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Focus on the Family Broadcast

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Creating a Godly Vision for Your Marriage

Creating a Godly Vision for Your Marriage

Clint and Penny Bragg offer hope for troubled marriages as they share their incredible testimony of reconciling and re-marrying after being divorced for 11 years, demonstrating that God's healing and restoration are always available, no matter the extent of damage done to a relationship.

Opening:

Excerpt:

Penny Bragg: I took my wedding ring off, and I threw it across the room at him. That’s how much volatility and anger and all of that was – was inside me. That anger was toward me.

End of Excerpt

John Fuller: Recounting a dramatic moment in their relationship, that’s Penny Bragg. And she and her husband, Clint, join us today on Focus on the Family. Your host is Focus president and author, Jim Daly, and I’m John Fuller.

Jim Daly: John, here at Focus, we have the privilege of hearing all kinds of marriage stories – from light, funny things that happen to heartbreaking tales of brokenness and sorrow and regret. On the flip side of that are the stories of God’s redemption, and our guests today, Clint and Penny Bragg, have a powerful marriage testimony to share with us. They got divorced, then remarried eleven years later. You know, everybody can lift their jaw up. I mean, that is amazing! Their story reminds me of the accounts we hear from Hope Restored, our marriage intensive program at Focus on the Family. Every day, lives and marriages are being changed in remarkable ways. Marriage is the solid foundation that families are built upon. I have met with many presidents and other leaders in our nation – we all agree on that, and frankly, Democrats and Republicans. Marriage is the foundation that families are built upon. God has a purpose for your marriage, and we’re going to explore that today. We’re gonna help you learn how to discover the unique mission God has for your marriage, and give you the tools you need to live out that mission with your spouse.

John: And Clint and Penny Bragg will help us do just that. They are the founders of Inverse Ministries, a nonprofit where they serve as “marriage missionaries”. They’ve written three marriage books, including the one we’ll touch on today – Your Marriage, God’s Mission.

Body:

Jim: Clint, Penny, welcome to Focus on the Family.

Penny: Thank you.

Clint Bragg: Well, thanks for having us.

Jim: It’s great to have you. I love the stories of marriages that are saved and being on the right path. And we all can learn so much from that. Let’s start with how the two of you met. That’s always a good place. What drew you together?

Penny: Absolutely. Well, we met on our church’s softball team.

(LAUGHTER)

Jim: That’s always a good place.

Penny: And that was our interest. I thought so. And we had, you know, similar interests. And at that point in our lives, I think we thought, “Well, if we love God and we love softball and, you know…”

Jim: All things that would be easy.

Penny: …Have some similar – yeah. Similar things – that if we dated for a few years and…

Jim: How long did you know each other before you got married?

Clint: Probably about two and a half years.

Jim: Okay, so two and a half years. So you had a good feel for each other. You kind of knew who you were. Where was the Lord in that context? Were you faith-seekers, or were you already committed Christians?

Clint: Well, I-I had gone through, uh, a discipleship program – six month intensive program – and I was living in Oklahoma at the time. And when I moved back to the San Francisco Bay Area, the Lord led me to this church. And I was a new guy in the church, and I asked the pastor – I said, “I’d like to teach this course. And it’s a six month program, so will you allow me to do that? I’m new to your church and all this stuff.”

Jim: I bet he…

Clint: Yeah. Yeah.

Jim: …Was like, “Well, uh, come back in a few weeks and I’ll let you know.”

Clint: But he gave me permission and somebody volunteered their house to host it. And I think I had six or seven people in that first class. And Penny…

Jim: Penny was one of them.

Penny: I did all my homework.

Clint: She was one – she was the only one in the class who did all her homework…

(LAUGHTER)

Clint: …Had all the verses memorized.

Penny: So that’ll – that’ll kind of give you an indication of where I was at spiritually. I was just the do-gooder, you know?

Jim: Right.

Penny: And – and maybe – like the Word says, you know, the seeds are planted in the soil, but they didn’t take root.

Clint: But the thing about it is – is that we were very similar. We were both pointed towards Christ…

Jim: Yeah.

Clint: …And we were both trying to please Him. But we were, I think, maybe more works-oriented than really – even though I was spending time every day with the Lord, I still don’t think it had sunk down into my heart the way it needed to be.

Jim: Well, and that’s a great, uh, foundation to build on because I – I kind of want to get a handle of where you’re at, uh, as you’re being married or just prior to you being married. So that paints the picture really well. Now let’s get into that first year of marriage and kind of those explosions of reality, if I can call ‘em that.

Penny: Yeah.

Jim: What did that look like that first year where you were trying to do all the right things?

Clint: Well, I think it was pretty amazing. You know, the church that we were both, uh, belonging to – they – it was a small church, so they needed warm bodies to take care of this thing and this thing. And Clint and Penny were always trying to please, and we never knew how to say no.

Jim: So you would describe yourself, too, as a – as a person wanting to do good?

Clint: Exactly.

Jim: Okay.

Clint: And so what happened was – is that everything that came up, the – the pastor would come to us and say, “Will you do this?” And we said, “Sure, why not?” And so we did it. And – but we were running so far behind that instead of taking God with us, we – in our minds – we weren’t saying it out loud, but in our minds – in my heart, I believe I was saying, “God, can’t you keep up?” And – and…

Jim: Wow.

Clint: And – and you know, that’s not a good thing to do.

Jim: That’s a statement.

Clint: Yeah, exactly. But that’s exactly what was going on with me. And so I thought maybe the way that we could figure this out and really see if we’re serving the Lord properly – I asked Penny, “Would you go on a short-term, uh, overseas mission with me?” And she said, “Yes.” And so that first year, everything was going pretty good, but we were starting to run out of gas. Then we go on this mission trip.

Jim: And the goal of the mission trip was to recharge your batteries?

(LAUGHTER)

Penny: Yeah. Exactly.

Jim: Okay. You guys are in a different plane than I’m in.

Penny: I know.

Jim: I mean, that’s amazing. And so what was that mission trip like? What occurred? It was kind of a pivot point for you, Penny.

Penny: It was a huge pivot point for me.

Jim: What – what confronted you?

Penny: I had never been outside of my little town of Castro Valley, California. I’d never been in a third world country. We were in Haiti at the time. Uh, we would drive along these roads 10 hours at a time in the back of a truck. There would be voodoo bands along the side of the highway. I mean, my eyes were just this big around.

Jim: What were the adjectives you would whisper to Clint when you were on that trip? What things would you say that would help us understand your heart at the time?

Penny: “Are we gonna be alright?” You know?

Jim: Right. So fear?

Penny: Yeah, a lot of fear. And I didn’t wanna be separated from him…

Jim: Yeah.

Penny: …Because I was afraid. And I know – I – I also, I think, felt a lot of, um, fear about being so far away from my family.

Jim: Right.

Penny: And that being the first time and just – yeah. I – I think I was really afraid.

Clint: And I – and I didn’t realize there was one time they separated us. Uh, and they sent me to – on a work crew and, they sent you in the village to…

Penny: Into the hut – huts.

Clint: Into the huts.

Penny: And it was pretty intense because we’d go into these huts, and there would be sick, maimed, lame people just laying in corners on the floors.

Jim: Kind of overwhelming?

Clint: Yeah.

Penny: It was really overwhelming.

Jim: And not a lot of preparation, it sounds like.

Penny: No, no, no. And I think, Jim, really, it was the first time I encountered suffering.

Jim: Yeah.

Penny: And I was trying to reconcile in my mind, “Well, Lord how – why do I have all this, and these people are suffering so?” And I – it was just a huge pivot point for me – sudden faith crisis, I think.

Jim: So what – what was the outcome of that? Was it a good thing or not a good thing?

Penny: Well, it was a good thing in what we got done.

Clint: Yes.

Penny: But for me, it was – you know, Clint wanted to do more, and I wasn’t honest with how I was feeling. I just got real quiet and kind of shut down. And he was trying to figure out, “Well, what’s wrong? Are you just tired?” And boy, I was just going through a lot of feelings. No, I can look back on it now so clearly and see that so many unaddressed issues in my childhood, in my past were surfacing during that first year of our marriage. I think I kept trying to push them back down.

Jim: Right.

Penny: And you can only do that for so long.

Jim: So you get through that. You’re in a spot where it’s hard to communicate about some deep issues. That’s not unique to a couple that’s been married for one year. I mean, that’s kind of normal in many ways, but these sound like, you know, pretty deep issues. What happens in year two? What begins to…

Clint: So you know, what happened was is I thought we had a plan together. I didn’t realize she didn’t share with me how she was feeling. She was trying to be Superwoman. She was trying to – to please me, but I was trying to figure out – she’s my wife, and I want her to be happy. And I thought she was, but I fell a distance of her pulling away at that point. So into year two, what happens about three, four months into it – the distance is getting further and further apart. And I’m saying, “What did I do? What – what’s going on?” And I finally confronted her. And when I confronted her, I found out there was someone outside our marriage pulling her away.

Jim: Huh.

Clint: So I was willing to do whatever it was going to take to get her back, but I didn’t know that she had already checked out.

Jim: Yeah.

Clint: I did everything you’re supposed to do in – in the Bible to reconcile. I did every – all the steps. I knew what the steps were. And – and…

Penny: I wouldn’t have any of it.

Clint: …I couldn’t budge her.

Jim: Where was your mind at, Penny? What was happening? Describe that because there may be some listeners right now, maybe some women who are in marriages where – they’re where you were.

Penny: Yeah. I was ashamed. Um, I felt like a failure as a Christian. I didn’t have anybody to talk to, and if I did, I probably wouldn’t have shared the depth of what I was feeling – um, the emotional disconnectedness from him – ‘cause Clint kind of went into military mode, which made me shut down a little bit more. And the more he pursued me, the more I pulled away from him.

Jim: Right.

Penny: And so, um – but a lot of my feelings, uh, I believe – marriage is such an intimate relationship. It requires so much from us that I think all my issues that had been surfacing that I was trying to push down – I was running away from the reality of what I needed to deal with. See, I was letting Jesus in at a certain point, but then saying, you know, “This pain’s too deep.”

Jim: Yeah.

Penny: “He can’t heal that.”

Jim: When you look at that, um, and to me, it’s almost like letting the Lord in so far before it really hurts.

Penny: Mmhmm.

Jim: “It’s like all the rooms are here for you, Lord. Clean – clean house and my heart. Oh, but not that closet.”

Penny: But not – exactly. Exactly.

Jim: “And by the way, it’s locked, and I’m the only one with the key.”

Penny: That’s right.

Jim: But how did you begin to say, “Okay, let’s open that up?” In fact, uh, you walked out of the marriage…

Penny: I walked out.

Jim: …In year two, correct?

Penny: Yeah, less than two years. And I packed a few things in a suitcase and rolled it right out our front door. And I didn’t look back. We never had children together, and I was just on that fast track to run away. And – and if you’ve ever tried to run from God, you move toward what you’re good at, what feels good. That was school for me. That was accolades, academics, all of those things. And so the more I could distance myself from Clint, the more I could run from the shame of what I had done. I-I moved further away from him. I got a job in a school district further away. And I went to church a little bit, but eventually, I just stopped going altogether.

Jim: That’s amazing.

Penny: Yeah.

Jim: Penny, before we move from that part of the story, um, you had to be wrestling so deeply…

Penny: I was.

Jim: …I mean, because you’re a person who wants to, uh, be the – the good person.

Penny: Mmhmm.

Jim: And here you’re warring in your own…

Penny: I was.

Jim: …Heart about that bad person in you…

Penny: I was.

Jim: …The person that’s not connecting, the person that’s walking away from your husband and trying to reconcile that. Did you project blame onto, uh, Clint? Were you saying…

Penny: Oh.

Jim: “…Well, if he would’ve been this…”

Penny: Oh, yes. Absolutely.

Jim: “…Then I would’ve been a better person?”

Penny: Absolutely.

Jim: What did you learn in that context, ‘cause this is really critical, everybody. If you look at marriages and how they break down, this is usually one of the big nuggets.

Penny: Yeah.

Jim: It’s the other person’s fault entirely.

Penny: That’s right because then it shifts the focus, and you don’t have to deal with your own stuff if you can always point it in the other direction. So I kept doing that. You know, “He was emotionally unavailable. He was this. He was that” – all of the while compromising my own convictions. And so sometimes we’ll see a spouse that lashes – I mean, literally – and I did that with him. I – Jim, I took my wedding ring off, and I threw it across the room at him. That’s how much volatility and anger and all of that was – was inside me. That anger was toward me.

Jim: Yeah.

Penny: It was because of what I had done, because of what I hadn’t done. And so – yet I was projecting all that on Clint, and I think that’s critical.

Jim: Yeah. Well, and the bottom line – and people should strap themselves in their seat – you did divorce.

Penny: We did.

Jim: And you were divorced for 11 years.

Penny: Yeah. Eleven. Eleven.

Jim: Eleven years.

Clint: Yes.

Jim: That, to me, was, like, jaw-dropping. I mean, after that, you would think it is done. It’s dead. It’s over. And you didn’t have a lot of contact during that time.

Penny: Zero.

Clint: Zero.

Jim: Zero contact?

Clint: None.

Penny: Zero contact.

Clint: Yeah.

Penny: Zero contact.

Clint: I didn’t know where she was. She didn’t know where I was.

Jim: Boy, people who have no hope with their marriage, they need to hear this part right here.

Penny: Yeah.

Clint: Yeah.

Jim: I mean, it was dead, gone, buried, done.

Penny: And nails around the edge of the coffin.

Jim: Wow! So the big question everybody’s going, “Ask this Jim, ask this!”

(LAUGHTER)

Jim: How in the world did you ever reconcile and pull this back together and remarry? What was the catalyst for that?

Clint: For me, I think it was about 8 and a half, 9 years into our divorce. Um, I was – I moved to Florida because I thought, “Well, if I change the scenery, I’ll get a new life, you know, and things would go well.” And so I get to Florida. I become a real estate investor. And at the beginning, man, I was blowing everything up and doing great and making lots of money. And then all of a sudden out of nowhere, it collapsed on me. Now, I need to tell you this. I quit reading my Bible every day. I quit going to church the last three years…

Jim: Why?

Clint: …Before – because I was so angry at God. I blamed God for the way that He took her away from me. I said – and when I finally recognized this – so I crash and burn with the real estate thing. I’m at the bottom of the bottom. And finally one day, I looked up. I was out for a run. I finally looked up to God and said, “You know what? I’m angry at You.” And I told Him exactly why I was angry. And then I turned around and I apologized to Him. I said, “You didn’t play a part in this breakdown. I played a part. And I apologize to You. I’ve been angry at You for so long. I’m sorry I left You. But here’s what I’m going to do. You see the mess I’m in? You can help me clean it up. But if You don’t want to clean it up, I’m still gonna read Your Word. I’m still gonna talk to You every day. And when I go to church on Sunday, whatever the preacher’s preaching, I’m gonna try and apply it the next week.” And so I kept my end of the bargain. And you know what? God didn’t just snap His fingers and say, “Hey, I’m going to clean you up because you said all these good things.”

Jim: Right.

Clint: I actually put it into practice and applied myself. And, I mean, I gave Him my whole heart.

Jim: You know, let me – let me ask you this. And Penny, I’m coming to you because I want to hear your side of the story in terms of that 11-year span. But how was the Lord processing your closet, as we mentioned earlier?

Penny: Well, you know…

Jim: The stuff that he couldn’t touch?

Penny: The wrestling, all the wrestling I was doing, I wrestled with it about seven, eight years. And then…

Jim: What were those elements, to help people understand?

Penny: Oh, I just felt guilty all the time…

Jim: Yeah.

Penny: …For what I had done. I felt like I was still running from my past. And when people would ask me about my life, I’d shut down. I wasn’t hanging out in social settings because I didn’t want answer too many questions about what I had done.

Jim: Let me ask you on the guilty side because so often, we run from that as if it’s wrong. But guilt plays a role. Conviction plays a role. We, in the Christian community, talk about that being the conviction of the Holy Spirit.

Penny: Sure.

Jim: So there is a healthy kind of guilt feeling when you do something wrong. That’s a good thing that you feel bad. But how does it become unhealthy? And how did you manage dumping overboard the unhealthy guilt…

Penny: Well, I…

Jim: …And embracing the real guilt?

Penny: Yeah, it’s like the false guilt and the true guilt. The true guilt of, have I done something wrong? And I should feel convicted about that. But where it becomes, I think, unhealthy is what you do with it. And I was doing some pretty destructive things – maybe not outwardly, to everyone else. But I had – because I had that – enough of the education, I guess, to look okay on the outside and be functioning and all that. But I think it’s what we do with that and what we project onto other people. I had become a very controlling, strong woman to a point of – of pushing down other people. And I wasn’t tolerant at all. I was very cutthroat. And I was gonna move up that education ladder. And – and that’s what I was doing with those feelings of guilt and insecurity. So I think that’s when it becomes unhealthy, Jim, is what we’re doing with it.

Jim: Yeah, and I so appreciate that because that, in so many ways, describes the culture we’re in.

Penny: Oh, yeah.

Jim: I mean, that’s what we’re all…

Penny: Yeah.

Jim: …As a culture…

Penny: Yes.

Jim: …Trying to do. Hopefully, there’s the remnant that will be a light to those that are in the darkness in this area. But how did you – that’s tough, to turn those things inside out.

Penny: It is.

Jim: How did you do that? How did you say, “Okay, Lord deal with my approach to life. And I don’t need to be winning all the time”?

Penny: Well, I was transferred to the school that I had started teaching at.

Jim: What grade level?

Penny: Huh?

Jim: What grade level?

Penny: Elementary. Elementary.

Jim: I mean, what grade, though? Was it all grades?

Penny: Yeah. You know, K-6.

Jim: I was gonna say, leave it to kids to beat you up in this area.

Penny: I know.

(LAUGHTER)

Penny: It was my assistant principal, actually.

Jim: Okay.

Penny: Who was a Christian. And when I found out, I was just – oh, no, you know, she’s Christian. And she was a pastor’s wife.

Jim: So the reconciliation, we got to get to that part.

Penny: Yeah.

Jim: How did it happen? You’re opening your heart. Clint, you’re letting go.

Clint: Yeah.

Jim: And God’s bringing you together somehow. How did you meet again? How did you pick up the phone? What took place?

Clint: So, you know, here’s what happens. My life is going good now. God’s what – man, He’s walking with me. I’m walking with Him. I’m doing things, and I’m feeling good. And, you know, I’m – I’m a real estate agent. I’m selling homes. And then I had a second job. So in between jobs, I go home. And this is March 1, 2002. What happens is I go to my mailbox. And I’m running up the steps of my house. And I notice that the package says California. I thought my mom was sending me something. It wasn’t her. I saw it was Dublin, California. I knew where Dublin was, but I didn’t know anybody there. But then, when I put the key in the door lock, it was P. A. Bronzini, the love of my life. And so I walk in the house. And I say to God, “Man, is this good news or is this bad news?” I walked into my office, set it on the desk. I says, “God, should I open this up or throw it in the trash?”

Jim: Wow.

Clint: And so I sat there for several minutes. And finally, He said, “Open it up.” So I opened it up. And inside it was a letter apologizing for the way that she had left our marriage. And she asked for forgiveness. And at the very bottom of the letter, it says, “If you get this, will you send me a letter?” Well, I wasn’t a letter writer. It says, “Will you send me an email?” Well, I didn’t have an email account at that time.

(LAUGHTER)

Clint: And then the third thing was, “Will you give me a call?” So I go ahead right away, and I give her a call. But it’s three hours’ time difference. And I didn’t think about that. And she wasn’t there. So I left a message. And what did that message say, babe?

Penny: Pssh.

Clint: And nicely, now.

Penny: “Got your letter. This is Clint. I’ll call you back one more time.”

Jim: Oh, my.

Penny: “Your time, 8 o’clock. If you’re there, you’re there. If you’re not, you’re not.” Click. I was like, “Oh, here we go.”

(LAUGHTER)

Penny: Here we go.

Jim: So that communicated, “Yeah, you’re in a good place, but maybe I’m not.”

Penny: Yeah. I mean, I was just scared to death. I just – his voice, hadn’t heard it in 11 years. Eleven years.

Clint: So, I did. It was 11 o’clock my time. I gave her a call. She answered it. And…

Penny: It was a five-hour phone conversation.

Clint: Five-hour.

Jim: Terrific.

Penny: It was longer and deeper than we’d ever spoken during the time we dated.

Jim: Wow.

Penny: When we married, it was two broken people.

Clint: Yeah. And one of the things in her letter that she said – and she was right back when we were first married – everything I did, I was a winner. You know, I wanted everything. And so I always came out smelling like a rose. And she said in her thing, “I’m sure that you’ve been successful in everything you’ve done.” And I was scared to share with her at first, but the Lord – the Holy Spirit inside me just prompted me to say, “Penny, I haven’t been successful.” And when I had to tell her that I took bankruptcy, it was like, in my family, that’s a shame – a shameful thing. You take bankruptcy, you broke your word, your promise. And I says, “I did that.” And – and she couldn’t believe I shared it. I could actually see her mouth drop on the other side.

(LAUGHTER)

Jim: That was a good sign?

Penny: It was a great sign because then I shared a little bit more about…

Jim: Yeah, there’s progress.

Penny: It was just…

Jim: You know, in this regard – and, unfortunately, we’re gonna need to take this online and ask a few more questions, if we can do that.

Clint: Sure.

Jim: And if this is touching your heart, follow us to the online discussion. And we’ll ask more questions there. But your book, Your Marriage, God’s Mission, the bottom line in all of what you’ve heard and what you two have expressed is that it’s clear God has a mission for your marriage.

Penny: He does.

Jim: And you’re Exhibit A. I mean, I can’t find two greater professors of that than the two of you. Describe why you feel God has a mission for your marriage, and what should that mission look like?

Penny: We – we missed that the first time around somehow. And the way that God kind of set us forth on this mission was that through our story, after we had that conversation, my dad got saved. He was so shocked that this reconciliation happened. And I called Clint. And I said, “Isn’t that God’s mission for us, that the Gospel come through the marriage relationship?” And so that just set us on course to find out more about what God desired from this relationship called marriage. And we saw plenty of examples of marriages like ours that didn’t have a mission, that was just haphazard…

Jim: That’s usually the story.

Clint: Yeah.

Penny: …Just, you know, no – no shared purpose, no shared goals, no vision forward, no seeking the Lord together, no spending time in the Word together, no praying together. That was us the first time around. And so now what that mission looks like is a couple who’s seeking God together…

Jim: Yeah.

Penny: …Not so focused on the mission, but focused on their maker. He’ll reveal that mission to you.

Clint: Yes.

Penny: I mean, we never saw this one coming, Jim.

Clint: No.

Penny: This was just…

Jim: And that’s – that’s the beauty of what you’ve written in your book here, Your Marriage, God’s Mission because it really is a great blueprint from combat marriage veterans.

Clint: Right.

Jim: If I can refer to you in that way.

Penny: Yeah, battle scars and all.

Jim: I mean, you guys have been in the wars and in the foxholes and everything else. And it’s such a powerful story of what God wants to do in all areas of our lives, not just in our marriage. But He reconciles everything…

Penny: He does. He does.

Jim: …To Him. And, Penny, I give you great credit for the depth of recognizing some of those – even tears me up – just the fear and the control and the pain and what a transition, transformation, you have gone through. And, Clint, you’re the dude. I can tell.

(LAUGHTER)

Jim: You’re just the steady guy.

Penny: He is.

Jim: You know, “Take the hill. Here we go.”

Clint: Yes.

Jim: And, you know, we – we play those roles because it’s how God has wired us and the temperaments and the things that He uses. But I really admire what you have done to come all the way back around. That’s how it should work. And it’s a wonderful testimony to our Lord.

Clint: Can I share one thing…

Jim: Yeah.

Clint: …With you? We decided three months after we contacted each other – we did lots of different things to make sure it wasn’t a warm, fuzzy feeling. And, you know, the transformation she made, it was really fantastic. But God, He smoothed a lot of my edges…

Jim: Oh, absolutely.

Clint: And the thing about it is – is it – for the guys listening here, I want you to know, man, that God gave you that woman. And He wants you to be the spiritual leader in your household. And that means that you love and respect her, and you treat her like your mate. And you’re a team of two. And – and if you can get that straight, God’s gonna use you. Maybe it’s making peanut butter and jelly sandwiches to give to the homeless, but it could be, um, some other kind of ministry that you have a heart for. But I’m telling you what, if you turn it over to God and let Him work through you…

Penny: Yeah. Watch out.

Clint: …It’s amazing.

Jim: Well, that’s a good word. Thank you so much for being with us. Let’s go with a few more questions. And we’ll do that online. Can we do that?

Clint: Sure.

Penny: Let’s do it.

Closing:

John: And I hope you can join us then. This has been such a strong conversation, Jim. And I love the idea of having a mission in mind for your marriage.

Jim: Well that’s something that can benefit all of us. And I hope that you, the listener, have found a lot of help in this program. Focus on the Family is here for you. We’ll help you find the answers you need when it comes to your marriage, whether you’re just starting out or you’ve reached a point where you don’t think your relationship is going to survive.

John: And if you’re at that point, we do have caring, Christian counselors to talk with you, listen, pray, and get you on the path toward healing.

Jim: We also have our Hope Restored marriage intensive program. I mentioned at the top of the broadcast here. These intensives are for marriages that are in desperate trouble. Some of them may have already signed divorce papers, but it – it really is the last couple of wisps of hope. And this is something you can do. We now have two locations: Branson, Missouri, and Greenville, Michigan. And the success rate is phenomenal! We just reassessed that, and we do follow-up with these couples, and after two years – we’ve come back to them two years later – more than 80% of the couples are still married and happier and stronger than ever. So if we can be of any help, contact us and ask about our Hope Restored program.

I’d also like to ask you to consider supporting the ministry of Focus on the Family. There are so many couples who need solutions to their specific situations, and we couldn’t be there for them without your prayers and financial support. So do consider a donation today – a gift of any amount and we’ll send you a copy of Clint and Penny’s book, Your Marriage, God’s Mission as our way of saying thank you for helping us reach out and restore these marriages that are in trouble. 

John: And you can donate online at focusonthefamily.com/broadcast. And of course, you can also listen to the rest of our questions for Clint and Penny there and get a CD of the whole conversation. That’s focusonthefamily.com/broadcast, or call 800, the letter A, and the word FAMILY – 800-232-6459.

Well, have a great weekend! And join us again on Monday as Jonathan Catherman will encourage you teach your son about manhood as early as possible.

Teaser:

Jonathan Catherman: “You have to speak it so, Jonathan. You gave him no other options. You told him he was embarrassing, in trouble, going home to be in timeout. What else did you say to him?” I said, “I didn’t say anything.” She goes, “Every day you need to tell him to be strong, to be brave and to be of great courage.

End of Teaser

Today's Guests

Your Marriage, God's Mission

Receive the book Your Marriage, God's Mission for your donation of any amount!

Recent Episodes

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From Prodigal to Pastor

Raul Ries grew up with an alcoholic father who physically abused him and his mother. Raul himself became a very angry and violent young man. After his wife had threatened to leave him, he intended to kill her. Raul was bent on a murderous rampage when he had a dramatic, life-changing encounter with Jesus Christ. In this broadcast, Pastor Raul share his fascinating story about the amazing grace of God and its power to transform even the most hardened hearts.

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Rediscovering Faith in a Culture of Chaos

Dr. Os Guinness shares deep insights into the current chaos in the United States in what is a cultural revolution. He inspires believers to be agents of justice and compassion, offering solutions for the restoration of true freedom, which leads to peace and order in society.

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Listening to the Heart of Your Kids

Becky Harling offers practical ways you can intentionally listen to your child. From learning to give her a voice to the importance of non-verbal communication to teaching him how to make wise decisions, you’ll see how listening is one of the most important components of parenting.

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Affair-Proof Your Marriage (Part 1 of 2)

Pastor Dave Carder offers couples practical advice for protecting their marriages from adultery in a discussion based on his book Anatomy of an Affair: How Affairs, Attractions, and Addictions Develop, and How to Guard Your Marriage Against Them. (Part 1 of 2)

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Affair-Proof Your Marriage (Part 2 of 2)

Pastor Dave Carder offers couples practical advice for protecting their marriages from adultery in a discussion based on his book Anatomy of an Affair: How Affairs, Attractions, and Addictions Develop, and How to Guard Your Marriage Against Them. (Part 2 of 2)

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

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

Navigating a Toxic Culture with Your Daughter - Part 2

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

Mrs. Meg Meeker

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

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

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

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

Cherishing Your Spouse Every Day

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

Mr. Gary Thomas

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

cherish front cover

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

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

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Newest Release - Episode 2: Heroes Providing Hope

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

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

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

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Newest Release - Episode 4: Sometimes the Choice is Hard

Hear real life stories of parents who have made the decision to choose life even though the circumstances were overwhelming. You’ll see why “ALL” life is precious to God and why choosing life is always the right decision!

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

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

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Newest Release - Episode 3: The Power of a Picture

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Newest Release - Episode 6: Families Helping Families!

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

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

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

Praying Scripture Over Your Child’s Life - Part 2

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

Headshot of Focus on the Family broadcast guest Jodie Berndt

Jodie Berndt

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

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

Praying the Scriptures Over Your Children

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

Effective Habits to Embrace in Parenting

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

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

Dr. Randy Schroeder

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

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

Simple Habits for Effective Parenting

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

The Spiritual Battle for Your Marriage

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

Tim and Noreen Muehlhoff Cropped

Dr. Tim and Mrs. Noreen Muehlhoff

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

Defending Your Marriage

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

Reigniting Your Passion for Jesus - Part 1

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

Headshot photo of author Kim Meeder

Kim Meeder

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

Revival Rising

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

Reigniting Your Passion for Jesus - Part 2

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

Headshot photo of author Kim Meeder

Kim Meeder

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

Revival Rising

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

Mothers and Sons: Being a Godly Influence - Part 2

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

Headshot of Rhonda Stoppe

Rhonda Stoppe

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

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

Moms Raising Sons to Be Men

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

Identifying Triggers in Your Marriage - Part 2

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

Headshot of Guy and Amber Lia

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Author Debra Fileta in the Focus on the Family broadcast studio

Mrs. Debra Fileta

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

Are You Really Okay?

Are You Really OK: Getting Real About Who You Are

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

Embracing Your Role as a Spouse

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

Headshot of Kevin Thompson

Pastor Kevin Thompson

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

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

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

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

Sharing Your Faith with Grace and Purpose

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

Mr. Greg Koukl

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

Tactics front cover

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

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

Loving Your Spouse Through the Seasons of Marriage - Part 1

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

Author Debra Fileta in the Focus on the Family broadcast studio

Debra Fileta

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

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

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

How a Former Abortion Doctor Became Pro-Life

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

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

Mrs. Patti Giebink

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

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

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

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

Giving up Sugar, Tasting God's Goodness

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

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

Mrs. Wendy Speake

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dr. Kevin Leman

Dr. Kevin Leman

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

Bundle of Why Your Kids Misbehave

Why Your Kids Misbehave and What to Do about It

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

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

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

Dr. Kevin Leman

Dr. Kevin Leman

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

Bundle of Why Your Kids Misbehave

Why Your Kids Misbehave and What to Do about It

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

Loving Your Spouse Through the Seasons of Marriage - Part 2

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

Author Debra Fileta in the Focus on the Family broadcast studio

Debra Fileta

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

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

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

Reconciling Faith and Science in a Medical Crisis

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

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

Dr. Lee Warren

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

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

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

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

Praying Scripture Over Your Child’s Life - Part 1

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

Headshot of Focus on the Family broadcast guest Jodie Berndt

Jodie Berndt

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

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

Praying the Scriptures Over Your Children

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

Mothers and Sons: Being a Godly Influence - Part 1

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

Headshot of Rhonda Stoppe

Rhonda Stoppe

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

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

Moms Raising Sons to Be Men

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

Identifying Triggers in Your Marriage Part 1

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

Headshot of Guy and Amber Lia

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Author Debra Fileta in the Focus on the Family broadcast studio

Mrs. Debra Fileta

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

Are You Really Okay?

Are You Really OK: Getting Real About Who You Are

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

Navigating a Toxic Culture with Your Daughter - Part 1

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

Mrs. Meg Meeker

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

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

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

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

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Newest Release - Episode 1: The Truth About Life!

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

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

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

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

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

Focus on the Family

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