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Establishing Good Communication in Your Marriage (Part 2 of 2)

Establishing Good Communication in Your Marriage (Part 2 of 2)

Based on his book Honey, We Need to Talk, Dr. David Clarke explains how couples can strengthen their marriage by improving their communication skills. Discussion topics include typical communication styles of men and women, how men can be more intentional in initiating conversations, how to better navigate conflict, and more. (Part 2 of 2)

Original Air Date: July 7, 2017

Opening:

Excerpt:

Dr. David Clarke: Can you imagine I come back to our second talk time of the week, I gots things [sic] written on a pad that she’s mentioned that I’m interested in and I say, “Honey, I thought about some of the things that you said, here’s some of my responses.” She goes crazy with love and respect! And “You thought about me?!” Women love to be thought about! Rather than, “I got nothin’. I don’t know what I’m talking about. I forgot what you said.” So, we’ve gotta be intentional.

End of Excerpt

John Fuller: Well some great advice from Dr. David Clarke about becoming a better communicator with your spouse. And he’s back again today as we return to one of our Best of 2017 broadcasts on Focus on the Family. Your host is Focus president and author Jim Daly and I’m John Fuller. Thanks for joining us.

Jim Daly: John, last time we started a great conversation about how men particularly um … are often clams. You know, we don’t really respond. We uh … just clam up, which I think is a great description of us– not always. We know there’s the exception.

And then women who are often the crowbars, they’re tryin’ to open the clam (Chuckling) up. “Listen to what I’m saying” and, even if it’s darting all over the place. And it’s interesting and let me confess this to women. Um … for men because we’re so compartmentalized, we can get fatigued really quickly when we’re talking about more than one subject matter. And I … that happens to me. I just kinda go, “Wow! This is overwhelming” and I could feel my brain actually shutting down and I go to this other place in my head, which is usually football. (Laughter) You know, you just start thinking about other things and that’s terrible.

John: And does Jean stop you at some point—

Jim: No, I mean—

John: –and say, “Hey.”

Jim: –half the time I’m sure she doesn’t know I’ve kinda tuned out, ‘cause I can keep the game face on but it’s true. And today we want to talk about not the recrimination of the way we’re wired, but how do we use our wiring in such a way that is productive in our marriages. And that’s the way I like to look at this and we have a wonderful guest today.

We started this conversation last time with Dr. David Clarke. If you missed it, get it. Get the download. Download the Smartphone app, whatever you need to do. Call us; if we need to send you a CD, we’ll do that, but um … that first part of that conversation was loaded with great wisdom and we even had questions from our gallery, which there’re probably 20, 30 women in there to make sure the feminine side is represented here at the table today.

John: Yeah it was a good discussion and you can find the first part of it on CD or as a download at focusonthefamily.com/radio. And Dr. Clarke is a psychologist, speaker and author. One of the books he wrote is calledHoney, We Need to Talk: Get Honest and Intimate in 10 Essential Areas. Let’s go ahead and hear now the second part of this Best of 2017 conversation on today’s Focus on the Family.

Body:

Jim: Dr. Clarke, welcome back to Focus.

David: Thank you.

Jim: Hey, one thing we want everyone listening to do is go home tonight and give their spouse what you call a “big wet kiss.” (Laughing)

David: Yes!

Jim: Which for some reason you’ve … you’ve put a lot of confidence in that type of intimacy, that heartfelt kiss. Now people that have married, 20, 30 years, maybe 50 years maybe they don’t see kissing as quite the thing it used to be.

David: Which is a shame.

Jim: Why?

David: Every kiss is a romantic event. It is sharing how much I love you and there should be some excitement. People lose that. “Goodbye, honey, have a nice day,” in the morning, “But come over, yeah, real quick, real quick.” Two sets of completely dry Sahara dry lips, nubs actually, touching for a millisecond. They don’t make movies about that, my friends. (Laughter) Unless it’s depressing. No, you grab your woman and you put a smacker on herface, right on the lips.

Research has shown—my own personal research with the blonde—and we continue to research every day! Anyway, if you hold … open … you gotta have open mouth, arms around, body parts touching. You’re married. It’s legal in most states.

Jim: I love it. That is great, but it—

John: Oh, man.

Jim: –that is a spark. It does something emotionally for you and that’s what you’re talkin’ about. Let me move on to the more serious things. Besides kissing, what are some other ways a couple can boost their romance.

David: [They] gotta date. You hear this a lot. People don’t do it. Solomon and Shulamith in the Song of Songs, they … he’s the king, pretty busy guy. He took Shulamith away a number of times in the book, middle of nowhere, nobody around, just the two of them. It wasn’t “king and her;” it was … it was a man and a woman in love.

So have creative fun dates. Don’t just see the movie and go out to dinner.Bo-ring. You’ll fall asleep at the table. Do some fun stuff.

Jim: What does fun stuff look like?

David: It could be roller blading. Now wear the knee pads, ‘cause you’re gonna crash.

Jim: You know, that’s dangerous.

David: I’ve heard that, but you know what? (Laughter) It’s fun. It could be … it could be … now we have beaches where we are, but any body of water, walking by any body of water is spectacular. I … I’m here in Colorado Springs. Oh, hiking, you can hike anywhere you are. Hiking, going out somewhere, drivin’ the car, hiking, you know, take your bear spray, who knows. But anything like whatever you did when you were dating is usually a good place to start. Remember those days. Boy, it didn’t take much.

Jim: What about that … that woman who wants that type of kissing and romance, but she doesn’t feel pursued by her husband. We tend to fold up the … the camp site once we get married and say, well, the … the hunt is over. We’ve done it. What can we do for her heart when she’s longing for that? How can she say that to her husband? Listen,I want to keep in the game here.

David: –she’s gotta … she’s gotta find a way to say it, exactly and it’s not easy to say, ‘cause you fear rejection. How’s he gonna respond? I am pretty confident that he wants to get back in the saddle, too and he’s probably thinkin’ the same thing. The couples I see in my office, almost to a person, they’re both thinkin’ the same things. They’re not talking.

Of course, he wants to kiss her face. He loves her. So, two things. She’s gonna have the conversation and she’s gonna say, “I’m gonna start kissing you that way every day. And when you come in the evening,” or if I come later, we both work whatever, that’s what … that’s what you should do the first thing in the evening, smackers, not one, two or three smackers.

The pets … research shows the pets are happy, because mom and dad, you’re doing well. The kids will see it and they need to see it. If you’ve got teens and they’re bugging you, this is a great way to get rid of them. (Laughter) They’ll leave the room. They’ll leave the country. (Laughter) “I can’t believe!” You can say this is how you came along, Bobby. Oh, they’ve got to leave. (Laughter)

Jim: I love it.

David: It’s good stuff.

Jim: That’s exactly the point. You want couples to get to a point in their communication where they can openly talk about past pain. That seems to countermand the kind of wisdom to say, you know, don’t … don’t go in that direction. There’s not a lot of good that can be gained from past pain. You’re saying the exact opposite. Why?

David: I sure am. I … I’m a clinical psychologist, of course a Christian first. I should know better. I see every day in my office the effects of past pain and every bit of your unresolved past pain. Everybody has a past pain list. Mom and dad mistreated me. Dad was critical. Mom wasn’t affectionate. I wasn’t taught about money. I’ve been married before and I really got burned in that marriage. Boy, that hurt. I’m about to get married again– what’s gonna happen I don’t know. All … all that unresolved [pain]. A friend betrayed me; a boss fired me. It could be a boyfriend really hurt me or girlfriend. We have this list. Someone abused me, sexually abused me in my neighborhood. I’ve never forgotten that, of course and I live with that wound. Every single piece of that unresolved pain will transfer to your marriage partner. You don’t want it to, but it does.

Jim: In what ways does it transfer? Give us an example or two.

David: Here’s what happens. I … let’s say that I had a mom who was very critical of me. I’m a man, of course and … and throughout growing up my brother was the favorite. I was criticized. That’s my … I didn’t resolve … I didn’t resolve it. You don’t see therapy when you’re 10-years-old; you just survive. [You don’t] see a therapist.

So, I get married to Sandy and now when she’s … even though she’s not critical all the time, when she’s critical of me (Sound of snap of fingers), boom! That wound is touched. It’s hit pretty hard as a matter of fact and I respond with anger, with resentment and … and a huge push-back. It becomes a big thing, because it’s about mom; it’s not about Sandy.

If Sandy had a dad who neglected her, didn’t take time with her, didn’t really spend the time and really connect with her and I’m … I’m, [the one] who tend[s] to be a workaholic, neglect her, again, that transferred. Her dad stuff transfers to that and she has a huge reaction.

So, when we sit down and talk about it, it’s not just, “Dave, you’re being … you’re late a few times this week. I’m upset. Let’s talk.” It’s “I can’t believe I’m really upset. I’m …” See, she’s wounded [and] doesn’t even know why. Well, I’ll tell her why. It’s because of the dad stuff. So, all that stuff transfers.

The good news is, you can work it through together in such a way, the book guides you through and it has to be together. If you don’t do it together, you don’t get the marriage benefit. So, when you work it through together, it dissipates. You get rid of it and now it’s just about you and I.

Jim: David, as you’re mentioning the background that we all have, we all have a background whatever it might be and our awareness and our ability to be in touch with that, I mean, comedians make fun of it, but it is so true. It’s the baggage you bring into a relationship. And particularly for Christians, we’ve gotta recognize what it is. We’ve got to deal with it.

Um … short of a couple getting into counseling, which is always a good place to have these discussions, you’re in the profession, we have counselors here at Focus on the Family who are waiting for your phone call typically and we’re there to … to be that initial step for you. We can talk with you and give you some input and some additional guidance on what next steps could be and feel free to call us in that regard. If the phones are busy, we’ll call you back. But what are a couple of steps that person can take in their relationship now to help move their marriage in that direction?

David: The book will guide them through. You sit down and you talk about your past pain list. It’s vulnerable, very intimate, but it’s in-house. The deal is, no one else is gonna know about this. This is just the two of us. The guy especially has to have that guarantee, because this is very personal.

And so, we start talking about, you know, mom, dad. Couples usually know some of that stuff, but maybe not the deeper stuff. Uh …here’s the people and we have our list and now we start a series of talking through–it’s verbal first–talking through our pain together. And … and the other person isn’t fixing, but they’re listening; they’re understanding. You’re praying about it. This will take several weeks to a month or more, talking through, talking through. You’re really getting a lot of the transfer out of the way at that point.

And then I have … I have them write letters. I’m a big letter writer. You’re gonna write every person on your past pain list. You’re not gonna send the letter. This is just for your spouse. Um … and it’s gonna be very honest. When you write something out, it becomes very real. The emotions are triggered. You’re … I’m making them relive the event. That’s the painful part, but you’re doing it with God’s help, of course, through prayer support, encouragement and you’ve got your spouse helping you every step of the way.

I will read a letter to my mom to Sandy, let’s say. I cover the pain, what happened. I go through that. I … I work to forgive her and then I talk about the transfer. Now if it’s a serious deeper wound, okay, it will require a therapist, Focus’s help potentially and really getting through it, but you’ve gotta do it together.

And … and very … many cases, people aren’t … don’t have access to a therapist other than Focus on the phone, which is great. And um … you will just have to go through the steps, but God will guide you through. So, it’s verbal and it’s the letters and you can heal together. And it’s … and you … you can imagine. If you … couples that will do this together, it’s so extraordinary and so deep. You’re gonna be so much closer afterwards anyway. It’s a great avenue to intimacy, plus you’re eliminating the transfer which is gummin’ you up.

Jim: Yeah. David, let’s punch the point right here though. Some people need a spiritual, I don’t know, coating on this to be able to um … swallow it better. We’ve talked a lot about the psychology of humanity, but connect those two quickly, that idea that God’s in all of this, that part of science, whether it’s brain science or psychology, how our brains work, God is in that, ‘cause He wired us. And I want to make sure we hit that point, that people aren’t just saying, we’re relying on steps and procedures to be able to, you know, focus your attention and make you whole. God’s in it.

David: Oh, yeah. You’re not gonna heal even an inch without God’s help. Christ and God and the Holy Spirit are everything in this process, always bathed with prayer. Before each conversation you pray. During the conversation you’ll pray. After the conversation you’ll pray, after the letter. Prayer, encouragement, God’s power and guidance will get you through. Nothing else will, so it’s a “both and.” Do the work, but you gotta have God’s help.

John: And if you’ve been praying about a matter in your relationship and you’re just not getting traction or what David’s been sharing about deep past wounds is resonating, do call us. We do have great Christian counselors here that can talk through with you some starting points, as Jim said. And refer you to somebody in your area for some ongoing conversations. Our number is 800, the letterAand the word FAMILY; 800-232-6459.

And when you get in touch, you can also use that number for David’s book,Honey, We Need to Talk, which has, as we’ve said, some great principles in it.

Jim: David, let’s go there. To have that kind of intimate relationship that you’re describing, you encourage couples to confess their sins and areas of weakness in their lives. Um … phew! Some people just pulled back on that, because that’s very tender. I mean, that can be, if overdone maybe, that can be even dangerous perhaps. Go ahead as the therapist. Make your case as to why that kind of openness, that kind of honesty actually will make your relationship stronger.

David: This is, of course, later in the book, because you wouldn’t start this [at] Chapter One.

Jim: Right. (Laughter)

David: This is really, really tough. So, as your intimacy build[s] and you’re getting closer, it’s kind of a progressive operation, now we can begin to look at this area. Every single person has an emotional problem, except for Dr. Clarke, of course. (Laughter) Kidding. I’m a … I’m a workaholic; that’s my issue, among other things. I’ll just share that one.

And this is … this is an area of weakness or potential serious sin that if not controlled, if not healed from, will destroy you and everything close to you and everybody close to you in terms of the relationship, so that everybody knows what theirs is.

So, as a couple, now the Bible talks about “one flesh.” What that means is, we talk about everything. We share everything. We are one. So, part of that is, let’s start talking about the … our weaknesses. Now they may be obvious. I may … Sandy knows I’m a workaholic. I wouldn’t say, “What! I’m a workaholic? I can’t believe it!” Well, she knows it, so …

Jim: And you know it.

David: And I know it, oh, yeah. I’ve known it for the last 20 years anyway. (Laughing) I wasn’t aware at first. So, we start talking. If you don’t know where your area is, just ask your spouse. They will know, unless it’s a secret area. If there’s a man, if there’s a woman and more women are involved in this increasingly, the whole sexual addiction area, the whole area of romance and … and fantasy. Oh, my goodness, Satan’s having a field day. That could be a secret.

I’m telling you right now, easy to say, but important to do, have a conversation saying, “Here’s what I’m struggling with,” ‘cause if you don’t, No. 1, you’ll keep doing the sin. You don’t stop. Unless your partner knows and that hasn’t … you don’t know the pain you’re causing, you’ll keep doing it. But once you share, it’s out. Now we’re gonna work through it together, help her heal if it’s a … it’s a lady that you’re … you’re hurting with this. Pornography is at epidemic levels; pastors, Christian leaders, the numbers are the same.

Jim: Well, I want to restate what you said at the beginning of the question which is, this isn’t Chapter One.

David: Uh-uh.

Jim: This is later on when that intimacy—

David: Yeah.

Jim: –is developing emotionally, spiritually in your relationship, but the need to go there is important, because greater intimacy will be found. How do you go about opening up in your three, as we talked about last time– and if you missed that program, get it– where you spend 30 minutes three times a week developing intimate discussion and dialogue. So, as you’re moving down that continuum and now you’re at this place where you can have this kind of openness, how do you do that in a healthy way that’s God-honoring, that doesn’t put expectations on your spouse, but you do your homework.

David: I like to have a … a community of support. Now they don’t know exactly what you’re sharing, but they’re aware that you’re gonna share something significant. Um … this is … this is an accountability partner of the same sex. This is possibly a pastor.

So, the lead up, you’re gonna have people. You may actually have thought of a question. If you know what you’re sharing is earth-shattering and it’s gonna devastate your partner, you don’t do that without a net. Okay, I … honey, I’m sharing something that’s gonna really … you … you prologue it with, “Honey, oh, my goodness, this is really gonna be hurtful, but we have … we have some things in place.”

‘Cause you might want to go to the therapist the next day, the next two days, this … within this week if it’s like, aah! My husband has just told me he has been using pornography for 20 years. Oh, my goodness! Good that he shared it, but we’re gonna have to work this through with some help now, a pastor or whatever.

So, you’re very careful about the net and then when you share it, we know this is gonna take time to heal Again, it’s not (Sound of snap of fingers) the spiritual ceremony. Let’s pray about this. Thanks for sharing. We’re done. This is, I have to now heal from what you’ve told me and we have to work it through. There are steps that the book will help you. Work it through with help, with support, people you know you can trust. So, it’s … it’s a campaign. It’s … it’s gonna be months in the making, but I’m tellin’ you right now, I’ve seen it over 30 years, the intimacy that will result is amazing, the teamwork as a couple, the one-flesh experienceandthe sin stops. You control it. It is at bay.

Jim: That’s good. Let’s go ahead and take some questions at the end of today’s program like you did last time. Let’s start with the first question.

Nancy: Hi, my name is Nancy and my question is for the couples who um … one is a believer and one is not and how you work through that?

David: A great question.

Jim: Yeah, it’s really good.

David: There is a … there … you … as you might imagine, there’s a chapter, Nancy. By the way, my third daughter is Nancy. I love that name, I’m just saying. (Laughter) I’m sure she’s a wonderful person. This is very common, um … whether you married someone hoping he’d come to Christ or she would come to Christ and they haven’t or that people come to Christ after marriage—

Jim: Sure.

David: –which is wonderful and the other person’s not ready yet. So, there’s a chapter on that and this is … again, it’s a campaign. You can’t use any direct approach. You’d love to just say, “Please come to Jesus. I’m on my knees here,” ‘cause you know how important it is. Your very eternity’s at stake; our marriage needs the spiritual component.

But we go through the back door and we do a lot of things that will be helpful to bring that person to Christ and one thing I’ll … make mention … recommend a few things, Nancy and that is, you … with … with a … with a good decent man—let’s say it’s a man that’s not the Christian; it could be the woman; keep saying that, but it could be reversed—you say, “Look, I want to have a … a few prayer times a week. I know you don’t pray and you don’t believe in God yet.” I would always use the word “yet,” subtle psychological tool. (Laughter)

Anyway, but no pressure, ‘cause I … “Would you listen to me pray for just two or three minutes?” Um … you know, letting him and most decent men will listen. “Of course you don’t have to pray. Would you just listen to me pray?” That’s spiritual impact.

When something happens in your life that … that you know is from God, which happens every day, you … you say, “Honey, could I share something with you, just a couple of minutes about something how God led me?” It won’t be every day. If he listens to that, he starts to see how God works, okay.

Jim: Yeah.

David: These are little ways to impact the guy. You will certainly, low key, invite him to church. Um … he’ll hear the gospel. He doesn’t have to go, but it’s up to him. You know that many men will go because it will please the woman, but they’ll be affected by the gospel; we know that and the worship.

You have friends that are Christians and you … you do this kinda subtly, but you … you have time with them and … and you’d like to have him hook up with some other godly man. If you could … if you have a guy come alongside; they build a relationship. These are some ideas that in time could lead him to Christ.

Jim: That’s good.

Carol: Hi, my name is Carol and my husband and I have been married for over 40 years and for over 20 years of that he was in the military and it was because of his absence so often, it was very easy for him to turn over the reins to me. I did all the discipline. I took care of all the household things. He came and went so often, it was just easier not to move that role back and forth.

Now that he’s retired, our children are grown. We have grandchildren. How do I encourage him to, um … take over that role again, not only as a spiritual leader, but to help make a decision, do we want hardwood floors or carpet? (Laughter) He just … what do you want for dinner? Uh … he just seems re … very reluctant to make a decision, so how can I encourage him and support those decisions?

David:Boy, great question, Carol. Here’s the good news for Carol. You get whatever you want. (Laughter)

Jim: Yeah, right.

David: Hardwood floors, no, you want … you want engagement. You want a relationship and input. Yeah, great question. I see this in a lot of military families, Oh, my goodness, exactly what Carol has said. The woman has to lead. There is no question. He’s gone. You can Skype. You can in … you can have the phone thing, but they’re gone and sometimes they’re gone, gone. You can’t even contact them.

The re-entry is always tough and the vast majority of the guy coming back in is just what Carol says. Wonderful guy, but he’s used to not leading and that system actually worked and God blessed that system. But now she wants a change and she’s right.

Now, because it’s not what God’s … His ultimate design is. He allowed this um … because of your husband serving his country. So, now we’re … now we’re transitioning into this new area where he will, in fact, be the biblical leader in the home. That’s gonna be a campaign. You’re gonna make your … your wishes very clear.

“Honey, I love you. We can keep living this way and I want hardwood floors, but I want to tell you (Laughter) … but I want input. I want you to lead.” And be very specific. He’ll need to know what that looks like. He has really no idea. And so, give him ideas. It will look like this. Build scenarios. Men need scenarios. It’ll mean this. It’ll mean that. “It’ll mean when I ask about hardwood floors. I want some input. And I want color and I want shape and I want to go to the store.” “Do I have to do that? You’ve always made …” “I know, but this is the new.”

See, the new thing is doing it together when it’s fun. We di … we did some remodeling of our home, which just about broke us up. We … we made 35 …

Jim: Oh, that sounds like fun.

David: Oh! Sandy wanted input, too. I would rather her just do it. She … women don’t want that. They want the input. They want the togetherness. So, I think the transition. He’ll be open. It might take, uh … a year or more, but he’ll be able to transition, but give him the scenarios, what it looks like and he’ll come through.

Carolina: Hi, my name is Carolina and I would like to know what really motivates a man not to only talk about an issue, but try hard to solve it after he has agreed to do it with his wife?

Jim: Hm.

David: Yeah, how to keep the man motivated, that … Carolee … is that Carolina? Carolina? Oh, that’s a great name. Who wouldn’t do something for Carolina? Please! (Laughter) You have to keep the man motivated by staying engaged in the dialogue. Men will drop off awfully quick.

So, you make it clear, “Here’s what I’d like you to do.” And you’re involved from the very get-go, Carolina on … on how this is gonna work and the resistance he’s gonna share … he’s gonna get into. So, “Honey, what’s gonna …” after you share here’s what I want, “what’s gonna make this hard for you to do?” That is a great dialogue to have.

He’ll say, “Yeah, I’ll do it.” Or “No, I won’t.” Or “Yes, I will” and I won’t, whatever, ends up not doing it. So, if we can get the resistance out first, that is actually highly motivational. Well, if he’s honest, “It’s gonna be hard. I don’t think I can do it. Here’s why.” If we can attack those things, that’s the block. We get through the block. It should go more smoothly.

Jim: How does a woman avoid that … that label of being “nagging?” I mean, ‘cause that sounds like you’re engaged. Those are all positive words. Husbands can hear, “You’re just on top of this. I mean, give me some oxygen.”

David: Yeah.

Jim: I mean, they … they feel “nagged.”

David: True, two things. The woman can say and you’re being very open and honest, “If you don’t want me to repeat myself and nag, get the stinkin’ job done.” (Laughter) What … what can I say? Sandy’s told me that. “Gosh, Dave, let’s think about this. If you just did it two days ago, I wouldn’t be bringing it up!”

Jim: That was a good point.

David: The deal … but the deal we have is this and it’s worked for us for 35 years. She … when she asks me to do something and we talk about the resistance and I have to be … if it’s a no, I have to tell her no. The worst thing for a woman is yes and then not do it.

Jim: Right.

David: If I really don’t want to do it, I’m not gonna do it, that’s gonna be not a nice conversation, but at least we get it over with. When … when she thinks I’m gonna do it and I don’t do it, now we have two problems. So, I would say, you know, you … one reminder is appropriate and that’s how we operate. If it’s something important to her, she … you know, I say yes and I’m not doing it and there’s a timeframe up front, too. Like a military operation, I’m giving you a week, Dave. I’m giving you two weeks, ‘cause I might forget. Within that week, if you do it, you know, the stars are shining and the sun is out and everybody’s happy. But if you don’t, I’m gonna remind you one time, two adults. That’s not nagging. We’d already redefined that. This is an adult-to-adult reminder, you know and she’s not even mad. That’s built into the system. If you don’t respond to that reminder, now I’m mad and I have a right to be mad and I’m going into nag mode and it’s your dumb fault. (Laughter)And … and I know that … that’s fair.

Jim: Pretty straightforward.

David: I’m tellin’ you.

Closing:

John: And what a practical conversation with all sorts of great takeaways that we’ve had for the past couple of days here on Focus on the Family with Dr. David Clarke, who wrote the book Honey, We Need to Talk.

Jim: Man, I hope that you, the listener, have been empowered today to strengthen your relationship with your spouse and that you feel hope, if your marriage is struggling. Ad you’ve listened along, if you’re in a tough spot in your marriage, we have caring Christian counselors here at Focus on the Family. Call us! We can give you some first steps you can take to strengthen the intimacy and the communication in your relationship.

John: And to speak with one of our counselors, our number is 800-A-FAMILY. 800-232-6459. And we need to tell you that right now we get a lot of phone calls. The holiday season brings up so much and that counseling team may need to take your name and number and give you a call back– they’ll do it as soon as they can. But we do want to hear from you, so again that number is 800, the letter A and the word FAMILY.

Jim: And you know, today’s program highlights what we’ve been striving for for forty years, to help struggling marriages. We received a comment from Mrs. Larry that I’d love to share with you. She said, “In 1977, my marriage was in serious trouble. We were on the steps of the divorce court. When taking my children to school one day, I discovered the Focus on the Family radio broadcast. Each day seemed to speak to me personally. I started reading the Bible and applying it to my life. God turned our life and marriage around and I’m happy to report that today we’re celebrating 47 years of marriage! Thank you from the bottom of my heart for saving my marriage!” And what a great story!

And I want to thank you, because you share in that, those that have prayed for us, that have supported the ministry. God sees that bigger economy that He knows you’ve worked hard and you’ve sent some of those resources to Focus on the Family and you share, not only in that marriage saved, but the many, many marriages saved over these past 40 years.

Today, when you partner in ministry with us, your gift will be doubled and we’ll send you a copy of David Clarke’s bookHoney, We Need to Talkas our way of saying thank you.

John: And you can make your donation when you call 800-A-FAMILY or stop by focusonthefamily.com/radio. And while you’re there, check out additional audio that we have with David Clarke and be sure to order a copy of our entire Best of 2017 collection on CD or as a download.

And next time, we’ll be sharing an inspiring conversation with Eric Metaxas about the importance of heroes.

Teaser:

Eric Metaxas: When you encounter a noble life, a life given over to a higher purpose, to God’s purpose, something inside you, because you’re made in God’s image, responds. You can’t even help it.

End of Teaser

Today's Guests

Honey, We Need to Talk

Receive Dr. David Clarke's book Honey, We Need to Talk for your donation of any amount!

Recent Episodes

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Finding Space to Connect With God

Kathi Lipp and Cheri Gregory share ideas on how you can find the space and the place to spend time nurturing your relationship with God. They reflect on some of their imperfections and the abundant grace God offers to cover those shortcomings.

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Saving Your Marriage From Divorce (Part 2 of 2)

Dr. David Clarke shares that if you are struggling in your marriage that you are not alone and there is hope. He discusses the three main bad marriage types: “We’re unhappy but willing to work on it marriage,” “My marriage is stuck but my spouse won’t work on it marriage,” “My spouse committed a big sin marriage.” (Part 2 of 2)

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Affair-Proof Your Marriage (Part 1 of 2)

Pastor Dave Carder offers couples practical advice for protecting their marriages from adultery in a discussion based on his book Anatomy of an Affair: How Affairs, Attractions, and Addictions Develop, and How to Guard Your Marriage Against Them. (Part 1 of 2)

Focus on the Family Broadcast logo

Affair-Proof Your Marriage (Part 2 of 2)

Pastor Dave Carder offers couples practical advice for protecting their marriages from adultery in a discussion based on his book Anatomy of an Affair: How Affairs, Attractions, and Addictions Develop, and How to Guard Your Marriage Against Them. (Part 2 of 2)

Focus on the Family Broadcast logo

Balancing Gender Differences in Your Marriage (Part 1 of 2)

Robert and Pamela Crosby help married couples understand and celebrate their gender differences so that they can enjoy a stronger bond and deeper intimacy. Our guests offer practical tips for improved communication, successful conflict resolution and offering affirmation to your spouse. (Part 1 of 2)

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!

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

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

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

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

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Newest Release - Episode 6: Families Helping Families!

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

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

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

Praying Scripture Over Your Child’s Life - Part 2

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

Headshot of Focus on the Family broadcast guest Jodie Berndt

Jodie Berndt

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

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

Praying the Scriptures Over Your Children

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

Effective Habits to Embrace in Parenting

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

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

Dr. Randy Schroeder

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

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

Simple Habits for Effective Parenting

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

The Spiritual Battle for Your Marriage

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

Tim and Noreen Muehlhoff Cropped

Dr. Tim and Mrs. Noreen Muehlhoff

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

Defending Your Marriage

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

Reigniting Your Passion for Jesus - Part 1

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

Headshot photo of author Kim Meeder

Kim Meeder

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

Revival Rising

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

Reigniting Your Passion for Jesus - Part 2

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

Headshot photo of author Kim Meeder

Kim Meeder

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

Revival Rising

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

Mothers and Sons: Being a Godly Influence - Part 2

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

Headshot of Rhonda Stoppe

Rhonda Stoppe

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

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

Moms Raising Sons to Be Men

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

Identifying Triggers in Your Marriage - Part 2

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

Headshot of Guy and Amber Lia

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Author Debra Fileta in the Focus on the Family broadcast studio

Mrs. Debra Fileta

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

Are You Really Okay?

Are You Really OK: Getting Real About Who You Are

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

Embracing Your Role as a Spouse

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

Headshot of Kevin Thompson

Pastor Kevin Thompson

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

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

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

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

Sharing Your Faith with Grace and Purpose

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

Mr. Greg Koukl

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

Tactics front cover

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

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

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!