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Engaging Others With Love, Kindness and Service

Air Date 07/05/2017

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In a discussion centered around her book Listen, Love, Repeat, Karen Ehman offers inspiration and practical advice for stepping out of our comfort zone to bless others, particularly those who are lonely, sick or hard to love. 

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Episode Transcript

Opening:

Teaser:

Mrs. Karen Ehman: For Jesus often real ministry was the person He found standing in front of Him. And so, sometimes we need to ask ourselves, who is that for me today? Is it a toddler who’s asking me to fill their sippy cup for the 10th time that day? Is it my neighbor who’s grieving? Is it my co-worker? Who’s standing in front of me, not worrying about the thing, the great grand thing I’m on my way to do, but knowing when God’s kinda tapping me on the heart saying, “Stop; notice this person. Especially notice that person who least expects to be seen.” That’s what Jesus did.

End of Teaser

John Fuller: That’s Karen Ehman and she has more insights about how you can better love God and love people on today’s “Focus on the Family.” Your host is Focus president and author, Jim Daly.

Jim Daly: John, kindness, when it’s received, is rarely forgotten by that person. It’s one of the great secrets of loving your neighbor. Very few people, I’ve never met anybody that’s been harassed into the kingdom of God. You know, I’ll say it in an audience. Has anybody been beaten or verbally harassed into the kingdom of God? Never once has a hand gone up. You know, those Christians treated me so poorly I became one of them. It’s usually unusual love and kindness that opens a crusty heart to the possibility that God is.

And today we’re gonna expand on that and talk about Listen, Love and Repeat, a great book by one of our favorite guests, Karen Ehman. And let’s set it up with 1 John 4:12. “If we love one another, God abides in us and His love is perfected in us.” And that should be the cry of each of our hearts, that God’s love would abide in us and that others would come into relationship with God because of the love they experience from us, which is from the Father.

John: Yeah and Karen Ehman works for Proverbs 31 Ministries. She has three adult children and has written a number of books. Jim, you mentioned the title of the Listen, Love and Repeat. The subtitle is Other-Centered Living in a Self-Centered World and it’s good to have Karen back.

Body:

Jim: Karen, welcome!

Karen: Thanks for havin’ me.

Jim: I always love [having you]. You’ve got such a big smile and just you know, great, great outlook on life. Speak to this issue of the way love seems to be growing cold in the culture. It seems like there’s a lot of influences working against our spirit, the Spirit of God in us, to show love to other people, especially people we disagree with. Why?

Karen: I sometimes wonder if it’s always been that way, but we just have better ways of documenting it now with social media. You know, we sling our unsolicited opinions and it’s not just our neighbor across the picket fence that hears us swing our unsolicited opinion about something or be snarky about something.

Everyoneon our Facebook wall sees it. Everyone on our Twitter or wherever, sees it and it grows. People jump on and they give their unsolicited two-cents’ worth and now we’re in an all-out war, slinging hate, rather than being kind and loving to other people.

Jim: You talk about a story in the book, Listen, Love, Repeat about your mom and what she taught you in this regard. What did your mom teach you about love?

Karen: My mom and I are extremely opposite personalities. She’s very quiet and shy and hangs in the background and I’m just always yakking a mile a minute, you know. But one thing I saw in her life that I wanted to emulate was just the way that she put other people first. You can’t get her to talk about herself. She just wants to know about you and what’s going on with you. And she had an uncanny ability to just really listen to people and then respond with something that was kind, some little piece of information she’d tucked away, like maybe it was just their favorite candy bar or somethin’. And her co-worker was havin’ a bad day, guess what? That favorite candy bar was left with a cute little note on their desk, you know. She just always was on the lookout for how she could make someone else’s day better.

Jim: She was thoughtful.

Karen: She was very thoughtful and I remember one time in middle school going to her, because I don’t know, I was upset about something probably.

Jim: It’s middle school.

Karen: Yeah, it’s middle school. (Laughter) There’s something to be upset about every day. I probably didn’t get invited to a slumber party of something. And I was all down on my life and I’ll never forget what she said to me. She said, “You know, whenever you think your life is just not going well and you’re depressed about something, remember this. There’s always someone out there who has it worse off than you. Go find that person and make their day. And somehow, I’m promising you, honey, it’ll make yours, as well.

And I found my mom, who was a single mom livin’ on a budget so tight it squeaked, she never seemed down on her life. She was always so other-centered and thinking about how she could make someone else’s day, that she just seemed to be very content with her life.

Jim: That’s amazing. In fact, in the book you talk about heart drops and that was probably the beginning of the formulation of that. Expand on the definition of “heart drops” and tell our listeners what you meant.

Karen: Yeah, something my mom was doing that I never had a name for it and so, I was in a small group with my husband and our group leader, Michael, talked about hearing a “heart drop.” And a heart drop is a way of kinda listening between the lines when someone’s saying something, ‘cause they’re saying something without saying it.

Maybe you’re talking about some medical tests that you have next Thursday and I sense a little bit of concern in your voice. Well, I can remember that. I can pull out my note pad on my phone or write something down in my planner that says, “Hey, you know, there [are] these tests happening next Thursday. Maybe I should text you that morning and say, ‘Hey, I’m praying for you.’” Or call that night and say, “How did it go?” you know, kinda listening between the lines.

But also just recording seemingly insignificant pieces of information about someone and just asking God to bring that back to your mind in the future sometime when you might want to use it to encourage them.

I’ll give you an example. I have a friend who sent her only child off to college and I knew she was gonna have a hard day that day that the school bus pulled up for high school and her son had been dropped off the night before about an hour and a half away at college.

And I had been with her probably six months before that when she gave her very high-maintenance coffee order (Laughter) at the coffee house. And I’d gone in and I put it in my phone. So, that morning I showed up when her child was gone to school, with her favorite coffee drink and a box of Kleenex. And I said, “I’m here for you. If you want to cry, you can cry on my shoulder.” And I handed her the drink and she said, “Oh, what did you bring me? A mocha?” And I said, “No, I brought you a …” and I rattled off her high-maintenance coffee order.

Jim: A hundred and two degree.

Karen: (Laughing)

Jim: No.

Karen: Extra rib, double cup, blah, blah, this whole thing. And she said, “How did you know?” And I said, “Because silly, I wrote it down the last time we were together.” So, just listening for those little emotions in people’s voices or those seemingly insignificant pieces of information and then later on, doing something to bless them.

Jim: Wow, how amazing that would be in marriages for each of us as spouses to be that attuned to the little things between the lines.

Karen: Uh-hm.

Jim: I don’t think I always do it like I should, so that’s kinda of convicting, Karen. (Laughing) But that’s a wonderful thing. Throughout Scripture, Jesus modeled never being too busy for others. I think you can see that clearly. He moved through the crowds and people grabbed at Him. He healed people. He came away to what seems to be to recharge Himself and to pray and to do those things, but He seemed available. How did you relate that to our days today? How do we become available in the hectic busy life that we all have today?

Karen: Yeah, it’s interesting when you read through the gospel accounts. Often Jesus was on His way to do something big and grand (Laughter), but He would stop and take time to notice just one simple person, whether it was the woman with the issue of blood who needed healing. But He was on His way to do this miracle, you know.

Jim: He felt her [presence].

Karen: But He stopped. Yeah, He felt her. He stopped. He noticed her. I heard it said once and I wish I could remember who said it, because it’s been a couple decades ago now, but I have never forgotten.

Jim: Well, that means you said it. (Laughter)

Karen: No, I didn’t, (Laughter) but I was listening to a preacher on the radio--I wish I could remember who--and he said this, that for Jesus often real ministry was the person He found standing in front of Him.

Jim: Wow.

Karen: And so, sometimes we need to ask ourselves, who is that for me today? Is it a toddler who’s asking me to fill their sippy cup for the 10th time that day? Is it my neighbor who’s grieving? Is it my co-worker who I feel like maybe something’s not right with them and they’re upset about something? Who’s standing in front of me, not worrying about the thing, the great grand thing I’m on my way to do, but knowing when God’s kinda tapping me on the heart saying, “Stop; notice this person. Especially notice that person who least expects to be seen.” That’s what Jesus did.

Jim: Hey, in your resource, Listen, Love, Repeat, I’m always looking as I read through the books and the material for profound questions. And you remind people of the two reasons that they’re here on earth. When you see that written down, you’re going, okay, what are they? ‘Cause I want to know are they the two I would agree with? And tell us what those are from your perspective.

Karen: The woman who first told me about Jesus was the one who said this to me. She said, “Karen, there are so many things you can do while you’re here on earth and there are a lot of really great things, very admirable things you can aspire to do. But when it all boils down, there are two reasons we’re here on earth—to have a relationship with God, who offers us a place in heaven and to take as many people as we can with us, to tell them about the gospel, so that they, too, can enjoy God forever in heaven.

That’s what it all boils down to. When you are dead and gone, nothing else really matters. In eternity it doesn’t matter what kind of house you had or what kind of car you drove or how many accolades you racked up for yourself in your profession. Really none of that matters anymore in eternity. All that matters is your relationship with God and your relationship with others as you point them to have a relationship with God.

Jim: You know, one of the five pillars we have here at Focus is that pillar of evangelism and we need to remind people that if you don’t know the Lord and there are many that listen to “Focus on the Family” that don’t know the Lord. They like good marriage and parenting advice, but if you don’t have a relationship with Jesus, what Karen is saying there is so true. It’s frivolous. I mean, life is about knowing God and then walking with Him in this life so that you can help others and you can enjoy a fruitful existence.

If you’re not there, call us. You know, we have counselors. We have resources to help walk you through what a decision for Jesus means. And we would want to start right there. It’s the building block for everything you’re trying to do right with your family, your marriage, your parenting. So, call us or contact us if you’re in that spot. You don’t know the Lord, you don’t know what language we’re speaking right now, let us introduce you to Him.

John: Yeah, our number is 800-A-FAMILY; 800-232-6459. Online you can find us at www.focusonthefamily.com/radio.

Jim: Karen, also in the book there were some heavy emotions that you expressed. One is when you had a miscarriage and a friend of yours did something that meant so much to you. What happened?

Karen: I got a lot of phone calls and cards and well-wishes from people, hoping, you know, that I would get through this tough time. But I had a friend who just showed up at my door with a box of Kleenex and some Godiva chocolate, I think it was and just sat and cried with me and said, “I know exactly how you feel. I lost a baby, too.”

Jim: Yeah.

Karen: And it was just that “me, too” moment, where true friendship born in the moment when someone else says, “Me, too.” I think C.S. Lewis maybe said that. I might be quoting that wrong. But she had one of those “me, too” moments with me and she just sat and let me talk and let me cry. She didn’t try to fix it. She didn’t try to say, “Oh, well, you know, probably something was gonna wrong with the baby anyway. It’s a blessing that …” you know, some of these things that people said where they thought they were helping me, but they weren’t.

John: Yeah, well-intentioned, but way off the mark.

Karen: Yeah, very well-intentioned, but it hurt my heart. I didn’t want to hear, you know, why I just suddenly was supposed to be happy about this, ‘cause I was stuck in my sorrow. And she just sat with me in the pain, didn’t say a whole lot, other than, you know, this is awful and I know how it feels because I was there, too and I just want to be with you.

Jim: Karen, so often as human beings, especially in the modern culture, “How’re you doin’?” “Doin’ great.” And their marriage is fallin’ apart. The point I want to make is, how do you develop a heart, a skill-set, whatever you want to call it, to be able to sit with somebody who’s grieving, ‘cause it’s kind of uncomfortable. You don’t necessarily know what to say. You don’t want to say the wrong thing. You can tie yourself up into knots to where you say, “It’s just easier not to go.”

Karen: Uh-hm.

Jim: What advice do you have to be a comforter?

Karen: I think we just have to be very honest with that person and say, “I don’t know what to say. I don’t know what do to. I just know I love you and this is not good what has happened. I hurt for you. My heart just can’t stop thinking about this tragedy you’ve gone through, this loss you’ve suffered. But I don’t know like all the right slick things to say. I just want you to know, I love you and I not only want to know what you need, what can I do for you? But just go ahead and do some things. You know, if you know that they have a child that still needs to go to their T-ball game, but they just lost their parent and they’re grieving, just say, “Hey, and I want to let you know, the next two weeks, I’m on T-ball schedule. I’m taking your child to T-ball.”

Jim: You know, it’s an important thing to capture and for me, you know, I had a hard life growin’ up as [an] orphan kid and all that kinda stuff. And one of the failures I can have is kinda the “pick up yourself by your boot straps” attitude. So, I don’t always convey enough heart, you know, ‘cause I’m like, hey, you can get through it. I got through it. It sounds horrible, but you can default to that if you came up that way and you had a rough life. It’s like, come on; you can do it. I know you can do it.

I remember one time talking to Jean and she was suffering through something with her family and I … I think I even may have said that. I just said, “Come on; we gotta move forward.” And she just looked at me in a tender way and just said, “Jim, not everybody can pick themselves up by their boot straps and go and I’m one of those kind of people.” And it hit me like a brick.

Karen: Wow.

Jim: And I mean, as I think it was the first time I realized not everybody’s like that and you gotta develop a sensitivity. And you’re talking about being wired for relationship. That’s the amazing thing here, as you describe what you’re uncovering in Listen, Love and Repeat, is how God has wired our heart for people if we move into it, not away from people. He demonstrated it. He wanted us to move toward people and it’s one of the signs of a healthy believer, that you’re willing to be engaged with people in their grief.

Karen: Uh-hm, life’s messy. We want to grow spiritually, but sometimes we just want that to be just us and God alone, you know. Give me my Bible and my journal and I’m gonna grow spiritually.

Jim: And private.

Karen: Yeah and I’m just gonna be this giant of the faith, because I just know all the right Bible verses and I just can quote them to you. But really I’ve seen the most growth in my walk with the Lord as that’s been fleshed out in my relationship with others, whether it’s family members, friends, you know, the grumpy neighbor who I don’t really want to have a relationship with, but God’s calling me to continue. Hey, when you’re makin’ banana bread for the other neighbors, don’t forget Mr. Grumpy Pants. That’s how I’ll refer to him.

Jim: That’s a true believer (Laughing) who can do that.

Karen: Yeah and (Laughter) there you go.

Jim: God bless you.

Karen: But really to see that it’s about relationships when we talk about spiritual growth. Our walk with God includes walking alongside with others who are having a difficult time, encouraging the timid and the weak, learning from others, who you know, can do something better than we can and being humble to learn and to take their advice. All of these relationships that are kind of our horizontal relationship here on earth can help us grow in our vertical relationship with God.

Jim: Well, and that’s a great word picture to put in our hearts and our minds. You share how giving our time and you kinda alluded to that a moment ago, giving of our time is a great gift for people. It’s probably the possession that is the most precious if you are sitting or laying [sic] on your death bed at 85, 90 looking back. Time is all of a sudden worth far more than gold or riches. It’s time.

And you have a story of a friend attending your father-in-law’s funeral that caught your heart. What happened?

Karen: My father-in-law passed away. He was from a town about 2 ½, three hours from me, so I didn’t know a lot of people in his town. There were some that I knew, but for the most part as I stood at the funeral home with my husband and his siblings and his mom, who were all grieving, I didn’t know many people there. I was just trying to my thing as a daughter-in-law of the man that was lying in the casket.

And all of a sudden, I saw a familiar face walk in and it was my friend, Mary. And she was from several hours and two states away and she had taken the time, made sure her three kids were cared for. Her husband helped with this, too and she had made the time to drive all the way there to be with me, when she could’ve easily just sent a card and it’s great to send a card, to have a phone call, all that, but to really carve out an entire day to just come there and give me a hug and say, “I know you’re gonna miss him, too,” ‘cause I was really close to him, it means something to me. It was just so out of the ordinary, because I was trying to be strong for my family I saw grieving, my extended family on my husband’s side.

But I was grieving, too, ‘cause boy, I’m gonna miss his grilled chicken. He was great at grillin’ (Laughter) out chicken. He was great at makin’ me feel like I was one of his daughters, even though I was just his daughter-in-law. And seeing her face and knowing how much time that cost her and organizational skill to get it all planned out and to lose a whole day of her life just to come and drive. It was probably six or seven-hour round trip for her to do that, but she did.

Jim: I mean, it meant a lot to you.

Karen: It did.

Jim: Yeah.

Karen: It did.

Jim: Sometimes I underestimate the impact of presence might mean to somebody. So you say, “Well, it won’t be that. They won’t miss us. I mean, who are we to them? We’re not family.” How do you override that rationalization to do the right thing?

Karen: I just think back to in my life the people that have actually physically paused their life to do something for me, rather than just send a card or a gift card. I mean, those things are great, but they’re kinda easy to do.

But the things that mean the most to me is when somebody really takes time to think through either some clever gift they’re giving me for my birthday or just a way to come and be present with me and when I am going through something.

I think back of how much that meant to me and it kinda snaps my brain into attention to realize, that’s gonna mean that much more, you know, to this person I’m trying to reach out to. Don’t take the easy way out all the time and just give the phone call or the text message. Sometimes I need to put my own agenda on hold to go and spend time with that person because I’m remembering how much it meant to me when someone did that to me.

Jim and John: Uh-hm.

John: Well, apart from praying, Karen, how can we prioritize maybe some first steps to really living out this? And I love the principle that your mom helped you start to develop here, which is, don’t just think about somebody that needs something; do something for that person. But I’m busy. I got so much goin’ on and I know so many people. How do I get to a point of saying, there’s the difference maker for that person. That’s where I start.

Karen: I do think it starts with praying, that God will tap you on the heart when there’s someone you’re supposed to notice. So, you pray that. Then you gotta record it well. You’ve gotta, you know, write down your friend’s having a medical test next week or so and so’s high-maintenance coffee drink or whatever. Just live; I call it “living alert.” Just really living alert and not trying to frantically write everything down you see every day, but just knowing when God’s saying, that person over there, that thing they just said, write it down. Remember it and then asking Him to bring that to your attention later.

And sometimes, you know, I was talking about my friend, Mary. I call her my “Freaky Friend,” ‘cause my kids say this, because sometimes something will happen and I’m just so upset. I’m now throwing myself on my bed and crying for 45 minutes and the phone will ring and it will be Mary and she will say, “I’ve had you on my heart for the last 45 minutes. What’s going on?”

Jim: Wow.

Karen: She’s like my “freaky friend,” but she has (Laughter) asked Jesus, “Please help me to walk so closely with You that I know when You’re tapping me on the heart and saying, ‘so and so might be havin’ a bad day.’”

So, just asking Him and He’s faithful. He’ll do it. It never fails. Now I guess maybe sometimes I’m a little bit of a freaky friend to people, ‘cause I just had this happen the other day where I called someone out of the blue I probably hadn’t talked to for three years. And I said, “I cannot stop thinking about you for the last week.” And I found out that her husband had an affair and he’s divorcing her. And I knew nothing about it. There [were] no clues on social media or anything.

Jim: It’s just the Holy Spirit nudge.

Karen: It’s just the Holy Spirit nudge, yes, doin’ that, that work or that task, just little menial, not even task. Doing that little activity of inviting God to tap you on the heart to make you notice, to help bring people to your mind and then asking Him also to help you carve out time to do that by not being too over-stretched in your schedule and by just taking those little pockets of time. Maybe you’re just sitting in the waiting room or something and you think, you know, so and so’s been on my heart. I’m gonna text ‘em while I’m sitting here.

Jim: That’s like the mustard seed becoming the big tree right, that—

Karen: Yes.

Jim: --little faith impacting someone’s life in such a profound way. It doesn’t always end in a positive way. You had a story about a neighbor, I think nine doors down. What happened in that situation? What did you learn from it?

Karen: I had moved into a new neighborhood. My husband and I were tryin’ to get to know some of the neighbors and there was one woman who I saw often outside either watering her flowers or rollin’ her trash can to the curb. And I kept feeling like when I was on my walk, you know, with my Jesus’ music blaring in my iPod in my earphones.

I kept feeling like God was saying, “Hey, you should stop and get to know her.” But I had stuff to do. I’m busy. I got kids. You know, I just needed to get goin’. And I probably ignored that nudge a half a dozen times or more. And then one day I was in town getting groceries or something and I came back to my neighborhood and I saw that there were sirens and a fire engine. And at first I panicked, ‘cause my 12-year-old was home alone and I thought, uh-oh, what did he burn? (Laughing) He probably burnt the house down.

Jim: Right, that’s a good mom response.

Karen: Yeah, but when I got in the neighborhood, I saw that it was at this neighbor’s nine doors down. And I thought, well, maybe there’d been like a false alarm, ‘cause I didn’t see any flames coming or anything. Well, I realized just a few hours later when another neighbor called me to tell me what happened, that she had taken her own life. She had put the garage door down, turned the car on and sat in the car, decided life wasn’t worth living anymore.

And I can’t beat myself up for that and think, oh, if I’d only stopped I could’ve saved her from killing herself, but it did make me think, you know, what if? Like, what if? ‘Cause we were starting a neighborhood Bible study at that time and I could’ve invited her. I could’ve, you know, tried to introduce her to God, you know. And it’s awful to get to know your neighbors through the tears of her relatives at a memorial service and that’s how I got to know her, by talking to her children.

Jim: What a statement and that’s an amazing statement you just made.

Karen: Yeah, so pay attention to those nudges.

Jim: A practical application, which I found very helpful. You called it the “necessary people.” It’s a beautiful way to recognize right in front of you somebody who’s doing something that might need … should get a little recognition from you. Describe it.

Karen: Necessary people are those people who help us get life done. They bring us our mail. They make our high-maintenance coffee order. They teach our children. They bag our groceries. They do our dry cleaning. They, you know, preach the sermon on Sunday. They’re all necessary to us, to help us get our life done.

So, I like to ask myself, you know, what can I do for those people to show them God’s love? You know, the old Golden Rule: do unto others as you would have them do unto you? Well, I’ll think, if I were a mail carrier, what would I want done to me? Maybe on a hot day, I might want a nice icy cold glass of lemonade given to me when I bring the mail to somebody on my route.

Jim: Definitely.

Karen: Yeah and so, just the little simple ways that you can thank them for the job they do for you all year long. And I’m not just talkin’ about at Christmas, giving fruitcake to the mail carrier or the teachers or whatever.

Jim: Please, please, not a fruitcake.

Karen: I’m sorry. You haven’t had my fruitcake. You have not had had my fruitcake. (Laughter)

Jim: I think there’s only one—

Karen: I could fix it.

Jim: --and it just gets passed from one household to the next.

John: You know what’s gonna happen. She’s gonna write down on her phone, “Jim wants a fruitcake.”

Jim: No!

Karen: Oh, yes, I am. Heard that, “Jim wants fruitcake.

Jim: No, I would never look a fruitcake in the mouth. (Laughter) But I might give it to you, John, But your family actually did something for one of those “necessary” people in your life, Mr. Brown I think his name was and he was your mailman.

Karen: Yeah, we actually threw a Mr. Brown Day, me and (Laughter) all my little kids. We jumped out.

John: What did that look like?

Karen: We threw confetti.

Jim: At the mailbox?

Karen: Yeah, when we came up and we said, “Surprise. It’s Mr. Brown, best mailman in town. Today is officially Mr. Brown Day.” And our little kids had gotten like a squirt gun for him to ward off the dogs and we made him cookies and had lemonade and it was cute. And he walked on his way and I didn’t think too much about it.

But you know what? About a week later I heard the pit-pat, pit-pat of his feet comin’ up the walk and I said, “Hello, Mr. Brown, how are you today?” And I’ll never forget it. It was a sunny day. He had on sunglasses. He took off his sunglasses. He kind dropped his head for a minute, shook his head and then he looked up at me, visibly choked up. And he said, “Do you know what? I have been a mailman on this street for 33 years and no one’s ever done anything like what your family did for me. Thank you for Mr. Brown Day.”

Jim: Wow.

Karen: And it’s not that our family is all that great. It took us eight years to think of the idea, but he said, “You know, people remember me at Christmas, but no one ever stopped their life on a random Tuesday afternoon and said, ‘Thank you for faithfully serving our family all year long.’”

Jim: Well, Karen that is a perfect place for us to end today. What a wonderful example of things that you can do to express the love of God in people’s lives. And if we just slowed down for a minute, you can see it right in front of you. And I love that admonition that you have given us in your book, Listen, Love, Repeat, how to love those around you. And there [are] no excuses. You don’t want to stand in front of the throne of the Lord and say, “Well, I’ve got a couple excuses why I didn’t do that.” You took care of Mr. Brown and I think it makes God smile. This has been great. Thanks for bein’ with us.

Karen: My pleasure.

Closing:

John: Well, we hope the conversation has prompted you to slow down and to prayerfully consider how the day can be different. Certainly Karen’s book can be a great prompt for you. It’s full of stories and some really wonderful principles, Listen, Love, Repeat: Other-Centered Living in a Self-Centered World. We’ve got that a and a CD or a download of our conversation today at www.focusonthefmaily.com/radioor call 1-800, the letter A and the word FAMILY and we’ll send those resources to you.

And let me ask you to get that book directly from us, because when you purchase from our new online store, every dollar you spend beyond the cost of the resource goes directly back into family ministry and the kind of spiritual strengthening conversations that we’ve had for you today. That’s www.focusonthefamily.com/radio.

And in fact, we believe so strongly in Karen’s book that when you make a generous contribution of any amount today to Focus on the Family, we’ll send a complimentary copy of the book to you as our way of saying thank you for joining our support team. Once again, 800-A-FAMILY or www.focusonthefamily.com/radio.

Thanks for listening. Next time you’ll hear from Dr. David Clarke about the importance of connecting with your spouse through conversation.

Excerpt:

Dr. David Clarke: You’ve gotta make time to talk. If you don’t have time to talk, you’re not going to talk. So, at least three days a week I want couples to have 30-minute couple talk times.

End of Excerpt

John: I’m John Fuller and on behalf of Focus president, Jim Daly and the entire team, thanks for listening. Join us again next time, as we once again, help you and your family thrive in Christ.

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Guest

Karen Ehman

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Karen Ehman is a Proverbs 31 Ministries speaker and a New York Times best-selling author whose books include Keep It Shut, Let. It. Go. and Listen, Love, Repeat. She has been a guest on national TV and radio programs, and she writes for Encouragement for Today online devotions. Karen and her husband, Todd, reside in Michigan and have three children. Learn more about Karen by visiting her website, www.karenehman.com.