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Finding New Strength as a Mom

Finding New Strength as a Mom

Heidi St. John offers encouragement to you as a mom, especially if you feel afraid, overwhelmed, and discouraged by everyday tasks. With humor, Heidi recalls some of her “mom fails” and other embarrassing, challenging, and wonderful moments every mom faces.
Original Air Date: May 7, 2021

Preview:

Heidi St. John: God said, “I’m going to help you. I will never leave you. I will never forsake you.” He said that my weakness is what He loves. His strength is made perfect in weakness. And I love telling moms, “Do you feel weak today? That’s exactly where God wants you.”

End of Preview

John Fuller: Well, that’s Heidi St. John, and she’s our guest today on Focus on the Family, with your host Focus president and author Jim Daly. Thanks for joining us. I’m John Fuller.

Jim Daly: All right, John, so Sunday is Mother’s Day.

John: Yes.

Jim: How have your children honored Dena-

John: Oh-

Jim: … on Mother’s Day?

John: It’s- it’s been everything from breakfast in bed, whether she wanted it or not-

Jim: (laughs).

John: … to homemade cards, to-

Jim: Oh.

John: … a hit and miss gifts, all sorts of different things.

Jim: They’re, yeah, those are all the things Jean mentioned. I asked her last night, knowing we were going, uh, to do the broadcast today, but she said the same thing, breakfast in bed, which always meant cold everything.

John: (laughs) Yes.

Jim: Like the toast would be super cold. ‘Cause, you know, the kids aren’t [crosstalk]-

John: With globs of jelly on it

Jim: (laughs).

John: Yeah.

Jim: But, and then the homemade cards.

John: Uh-huh.

Jim: Those have been the things that she remembers the most. I think we still have some of those tucked away in a, you know, t- time capsule that we keep.

John: That’s nice.

Jim: Yeah. So it’s great. Uh, but today we are grateful for moms, of course, with Mother’s Day around the corner. And we are going to speak to a special guest today about that mom calling and being a mom. Motherhood is so unique, and it can, uh, be challenging, I think today in this culture. We want to make sure that we encourage you in that role as mom and follower of Christ.

John: And Heidi St. John, uh, has some reassurance and some hope for you. Uh, she runs MomStrong International, which is an online ministry for women and, uh, she and her husband Jay have seven children and three grandchildren. She knows a lot about being a mom, and uh, about being a grandmother as well I guess. And she’s a very popular speaker and author. And, uh, her book is Becoming MomStrong: How to Fight with All That’s in You for Your Family and Your Faith. And we’ll invite you to contact us for your copy. Our number’s 800-A-FAMILY, and you can also stop by focusonthefamily.com/broadcast.

Jim: Heidi, welcome to Focus on the Family.

Heidi: Thank you for having me.

Jim: It’s good to have you. Now you are a, uh, this mom blogger, you’ve got a very successful blog and you’re talking to a lot of women from around the world. What- what’s a common thing that you’re seeing that they are encountering in being a mom, kind of the- the obstacle?

Heidi: Oh, I don’t know that there is one obstacle.

Jim: Give us a couple.

Heidi: I- I- I think moms feel, uh, the culture has really made motherhood into a stopover on the highway of life, you know.

Jim: Mm-hmm, right.

Heidi: It’s- it’s this thing you do for this- this small season of time. They don’t realize the impact that they’re having. They don’t realize that these children that they’re raising today are going to be tomorrow’s teachers and tomorrow’s leaders. And so, I’ve been spending the last, you know, 20 years of my life trying to encourage them that what they’re doing right now is, God’s going to use it for eternity. And so just, I think they feel a lot of them undervalued. You know, a lot of people will say, “Oh, you’re having kids. Well, that’s just sweet. What else do you do?”

Jim: Right. Yeah.

Heidi: You know, what else do you do? And I love to tell moms, it’s okay if your dream is to be a wife and a mother. It’s okay, if your dream is to raise those children to love and serve and follow the Lord Jesus, and it’s all right to pour your life into it. These kids are worth it. So just encouraging them in the day to day, you know-

Jim: Yeah.

Heidi: It can get- it can get exhausting as you guys know (laughs).

Jim: Yeah, but I- I do think and I- I applaud that fact that, uh, you’re a mother of seven and a grandmother of three, so you know the calling. And this doesn’t let the dads off the hook, by the way.

Heidi: Oh, no.

Jim: We also have to be engaged fathers.

Heidi: Yeah.

Jim: So, I just want to make sure as we go into Mother’s Day, we’re recognizing the role of dads too. But I think, even with Jean, you know, before we had our first, Trent, uh, she was teaching nuclear gene splicing in labs at the university here. And she loved what she was doing. And I remember the professor said, that she was working for, you know, “Are you- are you trying to have children?” And she said, “Yes.” And he said, “Boy, this is not- you can’t be doing nuclear gene splicing if you’re trying to have children.” So that really allowed her to kind of free herself up from that vocational approach-

Heidi: Mm-hmm.

Jim: … and then concentrate on the kids.

Heidi: Mm-hmm.

Jim: And that’s what she thankfully has been doing. We have, you know, 20 and 18-year-old sons that are thriving, I think in part, in large part because of mom. And-

Heidi: Oh, yeah.

Jim: … that’s what you’re saying.

Heidi: Oh, yeah. I think- I think we underestimate the value of motherhood and we underestimate what it’s going to do in the culture, you know, years from now, because these moms chose to focus on their children.

Jim: Heidi, um, another amazing attribute of women and moms is their ability to look at themselves first. I’ve often said that on the broadcast. I, you know, men, we run from our shame. Women tend to go, “Yeah, it was me. I’m the one.”

John: (laughs)

Heidi: (laughs)

Jim: And they’ll even say that when it’s not their fault.

Heidi: Well, because their kids would tell on ’em.

Jim: Right. Well-

Heidi: Like if- if you have to do that.

Jim: (laughs)

Heidi: You know, because you’ve got all these little reflections of you walk around. “Oh no, mom, that’s actually not how it went down.”

John: (laughs)

Jim: Well, a fact that you mentioned in the book, the two big mom fails that you had on the same day. And I love that. And Jean loved that because it was so, uh, you know, great to see you reflect on that. What were they?

Heidi: Well, I think one of the first ones was realizing, uh, that I’m not going to be able to get it all done. I think I told a story kind of early on in the book, um, is funny. There’s, okay, there’s a lot of things that happen when you’re raising seven children, right.

Jim: (laughs).

Heidi: Every single one of them is different. And I- I- I did not feel equipped for the job. And I think … This is another thing that’s so important for women to understand, you don’t have to feel like you’re going to have it all together. You don’t have to feel like you know what you’re doing. You don’t have to feel like, you know. I- let’s say like me, who didn’t come from a home that modeled it well-

Jim: Yeah.

Heidi: … and so maybe you haven’t seen it done- done very well. And I remember very distinctly, uh, one time in particular. I’m- I’m trying to go to bed. This is so typical of me. I’m trying to go to sleep and I’m thinking there’s something, I’m missing something.

Jim: (laughs).

Heidi: Something. Is it- is it an orthodontist appointment? No. Is it, uh, did I take the roast out of the freezer? I- I think I did. Did I put the clothes from the washer in the dryer? I’m not really sure if they’re mildewy, we’ll wash them again. All the things. And in the morning, my little six-year-old came in and she said, you know, “Mom, the tooth fairy didn’t show up.” And I was like, “Doh, that’s what it was.”

Jim: (laughs).

John: (laughs).

Heidi: It was the tooth fairy, it was the tooth fairy. And I’m- I’m, you know, jabbing my husband next to me. And I’m- I’m like, “Listen to your daughter, you know?” And she’s like, “Mom, you said she would come. And she did-, she didn’t come.” Well, while this is happening, you know, Jay’s trying to wake up and roll out of bed because we have a routine by now, right. ‘Cause this has happened to us many times. And he’s running into the room and putting it, you know, somewhere under the covers. And so, then it’s her fault, right.

Jim: (laughs).

Heidi: And so, then it’s her fault, right?

Jim: Right (laughs).

Heidi: No, no, you looked in the wrong place.

Jim: Right.

Heidi: Like, the tooth fairy did come.

Jim: Yes.

Heidi: Yeah, we’re getting this. We’re- we’re getting this- this whole thing, uh, all mixed up. But I remember just telling my husband, I said, “I feel like every time I turn around, I’m failing at something. I’m failing at something.” And he ha- you know, for 32 years now loved me so well. He was like, “Did you think it would be different? Did you really think that we are going to skate through this thing and are- we’re going to get all of, you know, get it all right?” And I- I looked at my daughter and uh- and I, something I love about the innocence of children. And I was able to say, “You know, mama told you that the tooth fairy was going to come. And when mama says the tooth fairy’s coming, the tooth fairy is coming.”

Jim: (laughs).

Heidi: And then I thought, and if she doesn’t, what am I-

John: (laughs).

Heidi: … you know, what am I going to do? You don’t have to have it all together. And I think I look back at my, uh, raising those kids, most of my kids are grown now. You know, that little one, uh, she’s almost 11 now and our oldest daughter is 30. And I look at those kids now and I think the times that I failed are when God met me the most.

Jim: Well, and I think that was on top of you falling asleep the night before when your-

Heidi: Yeah.

Jim: … son was trying to tell you an important thing.

Heidi: Oh yeah. They’re telling me [inaudible]. But that’s what they do. That these are teenagers too. They come in, right.

Jim: Oh, 11, 12 o’clock. Yeah.

Heidi: It’s 11 o’clock at night. Yes. And you’re trying to prop your eyes open. I remember one time in particular, my- my son came and sat down on the bed and this- they do this every night. They still do it. ‘Cause we’ve got a couple of teenagers still left at home and he sat down, and he was like, “Mom, how did you know that dad was the one?”

Jim: (laughs).

Heidi: I- I was like, “I- I didn’t know.” (laughs).

Jim: (laughs)

Heidi: I just blurted, “I didn’t know.” Jay has this ability to just go to sleep.

Jim: Right.

Heidi: The kids will sit and talk to me. And he’s like, “Well, I love you guys good night.” And he’ll roll over and go to sleep-

Jim: (laughs).

Heidi: … and then they’ll want to talk to me about the deeper things of life. And I remember telling … They’re sitting on the edge of the bed and he’s telling me this great thing that happened to him, uh, with a friend. And I fell asleep in the middle of it. And he was like, “Mom, mom, are you listening?” “Oh, that’s right. Yes. I am listening.”

Jim: Yeah.

Heidi: “Wh- pick- pick me up again. Where were we again?”

Jim: (laughs).

Heidi: You know, and all of those things, if you- you got to look back on it. Uh, at least I do now. In the- in the moment I felt like I was failing. But now looking back, I can see that staying in there, that perse-, you know, that perseverance-

Jim: Yeah.

Heidi: … which is patients in action, right. That perseverance, the willingness to be able to say, “You know, I’m so sorry. I blew it. Can we start over again? Tell me again, you know, where are we go … What- what were you trying to say to me? I’m really sorry.” And you realizing that’s … You don’t have to do it right. You don’t have to do it perfectly. To come back and cir- circle back and say, “You know what? Let’s try this-

Jim: Yeah.

Heidi: … let’s try this again.” Motherhood is a lot about humility-

Jim: Mm-hmm.

Heidi: … and a lot about being willing. One of the- the things I love to tell moms is that- that importance of leaning into the Lord. And I think the biggest moment for me in remembering that God was with me all the time was probably after I had my sixth baby. And now you’ve got a picture. I’ve got this house full of children, we’re homeschooling them, which is something I never thought that I would do. So I’m doing all of these things, trying to do them and feeling like I’m failing at everything.

Jim: Right.

Heidi: Right. Because that’s how moms-

Jim: Correct.

Heidi: … are guilt magnets. We always feel like we’re failing at everything. I woke up early one morning. And I’m- I’m fairly certain that I hadn’t really slept at all. Went outside. I watched the sun rise over Mount St. Helens and I’m just sobbing. I’m sitting outside on my deck feeling like I- I’m never do, I- I used to do quiet time. I used to be a good Christian. Now I can hardly open my Bible. And I feel like I’m crabby with my kids. And I was like, “Lord, you know, where are you? I- I feel so far away from you.” And in that moment, the Lord, so faithfully, He was like, “Heidi, I didn’t- I never went anywhere. I’m not distracted when you’re, uh, when you’re unloading the dishwasher, you can talk to me then. It’s all right, if you’re nursing a baby and trying to juggle a toddler that needs your attention right now, or a teenager that thinks your sweater is ugly and she doesn’t like you anymore.”

Jim: (laughs)

Heidi: Uh, all of those things, He say, He said, “I- I didn’t leave you. Draw your children into your quiet time.” Because I just felt so guilty again.

Jim: Yeah.

Heidi: You know, it was that, I haven’t opened my Bible. I used to be so faithful at it. And just feeling like I’m not even communicating with the Lord. And that was a turning point for me [inaudible].

Jim: Well and again, that’s that guilt feeling, right.

Heidi: It totally is.

Jim: You’re describing.

Heidi: And this is the enemy, right, who wants to make you feel like everything you do is permanent. Everything that you wrong, or every failure that you feel that you’re encountering is permanent. And so, I did something different. I went- I took all my kids to Walmart and I said, “You guys can pick out a spiral notebook.” And they all had to be different colors, because we all know what happens [inaudible].

Jim: And I’ll see you in an hour.

Heidi: Yes, exactly.

Jim: (laughs)

Heidi: Yeah. You guys- you guys, you know, you bicker over who gets the green one and who gets the blue one and mom is going to go over here and get my grocery shopping done, then I’ll come back. So the kids all get these, you know, 15 cent spiral notebooks. And I said, “I’m going to start doing my devotions with you.” And I went to, uh, the store and I got it, just a children’s Bible, nothing- nothing exciting. And I said, “Every day in the morning, mama’s going to read the Bible. And I want you guys to write down when we’re done, what you’re learning.” And I learn in that moment, two things, God’s going to speak to me through the reading of his word, whether it’s a children’s Bible and I’ve got a nursing infant and toddler and a grumpy teenager and whatever it is in the room with me, God can use it. He used that reading of His word in those moments and it changed my life.

Jim: Mm.

Heidi: And what- what’s … The other thing I learned is that God speaks to his children through His word. So I want moms not to feel like they have to do something fancy, you know.

Jim: Yeah. I think too, moms need to hear, what is Momstrong? What does that mean to be Momstrong?

Heidi: Yeah. Well it, to me, it means to know that we’re raising God’s kids, you know.

Jim: So the purpose.

Heidi: The purpose of motherhood is to raise children that are going to reflect, uh, a love for the Lord Jesus. We’re supposed to be raising kids that will be fully committed disciples of Jesus Christ. Meaning we want our kids to love the Lord and to walk with them to realize that they belong to Him and that their purpose is eternal. And when they get that, when you start to see those light bulb moments go on, they’re going to see it by you not doing it right, right. And you’re going to get an opportunity to go back to them and say, “You know what you guys? I’m so sorry, I’m struggling with this. And you’re going to struggle- you’re going to struggle at some point too.” I want my kids to be strong in the Lord. I want them to know who they, that their identity comes from Christ. The world’s going to tell them your identity comes from this thing or that thing. And there’s so many definitions of who people are out in the culture. But I want my kids to know that God made them just the way they are. He loves them just the way they are in the package that they were delivered to us in, is beautiful before the Lord. And He has a plan and a purpose for their life. That comes from me, which comes from the Word.

Jim: And Heidi, uh, you know, I’m thinking of the mom right now, who feels like their teen daughter or their teen son isn’t in that place.

Heidi: Mm.

Jim: And so, they’re hearing this going, okay, that’s more guilt. Maybe I failed-

Heidi: Mm-hmm.

Jim: … because I wasn’t doing the right things, or however she’s processing that, because that teenager with that attitude that you mentioned a moment ago.

Heidi: Oh, yes, I’m familiar.

Jim: The ugly sweater and, you know, I don’t even like you anymore mom.

Heidi: But yesterday you liked my sweater.

Jim: Yeah, right. But ho- how does she pick up the pieces and realize that this isn’t a formula and that the basic things are to love your child as God created them, what you just said. And to trust that God’s hand is upon them. Wh- what are some of those things that a mom can do to, um, ei- either get back on track or try to encourage their children, not to go off track?

Heidi: Well, I love that you said that- that she might be looking to a formula-

Jim: Yes.

Heidi: … you know. Uh, years ago I was very into the formulaic parenting, you know, raised our kids. Started having babies, you know, in the 90s, in the early 90s, and there were several popular parenting programs out there at the time. And I remember we got invited to one of them, right. And so, there was, if you just do this and this and this and this, then your kid will turn out, ding, you know, if you just check all the boxes. And we began to realize very early on that each one of our children are different and there is no such thing as a formulaic approach to parenting. Every single one of our children need to know that, uh, that they’re unique and we parent them uniquely. What might’ve worked for my 18-year-old isn’t going to work for the seven-year-old.

Jim: Mm-hmm.

Heidi: And we, Jay, you know, of- of course my husband is a pastor, so we raised our kids in a fishbowl, right. Everyone’s watching.

Jim: Yeah.

Heidi: We had some- some friends that we love very much come over to our house. And again, it’s the pastor’s wife thing and I’m feeling, you know, the- the guilt. And, uh, she comes over to my house and she sees all these parenting books, you know, sitting on the- on the coffee table. And she goes, “Oh, that’s a good book. She goes, “Oh, where did you get that one?” I’m like, “Oh, so-and-so gave it to me.” And she said, “Heidi, I notice a book is- is missing.” And I was like, “Oh.” And I’m- I’m gonna write it down.

Jim: (laughs)

Heidi: I’m like, “Oh, you’ve got the holy grail of parenting-

Jim: Right.

Heidi: … books.” I’m going to write this down. These people had raised five children, five girls successfully. At that point, we only- we only had three children. So, I’m like, who in their right mind, with five children.

Jim: (laughs).

Heidi: This woman was, you know, I mean, I was just like, wow, whatever you say, I’m doing it. And she said, “I don’t see a Bible anywhere on your coffee table.” And yeah, see how you guys are being quiet. That’s what I did too.

John: Mm.

Jim: (laughs)

Heidi: I was like, okay.

Jim: That’s a good point.

Heidi: A good point, good point. And a- she wasn’t saying you- it wasn’t condemning, it wasn’t … She wanted me to know, and this was so good for me because I- I needed to know it. She said, “If none of these books existed, let’s say no one ever wrote another parenting book again and all you had access to was the Bible, it would be enough. It would be enough.”

Jim: Yeah.

Heidi: And in it, we’re told how to love our children. And in it we’re said, you know, Lord, if we need wisdom … This is James, right. Ask it from the Lord and he’ll give. Do you not know what you’re doing as a mother? Ask the Lord, he’ll tell you, he’ll give you what you need. And I think at that point, I was like, all right, I’m leaning so hard into the advice of all these other people that I’m not saying, “Okay, Lord, I’ve read the books, but I still have this one … I’ve had that one child, that child, right. I saw this one child and nothing’s working for that one child. I can’t seem to get to her heart. I can’t seem to- to, uh, reach her in the way that I want.” And the Lord said, “I’m going to help you, right. I’m going to show you the bend upon which that child needs to be folded.”

Jim: Mm-hmm.

Heidi: And she came with that bend, that unique bend in her. And it was … These are like aha moments, as we’re processing through motherhood and realizing God’s going to use another mother to come along and encourage me back to the place where I depend on the Lord. And it really does make you feel less self-conscious. I wish there were more moms who could be comfortable enough in their own skin to say, “I don’t actually know what I’m doing.”

Jim: Yeah, right. Dads too.

Heidi: Yeah, and dads do. It’s all right to not know what you’re doing, because when you come to the place and you realize, okay, I need help. So, you can look at Heidi St. John and say, well, she’s got seven children and three grandkids, and she had it all figured out. But they- they didn’t see the meltdowns that my kids had in Walmart. They didn’t see me crying myself to sleep. You miss all those things. In the process of raising children, God was doing something in my life. And I think that’s … Moms need to know that, it’s not just about your kids-

Jim: Yeah, that’s so good.

Heidi: … God’s doing something in you.

Jim: Yeah.

John: This is really good stuff from Heidi St. John, and uh, we have this great biblically based book from Heidi called Becoming MomStrong: How to Fight with All That’s in You for Your Family and Your Faith. And, uh, we’ll invite you to contact us, to get a copy of Heidi’s book or a Bible. Uh, our number is 800-A-FAMILY. 800, the letter A, and the word FAMILY, or stop by focusonthefamily.com/broadcast.

Jim: Heidi, you point to Zephaniah 3:17. We don’t get a lot of people quoting Zephaniah.

John: I can’t remember the last time.

Jim: And it starts with Z, but it’s not the last book in the Bible.

Heidi: (laughs)

Jim: But, uh, how do moms derive something out of Zephaniah 3:17? Break it down.

Heidi: Well, the verse is that the Lord, your God, is in your midst. A mighty one who will save. He will rejoice over you with gladness. He will quiet you by His love, He will exalt over you with loud singing.

Jim: Hmm.

Heidi: There’s not a mom I know who can’t relate to that. And so, in the book, I sort of personalized it for moms. I said to the mom who feels abandoned, God says, “I’m living among you.” There are a lot of moms listening to this who maybe grew up like me and felt abandoned. I felt abandoned by my own, uh, relationship with my father. It was very … I- I always tell people that when I got married at 19 years old, I was about as broken as a 19-year-old girl could be.

Jim: Hmm.

Heidi: I didn’t know the first thing about motherhood. I thought, I’ll never be a good mother. And the Lord through His Word … That’s how he works, right. So tenderly through His Word has been showing me, “You feel abandoned, I’ve never abandoned. I’ve- I’m living among you.” To the mom who feels battle worn God says, “I am your mighty savior.” So, if you feel worn out from this right now, God’s like, “I’m going to help you. I’m going to hold you up. When you feel like I can’t do this for one more moment, uh, I’m- I’m going to help you.” To the mom who’s wondering if God is enough. The Bible says it right here, “I delight in you. I delight in you.” He didn’t say, “If you get this thing, right. If you be sure and give your kids, you know, three balanced meals every day and you don’t- and you don’t miss a- a stop, it’s fine.” He says, “No, I delight in you.” When you’re afraid, God says, “Lean into me. I’m going to quiet you with my love.” I can’t think of a mom who doesn’t need to hear that, that His love is what, uh, ultimately brings that healing. And He loves you, and bad days don’t make bad moms. And I think moms need to hear that. We all have- we all have bad days. We all have moments when we … And maybe even seasons, when you just feel like, well, that’s six months was a huge waste, you know.

Jim: Right.

Heidi: I went down the- the wrong road or maybe, um, like me, maybe we bought into this idea that if I just read this book and do it just right, everything will be right. Then when your kid doesn’t do the thing-

Jim: Right.

Heidi: … you feel like, why- why am I even trying? Uh, but I met a mom, uh, recently I met- I met a mother and I was talking about the importance of recognizing our place on the battlefield, right. The- the Bible says in Psalms, that our children have been given to us like arrows in the hands of a warrior. So, listen, listen to me, mama, you know what that makes you? It makes you a warrior. It makes you a warrior. You have to be a warrior to raise children in the culture right now.

Jim: Mm-hmm.

Heidi: And so, this mom came back to me after I spoke. Uh, it was a three-day event. On the second day, at the end of the day, she came up and she said, “I’d given up on my child.” She said, “I- I have a 16-year-old daughter. Uh, uh, her dad and I are divorced, and she doesn’t want to come home. And she’s belligerent-

Jim: Right.

Heidi: … and she’s angry. And I finally said, “You know what? It’s okay.” She said, “I want to go live with my friends for awhile. So her mama said, “That’s fine. Go do it.” She said, “As I thought of myself as a warrior, and this is my arrow.” That arrow does not belong to your neighbors. That’s the arrow God gave to you. She said, “I called my daughter up at her friend’s house. And I said, I love you and I’m coming to get you. I’m coming over there right now.” And her daughter’s like, “Nope, I don’t want you coming.” And she said, “No, I’m coming. And I’m bringing a milkshake and I’m bringing whatever else you want. And we’re going to talk about this thing.” She said, “I brought my daughter home, you know, angry and depressed.” She said, “Heidi, uh, the Lord’s doing something. He’s starting to restore that relationship and he’s doing it because I took my place on the battlefield because I remembered this- this child is mine to raise and I need not give up. And I know it’s going to be hard because it will be-

Jim: Yeah.

Heidi: … but it’s worth it.

Jim: Heidi. We’re down to the end, and you have given so much great advice. But I would love to ask you, uh, kind of rapid-fire style, what are some things that a mom can do, uh, to get on a healthy track?

Heidi: Yeah.

Jim: If I could say it that way, where the guilt load is lighter. Probably will not go way-

Heidi: No.

Jim: … but where it’s more manageable. What are some of those things that a mom can do?

Heidi: Well, I like to tell moms, it’s okay. I hear from moms all the time who say, “I’m just- I’m just so burned out,” right.

Jim: Right.

Heidi: Mommy burnout. It’s real. And I, well, the first thing I always tell them is you got to stop wrestling and start resting. What does it mean to rest? Because if always feel like, you know, all I ever do is diapers and dishes and laundry and no one’s listening to me. Uh, I think moms need community. I think it’s absolutely crucial that moms have community. We got to have other moms. You got to have that mom who’s like, you know, “Girlfriend, what’s going on?”

Jim: And tell her you’re not the only one.

Heidi: Oh yeah, what’s going on. You know, people call me all the time, “Hey Heidi. Wow. That post you made on Facebook. What in the world, what’s wrong with you?

Jim: (laughs).

Heidi: That just seems out of- out of character for you. You know, do you need a mocha with extra whip right now? I’ll be over in 10,” right. That’s what we need. We need those people that we can be real around. And I feel like moms need to give themselves permission to carve out that space for themselves. And so, for me, it was an- an issue, especially working through the things that I was working through in raising young children, it was getting up early in the morning. It was, it’s- it requires discipline, I’m not going to lie. Like we want an easy button. There is no easy button.

Jim: Right.

Heidi: It requires discipline. But getting up in the morning, carving time out for yourself, being, uh, being faithful, to be in the word. And if you don’t have time to be in the word by yourself, do what I did and bring your kids into it and incorporate that. But exercise, obviously the resting things, moms are the only ones … Years ago I took all my kids to … I was speaking in Florida. We don’t have sun in the Pacific Northwest like they do in Florida.

Jim: Yes.

Heidi: We don’t get sunburned in the Northwest like they do. I slathered sun, you know, sunscreen on all my kids. I slathered it on my husband. Guess who I forgot?

Jim: (laughs).

Heidi: Me.

Jim: Did you get burnt?

Heidi: I, oh, uh, second degree burns all over my back. Blisters-

Jim: But that is a metaphor for motherhood, right there.

Heidi: It absolutely is. Because why? Because I- I did all for my family and not for myself. And so-

Jim: Yeah.

Heidi: … I was out of commission for like almost a week.

Jim: Wow.

Heidi: And, you know, just, uh, I mean, it was severe. And in that time, you know, later on I thought, that is a metaphor for motherhood. We do everything for our children. You have to foc … You know, “Lord help me show me, um, how can I carve out time for myself?” It is important, you know.

Jim: Yeah.

Heidi: And we- and don’t discard the idea. Don’t deny it.

Jim: Let me ask you this too, because that bitterness can- can grow in that moment-

Heidi: Mm-hmm.

Jim: … where you start to feel like I’m giving to everybody else-

Heidi: Yeah.

Jim: … and who’s giving to me?

Heidi: Yeah.

Jim: How do you manage-

Heidi: I call that martyr mom syndrome.

Jim: Okay. And then how do you manage that? How do you get above that, on top of that-

Heidi: Yeah.

Jim: … beyond that?

Heidi: Well, I think the beyond it is recognizing, uh, that what I’m doing is bigger than this moment. And honestly, let’s be perfectly honest, we’re wrestling with our own sin, aren’t we? We’re wrestling with the selfishness inside of us that says, I don’t want to do this thing. This is where community is so important to talk to other moms-

Jim: That’s true. But it feels, it’s deep.

Heidi: Mm-hmm, sure.

Jim: Because if no one’s helping you, no one’s tending to your needs.

Heidi: Mm-hmm.

Jim: Um, that can feel lonely. It can feel-

Heidi: It is lonely.

Jim: … like, you know, you’re out there on the limb.

Heidi: Yeah.

Jim: And it … Do I not matter to anybody?

Heidi: Yeah.

Jim: Is nobody seeing me?

Heidi: Yeah.

Jim: And I get it.

Heidi: Yeah.

Jim: I understand that.

Heidi: Yeah.

Jim: But you’ve got to put that down, right. The Lord sees you.

Heidi: The Lord sees you. And, uh, one of the things that the Lord is, that I have now that I didn’t have all those years ago, is perspective.

Jim: Right.

Heidi: You know, I can look back, you know, uh, when you want fruit off of a tree, it doesn’t come overnight, right. It comes after years of tending and watering and praying and pruning and crying.

Jim: Well, and putting manure in the root system.

Heidi: You’re not wrong.

Jim: (laughs)

Heidi: You are not wrong. And I- and for the mom to realize that. It’s, hang in there, it’s going-

Jim: Yeah.

Heidi: … to be worth it. There are hills in there are valleys, this is how life is. I think the culture tells us, oh, if it’s hard, just give up. This is what they tell you. It doesn’t matter if it’s marriage or motherhood or, um, educating your children or whatever. Once it gets hard, while that looks too hard, you should just give up, let someone else do that. No, no, no. God said, “I’m going to help you. I will never leave you. I will never forsake you.” He said that, “My- my weakness is what he loves.” His strength is made perfect in weakness. And I love telling moms, “Do you feel weak today? That’s exactly where God wants you.”

Jim: Mm-hmm.

Heidi: He wants you to say, “Okay, bring your weakness to me. And I’m going to show you how my strength is going to be seen in you.” You guys, I could weep. I could sit here and tell you stories over 30 years of mothering, where God met me, when I decided, I can’t do this for one more second. And now as I’m watching my daughter raising her three, her two little boys and a little girl Juni. She’s so cute.

Jim: (laughs)

Heidi: Uh, I know that watching Savannah raise those children is an answer to prayer that I prayed for 25 years. “Lord helped me do this thing that I’m not equipped to do. Lord, why would you give Heidi St. John, the girl that can’t keep houseplants alive and is about as broken as a girl could be, why, why would you give me seven children?” And the Lord said, “Because I want to show you who I am.”

Jim: Mm-hmm. Yeah.

Heidi: And that’s what he does. And he uses motherhood. And I think moms need to know God’s doing something in you. And you’re going to look back, if you don’t grow weary, right. That’s what God’s word says.

Jim: Yeah. Stay the course.

Heidi: Don’t … stay the course. If you don’t grow weary there is a harvest of blessing and it is coming. It’s worth it. Stay in the fight.

Jim: Heidi St. John. I mean, this is incredibly good stuff. And I hope moms are encouraged-

John: Mm-hmm.

Jim: … for Mother’s Day coming up this weekend.

Heidi: They need encouragement.

Jim: They need encouragement. And everybody takes for granted the love of mom.

Heidi: Mm-hmm.

Jim: And mom’s, you are special. I hope you’re hearing that today. Heidi, thank you for being with us.

Heidi: You’re welcome. Thanks for having me.

John: Well, we’re so glad you could be with us, Heidi. And I do hope that you, our listener have enjoyed this refreshing message. And if you’re not a mom, maybe you can share this with someone who is.

Jim: That’s a great thought, John. And we hope you know, Focus on the Family is here for you. We want to help you be the best parent you can be. We have lots of great resources available to you, like Heidi’s book, Becoming MomStrong. It’s full of encouragement and hope for moms with kids at all ages and stages. This kind of hope is crucial in the times we’re facing. There’s a lot of uncertainty at every level out there. The economy, politics, all of it. Real families, just like yours reach out to Focus on the Family every day for help and I would say hope. We want to continue to provide answers for families that are in need, um, for you too. And in order to do that, we do need your help and support. Your prayers and financial gifts to Focus on the Family, allow us to share the healing hope of Jesus Christ through broadcasts, podcasts, counseling resources, online and print articles. Life-changing events like Hope Restored, our marriage intensive. Or our efforts like Option Ultrasound, showing women the baby that’s growing in their womb. And when you donate today, a gift of any amount, we’ll send you a copy of Heidi’s book, Becoming MomStrong, as our way of saying thank you for joining the ministry.

John: Donate today, get your copy of Becoming MomStrong. All the details are at focusonthefamily.com/broadcast or call 1-800, the letter A and the word FAMILY. 800-232-6459. Well have a terrific weekend and a wonderful Mother’s Day. And join us again on Monday as we hear from Jason Johnson. He suggests some ways that you can help families with kids in foster care.

Teaser:

Jason Johnson: God is far more concerned with our willingness to be faithful than he is concerned with our ability to produce a certain set of outcomes through our faithfulness.

End of Teaser

Today's Guests

Cover of the book, Becoming Mom Strong" by Heidi St. John

Becoming Mom Strong

Get Heidi's book Becoming Mom Strong with your donation of any amount!

Recent Episodes

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Taking Courageous Steps to Save Your Marriage (Part 1 of 2)

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Discovering Freedom In Your Faith

In this inspiring conversation, Gary Thomas describes the joy-filled pursuit of growing in the virtues and becoming more like Christ. Tune in to hear how foundational virtues like humility, surrender, and detachment can shape your family and relationships.

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Mrs. Meg Meeker

Dr. Meg Meeker is a pediatrician who is widely recognized as one of the country’s leading authorities on parenting, teens and children’s health. With appearances on numerous nationally syndicated radio and TV programs, her popularity as a an expert on key issues confronting families has created a strong following across America. Her work with countless families over the years served as the inspiration behind her best-selling books which include Strong Fathers, Strong DaughtersStrong Mothers, Strong Sons and The Ten Habits of Happy Mothers

Cover image of Dr. Meg Meeker's book "Raising a Strong Daughter in a Toxic Culture"

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Mr. Gary Thomas

Gary Thomas is an international speaker and best-selling, award-winning author whose books include Married SexSacred Marriage and Sacred Parenting. He has also written numerous articles for several prominent national magazines. Gary and his wife, Lisa, reside in Texas and have three children. You can learn more about Gary by visiting his website, www.garythomas.com.

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Friends, Partners, and Lovers: What It Takes to Make Your Marriage Work

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Will you pray for the pre-born and moms that are facing unexpected pregnancies? We will send you a 7-day prayer guide that will help guide you along this journey with us!! You can even choose to receive this great resource by text!

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Yes, I Promise to Pray for the Pre-born and Their Moms!

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Yes, I Promise to Pray for the Pre-born and Their Moms!

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Yes, I Promise to Pray for the Pre-born and Their Moms!

Will you pray for the pre-born and moms that are facing unexpected pregnancies? We will send you a 7-day prayer guide that will help guide you along this journey with us!! You can even choose to receive this great resource by text!

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Jodie Berndt

Jodie Berndt is a public speaker, a Bible teacher, and the the author of 10 books. Find out more about Jodie and get some free resources (including printable prayer cards and calendars) at her website, jodieberndt.com.

Cover image of Jodie Berndt's book "Praying the Scriptures for Your Children"

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Dr. Randy Schroeder

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Simple Habits for Effective Parenting

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Dr. Tim and Mrs. Noreen Muehlhoff

Dr. Tim Muehlhoff is a professor of communication at Biola University in La Mirada, California where he teaches classes in family communication, interpersonal communication, apologetics, gender, and conflict resolution.  Tim and his wife, Noreen, are both on staff with Biola’s Center for Marriage and Relationships  where he is a co-host of The Art of Relationship podcast. 

Defending Your Marriage

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Kim Meeder

Kim Meeder and her husband, Troy, are the co-founders of Crystal Peaks Youth Ranch, a non-profit organization in Bend, Oregon, that rescues abused horses and pairs them with hurting kids for mutual healing. Kim is a popular motivational speaker and the author of a half dozen books including Hope Rising and Bridge Called Hope, which feature inspirational stories from her ranch.

Revival Rising

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Reigniting Your Passion for Jesus - Part 2

For those of faith whose passion has waned over time, Kim Meeder will reinspire you in your relationship with Jesus Christ as she tells powerful, true stories about God that will spark renewed joy in your heart and encourage you to share the Gospel with others.

Headshot photo of author Kim Meeder

Kim Meeder

Kim Meeder and her husband, Troy, are the co-founders of Crystal Peaks Youth Ranch, a non-profit organization in Bend, Oregon, that rescues abused horses and pairs them with hurting kids for mutual healing. Kim is a popular motivational speaker and the author of a half dozen books including Hope Rising and Bridge Called Hope, which feature inspirational stories from her ranch.

Revival Rising

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Mothers and Sons: Being a Godly Influence - Part 2

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Rhonda Stoppe

Drawing upon 35 years of experience as a mentor, pastor’s wife, and homeschool mom, Rhonda Stoppe offers encouragement and guidance to women as an author and public speaker. She is popularly known as the “No Regrets Woman,” as she is especially passionate about helping women live life without regrets. Rhonda’s books include Moms Raising Sons to Be MenReal Life Romance, and The Marriage Mentor, which she co-authored with her husband, Steve.

Cover image of Rhonda Stoppe's book "Moms Raising Sons to be Men"

Moms Raising Sons to Be Men

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Identifying Triggers in Your Marriage - Part 2

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Mr. and Mrs. Guy and Amber Lia and Mrs. Jean Daly

Amber Lia is a work-at-home mom, blogger, public speaker, and co-author of two best-selling books. Her husband, Guy, is a former TV, feature film, and VFX development and production executive who has worked on popular TV shows and films. Guy and Amber own Storehouse Media Group, a faith- and family-friendly TV and film production company based in Los Angeles,

Cover image of the book "Marriage Triggers" by Guy and Amber Lia

Marriage Triggers: How You and Your Spouse Can Exchange Angry Reactions for Gentle Biblical Responses

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What to Do When You're Not Okay - Part 2

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Author Debra Fileta in the Focus on the Family broadcast studio

Mrs. Debra Fileta

Debra Fileta is a licensed professional counselor specializing in relationship and marital issues. She is also a public speaker and the author of multiple books, including Married SexChoosing Marriage: Why It Has to Start With We > Me, Love in Every Season, and Are You Really OK: Getting Real About Who You Are, How You’re Doing, and Why It Matters. Debra’s popular relationship advice blog, TrueLoveDates.com, and her Love + Relationships podcast reach millions of people each year offering guidance on topics including love, sex, and marriage. Debra resides in Pennsylvania with her husband, John, and their four children.

Are You Really Okay?

Are You Really OK: Getting Real About Who You Are

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As a spouse, you have three roles to play—a friend, a partner, and a lover. On this one-day Focus on the Family broadcast, Pastor Kevin A. Thompson explores those different roles and challenges you to live them out by investing emotionally, physically, and mentally in your relationship. As friends, he suggests we learn to play and laugh together. As partners, he equips us with solid ways to handle conflict and communication. As lovers, he offers some thoughts on how to bring back the sizzle. He shares five keys to saving your marriage: humility, respect, mercy, communication, and resilience. You’ll be encouraged to intentionally invest in your marriage.

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Pastor Kevin Thompson

Kevin A. Thompson (MDiv, Beeson Divinity School) is lead pastor at Community Bible Church, a growing multi-site church with four locations in western Arkansas. Every year he meets with nearly one hundred couples with a range of needs, from pre-marital counseling to navigating the most serious betrayals. A marriage and parenting conference speaker, he and his wife, Jenny, have two children and live in Fort Smith, Arkansas. He blogs at kevinathompson.com.

Cover image of Kevin Thompson's book "Friends, Partners & Lovers"

Friends, Partners, and Lovers: What It Takes to Make Your Marriage Work

With engaging stories and clear, simple language, pastor Kevin Thompson shows how to live out three distinct roles in marraige. Using solid biblical principles, he helps you and your spouse grow your friendship, be supportive partners through the good times and the bad, and develop a healthy and satisfying sex life.

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Mr. Greg Koukl

Greg Koukl is a writer, public speaker and talk show host who’s spent 30 years advocating for and defending the Christian worldview. Greg has written or contributed to 15 books, including The Story of RealityTactics, and Precious Unborn Human Persons. Greg has published nearly 230 articles and has spoken on 80 college and university campuses in the U.S. and abroad.

Tactics front cover

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Author Debra Fileta in the Focus on the Family broadcast studio

Debra Fileta

Debra Fileta is a licensed professional counselor specializing in relationship and marital issues. She is also a public speaker and the author of multiple books, including Married SexChoosing Marriage: Why It Has to Start With We > Me, Love in Every Season, and Are You Really OK: Getting Real About Who You Are, How You’re Doing, and Why It Matters. Debra’s popular relationship advice blog, TrueLoveDates.com, and her Love + Relationships podcast reach millions of people each year offering guidance on topics including love, sex, and marriage.

Love in Every Season: Understanding the Four Stages of a Healthy Relationship

Every relationship goes through four life-changing seasons: Spring. Summer. Fall. Winter. Each season plays an important role in taking your relationship to the next level. And depending on how you navigate each season, your relationship will either flourish and grow, or it will slowly die. Whether you’re single, dating, engaged or married, join licensed professional counselor and relationship expert, Debra Fileta as she takes you on an eye-opening psychological and spiritual journey through the four seasons that she has observed in every healthy relationship.

How a Former Abortion Doctor Became Pro-Life

As an abortion doctor at Planned Parenthood, Dr. Patti Giebink believed she was helping women. Later, she began reading scripture and God gradually changed her heart on the abortion issue. Patti tells the story of her long journey from abortion doctor to pro-life and encourages listeners to share the message of life with compassion.

Headshot image of Focus on the Family broadcast guest Dr. Patti Giebink

Mrs. Patti Giebink

Dr. Patti Giebink is an OB-GYN who serves on the board of the Alpha Center, a well-known pregnancy center located in Sioux Falls, S.D. She also travels intermittently to work in mission hospitals in Pakistan and other countries. After completing her medical training, Dr. Giebink worked for Planned Parenthood from 1995-1997, during which she was the only abortion-provider in the state of South Dakota. She eventually experienced a radical change of heart on the issue of abortion after receiving God’s grace, forgiveness, and love, and she is now a passionate advocate for the pro-life movement.

Cover image of the book "Unexpected Choice: An Abortion Doctor’s Journey to Pro-Life"

Unexpected Choice: An Abortion Doctor’s Journey to Pro-Life

Unexpected Choice is told from the perspective of a doctor who actually performed abortions through Planned Parenthood. The book chronicles her journey from being a pro-choice physician to someone speaking on behalf of the pro-life movement.

Giving up Sugar, Tasting God's Goodness

As a latchkey kid, Wendy Speake turned to sugar for comfort. Every Friday, she would pedal to the candy show and use her allowance to fill her bag with candy. And one day, when she was older and a mom of three young boys, she came to realize that she was still “pedaling” away from her stress and using sugar as comfort, instead of turning to Jesus. She was joyless, worn out, tired, and in need of a change. In this interview, Wendy will challenge Christians to take 40 days to focus on fasting from something they turn to instead of Jesus for comfort. She invited people to break free from a dependence on sugar and taste the goodness of God.

Author Wendy Speake smiling as she holds up her book "The 40-Day Social Media Fast"

Mrs. Wendy Speake

With a background in Hollywood as a trained actress, Wendy Speake ministers to women as a bible teacher by applying the power of drama, poetry and comedy to the study of Scripture and real-life application of biblical truths. She has co-authored two books with Amber Lia titled Triggers: Exchanging Parents’ Angry Reactions for Gentle Biblical Responses and their latest, Parenting Scripts: When What You’re Saying Isn’t Working, Say Something New. Wendy is also the co-author (with Kelli Stuart) of Life Creative: Inspiration for Today’s Renaissance Mom.

Cover image of the book "The 40-Day Sugar Fast"

The 40-Day Sugar Fast: Where Physical Detox Meets Spiritual Transformation

Welcome to the 40-Day Sugar Fast, a fast that begins with us giving Jesus our sugar and ends with Jesus giving us himself–the only thing that can ever truly satisfy our soul’s deep hunger. On this 40-day journey you’ll learn how to stop fixating on food and other things you use to fill the voids in life and instead fix your eyes on Christ. Anyone who runs to sugar for comfort or a reward, who eats mindlessly or out of boredom, who feels physically and spiritually lethargic, or who struggles with self-control will discover here not only freedom from their cravings but an entirely new appetite for the good things God has for us.

Understanding the Root of Your Child's Misbehavior - Part 1

Often, children act out because they are used to getting attention through bad behavior. Dr. Kevin Leman offers advice to help parents transform their child’s behavior. He discusses the benefits of allowing your kids to learn from real-life consequences and describes the importance of understanding your child’s temperament based on his birth order.

Dr. Kevin Leman

Dr. Kevin Leman

Dr. Kevin Leman is an internationally known family psychologist and an award-winning, New York Times best-selling author. He is also a popular public speaker and media personality who has made countless guest appearances on numerous radio and TV programs. Dr. Leman has written more than 50 books including The Birth Order BookHave a New Kid by Friday and Making Children Mind Without Losing Yours.

Bundle of Why Your Kids Misbehave

Why Your Kids Misbehave and What to Do about It

Tantrums. Talking back. Throwing toys or food. Meltdowns. Slamming doors. Kids know just how to push your buttons. You’ve tried all sorts of methods, but nothing seems to work. In this book, Dr. Kevin Leman reveals exactly why kids misbehave and how you can turn that behavior around with practical, no-nonsense strategies that really work . . . and are a long-term win for both of you.

Understanding the Root of Your Child's Misbehavior - Part 2

Often, children act out because they are used to getting attention through bad behavior. Dr. Kevin Leman offers advice to help parents transform their child’s behavior. He discusses the benefits of allowing your kids to learn from real-life consequences and describes the importance of understanding your child’s temperament based on his birth order.

Dr. Kevin Leman

Dr. Kevin Leman

Dr. Kevin Leman is an internationally known family psychologist and an award-winning, New York Times best-selling author. He is also a popular public speaker and media personality who has made countless guest appearances on numerous radio and TV programs. Dr. Leman has written more than 50 books including The Birth Order BookHave a New Kid by Friday and Making Children Mind Without Losing Yours.

Bundle of Why Your Kids Misbehave

Why Your Kids Misbehave and What to Do about It

Tantrums. Talking back. Throwing toys or food. Meltdowns. Slamming doors. Kids know just how to push your buttons. You’ve tried all sorts of methods, but nothing seems to work. In this book, Dr. Kevin Leman reveals exactly why kids misbehave and how you can turn that behavior around with practical, no-nonsense strategies that really work . . . and are a long-term win for both of you.

Loving Your Spouse Through the Seasons of Marriage - Part 2

Debra Fileta has identified the four seasons of marriage that correspond with our natural seasons – spring (new life and new love), summer (things get hot!), fall (showing our true colors), and winter (long days ahead). In this interview, she will help couples better understand the four seasons of healthy relationships, what to expect during each one, and how to carefully navigate them for a stronger marriage.

Author Debra Fileta in the Focus on the Family broadcast studio

Debra Fileta

Debra Fileta is a licensed professional counselor specializing in relationship and marital issues. She is also a public speaker and the author of multiple books, including Married SexChoosing Marriage: Why It Has to Start With We > Me, Love in Every Season, and Are You Really OK: Getting Real About Who You Are, How You’re Doing, and Why It Matters. Debra’s popular relationship advice blog, TrueLoveDates.com, and her Love + Relationships podcast reach millions of people each year offering guidance on topics including love, sex, and marriage.

Love in Every Season: Understanding the Four Stages of a Healthy Relationship

Every relationship goes through four life-changing seasons: Spring. Summer. Fall. Winter. Each season plays an important role in taking your relationship to the next level. And depending on how you navigate each season, your relationship will either flourish and grow, or it will slowly die. Whether you’re single, dating, engaged or married, join licensed professional counselor and relationship expert, Debra Fileta as she takes you on an eye-opening psychological and spiritual journey through the four seasons that she has observed in every healthy relationship.

Reconciling Faith and Science in a Medical Crisis

Dr. Lee Warren is a neurosurgeon who has faced many heavy challenges in his life – from serving in the Iraq War to removing deadly brain tumors to experiencing the loss of a teenage son. He’ll share about his difficult quest to find answers to some of life’s toughest questions, while holding onto his faith in God and the sure hope of heaven

Headshot of Focus on the Family broadcast guest Dr. W. Lee Warren

Dr. Lee Warren

W. Lee Warren, M.D., is a brain surgeon , inventor, Iraq War veteran, and author of I’ve Seen the End of You: A Neurosurgeon’s Look at Faith, Doubt, and the Things We Think We Know, winner of the Christian Book Award®. His previous book, No Place to Hide, was included on the 2015 U.S. Air Force Chief of Staff’s Recommended Reading List. Dr. Warren has appeared on The 700 Club and the CBS Evening News, and his writings have been featured in Guideposts magazine. His Dr. Lee Warren Podcast, which is heard in more than 60 countries, helps listeners use the power of neuroscience, faith, and common sense to change their lives.

Cover image of Dr. Lee Warren's book "I've Seen the End of You"

I've Seen the End of You: A Neurosurgeon's Look at Faith, Doubt, and the Things We Think We Know

This gripping inspirational memoir grapples with the tension between faith and science—and between death and hope—as a seasoned neurosurgeon faces insurmountable odds and grief both in the office and at home.

Praying Scripture Over Your Child’s Life - Part 1

Jodie Berndt loves to pray for her children. She’s been doing that for the past thirty years. Now she helps other parents to talk to God, asking for the salvation of their kids, and for wisdom, self-discipline, purpose, a future and much more. She offers fun and practical encouragement that moms and dads can put to work immediately in their daily lives as they prepare their children for a life in Christ.

Headshot of Focus on the Family broadcast guest Jodie Berndt

Jodie Berndt

Jodie Berndt is a public speaker, a Bible teacher, and the the author of 10 books. Find out more about Jodie and get some free resources (including printable prayer cards and calendars) at her website, jodieberndt.com.

Cover image of Jodie Berndt's book "Praying the Scriptures for Your Children"

Praying the Scriptures Over Your Children

You will discover how using the Bible to shape your desires and requests opens the door to God’s provision—and frees us from things like worry and fear in our parenting! This expanded edition of the bestseller features updated content on issues like technology and identity, and comes with new material designed to invite children into the family prayer circle. Purchase now and receive 10% off your product.

Mothers and Sons: Being a Godly Influence - Part 1

Rhonda Stoppe describes her early motherhood challenges of raising a son, which was intimidating to her. She found help through group of older women mentors. She urges moms to see their role as ministry in shaping sons to be good and godly men. Rhonda outlines several practical suggestions to moms about spiritual training, how to communicate with boys, and supporting the father-son relationship as a wife.

Headshot of Rhonda Stoppe

Rhonda Stoppe

Drawing upon 35 years of experience as a mentor, pastor’s wife, and homeschool mom, Rhonda Stoppe offers encouragement and guidance to women as an author and public speaker. She is popularly known as the “No Regrets Woman,” as she is especially passionate about helping women live life without regrets. Rhonda’s books include Moms Raising Sons to Be MenReal Life Romance, and The Marriage Mentor, which she co-authored with her husband, Steve.

Cover image of Rhonda Stoppe's book "Moms Raising Sons to be Men"

Moms Raising Sons to Be Men

Mothers of boys have the special calling to shape future men of God. Popular speaker Rhonda Stoppe, mom to two sons, knows this opportunity is a challenge, a joy, and probably the most important work of a woman’s life. Drawing from years of experience, this inspirational resource will revive the faithfulness and fortitude a woman needs to partner with God as they shape the character and heart of a future godly man.

Identifying Triggers in Your Marriage Part 1

They were both convinced they had married the wrong person. From almost the very beginning of their marriage, Amber and Guy Lia experienced various tensions and personality clashes related to house cleaning, backseat driving, workaholism, and intimacy. In this two-day Focus on the Family broadcast, Amber and Guy discuss how they bravely faced the triggers head-on, and committed to working on their own relationships with Jesus. As you listen to the Lia’s story, you’ll feel hope that you, too, can see real marriage transformation!

Headshot of Guy and Amber Lia

Mr. and Mrs. Guy and Amber Lia and Mrs. Jean Daly

Amber Lia is a work-at-home mom, blogger, public speaker, and co-author of two best-selling books. Her husband, Guy, is a former TV, feature film, and VFX development and production executive who has worked on popular TV shows and films. Guy and Amber own Storehouse Media Group, a faith- and family-friendly TV and film production company based in Los Angeles,

Cover image of the book "Marriage Triggers" by Guy and Amber Lia

Marriage Triggers: How You and Your Spouse Can Exchange Angry Reactions for Gentle Biblical Responses

A husband-wife team offers practical advice for married couples to end the cycle of reactionary arguments by examining the most common issues that trigger disagreements and apply God’s Word to radically transform relationships.

What to Do When You're Not Okay - Part 1

Life can be pretty stressful. Between work, relationships, and other obligations, the pressure builds, and we lose sight of who we are. Counselor Debra Fileta helps you better understand your emotions, assess your mental, physical, and spiritual health, and intentionally pursue a path to wellbeing. In dealing with anxiety, depression, and panic attacks, Debra understands the importance of self-examination as well as the benefits of seeking professional help. She offers biblically-based advice, tools, and encouragement to help you get on a path toward healing and wholeness.

Author Debra Fileta in the Focus on the Family broadcast studio

Mrs. Debra Fileta

Debra Fileta is a licensed professional counselor specializing in relationship and marital issues. She is also a public speaker and the author of multiple books, including Married SexChoosing Marriage: Why It Has to Start With We > Me, Love in Every Season, and Are You Really OK: Getting Real About Who You Are, How You’re Doing, and Why It Matters. Debra’s popular relationship advice blog, TrueLoveDates.com, and her Love + Relationships podcast reach millions of people each year offering guidance on topics including love, sex, and marriage. Debra resides in Pennsylvania with her husband, John, and their four children.

Are You Really Okay?

Are You Really OK: Getting Real About Who You Are

In Are You Really OK? author and licensed counselor Debra Fileta challenges you to get real with who you are and how you’re doing spiritually, emotionally, mentally, and physically so you can recognize where you need growth and healing.

Navigating a Toxic Culture with Your Daughter - Part 1

As a pediatrician, Dr. Meg Meeker has seen thousands of girls come through her office through the years. They struggle with eating issues, sexual identity, social media…and many other challenges in this toxic culture. Dr. Meeker will encourage parents to invest love and time in their daughters and develop their character to give them the best opportunity for a bright future, all rooted in a spiritual foundation. The discussion also includes healthy feminism vs. toxic feminism

Mrs. Meg Meeker

Dr. Meg Meeker is a pediatrician who is widely recognized as one of the country’s leading authorities on parenting, teens and children’s health. With appearances on numerous nationally syndicated radio and TV programs, her popularity as a an expert on key issues confronting families has created a strong following across America. Her work with countless families over the years served as the inspiration behind her best-selling books which include Strong Fathers, Strong DaughtersStrong Mothers, Strong Sons and The Ten Habits of Happy Mothers

Cover image of Dr. Meg Meeker's book "Raising a Strong Daughter in a Toxic Culture"

Raising a Strong Daughter in a Toxic Culture: 11 Steps to Keep Her Happy, Healthy, and Safe

Meg Meeker has been a pediatrician for more than thirty years, is a mother and a grandmother, and has seen it all. She knows what makes for strong, happy, healthy young women–and what puts our daughters at risk. Combining that experience with her famous common sense, she explains the eleven steps that will help your daughter–whether she’s a toddler or a troubled teen–to achieve her full human potential.

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Newest Release - Episode 1: The Truth About Life!

In this episode, we will tackle tough questions like, “When does life begin?” and “What does the Bible
say about Life?” You’ll discover and understand the stages of pre-born life and that babies are more than
just a clump of cells!

Yes, I Promise to Pray for the Pre-born and Their Moms!

Will you pray for the pre-born and moms that are facing unexpected pregnancies? We will send you a 7-day prayer guide that will help guide you along this journey with us!! You can even choose to receive this great resource by text!

Thank you for committing to pray for the pre-born!

Sign up below for your free seven-day prayer guide. This daily guide will help give direction to your prayers for the pro-life movement. We will be praying with you! 

Focus on the Family

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