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

Choose the amount you'd like to give.
$
Choose the amount you'd like to give.
$

Focus on the Family Broadcast

Cultivating Wise Tech Habits in Your Teen

Cultivating Wise Tech Habits in Your Teen

Jonathan McKee offers insight and practical suggestions to parents seeking to guide their teens toward smart management of their digital world in a discussion based on his book The Teen's Guide to Social Media and Mobile Devices: 21 Tips to Wise Posting in an Insecure World.
Original Air Date: August 8, 2018

Opening:

Excerpt:

Jonathan McKee: It’s so tough for young people today because there’s this measurement. They’re – they’re like a celebrity from 10 or 20 years ago that had to be careful every time they walked out of the house because every comment they made was judged, what they were wearing was judged. That’s all our kids today.

End of Excerpt

John Fuller: That’s Jonathan McKee. And he’s with us today on a Best of 2018 Focus on the Family broadcast. Thanks for listening. I’m John Fuller, and your host is Focus president Jim Daly.

Jim Daly: John, how much have your children delved into the social media world? I mean, you’ve got six kids.

John: We eased into when my oldest was 15 – that was 14 years ago. And so we’ve kind of held steady and said when you’re 14 and a half, you can get a Facebook account.

Jim: Fourteen and a half – that’s very exacting. Wow. How’d you get down to that?

John: I think that’s because that’s when Facebook started to grow in popularity and about the time that he started to get it. But I’ve had to manage six kids with all that. And so fortunately, five are adults, and they’re on their own.

Jim: You know, when I travel the country, this is one of the number one parenting issues that pops up, now…

John: It is, yeah.

Jim: …Is the whole social media, and what age do you start or let them do certain things? We’re going to talk about all that today because it’s a very important parenting strategy. And this is one of the key things Focus on the Family is here to equip you with is what is the healthiest, right thing to do. I don’t know if we’re going to land there today, but we’re going to give you some additional ideas on what to think about – things you probably haven’t even thought about yet. And that’s our goal, to equip you as a parent to do so much better. Today, Jonathan McKee is with us to do that. And he has some wonderful insights in his new book The Teen’s Guide to Social Media…and Mobile Devices.

John: Yeah. The book is available at focusonthefamily.com/broadcast, or call us and we’ll you more – 800, the letter A, and the word FAMILY. And while we’re really dialing into teens in technology, even, gosh…

Jim: Dialing – what does that mean? Dialing into…

(LAUGHTER)

John: That’s an old…

Jim: We’re already there.

John: I was just thinking, I saw a baby stroller the other day with a built-in tablet holder. And so even if you’ve got younger kids, this is something you got to start dealing with.

Jim: In case you’re jogging. Jonathan, welcome to the broadcast. We haven’t gotten you in here yet.

Body:

Jonathan: Hey, you know what? You guys are doing great. Glad to be here.

Jim: Hey, you are doing these workshops. You mentioned just last night you did one. What are you hearing from the parents? Is what I said there a moment ago accurate? Is this one of the key areas that parents are stressing out about, is social media?

Jonathan: Absolutely. And the questions they’re always asking is, you know, at what age?

Jim: That’s the number one question, right?

Jonathan: When do we give them the device? When do we allow them on this? And then if, you know, all their friends want Snapchat, Insta, you know, what do we say to this? You know, is it bad? Is it good? So yeah, these are the big questions they’re asking.

Jim: Well, before we get to the one, you know – what’s a good age – which we will in a moment, let me ask you the broader question about dads and moms, are we too concerned about this? Or is it harmful to kids? There’s been a lot coming out in the media recently about tech giants, leaders of the industry, saying they don’t let their kids do social media.

Jonathan: Yeah. That’s the thing. I mean, this is so new. I mean, when you look at the broader history of this thing, you know, I mean, really, smartphones didn’t even, come into the market till Steve Jobs stood on a stage in January of 2007 and said, “I’ve got an invention that’s going to change the world.” And his words proved to be prophetic. It was five years later, 2012, where America finally crossed that 50 percent mark of owning smartphones. And so it’s kind of been in the last five or six years that we’ve been, sadly, experimenting with this and kind of going, “Okay, what is this we’re carrying in our pocket, this powerful tool?” Our kids have started carrying it. We now live in a world where the average age that a kid gets a smartphone is 10.3 years old.

Jim: That’s the average…

Jonathan: That’s the average.

Jim: …so some people younger?

Jonathan: Yeah. Some, you know, less than that. So yeah, I mean, so what’s happening right now is everybody’s asking these questions because we’re now seeing an unprecedented rise in teen anxiety and depression – a 40 year high in teen girls suicide. So this is scary stuff. And every single person on every one of these reports is mentioning the smartphone, is mentioning social media because now there’s this little device in our pocket that actually says how many friends do you have, how much did people like that post.

Jim: And Jonathan, I need to ask that question, when you look at that data and that research, how much of it is directly linked to those devices? Or is it the whole onslaught of culture, the media culture, the entertainment culture, and then in addition to that, the phones and everything that kids have access to?

Jonathan: Well that’s the big question. And it’s funny because, you know, you’ll read 20 different articles about it. I have. And all of them will mention a smartphone. I think it would be a little, you know, presumptive to say it’s the smartphone. But it’s interesting, as you’re seeing all the pressure they’re facing – all those pressures now exist on this little device in their pocket. And isn’t it funny that all of these experts, including like you alluded to – I mean, remember back in – it was January 30th of this year earlier that all of those experts came together, wrote Zuckerberg a letter and said, “Hey, this whole Facebook messenger for kids, for age 6 through 12, is not a good idea.” And they asked him to remove that. I mean, experts are saying wait – and just so you know, I’m not a anti-phone guy. I think it’s great to get kids to learn how to use this phone before they exit the house. But giving it to our kids at 10 years old, slapping them on social media right away? No, not a good idea.

Jim: Let me – before we get to that age question, which we promised everybody we would – the hours on average, again, almost nine hours on average that young people, teens, are using their phones, is that common?

Jonathan: Common Sense Media had that survey. But that’s now actually a couple years old. Here’s the interesting thing. Last year alone, Nielsen reported that the average American listens to music four and a half hours a day. That was for 2017. That number went up 47 minutes since 2016. So in 2017, Americans listened to 47 more minutes per day than the year before. Now literally, experts are scratching their heads and going this is – we’ve never seen a jump of 47 minutes a day in one area. This is just one area, music, of entertainment media and technology.

So to have this kind of growth, most people are kind of just – they can only guess and project, but they’re saying now we have such ease of accessing this stuff because we carry around a device in our pocket that has these great new apps with all these new, you know, I mean, Spotify, you could follow a friend’s list and everything, so people are listening to more music. So those numbers of the nine hours a day are actually two years old. And I’m waiting for Common Sense Media to come out with a new survey because it’s going to be higher than nine hours a day.

Jim: That’s sad, isn’t it? So when we look at it, it’s really simply a tool. But the abuse of the tool is what we’re concerned about, especially as parents. How old are your kids now or?

Jonathan: Uh, my kids are now 20, 22 and 24.

Jim: So you’ve kind of gone through it. And – and I’ve got the teenagers. John, you’ve got 20 somethings and teenagers.

John: And a 14-year-old, yeah.

Jonathan: And a 14-year-old.

John: So I’m really anxious to hear what you’re going to be saying.

Jim: So when you look at it – let’s get to the age question – when is it a better time to say, “Okay, I want to empower you, I’m going to get you a phone?” For us, it was driving. Troy, you know, when they started driving, that was the time we wanted to get them a phone so they could do GPS. We’ve been really tight on social media. We disabled that capability on their smartphones. And you know, we’re easing that in. But that was our approach. And they’re in their later teens now. But what did you do?

Jonathan: Well, you know what, and that’s a huge question on when is the perfect age? And tons of experts have been asked that. As a matter of fact, Jim Steyer, the CEO of Common Sense Media, and he’s kind of the go-to guy if the government asks and everything, he was asked it and he gave the politically correct answer of, you know, each kid is different…

Jim: Well, that’s true.

Jonathan: …You know, and it’s true. You know? And they kind of pressed him and they’re like, what age? What age? So he started saying things like the later, the better.

Jim: Right.

Jonathan: But still, he wouldn’t give a number. They’re like, give me a number, you know…

Jim: Yeah.

Jonathan: …Because…

Jim: I think 40 should work.

Jonathan: Yeah, yeah, exactly.

(LAUGHTER)

Jonathan: So he’s saying the later, the better. But finally, they said, “Okay, what about you? You know, what about…

John: Right.

Jonathan: …Your kids?” And he goes, “When they were in high school.” So again, we’ve got all these experts. Here’s the CEO who comes and says to me, in high school – let me throw some no-brainer numbers out there. Because I know some people are saying, Jonathan, what number? What number? Well, first of all, bare minimum 13. But it really is one of those things where most people – again, we’re only five to six years into this – most people are starting to say, “Hey, the later, the better. Don’t hurry this up. Your kid doesn’t need to be the average kid – getting a smartphone at 10 years old.” You know?

Jim: Right.

Jonathan: They can – they can do without.

Jim: But it is a challenge. And you got to be up for the task as a parent…

Jonathan: Yeah.

Jim: …Because you’re – you know, to some degree, you’re going to have those discussions probably far more frequently than you want to. You know, “We’ve talked about this over and over again. It’s just not time yet.” Well, “Mom, Dad, when will it be time? You know…

Jonathan: And the pressure…

Jim: …I’m 14 now, and all my friends have it.”

Jonathan: Exactly, the pressure’s on.

Jim: Right.

Jonathan: And all my friends have the phone, right?

Jim: All my friends.

John: Yeah.

Jim: Every one of them. In fact, I’ve surveyed every teen in the U.S., and they all have ‘em but me.

(LAUGHTER)

Jonathan: They all…

Jim: I’m the only teen in the U.S.

Jonathan: Yeah, my kids always loved it when I’m like, “Oh, correction, actually, only 78 percent of your friends.”

(LAUGHTER)

And they’d be like, “Dad!”

Jim: They don’t want to hear the numbers.

John: But that’s a really big point. That’s something I’m dealing with all the time. It’s, “Dad, I’m the only one.” And then he’ll say something like, “You don’t know what it’s like to grow up without a smartphone.” It’s like…

(LAUGHTER)

John: …Well, actually, I do, but that’s a side argument.

Jim: Right.

John: But it really is hard to fit in if you don’t have that thing in your pocket.

Jonathan: It is. And that’s what makes it so tough with us as parents. But it’s also funny that, um, I just talked with a – a wellness expert who actually has counselors in the schools today working with young people. And when he was talking about the different stuff that’s going on and the pressures they’re facing, I asked him the same question you always hear, which is – I said, “Well, what’s the cure? How do we stop this?” And he’s all, “Give them time away from these devices. Get them away from these devices.” And it’s amazing that a lot of the experts are saying we need to get more face to face time, you know, because we live in a world right now where the average married person spends more time staring at a screen than they do in conversation with their spouse. So I mean, we’ve got to, you know, starting from us, Mom and Dad, be an example of this and have tech-free zones – this kind of stuff.

Jim: Well I’m glad you raised that question. You had a horrible story of a woman and her – I think a teen daughter – in Illinois, and their house caught on fire. What was the situation there?

Jonathan: Oh, yeah, that’s a crazy one. And that was – we’re talking about our obsession with the phones. And they actually escaped with their lives.

Jim: The house – their house was on fire.

Jonathan: House was on fire. And she realized, “My phone!” And she goes back in to get her phone.

Jim: This is the mom.

Jonathan: Yeah, and she didn’t make it out. And we have to just kind of ask ourselves, okay, what priority is this little device that, you know – come on, I mean, this is…

Jim: Well, and it doesn’t have to be that dramatic or tragic. I mean, I think it gets down to how – how important is it to you? And that’s where your ability to put it away at night, you know, when everybody comes home…

Jonathan: Yeah.

Jim: …Put them in a basket. Have dinner together. Talk. Socialize. Maybe catch up real quick. And then one of the things we have at our home is nobody – nobody takes it to the bedroom. It all stays down to recharge in the kitchen. And so…

Jonathan: Well…

Jim: …Nobody has their phone in their room.

Jonathan: …American Academy of Pediatrics has been making that recommendation since before phones. Back in 2010, they said remove all TVs, all Internet-connected devices from your bedrooms. Well, remember, it was 2012 where America crossed that line of where we all had these devices. And they stayed with it. They said no. No smartphones in a bedroom.

Jim: Jonathan, there’s always this debate between inoculation and separation and overdoing it. And what I mean by those three things is – obviously, inoculation is kind of introduction of these things in a slow way to help equip your child to manage them well. A lot of parents land there. How do I do that? You got to stay on top of it. You got to be informed. You got to maybe even employ some software apps that will help you see what your kids are looking at in order to monitor that. Other parents can be very, uh, non-involved. You know, they’re just not connected. My kids are going to grow up. He or she has to see these things. It’s part of the world they live in. As Christians, they’re going to have to understand how to manage them. But it’s kind of hands off. That’s the second one. And then that third one is absolutely not. You’re never going to have a phone under the roof of our home, and that’s it. When you go off, you become an adult, you can make those decisions. Talk about those three approaches – the pros and cons of all three – and where you feel, as an expert, a healthy place to land is.

Jonathan: Well, you just kind of named a – there is a huge study out there by this lady by the name of Alexandra Samuels. And she studied 10,000 North American families and how moms and dads interacted with their kids when it comes to, you know, social media and devices. Should we let our kids have them? And she basically came up with – she said, “I noticed three types of parents out there.”

Jim: Interesting.

Jonathan: Three types of parents. She said, “I saw the enablers.” And they’re the ones that basically said, let your kids do anything they want. And a lot of those parents who’ve done that look back and said, “Man, I wish I would’ve said no. I wish I would’ve – you know…”

Jim: Right.

John: Yeah.

Jonathan: So but the complete opposite was the – what she called the limiters. And it was the ones who definitely had all the spyware and all the rules and this and that. And this – again, this secular study, she said, “I don’t think that looked really good either because these parents are making so many decisions for their kids that their kids never learn to make decisions on their own.” So she noticed a third type of parent, and she called them media mentors. And I really like it because what she said is these parents didn’t have to have all the answers, but what they did is when, like, for instance, their daughter came up and says, “Hey, can I have Instagram?” The mom or dad would say, “I don’t know, let’s check it out together.” And they would have that conversation.

So that’s the big answer I can give you is we need to constantly engage our kids in conversation about these important things, which is why I wrote this book. Because here’s a tool we can use to talk with young people and say, “Hey, oh, you want to talk about Snapchat? Cool, let’s read the Snapchat chapter.” And then there’s discussion questions at the end of the chapter. Now, let’s dialogue about this ‘cause that’s the one thing everybody agrees on.

John: And the chapter is in the book The Teen’s Guide to Social Media…and Mobile Devices: 21 Tips to Wise Posting in an Insecure World. There’s a lot here, and it’s a great book for you and your family. We’ve got it at focusonthefamily.com/broadcast. We also have a downloadable PDF there, as well, about teens and tech. Now both of those resources, again, at focusonthefamily.com/broadcast.

Jim: Jonathan, I want to get into some practical helps.

Jonathan: Sure.

Jim: Because many of us are not that tech savvy. But, um, privacy settings, that seems to be a real critical aspect of phones and especially your teen’s phones as well. Describe what privacy settings are, why they’re important, how you use them when you’re downloading apps of all kinds. What does it do for us?

Jonathan: Well, you know, privacy setting seems like one of those boring topics. It’s the thing that when we get our phone for the first time, we just hit agree 27 times, right?

Jim: Right.

Jonathan: You know, because who cares? Who cares? Who cares? I don’t want to read all that stuff. But where it really becomes important to us as parents is if, you know, our 17-year-old daughter’s alone at a Starbucks at night, you know, studying. And all of sudden, she takes out her phone, takes a picture of her Starbucks cup and does a little posting, something like “late-night study session”. And she hits post right then. All the sudden, now, all those forms that we clicked through are very important because some of the things that come, you know, to mind right now, immediately, to me, are first of all, who can read what she just posted? Who actually sees that post? Two, did she use her location when she posted that post? And here’s why: you have the ability to post your location or not. And if your kid read that part of the privacy settings or not, you know, they could at Starbucks say, “I’m at this Starbucks,” which actually puts on a map exactly where they’re at. Now, if they haven’t thought about who their friends are, and they friended somebody across town at some other school but they’ve never met that friend face to face, they might think it’s some other 17-year-old at this school. But what they don’t realize is it might be this 44-year-old pedophile sittin’ in their basement watching that post come through right now. And now that pedophile knows exactly where she is. And when she walks out to her car, he could be right there in that parking lot. So this is where privacy settings really are important, because our kids need to think through, who are we friending? What am I posting? Am I my posting my location?

Jim: So if we haven’t paid attention to this, uh, should we – today or tomorrow or this weekend – should we sit down with our teenagers and say, “Let’s go through this together? This is not a – you know, an inquiry. But let’s make sure you’re as safe as you need to be.” Is that a good approach? Or how would you recommend that we open the dialogue and talk about these things we may have defaulted to, and we don’t even know the dangers that it’s opened up to us?

Jonathan: Yeah, great question to ask.

Jim: How do we go about doing that, as a parent?

Jonathan: Yeah. That’s why I spend an entire chapter on that, because I want young people to think through this. And the way I address them, and the way parents should address them, is probably the way I address young people in school assemblies when I talk about this. And I think it’s good to use stories. Because if I, at a school assembly, say, “Hey, everybody, pull out your phones, and let’s look at our privacy settings.” It’ll be like (imitating snoring) – you know, boring. But I just tell a story. I’ll tell a true story.

Like, I tell the story of, um, this creepy underwear guy. That’s literally what the cops called him. He was this guy who would wait in malls, and he’d wait in public places until people checked in. He would look at their posts. He would see what they posted. He would dig through their posts and wait until he saw one where this person posted something from their home. He would sneak into their home at night, break into their house – and by God’s grace, he didn’t ever mess with them – but he would steal their underwear. When the police finally caught him, this guy had a bunch of underwear he had collected. When I tell this story in a school assembly, you can see girls pull out their phones and start scrolling through their posts: “Did I post my location?” Because they’re scared of some creepy guy like this.

Jim: Yeah, and should be.

Jonathan: And they don’t want a guy like this in their bedroom. So by using this kind of story approach, you know – also, and I was able to talk about, “Hey, who are you friending? What locations are you posting?” And, yeah, we need to have these conversations.

Jim: How do you coach that teen girl or that teen boy on predatorial behavior in social media? What do you look for to identify somebody who is that creepy person that you don’t know? Somehow you befriended them. You don’t – maybe you don’t even know how. That happens. How do you identify, to the best of your – of your ability, somebody who isn’t appropriate?

Jonathan: Yeah. This is tough for us to be able to counsel them in this area. And the best way to help our kids through this is to make sure, again, what we talked about earlier, out of bonding and boundaries. Lot of parents sit there and think, “Oh, I’m going to protect my kids by jumping on the boundary side here and just blocking everything.” Here’s where bonding is so important. Because the better relationship we have with our kids, the more we’re gonna be able to open up dialogue about this and say, “Hey, here’s some of the warning signs.” If, you know, for example – and I – I talk about it in the book and tell them – you know, if people are asking questions about where do you live, you know, and, “Hey, will you send me a pic?”

Jim: What’s your address? What’s your phone number?

Jonathan: Yeah. And – and “send me a pic”, you know, and – and stuff, because – and sadly, lots of young men are asking to send pics as well. But predators very often will send a pic and then ask for, you know, someone to reciprocate. You know, “Now you send a pic.”

Jim: You know, so often, Jonathan, I could see this even in – with my parenting. You know, you want to have this good conversation. You start it. And they’re going, “Dad, come on. Come on, Dad. I mean, we already know this stuff.” And you’re going, “You do? Are you sure you do?” How do you know that, as a parent, you can have confidence that your teen girl or your teen boy – that they really do understand this, that they’re not just blowing it off because you’re the parent? “I don’t want to have this conversation, it’s kind of embarrassing.”

Jonathan: Well, it’s gotta be an ongoing conversation. And that’s why, as moms and dads, it’s good for us to just – you know, when we read an article in the paper, when we see something – it’s a good time not to lecture, but to, at dinnertime, at one of our no-tech zones – right? – to sit down and go, “Oh, check this out. Look what I just read here. Here’s the story of this young man who was, you know, gaming. And he met this guy, you know, who he thought was a friend. And the guy asked for his address. And next thing you know, he gave the address. And – and, look, it actually, you know, turned out to not be who it is. Hey, you know, do you think this kind of stuff happens? Do you think it happens to you?” You know, and start asking questions. Because the more they hear about this – that’s not their select topic. “Please, can I hear about these horror stories of the bad stuff that happened?” But if you…

Jim: It plants a seed of caution.

Jonathan: It does – it just – and – and when you tell these stories and then ask them, “Hey, what do you think? You know, do you think this could happen to you? Do you think this could happen to your friends? You know?” I always start with could it happen to your friends, because of course it couldn’t happen to me. But, “Oh, yeah. No, I got friends that they don’t pay attention to any of that.” It’s great to be able to, you know, dialogue with them. And – and that’s where a lot of parents use a tool like this book. Because if their kids are showing a lack of caution in that area, uh, a lot of parents are using a book like this as kind of like a phone contract. “Well, tell you what. When you’re done reading this chapter about privacy settings, when you’re done reading this chapter about who you’re friending, then you can have your phone back.”

Jim: Yeah. I like that idea. I don’t want to end without covering the bullying issue because that’s, uh, something you mentioned at the top of the program, the bullying that occurs on social media, just the – the grind of that. That you’re not pretty enough, you’re not manly enough, you’re different for whatever reason, and you get attacked for those differences. What can we do?

Jonathan: It’s such a huge issue. I mean, I’m writing a whole book on that right now just because it is so big, and it’s so common. And the sad thing is, uh, social media is just magnifying it, and it’s catalysting it to even something worse. Because, I mean, when we all went to school, when we were kids, there was bullies. There was people that said mean things. And I remember I had some pretty tough days, especially in middle school. But, you know, when we got to go home, there was this relief from 2:30 ‘til 7:30 the next morning, where a lot of us got to go home to someplace that’s safe. Young people today don’t have that. Because at 2:30, they enter a whole new world, this digital world where they have to measure up even more and where their friends are actually now represented by a number. And how many do you have? You can look right there and see and compare it to your other friends.

“Well, they have more friends than me. And – and your posts – oh, this one isn’t as liked as my other friend’s post.” So it’s so tough for young people today because there’s this measurement. They’re like a celebrity from 10 or 20 years ago that had to be careful every time they walked out of the house because every comment they made was judged, what they were wearing was judged. That’s all our kids today. They’re being judged all the time by this little device that’s being carried around in their pocket.

So we as moms and dads, you know, when I asked that wellness expert, you know, what can we do, again, his advice was, give them a break from this technology. Let them realize that, you know, their value is based way more than just this little device in their pocket. You know? And we need to, you know, not only build into our kids’ value, but we need to teach them that – to draw their value from more than just, you know, a little thumbs-up, just a like, a follow. Life is so much more than that. We need to prove that to them.

Closing:

John: That’ll bring this Best of 2018 Focus on the Family broadcast to a close. Our conversation with Jonathan McKee – very informative. And as a parent, I am so thankful for the tips that he offers in helping my teen find a good balance with screens and all that.

Jim: Yeah, Jonathan always brings such great insight, especially when it comes to managing technology and the influence it may have in your household. And really, this is what Focus on the Family is all about – to equip you, the parent, and that includes you and me, John, with the tools and resources that we all need to raise healthy, thriving families. And to strengthen that bond between you and your children with this kind of nuts and bolts information.

But you know, the truth is we can’t do it without you. And collectively, each of you are helping make these programs possible when you support the ministry.

John: Well, that’s right. When you regularly contribute to the work here, you’re allowing us to come alongside other families with answers to their questions and solutions to the struggles they’re facing. And it’s all through this daily broadcast.

Jim: Yeah, and in fact, John, we heard from one mom who said this – and this is the payback for everybody that supports and prays for Focus – here it is. She wrote, “As long as I can remember, our family has listened to Focus on the Family. As we grew up and moved out of the house, my dad would call us kids to tell us about a particular program. My parents have been blessed and encouraged by your programs. And now as a parent, I listen to the app every day. I’m just so thankful for the work you’re doing at Focus. Thank you for telling the truth and not backing down on the tough topics. In these days, it’s so refreshing to hear a message of hope, of help, and of truth. Keep fighting the battles and keep pursuing Jesus. I pray you will be thriving and even more impactful for my children as they grow up, too.”

John: I love that. And God has been so good to us over 40 years now – to Focus on the Family. This radio program has been reaching, now, generations.

Jim: And I hope you, our listener, will help us reach more people. We’re doing it together. And I hope you’re hearing that coming through the microphones. Also, we’re coming into a new year and a fresh start, but many people are experiencing difficult times. Families are torn apart by crisis. Couples are on the brink of divorce. People are facing grief or depression. And Focus on the Family, because of you, is there to help. Right now, your prayers and support of the ministry is more critical than ever before. We’re behind where we need to be and we’re hoping to raise 8 million dollars by December 31st. That’s the goal and that’s just 5 days away. Your year-end gift to Focus on the Family will allow us to continue ministering to families like yours through 2019. So please, give the gift of family this year.

And when you call us today, your gift will be doubled through a special matching challenge provided by a handful of generous friends. It’s such a great way of impacting more and more families. And as our way of saying thank you for supporting Focus on the Family, I wanna send you a copy of The Teen’s Guide to Social Media…and Mobile Devices by Jonathan McKee. 

John: And you can donate and learn more about that book, The Teen’s Guide to Social Media…and Mobile Devices, and our Best of 2018 CD-set or download when you call 800, the letter A, and the word FAMILY – or stop by focusonthefamily.com/broadcast.

Next time on this broadcast, Lucille Williams shares her journey from “me” thinking to “we” thinking in her marriage.

Teaser:

Lucille Williams: And I remember looking at these vomited clothes – clothes with…

Jim: Yeah, you’ve got it.

Lucille: I’m picking up these clothes with vomit all over them, and they’re sitting in the sink, and I’m trying to wash it out. And I stopped. And at 19, I looked down and I thought to myself, “This is marriage.”

End of Teaser

Today's Guests

The Teen's Guide to Social Media and Mobile Devices

Receive the book The Teen's Guide to Social Media and Mobile Devices for your donation of any amount. And today, your gift will be doubled thanks to a match!

Recent Episodes

Focus on the Family Broadcast logo

Raising Selfless Kids

Blogger Sami Cone offers parents practical advice for teaching their children to overcome selfishness in a discussion based on her book, Raising Uncommon Kids.

Focus on Parenting Podcast

Ways You Can Have Fun

As a parent, it’s good to have fun with your children. Even if you’re not the naturally, fun-loving type, John and Danny will give some ideas for how you can have a good time with your kids. Featuring Dr. Kevin Leman and Jean Daly.

Logo for Focus on the Family Marriage Podcast

The Intentional Marriage

Couples who go the distance don’t just drift into a successful relationship. Truth be told, it takes consistent effort to succeed in marriage. John, Erin and Greg share how you can stay intentional in striving for a great relationship with your spouse. Featuring Pastor Kevin Thompson.

You May Also Like

Focus on the Family Broadcast logo

A Legacy of Music and Trusting the Lord

Popular Christian vocalist Larnelle Harris reflects on his five-decade music career, sharing the valuable life lessons he’s learned about putting his family first, allowing God to redeem a troubled past, recognizing those who’ve sacrificed for his benefit, and faithfully adhering to biblical principles amidst all the opportunities that have come his way.

Focus on the Family Broadcast logo

Abortion Survivors Tell Their Stories (Part 1 of 2)

Our guests share their dramatic stories of surviving the attempts to end their lives while in their mother’s womb, providing a stark and undeniable counter argument to pro-abortionists who argue that a fetus is not a living human being. (Part 1 of 2)

Focus on the Family Broadcast logo

Abortion Survivors Tell Their Stories (Part 2 of 2)

Our guests share their dramatic stories of surviving the attempts to end their lives while in their mother’s womb, providing a stark and undeniable counter argument to pro-abortionists who argue that a fetus is not a living human being. (Part 2 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.

Play Video

Newest Release - Episode 2: Heroes Providing Hope

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

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

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

Play Video about see life episode 4 normal version

Newest Release - Episode 4: Sometimes the Choice is Hard

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

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

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

Play Video

Newest Release - Episode 3: The Power of a Picture

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

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

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

Play Video about see life episode 5 normal version

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

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

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

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

Play Video

Newest Release - Episode 6: Families Helping Families!

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

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

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

Praying Scripture Over Your Child’s Life - Part 2

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

Headshot of Focus on the Family broadcast guest Jodie Berndt

Jodie Berndt

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

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

Praying the Scriptures Over Your Children

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

Effective Habits to Embrace in Parenting

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

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

Dr. Randy Schroeder

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

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

Simple Habits for Effective Parenting

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

The Spiritual Battle for Your Marriage

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

Tim and Noreen Muehlhoff Cropped

Dr. Tim and Mrs. Noreen Muehlhoff

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

Defending Your Marriage

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

Reigniting Your Passion for Jesus - Part 1

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

Headshot photo of author Kim Meeder

Kim Meeder

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

Revival Rising

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

Reigniting Your Passion for Jesus - Part 2

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

Headshot photo of author Kim Meeder

Kim Meeder

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

Revival Rising

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

Mothers and Sons: Being a Godly Influence - Part 2

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

Headshot of Rhonda Stoppe

Rhonda Stoppe

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

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

Moms Raising Sons to Be Men

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

Identifying Triggers in Your Marriage - Part 2

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

Headshot of Guy and Amber Lia

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Author Debra Fileta in the Focus on the Family broadcast studio

Mrs. Debra Fileta

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

Are You Really Okay?

Are You Really OK: Getting Real About Who You Are

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

Embracing Your Role as a Spouse

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

Headshot of Kevin Thompson

Pastor Kevin Thompson

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

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

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

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

Sharing Your Faith with Grace and Purpose

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

Mr. Greg Koukl

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

Tactics front cover

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

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

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.

Play Video

Newest Release - Episode 1: The Truth About Life!

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

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

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

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

Thank you for submitting this form. You will hear from us soon.