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Focus on the Family Broadcast

Embracing the Various Seasons of Marriage (Part 1 of 2)

Embracing the Various Seasons of Marriage (Part 1 of 2)

Author Gary Chapman explains how couples go through four seasons of marriage – spring, summer, fall and winter and how couples can thrive through each of those seasons. (Part 1 of 2)
Original Air Date: September 20, 2016

Opening:

Teaser:

Dr. Gary Chapman: He said, “Dr. Chapman, we took that little quiz in the book” and he said, “I came out that we were in a spring marriage. And my wife came out we were in a winter marriage.” He said, “So, which is it?” (Laughter) I said, “You’re in a winter marriage.” (Laughter) If one of you thinks it’s winter, it’s winter.

End of Teaser

John Fuller:That’s Dr. Gary Chapman, giving some encouragement that whatever season of marriage you’re in, you can grow together as a couple and you’ll hear more from him on today’s “Focus on the Family” with your host, Focus president and author, Jim Daly and I’m John Fuller

Jim Daly: John, Dr. Chapman is one of our favorite guests here at the ministry and he offers such biblically sound advice and does it in such an honest and transparent way. We all connect with him and that’s what makes it wonderful.

And today, I think you’re really going to benefit from this conversation and learn, I think, some practical tools you can apply in your marriage today to make it stronger. And that’s why we exist here at Focus on the Family.

You know what? We want your marriage to not just survive, but to thrive and we’re gonna give you some of those suggestions on how to invest in your marriage today.

John: And you can connect with us and find trusted advice about growing together as a couple at www.focusonthefamily.com/radio.

Well, Dr. Chapman is the author of a number of best-selling books, including The 4 Seasons of Marriage: Secrets to a Lasting Marriage. And he and his wife, Karoline, live in North Carolina and they’ve got a lasting marriage of over 50 years.

Body:

Jim: Well, the proof is in the pudding, isn’t it? Gary, welcome back to the ministry.

Gary: Thank you. Good to be back with you guys.

Jim: Hey, when you look at that, what causes marriage to be in this perpetual transition of seasons that you talk about in your book? And you, of course, use the metaphor of winter and spring and summer and fall. Why are we like that in marriage?

Gary: I think because as humans, we are constantly changing. I mean, the winds are blowing different ways and things are happening in our lives and that’s why I say, you know, seasons change quickly, can change quickly. You can go from one season to another season.

But I really found this concept of using the seasons to describe the quality of the marriage. It’s not the idea you get married in spring and if you live long enough, you’ll get to winter. Not the idea (Laughter).

Jim: Yeah, you start in spring and end in winter.

Gary: Yeah, the seasons pretty much describe the quality of a marriage and if you can see where you are, which season you’re in, you can decide, “Hey, I’d rather go back to spring or summer,” you know, and that’s what we’re tryin’ to do with this.

Jim: Well, it’s important in that analogy that you use in your book The 4 Seasons of Marriage, you can be in all four seasons probably in a day.

Gary: Yeah, that’s possible. (Laughter) It’s possible, yes.

Jim: And let’s get to it with that in mind. I guess let’s start where it’s cold and frigid. There are some people that like winter sports. I enjoy skiing, but that’s not a good thing if you’re in the winter of your marriage. What does the winter of marriage look like?

Gary: Yeah, the winter season is cold. It’s harsh. It’s bitter. We are hunkered down in the igloo. We’re not talkin’ to each other or if we talk, we are arguing with each other. That’s a winter marriage. It’s not a place where you want to spend a lot of time.

Jim: When you look back, did you have a winter season in your marriage and how’d you get out of it?

Gary: Yes, our winter season came pretty early in our relationship.

Jim: (Laughing) So you started with winter.

Gary: Well, we were in spring before we got married. It was springtime when we were in love. But it wasn’t very long after the honeymoon that we began to come down and it got cold at our house. So, yeah, we went through a pretty long winter season there actually, when I knew nothing about winter or marriage. I just knew this was not the way it was supposed to be, not what I had hoped it was going to be.

Jim: You know, for the benefit of the listener, let’s go through them quickly and come back. I want—

Gary: Okay.

Jim: –to qualify a bit more with winter, but we talked a little about winter. Talk about the other three.

Gary: Okay. Spring of course, is an exciting time. It’s a lot of hope. It’s a lot of really enjoying the relationship.

Jim: That’s honeymoon time.

Gary: That’s honeymoon time, that’s right. But it can come later in marriage. You can be in spring and be married 50 years and it’s an exciting time.

Summer is relaxed. We’ve come to accept a lot of the things that were irritating in the early years. These are the people who go to marriage conferences and read books on marriage because they know that you have to water the flowers in the summer.

Jim: So, they’re investing.

Gary: Yeah, so they’re investing. It’s a good season to be in. And then the fall looks good on the outside, but the leaves are about to fall off. People would say about this marriage, “Aren’t they a nice couple?” But we know things aren’t really that well with us. And if we don’t do something, we will end up in winter.” So, the fall looks good on the outside to everyone else, but we have apprehension inside. We have questions in our minds about where this thing is going. And so, those are the four seasons and the quality of marriage that they describe.

Jim: And again, you’re gonna move through these sometimes at a rapid pace, sometimes maybe you will be stuck for a long period of time, maybe even years. Movin’ back now to winter, now that we have the definition of winter, spring, summer and fall, that couple that has felt stuck in the winter season. I mean, the igloo, the ice, the recriminations, the “It’s your fault; not my fault. I’m wonderful.” How do they begin to thaw?

Gary: Yeah. Well, you know, I think and really the heart of the book is, we give these seven strategies for improving relationships, for spending more time in spring and summer. But I think one of the first things if you’re in a winter marriage is that we have to deal effectively with our failures. We have to head-on recognize that we have created this winter ourselves.

Jim: How has that been done?

Gary: I think often it’s been done by just simply neglecting each other. We just have not spent time with each other. We’ve gone our own ways. We’ve done our own things. We’ve kept our distance from each other. And we haven’t resolved our conflicts and so, we find ourselves in a very uncomfortable relationship.

Jim: Well, what about the couple, Dr. Chapman, that’s sitting in your office for counseling and they’re both kind of in agreement. “Well, you know, Dr. Chapman, life is busy. I’ve got this vocation. I’m an executive. I’ve got a lot of demands on me. I travel 200 days a year. And the wife’s saying, ‘Well, yeah, I’ve got the young kids. They’re the most important thing in my life.’” And they’re kinda rationalizing the drift. Is that typical?

Gary: It is typical and one of the things I would seek to say to that man would be, you know, “You’re probably a great businessman or a salesman or whatever and you’re probably doin’ a great job with that. And chances are, if you continue on the route you’re on, you’re gonna make it to the top. But I want to ask you a question. Do you want to be at the top alone? Because there’s a good chance if you continue to focus on your vocation the way you’re focusing on it now and neglecting the relationship, you will be alone.”

And most guys, it’s kinda sobering to them to think, “Ooh, yeah, okay.” And I say to that wife, you know, “You’re doing a great job very likely with these children. You’re investing in their lives. It’s a wonderful thing to be a good mother. But those children in 18 years are gonna be gone. And if you don’t do somethin’ to change this marital relationship here, you’re gonna be alone also. Your kids are gonna be off in college. You’re gonna be home alone and then what are you gonna do?”

Jim: Yeah.

Let’s do something now when you can do it. Now’s the time to do something.

Jim: You know, in that context, you know, we tend to think in what some will be critical, in stereotypical ways, a lot of women are working outside of the home now.

Gary: Yes.

Jim: And they’re doing both the vocational thing, so they could be sitting in that meeting saying, “Yeah, I’m just really busy. I got all the demands of work on me. Then I get home and although we share some of those things, I still feel kinda that stereotype burden that I’m the one responsible for the home, for the shopping, for the kids, even though my husband helps. But I’m still kinda the one.” Speak to her and all the activity that’s goin’ on in her life.

Gary: Yeah, well, I think that is very common in today’s world, that a wife does have a full-time job and working with the children and tryin’ to do somethin’ maybe to keep the marriage together. And what I would say is this. You know, when we get to the end of the journey and I think of that often, because I’m getting closer to the end—

Jim: Right.

Gary: –of the journey and you look back, the things that really matter are relationships. And yes, the relationships with your children are extremely important, but your marriage relationship is also extremely important.

The vocation seems important at the moment and yes, it’s bringing in money so that you can have some of the pleasures of life. But when you look back ultimately, it’s not the vocation you’re gonna remember and think and feel good about. It’s gonna be the relationships that you either feel good about or you deeply regret. Let’s live so we don’t have regrets when we get to the end of the journey.

Jim: Hm.

John: Well, I appreciate that perspective. I wonder if we can go back to you and Karolyn and what you said was a pretty early winter phase that y’all went through. How’d you get there? And what were some steps you took to get out of that so early in your relationship?

Gary: Well, we got there by arguing, because that’s—

Jim: Seriously.

Gary: –essentially the way we handled conflicts. I had no idea how to handle conflicts before we got married. Never read a book on conflict resolution. Didn’t think we’d have any conflicts, because we were in love (Laughter). We didn’t have any conflicts when you’re in love.

Jim: And you’re so much alike.

Gary: (Laughing) And we’re so much alike. (Laughter) I found out we’re totally different.

Jim: Right.

Gary: So, we had a lot of conflicts and we ended up arguing with each other. And when you argue, you put the other person down. You communicate to them that their answer is stupid or whatever, you know. And it’s not a good [thing]; it creates winter.

And it took us a while to realize that, that was not working and I’ve shared with you on an earlier program how God worked in my heart to show me that rather than demanding things of my wife and thinking that I’m the leader and she’s supposed to do what I say, I got a biblical perspective on leadership.

Jesus said to His disciples after He washed their feet, I’m your leader and in My kingdom, this is the way you lead. You serve.” And that was a new concept for me. I thought the leader barked out orders. When I realized that God was asking me to serve my wife, I asked Him to change my heart because I didn’t have the heart to do that. And when He changed my heart, then I was willing to reach out to her and began to serve her and find that.

John: And what were a couple of the first things that she allowed you to serve her in–

Gary: Well, when I—

John: –to change?

Gary: –when I asked her, you know, what I could do to help her, she had ideas, you know and one would be to help around the house. I found out years later, of course I knew nothing about love languages in those days, but I found out years later, her love language was acts of service.

You know, I remember when I said to her probably six weeks into the marriage, I said, “Honey, the toilet’s dirty.” And she said, “I know. I was wondering when you were gonna clear it.” (Laughter) And I said, “I don’t know how to clean toilets.” And she said, “I’ll teach you.” You know, she wanted me to do things to help in our little apartment, you know. And I didn’t do any of those things because my mother did all that stuff.

So, you know, when I asked her what I could do to help her, she began telling me and so, really I was loving her. I wouldn’t have called it love at that juncture. I would’ve called it service, but I was loving her and she was beginning to feel differently toward me. And then once you get the love thing going, the service attitude toward each other going, then you can work through your conflicts much easier, because you’re not as nearly as demanding. You’re trying more to understand each other and then reach a resolution.

Jim: Yeah, you know, Gary, I constantly think about why in the marital relationship, we tend to be so and I’m gonna use the word (Chuckling) “stupid.”

Gary: Yeah.

Jim: And that’s the best way to describe it unfortunately. I can remember years ago, I was so frustrated. There was just a mound of (Chuckling) clothes on the ironing board. And I mean, it was like 3′ high. (Laughter) And I’m thinkin’, oh, what is goin’ on in here. And I know people are gonna go, “That’s horrible, Jim. Don’t do it.”

John: Hard-hearted—

Jim: “Don’t do it.”

John: –how could you? (Laughter)

Jim: So, Saturday rolled around and I was gonna do it and I huffed and I puffed and I pulled that ironing board out and that big mound of clothes and I threw the clothes into our chair in the living room and I set up that ironing board. And I began to press clothes for like eight hours (Laughing). I mean, I was like opening a laundromat. This is horrible. And I’m into it like halfway goin’, this may be one of the stupidest moves I’ve ever made. (Laughter) But you know, only through sheer desire to prove I’m right, I hung with it and I got it all done.

And to my amazement with my huffing and puffing and my poor attitude, even though I had done all the pressing, Jean was not that satisfied with me. (Laughter) Now and I’m thinkin’, hey, wait a minute. But it was the attitude—

Gary: Yeah.

Jim: –of the whole thing. And I’m sittin’ here thinkin’, why are we so stupid with so much of the conflict in marriage, that we’re not thinkin’ it through. If I wanted to do that, in hindsight, just keep your mouth quiet. Have a good attitude.

Gary: Yep.

Jim: Go in there. Get the ironing board. Get the laundry, voluminous as it was and start doin’ it.

Gary: Or to say beforehand, “Honey, would it be helpful to you if I ironed the clothes?”

Jim: Yes.

Gary: You know, so she can either say, “Oh, that’d be wonderful.”

Jim: Rather than making it a point of instruction—

Gary: Yeah, right.

Jim: –which isn’t a good way to go. (Laughter)

Gary: Right.

Jim: Did that happen to you, where these were points of instruction?

Gary: Yeah, well, I was always instructing her on what should be done. (Laughter) I mean, that’s what I thought about the toilet. Why have you waited so long. I mean, the toilet’s dirty. Can’t you see that? (Laughter) You know, and so, I was expecting her to do everything and instructing her that it should be done, rather than asking, you know, what can I do? What can I do? I mean, it’s the whole thing of questions instead of preaching. And when you start asking questions, you change the whole environment.

Jim: Well, that’s what Jesus did.

Gary: That’s what Jesus did. And then you let their answers guide you into how you can do something meaningful for them. And when a person is actually reaching out to you and tryin’ to help you, inside there’s something [that] happens in you and you want to reach out and help them.

Jim: Right.

Gary: It’s the whole thing that we love God because God first loved us. We didn’t come up with this idea of loving God. He loved us and sent His son. And then we respond to His love. And I believe that works the same way in marriage.

Jim: I’d only add that when you do it with a poor attitude, there are no brownie points. (Laughter) And I would not do it that way, so—

Gary: Right.

Jim: –that was just a miss. You’re listening to “Focus on the Family.” Today our guest is Gary Chapman. We’re talking about The 4 Seasons of Marriage: Secrets to a Lasting Marriage. And Gary, you’ve covered winter. One thing before we move out of winter and get a little defrost and move into spring, you mention there are some positive benefits in winter, which you know, most people right now are thinkin, what could be positive? Well, what is it?

Gary: Well, the big positive in being in a winter marriage is, it often motivates you to do something about it.

Jim: Ah.

Gary: When you’re cold and harsh and bitter, you realize, this is not good. This is not the kind of marriage we want to have. And so, often it will motivate you to read a book on marriage or to go to a marriage counselor or to go to a marriage conference or, you know, reach out in some way to do something to make it different. And that’s the positive thing about winter. Not much else is positive about it.

Jim: Right.

Gary: But it can be motivator.

Jim: So, it pushes you into another season which there’s only one way and that’s up, isn’t it?

Gary: Yeah. (Laughter)

Jim: It’s right. Well, I can relate to that here in Colorado. I love when spring comes, ’cause winter just lasts forever here. Let’s move to spring. You touched on it, but tell us again, spring and what that’s about.

Gary: Well, spring is an exciting time. You have visions. You have dreams. You have hopes. You anticipate things you’re going to do together. And almost everyone starts their marriage in spring. When you’re in love, it is a spring season. And so, you’re anticipating all these wonderful things in spring. And that’s good. Typically people don’t necessarily move quickly from winter to spring. It takes a while.

Jim: Yeah.

Gary: And one of the things that we just touched on is, you have to deal with your failures. There needs to come a point at which you say to the other person in your own words, “You know, honey, I realize I have let you down in a lot of ways.” Or “I have been harsh to you,” or whatever. You describe. You’re tryin’ to describe what you sense you’ve done to them. “And I realize, I’ve just taken the joy out of your life and I don’t have any joy either. And I know that a part of this is my fault and I just want to tell you I’m sorry and I want to ask, I hope you can forgive me and I hope we can have a new start.”

And when either one of you takes that approach and you reach out to tear the walls down that have developed between the two of you, you can almost feel the ice melting, you know and it begins to get warmer. And then you start doing positive things and the love language thing, of course, would be a positive thing. Learn how to speak their love language and speaking that love language.

And now it’s getting really much warmer, because we’ve dealt with the past failures and now we’re starting to do things differently than what we’ve done before.

Jim: Gary, when you talk about the love languages, you know, it’s been a while since we’ve touched on those. Give us the five again and I honestly don’t know which one is me. I know that I’ve taken that test. I’ve read the book. My kids knew right away what they were and they can’t even answer what I am, so maybe we could work that out. (Laughter)

Gary: Okay.

John: Personal counseling (Laughter) for Jim Daly.

Jim: Right here. (Laughter) I don’t know. I love ’em all.

Gary: Yeah, well, the five love languages are words of affirmation, using words to affirm the other person, “You look nice in that outfit.” “Appreciate what you did.” Gifts, universal to give gifts as an expression of love. The gift says they were thinkin’ about me. And then there [are] acts of service, cleaning the toilet. Doing the ironing.

Jim: That might be mine, cleaning the garage. (Laughter) It always comes around (Laughter) to the garage.

Gary: Acts of service, doing something you know they would like for you to do. Quality time, giving them your undivided attention, extended conversations. And then, physical touch. And typically out of the five, everybody except Jim has a primary love language. (Laughter)

Jim: I’m the outlier; there we go. (Laughter)

John: I keep telling you, it’s physical touch.

Jim: John keeps huggin’ me (Laughter) and I’m tellin’ him, that’s not my language.

Gary:Here’s another approach for you, Jim. When you get alone, sit down and say, “If I had to give up one of these from my wife, which one would I give up first?”

Jim: Huh, okay.

Gary: And so, you’ve eliminated one. You’re down to four.

Jim: Yeah.

Gary: Now which one would I give up?

Jim: Can I ask you this in that context. Do you think some of that love language and you wrote the book literally, is some of that learned in childhood. I mean, I’m thinking of acts of service and I’m serious. You know, for me, things being in order, things being tidy, it’s what I like.

Gary: Yeah.

Jim: It gives me a sense of peace, partly because I had a really bad stepfather who made it a kind of a military approach to a clean house. I mean, my closet is reasonably in order. And I don’t know if that’s what I learned as a 9-year-old from him.

Gary: Yeah.

Jim: It could be though, right?

Gary: Yeah, I don’t know whether it’s nature or nurture. I’m often asked that question, you know, are you born with a love language or does it develop because of things that happened in the early years. And I don’t know the answer to that. It’s like a lot of other personality traits, you know, that we—

Jim: Sure.

Gary: –we don’t know. But I do know that you can pick out on a child’s love language by the time they’re about 5-years-old–

Jim: Yeah.

Gary: –just by observing how they respond to you.

John: And part of this is how we ourselves express love, isn’t it?

Gary: Well, we often express love in the way we would like to receive love, not always, but many of us are speaking what we want to hear. So, I gave my wife, for example, words of affirmation, you know. I told her how nice she looked and so forth, because that’s my love language. But that wasn’t her love language. Her love language was acts of service. I didn’t know any of this, you know.

So, even though I said positive words, in her mind, if I really loved her, I would’ve been doin’ some of these things. So, in her mind, I didn’t love her. These words were cheap to her.

Jim: That’s how she interpreted it.

Gary: Yeah, that’s how she interpreted.

Jim: That’s fascinating. Would you say there’s a correlation, getting back to the seasons, which is what we’re concentrating—

Gary: Yeah.

Jim: –on today, if you’re doing the love language well, you can probably stay in spring and summer—

Gary:Yeah.

Jim: –more likely in your marriage.

Gary: Yeah. If you’re loving each other and doing it on a regular basis in the right love language and if you’re dealing with your conflicts in a positive way and solving them, rather than tryin’ to argue about them and win the argument, then yeah, you’re gonna spend more time in spring and summer.

Jim: Now you said that for spring, that typically identifies the honeymoon period, the infatuation, the blind love.

Gary: Yeah.

Jim: But you said and I want to dig into it, that a couple can come back to that season of life throughout their marriage. You don’t have to see that as only the first couple of years.

Gary: Absolutely.

Jim: Now a lot of people are hearing this going, “Oh, no way. I just don’t believe it–”

John: We’re way past it.

Jim: -“’cause I’m 15 years in and I haven’t felt springtime in our marriage since year one.”

Gary: Yeah, but springtime is often a time of new beginnings and you can have a new beginning at any juncture in your marriage.

Jim: Define a new beginning in that regard.

Gary:Well, when you acknowledge the past failures and you start looking for the positive things in the relationship, rather than the negative things in the relationship. And always there’s something positive in your spouse. I’ve never met a man [that] there wasn’t something good about him. Yeah, he’s a good whistler, you know. (Laughter)

Jim: That’s a pretty low bar. (Laughter)

John: I contribute.

Gary: Look for something. (Laughter)

Jim: Now you would pick something I can’t do. (Laughter) I’m a pathetic whistler. Thanks a lot. See, we’re lower than that.

John: Words of affirmation, that’s what you are. (Laughter) You’re a good man even though you can’t whistle, Jim.

Jim: There you go. I don’t believe it.

Gary: But here are some of the emotions that are in a spring marriage. It’s excitement; it’s hope. It’s warm. It’s tender feelings. It’s happiness. And the attitudes are anticipation. We’re gonna do some things differently now and optimism and gratitude. Gratitude’s big in the spring. You are lookin’ for the positive things. You’re expressing gratitude to each other.</s

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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!