Custom CSS of Section contains Conditional Preview for See Life Campaign Elements

Focus on the Family Broadcast

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on email
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on email

Connecting With Your Child (Part 2 of 2)

Connecting With Your Child (Part 2 of 2)

Dr. Karyn Purvis offers practical advice for parents on building and maintaining a trust-based relationship with their children. She explains how parent-child attachments are designed by God to work, what happens when that connection is broken and how parents can give their children a voice for their thoughts and feelings. (Part 2 of 2)

Original Air Date: May 20, 2016

Opening:

Teaser:

Dr. Karyn Purvis: Sometimes these feelings feel so big that they feel like they’re gonna swallow us up, but you know, we can talk about it together. We can grieve about it together. Take a walk together.

Jim Daly: Just be there.

Karyn: Yes, because it’s called “being felt.” I know you’re gettin’ me. You don’t have to say a word. I know you get me.”

End of Teaser

John Fuller: Dr. Karyn Purvis on today’s “Focus on the Family,” a Best of 2016 program and your host is Focus president and author, Jim Daly.

Jim: Boy, John, isn’t that the comment that we know God thinks of us, that He gets us. He knows how He created us. He gets me. He understands my frailties, my shortcomings and those things, those gifts that He would want to use in each one of us. Dr. Karyn Purvis has shared with us some very practical ways you can connect with your child last time. She led the Institute of Child Development at Texas Christian University, TCU in Fort Worth, Texas and had a lifetime of practical wisdom with solid research to back up her advice.

She co-authored The Connected Child, which is full of great ideas to keep your child’s heart close to yours, which I’m tellin’ ya, is the goal in parenting. Keep that child’s heart close to you and ultimately, close to God.

Karyn succumbed to cancer last April at the age of 66, far too young an age to pass away, but she was such an important partner in our orphan care outreach here at Focus on the Family. We are going to miss her. She has a strong team at TCU, who is continuing her great advances in this area of child care.

If you didn’t hear the last part of our conversation with Karyn, I want to encourage you to get a CD or the download to hear more of her wonderful insights. Even if you’re in the normal–whatever that might be–category of parenting, her advice is gonna help each one of us.

John: And you’ll find details about the CD or the download and Dr. Purvis’s book at www.focusonthefamily.com/radio. And now, the late Dr. Karyn Purvis on today’s Best of 2016 “Focus on the Family.”

Body:

Jim: When you have a child who is stubborn, who speaks out at you as a parent, tells you no, speak practically to us—

Karyn: Okay, okay.

Jim: –about how to manage that and to better understand. How can you in a healthy way, respond to that?

Karyn: Yes, so here’s what I would say, two things. One thing is, “Fathers, provoke not your children to wrath, but bring them up in the nurture and the admonition,” so structure and nurture, okay. I’m gonna give a voice. The way that I did it with my boys is, I said, “You can say anything in the world you need to say to me, but it needs to come with respect and I will speak to you with respect.”

Another thing that we would do with a child that says, like “I don’t have to carry out the trash. You’re not my real mother,” for example, some of the kids that we work with, I would say something like, “Buddy, if you’re asking for a compromise, you need to do it with respectful words,” right, but I’m gonna always give them a voice and I’m gonna try to never shut them out.

Jim: Well, in fact, I read the, kind of that anecdotal story, I think, where you suggest, if they say, “I don’t want to take out the trash,” you say, “Well, talk to me about a compromise.” And then you ask them to respond to you with, “Well, the compromise that I’m thinking of would be, I finish my level of my videogame and then I’ll take it out in 10 or 15 minutes.”

Karyn: Uh-hm, yeah and you know what? I would go for that—

Jim: Right.

Karyn: –because that kiddo knows I’m workin’ with you. I’m on your team. I’m your coach. I’m on your team. I’d say, my little grandson was 4 a few years ago and he was at my house and we were coloring and everything was fine. All of a sudden he says, “Gimme that crayon.” (Laughter) Well, you know—

Jim: Grandma didn’t like that too much.

Karyn: –no, Grandma doesn’t and I opened my mouth, but he’s been with me enough to know what’s gonna happen. He puts his little hand son his hips and he says, “So, do you want me to try it again with respect?” (Laughter) I said—

Jim: That’s what you want.

Karyn: –“Yes, cowboy.” (Laughter)

John: So you’re saying, in the heat of the moment where I, as a dad, or my wife, as a mom, feels like that is so disrespectful, a parent needs to step back and say, “No, no, you’re disrespecting me, but I’m gonna give you a chance to do that again.”

Karyn: Yes, uh-hm, yeah, absolutely.

John: But that feels like it’s giving control to the child in the situation.

Karyn: Absolutely, yeah, okay. So, shared power is what parenting is about, right? When your child was born, you wanted to sleep, he wanted to eat (Laughter), right? When your child was born, he needed to be fed in the middle of the night and you really had stayed up late with the football game. There was no question you were gonna share power over what happened right then. You’re not capitulating power. When you share power, you prove it’s yours. You can’t share something you don’t own.

Jim: Huh, give us an example of that, the sharing of power where it’s healthy and maybe where it’s not healthy.

Karyn: Yeah, well, okay, so for me, sharing power is about the way that we interact with the children that they don’t feel they’re hostage. There’s a lot of heavy-handed parenting that holds children hostage. There’s a lot of permissive parenting that the children hold the parents hostage like neither is healthy.

Jim: Right.

Karyn: So, when I share power, I’m gonna say, and I may go, I’ll give you an example I was given by a girl who’s working in RTC, Residential Treatment Center. And this teenage girl doesn’t know how to be attached. She wants to be, but she doesn’t know how to be. So, she’s sayin’ to this one woman who’s trying to get her on the bus to go to the school, she says, “I’m not getting on the school bus, moron.”

Jim: Moron, uh.

Karyn: Yeah, but not just say that.

Jim: That would light most of us up.

Karyn: Yeah, that would–

John: That’s pretty disrespectful.

Karyn: –light us up, yeah. And so, you know, what we would do is say, either I would firm my tone or I would soften my tone, but I would still have power and I would still try to share it, okay.

Jim: Now talk about how that is different from a typical parental response, which was power against power–

Karyn: Yeah.

Jim: –and why that’s effective for the child.

Karyn: And you know, force doesn’t work. I mean (Laughter), you know, if force and punishment worked, we would’ve cleaned out our prisons long, long ago—

Jim: Boy, that’s so true.

Karyn: –right? This child has to know that I’m the boss. I’m a safe boss and that means I listen to him. I try to meet his needs in every way I can. I’m as nurturing as I can be and I’m as playful as I can be, but sometimes that’s not okay, so try it again.

Jim: Let me ask you this as a, again, a practical example. We received a note from a mom who said, “My 12-year-old daughter is extremely disrespectful and mouths off at everything anyone says. She went on to write, “She seems to think she knows it all.” That’s pretty much like a teenager.

John: Pretty much.

Jim: This mom’s tried removing privileges, consequences, chores to discourage the behavior, but nothing seems to work, she says. She’s seeking help because she’s worn out emotionally and that speaks to so many parents. What is causing this child to show that kind of disrespect and what can parents do to respond to that?

Karyn: Yes, I would say that child is feeling dissed and just giving diss in return.

Jim: So, she’s feeling, she’s giving the behavior she feels like she’s getting.

Karyn: Yes, yes, that’s exactly right, because our children model after our behaviors, okay. We have four levels of behavior. The fourth is where the family cat’s in the microwave. (Laughter) The first is where nobody’s in danger, so there [are] four levels and four ways to respond.

Jim: Kind of degrees of severity, okay.

Karyn: Yes, degrees of risk, right or severity. And one of the things that we’re wanting to do at every level is give a child a voice. Do you need to say something to me? Do we need to talk about something? But when a child is showing that kind of disrespect, I’m gonna ask the parent to beef up their nurture and that’s the last thing you want to do when that kid’s mouthy.

Jim: Right, do the opposite.

Karyn: Right.

Jim: Boy, that sounds like something God would do.

Karyn: Doesn’t it (Laughter), really? I mean, you know, it’s a great idea, right? We had actually a camp for 12 children who were in residential, who’ve never been able to go to camp because they’re out of the home, because they’re not manageable.

Jim: Right.

Karyn: And we had our staff and we were gonna teach this facility staff how to work with our high, high-risk children. And each one of ’em had a buddy and each one of them had somebody listening to their needs, guiding them, saying, “Oh, try it again, ’cause I’m listening.” We didn’t have a single misbehavior and nobody—

Jim: Okay, that sounds unbelievable.

Karyn: –well, and it does. The people of the facility were blown away, but the whole thing is, you know, I’m crying out and nobody has met my need in a way that I understand my need was met. Nobody has met my need in a way that I understand I’m precious and valuable and I need that, right. We do this fabulous little exercise where we have people look into the eyes of someone carefully and then at a second exercise, do stuff like play on their computer or their phone they’re listening to this person talk.

Jim: Do digital social media stuff.

Karyn: Yes, do social media stuff. And then we rate, we ask people how they’re feeling. And the people who had about 90 percent of the attention feel loved and cared for and special and listened to and heard.

Jim: Two human beings looking at each other, yeah.

Karyn: Yeah, two, yeah and the one who’s getting, what we asked 45 percent attention, says they’re angry. They feel rejected. It’s a phenomenal activity.

John: It’s when my wife says, “Would you please put the phone down and just talk with me.”

Karyn: Yes, yes, well and we have teenage children who’ve been to our camp who will say to their daddy, “I’m sorry; I need to see those beautiful eyes.” (Laughter)

Jim: Oh, my goodness. I like that.

Karyn: You know.

Jim: Karen, when you look in our culture today and you know, for me, I was able to travel internationally and I saw probably 70 countries when I did the international work at Focus full time. When you look at kids here in the United States, it seems like something’s amiss. There [are] greater psychoses—

Karyn: Yes, there are by far.

Jim: –than what you see in other countries with 8-, 9-, 10-, 12-year-olds. With a country that has so much materially, what is happening psychologically, spiritually that our kids are really struggling?

Karyn: They really are. The funny thing is, I heard a Fisher-Price representative on an interview saying, “Well, you know, moms are having to work now and it’s been really good for business, ’cause they’re always buying guilt gifts.”

John: Guilt gifts.

Karyn: Yes, guilt gifts. So, you go home from work. You’ve been there all day. You would’ve loved to have been at home, but you feel guilty. You stop by the store. You pick up somethin’ for dinner and you pick up a toy for your child, right. We have parents who are so exhausted at the end of the day that they come home and say, “Here is a toy; go play.”

Jim: And they feel like they’re meeting their obligation.

Karyn: That’s right. They feel maybe it’s the best they can do, right. And then frankly, we’re forgetting how to nurture. We’re in the age of microwave relationships and the age of, you know, many people will say, I call my granddaughter. She doesn’t pick up, but then she texts me back in two minutes.

Jim: Right. (Chuckling)

Karyn: Right. I mean, we’re further and further distanced.

Jim: Right.

So, we can’t give things. We can’t give military style parenting. “Call unto Me and I’ll answer and show you great and mighty things thou knowest not,” you know. That’s what a child needs from us. They need what our Father gives to us. Call me; tell me what you need. So, the promises of God are yes and amen, right? That they need us emotionally present. If I have to carve out 10 minutes in the morning, if I come down and get a cup of coffee made, put on my clothes, put on my makeup before I go to work, sit at the table with the children. Sit and sip your coffee. They don’t have to talk to you.

Jim: I love that.

Karyn: But you’re there if they’re ready to.

Jim: Right.

Program Note:

Jim: You’re listening to “Focus on the Family” and we’re halfway through our conversation with the late Dr. Karyn Purvis. She worked there at the Institute of Child Development at TCU, in fact, led the effort in Fort Worth.

I’m Jim Daly, along with John Fuller and if this topic of parenting touches your heart because you are experiencing that pain or maybe you’re a grandparent and you see what’s going on in your adult children as they are struggling with the grandkids in raising them, we have a number of helpful resources and articles to point you in the right direction when it comes to parenting children who, for whatever reason, are more challenging. Stop by our website for more information.

And if you can, make a donation when you’re there. We need your help to support those families who cannot afford it themselves. In fact, for any generous donation you make to Focus on the Family today, I want to send you a copy of Dr. Purvis’s book, The Connected Child.

John: That’s a great resource and you can donate and find more details about her book at www.focusonthefamily.com/radioor when you call 800, the letter A and the word FAMILY.

Jim: John, we receive a lot of questions here at Focus about attachment disorder and sensory processing issues and I think Karyn was one of the most prolific experts in the nation on these topics. Let’s go ahead and continue the discussion, as you were about to ask that next question.

End of Program Note

John: Dr. Purvis, as we were getting ready to adopt, we had five biological kids and Jim, I was kinda arrogant and proud. I thought, what can they teach me in these required

Jim: You’re a pro.

John: –parenting classes where they’re teaching us how to change diapers and do these things. But the gold in that training was the time spent discussing attachment and that’s really at the heart of so much of what you’re dealing with here. What are some signs that my child might not be attached? Not just, you know, bad behavior, but what about an infant or a 2-year-old that really can’t express anything?

Karyn: Okay, one of the things you’re going to try to discern is and you may need a professional to help you with some of these, but you’re trying to discern if my child pushes me away when I come for a hug because he’s afraid or because he has sensory issues.

John: What’s the difference?

Karyn: So, well, sensory issues, so one of the huge brain changes for children if they have difficult pregnancy or some kind of trauma afterwards, is the capacity to process the senses. So, I should be able to get sensory feedback. I should be able to give it to the rest of my brain and act on that. So, I hear a sound, I know, you know, to do something, right?

But for children who’ve come from, well, 1 in 20 American school children have sensory processing disorder. So, when you try to touch my skin, it’s very uncomfortable. So, I’m gonna push you away. That is very different. It looks like you don’t want me. As a parent, how hurtful, right?

John: Yeah, I just want to give you a hug.

Karyn: That’s right. That’s exactly right and there are ways to do that even if the child’s got this sensory thing. If the child … I could say to a child, “Would you give me a hug? Could I trade you a hug?” Right and “Can I give you a … a sweet little mama bear hug or could I give you a papa bear hug?” And most kids with sensory issues would adore a papa bear hug, but would wipe your kiss off, ’cause it’s feathery soft, would push you away, if they didn’t know how.

So, kids that have come from hard places, about 80 percent are disorganized in their attachment style. That means, you don’t know how to make connections. So, I do what we call “Magic Feathers.” And we take a major feather. And do you know (Laughter), Dumbo could really fly when he had that feather, right (Laughter)

Jim: Of course.

Karyn: And so, I get something neutral. I don’t say, “Here’s this cool toy, go play.” I say, “Here’s this cool toy; do you want to play?” right. And I sit across from my child and if he’s sitting Indian style and he’s playing Tonka trucks, I’m gonna do exactly the same. I’m gonna enter his world in the same way Jesus entered ours.

Jim: Well, yes and just emphasize, you’re not sending the child away. That’s the key to that—

Karyn: That’s right.

Jim: –therapy really.

Karyn: That’s exactly right. You know, I was thinking, in the last couple of days, “‘Cause the bones that Thou has broken to rejoice,” right. So, the lamb that keeps wandering and they, you know, the old shepherds would break the leg and put it on his shoulders and carry it. And then when they would stop for water, you know, he would lift it down and hand feed it water. I’m going to bring the troubled one; I’m not gonna break his leg, but I’m gonna bring a troubled child who has attachment issues, I’m gonna bring him closer to me. The big challenge is that all the messages they give you are counterintuitive to what they really want.

Jim: Right.

Karyn: So, they desperately want relationship, but they don’t know how to do it, ’cause they’re disorganized.

John: Dr. Purvis, what I so appreciate about what I’m hearing from you is that this is a reflection. Our parenting is a reflection of our understanding of God and who He is and you obviously have a deep, deep love for a gracious, caring, forgiving, patient God and you’re saying, hey, parents. If you don’t understand what’s behind your child’s behavior, if you don’t like it, stop. Try to peer into their heart.

But I don’t have the tools to do that, so help me figure out how I get there, whether my child’s adopted or grew up in a fine, Christian loving home all this time and suddenly, boom. There are these behavioral issues that we have to deal with.

Karyn: Yeah, yeah, this is a great question. So, think about a time. I’m not saying you and your spouse ever argue, but think about a time that your next-door neighbors argue, right. It would typically be over, you didn’t meet my need. You’re not listening to me, right and that’s the same way for our children. I need to be heard. I need my needs met.

John: Yeah, but I don’t know that that need is and they can’t articulate it.

Karyn: Okay, so let me tell you this. When I’m talking to a child, 80 percent of my energy is looking into their eyes to see if they’re moist, if the pupils are dilated or constricted, ’cause their eyes are gonna tell me if they’re feeling pain, okay. I’m gonna see this jaw line. A lot of our kids, when they get into fight, flight or freeze, they feel like they’re fightin’ for their life, these jaws set.

John: They kinda set their jaws.

Karyn: The breathing gets shallow and these hands cause these flexor muscles to tighten up. That’s for fight, flight or freeze. If I have a younger child or a non-pubertas girl, I would even like touch their chin and say, “Let me see my eyes, baby?”

Jim: Just the tip of their chin.

Karyn: Uh-hm, just the tip of their chin and say, “Let me see your eyes,” okay and then drop my hand to their chest. Many parents are stunned to find that their heart is beating at an exceedingly rapid rate, okay. So, my colleague, Dr. Cross and I wrote an invited editorial years ago and the topic of the editorial was “Violence: The Language of Unmet Need.” I would ask parents to look at every misbehavior of their child as a child-like attempt to meet a need they may or may not be able to articulate.

Jim: Wow, they just can’t give voice to it, but they’ll give action.

Karyn: They can’t give voice to it and maybe they’ve been shut down as in your story and it breaks my heart to hear kids shut down, ’cause my job is to resonate and then to guide you and to mentor you. Sometimes these feelings feel so big that they feel like they’re gonna swallow us up, but you know, we can talk about it together. We can grieve about it together. Take a walk together down to the corner ice cream store and we just talk or we can just walk together.

Jim: Just be there.

Karyn: Yeah, it’s called “being felt.” I know you’re gettin’ me. You don’t have to say a word. I know you get me.

John: Taking it back to your work with adoptive families, so many of us kind of go on a rescue mission, right? We have these altruistic motives to go save a child. And that’s good, but then it gets hard and there are so many in the adoptive community. But broaden it out. There are so many parents who are saying, “I can’t keep doin’ this. I just can’t. It’s not working. The child is becoming increasingly belligerent, violent even and I’m really frankly worried. And so, have I messed up? And if so, what can I do?”

Karyn: Well, you know, there’s a wonderful thing about attachment research. We know that if you’re connected and then you have a rupture and then you repair the rupture, it’s better than if you never rupture. So, it’s better to err and repair than not to err at all, okay. Because what happens when you repair, there’s a release of dopamine in the brain that gives joy, but it also makes new brain synapses. So, you actually get personal growth when you can figure out how to repair.

So, but if I’ve come to adoption, for example, with a motive, maybe when I was 14 I had an abortion. I can’t forgive myself, so I think I have to pay God back. See, I need to give myself the forgiveness I would’ve given anybody else and then give myself time with my voice and then adopt, right.

That little person in front of me doesn’t have capacity to meet my need. And if I come to him expecting him or her to, I’ve already set them up to fail. So, that’s one of the major issues. We say to parents, “Yes, if God’s called you and your spouse to do this, that’s glorious. Make sure it’s His timing,” ’cause some of us, when we carry a biological child, we have nine months and women’s hormones go nuts. That’s a scientific term.

Jim: Yeah, I like that. (Laughter)

Karyn: We go nuts and we think about crazy things and we remember stuff we have done and we actually do some healing and our brain does a lot of growing during that time.

John: You know, as you share and I’m just catching a picture, Karyn. You’re working with parents, but you’re not doing it for the parents, are you?

Jim: (Chuckling) No, not at all.

Karyn: Well, I love the parents, but those little munchkins tear at my heart.

John: Where did that originate? When did you start finding yourself compelled to work with parents because the children are hurting?

Karyn: Well, I’m a parent to hurting and I know the parents’ pain. I know God’s voice when I was 14 and He said He was making me a steward of something for the children of the earth.

John: So, you’re saying it was a spiritual call kind of thing.

Karyn: It was a spiritual call, but He used, you know, there’s not part of God’s thread that goes unused, right, of the fabric of who He is in our lives. I was sexually abused as a child by some relatives of my father and so, I know the pain and the fear that the children have and I want to protect them.

But see, here’s the problem. If I sweep in to protect a child out of my pain, I’m gonna always be missing what the child needs. But if I do it out of my journey to healing, I’m able to look into that child’s eyes and see what that child needs and I’m able to meet their need.

Closing:

John: Dr. Karyn Purvis on today’s Best of 2016 “Focus on the Family.”

Jim: John, Karyn really had to work through the pain from her own past before she could learn how to equip thousands of parents with the kind of help that we’ve heard today, great tools to help children from hurting places make sense of those emotions that they feel.

As we noted, Dr. Purvis passed away last April and I am so grateful we had the opportunity to talk with her. She was a source of hope to so many parents, especially in the adoption of adoption and foster-care community. She would often speak at our Wait No More foster adoption events throughout the country. Her principles apply to all of us in our parenting situation, regardless of the child’s behavioral background or challenges that the family may be facing.

This is why Focus on the Family exists, that is to help parents like you, our listener, learn practical skills to help your family thrive and your relationships within the family and with the Lord become stronger. In fact, over the last 12 months, we’ve helped more than 200,000 families work through some kind of crisis in their parenting with their children, just like the situations Dr. Purvis talked about. Maybe you were one of those 200,000 that we were able to help in the name of Christ. And it has been our privilege to do so.

But we need to fuel the engine here that gets that work done and we’re almost to the last day of the year and your gift today–the gift of family, as we like to call it–could make such a difference, an immediate and eternal difference in the lives of hurting families. And as our way of saying thank you for your donation today, I want to send a copy of The Connected Child by Dr. Karen Purvis. I’d say it is one of the best resources for parents. Now let me also say, we are grateful for you and we are thankful that by supporting the ministry, you are choosing to do ministry through Focus on the Family.

John: Learn more about the book by Dr. Karyn Purvis, The Connected Child and our Best of 2016 CD set. It’s available as a download, as well. And donate generously when you call 800-232-6459; 800, the letter A and the word FAMILY or online we’re at www.focusonthefamily.com/radio.

And thanks for being with us today. I’m John Fuller, wishing you a Happy New Year and inviting you back on Monday, when Bill Butterworth shares the moment he learned about the importance of love.

Excerpt:

Mr. Bill Butterworth: It’s as if God were answering my question by say[ing], “You want somethin’ important to teach your kids? I’ll give you three things–faith, hope and love. You want the gold medal winner out of the three (Sound of pop), choose love!”

End of Excerpt

John: Bill Butterworth shares how you can be a more loving person on the next “Focus on the Family.”

Today's Guests

The Connected Child

Receive the book The Connected Child for your donation of any amount!

Recent Episodes

Promotional image for Focus on the Family broadcast "Embracing Your Role as a Spouse"

Embracing Your Role as a Spouse

Pastor Kevin Thompson explores three primary roles in marriage – friend, partner, and lover – and explains how spouses can live out those roles optimally by investing in their relationship mentally, emotionally, and physically.

Promotional image for the Focus on the Family broadcast "Praying Scripture Over Your Child's Life"

Praying Scripture Over Your Child’s Life (Part 2 of 2)

Jodie Berndt, best-selling author of the Praying the Scriptures book series, offers parents guidance for how they can more frequently and effectively pray for their children’s faith, wisdom, self-discipline, character, life purpose, and more. (Part 2 of 2)

Promotional image for the Focus on the Family broadcast "Praying Scripture Over Your Child's Life"

Praying Scripture Over Your Child’s Life (Part 1 of 2)

Jodie Berndt, best-selling author of the Praying the Scriptures book series, offers parents guidance for how they can more frequently and effectively pray for their children’s faith, wisdom, self-discipline, character, life purpose, and more. (Part 1 of 2)

You May Also Like

Focus on the Family Broadcast logo

Avoiding Shame-Based Parenting

Psychologist Dr. Kelly Flanagan discusses the origins of shame, the search for self-worth in all the wrong places, and the importance of extending grace to ourselves. He also explains how parents can help their kids find their own sense of self-worth, belonging and purpose.

Focus on the Family Broadcast logo

Becoming a Clutter-Free Family

Joshua Becker discusses the benefits a family can experience if they reduce the amount of “stuff” they have and simplify their lives. He addresses parents in particular, explaining how they can set healthy boundaries on how much stuff their kids have, and establish new habits regarding the possession of toys, clothes, artwork, gifts and more.

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.

Play Video

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!

Play Video

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!

Play Video

Newest Release - Episode 3: The Power of a Picture

Have you ever wondered what a baby looked like in the womb? With today’s technology, Moms and Dads can see the baby’s heartbeat, facial expressions, and movements! You’ll find out why more women choose life once they hear their baby’s heartbeat and realize it’s a real living human!

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

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

Play Video

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

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

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

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

Play Video

Newest Release - Episode 6: Families Helping Families!

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

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

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

Praying Scripture Over Your Child’s Life - Part 2

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

Headshot of Focus on the Family broadcast guest Jodie Berndt

Jodie Berndt

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

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

Praying the Scriptures Over Your Children

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

Effective Habits to Embrace in Parenting

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

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

Dr. Randy Schroeder

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

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

Simple Habits for Effective Parenting

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

The Spiritual Battle for Your Marriage

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

Tim and Noreen Muehlhoff Cropped

Dr. Tim and Mrs. Noreen Muehlhoff

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

Defending Your Marriage

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

Reigniting Your Passion for Jesus - Part 1

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

Headshot photo of author Kim Meeder

Kim Meeder

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

Revival Rising

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

Reigniting Your Passion for Jesus - Part 2

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

Headshot photo of author Kim Meeder

Kim Meeder

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

Revival Rising

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

Mothers and Sons: Being a Godly Influence - Part 2

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

Headshot of Rhonda Stoppe

Rhonda Stoppe

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

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

Moms Raising Sons to Be Men

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

Identifying Triggers in Your Marriage - Part 2

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

Headshot of Guy and Amber Lia

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Author Debra Fileta in the Focus on the Family broadcast studio

Mrs. Debra Fileta

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

Are You Really Okay?

Are You Really OK: Getting Real About Who You Are

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

Embracing Your Role as a Spouse

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

Headshot of Kevin Thompson

Pastor Kevin Thompson

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

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

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

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

Sharing Your Faith with Grace and Purpose

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

Mr. Greg Koukl

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

Tactics front cover

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

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

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

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

Dr. Kevin Leman

Dr. Kevin Leman

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

Bundle of Why Your Kids Misbehave

Why Your Kids Misbehave and What to Do about It

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

Giving up Sugar, Tasting God's Goodness

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

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

Mrs. Wendy Speake

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dr. Kevin Leman

Dr. Kevin Leman

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

Bundle of Why Your Kids Misbehave

Why Your Kids Misbehave and What to Do about It

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

Loving Your Spouse Through the Seasons of Marriage - Part 2

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

Author Debra Fileta in the Focus on the Family broadcast studio

Debra Fileta

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

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

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

Reconciling Faith and Science in a Medical Crisis

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

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

Dr. Lee Warren

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

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

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

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

Praying Scripture Over Your Child’s Life - Part 1

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

Headshot of Focus on the Family broadcast guest Jodie Berndt

Jodie Berndt

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

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

Praying the Scriptures Over Your Children

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

Mothers and Sons: Being a Godly Influence - Part 1

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

Headshot of Rhonda Stoppe

Rhonda Stoppe

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

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

Moms Raising Sons to Be Men

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

Identifying Triggers in Your Marriage Part 1

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

Headshot of Guy and Amber Lia

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Author Debra Fileta in the Focus on the Family broadcast studio

Mrs. Debra Fileta

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

Are You Really Okay?

Are You Really OK: Getting Real About Who You Are

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

Navigating a Toxic Culture with Your Daughter - Part 1

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

Mrs. Meg Meeker

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

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

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

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

Play Video

Newest Release - Episode 1: The Truth About Life!

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

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

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