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Ending the Pursuit of the Perfect Life (Part 2 of 2)

Ending the Pursuit of the Perfect Life (Part 2 of 2)

Authors Kathi Lipp and Cheri Gregory encourage women to stop striving for perfectionism and to cling to the truth that God accepts them for who they are, not what they do. (Part 2 of 2)

Original Air Date: November 18, 2014

Opening:

Excerpt:

Kathi Lipp: I had a daughter who said, “I miss you.” And I’m thinking, “How do you miss me? We live in the same house.” But she didn’t have the time with me, because I was working so hard to try to provide for her, to try to do the things that I thought were important to our family, you know. And I mean, it was simple as, “I have to clean the kitchen floor, otherwise nobody in the house is gonna be happy.” You know the only one who wasn’t happy when the kitchen floor was clean was me.

End of Excerpt

John Fuller: Well that’s a confession from Kathi Lipp. She has more to share, along with Cheri Gregory about letting go of expectations and perfectionism. And your host is Focus on the Family president Jim Daly. I’m John Fuller. 

Jim Daly: Last time, we started a great conversation on the four bullies and how they impact our relationships. They were one, perfectionism; two, people-pleasing; three, “performancism”; and four, procrastination. And we’re going to hear more about those today and how they try to knock us down and the reminder that God loves us for who we are, not for what we do. Just think of Martha and Mary. It’s that kind of trap. Here at Focus on the Family, we want to help you grow in your faith. We have so many resources to guide you if you’re struggling to find that better course for your life.

John: And certainly the website is a great starting point where you can get a CD or free instant download of this conversation with our guests, and their book, You Don’t Have to Try So Hard – focusonthefamily.com/radio, or call 800-232-6459.

Kathi and Cheri are both popular speakers, authors, and podcasters, and let’s go ahead and hear the second part of the conversation on Focus on the Family. 

Body:

Jim: Let me welcome both of you back.

Kathi: Thank you.

Cheri Gregory: Thanks, Jim.

Jim: We talked about the four bullies that women particularly, but it applies to men…

Cheri: It does.

Jim: …um, these four bullies that really pick on you each and every day. Um, I want to hear from your hearts about how these bullies operate, so give us the four again. We’ve got two more to cover, which we’ll do, but how they work in tandem to beat you down.

Kathi: Yeah, so we call the four bullies, they are perfectionism, “performancism,” procrastination and people-pleasing. And they do really work as a team. And both Cheri and I went into this project, which has been over a few years, thinking that we had primary bullies.

Cheri thought her primary bully was perfectionism, because she’s a perfectionist. And you know, that’s something she has to struggle with. For me, it was procrastination, because my mom’s motto in life was, “I work better under pressure.” And so, I grew up thinking that. But we both came to realize that we had underlying other bullies. And our biggest bully for both of us really was people-pleasing. And when we saw how all four of these work together and that when you take one down, it really affects all four, to take them…

Jim: It diminishes them all.

Kathi: It diminishes all of them. I get something in my brain about, I want something to go perfectly. I want – and what I’m doing there is usually because it’s people-pleasing or there’s performancism. I think about this Father’s Day a couple of years ago, where I told my husband, we were gonna have the perfect Father’s Day.

Now I know better than that, right? But we decide that we were going to go to Starbucks, ‘cause that’s what he – my husband has very simple needs. He wanted a certain kind of donut and he wanted a Starbucks. So, we get to Starbucks and we’ve driven up to wait in line. It’s one of the drive-thrus. And there – it’s merging lanes. And we wait in our space and it’s our turn to go and somebody cuts in front of us. Now, I don’t consider myself an angry person, but I lost my mind.

Jim: You’re talkin’ my language now.

Kathi: Oh, yeah, you get it now? Okay, I lost my mind. I leaned out the car window and I screamed, “Unbelievable! Who raised you?” And I’m just seething, because in my mind, we’re gonna have the perfect day and this woman who just pulled in front of us took away our perfect day. And Roger – I’m sitting there silently seething.

Jim: I’m sure he’s shrinking in the seat.

Kathi: Yes it – so he said, “I – Kathi, I need you to calm down.” And I’m like, “Wait, I’m calm now. I screamed out the window and now I’m calm.” And he goes, “Well, then why are you unbuckling your seat belt?” And I – I…

Jim: Just in case.

Kathi: I was having an out-of-body experience. We get to the front of the drive-through line and the barista’s there and he said, “I don’t really understand what’s going on here, but that car in front of you just bought all your drinks and told me to tell you that they were raised by wolves.”

(LAUGHTER)

Jim: That is good.

Kathi: And here’s the thing: I don’t consider myself an angry person, but you know what drove me to anger was the perfectionism. And it was because I wanted to please Roger. I wanted to have a great story of how we – you know, had a great day and we did everything. And so, not only the perfectionism, but the people pleasing take me to places and take me to behaviors that I don’t want to be a part of. So, I’m gonna get – Cheri’s gonna talk more about people-pleasing, ‘cause that’s really where she’s done a lot. She’s done a ton of work over the past couple of years, so she can explain that bully better than I can.

Cheri: Well, people-pleasing is focused on getting the right response from other people where…

Jim: The response you want.

Cheri: The response I want and the response I need in order to feel good. It’s not about serving other people. It’s not about being in a good, healthy relationship. And again, this isn’t conscious. This is the bully working in the background, you know, kind of a process in the back. Um, and when I think about people-pleasing, the example that’s just been really kind of astonishing to me as I reflect on it is I spent 10 years in direct sales with a party planning company. And I wasn’t ever gonna sell a dime. I wasn’t gonna recruit anybody. I just was gonna sign up and buy the kit. A lot of women do this. They’re – they’ll find…

Jim: ‘Cause you get a little discount or something.

Cheri: You get the discount, that kind of thing. And when the kit came and I looked at the materials inside, I realized, “Wait, they offer recognition and incentives.” And there was this cute little charm bracelet with 15 exclusive charms. And I’m like, “Hang on a second. I could – they even tell me how to earn those.”

Jim: And they’re tappin’ right into your psychology.

Cheri: I’m on that and so absolutely. And I’m not placing any blame on the company. I’m just saying, I happened to fall right into it. So, I went to the national convention that year and I had women…

Kathi: I love that you signed up for the toy kit and then the next sentence, you’re…

Cheri: Oh, absolutely.

Kathi: “And then I’m at the national convention.”

(LAUGHTER)

Cheri: Oh, yes.

Jim: Yeah…

Cheri: And I had…

Jim: …a little bit of work in between.

Cheri: …women stopping me in the halls going – and they would touch me, which was cool, ‘cause I – being somewhat on the intimidating side, I don’t get touched a lot and they would grab me and – and look me in the face and say, “How did you do it? How did you do it?” And to me, it wasn’t odd. You just followed the instructions that are in the incentive booklet. You recruit this number of people. You sell this much; you get the bracelet. And I went from thinking that “Wow, those bracelets would be cool;” to “What does it take to make the women do this in the hallway?” Then I met the company president and she grabbed me and she looked me in the eyes and she said, “You are remarkable.” I’d never heard those words from my mother.

Jim: Ah.

Cheri: My mother was always saying things like, “I don’t understand you. I don’t understand why you would want to do drama. I don’t understand why you would want to go to parties.” She wanted me to keep my room clean. She wanted me to practice my piano. And she’s a wonderful woman, don’t get me wrong. We both fight the perfectionism bully together. It’s taken me years, but because of the process we worked on together, I realized we’re both on the same side. For years I thought we were enemies. I realized, no, the two of us were on the same side; it’s the bullies that are our enemy.

But when the company president looked at me and again, touched me, I was like, “I will do whatever it takes to make this woman proud of me.” And so for eight years I sold and I recruited and the incentive booklet would come and whatever it took to make sure I got an invitation to her table, I would do that. And so, I would spend all year working hard and let me take the flip side. If somebody is in a company like this and they’re enjoying it and the product is meaningful to them and there is joy in their life and there’s balance, that’s a beautiful thing. For me there was no balance. There was no joy. It was – I was killing myself all year long for that moment on stage. I mean, I still remember one time when I went on stage for major recognition and she gave me a huge hug and she said, “Now when you turn around, you’re gonna see what a standing ovation looks like.” And I turned and there were 2,000 women, who in my mind thought I was wonderful. Now of course, they didn’t. They didn’t know who I was. They didn’t value me as an individual. But for that moment, I mean, the amount of adrenaline and dopamine that courses through the – at least my brain under that situation. And it took me years, it took actually a back injury to get me out of that level of living and then to be able to look and go, “None of that was real.”

Jim: And I want to hear your heart on that aspect of it, the good and the bad. I mean, talk about the damaging aspect of that. What need were you trying to meet through working yourself to death?

Cheri: I wanted somebody to see me and touch me and tell me I was worthwhile – I was worthwhile.

Jim: So many people are in that spot, Cheri. You’re not alone.

Cheri: I know that now.

Jim: And you know…

Kathi: Yeah.

Jim: …for a lot of men…

Cheri: Yeah.

Jim: …we’re in that spot. We are highly performance…

Cheri: Yeah.

Jim: …oriented. We have to measure up.

Kathi: And they desperately want somebody to say, “I’m proud of you.”

Jim: Oh.

Cheri: Amen.

Jim: Every little child…

Cheri: It’s their – yes.

Jim: …wants to hear that. It’s the yearning of our heart.

Cheri: Though we’re afraid that we’re gonna make children egotistical if we say things like that to them.

Kathi: Yeah.

Jim: How um, I mean, how – your back injury, how did you begin to evaluate who you were inside and what was goin’ on with the needs that you were needing to be met?

Cheri: There were two huge reality checks. One of them was that year I wasn’t able to meet my recruiting goals and there was some bling I wanted to earn. And it was never the bling because I liked it. It was the bling, because women would stop me and…

Jim: And notice.

Cheri: …talk to me about it. It was always about being noticed. And so I did something that I never would’ve dreamed I would do. I falsified records. I faked Social Security numbers and sent in paperwork for people who were not even in existence.

Jim: That’s how driven you were.

Cheri: I was that driven. I violated values that I hold dear and it seemed perfectly reasonable to do at the time. I didn’t even question it. It was the next step. It was the thing that had to be done and I’ll take personal response – complete personal responsibility for it, but I will say, the bullies were bullying me. But I’m trying to say that it wasn’t my fault. It was my responsibility, but I was so far gone and the company dealt with me very redemptively when they discovered that’s what I’d done. But that was the first time I went, “Whoa, something is really – how did I get this far off?”

Jim: It almost sounds like an addiction.

Cheri: Oh, it was. I was…

Jim: An addiction to…

Cheri: …completely addicted…

Jim: …recognition.

Cheri: …to the recognition.

Jim: Yeah.

Cheri: And the – what I thought was love that came through the recognition. And then I did go on – the last incentive trip I went on, my daughter wanted to meet the company president, and I’d always had, you know, unfettered access to her. And she was too busy with other hotshots that year, and I was not welcome. And I realized, “This is just a construct.” This is not – I mean, she was genuine with me when I was an achiever, but she wasn’t my mother. She wasn’t my best friend, and she wasn’t God. I had put her in that position.

Jim: Well in that brokenness, I mean, I think the reality is to whatever degree, we all suffer from sin.

Cheri: Yeah.

Jim: And I so appreciate your transparency there and recognition of falling short. How did you redeem that with God? How did that conversation go with the Lord, I mean, to say, “God, I have failed You?”

Cheri: It’s been a long conversation. I mean, many, many years ago when I originally gave my heart to Christ, it was from Psalm 18, you know, that He reached down into the murky waters and rescued me, because He delighted in me. And I had to say, “Oh, my goodness. There is nothing delightful about me at this point.” I have – I had to tell my husband what I had done and he’s a very upright person. He didn’t – I mean, he was also very gracious with me, but he was stunned that I would make choices like that. But for me to realize that God still took delight in me and still loved me and still wanted to put me in a spacious place, I was putting myself into this ever-closing box. Um, I was trapping myself with the way I was dealing with this desire, this addiction, you correctly said, for recognition. And He pointed out He had so much more for me. And that it was gonna involved real friendships with people who really would be there for me when I needed them and that didn’t just stop me in the hallway because they saw that I had achieved something that they wanted my secret information and then, you know, they were gone.

Jim: It’s a fascinating story, and again, we all travel different roads with different bullies that pursue us. Kathi, as you hear Cheri’s story, I mean you’re – you’re glued.

Kathi: I am because I’ve known Cheri for 9 years and the Cheri she describes is not the Cheri I know. Uh, it’s not. And I’d never heard that – you know, about the falsified records. And this is the woman that I would trust with my PIN numbers and my social security number. Uh, that’s who she is now, and it just speaks to the work. Not the – but the self-reflection and the God-reflection that she has been through. To say, “I am no longer going to let these things rule my life.”

Jim: Right, and the redemptive nature of it; listen, if you’re dealing with things that are tearing you down and you’re having to hide from your spouse or from others, man, call Focus on the Family. We have counselors that are there to help. Take that first step like Cheri had to take and show honesty.

Cheri: Yeah.

Jim: That’s what it’s about. Talk to somebody if you don’t feel safe with an immediate family member. Call us.

John: Yeah, our number here is 800-A-FAMILY, 800-232-6459 and please do call if you need help. And because of call volumes, we have a lot of folks that are getting in touch these days, we might have to take your name and number and please know that we’ll be back to you just as soon as we can.

Jim: Cheri, I do want to ask you about the next couple of steps in that part of your life, because God’s in the business of redemption.

Cheri: Amen.

Jim: And you said something last time that really caught my attention about wearing the mask and projecting perfection, which we in the Christian community, we do it. And you said it in such a powerful way, that as long as the outside looks good, it doesn’t matter what’s goin’ on in your heart. How do you communicate when you see a fellow wife and mom, that you can see it, ‘cause you’ve been through it? You know that that woman is living in a dark spot. How do you even approach talking to her?

Cheri: Sometimes you can ask just how are things going, in enough of – with enough of a pause and with enough of a look that she’ll start talking. And if she goes off on the, “Oh, everything is great and everything is fine,” um, really?

Jim: Yeah, kind of tether…

Cheri: How’s it really…

Jim: …her.

Cheri: …going? Anything – you know, I can sometimes tell when the – but a lot of times women are ready to talk to somebody that they think understands. I mean, Kathi has this happen in retreats, I think we both do to some degree. People will make a beeline to us and the mascara’s already running down their cheeks.

Jim: Right.

Cheri: And they’re like, “I had no idea.”

Kathi: Yeah and I think one of the best things we can do as the body of Christ is be really brave. And that’s what our whole book is about, is taking brave steps and saying, “Here is what I have been through.” You know, with Cheri, it was the records. With me, it was a messed-up marriage. With me, it’s adult kids who are messed up. And you know, saying, “This is what I’m going through and God still delights in me.” God can delight in you wherever you’re at.

Jim: He does.

Kathi: He does, absolutely. He does delight in you.

Jim: And let me say it this way and I would like your reaction to this. What you’re saying in so many words is feeling God’s love…

Cheri: Yes.

Jim: …that He loves you.

Kathi: Mmm.

Jim: And that has to be hard when you’re not in a better place, Cheri, what you described. How could you feel or believe that God could possibly love you, ‘cause you weren’t perfect?

Cheri: For me, the back injury was huge. I mean, the pain was no fun, but at some point realizing everything I had attempted to do, I could no longer do. I could try to clean the house for five minutes of every hour, I was in so much pain. And I had a lot of time to sit and think and to read. I read books. I read my Bible. But more than anything, I had time to sit and think and just listen. And God speaks in the stillness. He doesn’t shout. He doesn’t force. And I discovered a lot of people will say, “Oh, I don’t hear God. I don’t hear God.”

I have never yet had a time in my life where I have slowed down and quiet – been quiet that God has not spoken to me in some way. I don’t mean a verbal voice. It could be through something on Facebook. It could be through a friend. It could be through Scripture. But when we are attentive, God will speak and reassure. And for me at least, it took failure, massive, massive failure and realizing I could survive it and I couldn’t fake it anymore.

Jim: I would like you to speak directly to that woman who’s feeling the guilt, who knows what she’s dealing with?

Cheri: Right.

Jim: You two have dealt with a lot. My wife, Jean has dealt with a lot. It’s every human being’s, you know, issue in this life. You deal with a lot of stuff. Women have particular issues though, that sense of guilt, that sense of not measuring up. Speak to that woman who’s in a dark place right now. What would you say to her?

Kathi: I would say, this – what you are going through is not a surprise. It may be a surprise to you, but it’s not a surprise to Cheri or me or any of the women that we talk to, because we all know that we go through this. And it is worth working on eradicating some of those things that we’re talking about here and being brave and saying, “Maybe my life could be different. Maybe I can trust God a little more today than I did yesterday. And maybe if I find a friend who is also in a tough place and we can be praying for each other and we can be honest with each other.” ‘Cause that’s what Cheri and I have done and the growth that has happened. It’s not that bad things stopped happening to us. I wish we could give you that. But the way we react to them is so different than it would’ve been five years ago. God is the first option, not the last ditch choice.

Jim: Let me ask you this. You’ve identified these four bullies. We’ll post those on the website.

Kathi: Okay.

Jim: And you know, people can get the resource, get your book, all of that. But do you continue, although diminished, do these bullies ever go away?

Kathi: They’re like “Whac-A-Moles.” They really are. You know, when something happens, you know, the fourth bully is procrastination. And can I just say that is my go-to every day? You know, Cheri’s fond of saying, “Virtue is its own reward.” No, it’s not. Procrastination is, because you get to avoid pain. So, of course, you know, avoiding pain is what we naturally want to do and procrastination is perfect at that.

But you know, there’s a point where you start to grow up a little bit and you say, you know what? The pain is gonna be bigger and it’s gonna be down the road. I’d rather have a little pain now and go do that workout than have to have heart surgery in 10 years. I would rather put my project that seems so pressing off for a little bit and spend time with my child, than have to restore that relationship five years from now. Procrastination hurts us and it pops up. It’s something that we naturally want to do. But as we get older and wiser a little bit, especially the wiser, you can get older without getting wiser.

(LAUGHTER)

Jim: Getting – that’s kind of naturally.

Kathi: But as you get wiser, you start to realize that while they pop up, I don’t have to lean into them.

Jim: Yeah.

Cheri: Well, and for me, I have started seeing so many areas of my life where perfectionism has impacted me that I didn’t realize. And it’s been both shocking, but I’m also very grateful for it. Kathi is aware, well, we’re in a group called the The Bad Moms Club, together.

Jim: The Bad Moms Club.

Cheri: We’ve been for about the last year and it’s because of just needing this kind of support that Kathi’s been talking about for our adult children, who’ve made choices that drive us a little crazy. Well, about a year and a half ago, I discovered a picture on Facebook of a young woman who – well, at first, I just thought it was – I actually thought it was guy who had massive tattoos all over. And I thought, “Wow!” And then I looked at the picture. It was my own daughter.

Jim: Oh, my.

Cheri: And I’m – the last time I’d seen her, she had no tattoos and…

Kathi: She was away at college and…

Cheri: Away at college.

Kathi: …she was on the college…

Cheri: And…

Kathi: …page.

Cheri: …and it – well, we weren’t talking about a butterfly on the ankle. We’re talking full – I learned the phrase, “full sleeve”…

Kathi: Full – yep.

Cheri: …from you know, talking with Kathi and friends. And I was able to realize that the reaction I was having was unhealthy and that I needed to process it. And I was able to go, “Okay, this is the perfectionism bully. Oh, this is the people-pleasing bully. I’m a pastor’s wife. What are the – what is everybody gonna think?” Okay, but that’s unhealthy and I was able to go, “Okay. I need to take these to God on a regular basis. I need to take these to friends.”

And as I’ve been working through this, I realized that my issue with her tattoos for me personally is not a moral issue. It’s prejudice. I grew up hearing phrases like, “Well, she’d be so pretty if she wasn’t so heavy.” And I grew up with phrases like, “Well, at least in our house we don’t.” And “Well, at least we don’t.” And God’s been taking me to places in my personal past, in my family history and doing cleaning up house. Because my level of concern over that is those external tattoos was so huge, I wasn’t asking her where her heart was. I wasn’t asking her – I – you know, I’ve had to have people tell me. I’ve actually been blogging about this, how to love your daughter when you hate her tattoos, ‘cause I figured I might as well go open with it and get as much input as I can. And people telling me, “Okay, there are people who see their body as a canvas.” Oh, well, I didn’t see it that way, but that was good for me to realize, ‘cause of course, in the ‘80s and the ‘70s, when I grew up, tattoos meant one thing. They seem to mean something else now. But they said, “Just talk to her. Can you talk to your own daughter and ask her about them?” And oh, you know? But if I had let perfectionism and people-pleasing really rule, it would’ve been, just keep it all closed; keep it hush-hush. Keep the – the jacket on, rather than realizing, I am battling with bullies, but I’m not gonna let them destroy my relationship with my daughter.

Jim: Well and it gets back to the point of looking at the log in your own eye…

Cheri: Yes.

Jim: …before you look at the speck. And I think…

Cheri: Yes.

Jim: …we’re losing that ability…

Cheri: Yeah.

Jim: …as believers. And you know, I’m just generalizing, I get that. But I think even in the cultural battles and other things, we’re becoming more pharisaical…

Cheri: Yeah.

Kathi: Mmhmm.

Jim: …if I could be so blunt. And it’s something we’ve gotta keep our mind – it’s like the bullies don’t stop just with you…

Kathi: No.

Jim: …they want to bully the collective Body of Christ.

Cheri: Oh yes, they’re after us all.

Kathi: Oh!

Jim: And they’re working on us all the time. Can I ask you to pray as we close for that woman who – and there’s probably many, but it will speak to a particular handful of people who are really in a dark place and they’re identifying with both of you and what you’ve shared with us. Pray for her right now.

Cheri: Jesus, right now for the woman who feels like she has tried harder and harder and harder, maybe than anybody else that she knows, and still can’t get anything right. For the woman who feels like she has failed too often, that there’s no chance that anybody else will work with her or that even You care. I just pray that You will give that peace that transcends all understanding, that You will wrap her in Your arms of love, that You will whisper to her how much You delight in her and that You have a spacious life for her.

Help Your voice to be the voice that she hears and takes into her heart until Your voice deafens anything else, that it deafens the voice of the bullies, the baggage from past relationships. Help her to feel Your love right now. We pray in Your name, amen.

Jim: Amen. Thank you for being with us.

Kathi: Thank you, Jim.

Cheri: Thanks, Jim. 

Closing:

John: God delights in you, and I hope you’ve really heard that message today and sensed it in this conversation on Focus on the Family.

Jim: Let me add, if you’ve been touched deep in your soul by some aspect of what we’ve talked about and you have a – a serious burden and you don’t know where to go with that, please know that we have caring Christian counselors available on the team to give you that initial consultation and then refer you to someone in your local area.

John: Our number is 800-232-6459 – 800, the letter A and the word FAMILY. And when you call, just ask to schedule a consultation with one of those caring Christian counselors.

Jim: And if you believe in what we’re doing with the counseling team and all the other resources that we are making available to folks to help them in their journey, in their growth with the Lord, we want to invite you into that relationship where you can be part of the ministry. And as we close out our budget year and prepare for next year’s budget, we’re a little down in revenue; so it is especially important for us to hear from you and if you can, become a monthly partner of the work here. To say thank you, we would love to send you a copy of You Don’t Have to Try So Hard as our way of saying thank you. Maybe you can’t be a monthly giver, but if you can give us a one-time gift, we’ll also send you a copy of the book to say thank you for being a part of the ministry and touching and changing lives in the name of Christ.

John: Contribute and get that book and a CD or download of this conversation at focusonthefamily.com/radio or when you call 800, the letter A and the word FAMILY.

Well, join us again next time as we hear from a couple whose marriage was shattered by adultery, but redeemed by God.

Teaser:

Opal Erickson: That’s where I learned a new lesson about what God’s love really is. It isn’t just loving your neighbor – I thought I could do that pretty good – but I had to learn to really love my husband in a new way.

End of Teaser

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Amy Carroll explains how listeners can find freedom from self-imposed and unrealistic standards of perfection in a discussion based on her book, Breaking Up With Perfect: Kiss Perfection Goodbye and Embrace the Joy God Has in Store for You.

Sara Hagerty, author of Every Bitter Thing is Sweet

Being Seen by God

Offering encouragement found in her book Unseen: The Gift of Being Hidden in a World That Loves to be Noticed, Sara Hagerty describes how we can experience God in ordinary, everyday moments, and how we can find our identity in Him apart from what we do.

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.

Navigating a Toxic Culture with Your Daughter - Part 2

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

Mrs. Meg Meeker

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

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

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

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

Cherishing Your Spouse Every Day

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

Mr. Gary Thomas

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

cherish front cover

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

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

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Newest Release - Episode 2: Heroes Providing Hope

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

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

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

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Newest Release - Episode 4: Sometimes the Choice is Hard

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

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

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

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Newest Release - Episode 3: The Power of a Picture

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

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

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

Play Video

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

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

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

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

Play Video

Newest Release - Episode 6: Families Helping Families!

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

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

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

Praying Scripture Over Your Child’s Life - Part 2

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

Headshot of Focus on the Family broadcast guest Jodie Berndt

Jodie Berndt

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

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

Praying the Scriptures Over Your Children

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

Effective Habits to Embrace in Parenting

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

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

Dr. Randy Schroeder

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

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

Simple Habits for Effective Parenting

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

The Spiritual Battle for Your Marriage

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

Tim and Noreen Muehlhoff Cropped

Dr. Tim and Mrs. Noreen Muehlhoff

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

Defending Your Marriage

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

Reigniting Your Passion for Jesus - Part 1

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

Headshot photo of author Kim Meeder

Kim Meeder

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

Revival Rising

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

Reigniting Your Passion for Jesus - Part 2

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

Headshot photo of author Kim Meeder

Kim Meeder

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

Revival Rising

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

Mothers and Sons: Being a Godly Influence - Part 2

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

Headshot of Rhonda Stoppe

Rhonda Stoppe

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

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

Moms Raising Sons to Be Men

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

Identifying Triggers in Your Marriage - Part 2

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

Headshot of Guy and Amber Lia

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Author Debra Fileta in the Focus on the Family broadcast studio

Mrs. Debra Fileta

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

Are You Really Okay?

Are You Really OK: Getting Real About Who You Are

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

Embracing Your Role as a Spouse

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

Headshot of Kevin Thompson

Pastor Kevin Thompson

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

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

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

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

Sharing Your Faith with Grace and Purpose

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

Mr. Greg Koukl

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

Tactics front cover

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

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

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!