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Encouragement for the Single Life

Encouragement for the Single Life

Cheryl Martin encourages singles to view their singleness not as a mistake or a holding pattern until marriage, but as an opportunity to become the person God wants them to be. She also shares how to honor God in the dating process through the use of firm boundaries and an accountability partner.
Original Air Date: January 31, 2005

John Fuller: Well, if you’re single, it can be easy to get discouraged, especially if you’ve been single for a number of years. And today on Focus on the Family our guest, Cheryl Martin, has some great encouragement for you.

Excerpt:

Cheryl Martin:  And I reaffirmed in my heart just the other day, Lord, I trust that you’re going to give me your best, even if your best means a man or no man. You have to get to that point.

(Applause)

End of Excerpt

John: You’ll hear how Cheryl got to that point of trusting God on today’s episode of Focus on the Family. Your host is Focus president and author Jim Daly. And I’m John Fuller.

Jim Daly: John, we often hear from older singles in our audience saying, don’t forget about us. There’s a lot of us out here. Well, today we have inspiration for you. Whether you’re widowed, divorced, or never married, and Cheryl has a lot to say. So, we’ll get right to her message.

John: That’s right. Cheryl is a former national news anchor and she’s the host of the Excellent Living broadcast, and the Good News Anchor feature on YouTube. And she’s written an excellent book on this topic called First Class Single. And we’ve got copies at Focus on the Family.com/broadcast.

Well, here now is Cheryl Martin speaking at a women’s conference a number of years ago on Focus on the Family.

Cheryl: How many single women are in the audience this afternoon? [applause] Single, never been married, [applause] divorced or widowed. [applause]

If the truth were told you’re single not by choice, but by circumstances. You’re waiting for Mr. Right.  You thought you had found him but he didn’t get the memo. [laughter] It’s nothing wrong with this desire to be married.  God has wired us for relationship.  He put that vacuum there.

An article in Newsweek talked about “…there’s a betrayal not of the flesh or the heart because we are starving for emotional connections.”  That’s why you see the proliferation of on-line dating services, personal ads, this soul hunger.

So, if God has created this vacuum there is nothing wrong with the desire for marriage, what is a woman to do? This is a question I’ve asked myself many, many times over the years.  And as a Christ follower I began to say to the Lord, “Since I am not married I don’t want to endure my singleness I want to enjoy it.”  So, I began to think about this.  If I am single, I decided one day, “Lord, I want to be not just an average single, I’m your child.  I want to be first class. Because if you’re going to be a leading lady, God’s leading lady, you’ve got to follow his script of what a first-class single looks like.  I didn’t want to languish.

So as a result of studying His Word, going through my own life experiences and the experiences of others I came up with some principles. Many of the tips are practical. For example, don’t marry potential.  What do I mean by that?  You have to ask yourself if he never changes can I live with that?  You say he has potential but he’s 60 years old and hasn’t come forward yet? [murmuring] See we women like to work with a man, work with him, work with him.

Number two, you look at the signs and then you wonder.  He says he wants a job, [laughter] but every day he’s waking up at eleven o’clock in the morning. Wonder. Look at the sign and then wonder.  “He took me out to eat but he forgot his credit card and cash.” Wonder. That’s a sign. [murmuring] But I’m not going to deal with those points today.  But I am going to talk about five that I believe are critical for a woman to be not only single, but successful and satisfied.

This God’s leading lady who is single will first of all pursue God and not a guy. [applause] That soul hunger that I was talking about God specifically placed that, that vacuum that only he could fill. He wanted us to have a relationship with Him first before we have a healthy relationship with a man.  Many of us are getting it backwards.  We put God on the back burner when we meet a man and then we can’t handle what he’s dishing out.  We’re looking for him to fill that vacuum that only God could fill.  He wanted to present to a man a whole woman.  I’m not looking for my other half. [agreement]  It takes two whole eggs to make an omelet.  If one egg is rotten, you’ve got a rotten omelet.

First things first, that vacuum God put there is for Him.  He said, “Let me affirm you.  Let me make you whole.”  He said, “You are fearfully and wonderfully made.”  In other words, you are a fine woman.  So, if you have allowed God to love on you, guess what, you won’t get so excited because a man told you you’re fine.  You already know that. [murmuring/ applause] You are not desperate, as if you’ve never gotten a compliment.  The God of the universe has already said, “You are fearfully and wonderfully made. I have crafted you exactly the way I want you.  But I want you first and foremost to be passionate about Me, your Creator.”  That’s why there are a lot of desperate clingy needy women looking for a man to fill that void and he can’t do it.

This was so important for women to be whole that when Jesus was here, as important as His mission was even though He had fed thousands of people, His heart went out to one needy woman in Samaria. Jesus said to her, “If you drink of Me, if you drink of Me you will never thirst again.” [applause] Drink of Me. Don’t have a surface relationship. The God we serve is a jealous God.  No one should occupy the top tier of our hearts but God. It said in the Old and New Testament, “You must love the Lord your God with all of your heart, with all of your soul, with all of your mind.”  All means all.

There have been times I’ve been needy in my life. That’s why I can recognize a needy woman from a mile off and so can a man. [murmuring]  It’s like you’ve got a big neon sign “Needy, Needy, Needy.”  I can recognize it. Desperate. Just so glad to be in a relationship.  I’ve been there. When I’ve been rejected in a relationship, I went on a blind date with a guy.  I got there and I knew if I had been in my right mind, [murmuring] my right mind. If I had been a whole woman it would have ended there.  I came home, I had a terrible headache.  I needed two aspirin.  I called my mother, told her what had happened. She was ready for two aspirin and to go to bed. [laughter] But did I stop the relationship there?  No. I went out with him a few more weeks.  Why?  He was affirming me, telling me things I hadn’t heard.  I had just come out of rejection.  And when I finally got the strength to get out of that relationship I asked the Lord as I always do, “What happened?  What went wrong with this picture?”  He said, “I’m glad you asked.  I was waiting.”  If you ask Him he will tell you. [agreement]  He said, “You were needy.”  Needy, he said, “Spend more time with Me and let Me affirm you.  I have no hidden agenda.  I will not use you.  Spend time drinking of Me and I will fill your cup.”

Number two, this God’s leading lady will recognize that her singleness is not a mistake or holding pattern, but a wonderful opportunity to be the successful woman God wants you to be.  This is a perfect opportunity for you to develop holistically.  God is a God of balance.  He wants us to develop educationally, socially, physically, and spiritually.  This is a time, if those dreams are there to work them, to get that degree.  If you can afford a house don’t wait on him. [murmuring] Live in the present recognizing it’s not a mistake.  “This is the time Lord I want to be all that you want me to be.”  You don’t have a lot of the distractions.  Wherever you are, be ALL there.  If you want to travel abroad this is the time to do it.  If you want to go back and get that masters degree this is the time to do it.

It is not a mistake.  And you know what I’ve discovered in reading the Word, the ultimate match maker, you look at some of the greatest matches in the book of the Bible, those women were busy working.  They were not at home watching TV eating Krispy Kreme donuts, depressed [murmuring/laughter] about their state.

Ruth could have been depressed.  A young poor widow living with her mother-in-law which was a widow.  They could have both had a pity party every day. But they had pursued God first.  Ruth was working and it just so happened her God led her to the field of a wealthy man.  I love this story.  She caught his eye. And we know the story but she was busy as a single. Not focusing on what she didn’t have, but what she did have.  How many of us moan we have a negative litany of what we don’t have rather than “I need to maximize this moment. God did not forget me.  There is something he wants to accomplish in me as a single.”

Rebecca the same thing.  What if she hadn’t been watering those camels but decided to sleep in that day?  She didn’t know that there was a divine connection with Abraham’s servant who was scouting for a wife for Isaac.  But she was working where she was. I’d hate to miss my package because I wasn’t doing what God had called me to do.

So, number two, it’s not a mistake or a holding pattern, but it’s a wonderful time to develop to be all that God wants you to do.

Number three, this first-class-single-God’s-leading-lady is going to honor him in her dating.  She’s going to set boundaries before she meets Mr. Right.  See you need to know what you’re about before you meet the man.  You need to know your boundaries.  You don’t let him set the boundaries.

See when the windows in the car getting fogged up is not the time to try and figure out how far you’re going to go. [laughter] You need to already know how far you’re going to go and this woman knows sex is off limits until “I do.” [applause]

Now I know society, if you watch to the music videos and listen to the love songs, it would imply that everybody’s “doing it.” But again, this woman — first rate, exceptional.  She understands that God would never ask her to disobey him to get the package that he has for her. Does that make any sense? [murmuring] See this woman understands that if God denies us something it’s for our good.

John: You’re listening to Cheryl Martin on Focus on the Family. And you can get her book called, First Class Single: Rules for Dating and Waiting God’s Way. It’s available for you when you make a donation of any amount to the ministry today. Uh, call 800, the letter A, and the word FAMILY. 800-232-6459. Or donate and request that book at focusonthefamily.com/broadcast.

Let’s go ahead and hear more, now, from Cheryl Martin.

Cheryl: I said number one you’re going to pursue God and not a guy.  Number two your singleness is not a mistake or a holding pattern.  Number three you’re going to honor God with your dating.

Number four, as God’s leading lady you will not be paralyzed by your past.  Maybe you’ve been a sexually active single.  Maybe you’ve had children out of wedlock.  Maybe you’ve had abortions.  Maybe you have been that other woman.  I’ve got some good news for you. And I’m excited about this news.  God still has a great plan for your life. [applause]

So if you’ve been paralyzed by your past, you can’t get over what you’ve done, how many children you have, God still has a plan for you because Jeremiah 1 says and I love this, “Before you were formed in your mother’s womb [applause] I knew you.”

Sometimes I just park right there and think about the awesomeness of God we serve.  He knew you before you were even conceived, but it doesn’t stop there.  He not only knew you he had already carted out your assignment.  He knew the mistakes.  He knew the blunders and he says, “My plans for you are good.”  I don’t care who has written you off, God has not written you off. [murmuring/ applause] That’s the good news.  God has not written you off.  Each day getting stronger, going to him saying, “Lord, make me a whole woman.  You have validated me.  I know who I am in you.”

And then finally number five. She trusts God to give her his best in his time.  She trusts God.  She says, “I am going to trust God that in his own timing he’s going to give me what he deems best.”  It may not be what I had in mind.  I didn’t want the script that I had, but has it been good for me?  Yes, it has humbled me. Made me more sensitive and caring and more Christ-like because I’ve been crushed.  The only thing I have to depend on is Jesus. [applause] See what a lot of us don’t understand, God doesn’t do anything without purpose.  There is a reason for it.  We have one agenda, God has another.  He said to me, “I’m fitting you for heaven.  Forget your reputation.  I use everything to conform you into my image.”  So, this woman waits on God. Take the limits off God.  It’s not our job to worry about how He’s going to do it.  “Lord I just trust you to give me your best.”  And he’s the ultimate matchmaker, but do you trust Him?  Do you really trust God with your dreams? With your deep longings?  Since He fashioned you, does He know what’s best for you, does He know you intricately?  I believe He can give us someone uniquely crafted for what He’s called us to do because it’s all about His purposes.

Purpose in your heart, if every single woman walked out of here, say, “Lord, maybe if I didn’t get it right, I haven’t gotten it right, but I want to be a first-class single, God’s leading lady as a single.” [applause] I’m going to do some re-prioritizing, pursue that relationship and say, “Lord, I’m not whole in this area.  Fill me up here.”  It’s okay

Purpose to honor him in your dating.  Say, “Lord, what is it that you want me to accomplish right now in my career?”  Have a plan.  “I’m going to be busy.”  These last couple of years have been the most gratifying years of my life.  I have been deliriously happy and full of joy. Excited. [applause] So I know this works!  I’m not giving you something that doesn’t work.  I tried it first before I brought it to you full of joy and excitement about what He’s doing.  Why the Scripture says he’s able to do exceedingly, abundantly above all we could ever ask or think.  Wonderful plans if we would just try Him and do it His way.

I re-affirmed my commitment to these principles again just the other day.  You have to remind yourself sometimes.  I says,  “Lord, I just want to re-affirm, I trust you no matter what it looks like, I trust.  What do I know about You? That You are trustworthy. That You cannot lie. That all of Your ways are right.”  And I re-affirmed in my heart just the other day,  “Lord I trust that you’re going to give me your best even if Your best means A Man or No Man.”  [crowd: all right] You have to get to that [applause]

“Marriage or singleness forever, whatever pleases you.” See I’d rather be single than to wish I were. [Much murmuring/applause] That’s a secret.

But I made that commitment, “I trust you.”  And I challenge you to join with me and to get other women that you can be accountable to who are on the same page.  We’re going to be first class together, sister to sister.  You can walk this journey with other women.  Not somebody saying, “Girl you’re going to do what?”  Find somebody of like mind.  Iron sharpens iron. [murmuring]  We’re going to hold each other accountable.  You can say to someone, “These are my boundaries, ask me after this date if I was true in my boundaries.”  That means you’re serious about it.  You’re not leaving yourself an out.  And if you do these five things I can guarantee that you will be ready for the next chapter of your life. God bless you.

(applause)

John:  I really appreciate Cheryl Martin’s heart and what a no-nonsense approach she has to dating. What a great presentation on Focus on the Family. And as she said a minute ago, the real question is, God, can I trust you in this?

Jim: Well, that’s it, John. We have to believe that God has a plan for each of our lives and we need to be faithful in our journey, regardless of how it plays out, married or single. You know, King Solomon was the wisest man who ever lived. And in Proverbs three, he says this: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways, acknowledge him and he will make your paths straight.” That’s a great life verse to highlight and memorize. And it’s our prayer that Cheryl’s words have brought some hope and encouragement to our single listeners today. And I highly recommend you get a copy of her book called First Class Single: Rules for Dating and Waiting God’s Way.

John: Yeah, one reviewer said she couldn’t put the book down and stayed up all night to finish it, which is pretty high praise.

Jim: Well, it sure is, John. And we’ll send that book to you for a donation of any amount. We just want to get it in your hands if you’re that single, or if you have a single friend who needs this content.

And let me remind you about our own outreach to singles called Boundless. It’s a website and podcast that encourages single adults to pursue God and not get caught in the cul de sac of waiting around for Mr. or Mrs. Right. Look for it when you visit our Web site.

John: I’m really grateful for the boundless team as well, Jim. They offer some great resources to encourage singles.

Jim:  I know people will benefit from it, John. You know, the holidays are just around the corner and they can really be difficult for families of all shapes and sizes, including singles who might feel left out. And this year, those challenges have been magnified by the pandemic, with more people experiencing isolation and often unemployment. But our daily broadcast is here to bring you and others hope every weekday, even in tumultuous times. In fact, we’re reaching over six million people each week with this encouraging content, and so many more people need that hope.

Please make a donation today if you can, so we can reach even more people for Christ. And right now, special friends of this ministry are offering to double your donation dollar for dollar so that your contribution will have twice the impact.

John:  And you can make your donation and request First Class Single by Cheryl Martin when you call 800-A-FAMILY. That’s 800-232-6459. Or donate online and request the book at focusonthefamily.com/broadcast.

And when you’re online with us, you’ll find a number of articles from our Boundless team to encourage you in your journey as a single adult.

And then next time, find out why some people drive you crazy and how to navigate those difficult relationships.

Excerpt:

Dr. Mike Bechtle: We tend to see things through our own lenses and we assume that we’re right because that’s what we see. I mean, if I really believe that I’m right, do I want your opinion?

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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.

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.

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 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!