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Cherish Your Spouse, Change Your Marriage (Part 1 of 2)

Cherish Your Spouse, Change Your Marriage (Part 1 of 2)

Author Gary Thomas describes what it means to truly cherish your spouse, offering practical advice to help you build a more satisfying and fulfilling marriage. (Part 1 of 2)

Original Air Date: January 23, 2017

Opening: Excerpt: Gary Thomas: Marriage will take off when a woman hears Song of Song 6:9 from her husband. Jim Daly: And what is it? Gary: “My dove, my perfect one is the only one.” Just think about it. “My dove, my perfect one is the only one.” I don’t want you to be anyone else. I’m never comparing you to anyone else. I love you for who you are. You are my woman. You define woman to me. And the wife’s saying the same thing to my husband, “You are my man; you define what it is to be a man to me.” That’s when you really feel cherished. End of Excerpt John Fuller: Gary Thomas describing one of the best ways that you can strengthen and revitalize your marriage. Welcome to another Best of 2017 Focus on the Family broadcast with Focus president and author Jim Daly. We’re glad you’re here. I’m John Fuller. Jim: John, I’m so thrilled to feature Gary on the broadcast again; he’s so insightful. And his passion for healthy, godly marriages– it’s infectious. I love it! And that’s why we’re bringing back this program today. It was one of our most popular of the year. And that word ‘cherish’ that he talks about is something we often take for granted. For millions of us who are married, we said it during our wedding vows, we promised to love and to cherish until death do us part. But do we really understand what the word means, especially after 10 years, 20 years. According to the dictionary ‘cherish’ means “to hold dear, to feel or show affection or to care for someone, to nurture them.” I love that. And if you’re in a good marriage, I know you’re trying to do your best to love each other. But I wonder if we’ve missed the power of this word, cherish. I look forward to revisiting this topic and hearing once again what Gary will unpack and the deeper meaning for all of us. John: Mmhm. Gary’s been on this broadcast many times and he’s a gifted speaker, he’s written over 20 books. He’s part of the teaching team at Second Baptist Church in Houston, Texas. And here’s how we started our ‘Best of’ conversation with him about his bookCherish: The One Word that Changes Everything for Your Marriage. Body: Jim: Hey, let me ask you. You ‚Ķ you heard my little intro onCherishand it did strike me. We say that word when we do our marriage vows, but I don’t know that even Jean and I, if we’ve ever talked about it since that day. (Laughing) I mean, what’s your definition of “cherish”? Gary: I believe “cherish” is taking our marriages to the next level. You mentioned how all of us, just about all of us pledged to love and to cherish till death do us part. We always speak about love. And when we think about love, we think about commitment and sacrifice and hanging in there. Cherish raises the bar a little bit higher. And it’s interesting because when I was working on this book, I would ask women, how do you feel cherished? What makes you feel cherished? And it’s like, turn over the hour glass (Chuckling), get a cup of coffee, ’cause you’re gonna be there for a while.And I would say to guys, what makes you feel cherished? And there’d be, “Uh ‚Ķ am I supposed to be?” It almost— Jim: Yeah. (Laughing) John: –like it’s awkward. And ‚Ķ Jim: It doesn’t sound like a masculine word. Gary: But here’s what I’ve found. Jim: It’s “be cherished.” Gary: I ‚Ķ I ‚Ķ I put it in the language of a car. A lot of guys are into their cars. What does— Jim: There you go. Gary: –it mean to cherish your car? Well, if you cherish your car, you protect your car. You’re not drivin’ down pot holes. You’re ‚Ķ you’re indulging your car. You’re giving it the best wax job and the wash job. You think about that car and when you do, it gives you pleasure. You want to showcase your car. You want others to see. “Hey come on outside and ‚Ķ and see my baby.” And it’s kinda funny. I don’t mean to insult wives. I’d say, “Can you treat your wife the same way you treat the favorite car you’ve ever had, you know, before you had to get the SUV or the minivan?” But ‚Ķ but (Laughter) that ‚Ķ that has that direct application. And ‚Ķ and I think it’s so sad that we often think of cherishing things more than cherishing people. But the good thing, I think the good news is, that cherishing is a skill that can be learned. It can be practiced. We can choose to cherish. You know, infatuation comes and goes, but cherishing is something that we can build. Jim: Now you see that cherishing happening even back to the Garden— Gary: Yes. Jim: –Adam and Eve? Gary: Yeah. Jim: Uh ‚Ķ refresh my memory. Where did you catch that moment where there was cherishing occurring? Gary: That I believe is the goal of a cherishing marriage. You might ask why were Adam and Eve in Paradise? Why were they so happy early on in their marriage? And you could say, well, there wasn’t any sin and ‚Ķ and that’s true. I don’t think it’s just because they were naked and unashamed. Some younger men might think that, but I don’t think that was it. Here’s what I think was a huge spiritual issue going on.When Adam first saw Eve, there was literally no one to compare her to. Jim: She was it. Gary: There was no Juanita (laughter), there was no Shenice. There were ‚Ķ there was no Janet. There was just Eve. She defined what a woman was for Adam. And Adam defined what a man was for Eve. He ‚Ķ he couldn’t say, “Well, she uh ‚Ķ Juanita has a better sense of humor.” Or “Shenice has ‚Ķ is slender or curvier or has, you know, more intelligence or is more gracious.” She just defined woman for him. And I often tell guys, ’cause this is a time when guys often cherish their wives. It used to be when the bridal march started, everybody would turn around and watch the bride come in. But I’ve noticed that’s changed and I think the Internet memes have sort of changed that. A number of people look up front at the groom’s face. Jim: Right. Gary: Is he crying? What’s his expression? They ‚Ķ they want to see that. And I’ve stood by a number of those men as a pastor when they’re watching that bride come down the aisle and at that moment, she’s the only one she se ‚Ķ he sees. There are hundreds of other women in the room, other ‚Ķ others women ‚Ķ she ‚Ķ he is just so fixated on her. He’s focused. She’s the only woman in the world to him. And I said, cherishing is about making that a daily reality, not a once in your lifetime experience, but a daily reality.Marriage will take off when a woman hears Song of Song 6:9 from her husband. “My– Jim: And what is it? Gary: –my dove, my perfect one is the only one.” Jim: Ah. Gary: Just think about it. “My dove, my perfect one is the only one.” I don’t want you to be anyone else. I’m never comparing you to anyone else. I love you for who you are. You are my woman. You define woman to me. And the wife’s saying the same to my husband, “You are my man; you define what it is to be a man to me.” That’s when you really feel cherished.That’s when you really feel accepted. And I think that’s what Song of Songs is getting at, that cherishing attitude. 1 Corinthians 13 celebrates love. Song of Songs celebrates cherishing. Jim: Now some couples, or let’s just say some wives are going, “Ah… I don’t have that. I want that. Maybe some husbands, too are saying, “I wish we had that kind of relationship.” How does a couple reset and recalibrate, because we’ve not recognized that important ingredient of cherishing one another? How do we change it today? We’ve been perfunctory. We love each other. We saidthosewords and we rememberthatcommitment, but we don’t cherish each other. Gary: There has to be a new mind-set and then there are a number of practices we can put into place. The mind-set, I think, is best captured by a statement about the ballet. Russian-born choreographer George Balanchine once said, “The ballet is woman.” By that he meant that the best, at least inpas de deux, the couple’s dancing. The best male dancers recognize [that] people come to the ballet to see the woman, her agility, her grace, her strength, her beauty. And so, his job is to help her be more than she could be on her own. Because he can lift her, turn her, support her, catch her, she can do things that you just can’t do on your own. And this ‚Ķ George Balanchine also said, “My job is to make the beautiful yet more beautiful.” And I think if men would adopt that attitude, how do I showcase my wife? How do I hold her up? How do I support her so that people see the beautiful woman that I know is there? And then you help her through that performance. And then I love it at the end. If a ‚Ķ if a male dancer has done his job, he’s helped her; he supported her. She’s wowed the crowd. He finally throws her. She lands in the spotlight. It’s so powerful. The audience stands up and a thunderous standing ovation.And the male dancer steps back into the shadows. He’s breathing hard, but he’s done his job. The female dancer is celebrated. She’s adored. That’s what he was there to do. My marriage changed when God gave me a heart that took pleasure in my wife’s pleasure. I think that’s the difference. Jim: Was there a moment that occurred. How ‚Ķ ? Gary: No, no, I ‚Ķ I ‚Ķ I think it was going through these Scriptures. I think it’s just praying about my marriage, asking God to come into my marriage. But when I got my highest fulfillment in loving her well and just sensing that, I ‚Ķ you know, when we talked earlier in a broadcast about a lifelong love, seeing our marriage as worship, that recognizing that that’s one of the best ways I could love my heavenly Father, was treating Him as my “Father-in-law” and loving on His daughter. And ‚Ķ and I think it was sort of a corollary from that when it came down from that and just being able to realize that that’s when I find the most meaning in my marriage. And so, it’s not ‚Ķ it’s not a burden. It’s not oppressive. It’s kind of fun. It ‚Ķ it’s a delight. It’s just a change of ‚Ķ of mind-set. And here’s the thing. The lust to be appreciated, to be noticed, to be served, to be pleasured is like any other lust. It can’t be satisfied. It has to be crucified. If you’re still operating with that mind-set in marriage, you can’t have a spouse that can focus on you that much to satisfy the lust because you just ‚Ķ you’re never noticed enough. You’re never appreciated enough. But when you have the attitude of Romans 12:10, outdo one another in showing honor. And so, okay, if I want to be a faithful believer today, I’ve gotta out do my spouse in showing her honor. Then if your spouse isn’t honoring you, say okay, this is an easier day. You’re running downhill that day, not uphill. If your spouse is really spoiling you and lovin’ on you, you think, man, it’s gonna be hard to obey Scripture today. (Laughter) I’ve gotta— Jim: Rise to– Gary: –really— Jim: –the challenge! Gary: –up my game. And it’s ‚Ķ it’s that sense of fulfillment that comes and ‚Ķ and there’s just a joy that comes, I think, from aligning your heart with God’s. Jim: We’ve talked a lot about the relationship and how a man needs to honor and cherish his wife. How ‚Ķ what does that look like in the other direction, a wife cherishing her husband? What are some of those examples? Gary: Well, when the wife looks at her husband like Adam, the way I describe it is, that wh ‚Ķ the day she gets married, she has a commitment to contentment. No guy has it all. You have to realize that your guy has certain strengths and he doesn’t have ‚Ķ Jim: (Laughing) So start with a deficit. Gary: Right. Jim: That’s how we begin this. Gary: And you decide that he defines what a successful husband is for me. I’m not gonna compare him to Joe. I’m not gonna compare him to Frank. I’m not gonna compare him to Antoine. It’s a wife blessing her husband with the realization that he can’t be everything. And so, when she gets married, she’s makin’ a commitment. If you’re not a handyman, I’m not faulting you for not bein’ a handyman. Jim: Whew! Gary: If ‚Ķ if you’re not, you know– Jim: That makes me feel better. Gary: –if you’re not the kind of guy that enjoys two-hour soulful conversations, I’m not gonna feel jealous that my girlfriend’s husband, the first thing he does, he comes home and says, “How about your day? How are you feeling? Where are things going?” That you made a choice and you’re tryin’ to build on the strengths of that choice. Jim: You know, Gary, you talked about the ‚Ķ the ballerina. I think that’s a beautiful il ‚Ķ illustration of a man’s role, a woman’s role, a husband and a wife. You also use an analogy of second violin. I get ‚Ķ second fiddle might be more commonly said. Gary: Right. Jim: You know, I don’t play second fiddle to nobody, you know. (Laughing) But how does the second fiddle position work? And ‚Ķ and what I appreciated about it is that limelight search. Who’s gonna be— Gary: Right. Jim: –the one in the limelight? Gary: It came from a famous conductor who said, “I can get any number of first violins.” He goes, “The most difficult person to find is the second violin.” Jim: Not because of their playing ability but because of their— Gary: Willing to play that role– Jim: –attitude. Gary: –to put as much effort and excellence and meticulousness into playing second violin as you do for the first violin. But he said, “Without the second violin, the orchestra isn’t gonna sound well.” I mean, you’ve got instruments that they do their part. If everybody’s tryin’ to play first violin, it ‚Ķ it’s gonna be a disaster. And that’s what happens in marriage, is that we always want to be first violin and ‚Ķ and people are listenin’ today and saying, “Boy, I wish my husband was like that with me as the ballerina.” And that’s the mind-set that we’re talkin’ about, that (Sigh) do we believe Jesus or not? He said it’s better to give than to receive. Jim: Right. Gary: And it’s hard for us to trust that. I’m just saying, when I test that out and trust Jesus, I find that those words are true. Jim: Yeah, that ‚Ķ that’s powerful. But there’s something in our humanness, in our flesh that keeps us from moving in that direction, isn’t [it]? It’s odd– Gary: It is. Jim: –especially for us as believers and it’s true in our marriages, too, Gary. Um ‚Ķ talk a bit about how you undo those patterns that you’ve been maybe into for 10 years or 20 years or in Jean and my case, it’d be 30 years we’ve been married. Gary: Yeah. Jim: And I see those things. Sometimes temperament can come into this. I could see as I read the book and looked at the material, um ‚Ķ temperament ‚Ķ you know, one of the things for me when I’m under pressure, my personality type as I’ve tested it, I can be a verbal attacker. I mean, I will respond with verbal jabs. Gary: Right. Jim; And I could see how that doesn’t play well in cherishing. So, I’ve got to learn how to back that off and think before I speak, right? Rather than saying, “Man, have you looked at the house today?” That would be like a verbal jab. Gary: Right. Jim: Or what’s happened today? Gary: Well, see, that’s why I like to present cherish as the new model of marriage. Uh ‚Ķ most wives don’t want to know that their husbands are just willing to be committed to them. And most husbands don’t want to know that their wives just put up with them. We want to be cherished. A friend of mine was driving with seven other men and he said, “How many of you feel like your wives love you? Every man raised his hand. And he said, “How many of you believe that your wives like you?” Every hand went down. (Laughter) Those husbands felt loved; they didn’t feel cherished. So, what you’re talkin’ about is exactly where we need to go, Jim, because I ‚Ķ I do think that needs to be the new model. I don’t want my wife just to know that I love her. I want her to feel cherished. And a lot of it comes with this mental determination that I ‚Ķ I’m gonna display cherish. And let me give a couple examples where I’ve seen it in action, that it’s worked really well. I got onto an elevator one time. Another married couple got in, middle-aged. And I’m in the back of the elevator and he’s standing in front of the buttons, just kind of staring at ’em. (Laughter) So his wife says, “Floor 9.” And you’d think she’s just given him a physics test. I mean, he’s ‚Ķhe’s ‚Ķ he can ‚Ķ I wanted to say, “It’s between eight and 10,” but that would’ve been mean (Laughter), so I just ‚Ķ I ‚Ķ and ‚Ķ and she just smiled. He finally found it and she just cuddled up to him and said, “Your mind is really full about that business meeting, isn’t it?” And he goes, “Yeah.” She goes, “Don’t worry; it’s gonna come out.” And you know, she could’ve shamed him. She could’ve been sarcastic. But what she did is, she recognized he’s doing something really important and that’s distracting him from something that really doesn’t matter. And so, she chose to look at the best, not to use it as a moment to ridicule him or belittle. And I think that man walked out of the elevator feeling cherished and supported and um ‚Ķ encouraged. Here’s how a ‚Ķ another wife did it. It was great and it was a younger couple. They got married very young and got pregnant almost right away. And they’re walking through a mall. She is eight months’ pregnant at this time and she’s just kinda sauntering through the mall, trying to ‚Ķ to get going. And this beautiful lithe blonde woman walks by, very athletic. And her husband, Brian says, “Man, I forgot how pretty you are when you’re not pregnant.” John: Ooh. Gary: He really said that and she— Jim: Yikes. Gary: –just broke out crying and he honestly didn’t know why she was crying. He thought he was complimenting her. (Laughing) Gary: And here’s what was so amazing. When I was talkin’ to her, and this is why they are now happily married 28 years later and she goes, “I realized I had to give him the benefit of the doubt. He would never intentionally hurt me. Things got jumbled up in his mind. He was trying to say, you know, you’re a beautiful woman. I know things are different now, but ‚Ķ but I remember that. And she goes, “And so, I just had to do that mental gymnastics, realizing that’s not my husband and giving him the benefit of the doubt.” And she goes, “And we laugh about it today– Jim: Yeah. Gary: –“because he honestly was mystified, why are you crying? I don’t know it.” (Laughter) And she goes, “You know what? It can be really hard for a new bride to do that with her husband. She doesn’t understand the way a man thinks. She doesn’t understand the way a ‚Ķ a man feels.” And she says, “At least give your spouse the benefit of the doubt.” Jim: That’s a gracious woman, let me tell you! Gary: It (Laughing) definitely [is]. John: Gary Thomas is our guest on Focus on the Family today and uh ‚Ķ we would invite you to get his book,Cherishor a CD or download of this conversation atwww.focusonthefamily.com/radio. Gary, why is it so hard for us to give that grace? I mean, it seems like a lot of younger couples, they live there and then time kinda happens and kids happen, and we get a little more comparing? Gary: Yeah,yeah. You know, I think part of it is just our sinful nature, because the reality is,a cherishing marriage is so rich, it’s worth working for. I think one of the biggest lies is that infatuation is the pinnacle of marriage. And the reason I wroteCherishis that infatuation, neurologically lasts about 12 to 18 months. Unless you have a damaged brain, it can’t go longer than that.Cherishing is better. I’m been infatuated and I’m in a marriage where we’re growing in cherishing. I’m saying cherishing is better. I don’t envy those infatuated couples, because I know the infatuation’s gonna end and they’re gonna have to do the hard work of realizing who they’re married to, go through the grace and forgiveness and get through the bitterness. And the other thing, John, it’s just so silly, is contempt makes no sense. The ‚Ķ I was with a couple one time at a dinner and he’s a very quiet man and he wasn’t participating at all. I was just tryin’ to be nice and bring him into the conversation and so, knowing what he did, I said, “Don’t chefs usually think such and such?” And she immediately cut in. “He’s not a chef; he’s a cook. A chef prepares things. He just heats ’em up. There’s a difference.” (Laughter) And it was clear that she was afraid I was gonna give her husband a little more respect than he deserved and she was horrified. Why would anybody respect my husband? And I knew his situation. He worked at a rest home. He had charge of a kitchen where they fed 200 residents every day and ‚Ķ and I know that the budget is always tight and then say, “Okay, here’s the budget and we’re cuttin’ it by 10 percent and you’ve gotta offer three different entrees.” And so, sadly a lot of meals probably are just heated up and what not. And yet, he said, “But I prepare things.” She goes, “No, you don’t. You just heat ’em up.” And she goes, “Besides the ‚Ķ the residents don’t care what the food tastes like anyway.” (Laughter) And he said, “They do; they really do.” Gary: And I thought, here’s a man with really ‚Ķ tryin’ to make a noble effort. He can make a difference in those people’s lives. He can maybe ‚Ķ why wouldn’t she pray for him, even a miracle of provision like Jesus feeding the 5,000. She could say, “Lord, with the ‚Ķ a decreased budget, can my husband create tasty, nourishing meals for people at a difficult time in their life?” When you look at Scripture, there are two groups I wouldn’t mess with: orphans and widows. If you want to see God get angry—I mean, God so many times, says look after the orphans and widows in their distress in the New Testament. In the Old Testament, that’s what really gets Him angry. He’s directly addressing one of the demographics that get so ignored in our society. But she was just so afraid that she was not gonna let anybody call him a chef, and a cook. And I just thought, I ‚Ķ I’m sorry, but how stupid, because they’re gonna go home and ‚Ķ and they’re gonna have a tender evening? “Honey, thank you; we had ‚Ķ we had such a wonderful evening. Can I rub your feet? Can I give you a back rub before we go to bed?” He’s gonna feel distant and he’s gonna be quiet, so she’s gonna say, “See how boring a guy I married?” And I just thought, it ‚Ķ it serves no purpose to express disdain or disrespect or contempt. It’s never in the history of the world produced a more intimate, more fulfilling and happier marriage. So, have contempt for contempt. Aim for cherishing and cherish is the strategy we can use to bring our spouse to their glory. Jim: Gary, we are comin’ in for a landing here on day one. I want to speak specifically to that couple and I don’t know if it’s the husband or the wife. And again, they’ve been married maybe 20, 30 years. And this is the rut that they have been following now. They haven’t done the cherishing. Um ‚Ķ how would you give them hope as we sign off today? What do you say to them about changing it tonight, rather than goin’ after each other verbally? What can they do differently? Gary: Here’s where I think cherishing can point to an entirely different marriage and why this mind-set thing matters. I was in Winnipeg in February. I wouldn’t recommend that to anyone. Jim: Yeah. (Laughter) Gary: You ‚Ķ you don’t know cold– Jim: Yeah, think July is [better]. Gary: –until you’ve been to Winnipeg in ‚Ķ in February. I met a delightful man named Terry who had, had two different marriages. Both wives died of a terrible disease. And he had heard me talk on marriage and he just said, “Gary, what you say is so true, but I want to share my story with you” He’d been married to his first wife for, I think, 17 years and she’d been fighting cancer for five years and the last seven months around the clock care, just had to do everything. And when your wife gets that sick, that’s all you can do. She died and he was single for four years and then married his second wife, who would later die of cancer. But he said his second marriage was so much richer and happier than his first marriage, not because his second wife was more excellent than his first wife. Jim: Huh. Gary: He said, “I knew ’em both well,” ’cause he’d been married to both of them for almost two decades. He goes, “My attitude was completely different.” Jim: So it was a bit more about him than them. Gary: Yeah, “I treated them like you’re talking about. I treated my wife like royalty. I treated my second wife like royalty. I called her ‘Princess.’ I treated her like one. I served her.” He goes, “I got used to doing that with my first wife when she went through cancer and I had to do everything. And I had to do everything as a single man, so I just kept doing that for my second wife. And she was so grateful and she was so happy and she thought she had, you know, already got a taste of heaven. “I didn’t know that husbands acted like this.” But he didn’t realize, “I didn’t act like that in my first marriage.” But what really hit me and what I really stress is that he was adamant, “It’s not that my second wife was more excellent than my first. That’s not why we had a happier marriage. It’s that myattitudewas so different. I cherished my second wife and had a much happier marriage.” And so, I’m saying, regardless of what your spouse does, if you cherish your spouse, I believe you’re gonna have a happier marriage. Closing: John: Some great insights from Gary Thomas on this Best of 2017 Focus on the Familly broadcast with Jim Daly. I’m John Fuller. Jim: John, I’m sure there are many people listening to us right now who are longing for the kind of marriage that Gary has been describing. Maybe you’re going through a crisis with your spouse or it seems like you’re in a rut and your relationship will never improve. If that’s describing you, I want to urge you to contact us here at Focus on the Family. We have many, many resources and tools for couples who are in trouble, like our counseling team and Hope Restored, which is an intensive counseling experience over several days with an 81% success rate, post two years. I believe in that program and the great work that our team is doing there. Maybe our websites, where you can find answers to questions and links to articles with practical help and encouragement. Here’s the good news– it’s working, everybody! We recently heard from a woman named Bonnie who sent us this message and it represents so many more people. She said, “At one point in my marriage, I was really struggling and reached out to Focus on the Family counselors. What great service! The help and prayers went beyond what I imagined and your services continue to give beyond what you see. From that one desperate phone call, I went on to teach seven Bible studies encouraging women to grow in the Lord and heal their marriages. Praise God for His work through your ministry!” And that ‘your’ there– that’s you too when you support and pray for us! This is part of your ministry through Focus. John: Yeah, that’s a wonderful story of change and the impact of Focus on the Family, especially when someone feels like they are out of control or theycan’t get the peace that they want. God is there and he continues to use Focus on the Family as a resource in marriages in crisis. And if your relationship is struggling, call us and you’ll get the kind of help that Bonnie received as well from us. Our number is 800-A-FAMILY, 800-232-6459 or stop by the website where we have further resources and a directory of Christian counselors in your area. That’s focusonthefamily.com/radio. Jim: And may I say, if you’ve benefited from Focus on the Family in the past– if one of our broadcasts inspired you or a resource we provided was particularly helpful, can I invite you to pass that blessing along to someone else by financially supporting us today. When you do, we will gladly give you a complimentary copy of Gary’s bookCherish: The One Word that Changes Everything for Your Marriage. If not for you, consider passing the book along to a family member or a friend who will benefit from Gary’s insights. John: Yeah, we’d really love to have you join our marriage strengthening team and you can donate at focusonthefamily.com/radio or by calling 800-A FAMILY, 800, the letter A and the word FAMILY. And we mentioned our Best of 2017 audio collection. Now in addition to the great conversation we just heard with Gary Thomas, we have British evangelist J.John offering reasons why you should believe in Jesus Christ and some reflections on the value of suffering from Joni Eareckson Tada. Those are just a few of the dozen or so programs that are part of our “Best of” collection and that’s available on CD or as a download. Coming up next time on Focus on the Family, one of the best ways that you can cherish your spouse is by paying attention. Teaser: Gary Thomas:Here’s why his wife feels cherished. He goes, “I realize that when Jacqueline is talking to me, it’s not what she’s talking about, it’s who’s talking. And if I want to cherish Jacqueline, I have to notice.” End of Teaser

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Balancing Gender Differences in Your Marriage (Part 1 of 2)

Robert and Pamela Crosby help married couples understand and celebrate their gender differences so that they can enjoy a stronger bond and deeper intimacy. Our guests offer practical tips for improved communication, successful conflict resolution and offering affirmation to your spouse. (Part 1 of 2)

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!

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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.

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.

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.

Giving up Sugar, Tasting God's Goodness

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

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

Mrs. Wendy Speake

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dr. Kevin Leman

Dr. Kevin Leman

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

Bundle of Why Your Kids Misbehave

Why Your Kids Misbehave and What to Do about It

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

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

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

Dr. Kevin Leman

Dr. Kevin Leman

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

Bundle of Why Your Kids Misbehave

Why Your Kids Misbehave and What to Do about It

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

Loving Your Spouse Through the Seasons of Marriage - Part 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!

Thank you for committing to pray for the pre-born!

Sign up below for your free seven-day prayer guide. This daily guide will help give direction to your prayers for the pro-life movement. We will be praying with you! 

Focus on the Family

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