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Are Your Five Core Needs Being Met? (Part 1 of 2)

Are Your Five Core Needs Being Met? (Part 1 of 2)

Dr. Kathy Koch offers practical advice for finding wholeness, contentment, and peace in a discussion based on her book Five to Thrive: How to Determine if Your Core Needs are Being Met (and What to Do When They're Not). (Part 1 of 2)
Original Air Date: February 4, 2020

Teaser:

Man: I think my core need as an introvert is to get some alone time with a book and a nice cup of coffee.

Woman: I need every day to do some kind of physical activity and get some exercise in.

Man: The greatest need in my life is sleep.

Woman: I would say one of my core needs um… in addition to coffee, is just medication. I mean, having an auto-immune disease I would literally be dead if this technology didn’t exist.

Man: One of my greatest core needs in my marriage is to be liked.

End of Teaser

John Fuller: Well, how about you? Do any of those comments resonate with you? Or are you looking for something different?

Well, today we’re returning to one of our best of Focus on the Family broadcasts from this past year. It features Dr. Kathy Koch and she wants to help you better understand your core needs and how you can get those met in healthy ways. Your host is Focus president and author Jim Daly. And I’m John Fuller.

Jim Daly: John, the conversation we had with Kathy earlier this year was so insightful, and it encouraged so many of our listeners. And, you know, we tend to be needy people. We’re looking for stuff like happiness, success, popularity, recognition, and most importantly, who doesn’t want to be loved. That’s probably at the core. But the fascinating thing, as we’ll hear today, is that God designed us to be needy. He made us this way so we can get fulfillment from him and other people. So, if you missed this program the first time around I think you’ll really be challenged by what Kathy had to share.

John: Uh hmm, and Dr. Kathy Koch is a very popular author and speaker and an educational psychologist. She’s the founder and president of Celebrate Kids, and she’s written a number of books. The one we’re going to hear more about today is called Five to Thrive How to Determine if Your Core Needs Are Being Met and What to Do When They’re Not. Look for your copy at focusonthefamily.com/broadcast. And now here’s Jim, how you began the conversation with Dr. Kathy Koch for this best of 2020 episode of Focus on the Family.
Jim: You know, one of the things it’s just – as I was listening to John, I’m sure someone, or many, are saying, “Meeting our core needs? That doesn’t even sound Christian,” because it’s about selflessness. So, talk, first off, just about that tug of war. Is – is it selfish for us to identify these core needs and say that they need to be met?

Kathy Koch: It’s not once you understand what the core needs are.

Jim: OK, good. I just want to put people at ease that may have had that initial reaction.

Kathy: That’s a great comment. Like, a doughnut is not a core need.

Jim: (Laughter) Hey, are you kidding me?

Kathy: No, a doughnut is a want.

Jim: OK, right now we’re in disagreement. (LAUGHTER)

John: Hang on. It’s a throwdown at Focus on the Family!

Jim: OK, by the way, for all the doctors listening, I know doughnuts are not good for you, OK? So, don’t email me about that.

John: So, a doughnut is a want.

Jim: But an old fashioned is pretty good! (laughter)

Kathy: Yeah, you know, and happiness is a want, right? So, I think if people confuse needs with wants, then it may feel inappropriate, and it may feel self-centered and selfish and – and not biblical. But these core needs are absolutely created in us by God.

Jim: OK, and we’re going to get to these for the listeners…

Kathy: Good.

Jim: We’re going to unfold these. But right at the beginning here, let’s ask that question. Why is the idea of meeting these core needs so important?

Kathy: Emptiness – right? – it’s got to be filled. And, you know, without – use the word core again – without a solid foundation, without a completeness, then we’re always lacking and looking for more…

Jim: Yeah.

Kathy: …Almost in an aggressive kind of, I’m dissatisfied, I can’t ever be content kind of way. And of course, for believers, there must be a place where we land, and we believe, and contentment rises there.

Jim: Yeah, no, I like that. And I think so often, like with marriage experts that I’m talking to, when you look at a person who’s had an affair. I’ve often asked, “OK, what is going on there?” Because it seems superficial, the act of it. So, what’s really the pull to jettison everything that you have with your spouse and then reach for something that’s like the forbidden fruit? And then what’s the outcome of that? There’s other stuff at play. It’s just not the gratification of a physical act, correct?

Kathy: Absolutely. I – I would advocate for the reality that there’s an unmet need that that person needed met and saw what I would call a counterfeit way to get it met that he or she thought would be satisfying.

Jim: Yeah.

Kathy: And then when it’s ultimately not satisfying after a period of time, then you go for another, what’s the next best – if you will – drug?

Jim: And that’s a – you know, that is an example that is eye-popping. But you can apply this almost in every area of your life, whatever you’re filling that core need with that isn’t healthy, isn’t godly, right?

Kathy: Absolutely.

Jim: All right.

Kathy: Yeah.

Jim: Let me – let me first for the listener again, can you just name the five so they can get an idea in their head what you’re talking about?

Kathy: Yeah, I’d love to. Um, and I’ll define them with the question that goes along with the core needs…

Jim: And then we’ll dig into them.

Kathy: Great. Security – who can I trust? Identity – who am I? Belonging – who wants me? Purpose – why am I alive? Competence – what do I do well?

Jim: Yeah, and those are the five. So, let’s unpack it. Explain why you believe God created us with these holes, that we have these needs in the first place. Why do those holes exist? And what do they look like?

Kathy: You know, we were created to be in relationship with God through faith in Christ, right?

Jim: Mm-hm.

Kathy: He created us to worship him, to know him, to make him known, to want more of him. Um, he is the solution that we’re looking for. He created us to have the need so we would find him.

And until we find him and really commit and become Christ followers in a very real way, we’re going to be lacking. And I have great hope that those who don’t yet know Christ will find him as they’re driven to more of a completeness and they find out that, you know, things won’t satisfy security, but people will, and people disappoint, but God doesn’t. Now, they may feel God does because they don’t know him well enough yet to understand all of that. And that’s why you do what you do so well here at Focus is to keep driving people to the reality that it is of God that you…

Jim: That’s where the answer is.

Kathy: Absolutely.

Jim: That’s true for everybody too, by the way. Christians are not unique that way. When you look at the pain in the world, the brokenness, name the identity group, whatever it might be. My observation is the thing they’re lacking most is a connection to God.

Kathy: Mm-hm.

Jim: And so many things fall into place when you know who you are…

Kathy: Right.

Jim: …In Christ.

Kathy: Exactly.

Jim: You know, I remember, uh – and I’d love your reaction to this – speaking to a really popular guest that we had here, Rosaria Butterfield, who’s a former lesbian, uh, women’s studies, queer studies at Syracuse University. Something she said as a Ph.D. in American literature – it changed the way I see humanity. It was that powerful…

John: Hm. I remember this.

Jim: …When she said – in that kind of American literature context – she said, “When the pastor and his wife invited me over for dinner” – and they spent 2 1/2 years ministering to her in fellowship and hospitality, having her over for dinner and talking through the Scriptures – and I think it was 2 1/2 years – she then committed to Christ. But she said, “What I realized is I was living by my verb, lesbian, not my noun, made in his image.”

Kathy: Oh.

Jim:  Isn’t that beautiful? And that’s kind …

Kathy: Beautiful.

Jim: …Of what you’re saying here that we’re often buying the lie, the verb of who we see ourselves. And we don’t realize who we are, our identity, as the noun made in his image, right?

Kathy: Absolutely. And when we know that and the knowing of our knowing, it affects our security, our identity, our belonging, our purpose and our competence.

Jim: Yeah.

Kathy: And today for our children, teens and adults of all ages, there are so many voices and so many mixed messages that it becomes, I think, much more difficult to land on truth, but we have to.

Jim: And, you know, for the person listening – and we have a number of nonbelievers who listen to Focus – they’re tuning in, I’m sure, for good marriage and parenting advice – this is the place to start, is a relationship with Christ. We can’t do much to help you if you don’t consider who he is and what he claims. So, let me invite you to think about that, if you don’t know the Lord as we carry through this conversation.

Kathy, uh, you and I have talked a lot, and you’ve been here several times and you share a story about growing up and some of the problems because you’re tall and you self-described as clumsy as a little girl who actually was a big girl. Speak to that pain of that and what – how that helped shape some of your attitudes and – and your own hurts.

Kathy: I really appreciate that. And it was my own pain. I actually really like that phrase. And it might feel very insignificant to other people listening with really significant issues, so we don’t want to downplay that. But we all do have our brokenness and our pain and our, um, whatever.

So, I was 6 years old. I was too tall. I stood out in a crowd. I didn’t fit in the desk. I tripped over things that weren’t there. And I praise God that I had a mom available to me who I knew intuitively I could trust with my heart, as I said to her after school one day, “Mommy, I don’t want to be tall anymore.” And Jim, I’m so grateful that she didn’t say, “Well, get over it. You’re going to be tall.”

Jim: Right, this is a good word of knowledge for all of us. How did she respond?

Kathy: You know, hugs, I’m sure…

Jim: Affirmation.

Kathy: …Affirmation. She felt my pain. And that’s security that your pain is safe – right? – with someone and they’re not going to dismiss and judge and say that you’re foolish.

And the way that my mom, um, responded was that she told her husband, my dad, “We have a daughter with a perceived problem that can’t be changed. She’s going to be tall. What can we do to help her?”

Jim: Yeah.

Kathy: They were solution-focused parents.

Jim: Mm.

Kathy: And this is what everyone needs. And I want to say before I go further in the story that it’s never too late. You know, if someone’s listening wishing they would have had a mom available. It’s never too late to find someone who will hear your heart cry.

Jim: That can feel awkward, though, if I could be that honest…

Kathy: Sure.

Jim: (Laughing) I mean, if you’re standing in line, getting a coffee, saying, “Can I share my heart with you right now?”

Kathy: (Laughter), Well, I wouldn’t choose that…

Jim: (Laughter) But how do you go about, you know, finding that kind of friendship where you can be vulnerable, be who you are, and trust that it’s OK?

Kathy: Yeah, part of that’s security. One of those skills I teach in the book is discernment of how do I know who is responsible and dependable and a truth talker, wisdom walker on my side?

Jim: I like that.

Kathy: You know, how – how do we know that? And that comes through experience. How do we decide who to give a second chance to versus how do we decide that that person’s really off the list for a while because I’m done being hurt by that, you know? But to finish the story, Jim and John, my mom and dad enrolled me in tap dance class and ballet class.

Jim: (Laughter) That’s amazing!

Kathy: And I went from being, you know, really too tall to being the center of the back row, (laughter) a position that I decided was high honor because only the tallest girl was allowed to be there.

Jim: Yeah.

Kathy: And I became coordinated. And I had belonging there. They didn’t tease me for my height. My identity was, I’m a dancer. My security – I can trust my mom and I can trust myself because I’m no longer clumsy, and I feel safe inside of my own skin. I had a purpose to become a dancer. Competence – I’m a dancer. That one decision for me to cry out and my mom and dad to be solution-focused changed everything for me at the age of 6. And now as a public speaker, I honestly believe, if I would have lived long uncomfortable with my body image, would I want to stand before thousands of people a month?

Jim: Yeah, wow.

Kathy: And I wonder if there’re people listening now who recognize that there’s an unmet need because of that pain that they weren’t able to share. And they’ve walked wounded now into adulthood trying to still meet that need. And probably can’t be met in the way that they desire because they can’t go back to being 7…

Jim: Right.

Kathy: … or 10 or 14 and not making the basketball team. So, what we can do today is help them understand, that’s a legitimate hole. That’s legitimate pain.

Jim: Right.

Kathy: It’s yours, and we’re not going to tease you for it. And we’ve got some solutions. We’ve got some answers.

Jim: Right, no, it’s so true. I hope this is connecting with folks. Let’s move into more of the content. When you teach people about core needs, those five that you identified – security, identity, belonging, purpose, competence – you have a motto. You say, “Live long, and be strong,” which we’re kind of talking about. But what are you meaning by that statement so it’s clear?

Kathy: Yeah, thanks for bringing that out. You know, again, when we’re children and teens and young adults, we can really feel broken. And we can wonder, you know, why am I tall? Or why – like, another example would be that I was a chatty Cathy as a child. And because I was raised well, I didn’t get into a lot of trouble talking. But all three of us here are chatty, right? (LAUGHTER) You wouldn’t be radio hosts if you weren’t. And I bet you agree with me that we can gossip well and tease well and name call well…

Jim: (Laughter) No!

Kathy: …Yes, if we don’t have righteousness as our goal and, you know, the security of glorifying God and the purpose of that, of course, we would be dangerous.

So, as a chatty Cathy as a kid – and now, you know, I get paid to talk. It’s not about the money. It’s about this opportunity that God’s given me a platform (Laughter) of influence and impact.

Jim: (Laughter) I was accused of having diarrhea of the mouth when I was a kid. (LAUGHTER)

Kathy: Yeah, come on, you know? So negative, and yet…

Jim: Yes, it hurt me. It did. It wounded me. But I get the point now.

Kathy: You do. And so that was God’s design for you because Ephesians 2:10 declares that he will give you good gifts in advance that you would walk in them. And if we would have had parents that would have said, “Be quiet, be quiet, shut up, would you go find something to do,” we would not be on the radio together today.

Jim: (Laughter) That’s so funny!  It’s true!

Kathy: You know? We had people who supported who we were. And so, one of my passions, guys, is that we would help children understand that childhood comes before adulthood. And that we as adults who minister hope and healing to children, whether we do that as teachers, pastors, friends, aunts, parents, grandparents, that we would see in them a gift and help them find the boundaries and the blessings that would allow it to become the way that they glorify God!

Jim: Yeah, in fact, Kathy, the point of this for me, for Focus on the Family, is the family is where these things should be remedied.

Kathy: Yes!

Jim: Where these holes that you possess should be lovingly overcome. That’s a healthy family.

John: Well, today, we’re presenting one of our best of 2020 broadcasts here on Focus on the Family, featuring Dr. Kathy Koch and her book Five to Thrive. And we’ve got details about the book and our entire collection of best of broadcasts at focusonthefamily.com/broadcast or call 800, the letter A in the word FAMILY. Let’s go ahead and continue now this best of presentation featuring Dr. Kathy Koch.

Jim: Kathy, application – just kind of a practical application in this regard. You have a story about your niece, Betsy, that illustrates how – how this core needs model can help us diagnose and even solve problems we may be facing. What happened with Betsy?

Kathy: Yeah, my oldest niece, um – so my brother, Dave, and Deb, they’re just great parents. And, um, Betsy’s their oldest. They have three kids. And Betsy was going through a challenging time. She was suddenly disobedient, suddenly disrespectful, um, becoming independent, like, almost overnight and wanting to reject mom and dad’s input. My brother took a new job, was traveling a bit…

Jim: And she was how old?

Kathy: She was, um, maybe 14 when this began.

Jim: OK, kind of normal.

Kathy: Right, exactly. It’s – come on, exactly. And yet again, my parent – their – her parents, my brother, praise God, were solution-focused, right? And they weren’t going to let it ride. This is not Betsy. They knew that this is not Betsy, and this is not who we want her to become. So, they wanted to add, again, more boundaries and say to her, “This is wrong. And we’re going to put in some constraint.” And Dave and Deb relocated to a Philadelphia suburb. And Betsy had a new school, new classmates, new activities. Um, developed a relationship with a young man who ended up being good for her.

And in that shift, what we saw was security, identity, belonging, purpose and competence all changed because Dave and Deb were able to relocate and get her away from a peer group that ended up being the problem, the…

Jim: Kind of a reset.

Kathy: Exactly, exactly. The issue for Betsy was, um, aligning herself with a girl who ended up not being a good role model for her and not being able to extricate herself from that, right? It’s one of the hardest things kids do, is try to dismiss a friend that they’ve got. How do I get rid of her without hurting her? And it was awkward…

Jim: Yeah, no, it’s so true.

Kathy: So, you know, I think, again, to identify, OK, this is not normal, what my husband or wife or aging parent or child or myself, this isn’t normal. This isn’t me. What’s driving this? For Betsy, it was a need to belong. She was looking for a relationship that she thought was going to make her popular, which would become her identity and her security. Does that make sense?

Jim: Oh, yeah.

Kathy: And so fortunately, Deb and Dave saw that, distanced her from that girl, did not allow her to see her anymore outside of school hours. And then, praise God, really, the relocation made it all a whole lot easier.

Jim: Yeah, that’s – those are painful decisions.

Kathy: They are.

Jim: Tough to do.

Kathy: They are. And if we can begin to see our own struggles through this grid of these five, I think it changes everything. I know in my life it does.

Jim: Let’s dig in to each one now. We’ve kind of covered at a high level. And you’ve given us a couple of examples. Let’s spend the rest of today and then we’ll come back tomorrow and continue to do that. But let’s go back to security. Give us that definition again. And then I’m going to dig into it on security.

Kathy: OK, security is defined by the question, who can I trust? We cannot place our security in things because they will fade away – income, popularity, the job at this place, my grades, my beauty. It’s dangerous. It’s very common today to try to find our security in those things. But it’s not going to work. Security is always found in people.

Jim: So, security’s No. 1. Um, obviously from a Christian perspective, we find that in Christ. There’s Scriptures that are very…

John: Yeah, Jesus is the right answer here for your question, right?

Kathy: Yes, the Sunday school answer!

Jim: That’s the Sunday school answer. But it’s hard to get that in your heart. I mean, I meet a lot of Christians who fret.

Kathy: Yes!

Jim: And I’m always perplexed by that, where it says, “You know, don’t trust in your circumstances, but trust in the Lord.” And we struggle with that as human beings. It’s not a natural thing to say when the wind’s blowing and the ship’s sinking to go, “Hey, I’m cool, I’m fine because God’s in control.” That’s very not human to be like that (laughter).

Kathy: Because we think the security’s in ourselves.

Jim: Correct, that we can save ourselves…

Kathy: That we can save ourselves and that we can figure this out.

And John, let me elaborate on what you said. You know, I love the Christ is the right answer. What I believe is that it’s the triune God. And I think one of the things that we’ve done badly in some of our churches and some of our family dynamics, if you will, is not recognize all of God. I can trust God because he chose to create me when he didn’t have to, but he wanted to because he had so much love to share. And he chose to share it with me. And I was created in his image. I can trust Jesus because he went to the cross on my behalf. How much more would he be willing to do?

Jim: Yeah, that’s it.

Kathy: And then I can trust the Holy Spirit because the Scripture declares that he is a comforter, a constant companion, a convictor, a friend and the one that will teach us to unpack the Scripture. So, it’s the whole of God that I can trust in.

Jim: That’s good. I like that. Let’s quickly go to the second of the five…

Kathy: OK.

Jim: …Which is identity. Um, define that for us, and explain why you believe so many people are experiencing an identity crisis today. I think, of all the five, culturally, this is the one we’re so inept about.

John: Hm.

Kathy: Right. And I’ll – I’ll say, I agree. The identity crisis…

Jim: Right.

Kathy: …Is huge. And I’m going to back up and say I think it’s because security is messed up.

Jim: Right. OK.

Kathy: Right?

Jim: That’s fair.

Kathy: So, a lot of people say that, oh, it’s the identity crisis. And it is. But it’s a crisis of identity because we are lacking in security.

Jim: Yeah. No, that’s right.

Kathy: Security should be in the triune God, in people who are trustworthy and in ourselves at the right level.

Jim: So even that, it’s symptomatic of the security issue, but it manifests in a lack of understanding identity.

Kathy: Absolutely – beautifully stated. So, identity is, who am I? Not, who was I? And not, who do I want to be? Although there’s a – there’s a point for thinking to the future. It’s, who am I? And it needs to be current. It needs to be honest. It needs to be complete. We should not lie to ourselves. And we should not allow others to lie about themselves. If we hear that happen, we need to correct that. So yeah. It’s huge. It’s, who am I? And it’s rooted in character.

Jim: Yeah.

Kathy: …And then skills and abilities and other kinds of things.

Jim: Kathy, in that regard, you know, being a parent of a teen boy – and, you know, again, just generally speaking about this – on the one hand, you know, “I hope you’re doing well.” “You’re so great.” “You’re awesome.” “I love you.” And it sometimes seems to just hit the wall and fall…

John: Uh-hm.

Jim: Like, they don’t believe it. And you want them to because you mean it. But it’s almost like, how do you get from simply stating it, phrasing it to where they can accept it, they can hear it, they can believe it?

Kathy: Part of it is our specific language. “You’re awesome because…”

Jim: Giving it more context.

Kathy: Absolutely.

Jim: Yeah.

Kathy: You know, “I appreciate how creative you’ve become.” Um, “I never could have created that kind of art. I really admire your talent.” You know, ” I appreciate how patient you were as you taught your brother that new game. You honored him.”

Jim: So, specificity is really important.

Kathy: Absolutely.

Jim: Yeah.

Kathy: ‘Cause it’s believable, right? You know, if I say to you, “You guys are great at this,” you can say, “Well, thanks so much.” But if I say, “You’re great because,” it’s harder for you to deny what I’m saying to you. So, it takes more effort for the mom and dad…

Jim: Right.

Kathy: …And the spouse.

Jim: That’s exactly what I was thinking.

Kathy: Absolutely. We have to observe longer and listen with greater intent and back it up with what I – that because statement. I love the phrase, “I know because.” “You’re artistic. I know because…” “You’re capable of this. I know because this is what you did last week. I’ve seen you study. Go for it.”

Jim: Yeah.

Kathy: Absolutely.

Jim: No, that’s really good.

John: That’s good.

Jim: You’ve identified – and this is a good place to land. You’ve identified several Bible verses that help us see our identity from God’s perspective. And so often, um, I think I’m beginning – even at my age – to begin to understand and resonate. It’s hard to believe some of these things, that God would see us this way. Um, and what I mean by that – it’s hard for us to accept that God loves us so deeply because we don’t love ourselves that much, right?

Kathy: Right.

Jim: Right? So, what are those verses? Or give us a couple.

Kathy: You know, there’s almost 100 “I am” and “I have” statements in the New Testament.

Jim: Huh.

Kathy: “I am forgiven.” “I am chosen.” “I am loved.” “I’m created the image of God.” “I’m a, you know, holy nation, a royal priesthood.” “I’m holy and without blame before him.” “I’m accepted in Christ.” “I am forgiven.” “I am sealed.” “I am gifted” – Ephesians 2:10.

We’ve got to help people understand that who God says we are is way more important than who we think we are or what the culture says we are. This is why we have to be in the word of God.

Jim: Yes.

Kathy: And one of the things I tell parents is, you know, teach the word of God to your children. Declare the word of God over them. Pray it over them. You know what, guys? Wouldn’t it be amazing if the last thing we said to our children at night was something God would say if he were there with an audible voice?

Jim: Hm.

Kathy: And what if we woke them up and said something to them that God would declare to them…

Jim: Yeah.

Kathy: …If he was speaking? Because it’s God’s word that is life to us.

Jim: Yeah.

Kathy: And you know what, Jim? It’s a choice to believe. I – you know, I’m – I’m an imperfect person, and there are days I struggle. And there are days when I don’t like certain things or whatever. And that’s OK to own that and to walk through that and question, “OK, Kathy, where’s the lie? Why have I gotten sucked into this competitive mentality?” – and yada, yada, whatever – and then to come back to the word. And I don’t say that lightly. It’s a choice.

Jim: Yeah. And again, that’s identity rooted in security of how God sees us. I mean, that’s so good. These two tie together so beautifully.

Kathy: They do. Picture the double-sided arrow, if you will, between the two. And it does become a problem-solving tool when we begin to question, “Why are our kids behaving this way? Why am I behaving this way?” (Laughter) You know, “Why have I become competitive?” That’s a security issue.

Jim: Mm.

Kathy: “Is popularity all of a sudden important to me?” No. It’s – you got to go there.

Jim: Well, I’m glad we’re at the end ’cause, uh… (LAUGHTER) You’re kind of poking where it’s a little tender here.

Uh, Kathy, this has been so fascinating and so good. And we’ve just started. We’ve got more to cover – three more of these core needs that people have. Let’s come back next time and do that, right? Can you do it?

Kathy: I’d be honored to. Thank you.

John: And that’s how we concluded this first part of a best of 2020 conversation with Dr. Kathy Koch exploring her book, Five to Thrive How to Determine if Your Core Needs Are Being Met and What to Do When They’re Not. And we do hope you make plans to join us for part two next time.

Jim: I really enjoyed the conversation with Kathy. She’s so wise and encouraging. And I’m sure many of the listeners have been challenged by what she shared today. And I’m reminded of a comment we got from one man who said something profound after this program aired earlier this year. He said, “I drive or walk through cemeteries and think of all those people who have struggled with things like us today. So many dreams, goals, unfinished business and talents not utilized perhaps out of fear, inadequacy. Perhaps we don’t often live the life that God has called us to live”. Wow, think about that John. Um, the fact is God’s got a plan for each of our lives and he created us with unique needs that only he can fill. So, lean into him today. That’s the bottom-line message we want you to hear.

John: And if you feel as though you’re still chasing after some of those needs like Kathy talked about and you really don’t feel secure or you know what God created you to be, we encourage you to contact us here at Focus on the Family. We have a team of caring Christian counselors who would love to talk with you and pray with you about whatever issues you may be facing. Our number is 800-232-6459, 800 the letter A and the word FAMILY or visit focusonthefamily.com/broadcast.

Jim: And then follow up by getting Kathy’s book Five to Thrive. This is something you really need as a tool to do better. We can put a copy into your hands when you send a gift of any amount to Focus on the Family. And when you support Focus today your gift will be doubled thanks to a matching gift provided by some generous friends to the ministry. And remember, we’re counting on your financial partnership with us to build stronger, healthier families in 2021. Working together we can give more families hope in this coming year.

John: Yeah, this is a listener supported ministry so donate today and request your copy of Kathy’s book Five to Thrive. Again, our number 800-A-FAMILY. Online we’re at focusonthefamily.com/broadcast. On behalf of Jim Daly and the entire team here thanks so much for joining us today for this best of edition of our broadcast. I’m John Fuller inviting you back next time as we continue the conversation with Dr. Kathy Koch and once again help you and your family thrive in Christ.

Today's Guests

Five to Thrive

Five to Thrive

Receive Dr. Kathy Koch's book Five to Thrive for your donation of any amount. Your gift between now and December 31 will be matched – dollar for dollar – up to $6 million!

Recent Episodes

Focus on the Family Broadcast logo

Simple Habits to Embrace in Your Marriage

Dr. Randy Schroeder has counseled thousands of married couples and has discovered simple tools that help couples avoid divorce and build a thriving marriage. In this broadcast, he describes practical habits to help couples navigate expectations in marriage, build emotional closeness, and resolve disagreements.

Focus on the Family Broadcast logo

How I Found God Through My Abortion Journey (Part 2 of 2)

Cynthia Wenz shares her incredible testimony of discovering God’s love and forgiveness. As a teenager, Cynthia lived recklessly and strayed away from the Lord. By age 29, she had three abortions, numbing herself from the reality of killing her children. After realizing her mistakes, Cynthia became pro-life and experienced many years of turmoil and grief before undergoing post-abortion recovery. She now advocates for pregnancy resource centers across the nation. (Part 2 of 2)

Focus on the Family Broadcast logo

How I Found God Through My Abortion Journey (Part 1 of 2)

Cynthia Wenz shares her incredible testimony of discovering God’s love and forgiveness. As a teenager, Cynthia lived recklessly and strayed away from the Lord. By age 29, she had three abortions, numbing herself from the reality of killing her children. After realizing her mistakes, Cynthia became pro-life and experienced many years of turmoil and grief before undergoing post-abortion recovery. She now advocates for pregnancy resource centers across the nation. (Part 1 of 2)

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Being a Champion to Your Grandkids

Being a Champion to Your Grandkids

Pastor Carey Casey explains how grandfathers can utilize their unique role to have a positive and lasting influence on their grandchildren in a discussion based on his book Championship Grandfathering: How to Build a Winning Legacy.

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Being Seen by God

Offering encouragement found in her book Unseen: The Gift of Being Hidden in a World That Loves to be Noticed, Sara Hagerty describes how we can experience God in ordinary, everyday moments, and how we can find our identity in Him apart from what we do.

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.

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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.

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

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

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

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

Navigating a Toxic Culture with Your Daughter - Part 2

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

Mrs. Meg Meeker

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

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

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

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

Cherishing Your Spouse Every Day

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

Mr. Gary Thomas

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

cherish front cover

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

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

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Newest Release - Episode 2: Heroes Providing Hope

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

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

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

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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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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!

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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 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.

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Praying the Scriptures Over Your Children

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Effective Habits to Embrace in Parenting

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

Dr. Randy Schroeder

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

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

Simple Habits for Effective Parenting

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

The Spiritual Battle for Your Marriage

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

Tim and Noreen Muehlhoff Cropped

Dr. Tim and Mrs. Noreen Muehlhoff

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

Defending Your Marriage

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

Reigniting Your Passion for Jesus - Part 1

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

Headshot photo of author Kim Meeder

Kim Meeder

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

Revival Rising

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

Reigniting Your Passion for Jesus - Part 2

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

Headshot photo of author Kim Meeder

Kim Meeder

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

Revival Rising

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

Mothers and Sons: Being a Godly Influence - Part 2

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

Headshot of Rhonda Stoppe

Rhonda Stoppe

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

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

Moms Raising Sons to Be Men

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

Identifying Triggers in Your Marriage - Part 2

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

Headshot of Guy and Amber Lia

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Author Debra Fileta in the Focus on the Family broadcast studio

Mrs. Debra Fileta

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

Are You Really Okay?

Are You Really OK: Getting Real About Who You Are

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

Embracing Your Role as a Spouse

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

Headshot of Kevin Thompson

Pastor Kevin Thompson

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

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

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

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

Sharing Your Faith with Grace and Purpose

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

Mr. Greg Koukl

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

Tactics front cover

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

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

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

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

Dr. Kevin Leman

Dr. Kevin Leman

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

Bundle of Why Your Kids Misbehave

Why Your Kids Misbehave and What to Do about It

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

Giving up Sugar, Tasting God's Goodness

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

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

Mrs. Wendy Speake

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dr. Kevin Leman

Dr. Kevin Leman

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

Bundle of Why Your Kids Misbehave

Why Your Kids Misbehave and What to Do about It

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

Loving Your Spouse Through the Seasons of Marriage - Part 2

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

Author Debra Fileta in the Focus on the Family broadcast studio

Debra Fileta

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

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

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

Reconciling Faith and Science in a Medical Crisis

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

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

Dr. Lee Warren

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

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

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

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

Praying Scripture Over Your Child’s Life - Part 1

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

Headshot of Focus on the Family broadcast guest Jodie Berndt

Jodie Berndt

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

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

Praying the Scriptures Over Your Children

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

Mothers and Sons: Being a Godly Influence - Part 1

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

Headshot of Rhonda Stoppe

Rhonda Stoppe

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

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

Moms Raising Sons to Be Men

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

Identifying Triggers in Your Marriage Part 1

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

Headshot of Guy and Amber Lia

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Author Debra Fileta in the Focus on the Family broadcast studio

Mrs. Debra Fileta

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

Are You Really Okay?

Are You Really OK: Getting Real About Who You Are

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

Navigating a Toxic Culture with Your Daughter - Part 1

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

Mrs. Meg Meeker

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

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

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

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

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Newest Release - Episode 1: The Truth About Life!

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

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

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