4 Habits Series

You’ll never regret investing in joy!

Our series will help you create habits that will bring joy-filled connections.

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Meet the authors

Dr. Marcus Warner

Dr. Marcus Warner has served as president of Deeper Walk International since 2006. Marcus earned three degrees from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School – M.Div., Th.M. Old Testament, and D.Min. He has written numerous books and spoken for both ministry and corporate groups across the country and around the world. A Bible teacher at heart, Marcus has taught Old Testament and Theology at the junior high, high school, college, and seminary levels. His passion is taking complex topics and making them practical and accessible for everyone.

For over 25 years THRIVEtoday president Chris Coursey has been using the Life Model to work with families, communities and individuals with severe trauma. Learning brain science, creating brain-based exercises and working with Dr. Jim Wilder has brought clarity to effectively serve and equip people who are on a journey of growth and recovery. 

Chris is passionate about giving support to counselors and teaching people how relational skills can be applied to the important work of walking with people so they reach their God-given potential. Whether you are a licensed counselor, coach, pastor, or lay minister,  there are exciting implications for how we can more effectively use relational brain skills to help people heal, mature and grow.

Chris M. Coursey


What separates happy marriages from miserable ones?

Surprisingly, it’s not healthy communication. It’s not conflict resolution skills. It’s actually the size of the marriage’s joy gap.

Joy Gap /joi gap/ (n.) – 1. The length of time between moments of shared joy

When the joy gap gets bigger, problems are more likely to overwhelm you, resentment creeps in, and you start to feel distant and alone in your marriage. When the joy gap is smaller, you regularly feel connected and happy, problems feel manageable, and your marriage becomes a reliable source of joy. But how do you ensure that you’re experiencing joy regularly?

Marcus Warner and Chris Coursey have studied relationships (and neuroscience) and discovered four habits that keep joy regular and problems small. Some couples do them naturally, but anyone can learn. That’s why each chapter includes 15-minute exercises that boost joy and re-train your brain to make joy your default setting. You’ll learn new skills including how to:

    • return to joy more quickly after disconnection
    • create stronger bonds and elongate times of happiness
    • boost your enjoyment of physical and emotional intimacy


Find out what your marriage looks like after a little work and a whole lot of joy.

A simple model for developing your child’s maturing – at every stage

What moves kids from fear-filled to joy-filled?

There’s no question that parenting is hard. Yet raising kids to become happy, confident, and productive adults is doable – not just by super-parents, but by anyone willing to apply some key principles. It’s as simple as ABCD. When you get attuned to your child, help them bounce back, correct them with care, and help them build life disciplines, they’ll be on the way to the mature adulthood that every parent has in mind.

Marcus Warner and Chris Coursey have spent years studying human relationships. Now they offer parenting principles derived from the way our brains are hardwired. Joy isn’t some abstract concept, but a neurochemical reality that arises from the choices we make. Learn to make the parenting decisions that bring joy to yourself – the essential first step – and then to those young lives in your hands. You’ll never regret investing in joy! 


Featured on video, podcasts, reading plans and magazines, here are online features you can explore for free!

  • Focus on the Family
  • YouVersion reading plan
  • Cosmopolitan Magazine
  • Growing Home Together podcast
  • FamilyLife podcast
  • Moody Radio
  • IM Between podcast
Available wherever you get your audiobooks!


Featured on video, podcasts, and reading plans, here are online features you can explore for free!

  • Focus on the Family
  • YouVersion reading plan
  • Chris Fabry Live podcast
  • 5 Love Languages podcast
  • FamilyLife podcast
  • Moody Radio
  • Thriving Mamas blog
The audiobook is available wherever you get your audiobooks!
Listen to the first chapter for free here:

Our friends at Thriving Mamas wrote a 12-post series on their blog covering the ABCDs of parenting as laid out in the ‘4 Habits of Raising Joy-Filled Kids’ book. The authors shared their insights into each ‘letter’ with a post for each stage of parenting: infants | elementary-age | teens