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Focus on the Family Broadcast

Embracing God’s Desire for Your Marriage (Part 1 of 2)

Embracing God’s Desire for Your Marriage (Part 1 of 2)

In a discussion based on his book Sacred Marriage, Gary Thomas describes how God uses marriage to make us holy, not just happy. (Part 1 of 2)
Original Air Date: April 11, 2016

John Fuller: Someone said that one of the best wedding gifts God gave you was a full-length mirror called your spouse and had there been a card attached, it would’ve said, “Here’s to helping you discover what you’re really like.” Some of us may want to send that gift back, but there is a nugget of wisdom in that quote and we’re gonna take a look in the mirror, so to speak, on today’s Focus on the Family with Jim Daly.

Jim Daly: John, I think one of the reasons marriages are failing so quickly today is that we often don’t like what we see in the mirror. But then we blame the mirror, don’t we?

John: Hmm.

Jim: And that’s really blaming God or blaming our spouse for what the reflection there is, our inadequacies. Maybe you’ve mistakenly embraced marriage for your personal happiness and I’m telling you, the longer I live, the more I see God in His purposes in marriage and I’m very excited to talk to our special guest today about the nature of marriage.

John: And our guest is Gary Thomas, who’s been here before, He is a best-selling author and one of his books is called Sacred Marriage. That’s what we’re gonna dive into today. Gary and his wife, Lisa, have three grown children and they live in Houston, Texas.

Jim: Hey, Gary, welcome back to Focus on the Family.

Mr. Gary Thomas: Thank you, Jim.

Jim: Let me – let me start there with that broader question, which is, as I said, the longer I live, the more that statement by Paul rings true, that you could see God in the nature God created. And it’s very simple. I mean, when you look at marriage, maybe it’s not about us. Maybe it’s about becoming more like Him and how does He do that in marriage?

Gary: I believe in every aspect of marriage, there’s the invitation to become more like Christ. The problem is that we have to accept that as one of the purposes of marriage. I got married for an entirely opposite reasons. I wanted somebody to love me. I wanted somebody to appreciate me. I wanted somebody to occasionally serve me. I’m embarrassed to say that. And it wasn’t until I really began to understand that marriage is about becoming, that I really began to get a feel for why God created marriage and what it could do. We don’t have this sense that we’re becoming someone. We have this sense that we want someone to be there for us. We don’t even have the sense that we need to become something we’re not. In fact, we kinda define love as, you’re supposed to accept me as I am and appreciate me as I am and respect me as I am. And so, we lose that whole emphasis that marriage can call us to become someone else, more importantly, call us to become more like Jesus Christ.

Jim: Well, and that’s the point. Can you give me a practical example, ‘cause I understand kinda, sorta what you’re talking about, to become something else than you are today.

Gary: Yeah.

Jim: So, in my marriage. How would that apply for me? What would I be becoming in a healthy sense?

Gary: Let me give an example right after 9/11. They shut down the airports, we all know, for several days and I started traveling again. But when they reopened the airports, it was an entirely different experience when you were flying. It could be in the early days before TSA was up and running, it was, you know, hour and a half, sometimes two hours in security, practically strip-searched, trying to get through. And it’s one thing if you do that occasionally, but when you’re traveling just about every weekend and they’re going through it and they weren’t completely trained yet. And I don’t mean to be uncharitable, but it felt like you were dealing with a Keystone Cops sometimes, just ridiculous questions and whatnot. And I – I really started to get cynical. I started to get negative and I’d done this for several months and then my wife finally went on a trip with me. Our kids were much younger at the time and so, she didn’t travel with me as much. And after we went through it, she just kinda looked at me and said, “What has happened?” And I said, “What do you mean?” She goes, “Well, you’re cynical. You’re negative. You’re kinda rude.” She goes, “That – that’s not the person I’ve ever known you to be.” And I realized that an ugly situation was turning me into an ugly person. I was letting that situation stamp me into who I was. And here I was hopefully, going to churches, wanting to bring the – the light of Christ and acting like a son of Satan on my way to get there. And I realized, you know, that’s not who I want to be. That’s not what God would want of me. And so, that was an example where my wife could be that God-mirror to me, saying, “You know what? This is who I know you to be. This is how you’re acting here. What’s going on?” And I think there would’ve been a time in my marriage when I would’ve resented it. I might have even said defensively, “Well, if you’d had to go through the last few months like I have” and what not, but instead just accepting it as a call. “Gary, there’s some issues in your life that need to be addressed. Welcome it. This is your wife, your sister in Christ saying, ‘I think you can do better in this area.’” Now if you resent the thought that you could do better in an area, you’ll resist that. But if you believe that I think Scripture calls us to become more and more like Christ, we can welcome those moments.

Jim: I’m back there with you, considering acting like the son of Satan. I mean that…

(LAUGHTER)

Jim: …That – but it’s true. If you lose your – your Christ-like character in some situations, and that’s probably exactly the spot where God wants to deal with you and try to get a handle on that, isn’t He?

Gary: Yeah and you know, and I think one of the funnier ones in Sacred Marriage that people have talked about is how I got married thinking I’m just this very easy-going guy…

Jim: (Laughter).

Gary: …Like back in junior high, I was voted “Most Polite.” I’m third of four kids. I’m not a Type A personality. Jim, you have all the skills that I lack. I wouldn’t want to run an organization. I don’t want to be in charge. I don’t want to be responsible for budgets or personnel or hire or fire or evaluate, all of that. I just feel like I’m out of my wheelhouse and I really admire those administrators that – that can do that. And so, I thought, you know, I’m just this laid-back kind of guy. I’m not easily irritable. And so, I was even voted that by my peers, and they got it. But then when you get married and you realize the silly things that really bug you.

Jim: Give us an example.

Gary: Well, for Lisa and I, it was ice cube trays.

Jim: (Laughter).

Gary: The family I grew up in…

John: Ice cube trays.

Gary: …Yeah. In the days before, believe it or not, automatic ice makers in your freezer, the family I grew up in, if you got out an ice cube, you’re supposed to refill the tray and put it back in the freezer, so the next person would have a nice full tray of ice cubes. And I’m convinced that’s the Biblical way to handle yourself in the kitchen.

Jim: I’m all with you.

Gary: My wife, unfortunately, grew up in a family where they’d run those things down to an ice chip, all right.

Jim: (Laughter).

Gary: If it – if there’s something you could scrape off with a knife that could conceivably be called “ice,” you weren’t morally obligated to refill the tray.

Jim: So, the last cube, the last man fills the…

Gary: Yeah.

Jim: …tray.

Gary: And I had a really bad habit back then. My wife has since cured me of it, but I had to have my daily Pepsi and I gotta tell you, if you’ve got one tiny little ice cube, the Pepsi wins every time and I hated drinking warm Pepsi.

(LAUGHTER)

Gary: And so, I had to deal with this frustration. How do I explain to my new bride how much of my happiness depends on having this nice full tray of ice cubes? And I just couldn’t get my point across. And so, one night she was speaking romantically to me and I thought, here’s my chance. She said…

Jim: No!

Gary: Yeah, I know.

Jim: No!

(LAUGHTER)

Gary: I was a young husband, Jim.

(LAUGHTER)

Jim: Pull up. Back off.

Gary: She said, “Gary, I’m gonna love you forever.” And I said, “Honey, I don’t need you to love me forever. I need you to love me for seven seconds.” She looked and she said, “What are you talking about?” I said, “I timed how long it takes to fill the ice cube trays…”

(LAUGHTER)

Gary: “…And to put ‘em in the freezer.” And that just, you know, we both kinda laughed at that. She goes, “Gary, we’re at that again, seriously, at this moment? Do you realize what’s going on?” And it really helped me to understand that, you know, there are these issues in my life that, you know, I’m – I’ve never dealt with – with some issues that some guy. I’ve never been drunk. I don’t use the language. I don’t really blow off the temper and embarrass Lisa that way. But you know what? I have my routines.

Jim: (Laughter).

Gary: And you step on my routines at your peril. And I had to realize, that’s not like Jesus. He said, He came not to be served, but to serve. And – and it’s not about everybody saying, “Gary, what makes you comfortable? What doesn’t put you out?” And so, it really shined a spotlight on an area that I was blind to. I’m more irritable than I thought in certain areas. They might not seem like morally significant areas, but those are the root issues that really can make people around us miserable and that don’t shine the light of Christ.

Jim: The ice-cube tray man. I like it. You got a new nickname. Hey, Gary, in your book, Sacred Marriage, which is a classic and you’ve updated it and as John, you said, it’s one of your wheelhouse books.

John: Yeah, we recommend this book a lot to folks.

Jim: Yeah. You make a comment. In fact, it’s the subtitle of the book where you ask what I think is the core question. It is “What if God designed marriage to make us holy, more than to make us happy?” And Gary, again, in my own relationship with Jean and the culture, in the Christian community, I’m not sure that we have a good handle on this one. It’s not about holiness. It is about my happiness and I don’t care.

Gary: Yeah, well, the book was first published in the year 2000, so it was written in the ‘90’s. And what I discovered at that time is that most Christian books were focused on how can you be happier in your marriage? How can you be more fulfilled in your marriage? How can you make your marriage more pleasant? And while I understand those concerns and I understand those desires, because I share all of them, I wanted to present this picture where God presents that holiness is the doorway to happiness. It’s that by pursuing holiness, that we arrive at happiness. And I’m finding with younger couples today, Jim, one of the challenges is that they just are shocked at how much work is involved in being a spouse and particularly, in being a parent.

Jim: Well, let me say “shocked” is one word. Are they overwhelmed and incapable of giving of themselves? Is that the core problem?

Gary: Absolutely. I feel like what happens if we don’t prepare people with this mind-set, it’s like taking soldiers straight from Wall Street or Main Street and putting them in the middle of a war zone without training them.

Jim: Yeah.

Gary: “What’s going on? I didn’t expect it.” And when we get married thinking, because I want to be fulfilled, because I want to be happy and then all of a sudden, we have a spouse that has demands on us and we have to learn to give way to them. And then we have kids that seem like nothing but demands early on in the years. And we’re just tired and all of a sudden, it’s like, how did I get lured into this? Not realizing that it’s one of the most glorious things. It helps us become men. It helps us become women. It helps us become who I think we want to be.

Jim: You know, when we – we look at it, today we do shy away from pain in our culture, almost in every way. We over-parent our kids to keep them safe. We don’t want them to even scratch their knee and we laugh about that a lot. We talk about it a lot here, John. But, um, it’s true, too, in this marriage category. We focus on ourselves and what our needs are as we’re doing premarital counseling, even going into the relationship. It’s not so much about the art of giving and learning to be patient, kind of the fruit of the Spirit, if we could be blunt.

Gary: Yeah.

Jim: Love, joy, peace, goodness, kindness, meekness, patience. Those aren’t the fruits that we develop. Why? What are we missing? Why are we so self-focused today in the culture and particularly in the Christian culture?

Gary: I’ve grown up on the Christian classics. Christian books that were written hundreds or sometimes thousands of years ago and that’s what informed my early books. I believe it’s what informed Sacred Marriage, just trying to explore how Christians have understood the faith through the centuries. And the one thing that I think is crystal clear is, that the ancients valued holiness, while we value our salvation.

John: Well, we’re hearing some pretty deep thoughts about the Christian life and about Christian marriage on today’s Focus on the Family with Jim Daly. I’m John Fuller and our guest is Gary Thomas and we’re talking about his classic book. It’s sold more than a half million copies. It’s called Sacred Marriage and as Jim noted, the subtitle is, What If God Designed Marriage to Make Us Holy More Than to Make Us Happy. And we’ve got the book and a CD or a download of this conversation at focusonthefamily.com/broadcast. And Gary, I appreciate that you’ve – earlier you alluded to this, but I think it’s important for us to hear, holiness is not exclusive from happiness, because if I’m in a marriage right now hearing you, I’m thinking, “Oh, great. I’m gonna be – I’m gonna choose to be unhappy, but holy.” That’s not what you’re saying, is it?

Gary: No, I really believe that holiness is the doorway to happiness. Holiness is what protects our happiness. When you have two people that are fighting over selfish things, and James talks about this, nobody can win. But when you’re really trying to pursue who you are in Christ, it can really help you, I believe, understand how to resolve some of the unresolvable conflicts of marriage.

John: And so, that includes ice cubes, right?

Gary: Yes.

John: So, fighting over ice cubes, there’s a holy way to do that?

Gary: Well, it’s not just wanting my wife to start filling the ice cube trays for me. It’s me seeing how I can be driven by certain silly routines and like I want you to live for my comfort. Well, if I coddle my selfishness, it’s like any other lust. It can’t be satisfied. If somebody’s a materialist, they’ll never have enough money. If somebody is selfish, they’ll never have enough stuff. If somebody just lusts for appreciation, they’ll never be appreciated enough. Sin can’t be satisfied. It needs to be crucified. And my marriage changed when I realized that marriage was a place where my sin could be crucified. It really comes down to this: we can choose to let sin tear apart our marriages or we can use our marriages to tear apart our sin.

Jim: You’ve gotta be really observant in that moment, Gary, to be able to do that, because again, as we started the program talking about looking into a mirror and how we see certain things. Maybe our spouse sees a different reflection, to be able to use your marriage to break down that sin nature in you is a very humble thing to go. And maybe that’s what’s lacking is humility.

How … give me a concrete example of how that worked with you and Lisa. How did you use your marriage to confront your sin?

Jim: Well, and Gary, I think a lot of guys hearing this, you’ve just kinda put a spear right through their heart, because we’re – we do live in that place where we can bifurcate those two worlds. We have a home world and we have a work world and it’s hard sometimes for us to come home and immediately engage our spouse and have a meaningful conversation about spilled milk, because we’re just not dialed in that way. Did you have a way to remind yourself that this is about eternity, more so than the code I’m writing? How did you dial in to Lisa to say, “Wow, I’m hearing ya, hon.”?

Gary: Well, when I was a younger husband and I would face those issues, I always thought the problem was Lisa. And so, that’s our natural reaction, Jim. It’s my natural reaction. When I have those episodes with my wife, when I’m disappointed in my marriage, I think, “Man, what’s the matter with them?” And the Sacred Marriage approach was learning to ask first, “Okay, what’s the matter with me that I care so little about my kids, that I’m not willing to engage with my wife in this? Why do I blame her rather than myself?”

Jim: But Gary, sometimes you’re not even self-aware of that. I would assume this person that you’re describing, the code writer over the father in him, may not have even seen the deficiency. He might have thought he was an excellent father, that his kids will learn valuable work skills from him. (Laughing) I mean, you see the point. What I’m trying to say is, we could begin to justify whether we’re a mom or a dad, we can justify our behavior in so many ways. And in it itself, that’s the non-recognition of that sin in your life, right?

Gary: Absolutely and that’s the whole point of the subtitle, What If God Designed Marriage to Make Us Holy More Than to Make Us Happy? When we keep that in mind, then we’re led to ask that question. Otherwise, if I’m not happy, why am I not happy? It must be my spouse’s fault. It’s an entirely different question to say, “I’m not holy. Why am I not holy?” Well, I’m not gonna – I mean I might try to blame your spouse, but a lot of it is realizing, I’m responding inappropriate way. The older I get, the more I see this, and you look at Colossians 3:12 and 13 and some other passages. What astonishes me about the New Testament is that maturity in the Christian faith is largely defined by how we treat the immaturity of others.

Jim: Hmm.

Gary: That my holiness is demonstrated by how well I put up with the “unholiness” or the lack of holiness that I see in others. It’s not just what I do or don’t do or what I avoid or don’t avoid. It’s how patient I am. How gentle I am. How understanding I am when others don’t display holiness. And you see that in the Christian classics, as well. In Sacred Marriage, I talk about the holy double standard, that the holier we get, according to the Christian classics, the harder we are on ourselves and the more gentle we are on others. The problem is, in most marriages, we excuse ourselves and we’re harder on our spouse.

Jim: That is so good and it’s so true. I don’t know why we do that as human beings. You actually made a statement that I want to repeat right here, because I think it fits so well. You said that behind every case of marital dissatisfaction lies unrepentant sin. I mean, that’s a big charge and a real mind-bender. So, okay, is that true if I think about Jean and myself, those areas where I’m dissatisfied, is there unrepentant sin in my heart? And the answer is yes. I mean, I would say that’s true. Do you have examples of that for you and Lisa?

Gary: So, here – here’s a classic case in point. Again, it goes back to my routines or whatnot. But when we lived back in Seattle, Washington, I actually lived north of that and Seattle has a place called Green Lake. It’s a very popular place for people to run and I loved running around Green Lake. There are just different places. And so often when I flew into Seattle and then drove up to Bellingham, I would stop at Green Lake and go for my run. But I’m still about 75 miles away, so I’d have to sit in wet, sweaty running clothes to…

Jim: (Laughter).

Gary: …till I got home, and I could shower. Well, it just so happens, my son became employed in Seattle with his new wife, had an apartment a block and a half away from Green Lake.

Jim: Perfect.

Gary: And I’m thinking, I can run around Green Lake and I get to take a shower before I go home. And I know this is so stupid to some people who are saying, “Gary, get a life.” But you know, you … you are who you are. And so, the first time we’re there at his apartment, we’re talking about what are you gonna do? And I said, “Yeah, but when am I gonna run?” And Lisa’s trying to set up afternoon plans with them. “Well, then we could do it …” “Yeah, but then how am I gonna get a run, if we … “

And Lisa just very gently, patiently, kindly said, “Gary, maybe getting in a run isn’t the most important thing this afternoon. Maybe you can run longer tomorrow, a little bit shorter today and everything will be okay.” And she did it in a way where I could say, “Gary, you’re obsessing again.” Again, Jesus came not to be served, but to serve. And I was saying, I want my family’s schedule to revolve around the fact I can finally run around Green Lake and get a shower immediately afterwards, ‘cause I know somebody who has a place right next to here. And it’s just letting that – instead of saying, “But I want to take the shower,” it’s just saying, “I see this marriage as a chance to grow in holiness. This isn’t the kind of person I want to be. So, Gary, just receive it and accept it.” And you know what? I did get my run in and in the glorious part of it, I actually got to run with my son and listeners of Focus on the Family will be happy. I actually ran into Les Parrott, had a great talk with…

Jim: (Laughter).

Gary: …Les Parrott. So, it was a banner day. Of course, he lives just by there, so …

Jim: You can use his shower. (Laughter)

Gary: Well …

Jim: Except he won’t let you.

Gary: I didn’t know him that well at the time. I bet I could now, but back then I, uh – I don’t know that I would’ve done that.

Jim: Hey, Gary, let me give you a couple of examples though or a couple of subject topics that will be a little more difficult. You know, here at Focus on the Family, when there’s marital strife and people are writing us and calling us or calling our counseling department, it’ll be around the area of intimacy in their marriage or finances in their marriage. How would this apply in that regard?

Let’s say you have a couple that you know, he’s spending money out of control. She’s the saver and it’s – it’s a more serious issue. They’ve not accumulated 20,000 worth of debt. She can’t seem to get his attention on this. How does this apply in that context?

Gary: That’s a classic case, where it’s our sin that makes us miserable. If you don’t have your spending under control, you just inject stress and fear and uncertainty and worry into the rest of your family. You put your family’s future at risk. You put your family’s financial stability at risk. And so, being holy there doesn’t just mean putting up with it and pretending it’s not happening. It might mean praying for courage to confront and to persist and to help your spouse realize, this can’t go on. It’s not just about you. There are real issues here that we have to address. And – and so, holiness appeals to who Christ is. Christ confronted people. Christ comforted people. Christ would convict people. Christ would heal people. So, holiness doesn’t just mean putting up with our spouse’s holiness. Some of us and I think I kinda fall into this, are more of a people pleaser. If I want to be holier, sometimes I have to confront more. I have to speak up more and that would be a classic case in point, where you need to do that for the same of your family, saying, “This can’t go on.”

Jim: Gary, that sounds again theoretically, uh, the right thing to do, um, the correct thing to do. But how vulnerable are we to say to our spouses, “Hey, let me know when I’m living in sin?” I mean, we don’t normally sit down and talk to each other that way. We should, ‘cause this is our helpmate. This is our number one relationship in our life. But to say to our spouse, “Hey, point out where all my errors are,” that could be really kinda dangerous.

Gary: But it’s what we’re called to be, because we’re not just husband and wife. We’re brother and sister in Christ. Paul tells husbands, “Love your wives as Christ loved the church, who gave Himself up for her and died, to make her holy.” And so, part of love is helping somebody become more like Christ.  And I think what we all need to do is look at James 3:2, when James said, “We all stumble in many ways.” We all stumble in many ways and James had a unique perspective, growing up as the brother of Jesus Christ…

Jim: (Laughter).

Gary: …With a completely perfect Person. You can imagine what that would do to…

Jim: A bit of pressure.

Gary: …Sibling rivalry.

Jim: (Laughter).

Gary: But – but you see, he compared himself to Jesus. We compare ourselves to the worst husbands we can find. Wives compare themselves to the worst wives they can find and say, “Look, I’m doing far better than average, so now it’s your time to step up.” But if we had the attitude of James, that “Look, when I compare myself to Jesus, the best of us, on our best day, stumble in many ways” then we’ll deal with our stuff, too. So, I’m not saying don’t deal with your spouse’s stuff. What I am saying is, don’t stop dealing with your stuff, too.

Jim: Well, and you’re really emphasizing that great Scripture in Matthew that we typically apply to our neighbor or the external world, which says, get the log out of your own eye before you get the speck out of your spouse’s. Let me just put in that context and that’s really what you‘re saying. Work on your things that you need to improve. And really when you do that, Gary, your marriage will improve, because you’ll have the right attitude.

Gary: Don’t underestimate the power of positive example. And when you have two spouses that are seeking to grow in holiness, it really does become geometric. You inspire each other. You lift each other up. Now often someone will say, “But – but Gary, my spouse is never gonna be there. I’m not even sure they’re a Christian.” I believe the presence of Christ and the example of Christ is so strong, that even if only one person is doing this, they’re injecting the gentleness of Christ, the hope of Christ, the courage of Christ, the kindness of Christ, the unselfishness of Christ, the service of Christ. It’s still gonna make the marriage better. I’m not gonna say it’s the same as if two people are doing it, but it’s still gonna be much better than it would’ve been if one is pursuing that earnestly.

Jim: Well, so true and, you know what, when we talk about marriage and marriage as a policy issue, if we want to change the culture, Christian marriages need to be stronger to be a good witness to everyone. Gary, I’ve got so many more questions. Can you come back next time and let’s delve in a little deeper on some of these great topics. I want to talk about the difference between a contract and a covenant and how that applies in marriage. Can you do it?

Gary: Ah, to be honest, I was hoping you’d ask.

Jim: (Laughter).

John: You know, it’s always so good to have Gary Thomas here with us at Focus on the Family. He has such a unique way of, uh, helping us see how God wants to use marriage to make us holy and to stretch us in our faith.

Jim: Well, and his message is convicting, and I realize just how human I am when it comes to marriage. Even after so many years of being with Jean, it’s a choice I have to make every day to focus on holiness over happiness in my own marriage. And, uh, you know what? Happiness does show up as a result of choosing holiness. Here at Focus on the Family we want your marriage to thrive and we know it’s not always easy because we live it, too. You’ve likely been tested like never before in recent months because of the pandemic. If your family has been hurt by unemployment, illness, isolation, or separation as a result of the pandemic, we are here for you. We will continue to pray for you and your family and hopefully provide you resources to help you in any way that we can.

John: Yeah, and we have caring, Christian counselor who will be happy to talk with you and pray with you and get you on a path toward healing.

Jim: And for marriages that are really needing help, we have our Hope Restored marriage intensives. We have three locations around the U.S., and they are doing such great work there to help husbands and wives, like you and like me, find hope for their marriages. This kind of ministry is not possible without your prayers and financial support. And we know the financial implications of the pandemic have reached many of you. Probably about 36 to 40 million of you. And at the same time, the growing need and decreased giving here at Focus has caused a bit of a shortfall in our own budget. And I just want to make you aware of that. If you’re able, we need your help. God has provided a way to overcome this shortfall thanks to, uh, some generous friends that have put up a matching opportunity. Which means whatever you give they’re gonna – they’re gonna match it. They’re gonna double it and we are grateful to them. And I see this as just a fun way of urging and spurring each other on to, uh, meet the mission that we have here at Focus.

John: And, please, donate today if you can. We’ll say thank you by sending a copy of Gary’s book, Sacred Marriage. And you’ll have the satisfaction of being able to go through the book or pass it along to somebody else and knowing that your gift has been doubled. Call today. 800, the letter A and the word FAMILY. That’s 800-232-6459. Or donate online at focusonthefamily.com/broadcast.

Jim: And, John, let me add, this is a great situation where a gift of any amount, you’ll get Gary’s wonderful book and then your gift is going to be doubled by some friends. I mean, this is a win-win-win.

John: Yeah.

Jim: So, I hope you take us up on this wonderful offer.

John: Do contact us today. Once more, that number. 800, the letter A and the word FAMILY. On behalf of Jim Daly and the entire team, thanks for joining us today for Focus on the Family. I’m John Fuller inviting you back as we continue the conversation with Gary Thomas and once again help you and your family thrive in Christ.

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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.

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Accepting Your Imperfect Life

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

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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)

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!