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A Fresh Look at Dating (Part 2 of 2)

A Fresh Look at Dating (Part 2 of 2)

Author Gary Thomas discusses several issues within the modern dating scene – character vs. romantic attraction, the neurological impact of infatuation, the idea of soulmates – while encouraging singles to be intentional in their pursuit of a godly spouse. (Part 2 of 2)

Original Air Date: August 14, 2013

Excerpt:

Gary Thomas: A good marriage is like a gift that keeps on giving. I have been blessed literally every day of my life, because of one decision I made as a single man that I wanted to marry Lisa. And I’ve seen others that have to carry a burden, literally every day of their life, because they made a foolish marital choice.

End of Excerpt

John Fuller: That’s an important reminder from Gary Thomas about choosing wisely when it comes to marriage, and he’s back with us today on this episode of Focus on the Family. Your host is Focus president and author Jim Daly. And I’m John Fuller.

Jim Daly: Yeah John, what Gary’s talking about, and what we shared last time is, family formation. Uh, because when you look at the divorce rate and how marriages is often disregarded in today’s culture, it’s critical that we do everything we can to help single adults, uh, use spiritual discernment as they pursue their future spouse. And as we said last time, of course, not all singles are going to get married. I get that. Um, some may be called, um, by God, to celibacy. And we affirm that. But for the majority, getting married is what you plan to do. And it’s our desire to help you avoid infatuation and other dangerous influences that would lead you to a poor decision. And for parents of single adults, uh, this is good information for you as well. As a dad of two young men I want to encourage and support my sons in making wise and godly decisions about marriage. So, I urge you to lean in as we continue the conversation with Gary Thomas today.

John: And what he shared last time was so informative and helpful. And we really expect a lot more of the same today. Uh, contact us about getting an audio copy of the entire discussion with Gary, and his book as well, The Sacred Search: What If It’s Not about Who You Marry, But Why? Uh, we’ve got details when you call 800-A-FAMILY or stop by focusonthefamily.com/broadcast. All right, uh, here now is part two of our conversation with Gary Thomas on today’s episode of Focus on the Family.

Jim: You know Gary, I was thinking about our chat last time, and the Lord really blessed me. And I want to say this publicly, I think Jean, um, you know, both of us had committed to that scripture in Matthew 6:33 about seeking, uh, the kingdom of God, and that he would add all these things unto you. And I think both Jean and I, separately, without knowing each other, we were putting that scripture, that very same scripture forward. So, when Jean feels low, I say, “Man, God knows your heart. And He knows your heart is for Him.” And that, for us, was at least one good decision that we made in our 20s.

Gary: And what a blessing that then you can share your life w- with someone, like we said in the previous one, uh, a, a good marriage is like the gift that keeps on giving.

Jim: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Gary: It makes everything better. It makes parenting better. It makes vocation better. You come home at the end of the day, you’re sharing your successes, you’re facing your failures, you’re crying together, uh, it really is a wonderful thing. And I, I wish we could give singles that vision of how good a good marriage can be. And also open up their eyes to how debilitating a difficult marriage can be. So that they’ll be more thoughtful-

Jim: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Gary: … about making a wise decision.

Jim: Well, and it makes me feel, in your book you talked about the religious romance lottery.

Gary: Yes, yes.

Jim: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Jim: And it does make me feel like, in a way, boy, I won it.

Gary: Yeah.

Jim: And hopefully Jean can say the same, (laughs), I’m not sure she would.

John: (laughs).

Jim: But, you know, talk about that. What is winning the religious romance lottery?

Gary: In that chapter I’m trying to take on, I think, a popular myth in Christian culture. And it goes like this, “God will bring the right person at the right time if I just sit back and wait.” And there are instances, clearly, where God has done that. In scripture, and in history, and Jim, in your own. But when I look at the normative teaching of scripture, I really see it trying to urge people to be more active in pursuing this decision, and it only makes sense. I never hear high school students come out saying, “Well, if God wants me to go to college, University of Texas will send me a dorm key. And that will be my sign.”

Jim: (laughs).

Gary: That God wants me to col- Or a college graduate. “Well, if God wants me to work for Microsoft, Steve Ballmer, you know, would give me a call.” “Hey, we heard you graduated, we wanna offer you a job.” We know we have to go pursue a college, we know we have to pursue a job, why do we think we don’t have to pursue marriage. And when I look at scripture, it seems like it puts a little carrot in front of guys. Because guys can be, I think, too passive on this. One of the most famous passages is Proverbs 31:10 when it says, “A noble wife who can find.” And here’s the carrot. “She is worth far more than jewels.” Some will say rubies or whatnot. Just so listeners get, in, in the ancient near east, jewels, that was the currency, that’s what made you wealthy, that’s what you traded in, that’s what would allow you to buy and acquire property. And so, in modern language, I think the writer of Proverbs would say this, “Hey guys, listen up, a good wife is better than a good job.”

Jim: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Gary: You’re going to spend a lot… You will relocate to go to college, you’ll relocate to get an internship, you’ll relocate to get a job. Why wouldn’t you do the same thing for something that the Bible says is even better than a good job? And that’s a good wife. And I would just say w- walking through life with a good solid woman is worth more than a good job, ’cause you’re using it to pass on different jobs, and if you’re in a miserable marriage and you have success, it’s not quite as sweet, because you come home and there’s that pall over the air. If you have failure, it’s even worse, because you have nothing else to live for. I, I think scripture is honest and true, that a good marriage, pursuing God together, loving each other, supporting each other, is really one of the best human experiences we can have, and we should be more proactive in finding a marriage like that, not less.

Jim: Uh, Gary, I’m a little concerned that we might paint a picture that if you put character first, and if you wait, and if you don’t get wrapped around the stupidity of infatuation, (laughs), sorry to use that word. My kids would say y- you used the S word. (laughs).

Gary: (laughs).

John: (laughs).

Jim: But it’s what you wrote.

Gary: Yeah.

Jim: And it does make it stupid. But when you follow all of that, um, it can give the impression that if you do it all well that your marriage will be, uh, spectacular.

Gary: Right.

Jim: There is still gonna be difficulty in marriage, like you’ve talked about. We need to acknowledge that, because marriage is work.

Gary: Yes.

Jim: And, uh, we honor the Lord in working at our marriages as well. Once we have done the right things, it doesn’t mean, necessarily, that it’s easy.

Gary: Absolutely. James 3:2 gives a promise to every marriage person, that we are going to marry someone who hurts us, who disappoints us, who sins against us. James 3:2 says, “We all stumble in many ways.” You can get the top person of character in the world, and James 3:2 says, that person still will stumble, not just occasionally, but in many ways. We bring our struggle with sin, we bring our sin nature into the relationship, and so marriage is going to be difficult. But here’s the thing, if you marry a person of character, it helps you deal with those difficulties. For instance, if you marry a humble person, they’re going to grow out of some of those-

John: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Gary: … character problems. If you marry a very arrogant person who’s just more concerned with changing you than changing him or herself, that’s never really gonna change.

Jim: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Gary: So, uh, yeah, every marriage is difficult. Character gives you the promise, at least, that you can have that shared joy of being brother and sister in Christ, day by day, walking more toward Christ’s likeness and God’s purpose for your life.

Jim: Gary, I need to ask the practical question again, um, we’ve talked about the great, uh, pursuit of wisdom in finding a mate, in the idea of putting character first, watch your infatuation, but what does it look like to intentionally pursue marriage? Um, what are some of the proactive things that a single person can do-

Jim: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Jim: … in their life today to prepare themselves? Uh, speak to that person. Where, “Okay, you’re making sense Gary, I get it.” Uh, give them some principles and some tools to go forward from now.

Gary: Okay. Absolutely the most important step, I believe, is to go deeper in your life of worship and faith. If you are desperate to be loved, that’s a very dangerous place to be dating from.

Jim: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Gary: (laughs). You want to have your heart needs met by the Lord, you want to know his acceptance, you want to know his grace, you want to be filling his heart with vision. If you wanna seek first the kingdom of God and his righteous, if you want to find a person who does that, you have to be doing that or a person who is doing that won’t want to have anything to do with you. So, I’d say go deeper in your faith, know the Lord, because again, desperation and dating is a toxic mix. And if you’re asking, if you’re looking for somebody who’s gonna be for you what only God can be, you’re gonna be led astray.

Jim: Hm.

Gary: Uh, secondly, an exercise that I really encourage singles to do, is go to married people that you know and say, “Has marriage been easier or more difficult than you thought it would be?” And then just listen. And say, “What made it more difficult?” Or, “What have the challenges been?” Uh, do some field research. Look, all my kids, you know, they’re looking for jobs, they’re going to people in that field, and if it’s medicine, if it’s science, if it’s sales, if it’s business, “What do I need to know that I don’t know?” Do some research, figure out what you’re looking for. Um, and then, third, I’d say, go into the why of marriage. What makes for a successful marriage? And you’re gonna come up with, I think, some common things. Uh, communication is essential once infatuation fades. Can you resolve conflict? Conflict is guaranteed in a marriage. Now, that can be a good thing, because conflict can help you understand someone, it can help you grow as an individual. But if they respond with stonewalling, or even worse, violence, conflict will be disastrous in your relationship.

Jim: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Gary: And so, find those traits that make for successful marriage, seek to grow them in yourself, and then start to look for them in others.

John: Uh, okay, so Gary, um, I have, uh, I have done this, okay? I’m a single, I’m maybe 23 years old, I’ve done the field research, I really wanna get married. And Jim, we hear a lot from women in this stage of life who are saying, “And I’m looking, and there ain’t nobody on the horizon.”

Gary: (laughs).

John: (laughs). “I mean, there’s nobody around here.”

Gary: Mm-hmm (affirmative). Right, right.

John: And so, I mean, dating services, I mean, should I change churches? What- What’s your counsel there?

Gary: John, this is the most common question I get. Particularly from women, although some from men as well. And here’s the thing, I think within some Christian traditions, women feel like they’re supposed to wait until the guy entirely pursues them. And they’ve been very frustrated as a result. And here’s what I say, even within those traditions, I think there are still some steps you can take. There- There’s a gal in college that wanted to get to know me a little bit better, and what she simply did is, she knocked on my dorm room door one day, handed over a plate of brownies, and they were good brownies-

Jim: (laughs).

Gary: … and just said, “Look, if you wanna work ’em off, we can go play tennis next week.” And it wasn’t obnoxious, but it was just a little way to say, “You know what? I’m interested if you’re interested.” And I don’t think that’s being too forward, it’s just kind of giving guys a clue. “Can we get to know each other?”

Jim: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Gary: And so I would say, be proactive, and that a group of women can invite a group of men together, and you don’t have to have five women and five men, it might even be better if you have an uneven number. But if the Bible says, “A good wife is better than a good job,” and I think it would say the same thing for women as far as a good husband, I think that’s a little carrot saying, “Pursue this.” I, I mentioned before, people will relocate for college, they’ll relocate for a job-

Jim: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Gary: … or even an internship. I don’t think it’s ridiculous to relocate for something that the Bible says is better than a good job. And I think, today, in many ways, it’s much easier than it’s ever been, although I know it’s harder in others. But there are any number of online meeting and and dating sites. I think you have to be careful. I don’t have a lot of experience with those because I got married well before there was an internet-

Jim: Computers. (laughs).

Jim: (laughs).

Gary: … much less, uh, dating sites.

Jim: Nah.

Gary: So, I, I don’t give out names, and I don’t say it. But here’s the thing, if I don’t think there’s just one person God has created just for me, it seems to me the larger pool that I can draw from, that seems to me like a wise thing, it seems to me like it’s using technology in a way where we could meet. If it’s a site that asks the right questions, it isn’t based on silly notions, and it might even pre-select people. I think that could be helpful.

Jim: Okay, but I’ve gotta ask, I’ve gotta ask this question-

Gary: Sure.

Jim: … because it does… y- you know, marriage, when you look at what God is accomplishing through marriage, and we’ve said this very often at Focus on the Family. Uh, there’s something in marriage that’s hard-

Gary: Yes.

Jim: … and that’s called rubbing off your selfish edges, (laughs).

Gary: Yeah.

Jim: And you could see God’s design in that, that we come together as one, in him, created in his image, male and female, and that’s, I think, part of the heavenly and godly design of marriage, is that we become more like Christ when we do it well, because we’re becoming more selfless.

Gary: Yes.

Jim: And servant oriented.

Gary: Yes.

Jim: Um, those services, at times, can… they wanna make it so compatible you’re gonna find the person that doesn’t rub you the wrong way. Um, is there a danger in that?

Gary: Well certainly, particularly the way, the way you put it, I think that’s a big danger, because I think that’s a misunderstanding of marriage. But I think you don’t have to go along with their faults, you can use the tool for your purposes, with your motivation-

Jim: Correct. It’s not the tool that’s faulty, but you wanna go in with the right attitude.

Jim: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Gary: But here’s the thing. And I, I would remind singles, you’re not just searching for a great companion. If you wanna have kids, you’re searching for your kids’ mom or dad. And I would search from West Coast to East Coast, South America, North America, the entire corners of the world, to find a good mother for my kids.

Jim: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Gary: Uh, it- it’s hard for singles, because when a child is just a potential being, they can’t possibly know the emotions that your own child will pull out of you. And I’ve talked to so many wives where they’re almost frustrated at this, that they’re, they’ll be so angry at their husbands, and then they catch their husbands loving on their kids, and they all in love with their husband all over again, almost resenting the fact because they’re so angry. But nothing melts a mother’s heart like seeing her husband love on her kids.

Jim: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Gary: And so, look, I’m gonna try to find the best woman I can to raise kids, ’cause I know that the day’s gonna come when my kids mean more to me than anything else in this world. And so, I wanna go wherever I have to go, because it’s gonna matter so much that I get someone that’s gonna do that job well. Not just well, but spectacularly well.

Jim: Yeah. And, and Gary, we’ve talked a lot about character, last time and this time, and again, if you didn’t, uh, hear last time’s discussion, I encourage you to go to the website and download it or get the CD, ’cause it was powerful.

Jim: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Jim: Uh, Gary, we’ve gotta say, what is character? I mean, it sounds simplistic, we’re in it every day together, but what does character truly mean? What does the Bible, and what is the Lord driving at when he talks about character?

Gary: I think that’s easy for Christians to answer. Character, in a Christian context, is Christlikeness. Is this person like Christ? And the Bible actually has a list that we can follow. It’s found in Galatians 5:19-23 when it compares acts of the sinful nature with the fruit of the spirit. And the fruit of the spirit is really the fruit of walking with God. And they’re very clear. Love. Is this person motivated by love? Is there joy in their life? I mean, uh, how much more fulfilling and fun is it to live with somebody who is filled with joy rather than living with Eeyore?

Jim: Mm-hmm (affirmative). (laughs). No, it’s a great blessing.

Gary: I mean, seriously. Uh, peace. This is a world filled with so much anxiety and fear mongering. To live with somebody who is calm because they trust in the Lord is such a blessing. Patience. Look, I’m gonna mess up, my kids are gonna mess up. I wanna marry somebody who exhibits the patience of Christ. Kindness. Kindness never gets old. It’s, it’s wonderful to live with somebody who’s kind. Goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control, uh, [inaudible 00:16:17] against these things, there is no law. These are wonderful traits. And so, for character you wanna look at what is evidence is the person of Christ. And what do you hope to see in your own kids’ lives? Well then, marry somebody who is growing in that. Now, here’s a warning to women, and I’ve had one woman say that, uh, you can’t expect a 22-year-old guy to show the traits of a very mature senior pastor. Uh, it, it just, it-

Jim: That will come with time.

Gary: Character is something that grows, decades of walking with the Lord. What you wanna see is a man or a woman who is on a trajectory. They’re opening up their hearts to the work of the spirit, they’re studying scripture so they can grow in wisdom. God has their heart, he’ll bring ’em along. But if you see that pursuit, they, notice Jesus says, “Seek first.” In, in, in the Greek that’s continuous tense. Keep seeking. It’s present tense. Keep seeking. Is this person seeking God’s kingdom? Is this person seeking righteousness? The end product eventually will get there, but you can’t expect a 22 or a 25-year-old to exhibit all the fruits of the spirit in a fully mature form. It takes time.

Jim: Uh, Gary, one of the things that can trip a single up in the dating experience is, uh, uh, a person that they’re dating is maybe exhibiting or saying these things, but, uh, there are these occasions where it’s not there. The honesty isn’t there. Or the character qualities, one or more of them that you just described, uh, it isn’t present. Uh, how would a person approach that with that potential spouse?

Gary: Two steps I’d suggest. The first step is a listening step, the second step is an asking step. So, for the listening step, just listen to what this man says. If I have a very close friend, it would be bizarre if my wife never heard me talk about him. I mean, just in normal conversation, it would come up. I was talking to, to Chuck, or I, uh, Chuck and I did this. Or Chuck was telling me this. It just would be a natural part of my conversation that that would happen. Women, if he never brings up God, if he’s never talking about God, he’s not talking to God. If God is a daily presence, if God’s challenging him, if God’s inspiring him, he’s going to bring it up. It’s just, if God is truly his friend, it would be bizarre if it never came up at a conversation. So, listen, without bringing it up. Does God seem to be an active presence in this man’s life? And then second, here’s what I love to ask, what is God challenging you with now? What is God laying on your heart today? That tells you if he’s listening to God. God is so concerned about this world. W- I- I’m just overwhelmed when I see God inspire people to address sexual trafficking, things like abortion, and injustice, and evangelism, and poverty, and and… I mean, there’s so many issues where God is inspiring people to build his kingdom to reach, you know, in the fields of education, and in business, and, and so many areas. To believe that somebody is interacting with God and he isn’t laying a mission of some kind on their heart, I, I just can’t believe they’re listening. So, where’s God telling you you need to grow today? What is God inspiring you to do today? And if you get this, “Uh, well, uh, you know, I thought I might start a popsicle stand sometime.” I mean, no-

Jim: (laughs).

Gary: … it’s just, you, you pretty much can clue in, “You know what? They’re giving lip service to God. They’re not seeking first the kingdom of God.”

Jim: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Gary: There, there should be something that comes to my mind when somebody says, “What is God laying on your heart?” If I’m seeking first God’s kingdom, I, I know what I’m seeking.

Jim: I would think another area, and again, this is something that for Jean and I, it was part of our dating relationship. Uh, the respect for each other physically. In other words, I remember our first date, I shook her hand. I think she was blown away by that, she thought was, uh, cute. But a little-

John: Unusual?

Jim: … old fashioned. (laughs). But I didn’t. I mean, there were several dates before I even gave her a kiss on the cheek. And that’s what I did. And I think that physical area, you’re showing that person of interest respect when it is not aggressive, when it is appropriate. And I think that would be a key indicator as well.

Gary: Absolutely, Jim. I tell guys, you wanna find a woman who is so into God she will offend you before she’ll offend God. And that means, if you’re trying to push the envelope she’ll say, “Not a chance.” And I said, “Here’s why. The same God who commands single women not to be sexually active with their boyfriends is the God who commands wives to be sexually active with their husbands after marriage.”

John: Uh, okay. So, what’s, uh, talk to parents here, for just a moment. How do you encourage your child to be on this pursuit? On this search? Without, you know, oh, here it comes again, here’s the question-

Jim: Well maybe without-

John: … did you find anybody nice yet?

Jim: (laughs).

John: How, how do you encourage that child, and, you know, find out how that pursuit is going without them rolling their eyes saying, “Well here comes that question again. And no, I haven’t found anybody yet.” I mean, what have you done in that realm?

Gary: Well, I think it starts much younger than that. And I, if I’m talking to parents of younger kids, I think, really, the absolute best thing you can do to train your kids is to work on your own marriage. I mean, the best way you can give them a vision for godly marriage is to strive to build one yourself so that they can see the satisfaction. You know what’s holding so many young people back today? Is that they saw their parent’s marriage was so dysfunctional-

John: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Gary: … and so unhappy. They don’t wanna have anything to do with… they’re terrified.

John: Yeah, why should I go there?

Gary: Of taking that step. I don’t wanna be in that situation. So, parents, before you get to that age, really, let God in, and seek to grow, and begin seeking, first, God’s kingdom and righteousness. And then you’re gonna find that, that you’re gonna have kids that will desire to have what they see at home. Uh, obviously, none of us can model a perfect marriage. But we can model a marriage where we’re seeking God together. I think it’s being aware of the whys of marriage, talking about that as it comes up, uh, we would discuss with our kids, you know, we, we talked about high school dating. And it would often be, what a waste of time it was in some cases.

John: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Gary: Now, you can’t always say that some high school couples end up together. But, uh, I would tell them about how m- in my years it was just a colossal waste of time. Instead of finding out who I am, growing in Christ, finding out my calling in life and vocation-

Jim: Studying.

Gary: Y- (laughs), Yeah.

Jim: (laughs).

Jim: (laughs).

Gary: So much time and energy was wasted. And so, when their, their friends would go through these just emotional travails-

John: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Gary: … and weeks of crying. And we would just point it out and talk about it, uh, and giving them that vision. But then, I think, talking it up. Going through Proverbs 31:10, that a good wife is, is better than a good job. You know, we’re in a culture that has really put marriage down, except gay marriage. We’re gonna celebrate that, but heterosexual marriage, well you don’t wanna rush into that too much. It’s just, we’ve completely turned God’s order upside down.

John: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Gary: I think we need to speak well of marriage as God designed it. One man, one woman, for life, pursuing God’s kingdom together. Showing them the richness, wanting to grow in our marriage so that they’ll desire that. And then, I think it’s entirely appropriate, as our relationship with our kids allows, being encouragers, or trying to open up their eyes to somebody we think might be a good mix.

John: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Gary: Now, at, that depends on every kid. Some kids will resent that, some kids will welcome that. I think that’s more of an individual application of that general principle, that part of parenting is helping our kids be married well.

Jim: Mm-hmm (affirmative). Uh, Gary, you’re talking exactly to the mission here at Focus on the Family. And I’m so glad that we can partner with people like you who are speaking such great wisdom from scripture into practical life and how we do this. And-

John: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Jim: … if you are, um, troubled, or need encouragement, I would, uh, ask you to call us. We have a counseling team, uh, that’s standing there ready to talk with you, and ready to help you with resources from Gary Thomas and others, uh, to help build and create in your heart that aspiration for marriage, uh, so you can do it well. And in that, being a good witness to our Lord Jesus Christ. Uh, Gary Thomas, thank you for being with us, thank you for the book, The Sacred Search. We have really covered so much. Uh, in fact, we’re gonna keep rolling, we’re gonna, uh, add some things to the website that, uh, aren’t, won’t be a part of the program. But if you are interested, come to the website, and we’re gonna keep asking questions of Gary. Thank you for being with us.

Gary: Thank you for having me.

John: We do recommend that you check out these, uh, extra conversations with Gary and his book as well. It’s a wonderful resource for single adults. And parents, you might wanna get a copy for a single friend of a family member. And if you make a donation of any amount to Focus on the Family today, we’ll say thank you by sending The Sacred Search right out to you. Uh, call 800-A-FAMILY, 800-232-6459. Or donate online at focusonthefamily.com/broadcast.

Jim: Uh, John, another great resource Focus has is our Boundless podcast, and, um, what comes with that is the only community for single adults. Uh, Boundless is designed to help singles live out fulfilling lives as followers of Jesus Christ. And I remember, we received a comment from one listener, uh, we’ll call him Martin, who said this, “Your Boundless podcast has been a tremendous help for me in this season of my life. Four years ago, I was involved in a relationship and things didn’t go well. Lots of mistakes and sins. Uh, God helped me go through it, healing my past and giving me a new beginning. Uh, about seven months ago I met this wonderful lady, it’s clear God was orchestrating everything, and we are now in a serious relationship heading towards marriage. I found the Boundless show right on time. I had so many questions and concerns, and I wanted, with all my heart, to do things right this time. And the resources of your ministry have helped me. I’m so grateful for Focus on the Family and the Boundless show.” Um, that is so encouraging.

John: It is.

Jim: And I am thankful for the generous friends who help support this ministry and provide the fuel we need to produce podcasts like Boundless and provide the resources Martin mentioned. Uh, you can join the family formation team by making a monthly pledge to Focus on the Family today. Partner with us to give hope and help to hurting singles like Martin and empower them to live godly lives in the future. Can we count on your support today? I hope so.

John: Mm-hmm (affirmative). Well, your monthly pledge can have an exponential effect in the lives of single adults and their future families. And a one-time gift will, uh, certainly make an impact as well, so please, donate as you can when you call 800-A-FAMILY, or at focusonthefamily.com/broadcast. And coming up next time on this broadcast, Dr. Shelby Steele joins us to challenge our thinking and, uh, prompt us to rethink racism in America.

Teaser:

Dr. Shelby Steele: We will claim, quite wrongly, that racism is our big problem. At least, that that’s what keeps us down. Not remotely. I argue against that vociferously. Our problem is the decline of our family life.

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The Sacred Search: What If It's Not About Who You Marry, But Why?

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kevin leman interviewing with focus on the family daily broadcast planting the seeds of successful children part 1

Planting the Seeds of Success in Your Kids (Part 1 of 2)

Dr. Kevin Leman offers time-tested solutions for parenting that will help moms and dads plant the seeds of patience, kindness, humility, and respect in their children as they prepare them for adulthood. (Part 1 of 2)

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Affair-Proof Your Marriage (Part 1 of 2)

Pastor Dave Carder offers couples practical advice for protecting their marriages from adultery in a discussion based on his book Anatomy of an Affair: How Affairs, Attractions, and Addictions Develop, and How to Guard Your Marriage Against Them. (Part 1 of 2)

Focus on the Family Broadcast logo

Affair-Proof Your Marriage (Part 2 of 2)

Pastor Dave Carder offers couples practical advice for protecting their marriages from adultery in a discussion based on his book Anatomy of an Affair: How Affairs, Attractions, and Addictions Develop, and How to Guard Your Marriage Against Them. (Part 2 of 2)

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.

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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!

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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!

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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!

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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!

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

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In this episode, we will tackle tough questions like, “When does life begin?” and “What does the Bible
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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!

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.

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.

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!

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 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.

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 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.

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 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 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.

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.

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.

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.