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

Are Your Five Core Needs Being Met? (Part 2 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 2 of 2)
Original Air Date: February 5, 2020

John Fuller: Today on Focus on the Family we’re returning to one of our most popular broadcasts from this past year featuring Dr. Kathy Koch, and she was describing what our core needs are and how to fulfill those in appropriate ways. Last time Dr. Koch shared a childhood struggle of being too tall.

Excerpt: 

Dr. Kathy Koch: My mom and dad enrolled me in tap dance class and ballet class. (Jim: That’s amazing!) 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. 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.

End of Excerpt

John: I’m John Fuller, and your host is Focus president and author Jim Daly.

Jim Daly: John, we had a great conversation last time with Dr. Kathy Koch, and this is just one of several programs we’re featuring this month from our best of 2020 collection. And I really want to encourage you to check them out. Dr. Kevin Leman shares the secret of a lifelong romance for marriage, Dr. Josh and Christi Straub explain how to help your children understand and manage their emotions in healthy ways, and then John Burke gives us a wonderful vision of how our future is in heaven. These are powerful programs that will be great for you to review again and again. So, check out the website to learn more about this full collection.

John: That’s at focusonthefamily.com/broadcast. And we’ll also have a link to Dr. Kathy Koch’s book, which we’ll hear more about today. It’s called Five to Thrive: How to Determine if Your Core Needs are Being Met (and What to Do When They’re Not).

Jim: And last time John, Kathy was describing how God specifically designed us with holes or needs that only he can fill. But the problem is we often try to fill these needs with the wrong things. For example, we think we need to be happier, more successful, but our real need is security and ultimately we can only find that in the Lord. And that’s the point of Matthew chapter 6 verse 33, seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness and all these things will be added to you. So I’m looking forward to hearing more of Kathy’s great insights today.

John: So here’s the continuation of our best of conversation with Dr. Kathy Koch on Focus on the Family.

Jim: As we start, uh, we need to give our listeners a quick overview of what we talked about last time. Uh, you identified five core needs that your book is based upon. And we covered two of them last time. Uh, describe all five and a quick summary of security and identity, which we covered last time.

Kathy: Sure. So, uh, security – who can I trust? Our security should be placed and people who are trustworthy. Um, that would be God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit, um, people who have proven themselves to be responsible, dependable, truth talkers, and then our own selves, in addition to but not instead of that because I agree with the scripture from Proverbs that we don’t want to lean on our own understanding. But I also want us to grow up and mature and have, um, the ability to respond to the Holy Spirit inside of ourselves so that we can be doing right, even if no one is watching, if you will.

Jim: Yeah.

Kathy: So that’s security. And then that leads to identity. Who am I? Not, who was I? Not, who do I want to be? But do we have a complete, honest, um, accurate understanding of who we are? Identity controls behavior.  

So, it’s really important that we know who we are. Not who does mom say we are, not who a husband wishes we were, but who are we? And do we walk with integrity in that? It’s rooted in security – no security, no identity.

Jim: Yeah.  

Kathy: When we have our security and identity then we can develop our belonging, which is, who wants me? Does anyone know that I’m alive? Who can I hang out with? Belonging. We all have a need wired into us by God for community, for connection, for relationship. This is what drives us to healthy relationships, is that inner need. There’s no, um, weakness to admit that we have that need. It’s wired into us by God. And then purpose – why am I alive? Why did God bother making me? (Laughter) And I believe that it’s rooted in our security, identity and belonging. We were created to serve people. If we know our identity and our strength and our passion and we have a security and trustworthiness and people we can depend upon to help us grow, then we will discover our purpose. And then that leads to competence. What do I do well?  

And one of the things that’s so important about that by intro is that I don’t need your competencies, because I’m not you. And you don’t need mine because you’re not me. I need the competencies I need to fulfill my purpose.

Jim: Yeah.

Kathy: Which is why we have to stop comparing ourselves to everybody and judging, and then we’re never content because I’m not as good as or as fast as or as bright as… No. Be who you were created to be so you can fulfill your purpose in the gifts that you have by your creator ’cause God is good.   

Jim: Something that sounds so simple but gets so complicated in this life. You know, that’s why the Scripture warns us not to be jealous and all those other things.  

But Kathy, let me – let me back up one bit before we move forward. And, um, you know, oftentimes in the Christian community, we look at some of the sciences, particularly psychology, and we’re like, “Uh, some of it sounds like psychobabble, you know?” And we get that. And with that psychobabble, we would agree. But so often, um, the sciences are actually buttressing the Scripture. And that’s what’s exciting for me, is that it doesn’t make it, uh, inconsistent. What I see is consistency. But speak to that issue where, you know, if we’re back in our college psychology classes and we’re thinking of Maslow or…

Kathy: Uh-hm.

Jim: … some of the other – Freud and those kinds of things. There are elements that are probably accurate in what they had to say. But again, uh, from a Christian perspective, we’re revealing – we’re finding these things out as to how God has wired the human brain, right?

Kathy: Absolutely. You know, when I was a professor, I used to teach those secular views, if you will. And they were so incomplete. Like, I would teach them, and I would have to teach them; they were in the textbooks, if you will. And yet I knew that there’s something wrong here. And sometimes, they had the order wrong. They’d put identity first.  

Jim: Uh-hm.

Kathy: No, you have to have security first. That’s why being a believer changes everything because then you have a security that’s rooted in someone you can totally trust in all circumstances. So, I think it’s often incomplete versus complete. And often, the secular model of the psychology might be very self-sufficient. And this is where, back in my day, I was teaching and thinking, “Whoa. This makes me really nervous.” And, you know, to God be the glory. He said, “Kathy, open my Word.”

John: Hm.

Jim: Right.  

Kathy: And it changed everything for me and allowed me to take some very good research and add, if you will, the biblical truth to it and examine it from God’s perspective. And then when he revealed to a group of us that we’re created by God with these needs….

Jim: Uh-hm.

Kathy: So, he has to be the one to fill them.  

Jim: Yes. I mean, that’s it. I love that simple premise. Uh, we’re created in God’s image.

Kathy: Absolutely.

Jim: When you start any vocation from that perspective, I don’t care if you’re the electrician, the plumber or the Ph.D. in physics trying to discover His secrets. When you start with the idea that we’re made in his image, it changes how you approach life.

Kathy: It does. And he is security, and he has security. He is identity, and he has identity. His name is I am.

John: Hm.

Jim: Right! (laughter)

Kathy: He is belonging, the triune God. He has belonging, right? He has purpose. He is purpose. He has competence. He’s very good at being God. And he can be our competence, absolutely.

Jim: Yeah, I mean, that – he fulfills it all.

Kathy: Absolutely.

Jim: And that’s – boy, that’s the appeal. If you don’t know the Lord, call us. We’d love to talk to you more…

John: Yes.

Jim: …About why we believe. It is not insane to believe the creator of the universe created you.

Kathy: Amen! And I also want to encourage all of us to be discipled in the ways of God. I regret, as I say in my book, how long I knew God and plateaued there, just happy I’m a believer, not understanding how much more of God I needed to lean into.

Jim: Yeah.

Kathy: …For the completeness that he would bring to my life that changes everything.  

Jim: Yeah. All right. Let’s get into No. 3. The third need that you’ve identified is belonging, as you said a moment ago. Kind of the question, who wants me? And I’m sure most people understand the value of relationships and community. I think there’s a resurgence, a reawakening of that. Um, but what do you say to the person who communicates (laughter), just leave me alone?

John: Yeah.

Kathy: Woah…

Jim: Very independent, pioneer spirit. We get that a lot out in the West here in the United States, but, uh, the leave-me-alone attitude.

Kathy: I wonder if that’s a false security. And I wonder if they’ve taken that to the extreme as their identity. You know, “I’m a loner, and I’m capable and I don’t need anybody.” We were created for community. You cannot deny that. We were created – we’re better off with accountability, with responsibility, with the joy that comes from serving others.  

Um, we were created to leave the world a better place. You know, Ephesians 2:10 declares that we should walk in the gifts that we have. That means that we serve with them, that we look for opportunities to be a blessing to others. Yeah, I think – and I’m – I’m independent. And do you know what? I’ve had three knee surgeries. The first knee surgery was God’s gift to me because I had to learn to ask for help.

Jim: Wow.

Kathy: And it changed me. Radically. I could not go to the grocery store, for Pete’s sake.

Jim: Huh.

Kathy: And I had to decide, OK, shoot, I guess I’m weak and I need help. No, I wasn’t weak. I had knee surgery.

Jim: (Laughter) Right.

Kathy: My identity was, “I had knee surgery. And, you know, help me.” And then I found out, of course, who my true friends were. Uh, so we are created for relationship. It really does matter. We leave the world a better place when we leave a bit of ourselves with others, right?

John: Yeah.  

Jim: Kathy, let me ask this – maybe selfishly because I’m a man – is that oftentimes men are labeled as the loners. You – you hear about that. You know, we’re not – I guess some would say maybe we’re not wired for community. Um, I don’t think that’s true. But I think a lot of men fall back on that excuse. You know, we don’t have a lot of friends, typically, just in the general stereotype. We may have one good friend. But I think the stats are pretty dismal that 60, 70% of men say they really don’t have a close friend. Why do we have more of that independent, isolated attitude with males?

Kathy: It’s a fair question. You know, God makes us differently. I think, um – I think there are women who don’t need as many friends as some women. I think it has to do with introverted, extroverted, whether we’re self-smart or people smart, you know, self-smart…

Jim: So, temperament and wiring.

Kathy: I think temperament, wiring. Self-smart people think deeply inside of themselves and don’t have as much of a need to share with others. Um, men have as many feelings as women have, but men don’t have emotional vocabulary. Women do. We have a thesaurus for emotion.

Jim: (Laughter) Yeah, right!

Kathy: And so, it’s harder for men to – whether with another man or with a woman, even a spouse, a wife – it’s harder to, um, declare how I’m feeling. And that can mean – that can make me feel like I’ve isolated. But you know what, Jim? We all need community because God created us for a relationship. We know that… relationship with him so that we would want relationship with others, if I can put it that way.  

So, I think there are men who crave more and need to respond to that. If your identity is, I’m lonely. If your identity is, I don’t feel known. If your identity is those kinds of things, then recognize that and look to repair.

Jim: Right.  

Kathy: And what’s the rest of you? Are you creative, outgoing, a quick thinker, mathematical? Do you like golf? What’s the rest of your identity? And then you find your belonging and people who have something in common with you. So, I wonder if that lack of belonging is sometimes rooted in an incomplete or unhealthy identity?  

Jim: Yeah, and I think it’s more the – the issue of being comfortable being alone or being without that relationship that we’re quite content as men to say, “OK, that’s all right, just who I am.” And we don’t really hunger for the relationships that actually make us better.

Kathy: Right. Right.

John: That iron-sharpening-iron kind of thing that is written about in Proverbs.

Kathy: Right.  

John: This is Focus on the Family with Jim Daly, and we’re featuring one of our most popular broadcasts of this past year with Dr. Kathy Koch. And she’s written really a landmark book called Five to Thrive: How to Determine if Your Core Needs are Being Met (and What to Do When They’re Not). You can order that book and learn more about our entire collection of bests of 2020 broadcasts. Just call 800, the letter A and the word FAMILY or stop by focusonthefamily.com/broadcast.

Jim: Dr. Kathy, I’m thinking about social media. And, you know, some people are fulfilled there. They chatter all day long and probably spend way too much time in that medium. Others are super lonely, even though they’re in there. I mean, the loneliness index, I think as they’ve kept at the last 20, 30 years, is as high as it’s ever been right now. Yet we’re still, like, really connected through social media.  

What it says to me is this is not a real connection. This isn’t the way God wired us for connection to provide a tweet. He wants us to have interaction. There’s something biochemically that happens to us when we’re actually communicating eyeball to eyeball, hearing each other, um, embracing each other, that kind of thing. Speak to the loneliness when we try to answer that question, who wants me, in the social media context, where, oh, the answer’s nobody.

Kathy: Oh.

John: Hm.  

Kathy: It’s well-stated. You know, I’m all over social media. There’s nothing inherently horrible in it unless I’m trying to meet my need for belonging, there.

Jim: Right! So, you got to know that’s not the reason to go there.

Kathy: Right, no, the need for belonging is legitimate. And it’s going to be met with, um, true accountability, responsibility, intimacy, knowing each other, um, sharing values, sharing ideas, um, hanging out, iron sharpening iron. You know, I obviously love that verse.  

Social media is an add-on to that. And I think one of the reasons that it can create a loneliness is we can fake it to make it there. And so, we flip our identity in different groups. And we flip our identity when we’re posting about different things. And we see inconsistency in people. They’re desperately trying to fit in and figure it out. And it breaks you because you can’t be all things to all people in that way, nor should you try to be, if that makes sense.

Jim: It does. I’m thinking, you know, my kids have friends. I’m interacting with teens. My heart breaks for them.

Kathy: Absolutely.

Jim: And I’m thinking of this specific question of who wants me because some are desperately asking that question. And I guess for the parents, particularly, of that teen that they’re worried about that he’s not – or she’s not – connecting, and she’s struggling with the answer to that question. Because they’re not looking for it in their relationship with their parents. They kind of take that one for granted. Course you want me, you’re my mom and dad.

Kathy: Mm-hm. Mm-hm.

Jim: But nobody else wants me. And they go into their bedroom. And they are lost. Speak to both parts of that equation, the parents who are trying to help and then the loneliness of that teenager’s heart.

Kathy: Way to ask easy questions, Jim! Um, you know, I actually – kids tell me all the time and teens tell me, “Dr. Kathy, my parents love me. They have to. They don’t have a choice …

Jim: (Laughing) Right!

Kathy: … I wish they liked me.”

Jim: Ooh.  

Kathy: “I wish they’d liked me.”

Jim: OK, let’s press on that for a minute…

John: Yeah, what does that mean?

Jim: …For the parent, what does that mean to really like your kid in a language that they get, that they receive?

Kathy: Absolutely, you know, they – I don’t – I don’t think they mind that I’m in my bedroom because it gives them the space to do their thing.

Jim: Wow.

Kathy: …You know, dad never takes me on errands anymore. I’ve actually had some children tell me that they don’t like that their mom has groceries delivered because they don’t get to go on the grocery run with mom…

Jim: (Laughing) Wow!

Kathy: … Anymore and talk in the car. Now, I’m – if I’m a busy mom, like, I think grocery delivery must be amazing for those moms.

Jim: Right.

Kathy: But I think from the child’s perspective, they miss out on those opportunities just to hang out together and to have just unique conversations about what’s going on in life. So, the board game and the hike in the woods and the, you know, basketball free throws, I mean, good, old-fashioned play and hanging out. And I think we say to our son, “Come on, I need you in the living room.” It’s called the living room. Let’s live in the living room!

Jim: Without a TV! (laughter)

Kathy: Yeah, you know, so let’s hang out. And let’s use the web and research together. And let’s, you know, discover some groups on social media that we can both be in because we like state parks and there’s a really cool Colorado State Park group or whatever.  

So, it’s not, you know, to ban them from using it. But it’s to maybe – I’m kind of rambling – but teach them how to use it well at the same time that you say, “No, I want you. You are my son. You are my daughter. I miss you. Let’s have a conversation.”  

John: And I think I’ve shared this before, but there was a time when one of my kids was about 17 and distant.

Kathy: Mmm.

John: You know, I’m giving the words, but they’re falling off. There’s no engagement. And God just told me, “You are the parent. You’ve got to go pursue this child …

Kathy: Yes.

John: … You have to reach out. You have to be the one that initiates. Don’t let them define the terms of the relationship.” And I’m glad that he spoke that to me ’cause I – I really needed to hear that and kind of get the momentum going.

Kathy: Mm-hm. You know, let me add that kids like to talk in the dark. And we’ve talked about this on this show before.

Jim: (Laughing) Right!  So true.

Kathy: They like to talk in the dark because they don’t want to see our faces when they know that they’re going to disappoint us. They love talking in the car when we’re running errands …

John: Side by side, yeah.

Kathy: … Because again, they’re – they’re captured, and the eye contact isn’t as essential or even possible. So, we do need to press in. And we need to say, “No, I value you, and I want you with me.” At the same time, if I could say this, we need to make sure that parents don’t try to get their need for belonging met in their children.  

Jim: Wow, that’s huge.

Kathy: That’s extremely unhealthy. So, men and women need other men and women to hang out with and to know them. And then the child is the bonus, if you will.  

Jim: No, that’s really good!   

Jim: Kathy, I was intrigued by your chapter on purpose, moving from the, who wants me, to the, why am I alive? I think this is a great question. And boy, you answer it differently from 15 to 20 to 25. Hopefully by about 25 you’re figuring this out and hopefully in that Christian context, the why am I alive, what purpose.  

You address the problem of negativity in today’s culture. We’ve hit on that. And you quoted someone that you observed who said this, “This generation doesn’t have anything to live for because they don’t believe anything is worth dying for.” That is a powerful statement. Um, why that observation? Why is it true?

Kathy: You know, passion — passion motivates us to get up in the morning. Passion motivates us to pursue truth. Passion motivates us to – to learn something so that we can, again, contribute back to that belonging component, which precedes purpose, if you will. Yeah, absolutely. So, the inaccurate identity, the inconsistencies, the trying to be all things to all people, the – just the messy messages that they’re hearing, the lies, the – the lack of truth is so confusing to them.  

Jim: And what is worth dying for? I mean, that’s an interesting concept. And it’s not something we want anybody to do.

Kathy: Right.

Jim: But, you know, you look at the Founding Fathers. They laid it on the line.

Kathy: Right.

Jim: They wanted freedom. They wanted freedom of religious expression. They wanted to be free from the monarchy. They didn’t feel they should be paying taxes to them, et cetera. They obviously felt those were things worth dying for. What about today?

Kathy: You know, so what are our values? And what are we raising children and teens to believe matters, right? Christ, evangelism, discipleship, um, rescuing the disenfranchised, you know, what is it? What is our purpose? Why am I alive? We’re alive to serve. We’re alive to glorify God through who we are and not just what we do, which is why character is so important. Um, we’re alive to leave the world a better place through the gifts that we’ve been given, which we’re not going to do if we keep lusting after somebody else’s gifts.  

Jim: Yeah.

Kathy: We’re not. We reject ourselves because we’re not as good as or – no, it’s not about competition. You were created for such a time as this with this identity, you know, chatty Cathy, whatever! (Laughter)

Kathy: You know, be that to the glory of God. So, do we help our people understand who they are, who they’ve been called to serve so that they will want to wake up every day and do it?   

Jim: And that is good. I mean, and to me this is one of the core things that you need your teenagers to really think about and to try to enter these dialogues about why you’re created, what is your purpose in a very thoughtful way, not in a demeaning way. And as my wife Jean would say to me, “Jim, don’t answer the question when you ask it.”

Kathy: Oh, shoot! (LAUGHTER)

Jim: So, Troy, what’s your purpose? Can I give you a few ideas? (Laughter) That is a bad habit I got! (Laughter)

Kathy: Yeah, you know, and it’s – no, it’s so good. And I – you know, I tell young people – they don’t like this, and I don’t really care – but I tell young people that your purpose is for some obedience ’cause that glorifies God. And learning all that you can and all the ways that you can, again, to the glory of God. I would say that if they’re believers.  

So, for children and teens, childhood causes adulthood. Childhood leads to something. You’re not – you’re still a child! Revel in that. And allow yourself to be a child who’s learning and dreaming of the tomorrows. And then we as the mature adults provide direction. We’re the compass that points due north. And we say, “I’ve noticed this about you. I wonder if you might want to pursue this as a hobby,” or, “You know, I’ve noticed that you ask a lot of questions about weather. You know, the weatherman, let’s invite him over for lunch. He goes to our church. Let’s have a conversation (Laughter) and just find out what his background is.”  

Because kids are confused and they’re wanting – it’s not all about career. It’s about relationship…

Jim: That’s interesting.

Kathy: … It’s my purpose to be a good person, a righteous Christ follower. And will I be a good wife or husband, if marriage is in my future? Will I be a good mom or dad? It’s not about just career, although that’s, of course, a big passion of the parent is to launch them into something.

John: Right.  

Jim: Okay, Kathy — we’ve got to get to #5 here at the end — competence. The competence factor. This can make people feel a little uncomfortable because, you know, especially in Christian circles, if you feel really gifted at something – mathematics, science, whatever it might be – sometimes you have to downplay our ability because it’s more humble, I guess.

First of all, talk about competence in that context.  What is arrogance and what is competence?  And I guess maybe that’s the question.

Kathy: Wow, well, competence is being able to do what I’ve been called to do, which is why it follows purpose. If I know why I was created, why am I alive, then I will be motivated to discover the competence that allows me to be successful.

And if I find out that I have a particular competence of creative writing or mathematical brilliance or

debating without anger, then that competence can back up to discovering a purpose in a way that I could serve in the community or in the church or even within my family.

Jim: Right, a vocational or volunteer role.

Kathy: Absolutely, right. So, competence is an ability to do what I’ve been called to do. You know, arrogance is thinking that my ability is more important than yours and that I have more of it. No, and there’s no place for that. I get that. The culture screams of that. Social media screams of that. It’s one of the reasons that we’re never content because we can always see somebody else who has something more that we think we need. We don’t need what they have. We need our competence given to us by God. He is our competence. He teaches it. And, yeah, absolutely. I could go on and on.

Jim: No, that is so good. And we’re going to touch on this one lightly. But people need to get the book. Let me end with this one. There were – again, in that context of being content in who God has created in you. There are things about yourself in the past that you didn’t like, um – your height, your clumsiness, we talked a bit about that yesterday. But today you see them as strengths. These are things that can work for you. Describe what they are beyond, you know, those things and how they’ve turned into your strengths.

Kathy: Yeah, you know, well, let me share this, spelling doesn’t come naturally to me.

Jim: Thank you (laughter).

Kathy: I’m, you know – thank you, yeah, you know, I’m logic smart. I want the rules to work. I – you know, the letter C gets in the way. We really don’t need it. Um, the silent K, how ridiculous is that?

So – but I’m an author (Laughter) of six books and I have an earned Ph.D. in reading. You lead with your strengths. I think one of the most important things about competence is… I mean, yeah, know the challenge so that you don’t hurt yourself or others with it and surround yourself with help. So, members of my staff proofread my work. And I travel with a misspellers dictionary so I could find the word the way I think it should be spelled. And it’ll tell me how to spell it.

John: Hm.

Kathy: So, competence isn’t perfection. That’s a lie from the devil. Competence is an ability that you need. And you always lead with your strengths.

Jim: Yeah.

Kathy: And you make sure that the weaknesses don’t get in the way. I think that’s what I want people to hear.

Jim: Kathy, this has been a rich conversation that’s given me and so many of the listeners a lot to think about. Uh, things to pray about, too, frankly. And as… I so appreciate your passion and heart to help people live godly and healthy lives the way we were designed to do it. And that’s what I love – it’s that illumination of how this all fits together, the way we’re wired, the way we behave, those things that shape us. Thank you for this great book, Five to Thrive: How to Determine If Your Core Needs Are Being Met (And What to Do When They’re Not).

And the good thing is here, everybody, this is all rooted in your relationship with Christ. And it’s not that psychobabble that we talk about, but it’s understanding the wiring that’s there, that scientists can see. But then wrapping that idea that we’re made in God’s image around it all. And that’s what I love. Thank you for equipping us to have a conversation that is deep and, uh, you know, very helpful to everybody, including ourselves and those around us.

Kathy: You’re very welcome. It’s truly a joy to participate with you at Focus.

John: We’ll encourage you to get your copy of this wonderful book from Dr. Kathy Koch, Five to Thrive: How to Determine If Your Core Needs Are Being Met (And What To Do When They’re Not). And we’ve only really touched on the highlights from that book. And Dr. Koch has a lot of in-depth content in it for you and your family. So, make sure you get a copy to help really grow in your walk with the Lord. Our number is 800, the letter A and the word FAMILY or stop by focusonthefamily.com/broadcast.

Jim: And of course, when you can send a gift of any amount to Focus on the Family, we’ll get this book out to you as our way of saying thank you. And contact us because right now we have a matching gift opportunity thanks to some generous Focus friends. And that means anything you give will be doubled, saving more marriages, equipping more parents to raise Godly kids and rescuing more preborn babies from abortion. So, can we count on your generous support this month to end the year strong?

John: Our number is 800-A-FAMILY or donate and request that book at focusonthefamily.com/broadcast. And have a great weekend with your family and your church family as well. And then plan to join us on Monday when we have an inspirational message from Willie Robertson of the Duck Dynasty group.

Teaser: 

Willie Robertson: Jesus had this amazing way of giving simple stories. The greatest leader of all time teaching limited human beings. He was teaching us how to lead. Ultimately, he had to be sacrificed himself. Guess what? That was a lesson.

End of Teaser

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

Today's Guests

Five to Thrive

Five to Thrive

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Recent Episodes

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Finding True Joy in Blessing Others

Becky Kopitzke encourages you to find small, simple ways to bless those around you. Through personal stories and practical tips, she explores the Four P’s of blessing others with your presence, your possessions, your perspective and your prayers.

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Fueling Great Relationships With Others

Dr. John Townsend offers practical ideas on how to create incredibly meaningful relationships in every area of your life. He describes the types of people who are needed on your “life team” to help you grow – and others who need to be held at arm’s length, as you seek balance in your relationships with friends and colleagues.

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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.

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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.

Sara Hagerty, author of Every Bitter Thing is Sweet

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.

Author Debra Fileta in the Focus on the Family broadcast studio

Debra Fileta

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

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

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

How a Former Abortion Doctor Became Pro-Life

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

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

Mrs. Patti Giebink

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

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

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

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

Navigating a Toxic Culture with Your Daughter - Part 2

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

Mrs. Meg Meeker

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

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

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

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

Cherishing Your Spouse Every Day

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

Mr. Gary Thomas

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

cherish front cover

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

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

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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!

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

Play Video

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

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

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

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

Play Video

Newest Release - Episode 6: Families Helping Families!

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

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

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

Praying Scripture Over Your Child’s Life - Part 2

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

Headshot of Focus on the Family broadcast guest Jodie Berndt

Jodie Berndt

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

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

Praying the Scriptures Over Your Children

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

Effective Habits to Embrace in Parenting

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

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

Dr. Randy Schroeder

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

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

Simple Habits for Effective Parenting

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

The Spiritual Battle for Your Marriage

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

Tim and Noreen Muehlhoff Cropped

Dr. Tim and Mrs. Noreen Muehlhoff

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

Defending Your Marriage

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

Reigniting Your Passion for Jesus - Part 1

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

Headshot photo of author Kim Meeder

Kim Meeder

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

Revival Rising

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

Reigniting Your Passion for Jesus - Part 2

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

Headshot photo of author Kim Meeder

Kim Meeder

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

Revival Rising

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

Mothers and Sons: Being a Godly Influence - Part 2

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

Headshot of Rhonda Stoppe

Rhonda Stoppe

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

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

Moms Raising Sons to Be Men

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

Identifying Triggers in Your Marriage - Part 2

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

Headshot of Guy and Amber Lia

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Author Debra Fileta in the Focus on the Family broadcast studio

Mrs. Debra Fileta

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

Are You Really Okay?

Are You Really OK: Getting Real About Who You Are

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

Embracing Your Role as a Spouse

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

Headshot of Kevin Thompson

Pastor Kevin Thompson

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

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

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

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

Sharing Your Faith with Grace and Purpose

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

Mr. Greg Koukl

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

Tactics front cover

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

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

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

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

Dr. Kevin Leman

Dr. Kevin Leman

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

Bundle of Why Your Kids Misbehave

Why Your Kids Misbehave and What to Do about It

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

Giving up Sugar, Tasting God's Goodness

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

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

Mrs. Wendy Speake

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dr. Kevin Leman

Dr. Kevin Leman

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

Bundle of Why Your Kids Misbehave

Why Your Kids Misbehave and What to Do about It

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

Loving Your Spouse Through the Seasons of Marriage - Part 2

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

Author Debra Fileta in the Focus on the Family broadcast studio

Debra Fileta

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

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

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

Reconciling Faith and Science in a Medical Crisis

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

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

Dr. Lee Warren

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

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

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

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

Praying Scripture Over Your Child’s Life - Part 1

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

Headshot of Focus on the Family broadcast guest Jodie Berndt

Jodie Berndt

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

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

Praying the Scriptures Over Your Children

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

Mothers and Sons: Being a Godly Influence - Part 1

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

Headshot of Rhonda Stoppe

Rhonda Stoppe

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

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

Moms Raising Sons to Be Men

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

Identifying Triggers in Your Marriage Part 1

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

Headshot of Guy and Amber Lia

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Author Debra Fileta in the Focus on the Family broadcast studio

Mrs. Debra Fileta

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

Are You Really Okay?

Are You Really OK: Getting Real About Who You Are

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

Navigating a Toxic Culture with Your Daughter - Part 1

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

Mrs. Meg Meeker

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

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

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

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

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Newest Release - Episode 1: The Truth About Life!

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

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

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