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Engaging the Culture in Winsome Ways (Part 1 of 2)

Engaging the Culture in Winsome Ways (Part 1 of 2)

In this conversation, Philip Yancey shares inspiring stories from his decades-long experience as a journalist. He describes how you can be a bridge to the Gospel in a culture that’s thirsty for the Good News. Tune in to hear how three types of Christians in particular – pilgrims, activists, and artists – can serve as conduits of God’s grace. (Part 1 of 2)
Original Air Date: April 18, 2022

Preview:

Philip Yancey: And so, somehow, we’re communicating the opposite of what Jesus said we c- should come across as flawed people, thirsty people who have found a source, who have found something that satisfies, and it changes us, and it’s good news, and we’d like you to have that, too.

End of Preview

John Fuller: That’s Philip Yancey, and he’s our guest today on Focus on the Family to share how you can be a witness for the gospel in a winsome way. I do hope you’ll stay with us for this important conversation. Thanks for joining us today. Your host is Focus president and author Jim Daly, and I’m John Fuller.

Jim Daly: John, I always enjoy talking to Philip. He’s a bestselling author, and most importantly, he spent years investigating how we can be salt and light as followers of Christ. And today, Philip will share fascinating examples of how we can balance truth and love when we engage nonbelievers.

John: Yeah, and Philip has written a number of books, uh, exploring questions of faith, and we’re about to hear a conversation, Jim, based on his book, Vanishing Grace: What Ever Happened to the Good News? And here’s how, Jim, you began that conversation.

Jim: The Book of John in the New Testament introduces Jesus as the word who became flesh, uh, full of grace and truth. That’s right out of John I, and it’s not easy, but as followers of Christ, we’re called to engage others in love and truth, and it is the eternal battle, I think, for all of us as Christians. And I know I’ve missed the mark before. I strive to do it well. Um, I’m pleased when I do that well, but again, it’s just very difficult depending upon those circumstances. And, Philip, it is great to have you with us. Thank you.

Philip: My pleasure, and I’m so glad you started with that quote from John, because, uh, I look at Jesus kind of holding out two hands, grace and truth, and I look at church history, and we’ve worked really hard on that truth part.

Jim: (laughs) We do.

Philip: La- last I heard, there were like 45,000 denominations in the world, and everyone thinks they’ve got a little, little more corner of the truth than the other 49,999. (laughs)

Jim: Yeah.

Philip: And I, I just wish we had denominations who would be striving to be more grace-filled than anybody else.

Jim: Well, let me, let’s start there.

Philip: Yeah.

Jim: I mean, that difference. We all talk about it. We all struggle with it. I knew a Christian leader who once told me, “You know, I understand God’s grace, but sometimes when it comes to those who don’t believe the way I believe, I’m afraid I’m going to become their friend and capitulate on the principles.”

Philip: Hmm.

Jim: I think that’s a well-stated concern or well-stated fear that some people, depending upon your personality type, you might pull back, because you think, man, if I like them, I might give in.

Philip: Hm. I haven’t thought of that before. That’s a, I suppose that’s a danger, and I think probably the way to a- avoid that is just to be plugged into a community of shared values, so that you get recharged whenever you’re around them, whether it’s a small group or a, a church service.

Philip: And w- we have this model in the early church. We keep going back there, because it worked so well. Actually, there weren’t many missionaries in the early church. There weren’t many evangelists. They kept to themselves, but they would come together. They would worship God. They would encourage each other, and then they would go out, and they were different than other people in the Roman empire, and ultimately, as people look at the way they lived, they said, “I, I kind of would rather be one of those people than me.” (laughs) “I want what they’ve got.”

Jim: (laughs)

Philip: And, and I think that’s how the church works best. If we, if we put out a sign of contradiction with the rest of the culture around us, our culture is very celebrity oriented. It’s very success-oriented, achievement-oriented, and Christians say, “Well, but we’re also supposed to care about other people, people who aren’t very successful and achievement-oriented. We’re here to serve.” I think about the, the, toward the end of John, when Jesus had his last night with the disciples, and it’s a beautiful passage, John 13 to 17, where it was his last shot, basically. He’s giving them the final instructions, and then he’s going to leave. He’s going to ascend, first die, and then resurrect, and then ascend, but this is his last time to give what’s most important. And I, I go back, and of course, he starts by washing their feet. You’re here to serve others, not to be served. And then, he says, “The mark of a follower of me is love,” and that’s what people ought to think. Oh, that person loves a lot. Must be a Christian, you know? (laughs)

Jim: Yeah, I-

Philip: Must be a Jesus follower, and then unity.

Jim: Yeah.

Philip: He said, “Boy, I wish, I wish you, and the church to follow, would have the same kind of unity that we enjoy in the trinity.”

Jim: Yeah, and we’ll, we’ll unpack that over the next few minutes, and I, you know, several things, the early church, the idea of love. L- let’s start with the recent Barna study that found nearly half of non-Christians have negative feelings toward evangelicals.

Philip: Mm-hmm.

Jim: I mean, that, that’s something right there. Although, I do understand that, um, you know, the, the word will become a stumbling block-

Philip: Right.

Jim: … is one reference. Um, you know, Jesus referenced bringing division because of the, you know, the distinction between the world and his followers, so that’s going to be there, but why is, you know, the concern around half of the non-believers feeling like Christians, uh, they have negative feelings toward Christians? Why, why do you think that exists?

Philip: Well, what struck me about that Barna survey is that just maybe 20 years before, 85% of non-Christians had a positive view of Christians. So, maybe they really didn’t believe in it, and they weren’t that interested in being religious themselves, but if a Christian was a neighbor, well, that’s a good thing, um, you know? They’ll be a good role model for your kids, and maybe they’ll cut the grass if you’re, if you got a broken ankle or something, you know? (laughs)

Jim: Yeah, that’s true.

Philip: It’s a good thing, and now more than half say, “I don’t want to live with, next door to one of those Christians,” and Barna tried to investigate that and find out what had happened in that 20-year period, and a lot of it had to do with divisive politics, where-

Jim: Hm.

Philip: … Christians became more identified, certainly in media, through a political lens. If you read the New York Times or Time Magazine, and tried to figure out, what is an evangelical? You would think, oh, it’s a radical, conservative Republican, you know? (laughs)

Jim: Right.

Philip: That’s what the, that’s what the media portrays, and in, in some ways, we are conservative. In some ways, we’re not. It depends on the issue.

Jim: Right.

Philip: You know, our, our issues are, are going to be a little different, always, from the r- surrounding culture, because we take them from the Bible, and the rest of culture doesn’t always.

Jim: You know, one of the difficult questions in that regard is, you know, one party does line up with a lot of the things that many Christians believe, like the right to life-

Philip: Mm-hmm.

Jim: … and, uh, the support of the police, and all kinds of things like that, and, you know, again, c- taking care of the poor tends to lean in a Democratic direction.

Philip: Mm-hmm.

Jim: So, if you can, I mean, hit, that one, because it’s so true. It’s, it’s complex, um-

Philip: Right. Well, I, I think of a story I heard from the director of the Evangelical Alliance in the UK, much like our National Association of Evangelicals.

Jim: Mm-hmm.

Philip: And, when John Major was the prime minister, this would have been maybe-

Jim: Right.

Philip: … 30 years ago or so-

Jim: Right.

Philip: … he called him in and said, um, “I hear about all these evangelicals, and I’m interested in them. You know, I, I want to appeal to their votes. (laughs) But, uh, I can’t figure them out. Can you tell me, are they poli- Are they conservative, or are they liberal?”

Jim: (laughs)

Philip: And, so, the head of the Evangelical Alliance said, “Well, let’s see. Let’s go down the list here. Um, they care about the poor, so some people would say that’s liberal, but they’re, they’re strongly pro-life and against in- infanticide and euthanasia. Some people would say that’s conservative. They’re against racism. Pe- some people would say that’s liberal. They support the rights of women. Some people would say that’s liberal, but they believe, uh, only in, in sex in, within a marriage. Many would say that’s conservative.” And he went down the list, and he said, (laughs) “You tell me.”

Jim: Right.

Philip: And Major said, “Well, I guess they’re neither one.” Well, they’re a little bit of both.

Jim: Right.

Philip: It depends on the issue.

Jim: And I think there is a fine art, if I could describe it that way, to embracing those things that are biblical-

Philip: Yeah.

Jim: … like, I would say, the, the pro-life effort, and then keeping your eyes and ears open to things with, like, helping the poor.

Philip: Yeah.

Jim: Um, you know, and again, people will say, “Well, that’s not government’s role to … It’s the church’s role,” but in soberness, you have to say that, you know, the government has more wherewithal-

Philip: Sure.

Jim: … to put money and resources toward that-

Philip: Sure.

Jim: … effort than the Christian church does, although the Christian church has a great history of taking care of the poor. Uh, y- you mentioned two types of, of Christians, uh, pre-Christian and post-Christian. What, what do you mean by those two descriptions?

Philip: Sometimes, I’ve done this so often. I’ll be sitting on an airplane or in a lobby somewhere, and, uh, I’ll start talking, and people will say, “What do you do?” “Well, I’m a writer.” “What do you write about?” And I explain some of my books, and “Oh, oh, one of those religious writers.” “Well, most of the time, I, yeah. These are matters of faith that I care about.” “Well, I used to be a Christian,” and then they’ll tell me some story about, uh, being wounded by the church the way it treated somebody, or, uh, maybe they didn’t like its stance on science, or, or, uh, a divorced person was mistreated, or a gay person was mistreated. And, you know, they just tell me some sad story. And they expect me to defend the church, and instead I, I kind of laugh and say, “Oh, is, it’s worse than that. Let me tell you, my story.” (laughs)

Jim: Yeah, right? (laughs)

Philip: Okay, and I, I’ve just read in this memoir, Where the Light Fell, that describes the toxic church I grew up in. It was in the south. It was on the wrong side of the civil rights movement, and, and a lot of things. A- and yet, I’ll say to them, uh, “Do, do you really think it’s a good trade to trade away the possibility of connecting with the lord of the universe because of the way some old lady treated your friend 30 years ago, you know?” (laughs)

Jim: That is a great question. That’s the same one asks. Like, are you really going to give up-

Philip: Yeah.

Jim: … your salvation?

Philip: And that’s kind of a post-Christian-

Jim: Yeah.

Philip: … because they’ve been, they’ve got a wound there, and then you meet other people who really have no exposure, and they’re kind of fascinated, you know? They, they know that people care about religion, and they see things on television, and they just, they’ve really never met somebody that’ll sit down and talk to them about what they believe.

Jim: Yeah.

Philip: And, you have a, usually, you need a different approach there, just to explain so much that’s good in our society comes directly out of the church, human rights, and, and care for the environment, and education, and medical care. You know, these all have Christian roots-

Jim: Yeah.

Philip: … very deeply.

Jim: Very true. I, I remember encountering a woman in the abortion industry, and, and, uh, we had a, a great discussion, and I remember when she first came into my office, she was shaking-

Philip: Hm.

Jim: … and I said, “Are you okay?” And, she said, “Well, my friends said you’re going to put a voodoo hex on me,” and I, I laughed, saying, “What, what do you know about Christianity?” And she said, “Really, nothing. I just think you want to try to kill us.”

Philip: Hm.

Jim: I said, “Nothing could be further from the truth, you know? The, do you mind if I could share with you what it is we believe?” And she said, and this really haunted me, she said, “I would appreciate that, because no one’s ever taken the time to tell me.”

Philip: Wow.

Jim: Isn’t that ama-

Philip: It is.

Jim: We make the assumption that if you’re on the other side of something we believe-

Philip: Right.

Jim: … then you, you’ve calculated and made the decision that you are against God in that thing, whether it’s life-

Philip: Right.

Jim: … or something like that, and sometimes they’ve never even heard-

Philip: Yeah.

Jim: … the alternative.

Philip: Well, and I’m sure you know that story, Jim, about, uh, the original Jane Roe.

Jim: Yeah.

Philip: (laughs) Roe versus Wade.

Jim: Yeah.

Philip: Where at first, the head of Operation Rescue would, would follow her around and yell, “baby killer,” and things like that, and then they got a new head, and he ended up being in the same complex where she worked with Planned Parenthood.

Jim: Huh.

Philip: And, she would go out for a cigarette break, and he started sitting with her during her break, and changed her completely, and she eventually renounced her former position and became a Christian.

Jim: You mention in the book this idea that, uh, nonbelievers are lost or people who are thirsty, potentially, that God’s love is for every person. I, I totally ascribe to that, because I think it’s so true and so accurate. I don’t think God’s against anybody. He wants everyone to know him. Uh, how do you, (laughs) how do you remember that when you’re in the heat of a spiritual battle with your neighbor or something like that?

Philip: (laughs)

Jim: Chuck Colson told me once, and I don’t think he coined it, but he used it often, and that is, “You don’t get mad at a blind man who steps on your foot.”

Philip: Huh.

Jim: And he parlayed that into, spiritually, don’t get mad at people that don’t understand the way of God.

Philip: That’s very good.

Jim: And I, I think it’s true. It’s been a guiding principle for me.

Philip: Right. I got the phrase thirsty from Henri Nouwen, I’m sure you know that name.

Jim: Right.

Philip: Henry, uh, was a priest, uh, spoke a lot of times to the evangelical audiences, spent the last part of his life not at Harvard and Yale where he had earlier taught, but working with the severely mentally challenged people in L’Arche in Toronto. Back when the AIDS epidemic first started, so this would have been when Ronald Reagan was president, really, he heard about this disease, and he heard that there were a lot of gay men. It was actually called the Gay Men’s Syndrome, right?

Jim: Mm-hmm.

Philip: The CDC back then, because almost everybody that was reporting this strange disease were part of the homosexual male community.

Jim: Right.

Philip: So, he heard there was a, there was a clinic going on in San Francisco, and he flew out there, and he said it was, it was just so sad, an open ward, and all these guys were going to die soon, because there was no treatment at all in, in those days. And, he said, “I just went up and down the rows of men,” and he said, and he said, “I’m a priest, so I like to listen to people’s stories. That’s what we do. Can you tell me your story?” And, he said some of them would almost spit at him and say, “I don’t want any of this stuff, this religious stuff,” but others would tell their stories, and he said, “Again and again, I heard people who were thirsting for love, and I would say, ‘Did you find it? You know? (laughs) Did it, did it satisfy you?’” And he went on and, and talked about the, uh, the woman at the well, you know? Jesus, I see that you’re thirsting. Has the water satisfied you? No, it hasn’t.

Jim: Mm-hmm.

Philip: Would you like to know a living water that does satisfy you? And he said, “When I returned from that, my prayers changed. When I was around people that offended me in some way, I used to pray, ‘Lord, help them to see the light,’ or ‘Help me to be kind to these morally offensive persons.’” He said, “Now, I pray for thirsty people. I said, ‘God, help me to see those that even offend me as thirsty people.’ If I can see them as thirsty people, and realize my job is to point them to the living water that indeed satisfies,” that really turned a corner in how he prayed and how he saw people that he disagreed with, profoundly.

Jim: Yeah. You know, um, that reminds me of a theologian that I know who’s still living, who said to me on the phone one time, quite appropriately, I think, we were talking about some difficulties in the culture, and he was referring to some Christians that were edgy, very, uh, upset about some things, probably in the political arena, and he said, “Man, you don’t have to go out of your way to be hated.”

Philip: Hm.

Jim: And I, that’s another great statement that, you know, the offense of the gospel should be the offense, not you and your personality.

Philip: Yeah, yeah.

Jim: And I, that’s another guiding principle, you know?

Philip: Yeah.

Jim: That if you’re the one preventing someone to coming to know the Lord, you’re in some deep weeds there, spiritually, in my opinion-

Philip: Yeah.

Jim: … if it’s your personality, your aggression, your behavior towards someone who doesn’t know the Lord. If that’s what’s preventing it, don’t wear that as a badge, because I don’t think the Lord will be happy with that, in the end. Speak the truth but do so in love. Relate to that. I mean, the clanging symbol and all the great scriptures we have-

Philip: Yeah.

Jim: … that if you don’t have love, you really don’t have anything.

Philip: That’s right. That’s right.

Jim: We tend to ignore those.

Philip: We do, and that reminds me of, uh, a great phrase from Martin Luther King Jr., who, of course, was a very religious man. He was a clergyman, and he, he said, we have to fight for some issues that, that are worth fighting, but we use different weapons. We use the weapons of grace.

Jim: Uh, Phil, you have a story about a Christian filmmaker who attended Sundance Film Festival. What happened in that context?

Philip: Right.

Jim: Because I think these illustrations are really helpful for us.

Philip: Right. Yeah. He takes a group of, uh, seminary students from Fuller Seminary, where he teaches classes in filmmaking, to Sundance, and Sundance is primarily, you know, the Hollywood, edgy-

Jim: Yeah.

Philip: … independent films-

Jim: Right.

Philip: … you know, things that you wouldn’t even get across in-

Jim: Started by Robert Redford, I think.

Philip: That’s right, yeah.

Jim: Yeah.

Philip: And, so, he had a group of about 20 Christians, and they attended this one that was, the film was making fun of the church, and how ridiculous it was, and how strict, and, and, uh, just a lot of negatives about the church, and people were hooting and hollering, yeah, yeah, you know, those are people who had been wounded, probably-

Jim: Right.

Philip: … at one point. And so, they had an audience interaction time, and a couple people asked questions, and then he stood up and said, “My name is so-and-so, and I’m from, uh, I’m an evangelical Christian, and I come from Fuller Seminary.” Things went really quiet. (laughs)

Jim: (laughs)

Philip: And he said, “I just want to apologize for the ways that the church has, has wounded some of you. Um, I don’t agree with everything you said in the film, but some of it, it’s true, and I know it’s true, and, and we’re wrong, and I’m sorry,” and sat down. He said it was just silent. And then, afterwards, all these people came up to him and said, “I’ve never heard a Christian apologize.”

Jim: Yeah.

Philip: “Thank you so much for that. Let me tell you my story,” and they would tell their story. And he’s been going ever since. He takes that, that same group, every year, so he’s gotten to know some of the filmmakers, and it’s changed the whole spirit of the kind of the anti-Christian spirit of the, of the festival. They have a, the Christians have a place. They have a voice there now.

Jim: Right.

Philip: And it’s a, an attractive voice, not a-

Jim: Yeah.

Philip: … offensive voice.

Jim: You know, Philip, I had an experience similar to that, and I’ve never shared this publicly, and again, the names aren’t important, but I remember reaching out to someone in the LGBTQ community to ask him if he wanted to have coffee, just to meet, and I know that that group and that particular organization saw us as enemies.

Philip: Mm-hmm.

Jim: And that was part of it. I wanted to let him know I’m a human being just like he is, basically. So, we met at a coffee place, and it was profound. Um, he brought a bunch of research that he had looked at our website and had some corrections for us in the way that we use terminology in that space, the LGBTQ space, and, uh, you know, so I thanked him for that. Thanks for doing that homework. I’ll take a look at it and have the team, you know, make sure that we’re in agreement on those things. But I remember saying to him, and I’m sitting here, having this wrestling match with the Lord, going, “Lord, why did you want me to meet with him?” Because I did feel that impression from the Lord to do this, to reach out, and what wafted through my mind and through my heart was, “Tell him I love him.”

Philip: Hm.

Jim: You know, you can imagine the conversation that immediately starts happening. “Oh, Lord, are you sure?”

Philip: (laughs)

Jim: I’m sitting in a public coffee place, but I did it. I just said to him, “Hey, I think the only reason that I wanted to meet today is to let you know something, and that is, God loves you.” Boom. He started crying-

Philip: Wow.

Jim: … right at the table. And, I said, “Could you tell me why it’s touched a nerve?” And, he just said, “I just never expected anyone from Focus on the Family to tell a gay man that God loved him.”

Philip: Hm.

Jim: And then, you know, that, woof. I mean, that is the profound truth, and it’s not, you know, no sin keeps us from God.

Philip: Yeah.

Jim: God knows us. He loves us. He created us. And, I just felt, like, wow. Um, you know, we don’t, we shouldn’t supersize sins, right?

Philip: Sure.

Jim: Sin is sin, according to scripture, and, uh, if I look at a woman, have lust in my heart, the Lord said I al- already committed adultery, right?

Philip: Hm.

Jim: So, let’s get rid of that one. (laughs) You know?

Philip: Yeah, yeah.

Jim: When you start wanting to edit the book.

Philip: Well, every, every religion says that God loves good people. It’s nothing new, but Jesus came with a different message. God loves bad people. (laughs)

Jim: Yeah, and I’m not one of them.

Philip: And that’s radical.

Jim: (laughs)

Philip: Yeah, right. (laughs) and you look at his parables, you look at the people he hung around, uh, who’s the hero of the parable of the prodigal son? Is it the older brother who did everything right? No, he looks pretty bad in Jesus’ story. It’s the prodigal who did everything wrong, and yet, God loved him anyway.

Jim: Yeah.

Philip: God loves enemies. God loves bad people. And the scene in the temple where there’s the Pharisee saying, “Well, I’m glad I’m not that guy over there. He’s a sinner,” and the sinner only has one prayer, “God, help me. I’m a sinner.” And, Jesus says, “Which prayer is God listening to?” And it’s pretty clear what the answer is. (laughs) The one who admits a need. And, grace is, is absolutely free. You can’t do anything to earn it, to deserve it. There’s no 10 steps I can give to you to make God love you. It doesn’t work that way.

Jim: Yeah.

Philip: God already loves you, and grace is free, but it’s a gift, and to receive a gift, you have to have open hands. If your hands are closed tight in a fist, which some religious people do, “I’m better than 99% of the people in this country,” then you miss the gift of grace.

Jim: Yeah.

Philip: It falls to the ground.

Jim: Right, and y- when you’re reading, especially the gospels, Jesus’ interaction with people, what’s really profound, if you try to take in the aroma of what he’s encountering, he seems to like to hang out with sinners.

Philip: Yeah, he does.

Jim: Matthew the tax collector, the woman at the well that we talked about, the woman caught in adultery.

Philip: Hm.

Jim: I mean, it, it seems like those are people that knew what truth is better than the religious leaders at the time. They knew what they were-

Philip: Right.

Jim: … that they didn’t measure up.

Philip: Right.

Jim: And, when he pointed it out, boom, their hearts went toward him, as opposed to the religious people who thought they had it all together, and ended, ended up hating him to the point of rallying to crucify him.

Philip: Mm-hmm. I remember when I was writing the book, The Jesus I Never Knew, I was puzzled by why Jesus was so upset at the Pharisees, because as I was doing research, it seemed like they were closest to what he believed and how he behaved as anybody on, on earth, you know? They, they worked to follow every one of the laws in the Old Testament. They were Bible believing. They were teaching, you know. And yet, in, in chapters like, uh, Matthew 23, Luke 11, Jesus is really pretty tough on the Pharisee.

Jim: Oh, yeah.

Philip: They’re a bunch of white-washed tombs, you know? And the more I read about it, the more I decided the problem with Pharisees is that they hung around other Pharisees all day, (laughs) and they started competing, and Jesus was scornful. Here, you’re, you tithe your kitchen spices, your salt and pepper, your cumin, your oregano, whatever. You make sure the church gets 10%, but there are these huge issues of injustice going on around you, and you don’t care about those things.

Jim: Yeah.

Philip: And, if you’re around people who are just like you, it really distorts your vision, and that’s why it’s so important, as Jesus told us, to go out and serve people who are unlike us. If you hang out in a homeless shelter, if you hang out in a prison, you’re going to be tested.

Jim: Yeah.

Philip: Your faith is going to be tested, and you’re going to, you’re going to understand, it’s easy to categorize these people, to dismiss them, to think of them as kind of a sociological group. When you get to know them as human beings, then you can feel the compassion that eventually attracted people to Jesus in his day and should attract people to us.

Jim: Absolutely. You know, you, just reading the New Testament several times, obviously, and you start looking for the core themes, and there are so many, so many wonderful things in the New Testament. Um, Old Testament, too, but, you know, Jesus arrives, and we kind of tilt into that New Testament teaching that he gives us, but two things seem like, you know, billboards for me. One is salvation through Christ, and Christ alone, and don’t become a Pharisee.

Philip: (laughs)

Jim: Those are kind of the two billboards of the New Testament.

Philip: Yeah.

Jim: And it sends a message, you know? That don’t think more highly of yourself than you should.

Philip: That kind of reminds me of a, of a little anecdote that I put in this book, Vanishing Grace, and somebody had surveyed the three phrases’ people most want to hear. Uh, the first one is I love you. The second one is I, I’m sorry. And the third one is supper’s ready. (laughs)

Jim: (laughs)

Philip: And, this preacher said, “Actually, that’s a good summary of the gospel, you know?” (laughs)

Jim: In what way?

Philip: Well, that God loves us, that he accepts our apology, our repentance, and there’s a feast awaiting for us. (laughs)

Jim: Boy, that is good. What a good place to land. Uh, Phil, this has been such a good conversation. We got more to cover, so let’s come back next time and keep the conversation going. Can we, do it?

Philip: Let’s do it.

John: And that concludes part one of a great conversation, Jim, that you had with Philip Yancey, and I really appreciate how he highlighted the gospel, and as Philip said, uh, so simply, “God loves you. He forgives you. He invites you to enjoy fellowship with him.” And, for our listeners, be sure to join us tomorrow for part two of the discussion. Now, in the meantime, you can find more resources on our website to help you in your spiritual walk. We have a free booklet that you can download. It’s called Coming Home. Uh, it’s a terrific little resource to share with friends or loved ones. It describes very simply what it means to trust in Christ. You’ll find it at focusonthefamily.com/broadcast.

Jim: And, if you’re a believer in Christ, consider helping us share the good news with others. A monthly pledge to Focus on the Family is a great way to do that. We rely on partners who can provide ongoing support to stabilize our budget and plan for ministry in the months ahead. And, of course, a one-time gift would be helpful, as well. When you make a pledge or a donation today, we’d love to send you a copy of Vanishing Grace as our way of saying thank you.

John: Donate as you can to the ministry and request your copy of Vanishing Grace: What Ever Happened to the Good News? You can do that when you call 800, the letter A, and the word FAMILY, 800-232-6459, or once again, you can find us at focusonthefamily.com/broadcast. On behalf of Jim Daly and the entire team, thanks for joining us today for Focus on the Family. I’m John Fuller, inviting you back as we once again help you and your family thrive in Christ.

Today's Guests

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Vanishing Grace: Bringing Good News to a Deeply Divided World

Receive the book Vanishing Grace for your donation of any amount! Plus, receive member-exclusive benefits when you make a recurring gift today. Your monthly support helps families thrive.

Recent Episodes

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Taking Courageous Steps to Save Your Marriage (Part 1 of 2)

Ann White’s marriage was in desperate trouble, but she was terrified to let anyone know. She discusses how God helped her to break through dysfunctional patterns and finally ask for help. Hear this courageous story about a marriage restored. (Part 1 of 2)

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Discovering Freedom In Your Faith

In this inspiring conversation, Gary Thomas describes the joy-filled pursuit of growing in the virtues and becoming more like Christ. Tune in to hear how foundational virtues like humility, surrender, and detachment can shape your family and relationships.

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Taking a Health Journey With Your Spouse

Dave and Ashley Willis offer tips for you and your spouse to get healthy—mind, body, and spirit. With personal stories about Ashley’s journey through anxiety and depression and Dave’s health issues, you’ll see how your overall well-being affects your relationship.

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Being a Champion to Your Grandkids

Pastor Carey Casey explains how grandfathers can utilize their unique role to have a positive and lasting influence on their grandchildren in a discussion based on his book Championship Grandfathering: How to Build a Winning Legacy.

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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.

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

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

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Newest Release - Episode 4: Sometimes the Choice is Hard

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

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

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

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Newest Release - Episode 3: The Power of a Picture

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Newest Release - Episode 6: Families Helping Families!

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

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

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

Praying Scripture Over Your Child’s Life - Part 2

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

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Jodie Berndt

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

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

Praying the Scriptures Over Your Children

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

Effective Habits to Embrace in Parenting

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

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

Dr. Randy Schroeder

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

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

Simple Habits for Effective Parenting

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

The Spiritual Battle for Your Marriage

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

Tim and Noreen Muehlhoff Cropped

Dr. Tim and Mrs. Noreen Muehlhoff

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

Defending Your Marriage

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

Reigniting Your Passion for Jesus - Part 1

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

Headshot photo of author Kim Meeder

Kim Meeder

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

Revival Rising

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

Reigniting Your Passion for Jesus - Part 2

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

Headshot photo of author Kim Meeder

Kim Meeder

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

Revival Rising

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

Mothers and Sons: Being a Godly Influence - Part 2

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

Headshot of Rhonda Stoppe

Rhonda Stoppe

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

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

Moms Raising Sons to Be Men

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

Identifying Triggers in Your Marriage - Part 2

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

Headshot of Guy and Amber Lia

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Author Debra Fileta in the Focus on the Family broadcast studio

Mrs. Debra Fileta

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

Are You Really Okay?

Are You Really OK: Getting Real About Who You Are

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

Embracing Your Role as a Spouse

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

Headshot of Kevin Thompson

Pastor Kevin Thompson

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

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

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

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

Sharing Your Faith with Grace and Purpose

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

Mr. Greg Koukl

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

Tactics front cover

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

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

Loving Your Spouse Through the Seasons of Marriage - Part 1

Debra Fileta has identified the four seasons of marriage that correspond with our natural seasons – spring (new life and new love), summer (things get hot!), fall (showing our true colors), and winter (long days ahead). In this interview, she will help couples better understand the four seasons of healthy relationships, what to expect during each one, and how to carefully navigate them for a stronger marriage.

Author Debra Fileta in the Focus on the Family broadcast studio

Debra Fileta

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

Love in Every Season: Understanding the Four Stages of a Healthy Relationship

Every relationship goes through four life-changing seasons: Spring. Summer. Fall. Winter. Each season plays an important role in taking your relationship to the next level. And depending on how you navigate each season, your relationship will either flourish and grow, or it will slowly die. Whether you’re single, dating, engaged or married, join licensed professional counselor and relationship expert, Debra Fileta as she takes you on an eye-opening psychological and spiritual journey through the four seasons that she has observed in every healthy relationship.

How a Former Abortion Doctor Became Pro-Life

As an abortion doctor at Planned Parenthood, Dr. Patti Giebink believed she was helping women. Later, she began reading scripture and God gradually changed her heart on the abortion issue. Patti tells the story of her long journey from abortion doctor to pro-life and encourages listeners to share the message of life with compassion.

Headshot image of Focus on the Family broadcast guest Dr. Patti Giebink

Mrs. Patti Giebink

Dr. Patti Giebink is an OB-GYN who serves on the board of the Alpha Center, a well-known pregnancy center located in Sioux Falls, S.D. She also travels intermittently to work in mission hospitals in Pakistan and other countries. After completing her medical training, Dr. Giebink worked for Planned Parenthood from 1995-1997, during which she was the only abortion-provider in the state of South Dakota. She eventually experienced a radical change of heart on the issue of abortion after receiving God’s grace, forgiveness, and love, and she is now a passionate advocate for the pro-life movement.

Cover image of the book "Unexpected Choice: An Abortion Doctor’s Journey to Pro-Life"

Unexpected Choice: An Abortion Doctor’s Journey to Pro-Life

Unexpected Choice is told from the perspective of a doctor who actually performed abortions through Planned Parenthood. The book chronicles her journey from being a pro-choice physician to someone speaking on behalf of the pro-life movement.

Giving up Sugar, Tasting God's Goodness

As a latchkey kid, Wendy Speake turned to sugar for comfort. Every Friday, she would pedal to the candy show and use her allowance to fill her bag with candy. And one day, when she was older and a mom of three young boys, she came to realize that she was still “pedaling” away from her stress and using sugar as comfort, instead of turning to Jesus. She was joyless, worn out, tired, and in need of a change. In this interview, Wendy will challenge Christians to take 40 days to focus on fasting from something they turn to instead of Jesus for comfort. She invited people to break free from a dependence on sugar and taste the goodness of God.

Author Wendy Speake smiling as she holds up her book "The 40-Day Social Media Fast"

Mrs. Wendy Speake

With a background in Hollywood as a trained actress, Wendy Speake ministers to women as a bible teacher by applying the power of drama, poetry and comedy to the study of Scripture and real-life application of biblical truths. She has co-authored two books with Amber Lia titled Triggers: Exchanging Parents’ Angry Reactions for Gentle Biblical Responses and their latest, Parenting Scripts: When What You’re Saying Isn’t Working, Say Something New. Wendy is also the co-author (with Kelli Stuart) of Life Creative: Inspiration for Today’s Renaissance Mom.

Cover image of the book "The 40-Day Sugar Fast"

The 40-Day Sugar Fast: Where Physical Detox Meets Spiritual Transformation

Welcome to the 40-Day Sugar Fast, a fast that begins with us giving Jesus our sugar and ends with Jesus giving us himself–the only thing that can ever truly satisfy our soul’s deep hunger. On this 40-day journey you’ll learn how to stop fixating on food and other things you use to fill the voids in life and instead fix your eyes on Christ. Anyone who runs to sugar for comfort or a reward, who eats mindlessly or out of boredom, who feels physically and spiritually lethargic, or who struggles with self-control will discover here not only freedom from their cravings but an entirely new appetite for the good things God has for us.

Understanding the Root of Your Child's Misbehavior - Part 1

Often, children act out because they are used to getting attention through bad behavior. Dr. Kevin Leman offers advice to help parents transform their child’s behavior. He discusses the benefits of allowing your kids to learn from real-life consequences and describes the importance of understanding your child’s temperament based on his birth order.

Dr. Kevin Leman

Dr. Kevin Leman

Dr. Kevin Leman is an internationally known family psychologist and an award-winning, New York Times best-selling author. He is also a popular public speaker and media personality who has made countless guest appearances on numerous radio and TV programs. Dr. Leman has written more than 50 books including The Birth Order BookHave a New Kid by Friday and Making Children Mind Without Losing Yours.

Bundle of Why Your Kids Misbehave

Why Your Kids Misbehave and What to Do about It

Tantrums. Talking back. Throwing toys or food. Meltdowns. Slamming doors. Kids know just how to push your buttons. You’ve tried all sorts of methods, but nothing seems to work. In this book, Dr. Kevin Leman reveals exactly why kids misbehave and how you can turn that behavior around with practical, no-nonsense strategies that really work . . . and are a long-term win for both of you.

Understanding the Root of Your Child's Misbehavior - Part 2

Often, children act out because they are used to getting attention through bad behavior. Dr. Kevin Leman offers advice to help parents transform their child’s behavior. He discusses the benefits of allowing your kids to learn from real-life consequences and describes the importance of understanding your child’s temperament based on his birth order.

Dr. Kevin Leman

Dr. Kevin Leman

Dr. Kevin Leman is an internationally known family psychologist and an award-winning, New York Times best-selling author. He is also a popular public speaker and media personality who has made countless guest appearances on numerous radio and TV programs. Dr. Leman has written more than 50 books including The Birth Order BookHave a New Kid by Friday and Making Children Mind Without Losing Yours.

Bundle of Why Your Kids Misbehave

Why Your Kids Misbehave and What to Do about It

Tantrums. Talking back. Throwing toys or food. Meltdowns. Slamming doors. Kids know just how to push your buttons. You’ve tried all sorts of methods, but nothing seems to work. In this book, Dr. Kevin Leman reveals exactly why kids misbehave and how you can turn that behavior around with practical, no-nonsense strategies that really work . . . and are a long-term win for both of you.

Loving Your Spouse Through the Seasons of Marriage - Part 2

Debra Fileta has identified the four seasons of marriage that correspond with our natural seasons – spring (new life and new love), summer (things get hot!), fall (showing our true colors), and winter (long days ahead). In this interview, she will help couples better understand the four seasons of healthy relationships, what to expect during each one, and how to carefully navigate them for a stronger marriage.

Author Debra Fileta in the Focus on the Family broadcast studio

Debra Fileta

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

Love in Every Season: Understanding the Four Stages of a Healthy Relationship

Every relationship goes through four life-changing seasons: Spring. Summer. Fall. Winter. Each season plays an important role in taking your relationship to the next level. And depending on how you navigate each season, your relationship will either flourish and grow, or it will slowly die. Whether you’re single, dating, engaged or married, join licensed professional counselor and relationship expert, Debra Fileta as she takes you on an eye-opening psychological and spiritual journey through the four seasons that she has observed in every healthy relationship.

Reconciling Faith and Science in a Medical Crisis

Dr. Lee Warren is a neurosurgeon who has faced many heavy challenges in his life – from serving in the Iraq War to removing deadly brain tumors to experiencing the loss of a teenage son. He’ll share about his difficult quest to find answers to some of life’s toughest questions, while holding onto his faith in God and the sure hope of heaven

Headshot of Focus on the Family broadcast guest Dr. W. Lee Warren

Dr. Lee Warren

W. Lee Warren, M.D., is a brain surgeon , inventor, Iraq War veteran, and author of I’ve Seen the End of You: A Neurosurgeon’s Look at Faith, Doubt, and the Things We Think We Know, winner of the Christian Book Award®. His previous book, No Place to Hide, was included on the 2015 U.S. Air Force Chief of Staff’s Recommended Reading List. Dr. Warren has appeared on The 700 Club and the CBS Evening News, and his writings have been featured in Guideposts magazine. His Dr. Lee Warren Podcast, which is heard in more than 60 countries, helps listeners use the power of neuroscience, faith, and common sense to change their lives.

Cover image of Dr. Lee Warren's book "I've Seen the End of You"

I've Seen the End of You: A Neurosurgeon's Look at Faith, Doubt, and the Things We Think We Know

This gripping inspirational memoir grapples with the tension between faith and science—and between death and hope—as a seasoned neurosurgeon faces insurmountable odds and grief both in the office and at home.

Praying Scripture Over Your Child’s Life - Part 1

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

Headshot of Focus on the Family broadcast guest Jodie Berndt

Jodie Berndt

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

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

Praying the Scriptures Over Your Children

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

Mothers and Sons: Being a Godly Influence - Part 1

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

Headshot of Rhonda Stoppe

Rhonda Stoppe

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

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

Moms Raising Sons to Be Men

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

Identifying Triggers in Your Marriage Part 1

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

Headshot of Guy and Amber Lia

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

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

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

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

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

What to Do When You're Not Okay - Part 1

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

Author Debra Fileta in the Focus on the Family broadcast studio

Mrs. Debra Fileta

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

Are You Really Okay?

Are You Really OK: Getting Real About Who You Are

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

Navigating a Toxic Culture with Your Daughter - Part 1

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

Mrs. Meg Meeker

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

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

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

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

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Newest Release - Episode 1: The Truth About Life!

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

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

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

Thank you for committing to pray for the pre-born!

Sign up below for your free seven-day prayer guide. This daily guide will help give direction to your prayers for the pro-life movement. We will be praying with you! 

Focus on the Family

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