Erin Smalley

Erin Smalley serves as a strategic marriage spokesperson for Focus on the Family’s marriage ministry, where she develops content for the marriage department.

Smalley is also an author and conference speaker. She presents with her husband, Dr. Greg Smalley, at marriage enrichment seminars where they guide couples in taking steps toward enjoying deeply satisfying marriages. She also speaks to women on faith, family and the importance of healthy friendships.

Before starting at Focus in 2011, Smalley served on staff at the Center for Relationship Enrichment at John Brown University. She also conducted marriage intensives with her husband and counseled women individually.

Smalley has published numerous articles for ParentLife, HomeLife and Marriage Partnership magazines. She has been a featured guest on Focus on the Family’s “Daily Broadcast” and Moody Radio’s “Midday Connection.”

Smalley’s first solo book, 10 Things a Husband Needs from His Wife, released in November 2017. She co-authored the books Grown-Up Girlfriends, Before You Plan Your Wedding… Plan Your Marriage, Ready to Wed, The Wholehearted Wife and Crazy Little Thing Called Marriage.

Smalley earned a bachelor’s degree in nursing at Grand Canyon University in Phoenix, Arizona. She worked as a labor and delivery nurse for eight years before going back to school for a master’s degree in clinical psychology at Evangel University in Springfield, Missouri.

Smalley loves being a biological and adoptive mom of four children: Taylor, Murphy, Garrison and Annie. In her free time, she enjoys exercising, reading, hanging out with her family and bargain shopping.

Find out more about Erin at erinsmalley.com.

Making Your Kitchen the Heart of Your New Marriage, Part 5

The newlywed years are filled with transitions, but having a mentor couple with experience can help you navigate through them. Greg and John share some of their favorite marriage advice for young couples.

Making your Kitchen the Heart of Your New Marriage, Part 4

Having fun dinnertime conversations can be a great way to bond with your spouse during the early years of marriage. Such moments are only possible though, if you develop strong communication skills with each other. John and Greg explain the difference that good pre-marital counseling can make for preparing a newlywed couple.

Making Your Kitchen the Heart of Your New Marriage, Part 3

Seeing your son or daughter get married can be one of the most joyous experiences of your life. But, it’s sure to affect your marriage as well. John and Greg share how you can be a blessing to a son-in-law or daughter-in-law.

Dealing With Anger in Your Marriage

Marriage provides motivation to learn how to manage anger, which often stems from other emotions: hurt, fear or frustration. Here are some healthy ways to deal with anger in your marriage.

marriage podcast

Making Your Kitchen the Heart of Your New Marriage, Part 2

Did you know that working together on something like cooking can improve your marriage? Featuring Erin Smalley and Laura Schupp. Find us online at focusonthefamily.com/marriagepodcast or call 1-800-A-FAMILY

marriage podcast

Making Your Kitchen the Heart of Your New Marriage, Part 1

Did you know that working together on something like cooking can improve your marriage? Featuring Erin Smalley and Laura Schupp. Find us online at focusonthefamily.com/marriagepodcast or call 1-800-A-FAMILY

marriage podcast

Becoming a Whole-Hearted Wife, Part 2

Your upbringing may be manifesting in your marriage in ways you don’t even notice. John and Greg talk about recognizing the signs and avoiding unhealthy patterns. Featuring Erin Smalley. Find us online at focusonthefamily.com/marriagepodcast or call 1-800-A-FAMILY.

marriage podcast

Becoming a Whole-Hearted Wife, Part 1

Your upbringing may be manifesting in your marriage in ways you don’t even notice. John and Greg talk about recognizing the signs and avoiding unhealthy patterns. Featuring Erin Smalley. Find us online at focusonthefamily.com/marriagepodcast or call 1-800-A-FAMILY.

Conversation Starters for Date Nights

The goal of a great marriage conversation is to affirm what your spouse is doing right, to exchange ideas and to offer suggestions for the future. Use these questions to get that process started.

Affirm Your Man

When my husband’s parenting doesn’t fit my expectations, I could nag or ridicule him, but I found a better way that doesn’t lead to negativity in our marriage. I focus on the things he does right.

How Do I Stay Married When My Friends Are Divorcing?

When a friend goes through divorce, you’re at a higher risk for divorce. But you’re not doomed to follow that trend. If you build and strengthen your marriage, you can make it stronger than ever.

The Husband Whisperer

Create a heart-to-heart connection, even when your man is reluctant.

Avoiding the Chore War

Our guests explain how couples can avoid conflict by learning to work together as a team to tackle household responsibilities.

Why Teammates Shouldn’t ‘Help’ Each Other

The house and children aren’t solely my responsibility. And the chaos isn’t entirely mine, either. My husband, Greg, is an equal partner with equal responsibility. He’s not simply “helping” me.

Are You Micro-Cheating on Your Spouse?

Husbands and wives get to choose where they place their attention. Taking time for a self-evaluation of misplaced affections can be key to continuing to build a healthy marriage relationship. 

We All Marry the Wrong Person

It’s easy to keep our character flaws covered up when we aren’t living in the most intimate covenant relationship on earth — marriage. But married life has a way of exposing us.

How to Have a Marriage That’s ‘Good Enough’

What could happen if couples embraced their marriage as being “good enough” —being satisfied with love and sharing a life-long friendship, where spouses treat each other with respect and kindness?

What if You Desire Sex More Than Your Husband Does?

Women who do not understand why their husband isn’t initiating sex can often personalize it and struggle emotionally.

Put a Spark in Your Marriage by Reigniting Your Friendship

Build your friendship with your spouse and you may be amazed at the romantic spark that is reignited when your husband or wife becomes your best friend.

How to Strengthen Your Marriage Through Doing the Dishes

Researchers found that it’s important for couples to share the load of doing the dishes. Here’s my takeaway: Women who had a husband who helped with washing dishes were happier in their marriage.

Does a Negative Body Image Affect Your Marriage?

A negative body image could mean that you see your body through a negative lens, feeling ashamed, anxious or self-conscious. This can have a profound impact on your confidence level and marriage relationship.

What Can You Do to Help Your Christian Marriage Thrive?

Christians who regularly practice their faith are less likely to divorce than the average population. But no matter how strong their faith, couples often experience a lack of connection in marriage.

4 Ways for Empty Nesters to Connect Spiritually

The term “empty nest” evokes an array of reactions. Some couples wonder about the future of their marriage after the kids move out. But you can grow closer to your spouse and the Lord during this time.

Lies Women Believe

Christian women treat most everyone kindly —  except themselves. We all harbor hidden, negative lies that affect how we live. Learn how to replace the lies of negative self-talk with God’s truth.

Trusting God in Trials

When I trust God wholeheartedly — even amid trials in my life or in my marriage — I can see that the Lord is using everything so that I reflect His image in my life. But this isn’t always easy.

What’s the Secret to Great Marriage in the New Year?

As we head into a new year, many people are contemplating their future. Most couples could use a renovation in some area of their relationship. What part of your marriage would you like to improve?

Time For Your Marriage in the Christmas Season

Many people feel stressed by the Christmas season, yet they don’t want to neglect their marriage. Connecting with your spouse is possible — even when you’re busy.

Building Up Your Husband

Author Erin Smalley and Focus broadcast producer Eva Daniel describe how a wife can build up her husband and strengthen her marriage in a discussion based on Erin’s book 10 Things a Husband Needs From His Wife: Everyday Ways to Show Him Love.

How to Support Each Other During and After Crises

When crisis or trial comes to your marriage, support each other. Then turn to God and godly community for help. Above all, stay connected with each other afterward and be sure to make time for fun.

How to Warm Up a Winter Season in Your Marriage

Every marriage has seasons that change over time. Wives, you don’t have to be stuck in a “winter” period. If you pursue your spouse, the emotional climate of your marriage can change for the better.

Happy Marriages Are Based on Deep Friendship

The qualities of common kindness, honesty, empathy, loyalty and trust are gifts that each spouse gives to the other. This friendship foundation enhances relationship happiness throughout the marriage.

How to Support Your Spouse During Breast Cancer Treatment

A diagnosis of breast cancer will impact your marriage. Watch for God’s blessings amid the suffering that comes from breast cancer treatment. A great blessing could be found in your marriage.

How Your Husband Needs You

Most husbands share a certain set of needs and desires. Some of your husband’s needs may surprise, but you can learn how to move beyond your expectations to build a marriage that goes the distance.

A Wife’s Response to Mental Burdens

During some seasons, you might become bitter as a result of feeling like you’re doing more than your spouse. If this issue resurfaces often for you, Erin Smalley has some suggestions to help.

Can a Marriage Survive After an Affair?

The number of marriages that will survive an affair — and go on to build an even stronger relationship afterward — is growing significantly. Although it’s not always possible, there is always hope.

One Christian Woman’s Response to Vice President Pence’s Commitment to Follow the Billy Graham Rule

How could the Billy Graham rule be beneficial to all marriages?

Are You Planning For a Marriage or Just a Wedding?

It’s far too easy to get so engulfed in wedding details that you lose site of the lifetime you will be spending together. So, how can you plan for your special day and your marriage?

Don’t Let the Storms of Life Wash Your Marriage Away

Regardless of where you are in your marriage journey or what issues come your way, here are few tips to help keep you united through the storms of life.

Managing Stress Together

What do you do when you’re stressed out? When you deal with stressful events in unhealthy ways, you create new problems in your relationships. But there are ways to constructively deal with stress.

Wholeheartedly Loving Your Husband

Being wholehearted means giving ourselves fully in every aspect of our relationship with our spouse. We serve not out of a sense of duty, but because we’re ultimately serving the Lord.

A Christmas Date

This date idea will give you the opportunity to invest as a couple in the well-being of someone else. You’ll likely experience a deeper marital bond and sense of intimacy through serving together.

What Does God Say About the Life Inside Me?

You may be uncertain how you feel at this point, but the Lord is very clear in the Bible about the value of each life.

Finding Peace in the Midst of an Unplanned Pregnancy

You may feel alone and far away from God, but He cares deeply for you – and He cares for your baby in the same way.

Can I Be a Good Mother?

You may feel alone and far away from God, but He cares deeply for you – and He cares for your baby in the same way.

Facing an Unplanned Pregnancy

You’ve found out that you’re pregnant, and you may be feeling very alone right now – unsure who you can trust and confide in. And you probably have some questions.

Peace on Earth … and Goodwill Toward Your Man

Christmas may be the most wonderful time of the year, but the busyness of the season and financial pressures can lead to stress, which breeds conflict and leads to a disconnect in marriage.

What Scripture Taught Me About Womanhood

What does a Proverbs 31 wife look like in the 21st century? Erin Smalley explains that being a woman of God is less about what we do and more about who God says we are.

What Speaks Love to Your Man?

Erin Smalley has learned that cherishing her husband starts by focusing on what she values about him and that nourishing their relationship involves putting love into action.

Praying For Your Husband

No more good intentions or excuses, there are many benefits to praying consistently and intentionally for your husband.

Honest Affirmation Can Make Your Marriage Great

Amid the busyness of life, Erin Smalley incorporates simple affirmation into her marriage relationship and watches her husband thrive.

Responding to Your Husband’s Secret: Porn

When you discover that your husband has been hiding a sexual sin like pornography, it will be difficult to hear — but I encourage you to allow your heart to fully grieve.

Sex — A Word to Wives

Sex is a wonderful gift given by God to a married couple as a means of experiencing a sacred union.

Beyond Date Night — An Annual Marriage Getaway

Getting away is essential because of the daily busyness of life, the stress of work and the numerous other things that pull at time away from each other as husband and wife.

Make Date Night With Your Spouse a Weekly Habit

Date nights may need to look different in each season of family life, but whatever the season, they help to maintain a healthy marriage as they put a husband and wife back on the same page.

Plan Your Wedding and Your Marriage

Planning for “the day” or for a lifetime? Dr. Greg and Erin Smalley discuss the benefits of preparing for marriage and the beauty of God’s design for marriage.

Hallmark Movies and Real-Life Marriage Romance

Romance stories contain four crucial elements in their storylines that have proven to be similar to the keys to a real-life marriage romance.

Secrets to a Lifelong Love

Have you ever pondered the question, “What is the secret to a lifelong love?” Erin Smalley offers three secrets to building your marriage amid the changing seasons of life.

The Ashley Madison Fallout — What Now?

Fallout from the data breech at Ashley Madison has been devastating, and as a result, many people have had their hearts broken. What now?

For Wives: A New Take on the New Year

What if this year you give your husband a new marriage? Join Erin Smalley as she takes the challenge and commits to living out the Greatest Commandment in her home.

Family Dynamics During the Holidays

Dr. Greg and Erin Smalley answer listener questions on how to successfully navigate family relationships during the holidays, and help couples work as a team to balance chores, budgets and family demands.

Seven People at Your Thanksgiving Table

Spend time planning how you will successfully model Christ’s love to your children as you manage extended family dynamics.

Family Stress at Christmastime

If you and your spouse look for unexpected gifts in your life this Christmas, you just may find a blessing in working together to manage family dynamics during the holiday season.

Fight for a Stronger and Deeper Marriage

Let Erin Smalley’s 10 tips on fighting for your marriage help you strengthen and deepen your relationship.

Growing Stronger Through Stress in Marriage

Challenges, stress and painful trials are going to be part of your life together. The key to a thriving marriage is to learn how to manage the crises that are inevitable.

How Trials Can Strengthen Your Marriage

By developing a healthy pattern of coping with stress and change, you’ll be more likely to deal with issues as a married couple.

Effectively Communicating With Your Husband

Erin Smalley challenges wives to avoid criticizing their husbands. She’s found that effective communication in marriage includes encouragement and positive feedback.

The Gift of Respect on Father’s Day

Amid the rush of family life it can be easy to let your words or actions show disrespect toward your husband. But what if respect, regardless of the daily pace, could be a choice and an overflow of your heart’s appreciation for him?

Invest in Your Marriage with Mentors

We can’t emphasize enough (both from research and personal experience!) how important it is to have the support and encouragement of a veteran couple to walk alongside you!

Should Christians See 50 Shades of Grey?

Although it seems logical to think a book like 50 Shades of Grey could possibly reignite life—even in the bedroom—I’m not convinced the outcome will be as women hoped.  Seeking excitement through reading about sadism, masochism and sexual bondage can truly end up causing more harm than good.

10 Keys to a More Loving Relationship

10 keys to help make your relationship with your spouse more loving.

Two couples laugh and talk together around a kitchen island.

The Nuts and Bolts of Double Dating

Looking for ideas to use when getting to know another couple? Take a look at these double date tips.

Focus on the Family

How to Show Thankfulness to Your Spouse

It’s important that you take time alone with your spouse to tell him or her directly why you’re thankful. This should involve not only thanking God, but also thanking your partner—directly and specifically—for the things he or she does that bless and enrich your life. Not only at Thanksgiving but throughout the year, we should make a concerted effort to express gratitude for our spouse and to our spouse!

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