have an iPhone 13. We got it, you know, maybe a year ago or whatever for the camera and, and that type of thing and with what we do with podcasting and videoing and, but I was, I have a friend who decided he was going to get a flip phone and he did that about maybe two, two and a half years ago. And over that two and two and a half years, the more I heard his life and how much he enjoyed his life without a, uh, with a flip phone, I was getting envious. And, and there were just parts of it where he is like, yeah, I'm totally with my kids. We're doing board games. We, you know, we have no screens in the evenings. And, and I'm like, man, he's, life just feels so, and I'm like, well, help me logistically think through how he has a business.


And I'm like, how you doing that? And he's like, well, I, I, I'm managing some of that during my workday and my workday only and then I've got my assistant who's helping me and going, okay, so I'm starting to think through this. Finally, after about two to two and a half years, I told Christie at the end of last year, I said, in the beginning of 2023, I'm figuring this thing out. I'm calling to see if I can get a flip phone. Long story short is, is I still owed money on my iPhone? It would've been a bear to get rid of it and buy a flip phone. It would've been expensive. And so I said, you know what, I'm just gonna dummy down my iPhone. And so what I did was I figured out how to get safari off. I got all web browsers off.


I've got no social media apps on it. I pretty much dummied it down to texting and calling and, uh, and then I use it for pictures and videos of our kids and things like that, which, so I was able to just have one device, but it is genuinely dumbed down to I can't scroll on anything. There's no news apps. There's, there's, there's literally nothing on it. And it has brought so much, um, more space to my soul. It has freed up my soul in ways that I don't think I realized the first couple weeks that I did it. I would jump on my phone and I would literally, my thumb would literally start scrolling to go to, I would try to scroll over to get to my apps that I would want to go on and look and, and there was nothing there. It just went to the library of apps and I'm like, oh shoot.


Like I can't do anything. But it was so amazing how my brain was so wired. But then also too, I think about when, when I would, there, there's like a detox you have to go through, right? Like you pick up your phone and all of a sudden you, you're going to your phone cuz you wanna check emails, you wanna check, I have no emails on my phone anymore. You wanna check, you know, you wanna stay up to date on everything that's going on. And I realize the anxiety just, not that I was, not that I was anxious, but there was an underlying current of, I was anxious to get my anxious moments of like knowing to keep up with my to-do list and keep up with everything. And I've just basically used my workday now to catch up on emails at certain times. I've, I've, I've, um, compartmentalized everything and I'm writing more, I'm praying more. I am spending more quality time with my wife and my kids, uh, are more mentally present. And so it's funny cuz you and I were talking about this a couple weeks ago with Heath and, um, you know, it's wild because I, I, I still haven't found a disciple yet. Like, I tell people that I've done this and people are excited about doing it <laugh>,


But when it comes to the reality of it, you know, for me it took me two and a half years to actually pull the trigger on it. And I think for a lot of us, you know, it, it is a very hard shift to make. And so I'm not saying that everybody has to, I don't want anybody to feel condemned or guilty or ashamed that they haven't done it. I'm just saying I really felt like it was time for me to do it. And, and it's been, it's been really life giving. So,

Joey Odom (27:40):

Well what's interesting is here's what's cool about doing that. Whether someone, and by the way, I, you could make an argument that you have the dumbest iPhone 13 on the planet <laugh>. Um, so the so <laugh>,

Josh Straub (27:50):

I like that. I'll take it, I'll take it.

Joey Odom (27:53):

You take that. This is my, this is the dumbest phone in the world. Um, when we left lunch, so Heath Wilson, uh, our co-founder and I, when we left lunch with you a few weeks ago, Heath in the car, immediately took email off his phone, took Instagram off his phone, he deleted I think upwards of 15 apps off his phone. I took Safari off my phone, I took Instagram off my phone. So what you did, whether he, now my my phone's not as dumb as yours, but I will say that it gave me permission to do it. I said, okay, I do have disciples. Josh can do it. I can do it. I

Josh Straub (28:24):

Knew I have

Joey Odom (28:24):

Dec I two

Josh Straub (28:26):


Joey Odom (28:26):

Yes. A mini disciple. That's right. <laugh>. Like a disciple light. You know what I mean? I love, I'm not, I'm not full disciple yet. Oh, I love it. So yeah, you got disciples out here, <laugh> good, man.

Josh Straub (28:37):

Oh, that's so cool. Oh, that's great. Yeah. What's it been like? I'm

Joey Odom (28:41):

Just curious. It just gave it gave permission. Yeah.

Josh Straub (28:43):

Permission. And that's

Joey Odom (28:44):

Just, I haven't, I haven't, honestly, now I've not, I've not taken the email off my phone. That's the next step for me. I think if you were to ask Keith, he doesn't feel like he's missing anything. It does feel, and and our mutual friend Justin Whittell earlier talks about when it comes to screens, he's, it's more for him about finding spaces for it. It's not necessarily like an all ongoing, but then you said it com compartmentalizing, which is another way to say it. It's just you're finding spaces. Okay. Right now is my space to do emails. And I think we do rationalize all of us. And I know my former career in commercial real estate, I would rationalize No, I gotta always be on, I gotta always be on, I don't actually think that's true. I, I really don't. So I think we're rationalizing and, and okay here about this, how about this? After we finish, I'm gonna take email off my phone. I'm gonna, I'm gonna, I'm gonna go ahead and go ahead and do that. And so we'll, uh, and so you'll be more of a disciple. But I think if

Josh Straub (29:34):

I can say

Joey Odom (29:34):

This, even just talking about it, I'm just rationalizing

Josh Straub (29:37):

A hundred percent. Yeah. And, but I rationalized for so long and I was trying to figure out a way to think through every scenario to go, how am I going to, what about gps? What about music? What about podcasts? What about, and and I started and I'm going, you know what, I got to a point where I realized I can't, if I try to think through every app and every dynamic on my phone, I'm never gonna do it. I'm gonna rationalize it. I'm never do it. So my decision came down to I'm just gonna do it and let the inconveniences hit me when they hit me and I'll figure it out as I go. That's good. And that's kind of the way that I went is like, I'll just tackle the inconvenience when that inconvenience comes up. Yeah. And I've had it come up multiple times, especially when I lose luggage in an airport and, you know, and I don't have email on my phone, so I can't pull up any, like, I'm literally pulling up my computer in the, you know, and I'm like connecting to wifi. There's some inconveniences, but the pros have outweighed those inconveniences in, in some pretty drastic ways. So

Joey Odom (30:36):

I can absolutely see that. Just think about the time you're gaining back. And again, my biggest time stealer, I referenced it earlier, my biggest time stealer is texts and emails. Those are the biggest times stealers for me. So,

Josh Straub (30:46):

And I still have text

Joey Odom (30:47):

On. I like that. So you just let those

Josh Straub (30:49):

Yeah, I still have text on. Yeah, I do. So

Joey Odom (30:52):

I, well, because that's, that's, you harnessing the good, the good of it. I mean, you and I, you know, texted back and forth and you're, you're very responsive on text and so it's not like you're a hermit or anything like that. And so it's, I I just from an outsider observation, it doesn't seem like you've missed a lot. And again, you probably are probably then when it's email time or whatever it is, you're more productive because you know, you have that space for it right then.

Josh Straub (31:14):

Yeah, absolutely. And I, I can already

Joey Odom (31:15):

Tell we're, I can already tell we're gonna Yeah, I'm sorry, go

Josh Straub (31:18):

Ahead. No, and I'm specifically just going through that list very quickly, so

Joey Odom (31:22):

Yeah, exactly. I can already tell we're gonna run outta times. And so we have to talk about the famous at home book. This, this is, man, it's good. Um, where, where did you know, you have, you've done your podcast in 2017, you have a lot of content. Did it just get to a point where you said, I gotta get this down in a centralized place? What was that like? What was the decision like to go do that? And then what was the process like in going after it?

Josh Straub (31:47):

Yeah, great question. So we had a lot of people, like whether we were speaking or whether we were helping, uh, families. Uh, we do a lot of one-on-one, you know, coaching. And we just have a lot of people saying, Hey, how can we go through a coaching? Like how can, how can we take what you're doing and implement it in our own lives? And it was one of the, you know, people were asking us, do you have a book for this? And one of the things I learned is, is somebody said to me, you know, if, if, if you get asked the same question three times, there's probably a product there, right? There's something there and huh uh, and we were getting asked that question a lot, like, do you have a book on this? Do you have a book on this? And so we got to a point where we said, you know what?


We really need a manual. We really need a coaching manual. If this is how we're gonna coach family, if this is how we coach families, here's what, here's a manual. Like here go do these things, implement these things. And, and that's really what it became. And, uh, seven Decis. So it's called Famous at Home, seven Decisions to Putting Your Family Center stage in a World Competing for your Time, attention, and identity. And, you know, it's, it's those seven decisions. And of course there's a number of chapters in there ahead of time that really talk about our chase, um, what we were chasing, you know, some of our own brokenness, you know, cause we're all chasing things outside the home. Uh, and, you know, our own brokenness, our own journey. And really just getting vulnerable with some of that. And then just some of the key things to think about before you enter the decisions. And then what does it look like to make those decisions one at a time and really lead yourself into a place where your family is growing and uh, and and thriving. So

Joey Odom (33:12):

You said something in there that jumped out in the competition for our, our identities and the competition. And then you think about everything competing for us. I was talking with my, my brother Jacob today. We were talking about this concept of what's good. And he's, you know, if you, if you ask enough questions, like, it'd be like, well, because why are you doing something? Well you ultimately come down to, because it's good. And then he said, his definition for what is good is what God has called good. And if you view your time and your identity and all of that as a competition, and you look through that lens of, is this good? I think that's a really interesting way to look at it. But thinking about it as a competition, especially as maybe a male competitive mindset that helps me to say, okay, if I'm, if I'm prioritizing my kids and I just get a work email, that's a comp, that's a competitor to my kids' attention, well that's easy, right? Because I know what's good. I know what's fulfilling. So it's in, I like how you use that word competition Yeah. In all that. I don't know if there's, there's not really a question there, but just something that hits me in your description of it.

Josh Straub (34:13):

Yeah, no, a hundred percent. And because it's all your Yes. Is gonna be someone else's. No. And at the end of the day, it, it, it comes down to what are we saying yes to and what are we saying no to? And I think our nos are very hard to make, nos can be super difficult. Yes. Uh, with the pressures and the notifications and, uh, the demands of the world around us.

Joey Odom (34:39):

Let's see if Mixer can ask this question. Well, what, what's the, and I mean maybe this is self-evident, but what is the alternative to being famous at home? The book's called Famous at Home, but what, what's the alternative? What, what happens if we're not famous at home?

Josh Straub (34:52):

Well, that's a good question. I don't think anyone's ever asked me that question before. I think the alternative is, if I had to think on it, um, I think the alternative is this broken relationship. At the end of the day, it is, it is relationship that is disconnected. Um, it's being disconnected from the heart of our spouse. You know, we talk a lot about, uh, pursuing your, the heart of your spouse, looking at what's going on within your spouse's heart matters more than what's going on between the two of you. And really fighting for your spouse's heart. And Bible says to guard your heart, it is the wellspring of life. And you know, I think when we get married, we have one marital heart that we have to guard. And that starts with me protecting and guarding my wife's heart. And, and, and, and pri prioritizing what's going on in her heart.


So if she's angry over, you know, and really frustrated, uh, over how messy the kitchen is, I want to go, okay, this isn't about the kitchen right now. Are you overwhelmed? Are you, you know, what's really going on in your heart? And me pursuing that to say, where, where, where is it that you need some rest? Where is it that you need me to step up? Uh, where is it that maybe something happened to you today that a friend said something that just, you know, or you, you lost a loved one. What, what is it that's really hurting, that's making this about the kitchen right now kind of thing. Yeah. And I think in, in our, in such a busy, busy world, our lives are so busy, we got kids moving from one activity to another. We often live on the surface talking about the busyness of the day rather than the, the heart connection.


What, what's really, what are you feeling? Yeah. What, what's your heart saying? And I think, you know, oftentimes when we start focusing on the busyness, we start to seek things outside the home that bring us affirmation, that bring us identity, that bring us a sense of, of self-worth. And when that starts to crumble in, and it's subtle, it doesn't happen overnight. It's subtle. It's a subtle disconnection over time. I think when we stop paying attention to the hearts of our kids or the hearts of our spouse, that disconnection happens over time. And I think that's what it looks like. I think it looks like disconnected relationship.

Joey Odom (36:57):

Mm. Which is terrible. It really is. I mean, it's, when you say, you said broken, I, I, I, I think I like how you said disconnected because it's broken. Could you, when you think broken, you almost think in shambles, but disconnected may just, it's not necessarily in shambles when it's disconnected, but it's maybe equally as detrimental. Maybe it's equally as painful, maybe even worse, because I, I always say like in a college football team, like it's probably easier to turn, easier to turn around a two and 10 college football team than an eight and four team. You know what I mean? Because at least you can start from scratch. You know what mean if you're mediocre, like what the heck can you do? You know,

Josh Straub (37:32):

Such a great statement. Such. Absolutely. I think 100% I, and in fact I think I've seen a lot of broken relationships, and I say this, I say this to couples who are in a, in a broken state. So on a scale of one to 10, you use the two, the two and 10 team. I think on a scale of one to 10, I'll ask couples, where are you at in your marriage? One, I'm on the verge of divorce. 10. It couldn't be any better. I have seen ones and twos be, uh, absolutely transformed when they're both willing to pursue the other person's heart. I have seen those marriages go eons beyond couples that just live at a five or a six on an ongoing basis. And they're okay with living at a five or a six. It's like, I don't wanna mess up what's, what we have is working, but I don't want to do the work that'll probably drop us down to a three or a four for a time to live at a base of eight or nine.


I wanna live at that base. I, to me, that's where I, I wanna constantly be pursuing my wife's heart so that I can live in my marriage. Will we always live at a 10? No, but I think we'll have moments. I think if I could live at a base of an eight Yeah. To an eight and a half, and we have 10 moments, and sure we'll have five moments, but I'd rather live at that end of the spectrum than at the bottom end or right in the middle where I'm bouncing from the bottom. And maybe every now and again hitting an eight, uh, I have seen those marriages that actually have hit one or a two and those people said, yes, I want to get better. We want to pursue each other. Just propel all the way to an eight or a nine. So a hundred percent what you said, that's the two and 10 team versus the eight and four team.

Joey Odom (39:05):

Yeah. Yeah.

Josh Straub (39:06):

Right. It's a good analogy.

Joey Odom (39:08):

So the, the thank you. I appreciate it. Um, three parts of the book, you said the seven decisions that's part three of the book. Will, will you hit a couple of, a couple of those, of those seven that are maybe most, maybe just to give a little teaser to the people, so they'll go by the book as they need to, but maybe a couple, a couple of your favorites within there of those seven decisions to put your family center stage.

Josh Straub (39:29):

Yeah. Thanks for asking. And I, you know, at the end of the day, I would say that the hub of the wheel is, is, is, is is the emotional intelligence component. It's what we were talking about earlier. It's the emotional safety, emotional intelligence that's the hub of the wheel. So whether it's marriage, whether it's parenting, whether it's my own relationship with, you know, who I, how I'm showing up to the world around me, everything with teenagers, toddlers, infants, whatever, that, that, that hub of the wheel is emotional connection. And so, you know, decision number three is talk about emotions. It's making emotional vocabulary normal in your home. And I think that's one of the, that's, that's the crux of it. That's the hub of the wheel. It really starts. And, and so then flowing into four and five is how do you apply that to your spouse and your relationship with your spouse?


And we give a very practical way to do that. And then how do you do that with your kids? How do you, how do you enter into your kids' world? Yeah. Where they're actually identifying with the feelings chart, um, what they're feeling, their, their, their, their, their highs and their lows through feelings as opposed to just saying their favorite part of the day. Cuz it's just, it's taking 'em a level deeper and, and it's, it's cultivating that sense of safety in the home. The very first one, and I wanna make this practical, is to go back to number one and that's what can you do, and we've talked about this throughout the episode. It's showing up as the best version of you. What is one thing that you know you need to do today to start showing up as the best version of you? Because how you show up in, in your house establishes the environment around you, the environment of your home.


Ha there's something about the, if you watch cable news 24 7 in your home, or it's on all the time, a spirit of fear will live in your home because that's what comes out of the news channels, you know? Right. If we are, um, and so for me, like when, when Micah, our, our youngest was a baby, like if I'm waking up when he's waking up, I tend to start my day differently than if I get up an hour ahead of him, have a workout, do some quiet time, sit with the, sit with the Lord. I, I I, I show up when, when my wife comes downstairs, when my other kids come downstairs, I'm way more engaged than if I feel like I've started my day from behind. So my first, a number of years ago was to say, I'm, regardless of what time I go to bed, I'm waking up at five 30 in the morning and I'm gonna do a workout and I'm gonna spend time reading the Bible and that's what I'm gonna do.


And so I just made that decision. Yeah. Every day. That was the one decision for me to start showing up differently. And now that's become a habit. I do it all the time. So now my decision for showing up as a better version of me consistently changes over time. But, you know, again, the, the, the last version of that for me was to turn my phone into a dummy phone. I mean, that was, I know I'll show up better if I go to that level. And so, but again, this isn't cold Turkey. This like start where start with where, you know, yeah. You're supposed to start and you know, deep down that one thing you need to do to get to that next level. And, and I just would encourage you to start there.

Joey Odom (42:25):

I'll tell you to start a little bit sooner than that. You need to buy famous at home. Um, that's, I'll I'll make the plug for you. That's, that's what people need to do. That's where you start, go, go. Uh, go start with the book. I, the, the, I couldn't agree more with you on that. We're the atmosphere. We underestimate the atmosphere. Um, I said to my, I asked my kids one <laugh> one time, and this is probably like four years ago, so my daughter was probably nine. And so we were driving to school and I had just very, I'd gotten onto her the night before, but it wasn't aggressive. And I said, my wife, who's hilarious, she's five feet tall, you know, Italian like, you know, firey, she can fire, she can as she can be as you can hear me guarding my words so I don't get yelled at when I get home <laugh>.


But she said, she said, you know, she'll jump on him like she'll, like she'll, you know, jump all over 'em and get on their case. And I say something very like, not even that harsh and it just crumbles my kids. Right. And, and so I was driving to, we're driving school and I asked my daughter Gianna, I was like, gee, why is it, why is it that mom can yell and you laugh and then I say something just little and you, you know, it, it it changes you. And she says, well you're, and there's a nine year old. She goes, well your words just have more weight. And I thought, oh bro, wow. Like that's the atmosphere. Like I can, I can attest to what you're saying, the atmosphere that we bring in, we underestimate the atmosphere that we create just with a, just with how we are, how we act, what our moon, what our attitude is. It's, it's transformational right there.

Josh Straub (43:49):

Yeah. That, that atmosphere component is amazing. And I'll, I'll say this to you too. This is fun. You were talking about competition earlier. Uh, I just gotta give this shout out here for you as well, uh, cuz you're so kind and generous about Famous at home. But you know, with ro I love the com competition that you've created between Kristy and like between me and Kristy because we're always fighting for who has our phone in the box, uh, the longest each day. Love it. And so thank you for that cuz it's actually been helpful for, for our marriage. It, it's, it's awesome for her because she doesn't feel like she can go to the extreme that I did because she's doing a lot of our finances. She's also, you know, doing a lot of the groceries and things like that. And so she, she keeps a lot of those things on her phone and, and as a mom who's balancing all these things, she's, she has a very difficult time. She has to have her phone near her to be able to do stuff when she gets of course the free moments to do it. Yeah. And I just wanna make sure that whoever's listening, if you're a mom listening, like there's zero shame or condemnation for like, my wife has to do those things and, and so the ro has been a huge for her, um, in that regard. So, so thank you for, for it. Yeah. And um, well absolutely cause it, it's been huge for our family.

Joey Odom (44:59):

I love that and I appreciate that very much. I didn't prep you for this question. I always forget to prep people for this question, so I apologize. You're gonna have to go off the cuff. So what you're about to hear listeners some brilliance from Josh. Josh Straub. Oh geez. Hell no. So the RO podcast is all about, is all conversations with people who strive to li live intentionally. So I'd like to hear from you, what is that word or that concept? What does intentionality mean to you?

Josh Straub (45:23):

Oh, you didn't prep me.

Joey Odom (45:27):

I didn't, I know. Apologies.

Josh Straub (45:29):

You know, um, I'm gonna give you something that's at the forefront of my mind right now. And it comes outta Proverbs chapter four. And I was praying yesterday and the Lord gave me Proverbs chapter four, where it says, guard your heart for it as the wellspring of life. But I felt like the Lord was saying, go to the message version and read the message version. And I don't have it in front of me right now, but I went to the message version and in it, it tells you to keep your path straight and basically to, to not look to the right or to the left. And it says avoid sideshow distractions. And that words that phrase, sideshow distractions, just popped off the page at me and I was like, oh, wow. Like, and so when I think of intentionality, I think of guarding my heart to stay focused on what is right in front of me and what my priorities are in that moment.


And, and avoiding sideshow distractions. So when it comes to my family, yeah, I want to guard my family's heart. I wanna guard my heart and I wanna do everything I can as a father to guard my children's hearts. But in so doing, I wanna avoid, for me to be truly intentional, I have to avoid sideshow distractions. I have to avoid the emails that are coming in. I have to avoid the, the, the tendency to want to go check my, you know, walk into my office now because I can't check it on my phone. Maybe walk into my office during an evening and just see if the email, what the emails are, are show like, yeah, I have to avoid the sideshow distractions. And I think that's what intentionality comes down to is really, it's a part, it's, it's a part of guarding our heart, cuz that's where we really live out of is what, what the Bible says. And then being able to stay focused on the path with what God has put right in front of us. And that first thing that he's put in front of us to shepherd is our kids. And I think that's the, to me, that's what intentionality looks like.

Joey Odom (47:20):

Dude. That is, that's hot fire. That's off the cuff too. That's good stuff.

Josh Straub (47:24):

That's, that's fresh from yesterday's prayer time. So <laugh>

Joey Odom (47:27):

<laugh>, I love that. It's so good. Um, I'm gonna put you on the spot again. Can we give away if we'll buy them, but can we give away a few autographed copies of a famous at home to our listener? Would that be alright? Oh, you can absolutely get some of that. I'd love to do that. All right. We'll have, we'll be honored. We'll have some when we post, well, we'll, we'll post, when we post it on socials. We'll, we'll figure, we'll, we'll tell the way to do that. Um, Josh, where can people go? Obviously again, the book is famous at home, you can find it anywhere books are sold. What's your website, your socials? Um, if people are looking to, to connect more with you, how would they do that?

Josh Straub (47:55):

Yeah, famous@home.com and you can find us on Famous at home, uh, on Facebook and Instagram. So that's, yeah. Famous at home. That's, that's where to go.

Joey Odom (48:05):

That's awesome, Josh. Thank you, brother. I really appreciate your wisdom, your time, your insight. This is really real awesome stuff that I'm gonna go again. My first thing I'm gonna do after this, I'm gonna go take email off my phone. So when your Love it disciple, uh, continues on here.

Josh Straub (48:17):

I love it. Hey, thank you so much brother much Joey, I appreciate it. Uh, appreciate you having me on. It means a lot.

Joey Odom (48:24):

Dr. Josh Straub, ladies and gentlemen. He is famous at home and I gotta be honest, I'm, I'm his disciple, so he's a little famous to me as well. What a great episode. What clarity he has when he talks about parenting, about relationships. Um, one thing I love, this stood out to me and I like to give a little highlight of what stands stands out to me. He talked about in parenting says Truth Without Grace will always come across as condemnation. That was really, really helpful for me. I needed to hear that. That was really, really important to me. We are gonna give away several copies of Famous at Home autographed copies from Josh. So check out our socials, you'll see how you do that. And by the way, lemme just ask a favor, if you wouldn't mind giving us a rating out on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, wherever it is that you listen to podcasts, we would love that. I'd prefer they be five stars. Please, that would be great. Um, but if you're liking what you're hearing, we'd love that. We appreciate that. And, uh, once again, thank you so much for joining us here on this week's edition of The Aro Podcast with Josh Straub. Make sure to go pick up his book, famous at Home. We'll see you next time. The Aro Podcast is produced and edited by the team at Palm Tree Pod co. Special thanks to Emily Miles for video and digital support and to our executive producer, Aro's own, Katelyn Farley.