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A Lighthearted Look at Wedded Bliss

A Lighthearted Look at Wedded Bliss

Comedian John Branyan shares a humorous look at living with a spouse who is your polar opposite and a touching message about the wonder of true, lasting love.

Original Air Date: March 21, 2016

Jim Daly: Hi, I’m Jim Daly. Before we start today’s program, I want to take a moment to thank all of you who gave sacrificially to Focus on the Family this past month. Thanks to some generous friends, we had a 9 million match campaign during the month of December. The biggest one we ever had!

And I’m thrilled to report that you met the match! Thank you so much for your faithfulness and encouragement. Not only to our team here at Focus, but to the hundreds of thousands of families, the married couples, parents, children, and single adults who will be blessed by the broadcast and resources that we, together, will provide in 2020.

So, again, thank you for your partnership with Focus on the Family.

Excerpt:

John Branyan: You notice you gotta get your driver’s license renewed every four years? But you don’t have to get your marriage license renewed, EVER (laughter)

End of Excerpt

John Fuller: Well, that’s an interesting perspective! Something I hadn’t heard before. Welcome to Focus on the Family with your host, Jim Daly. And I’m John Fuller.

Jim: John, laughter is a great way for us to ‘get over’ some of the discomforts of everyday life. And our guest, John Branyan, will help us get some perspective on our own marriages as he takes a humorous look at his. You know, it’s so easy to get ‘tunnel vision’ and focus on the problems that you have with your spouse. And sometimes there really is value in taking a step back and just recognizing the fact that men and women are very different! And a lot of our conflicts stem from those gender differences.

When we aired this program in 2016 it became one of our Top Ten shows for the year, so I know you’re really gonna enjoy this lighthearted look at the marriage relationship and the true value of lasting love, illustrated by a poignant story John will share in just a few minutes.

John F.: And the audio is from John Branyan’s comedy DVD called Wedlocked. And I’ll explain the visuals, here. John is at the Department of Motor Vehicles sitting next to a rather quiet stranger, musing out-loud about marriage, and you’ll hear the other man respond once or twice. Here now is John Branyan on Focus on the Family.

John B.: You know, I’ve been … I’ve been married for 21 years, same person. And I think the … the secret to a long-term relationship is flexibility, adaptation. You gotta pretty much bend with the wind or it’ll just knock you flat.

(Laughter)

Because it’s always in a state of flux. It’s always changing. I mean, after 21 years, she’s not the same girl that I married. The relationship is a lot more intense.

She asks me questions.

(Laughter)

Questions that I don’t know the answers to, ‘cause they’re questions that no man has ever known the answers to.

(Laughter)

Deep, probing, impossible questions. “What are you thinking?”

(Laughter)

“I’m a guy, I’m thinking nothing!”

(Laughter)

Zero, zilch, zip, nada, nothing. She’s a girl. Girls cannot think nothing. That never happens. When her mind is blank, there’s still billions of calculations flying through it. Angles being considered, thoughts being process and organized, colors being coordinated. She’s like a four gigahertz, 256, meg … terabyte, file-serving computer. I’m like that little solar calculator that comes free with cigarettes.

(Laughter)

And I still spend time with other guys. You know, me and the guys go out. We talk. Never once have I ever said, “Hey, Al, what’ch you thinkin’?”

(Laughter)

Because I don’t care.

(Laughter)

Plus, he’s a guy; I know what he’s thinking—nothing.

(Laughter)

She wants to borrow stuff from me that I never have, like tissue and Kleenex. “Can I borrow a tissue. John, I need a tissue. Can I have a tissue, please?” Hm?” No. Men don’t carry Kleenex. To a guy carrying Kleenex and wearing long sleeves is redundant. (Laughter and Applause)

I guess what I’m sayin’ is, I’ve never really been much of a fitter inner.

(Laughter)

I’ve never been a “belonger.” In high school it was that way, growin’ up, all the way through high school. The car I drove in high school was a brown Chevy Vega.

(Laughter)

Two doors and three speeds and that was a chick magnet.

(Laughter)

Poor man’s Pinto.

(Laughter)

So, I had no girlfriends in high school, but I had more sisters than the Catholic church. (Laughter and Applause)

And then a couple of years after graduation, this miracle. Along came Lori. Along came this girl and she said, “I love you. I really love you.”

(Laughter)

(Whispering) I should’ve been suspicious right there.

(Laughter)

I should’ve known I was in over my head. And we started planning the wedding. Planning the wedding. We had to have a wedding rehearsal. That’s what she told me, “Gotta have a wedding rehearsal, John.” “Like, why, is it tricky?” She goes, “Yes, it’s tricky.”

(Laughter)

I don’t mind … I don’t mind rehearsing. I just wish we would practice somethin’. There were so many things I needed practice on. There were so many things I didn’t know how to do. Still don’t know how to do ‘em. Consequently, 20 years later, I’m still … I coulda used practice on a thousand things.

I could’ve used … I could’ve used practice droppin’ off to sleep at night with a pair of sub-zero feet in my back. (screaming)

(Laughter)

“You … you have frostbitten my kidneys.”

(Laughter)

I could’ve used practice standing in the women’s clothing department in front of the dressing room door, holding her purse trying to hang on to a shred of masculine dignity. (Laughter)

And even getting used to each other. Just occupying the same sleeping space at the same time, that’s what’s difficult, getting used to each other’s nuances. She’s a morning person. A morning person.

(Laughter)

The sun barely breaks over the horizon, she’s hovering over the bed, “Oh, look sleepyhead; the sun’s up!”

(Laughter)

“The sky is blue, and the birds are singing. It’s gonna be a great day. It’s time to get up, up, up, up, up!” Grrr. You know what I would rather hear at 6 o’clock in the morning. (Clk, clk) “Everyone on the ground, this is a stick up!” ‘Cause at least the stick-up guys will let you lay down.

(Laughter and Applause)

The birds … the birds are singing. That is the only sound that they know how to make. (Laughter)

You know what I think. I think one bird gets up early and the noise outside the window is all the other birds going, “SHUT UP!”

(Laughter, clapping)

And even climbing into bed together, occupying the same sleeping space takes… Now, she’s my wife. I lo … I love her. But there are still times when I will climb into bed next to her. I pull her over close. I can smell her perfume. Start to kiss the back of her neck. Blow in her ear. She looks over at me and says, “What are you thinkin’?”

(Extended Laughter)

“Gosh, I don’t know; what are you thinkin’?”

(Laughter)

And she goes, “I was just thinking that if we fold the dish towels smaller…

(Laughter)

… they will fit more efficiently into the kitchen drawer.

(Laughter)

“That is exactly what I was thinking.”

(Laughter)

“Let’s go do it now.” Maybe while we’re up, I can spackle.”

(Laughter)

And then into the relationship came the children. We had four babies. Somehow. (Laughter)

Other Guy: Spackling accident.

(Laughter and Applause)

And that changes everything. I learned so much. I learned that they separate pregnancy. I learned to separate pregnancy into three things called “trimesters.” And the reason they’re called “trimesters” is, because during that time the husband tries to “mester” up the strength…

(Laughter)

… to stay in the house with a pregnant woman.

(Laughter)

And the first … first trimester, first trimester, two cells come together and form a tiny human being. The second trimester, that tiny human being begins to grow. And then the third trimester, the pregnant woman changes from a human being…

(Laughter)

… into a Tasmanian Devil.

(Laughter)

And so, I come in the front door and she’s “Boom, baga … bag … boog … ga … wa … tall … goo … ga … gaz.”

(Laughter and Applause)

“Hey, where … where’s the cat?“ (Sound of burp)

(Laughter)

And it was at that moment in my life when I realized this is not the same girl that I married. (Laughter)

This is not the same species that I married.

(Laughter)

After just a couple of years of marriage, you start to see signs of each other that are kept hidden when you’re dating. When we dated, she never devoured small domesticated mammals.

(Laughter)

I would’ve remembered that.

(Laughter)

At the same time, there’s parts … there’s parts of becoming a new father that aren’t completely terrifying. Kinda heartwarming. Like when she was about six months along into the first pregnancy, she developed this … this intense desire to learn everything she could about becoming a mother—carrying children, raising children, ‘cause it was our baby. It was my baby and she wanted to do it perfectly. “This is your baby, John, living inside of me. Suckin’ the life out of my organs like a parasite.”

(Laughter)

“Making me bloat like a fish on the beach!”

(Laughter)

“Doin’ backflips on my bladder all because of you. My love.”

(Laughter)

So, she went to the library. She got books on the subject. She subscribed to magazines. And so, by the time the baby’s arrived we were perfect parents. She, because of months of loving maternal research, and me by (Sound of pfft) default. ‘Cause I had her to explain everything to me, all the stuff I had to know. Like trading off feedings in the middle of the night. Baby’d cry and she’d nudge me, “John, baby’s crying.”

(Laughter)

“Do you hear that cryin’ baby? That is youuuur baby!”

(Laughter)

“The book says that daddy should take a turn feeding for bonding. So, bond!”

(Laughter)

So, I would stumble down the hall into the kitchen, lookin’ for bottles and then it would occur to me, “Hey, we’re breastfeeding.”

(Laughter)

This is gonna hurt like a monkey.

(Laughter)

John F.: You’re listening to John Branyan on today’s episode of Focus on the Family.

And you can get a CD of this entire broadcast for a gift of any amount when you call 800-A-FAMILY. 800-232-6459. Or donate and request the CD at our website, focusonthefamily.com/broadcast.

Let’s go ahead and return now to more from John Branyan on Focus on the Family.

John B.: And in the midst of all of it, in the midst of unanswered questions and confusion of roles and kids flyin’ around the planet, in the middle of all the chaos, I’m still expected to be… “romantic.”

(Laughter)

I’m still expected to breathe new wind on the embers of romance.

(Laughter)

(Pfft)

She will appear from nowhere. “Take me someplace.” Take me someplace nice, because we never go anywhere, that’s why. We just stay home all the time and I don’t want to stay home all the time. I want to go someplace. I want to go out somewhere with you. So, take me someplace. Take me someplace nice.”

(Laughter)

All right, where do you want to go? “I don’t want to TELL you where to take me. That would ruin everything. You have to think of someplace to go.” So, I got tickets to the tractor pull.

(Laughter)

And that was wrong.

(Laughter)

We have so many friends whose cummerbunds matched the flowers, matched the dresses and they marched down the aisle. They took a vow … a vow until death do us part and then they parted. And they weren’t dead.

(Laughter)

I think love takes longer than that. It takes a lifetime. It takes a whole lifetime to learn what really annoys them. So, you can do it again and again and again.

(Laughter)

If you stick with it, eventually you’ll zero in on the source of conflict. You’ll figure out what it is that causes the two of you to fight. Lori and I did. It’s me.

(Laughter)

I remember the first fight that I caused. It was right after we got married. And I wanted to go out with the guys, you know, just me and the guys like we used to for old time’s sake. And she wanted me to stay there with her and cut the cake and throw the bouquet and (Laughter) …

And even now sometimes she’ll get me backed into a corner, maneuvered so I can’t escape, and she’ll say, “John, listen, Sweetie, I was just reading in Cosmo.” Cosmo? Great. (Pffff!) Bring it on. “If you could start all over again, if you could wipe the slate clean, hey look at me; this is important.

(Laughter)

“If you could start all over again and wipe the slate clean, start afresh, would you get married again?”

(Laughter)

The speed with which you answer that question is as important as the answer itself.

(Light chuckles and clapping)

And the truth is, after 21 years, the answer to that question is yes, I would. I would marry the exact same girl again. Because what I’ve learned over these years is that the two of us together are somehow better than the sum of the individual parts. And she is so many things I could never be and I’m so many things that she doesn’t want to be.

(Laughter)

It’s complementary. We haven’t mastered it. We’re still learning, both of us. I’m learning. She’s learning. Both of us. I’m learning that she’s like a … like a flower. A flower with infinite petals. And each petal is a little more complex and a little more lovely than the petal that preceded it. And it’s gonna take a lifetime to examine every subtle nuance, every tiny little facet of her personality that makes her unique and special—different from all the rest. And beautiful.

I know her favorite color. I know how she looks in the morning. I know her shoe size. I know how she cooks. Beep, beep, beep.

(Laughter)

“It’s an ancient family recipe.” For microwave popcorn? That’s… Family recipe is “This side up.”

(Laughter)

I know how she drives. (Whispering) Wow!

(Laughter)

She’s got this motto. “Well, we paid for insurance; we might as well use it.”

(Laughter and Applause)

She does stuff with insurance I could never do. She hit a deer. She once hit a deer that was already dead in the middle of the… Tore a running board off the car, knocked the wheels all out of alignment. She was so upset. “I’m sorry, John. I didn’t hit him on purpose. Hmmm.” I didn’t get mad. I couldn’t get mad. ‘Cause you know those deer crossing signs by the road? They always show the deer like this. It never shows it like this, (Sound effect).

(Laughter)

And late at night on long trips when I’m driving, she’ll sit up front with me and she’ll go, “Well, it’s late at night on a long trip. You’re probably pretty tired aren’t you, ‘cause it’s late at night on a long trip. So, I’ll just sit up front with you and keep you company, help you stay awake.” Five miles down the road, pfft, she’s sound asleep, man.

So, this is what I do. Pull into the first rest park that I come to where the semis are idling with their lights on, pull nose to nose with a semi, throw the car in neutral, hit the gas and go, “Aah!”

(Extended Laughter and Applause)

But you know what happened after the wedding cake was eaten and the flowers wilted and all the thank-you’s have been sent out? After that, after the wedding, then real life settled in. And real life, I mean, day to day life is hard and it’s mundane and it doesn’t feel the way it feels when you’re dating. Some days it doesn’t feel like it’s worth it. And every time those feelings come over me, I have these memories of my great grandparents—Great Grandpa Frank, Mamie. When we were little we’d go over to their house, my brother and I. And Great Grandpa Frank would sit in a big overstuffed chair by the window and we’d stand right in front of him. And he’d lean forward in that chair and talk with his hands and tell us all the stuff that little boys are supposed to know.

You know, he taught us how to build a treehouse up in the branches so the floor wouldn’t sag, the roof wouldn’t leak. Taught us how to sit on the handlebars of our bikes and ride ’em backwards downhill…

(Laughter)

… with groceries.

And all afternoon in the rocking chair right next to him was my grand grandmother, Mamie. And she would laugh at the same joke that she’d heard him tell a billion times before. In the middle of the story, he’d look over, pat her on the knee, wink at her, jump right back in and never miss a beat.

And as years went by, we started to notice that Mamie was having trouble remembering things like the names of the neighbors that lived right next door. So, my great grandfather’s job became to just be with Mamie. Constantly. And make sure she didn’t forget somethin’ important, like unpluggin’ an iron or shuttin’ off the stove. But she got worse.

And pretty soon she was more than he could handle all by himself. He was too old. So, they had to move out of their house and into a nursing home.

And I remember the time that we went to visit the nursing home, dinner time. Great Grandpa Frank sat across the table from Mamie. His plate sat over to the side, got cold, while he took one spoonful at a time from her plate, fed it to her. Then he’d smile at her. He’d wink. Take a napkin, wipe her chin.

Mamie couldn’t use a toilet by herself. So, every time she had to go, he’d take her in and help with all of those responsibilities, every single time. And during all of those years when he was doin’ that, we never heard him complain. He never once snapped and said, “You know what? I’m an old man and I’ve had a long tough life, too. And now I can’t even blink with Mamie around, because if I do, she may wander off or she’ll fall and hurt herself. And I have to feed her. I have to take her to the toilet.” He never complained.

Then there was the day that my brother and I went to visit the nursing home. Great Grandpa Frank sat in his big overstuffed chair. He looked up at the two of us and said, “You know, boys.” And there was a tear right here. He said, “Mamie… Mamie doesn’t know who I am anymore.” And that was the first complaint that I ever heard him speak about his little bride.

It didn’t seem to bother him to have to feed her and bathe her and take her to the restroom. What broke his heart was when all of those times were over. The two of them were married for 70 years. 70 anniversaries with the same person. And I am positive that after all of those decades, she was not the same girl that he married. She didn’t look the same. They didn’t do the things they used to do when they were young and strong. She couldn’t even remember who he was. But there’s no doubt that my grandfather was still crazy in love with her, ‘cause love is not what you feel. Love is what you do.

John F.: Mm. What a touching way to end this rather lighthearted look at marriage on today’s episode of Focus on the Family featuring John Branyan.

Jim: Ah…wow! I love John’s last line there – “Love is not what you feel. Love is what you DO.”  In fact, the Bible puts it this way, “Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends.” And that’s from the New Testament, First Corinthians 13, verses 7 and 8.

And what a wonderful example great-grandpa Frank is to each one of us – to love his wife, to care for her, even when she couldn’t recognize his face anymore. That is true love.

And you know, caring for a chronically ill spouse is a very difficult process.

So, if you’re in that situation right now, or if you have other stressors in your marriage, please give us a call. We have caring Christian counselors available to spend some time with you on the phone and perhaps give you a referral to a like-minded counselor in your area. It’s a free service and we’re happy to provide it, thanks to donors like you!

And if you feel like your marriage needs an intervention, let me strongly recommend our Hope Restored four-day intensive program. Hope Restored helps couples break free from cycles of pain in their marriage and thrive in ways that used to seem impossible. 99 percent of couples who attend say they would recommend Hope Restored to a friend. That is quite a compliment to the team, there!

John F.: Mm-hm. It really is.

Jim: Best of all, when we follow up with these couples two years later, 4 out of 5 are still married and report that they’re doing well. That’s an incredible program.

John F.: It is. And Jim, just last week I met someone who went through that about 10 years ago. They said, “We were struggling.”

Jim: Yeah.

John F.: “I didn’t want to go. I went and we are together and happier.” So, we have seen so many marriages thanks to the Lord’s work through Hope Restored.

Jim: Well, and if you’ve been giving to Focus on the Family let me say, seriously, from the deepest part of my heart, ‘Thank You’ for making it possible for us to provide these resources for desperately hurting marriages. Over the past year our research shows that we’ve helped over 700-thousand couples build stronger marriages or resolve a major marital crisis. And that’s thanks to you and the Lord working in their heart.

Please join our marriage-saving work by making a donation today. We’re a listener-supported ministry and we rely on you for support.

And when you make a donation of any amount, we’d like to send you a CD of this message from John Branyan as our way of saying thank you. So, get in touch with us today.

John F.: And you can do that by calling 800, the letter A and the word FAMILY. 800-232-6459. Or stop by focusonthefamily.com/broadcast to donate and request today’s CD.

Well have a great weekend. And be sure to join us again on Monday as Dr. David Ireland joins us to share God’s heart for people of ALL ethnicities.

Teaser:

David Ireland: So, the scripture is challenging us. Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every ethnicity. The Bible is sympathetic that on the fact that God created people to be diverse; ethnically, racially, culturally. And that’s positive.

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

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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.

Play Video

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!