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Keeping Your Family Healthy

Keeping Your Family Healthy

Dr. Scott James offers a three-step approach for how families can integrate biblical truth and faith with their health and well-being. He also offers some general health tips and encouragement for those struggling with fear in the face of trying circumstances.
Original Air Date: October 15, 2021

Child: (Coughing)

John Fuller: Well, if you’re a parent, you know that routine all too well. It’s, it’s late, uh, long after everyone’s bedtime, but you can’t sleep because your child is sick. Uh, you keep checking their temperature. They don’t have a fever, but the cough medicine isn’t working and it’s really hard to watch your child suffer. What do you do? Today on Focus on the Family, we’re going to offer some encouragement to you as a mom or a dad, uh, particularly if you have younger children, about navigating sickness and health in your family. Your host is Focus president and author, Jim Daly, and I’m John Fuller.

Jim Daly: You know, if you’re facing a challenge like that in your family, I hope the first thing you do is pray. Uh, sometimes I’m, I’m embarrassed to say it, but I didn’t often do that. I needed to. Just say, “Lord, help us in this moment.” Uh, that’s the first right place to go, um, especially if your child is not feeling well and is sick. It’s so easy for us to take our health and our family’s health and wellbeing for granted. And the apprehension many of us felt during the COVID pandemic is still fresh in our minds. It’s a little bit in the rear-view mirror, but we’re still suffering the consequences of it. And that’s why I’m so thankful for the doctors and nurses and the medical staff who have dedicated themselves to making us healthier.

John: Mm-hmm.

Jim: And I love that the Lord works through their capability and their giftedness to help us do better, physically and emotionally. And more importantly, though, we need to remind ourselves and our children that no matter what illness or health issue we may be facing, we can trust God in those moments. And we don’t know where it’s going to go, but we can trust him that it’ll go where he wants them to go.

John: Mm-hmm. Yeah. Absolutely. And we’re so pleased to have Dr. Scott James join us today. Uh, he’s a pediatric infectious disease specialist and a member of Focus on the Family’s Physicians Resource Council. Jim, they are a great team of physicians and medical professionals who volunteer their time to advise us about, uh, medical issues that are most relevant to families. And Dr. James is a professor and author of several books as well. One of those, that we’ll be hearing more about today, is called God Cares for Me: Helping Children Trust God When They’re Sick. And you can get your copy from us here at Focus on the Family. Our number’s 800-A-FAMILY or stop by focusonthefamily.com/broadcast.

Jim: Dr. James, welcome back to Focus on the Family.

Dr. Scott James: Jim, thanks so much. It’s really good to be with you all.

Jim: Yeah, it’s good to have you here. And, uh, let’s start with the idea of why, what prompted you to write this book? What did you see that you’re trying to fill a need for?

Dr. James: Hmm. I, I think as a pastor, as a parent, as a pediatrician, uh, I’m in this world all the time where we’re navigating really difficult conversations with kids. Uh, and so it’s always been on my heart to want to be able to equip parents to have some tough conversations about some really hard things, illness, pain, suffering, death, even. These are things that, that kids, uh, are aware of and the world around them. They’re not naïve to these things. And, uh, I want to be able to help parents have some gospel-centered conversations about that. So that’s, that’s always been my heart. And it really does seem like the past couple of years have been some, um, a, a lot going on that have brought those conversations to the forefront.

Jim: Let me ask you about that. You know, some of the, uh, pandemic discussion, the masking and the things that people had to do, many people thought about those children that were born during that time, those one and two and maybe three-year-olds that were seeing people faceless. Um, as a physician, what impact do you think that will have on those children? Now that they’re going to be 5, 6, 7, 8. Has anybody looked into that?

Dr. James: Uh, there, I’ve, I’ve read some good studies, uh, that are beginning to look into that. I think the, uh, long-term effects are still going to be something we look at as the years go by. But there’s been a lot of good work, I think, on facial recognition and-

Jim: Yeah, that’s important.

Dr. James: … the, the importance of a, you have a baby even kind of bonding and connecting with caregivers over facial features and ex- expressions. Um, whether or not kind of people in masks sort of in the community would have a, a more direct effect is probably less obvious, but, uh, definitely worth, worth looking into.

Jim: And, you know, the book is really written for the common fears. And Jean and I had that with the boys. You know, we had the late night, uh, problems, the vomiting, and then you’re thinking, okay, you go to, uh, a website and you start looking at all the symptoms, “Oh my goodness. How could Trent been bitten by an African spider?” You know? But, uh-

Dr. James: Anything’s possible.

Jim: (laughs) Anything is possible. But it is kind of, you can become fear or gripped by fear, uh, as a parent, even a Christian parent who knows the Lord has these things in his hand. So what, uh, what are your observations about parents and how they are driven by fear for their kids?

Dr. James: It’s interesting you put the locus on parents there, cause as a pediatrician, I’m kind of thinking first of the kid. They’re afraid of what’s going on. They’re the ones who are sick and walking through whatever illnesses. And they’re scared by what’s, what’s going on here.

Jim: Sure.

Dr. James: But as parents, you’re absolutely right. We can be filled with as much or more fear because we, we see the bigger picture we’ve, we’ve, we’ve Googled it and we know what the worst-case scenarios could be.

Jim: Right. (laughs)

Dr. James: Right? So we’re, as we’re trying to help them walk through, uh, fearful times as they walk through illness, we also are full of fear. And that can impact the way that we interact with them. And we can sometimes unwittingly kind of even, uh, spread our fear to them, uh, by sort of highlighting that fear is the driving emotion in this situation right now, I’m afraid, you’re afraid, we’re all going to be afraid together. And that’s kind of a hopeless situation. And so-

Jim: You know… Yeah. Dr. James, I, I do want to pick up on that because you said it right from the beginning as a pastor, as a physician, as a father, you have young children. How do we balance that? When the scripture says fear not and, you know, your child’s ill. Uh, and again, we’re not talking about those serious illnesses, although that certainly is part of it, but we’re talking about just illness in general-

Dr. James: Mm-hmm.

Jim: … Where your child has symptoms and it’s difficult. How harmful can it be for the parent to be transmitting this issue of fear? And what are we teaching our children when we’re that fearful?

Dr. James: Well, in a sense, it comes down to what is, what’s your foundation? What is your driving motivation? And, and for me as a parent, the thing I want to communicate to my children is that it’s, it’s Jesus Christ. It’s who I am in Christ. It’s the firm foundation of God’s Word and his care for me. Uh, and so if fear is the primary emotion that I’m communicating to my kids right then, I think I’m missing an opportunity to demonstrate God’s love to them. I’m missing an opportunity to show them the gospel. Uh, so I, I wanna acknowledge the fear. I don’t wanna sugar coat it. I don’t wanna pretend that a bad situation is no big deal until, you know, little Johnny like, oh, you know, there’s nothing going on. We’re fine. Like, no, he’s, he’s smarter than that. He knows that something is going on. Children are way more perceptive than we give them credit for.

Jim: Yeah.

Dr. James: They, they know that something’s not right. So acknowledge that. And then go from that position of you’re in the valley together to then, who’s going to walk with us through this valley?

Jim: Yeah.

Dr. James: And that’s when we can look to Christ.

Jim: Have you seen a parent… Because you’re, you’re, you know, you’re interacting with hundreds of patients, have you seen a parent that has really caught your attention that has managed this well?

Dr. James: By God’s grace, many. Yeah. Thankfully.

Jim: That’s good.

Dr. James: Yeah.

Jim: That’s encouraging to hear. And what are those adjectives that describe those parents that manage this well?

Dr. James: There’s a peace and a contentment that transcends the reality of, of what’s going on. So we could be in a hospital room. Things are not going well, things are falling apart. It could be even more, you know, serious illness type stuff, not just, you know, cold symptoms at home, but like serious illness. And I’m there as a physician trying to walk them through that and obviously help the child get better and get past this. But in the midst of even the hard things that are going on, a lot of the parents that I work with, there’s just this sense of peace, “There’s this sense of this is not good, this is not right, but I trust that God has a plan for this. I trust that God is in control.” Uh, and, and it’s not lip service. You can kind of hear them when they sort of appeal to God. It’s, it’s not just, um, I, you know, well, I practice, I’m in the Bible belt. So a lot of people use religious language, but there’s a, a lot of people that, uh, when we’re having these hard conversations, give heartfelt appeals to God and his goodness and his glory and his just providence throughout the whole thing. And that is what they’re trusting in. And as a physician, when I’m walking through a tough with a family like, like that, it bolsters me. I find hope and encouragement. And it energizes me. It reminds me of why I do what I do, because I ultimately want to bring healing here and now so that eventually, uh, healing can come eternally through gospel.

Jim: Boy, that’s amazing. I mean, I don’t know that we as parents who are doing our vocational thing would think that we would be able to lift the spirits of the physicians working with our children. That’s a great encouragement, actually.

Dr. James: [crosstalk] from it so much.

Jim: Down to some practical advice, you recommend a three-step approach for comforting our children when they’re sick and it starts with acknowledging their pain and discomfort. Um, why is that first one important? What are the other two?

Dr. James: Well, you backfire from the beginning if you don’t actually validate that something is going wrong. So if a kid obviously knows I’m sick, I don’t feel well, something’s not right and you kind of tell them, oh, it’s nothing, you’re fine. Well, they know that’s a lie. Like, they’re the ones feeling the pain, they’re the ones with the fever. They’re the ones with the whatever’s going on. And so if you sort of… They have legit concerns over what they’re feeling. And if you dismiss it from the start, you kind of lose your trust. Uh, so acknowledging with them, get down in the trenches with them, acknowledge that this is a hard thing we’re walking through, this is not fun. But then help them understand, and they’re usually perceptive enough to bring this out on themselves, that when we’re walking through hard times and things are going wrong, there’s this kind of baseline feeling that this is not the way it’s meant to be, something in the world is broken. Something is gone wrong that an innocent child in this sense would have to be suffering through cancer or through whatever illness this, this is, we’re walking through. That…there’s something deep in our guts that says that’s not the way it’s meant to be. And so that’s that sort of gospel yearning that when you acknowledge the reality of a broken world that we live in and the effects of sin in our world far and wide, which includes illness and death, uh, then you have an avenue to then kind of put your arm around them and point them to Christ, which is the second thing of putting them on a firm foundation, acknowledge the reality, but then let them know even as hard as it is, we’re not alone. God is with us. He is right there with us. And he gives us an open pathway to run to him, to call out to him, to trust in him, and take all of our fears and anxieties to him because he cares for us.

Jim: Right. And then that third thing.

Dr. James: We’re not in this alone from a community standpoint either. So God is right there with us, and we get to put them on a firm foundation and celebrating the goodness of the gospel, even in the midst of hard times, but also God’s given us a church family to be a part of, he’s given us a community of believers. And he has specifically told us, bear one another’s burdens, love one another, don’t do what’s a selfish thing, do selfless things to encourage other people around you. So we’ve got this community of believers who want to walk alongside us as we’re going through difficult times. And kids, just like anybody else, can appreciate that fact that they’ve got a team of people that are rooting for them, that are praying for them, that are on their side. Uh, and they, they’re bolstered by that. So kind of finding that sorta kingdom mentality. We are all in this together. We are all God’s family.

Jim: There is something unique about children, though, and being a pediatrician, I know you see this, but kids have a vibrancy, kind of a trust, uh, they’re not, uh… What’s the right word? They haven’t been, um, burnt by the world. They have that innocence, I guess is the right way to say it.

Dr. James: Mm-hmm.

Jim: And it must be encouraging for you as an adult who, (laughs) you know, you have gone to med school, you’ve lived this life, you’re married, you have children, you know? But to see that buoyancy in children. And then to see it in this context where they may be diagnosed with a traumatic illness, or, you know, it’s just the everyday stuff that those patients are coming in to see you, they’re suffering through something. How do you see that as a doctor? I mean, do you see the difference between adult and children when it comes to their heart?

Dr. James: Absolutely. Uh, and I learned so much from them every, every single day, every encounter. Uh, I, I try to just sort of key in on how kids are walking through it because they typically are wise beyond their years-

Jim: That’s true.

Dr. James: …in ways that adults don’t always recognize. So I see the resiliency, the, the innocence, in a sense. Um, when I’m prone to see the worst in people, children are the antidote to that. They, they assume the best of people. When I’m-

Jim: Isn’t true?

Dr. James: Yeah. When I’m prone to be cynical, uh, they’re prone to be more charitable and to, to believe good things and good, good motives. So I’m, whether it’s my own kids or my patients, uh, I’m, the spirit is continually working through them, uh, to kind of help give me glimmers of, uh, what God is calling me to be like.

Jim: Yeah. In this, I mean, great children’s book that you’ve written, God Cares for Me, uh, what are some of those scriptural truths that you’re getting across to the kids?

Dr. James: So yeah, a lot, a lot of the book, uh, it’s a relatively simple story that kind of walks through the day in the life of a sick child who’s scared of going to the doctor. But the whole point of the book is to give parents some concrete handles to hold onto to begin having those conversations. So a lot of it is very intentionally kind of scriptural themes that weave in such as, uh, the name of the Lord is a strong tower, the righteous run into it and they are safe. So we’ve got a strong tower that we can take refuge in. Uh, you, you’ve got a God who you can cry out to and you can give your cares to him because he cares for you. So the parents are reminding kids of that. You’re scared right now. Let’s take it to the Lord. Let’s give our anxieties to him, ’cause he’s going to care for us. Um, and then the mom at one point tells the child, this is a concept that I, I love so much, praying God’s Words back to him. And so she says, she specifically says to the boy, when I’m scared, I like to pray God’s promises to me back to him. So I tell the Lord, when I’m afraid, I will trust in you from Psalm 56. These are scriptural truths that can bolster even the most fearful heart. And as a parent, these are things that I need to be preaching to myself constantly.

Jim: Yeah.

Dr. James: So anytime I can, uh, interact with my kids in a way that ministers to them and points them to God’s faithfulness, but also to be Frank, bolsters up my own trembling heart, I, I desperately need that.

Jim: What wonderful lessons to, uh, to teach children and parents. That’s great.

John: Yeah. Really appreciate what we’re hearing today from Dr. Scott James on Focus on the Family. And, uh, as you can tell, we really like this book, God Cares for Me. And it’s a great tool for any parent. Uh, if you’ve got grandkids, maybe pass this along as well. Get a copy from us here. Call 800, the letter A and the word FAMILY. Or stop by focusonthefamily.com/broadcast.

Jim: Uh, Scott, you’re a pastor. I’ve mentioned that a couple of times now. How, how do you integrate, um, your pastoral care, I guess, into your role as a physician? I love the idea, the concept of that. I guess when I think of Dr. Luke in the scripture, that’s the kind of doctor I would envision.

Dr. James: He’s a role model for sure. Yeah. I, I look at them both as shepherding work. And so I think they overlap a lot. Uh, most, uh, most of my work, uh, as a pastor and as a doctor really just involved listening well to people and trying to find out where they are and what’s going on and how, how, what challenges they’re facing and then how, uh, how I can sort of step in and minister alongside them. So in a, in a pastoral context, it’s, you know, directly applying pastoral care and the Word of God. And in a, a medical context, it’s, it’s often applying medical advice and wisdom and the common grace that God has given us through, uh, treatments and therapeutics and such. But I want to make sure that, uh, a large part of the medical relationship is really that patient-doctor relationship and the trust that’s formed there and listening well. I, I really do my best from, uh, to, to sort of minister to them in a pastoral sense, just in the sense that I want to sit, I want to listen, I want to give them the time to really get off their chest, what their fears and concerns are-

Jim: Sure.

Dr. James: … What’s motivating, why they’re seeking care, and what’s going on. And then I’m going to sort of dive in and see if I can help actually fix their issue, uh, medically speaking. But oftentimes parents tell me at the end of that, even if it’s something I don’t have a quick fix for, I can’t just write a prescription and make this thing go away, I’ll often have parents tell me that they just appreciate having been heard. And they feel like they truly have been, uh, ministered to in that sense that they were able to be pastored to in that way. So I look at them kind of hand-in-hand.

Jim: I can imagine that moment being with, uh, the patient and his or her parents. I mean, it’s, it’s an intimate situation. Let me ask you, so much of modern culture, you know, we put so much trust in science. And, you know, in some ways, science is also now, I think with the objective thinkers in science, they’re saying, especially with the human being, there are elements that they don’t understand, that prayer somehow works. Uh, you’ve seen research and studies in this regard. And of course, Christians, as Christians, we talk about those three components of body, soul, and spirit. And you must see that. How, how do you integrate the spiritual component into your vocation as a scientist and a doctor? Um, does that come easily? Do you get into those discussions with the parents of your patients? How does that happen?

Dr. James: Yeah. Absolutely, I do. Uh, uh, at baseline, it’s what motivates me. So the interaction between faith and science is why I’m a doctor, it’s, it’s because of my faith in Jesus Christ. Uh, and because of what God has shown me in the natural world that made me curious as a scientist to go learn more and to dive into, uh, the truth that I can discover through scientific research and such. I, I learned more about God in the sense the more that I study his natural word, because he reveals himself through his creation. So-

Jim: Can I, can I interrupt for a second and let you continue? But in that regard, you look at some of the famous scientists, Louis Pasteur and others, Isaac Newton, they kind of had that framework that what they were trying to do as scientists was discover God’s natural law. They kind of started with that premise. Now we’ve gotten far from that now where many secular schools that are teaching, you basically start just with the science. There is no God.

Dr. James: Mm-hmm.

Jim: But what a refreshing reminder about what those early scientists were trying to do, they were unlocking the mysteries of what God had put in place, right?

Dr. James: Absolutely. You, you look at a verse likes all Psalm 19:1, the heavens declare the glory of the Lord. So he-heavens creation in general, you can see the majesty of God. You can see some general revelation of who he is in his creation. And so if the heavens declare the glory of the Lord, if I can get a telescope and look out into the vast skies and see some form of the majesty of God, it also stands to reason that I can do the opposite and look through a microscope at a microbe or at some cellular component and it goes to the reverse, and I can see the glory of the Lord in the microscopic view of creation as well.

Jim: Yeah.

Dr. James: And so as a scientist and so many historical, uh, scientific discoveries have been motivated by Christians who are just trying to know God better in his creation. That, that drives a lot of people in the scientific community.

Jim: Yeah. And I think that’s refreshing. I think that’s something to remember-

Dr. James: Absolutely.

Jim: … uh, as we look at a highly, uh, secular world now that doesn’t understand what we as Christians believe.

Dr. James: Yeah.

Jim: Uh, let me ask you, Scott, you have four kids of your own. I mentioned that your father of young kids, uh, I’m wondering what are some pros and cons of having a parent who is a doctor? (laughs) How do your own children suffer? You know, your web MD yourself.

Dr. James: It’s strictly for them because, um, I’m constantly running a track in the back of my mind of all the worst-case scenarios that this could be. So any, any sniffle that comes along, I’ve got a differential diagnosis list. Uh-

Jim: How does your wife interact with that? Does she, uh, leave all the medical things to you? Or does she come to you and say, have you noticed?

Dr. James: She’s, she’s wiser than me in many, many ways. So-

Jim: (laughs).

Dr. James: … that she, she does, uh, definitely kind of defer to me on some of the, those thoughts and kind of basically a triage level of what do we need to freak out about and what do we not need to freak out about. So it’s one of those tricks where I try to balance it. I don’t want to be overbearing in any way. So I actually tend to kind of go to the opposite end of the spectrum. So even though I’m running a list of worst-case scenarios in the back of my mind, uh, in practicality, I end up much more low key, a much more laid back, much more kind of rub some dirt on it and you’ll be fine. So I, I kinda, I tend to be more on the, the lax side when it comes down to it.

Jim: That’s pretty normal for doctors. You know, the friends, Jean and I have that are physicians. They tend to be that way. They’re very, so what? (laughs)

Dr. James: Yeah. And you kinda keep an eye on like, all right, what’s a red flag that I might need to pay attention to? But everything else is probably fine.

Jim: Right? You’re, you’re far more practical than I think most parents would be.

Dr. James: Yeah.

Jim: Um, what are some general health tips for families who want to prevent disease and, and stay as healthy as possible? I mean, I know these things are, we should be able to tick these off even as non-medical people, but what are the habits that we need to develop as families?

Dr. James: Well, Jim, you mentioned part of it, is just kind of this half- healthy balance between physical, and emotional, and spiritual health. Uh, we, we, we’re designed to be kind of whole creatures. We’re not compartmentalized into different aspects. And so we’ve got to kind of take care of all of these things together. So any attempt to sort of separate those things off and focus in on one little aspect, just eat healthy and work out a lot and you’ll be fine. But if you’re not, if you’re neglecting kind of the mental and emotional aspect of health, then you might not be fine. So I typically recommend that parents just have a well-rounded approach, uh, to physical, mental, and spiritual health. So the spiritual health, uh, obviously is from, from our perspective is, is going to be, um, leading them into the word and kind of fostering a spiritual life that is connected to, to God and drawing closer to him continually. Um, mental aspect is, is really, uh, helping, helping children process the world that’s going on around them, have, having good, healthy, uh, sounding boards available to them. So I’ve got a couple of teenagers now. And so the conversations are just expanding in scope, uh, at an exponential rate.

Jim: Welcome to the club. It’s so fun so far. (laughs)

Dr. James: So it’s, it’s, it really is kind of, yeah, from a mental aspect, just trying to foster good, healthy habits and thinking, and, and just sort of process, uh, a healthy way to process the world around them, uh, and just having good conversation partners. And that’s not a cure-all-

Jim: Yeah.

Dr. James: … but it can help put them on a right footing to interact with the people around them. From a physical standpoint, I really do kind of just advocate some of the basics of good, healthy diet, a good balance between kind of physical outdoor activity. And, you know, everyone needs to kind of have some rest and relaxation and read a good book as well. So don’t be too overboard on one end of the spectrum of the other. Good rest. Uh, I think sleep is, uh, often an overlooked part of the, uh, of a healthy environment. Uh, and so, yeah, a lot of the complaints that I get in my clinics, if you kind of tease it out, it really comes down to a teenager that’s, you know, sleeping four hours a night with his phone on the bed stand every five seconds.

Jim: Oh, I was going the other way, the teenager sleeping 12 hours. (laughs)

Dr. James: I know. Well, that does happen too, but we, we have a lot that just end up kind of staying up night.

Jim: Yeah. That’s not good.

Dr. James: Well, and they’re trying to nap during the day-

Jim: Yeah.

Dr. James: … And then they come into clinic and say, oh, he’s always tired during the day.

Jim: You know, in that regard, let’s just tease out some of those, uh, perspectives. Uh, if you might have a child who’s leans into activity really easily and another child that doesn’t. And, you know, we’re all created very uniquely. How does a parent manage those differing dynamics? How do you motivate a child who isn’t that active physically?

Dr. James: Yeah, that’s tricky, ’cause you’re, you’re not going to have a one-size-fits-all approach to this. I, I have four kids and they’re all four pretty drastically different, uh, in regard to how they interact in that way. So a lot of it is, is trying to avoid cookie-cutter approaches, but also having kind of a, a well-rounded family approach. So part of our, our deal is, uh, if you’re part of this family, you’re going to be on board with certain things, even if it’s not your favorite thing. ‘Cause there’s other times we’re going to be doing something that is your favorite thing and your sister is going to be kind of be the one making the sacrifice.

Jim: Right. (laughs)

Dr. James: There’s, there’s a family component where we can kinda spur children along to do some activities or some, some things that we would consider to be good and beneficial and, um, healthy things that are going to help them develop well and stay healthy, uh, even if it’s not their cup of tea per se, but they’re kind of gonna go along with it because the family does. Beyond that, though, it really is this kind of individualized approach, where I’ve got to do the hard work of actually getting to know each and every one of my kids and finding out what makes them tick and kind of how to help guide them best.

Jim: It’s so true. That’s what makes parenting, I think, somewhat enjoyable, actually. Because it isn’t cookie cutter. You’ve got to treat each child in a unique way. I like it. And, uh, Dr. Scott James, you’ve written a great little children’s book here, God Cares for Me. And the subtitle, this really tells us what it’s all about, Helping Children Trust God When They’re Sick. And we as parents, not falling into the fear category, chasing down every little symptom, uh, and, uh, you know, exploding that into a catastrophe, and you see it every day. And I so appreciate that reminder as parents, how we need to provide our children’s stability emotionally, spiritually, and physically, to the best of our ability. And your, again, your book here does a wonderful job with the whole family. So thank you. Thanks for being with us and thanks for creating this resource.

Dr. James: Thank you. Thanks for having me on.

Jim: Yeah. And let me remind you, uh, that if you can, we’d love for you to join us in ministry, to help people. And if you can make a gift of any amount, particularly a monthly gift, that really helps us even out the budget, uh, we’ll send you a copy of, uh, Dr. James’s book as our way of saying thank you. If you can’t afford it, we’ll get it in your hands. We get that and we’ll trust others will cover the cost of that. But we want you to have this. We don’t want you to be that fearful parent, uh, and really, um, contributing to your children’s fear when it comes to their physical wellbeing. Let’s be, uh, fearless in the Lord in every way, including our physical status.

John: Yeah, this is, uh, some great stuff. And certainly thanks to all who paid forward through your generosity, uh, and your prayers, making it possible for others to receive this book by Dr. James. Our number is 800, the letter A and the word FAMILY. Or you can donate and find help at focusonthefamily.com/broadcast. Well, have a great weekend with your family and your church family as well. And then, uh, coming up on Monday, we’re going to hear from Robert Lewis, who describes how to prepare your son for manhood.

Preview:

Robert Lewis: Let me tell you, those responsibilities are hard. They’re going to take everything you got. So you’ve got to live courageously. And the thing that keeps you steady in those difficult times is you’ve got to believe, on the back end, God will reward you.

End of Preview

John: On behalf of Jim Daly and the entire team, thanks for joining us today for Focus on the Family. I’m John Fuller, inviting you back as we, once again, help you and your family thrive in Christ.

Today's Guests

Cover image of the book "God Cares for Me" by Scott James

God Cares for Me: Helping Children Trust God When They're Sick

Receive Dr. Scott James' book God Cares for Me for your donation of any amount!

Recent Episodes

Promotional image for Focus on the Family broadcast "Embracing Your Role as a Spouse"

Embracing Your Role as a Spouse

Pastor Kevin Thompson explores three primary roles in marriage – friend, partner, and lover – and explains how spouses can live out those roles optimally by investing in their relationship mentally, emotionally, and physically.

Promotional image for the Focus on the Family broadcast "Praying Scripture Over Your Child's Life"

Praying Scripture Over Your Child’s Life (Part 2 of 2)

Jodie Berndt, best-selling author of the Praying the Scriptures book series, offers parents guidance for how they can more frequently and effectively pray for their children’s faith, wisdom, self-discipline, character, life purpose, and more. (Part 2 of 2)

Promotional image for the Focus on the Family broadcast "Praying Scripture Over Your Child's Life"

Praying Scripture Over Your Child’s Life (Part 1 of 2)

Jodie Berndt, best-selling author of the Praying the Scriptures book series, offers parents guidance for how they can more frequently and effectively pray for their children’s faith, wisdom, self-discipline, character, life purpose, and more. (Part 1 of 2)

You May Also Like

Focus on the Family Broadcast logo

Avoiding Shame-Based Parenting

Psychologist Dr. Kelly Flanagan discusses the origins of shame, the search for self-worth in all the wrong places, and the importance of extending grace to ourselves. He also explains how parents can help their kids find their own sense of self-worth, belonging and purpose.

Focus on the Family Broadcast logo

Becoming a Clutter-Free Family

Joshua Becker discusses the benefits a family can experience if they reduce the amount of “stuff” they have and simplify their lives. He addresses parents in particular, explaining how they can set healthy boundaries on how much stuff their kids have, and establish new habits regarding the possession of toys, clothes, artwork, gifts and more.

Loving Your Spouse Through the Seasons of Marriage - Part 1

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.

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.

Navigating a Toxic Culture with Your Daughter - Part 2

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.

Cherishing Your Spouse Every Day

Do you love your spouse, or do you truly cherish them? Gary Thomas encourages couples to make a daily effort to go beyond the ‘duty’ of love, and combat the natural inclination to drift apart, by choosing to see the best in their spouse.

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.

cherish front cover

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

“Most marriages survive by gritting teeth and holding on. But marriages can and will not only survive but thrive when husbands and wives learn to cherish one another.” Those are the powerful words of bestselling author Gary Thomas in his newest book–Cherish. And in a world desperate for marriage redemption, it is needed now more than ever. Thomas shows that although there are a countless number of marriages consisting of two people just going through the motions, there are real ways this pattern can be reversed: when husbands and wives learn to cherish one another in proven, loving, and everyday actions and words.

Play Video

Newest Release - Episode 2: Heroes Providing Hope

Discover the amazing work our PRC’s Directors, Nurses, and Volunteers are making in their communities! You’ll see firsthand testimonies of a PRC in action, and that there are other options outside of abortions! You’ll also discover how your family can support your local PRC!

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!

Play Video

Newest Release - Episode 4: Sometimes the Choice is Hard

Hear real life stories of parents who have made the decision to choose life even though the circumstances were overwhelming. You’ll see why “ALL” life is precious to God and why choosing life is always the right decision!

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!

Play Video

Newest Release - Episode 3: The Power of a Picture

Have you ever wondered what a baby looked like in the womb? With today’s technology, Moms and Dads can see the baby’s heartbeat, facial expressions, and movements! You’ll find out why more women choose life once they hear their baby’s heartbeat and realize it’s a real living human!

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!

Play Video

Newest Release - Episode 5: It’s Going to be Amazing!

After a couple has chosen life, hear the heartwarming stories of children that culture would have cast aside, yet are making tremendous impacts in their communities. Whether the diagnosis was adverse or the circumstances were difficult, these stories will inspire you to come along side of families who have chosen life!

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!

Play Video

Newest Release - Episode 6: Families Helping Families!

So, after all you’ve seen through the SeeLife ‘21 Episodic journey; what can you do now? We’ll share how you can partner with some amazing organizations that are making significant impacts in the pro-life movement! You want to Celebrate Life!

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!

Praying Scripture Over Your Child’s Life - Part 2

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.

Effective Habits to Embrace in Parenting

To be an effective parent, you must be a leader in your child’s life, guiding with a gentle hand and setting a solid example. Dr. Randy Schroeder provides the insight you need to be a leader-parent. As he explores the foundational Rs—relationship, routines, responsibilities, and rules—you’ll better understand the role you play in your child’s life. You’ll learn great phrases to employ such as “Either/Or/You Decide” and “When You/Then You”. While there is no perfect parent, this nuts-and-bolts material will equip you to lead your child in a loving, confident manner.

Headshot of Focus on the Family broadcast guest Dr. Randy Schroeder

Dr. Randy Schroeder

Dr. Randy Schroeder has spent more than four decades writing, counseling, speaking, and teaching. For nearly 25 years, he was Vice President of Student Personnel Services, Dean of Students, and a professor of pastoral counseling at Concordia Theological Seminary in Fort Wayne, Ind. He’s also led a successful counseling practice helping individuals, couples, and families to thrive in their lives and relationships.

Cover image of Dr. Randall Schroeder's book "Simple Habits for Effective Parenting"

Simple Habits for Effective Parenting

Effective parenting is now within your grasp! With this inspiring how-to comprehensive book, achieve extraordinary results in raising a child to be self-assured, self-reliant, and responsible! You will be able to successfully lead and lovingly encourage your child toward a Godly life!

The Spiritual Battle for Your Marriage

God designed marriage to reflect His love to the world; and because of this, the enemy wants to destroy God’s beautiful design. Based on his book, Defending Your Marriage, Dr. Tim and Noreen Muehlhoff share about the reality of spiritual warfare against marriages, and how to combat the enemy’s lies with the truth of God. Couples will be encouraged that they’re not alone in the fight for a godly marriage and better equipped to be a shining example for the world around them.

Tim and Noreen Muehlhoff Cropped

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

Is your marriage under attack? Sometimes it can feel like the world is trying to tear your marriage apart. Internal conflicts or external pressures might make you wonder if something sinister is going on. How can you tell if you’re facing spiritual opposition? And what can you do about it? Tim Muehlhoff provides a straightforward resource for protecting your marriage from the threats of the evil one. He looks at what Scripture says about spiritual warfare and how our everyday struggles have deeper spiritual realities. And he provides practical steps for guarding our marriages with the whole armor of God.

Reigniting Your Passion for Jesus - Part 1

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

With enthusiasm that will set ablaze your passion to reach the hurting, Kim Meeder encourages you to let the holy fire of God’s presence fill your heart, soul, mind and strength. As your fear and pride melt away, those around you who are losing their battle for hope will be transformed by encountering His redeeming love in you. This–this is revival rising.

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

With enthusiasm that will set ablaze your passion to reach the hurting, Kim Meeder encourages you to let the holy fire of God’s presence fill your heart, soul, mind and strength. As your fear and pride melt away, those around you who are losing their battle for hope will be transformed by encountering His redeeming love in you. This–this is revival rising.

Mothers and Sons: Being a Godly Influence - Part 2

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 2

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 2

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.

Embracing Your Role as a Spouse

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.

Headshot of Kevin Thompson

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.

Sharing Your Faith with Grace and Purpose

You can confidently and lovingly share your faith—you just need to learn some new tactics to do so! In this Focus on the Family Daily Broadcast, apologist Greg Koukl outlines the “Columbo” tactic of asking questions, the “self-defeating argument” tactic to find holes in your opponent’s arguments, and other specific methods for engaging in faith-building conversations with others. Greg pulls from his over 30 years of experience debating atheists and agnostics to help you share your faith with grace and truth.

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

Tactics, 10th Anniversary Edition: A Game Plan for Discussing Your Christian Convictions

In a world increasingly indifferent to Christian truth, followers of Christ need to be equipped to communicate with those who do not speak their language or accept their source of authority. In Tactics, 10th Anniversary Edition, Gregory Koukl demonstrates how to artfully regain control of conversations, keeping them moving forward in constructive ways through thoughtful diplomacy. You’ll learn how to stop challengers in their tracks and how to turn the tables on questions or provocative statements. Most important, you’ll learn how to get people thinking about Jesus.

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.

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 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!