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Focus on the Family Broadcast

Conquering Debt (Part 1 of 2)

Conquering Debt (Part 1 of 2)

Brian and Cherie Lowe discuss their lackadaisical attitude toward finances during their first nine years of marriage and the moment they realized with horror that they were in over $127,000 in debt. They share the sacrifices they made, the determination they developed, and the challenges they faced when paying off their debt. (Part 1 of 2)
Original Air Date: January 5, 2016

Preview:

John Fuller: Here’s Brian Lowe, describing what being in debt felt like.

Brian Lowe: It was scary. There’s no doubt about that. It was like an albatross around your neck and you’re… I- it really prevented the feeling of freedom. There were things that we were not going to be able to do in the future if we kept in debt, and really, I couldn’t foresee it without even going deeper in debt.

End of Preview

John: You’ll be hearing more from Brian and his wife, Cherie, as they talk about how they paid off more than $127,000 in consumer debt. And that’s our program today for Focus on The Family with Focus president and author, Jim Daly. Thanks for joining us, I’m John Fuller.

Jim Daly: John, that is a big number, $127,000 of unsecured debt. And that’s not even counting their car, even their home. For the Lowe’s, it was credit cards and other things like that. That’s amazing and probably stifling for most people. You might be in that place right now and you’re thinking, “What do we do?” We have hope for you today here at Focus on the Family. Our goal is to help you thrive in your family, and one of the top things people contact Focus on the Family for is their finances. According to Ramsey Solutions, the average American family with credit card debt owes over $14,000. But in addition to that, student loan debts average another $38,000. And for those households with a car loan, that’s another $31,000. And that doesn’t include any medical debt or home mortgage payments or rent. So I hope our conversation here will inspire you to take control of your finances no matter what your situation is. And it’s true that with hard work and determination and I would say, a plan, you can begin making better financial choices as you’ll learn from our guest today.

John: Yeah, Brian and Cherie Lowe have two daughters, and Cherie is the host of a very popular blog called Queen of Free. And she’s written a book called Slaying the Debt Dragon: How One Family Conquered Their Money Monster and Found an Inspired Happily Ever After. We’ve got copies of that here. Stop by the website or give us a call. They recorded with us here in the studio a few years ago, and there was a terrific response to the program. So we’re coming back to it to help you, uh, with your finances. And here now is how Jim began the conversation on today’s episode of Focus on the Family.

Jim: Brian and Cherie, welcome to Focus on the Family.

Cherie Lowe: Thank you so much for having us.

Brian: Thank very much.

Jim: Well, let’s get started. Um, take us back before, uh, that day and describe the early days of your marriage and, uh, what were your attitudes, um, toward finances going into marriage. It sounds like, like most of us, maybe there wasn’t much attitude (laughs) about your finances.

Cherie: You know, I think we just never really paid attention and we took everybody else’s advice. So if someone said you need to have a car payment, or you… That’s just the way life is.

Jim: And who told you, you need to have a car payment (laughs)?

Cherie: You know, I don’t know if anybody said-

Jim: Maybe you need to have a car (laughs).

Cherie: Yeah, you need to have a car, or you know, the idea that you would have a car payment attached to it was just part of life.

Jim: Yeah.

Cherie: It wasn’t anything or anybody said, “Oh, you can save up and pay cash for a car.” It just never really dawned on me at least.

Jim: And how ’bout… how ’bout you, did you?

Brian: Um, I was right there along with her together in that is that, you know, I went to school and then I went on the grad school, and there were some of the smartest people that I still know in the room and loan documents were being passed around this-

Jim: Huh.

Brian: … huge u-shaped conference room. And everybody else was signing it, so I went ahead and did too.

Jim: As a student loan?

Brian: Student loan.

Jim: Yeah, I mean, so many kids, young people are coming out of college with deep student loans. I mean, that’s one of the big problems, isn’t it?

Brian: It is.

Jim: So you woke up one day and how much debt did you have, uh, before you realize maybe this isn’t the right way to live?

Brian: We had over $127,000 in consumer debt. So debt that’s not attached to a major asset.

Jim: Huh.

Brian: And we, uh, kind of went over it, and it was this moment where I have been trying to cast the vision with Cherie that we needed to take steps to get out of debt. But debt was such an ambiguous term, and so we put it all on a legal pad and I remember Cherie and I standing together and going through each total together and just the overwhelming feeling that, uh, this seems insurmountable.

Jim: Well, h- help us in the beginning, um, when you’re married, both of your coming into marriage without, uh, you know, kind of a budget education, I guess I would say it that way. How many years or months did it take before one of you or both of you kind of went, “Wow! What are we up to?” Was it a year later or four years into your marriage?

Cherie: We had been married nine years-

Jim: Nine years?

Cherie: … believe or not, and just kind of functioning on that day to day. And I was handling paying the bills, making sure that we had groceries in the refrigerator, and kind of the day-to-day short-term operations. And Brian had sat down and really began to crunch the numbers and realize how much we had in total. So I was making those minimum payments thinking, “Wow! We are so stretched right now. We can barely make it.” And when he first came to me and said, “I really think we need to pay off all our debt.” I thought, “That’s impossible.” Like, we have no extra money to spare.

Jim: Well, and you know, uh, the… we’re saying as if it’s unique, but you guys are… at that point, you’re living pretty much like most people in the U.S. live, and that’s from paycheck to paycheck and without a lot of savings. It’s… people aren’t surprised hearing this, that, you know, nine years into your marriage, you begin to think maybe the debt we’ve accumulated has been too much. Um, so what did you do? How did you… didn’t you try to like lay the pillow? Wasn’t it a Dave Ramsey book or something you were trying to get Cherie to read, but it was taking some time?

Brian: Yes. Uh, you know, and, you know, it started back, actually our, our journey started in 2008. But two years prior to that on, on a date night, believe it or not, we had gone to a bookstore. We’re both bibliophiles. We’re big readers.

Jim: (laughs) You e- even met at the library.

Brian: Yeah, we even had… have run into each other at a library. It’s part of our story. So we both love books. And I sat and read Dave Ramsey’s book a- at the library. And I put it back on the shelf. I’ve since bought other copies-

Jim: (laughs)

Brian: … so we have absolution. Uh, but, but when I read it, I thought, yeah, this is something that I want to do, but I learned a very valuable marriage lesson in that moment, is that, uh, you can have a great steak dinner, you know, with all of the fixings, but if you present it on a trash can lid, nobody wants to eat that.

Jim: Hm.

Brian: And, and that’s what I did with the journey is basically I said, “Here’s what we are going to do.” That is not how you present something.

Jim: Right.

Brian: And you should present something with love. And I, I would challenge and admonish listeners out there that anytime that you’re trying to take a big step or make a big change, it needs to be presented with love. I didn’t present it very well. I didn’t cast the vision well enough.

Jim: Did you know that at the time, or, or how long did it take you to re-present it to Ch- Cherie in a way that, um, she thought it was kind and good hearted?

Brian: Well, I think what happened is that I changed myself, uh, because that’s the one thing that, that we do have some modicum of control over is, is how we act. And I had stopped using the credit card. I had, uh, taken more steps personally to, uh, change my own actions and my own relationship with debt. And then I started, uh, basically sending destination postcards, you know, dreaming and saying, “What would it look like if we were out of debt? How could we be more generous if we were out of debt? Where could we go? What would our kids future look like? What could our future look like together?” And begin dreaming together again as a couple was a very important first step as opposed to just dictating.

Jim: Uh, Cherie, let me ask you this. Um, you talked about the debt being boring debt. I thought that was really funny. Uh, what is boring debt versus exciting debt?

Cherie: Well, I think I was interviewed by a magazine a long time ago, and they wanted this sensational story, you know?

Jim: (laughs)

Cherie: That we had gone on some crazy vacation, where I had boots in every color or…

Jim: (laughs)

Cherie: We had nothing fun to show for it. There were no photos from a high-flying skydiving experience. There were no clothes in the closet that were name brand. We literally nickeled and dimed our way into that much debt. We obviously had loans that were car related and school related, but we also had no plan for our money. So if one of the kids got sick and we didn’t have cash in the bank, well, we were gonna pay with plastic. Or, you know, we ran out of grocery budget money, well, we needed food, so we had to pay somehow. And so it was all very day to day sort of debt. Nothing fun.

Jim: Ah. And, and, you know, you talked a little bit about this, but does that feel like to carry that much load? Uh, you talked about thinking about the future, um, so wonderfully there, but ho- how does it feel in the moment when you’re not thinking about the future, you’re actually, uh, thinking about the burden and oh my goodness, what has happened and where do we go? What emotions did you have?

Brian: Well, it was scary. There’s no doubt about that. It was like an albatross around your neck and you’re… I- it really prevented the feeling of freedom. There were things that we were not going to be able to do in the future if we kept in debt. And really, I couldn’t foresee it without even going deeper in debt. Once the interest rates took over, it could have went in a very bad direction. Uh, and being forced to, uh, work just to pay off your bills as opposed to, um, achieve those things that you want to do and live kind of fun life in all honestly and free from the control of this dragon.

Jim: W- what was the spiritual component in this? I mean, this sounds like an awareness, a, a good young couple who comes to their senses, but what was God speaking to your heart in all of this?

Cherie: You know, um, God definitely spoke to us prior to him stepping into the story and kind of leading us out of this. I definitely felt alone, and it felt very suffocating in a lot of ways. And I would look around on a Sunday morning and I would see everybody else in the pew and I would think, everybody else has their act together, they must love Jesus more than I do. I should have known better. I should have done better. I grew up in the church. I went to-

Jim: So guilt?

Cherie: Yeah, a lot of guilt and shame. A lot of guilt and shame. And what I found that was when I began to share our story on my blog, Queen a Free, that I would tell people, you know, “Hey, this is where we’re at and what we’re trying to do.” The very best thing that came out of that was that it was freeing, and we pulled that darkness out into the light, and it began to lose its power over us.

Jim: Did you talk with your parents about this? Were they aware, or did you hold back with them?

Brian: In the beginning, I believe we just started to get going, but we had to have conversations with family members about what we were doing and what we were trying to do because there’s a chapter in the book about relationships, uh, especially familial relationships and gift giving at Christmas time-

Jim: Hm.

Brian: or birthdays or, or things like that. Those things had to change, uh, because, uh, we’ve always had a generous heart, we just didn’t have the money to be as generous as we were being.

Jim: Were they supportive?

Brian: Very supportive.

Cherie: Yes.

Brian: And that was, um, something was more of a feeling of relief. Uh, when you mentioned to someone, “Look, we need to back off wh- what it is that we’re doing and here’s why and here are our goals.” What we were… we were met with gratitude in all honesty because that meant that well, they could back off too. Uh, and, and it was more about spending time with each other as opposed to spending money on one another.

Jim: Huh! Cherie, let me ask you this question. Uh, you talked about that sense of guilt and shame and feeling like sitting in church, you were the only one carrying this kind of burden and load. But in reality, many more people are, right?

Cherie: They are. And you know, the more I share my story, the more that people come to me and say, “Oh, thank goodness, I’m not alone.” And I think that’s the number one thing that I’ve been grateful for that God has allowed our story to be a source of hope for other people too, that there is a way out, that God does care about your finances, and you don’t have to live trapped like that.

Jim: I mean, let’s talk about that ’cause it’s important. Now, we’ve painted that picture of carrying the, the weight of that, um, kind of living undisciplined.

Cherie: Mm-hmm.

Jim: Um, that meant, you know, many people are, and that’s just reality. How did you wake up to that and say, “Okay, we’ve got to change”? We talked about how you served it up in a loving way. What did you do day one to say this is gonna to be different together?

Brian: Together, we began communicating. You know, one of the things that I always stress to folks is that the death of communication is the birth of resentment. And we had to begin communicating about money, which meant that we were communicating which made our marriage stronger. And we had this common foe, this enemy. One of the things that we did very early on was to personalize it or personify it. We named it the dragon.

Jim: (laughs)

Brian: You know, Cherie had been blogging for a long time and she’s the Queen of Free, and we sort of live in this fairytale. And so the dragon was a natural, logical outgrowth of that fairytale.

Jim: It’s very creative.

Brian: And, and so we were fighting against a common enemy, we were fighting for something instead of and against, something instead of with each other.

Jim: And, and in that context, you, you would talk about it as the dragon, right?

Cherie: Yes, we did. You know, and I think there are power at names, and we see that throughout scripture that God will give someone a new name, or we will learn the meaning of someone’s name or even the meaning… the different names of God. And if I said to you, you know, debt wants to destroy your marriage, debt wants to tell you whether or not you can send your kids to college, debt wants to tell you when you can retire, or if you can or can’t be generous. You would say, “Yeah, that’s probably not a very good thing.” But if you went back through and I replace the word debt with Fred Johnson and I said, “Fred Johnson wants to destroy your marriage, and Fred Johnson wants to tell you whether or not you can send your kids to college or retire or be generous when you feel called to give.” You would think, “I do not like Fred Johnson.”

Jim: (laughs) Right.

Cherie: And so that simple act of personifying the debt give us enough motivation and just kind of a little bit of a fire in our belly to take off after it together. And like Brian said, it prevented us from fighting with one another because we had a common enemy that we were called to vanquish and eliminate.

Jim: I think it’s a brilliant idea to do that, um, so that you’re not on each other’s case. I mean, when you talked a moment ago, Brian, about, uh, how to enhance your communication, I was thinking, “Yeah, don’t buy that, honey. Don’t spend money on that (laughs), honey.”

Cherie: (laughs)

Jim: That’s e- enhance communication I guess, but that’s not what you’re talking about.

Brian: Mm-hmm. Not the same thing, no.

Cherie: (laughs)

Jim: (laughs)

Brian: Totally different thing, yeah. I-

Jim: Did you get some rules though, if you’re gonna spend more than-

Brian: We did.

Jim: $50, you got to call me-

Cherie: Yes.

Jim: or I got to call you, and…

Cherie: We are actually a little bit more tight than that.

Jim: Yeah.

Cherie: While we were paying off debt, it was actually $10,

Jim: Right.

Cherie: So certainly not if I’m at the grocery store thinking about buying, you know, lettuce or whatever. I wasn’t calling him on the phone saying, “Is it okay if I buy this?”

Jim: Yeah.

Cherie: But if it was $10 or more, we spoke to each other. And that meant we talk to each other frequently. And it’s interesting because I can’t even remember a time where Brian said, “No, you can’t buy that.” He wouldn’t usually say, “Please buy new tennis shoes, yours have holes in them.” You know?

Jim: Right.

Cherie: So it was not about controlling each other in that moment, it was about just staying aware as to where the money was flowing on a regular basis. And that’s so awkward at first. If you’ve never talked about money in your marriage before, it feels clumsy and out of sorts.

Jim: Well, there is a distinction there, and I think it’s important to identify the difference between control and accountability.

Cherie: Mm-hmm.

Jim: Is that’s what you’re saying?

Cherie: Yeah.

Jim: Accountability is a good thing.

Cherie: Well, I get so many questions from people who say, “How can I get my spouse on the same page financially?” And my response is always, you can’t, only God can do that.

Jim: Wow!

Cherie: And you know, if we are seeking to control each other’s behavior, it’s not going to end well. And like Brian said, he did so many things that spoke volumes to me that were not words. Things like leaving the credit card in the desk drawer, or he chose while we were paying off debt, to go two and a half years without eating at a restaurant. That was his choice. He didn’t inflict it on the rest of the family thankfully. But it was this great, shining example of if he was that intentional, I could do something else, and it pulled me into the adventure and captured my heart.

Jim: Mm. You’re listening to Focus on the Family. Today, we’re talking with, uh, Brian and Cherie Lowe and their book, Slaying the Debt Dragon. And this is a great conversation. And if you’re in that situation where you don’t know what to do and you’re feeling that guilt and you are at a loss as to how to get started, call us today at Focus on the Family and, uh, talk to one of our counselors, talk to one of our folks about how you can get started, and we’ll have more details about that. Um, let me ask you this question. So many people do live paycheck to paycheck. You did something that was really counterintuitive as I read in the book, where, uh, Cherie, you actually quit your job in the midst of wanting to pay down the debt. And, you know, a lot of couples, they’re both working hard, they’re paying for, uh, daycare, they’re paying for clothing, they’re doing all the thing. But what, um, what made you come to that conclusion that you could ac- could actually reduce your income and still pay your way out of debt?

Cherie: It’s so counterintuitive, right? That you would quit a job and be able to pay off debt. But I truly began to see my calling within the home to be the CEO, or the co-CEO, basically the managing operator to make sure that we were spending as little as possible, and that meant being more intentional with everything from reading the fine print on our bills to see if we could reduce what we were spending there. But also, you know, planning meals well and making sure that we weren’t ending up in the drive-through. And everything from household cleaners to, you know, the things that our children were doing was on the table, and I was looking for ways that I could actively reduce what we were spending it. So I treated that like a job and got up every morning like it was my job to make sure that we saved as much as possible.

Jim: That’s a great attitude. It really is. Um, okay, the, the dirty, little word, “budget”, that most couples flare-up over, um, because they’re not quite ready for that (laughs) discussion. Um, talk about the need for it, um, uh, how committed do you have to be to that budget?

Brian: You have to be committed to communicate with one another about how you were going to spend and, and we played around with even calling it something different. We called it forecasting, uh, at home. It doesn’t change what it is, you know. And in anything in life, you have to trade one freedom for another. Uh, and we have all kinds of freedoms as, as citizens of the United States, where we can go out and buy whatever it is that we want to buy, but that prevents you sometimes from doing the things that you really want to do. So the budget is a way to just predetermined what we’re going to say no to and what we’re going to say yes to. It’s money in and money out. And it is a freeing, freeing tool, um, so that we can have kind of a hedge or a fence around us, so that we don’t get out of control and off track for our goals.

Jim: Cherie, you in fact, you had a story in the book, Slaying the Debt Dragon, about place mats, and that it was part of your eureka moment.

Cherie: Yes.

Jim: What was that?

Cherie: S- so it’s so funny because before we started paying off debt, I don’t think I would ever had said, I struggle with contentment, or I struggle with greed. I don’t think any of us usually identify that in ourselves very easily, and yet as the journey wore on, I realize that that was a battle in my soul, and I needed to be more intentional. I’m a bargainista, I love a clearance deal.

Jim: A bargainista (laughs).

Cherie: Yes. And so I was actually shopping Christmas clearance, which is one of the best things of the year in January, and things were 90% off. And I looked down and I found these place mats that were $0.19, and I thought, “Wow! They’re red, they match my kitchen, they’re easy to clean so that the girls won’t mess them up.”

Jim: (laughs)

Cherie: And then I began to really kind of think about the place mats I already had at home, which a friend had made for me, and they were adorable. And I already had place mats, and I didn’t need new placemats. And then it dawned on me that we had paid off $127,482.30, $0.19 at a time because we had learned to say no to $0.19. And if we could say no to $0.19, we could say no to $1.90, we could say to no to $190, we could say no to $1,900. Because learning to say no is really the most effective way to pay off debt.

Jim: It’s- That’s so important to hear because I think a lot of people would say, “Oh, that’s ridiculous.”

Cherie: Mm-hmm.

Jim: You know, “Buy the place mats. Come on, lady.”

Cherie: (laughs)

Jim: But it’s true, you’re learning to say no to things, you’re depriving yourself in the right way, and you’re not trying to fulfill that… whatever that is in your heart to, um, you know, meet that need.

Cherie: I would say it’s a void that only Jesus could fill-

Jim: Huh!

Cherie: number one. But you know, number two, I heard he had really great place mats.

Jim: (laughs)

Cherie: And I think just realizing, you know what? I don’t need this. It’s just gonna mean more stuff in the way at home, and it’s gonna be more stuff in the way of our budget.

Jim: L- let’s get practical with groceries and food. This is one for Jean and I. I mean (laughs), we have two teenage boys. So I mean I’m always looking at that going, “Can we reduce that by a few thousand a month?” (laughs)

Brian: (laughs)

Cherie: (laughs)

Jim: But it is, it just… like the grocery budget seems to just go crazy sometimes. How do you approach grocery and food? Because that, that’s obviously something we all need.

Cherie: Yes, so it can be a beast, right?

Jim: Yeah.

Cherie: And especially if you have dogs, teenage boys, or babies.

Jim: (laughs)

Cherie: It’s really difficult. But one of the things that we did, um, especially in our marriage as that Brian would actually come grocery shopping with me sometimes.

Jim: Why was that a benefit?

Cherie: This is huge. Why do you think it was a benefit?

Brian: It’s easy to try to set the grocery budget. But if you’ve never shopped for groceries, you shouldn’t be setting the grocery budget.

Jim: (laughs) Well, why is that? What’s the disconnect?

Brian: Well, the disconnect is I don’t know how much things cost. Uh, and if you don’t know how much things cost, you shouldn’t dictate how much you were supposed to spend.

Jim: Ah.

Brian: And so it was clear when we, when we went shopping that I was moderately out of touch with how much we spent on certain items. And so things that we wanted or, or things that I assumed what they would cost, it’s hard to have a sum total if you don’t know what those individual cost are. Uh, and, uh, it’s also helpful because we just spent time together. Uh, and we spent time together, you know, with a shared vision and shared goals. It seems silly, but if you’re at the grocery store, then that’s another time set apart where you can spend time together as a couple.

Jim: Well, that and you’re slaying your dragon together.

Brian: Together.

Cherie: Exactly.

Jim: But what would be some cost-effective ways, cost-cutting measures in the grocery store? ‘Cause it seems, that, the, you know, that whole industry moves to convenience with a cost.

Cherie: Right.

Jim: So you get bagged lettuce, you get, you know, things are done for, pre-made goodies, pizzas in the box.

Cherie: Mm-hmm.

Jim: Um, all that good stuff that I don’t have to work too hard. Is it, um, that simple that you got to put a little more effort into your cooking?

Cherie: You might have to put a little more effort into it, but I wanted to pack Slaying the Debt Dragon with practical strategies. So not just that you should be paying off debt, but here’s what it looks like when you’re in the kitchen. One of the things that I talk about in the book are my own personal grocery store 10 commandments. And I feel like everybody should have these, and these are just boundaries that you put on yourself. They’re not hard and fast so if you have to break one, it’s not that big of a deal, but they’ll help you, you know, keep from overspending. One of those is I try not to shop after 9:00 PM, and that’s because that’s a weak time for me. I know I will put all the breakfast items in the cart, and I will just wander around the store aimlessly.

Jim: Maybe a little ice cream (laughs).

Cherie: Yeah, right? Your resolve is down. For other people, it might be early in the morning. That’s a more difficult time, but just identifying when is it most difficult. One of the other things I do is try to look high and look low in the grocery store, because marketers are brilliant, and they will place the most expensive things at your eye level. And if you’ve ever shopped with a toddler, they also place them at their eye level-

Jim: Huh!

Cherie: … so that they… you’ll want those more expensive items. And then finally, my favorite grocery store 10 commandment and shopping tip in general is that right before I check out, I look down in my cart and I identify three to five items that I need to put back. Because something has jumped into the cart that we do not need or we can wait until next week, and that simple practice will save 5 to $10 every time you’re at the grocery store, you don’t have to clip a single coupon. It’s a very easy thing to do, but it’s just a pause-

Jim: Huh.

Cherie: that will help you be more intentional.

Jim: Well, we’ve run out of time today to talk about the other grocery store 10 commandments, but, uh, Cherie and Brian with your permission, let’s post those for the listeners to see. And, uh, there’s still more to your story and we wanna cover that. And I wanna start off next time by hearing about how your two daughters responded to this debt-slaying journey. Uh, some crazy choices I think you made to pay off your debt, but very instructive. And how you celebrated that when you finally paid it off. Um, let me see thanks for being with us today.

Cherie: Thank you.

Brian: Thank you.

John: Well, you can read more about the Lowe’s inspiring story and get lots of ideas, dozens of ideas about, uh, saving money in pretty much every area of your budget when you pick up their book, Slaying the Debt Dragon. You’ll find a copy of that and a CD or instant download of this two-part conversation with the Lowe’s, those are at focusonthefamily.com/broadcast.

Jim: John, throughout the conversation, we talked about the need for strong marital communication on this issue of finances. It’s a powder keg for so many couples. It might be you’re struggling with finances. And if you need someone to talk to, we have caring Christian counselors right here on our staff and they’re available to talk with you, or they can refer you to someone in your area. So call us to schedule an appointment today. And let me just say that Focus on the Family is helping hundreds of thousands of couples each year to build stronger marriages, offering resources, trusted advice, and we can only do this because of your generous support. Every dollar you give today will help us minister to others. So please join our team with a generous donation and we’ll send you a copy of Cherie’s book, Slaying the Debt Dragon, as our way of saying thank you.

John: Donate as you can when you call 1-800, the letter A, and the word FAMILY, or when you visit focusonthefamily.com/broadcast. Plan to join us again tomorrow. We’ll hear more from Brian and Cherie as they talk about the need to have a perspective of gratitude.

Cherie Lowe: If you can fill your heart up with gratitude and you begin looking around your house and think, wow, “We have so much stuff that we make a trip to Goodwill to get rid of our stuff.” You know, we have so much already.

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

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How to Build Resilience in Your Child (Part 2 of 2)

Dr. Kathy Koch explores the importance of resilience in our lives and how we can nurture that trait in our children. As a parent, you are the key to your child’s resilience! Through intentional modeling, ongoing conversation and observation, and encouragement, you can help them learn to bounce back from struggles, get unstuck, and move forward with courage and confidence. (Part 2 of 2)

Focus on the Family Broadcast logo

How to Build Resilience in Your Child (Part 1 of 2)

Dr. Kathy Koch explores the importance of resilience in our lives and how we can nurture that trait in our children. As a parent, you are the key to your child’s resilience! Through intentional modeling, ongoing conversation and observation, and encouragement, you can help them learn to bounce back from struggles, get unstuck, and move forward with courage and confidence. (Part 1 of 2)

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Accepting Your Imperfect Life

Amy Carroll shares how her perfectionism led to her being discontent in her marriage for over a decade, how she learned to find value in who Christ is, not in what she does, and practical ways everyone can accept the messiness of marriage and of life.

Being a Champion to Your Grandkids

Being a Champion to Your Grandkids

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

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!

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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.

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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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