Focus on the Family Broadcast

Finding Grace in the Midst of Racial Division (Part 1 of 2)

Finding Grace in the Midst of Racial Division (Part 1 of 2)

Captain Ronald Johnson of the Missouri Highway Patrol (retired) discusses the hostile racial tension that followed the Aug. 14, 2014 fatal shooting of Michael Brown, and his efforts to restore peace between the African American community and law enforcement. His remarkable story inspires listeners to consider how they can promote peaceful race relations in their own communities. (Part 1 of 2)

Opening:

Ronald Johnson: There were times when I thought I was too busy to pray, before Ferguson. But in my darkest moments, I never was too busy, no matter how long those days were.

John Fuller: During his darkest days, he would lock the door, go to the restroom, and cry and pray. And in those moments when he felt the weakest, his faith in God kept him pressing forward. Five years ago, Captain Ron Johnson of the Missouri State Police was appointed by the governor to be in charge of security in Ferguson, MO. And at that time, the whole country was fixated on the rioting and the violence and just the unpredictable situation there in the wake of police-involved shooting, which tragically resulted in the death of Michael Brown. You’re going to hear more from this man on Focus on the Family today. Your host is Focus president Jim Daly. I’m John Fuller.

Opening Wrap:

Jim Daly: John, the events of August 2014 are burned into most of our memories as buildings burned and stores were looted, and shots rang out in the night and tear gas was deployed in the streets. That always captures the attention of the news. And we had it 24/7. We were seeing what was going on in this little suburb of St. Louis called Ferguson. It was an awful time in our country’s most recent history. And Captain Ron Johnson was thrust right into the middle of it all. So he did all that he knew to do, rely on his training, pray and ask God for help. And we’re going to hear this incredible story of faith and courage in the midst of some really terrible circumstances.

John: Captain Johnson has written a book called 13 Days in Ferguson, which really captures his experiences during those two weeks of upheaval. And he’s a retired 30-year veteran police officer, now the founder of Lodestone Solution Group and develops and inspires leaders. And he and his wife, Lori, have been married for 30 years.

Body:

Jim: Ron, welcome to the program.

Ronald Johnson: Thanks for having me, Jim.

Jim: It’s such an honor. And we don’t get a chance often to talk to people who have gone through such amazing circumstances and then reflect on it, you know, what was learned, what went wrong, what could we do better, so I’m grateful that you’re here today. You know, going back five years ago and hearing it in your own words is probably the best place for the listeners to start. What do you remember about the police incident in Ferguson? What was your first impression of what was going on?

Ronald: You know, when it first happened, and especially when I first stepped out onto the streets of Ferguson, I had fear, really the first time in my life, as a law enforcement… that I really experienced fear.

Jim: And were you – you were a state trooper. Give us your role at the time as – as you were in Ferguson. What was your assignment?

Ronald: Well, I was – I was a troop commander for the past 15 years in St. Louis, over a troop of about 300 employees. And so, that was my daily job. And so, after the shooting that occurred in Ferguson, I was there to assist the local police department from a state vantage point on helping with resources.

Jim: Yeah, let’s – for most people, we don’t experience instant life and death decisions. Police officers, first responders – you do. You’re trained to do it. But help us understand, as a 30-year veteran of the police force, how quickly life and death decisions are made and what that environment is like.

Ronald: It does happen rather quickly. You know, I served on our SWAT team for about 10 years. And you do have to make these decisions in a split moment. But a part of you has to have this vision to see past what’s in front of you and see the person and see the incident and try to go through all the different ways you can to bring it to a calm and bring it to a peaceful end.

Jim: For those it may not recall what was happening, described that day. What happened to Michael Brown? What was the officer doing? What were the circumstances for those that may not remember, or may not have heard, if that is possible?

Ronald: Well, there had been a report of a young man who’d taken some cigarillos, which is a form of a cigar, from a convenience store in the community. Then two young men were seen walking down the street, in the middle of the street. An officer approached the two young men and asked them to get out of the middle of the street, is how the encounter started.

Jim: Right.

Ronald: Later, within that encounter, the officer realized that this might be the young man who had taken the cigarillos from the convenience mart. And then there had been an encounter, had been a struggle. The officer fired shots, and the young man end up dying from his injuries.

Jim: When you look at that incident, just – just on its face, as a police officer, first and foremost, what were your impressions? Was it handled correctly? Was – I mean, that’s a tough situation for both people. But, what were your impressions of what went right and what went wrong?

Ronald: Well, I think, you know, initially there’re always a lot of questions. And it’s always unfair to second guess when you don’t know all the facts. So initially, all the facts were not there. And so, no one really knew all the facts. And there were two different sides coming out, two different stories.

Jim: Right.

Ronald: And so, initially, I don’t think I really had an impression. I think for me, at that moment, I knew that someone had lost their life. And that was someone’s son, someone’s friend. And so, that was my initial reaction to the incident.

Jim: Yeah, the hours afterward, many things started to transpire. This became a national rallying cry for police injustice, racial tension, all of it. I mean, put that in your own words. What were those hours after this encounter like? What did the police department do? What were the protesters showing up? And they – from what I understand, protesters showed up from all over the country, if I’ve got that right. I mean, it wasn’t just there in Ferguson. It probably started there. But what did the mix of – of protesters – what were they like? What was their point? And what were the police doing about it?

Ronald: You know, we had people from all across the world, not just the country. We had people from outside the U.S. that actually came to Ferguson.

Jim: Even outside the U.S.?

Ronald: Yes, and so very emotional. After the shooting, the young man actually laid on the streets of Ferguson for over four hours.

Jim: Now, why was that? I mean, was there a reason? Was there any rationale? Is that – describe that for us that don’t work in that area. What is typical? And why was this an outlier?

Ronald: Well, a reason was given. But I think that there is no reason that was good enough to have someone lay on the streets four hours.

Jim: Correct.

Ronald: And that was something as law enforcement – we should have done a better job. And when I say we, it wasn’t actually my department, but I wore that uniform. And so, it’s always easy to buy into what’s good, and then when mistakes are made, to separate yourself. And so, I never do that. But after the shooting, there was a large crowd. There was gunfire in the air. And in St. Louis, EMS will not transport a deceased body. And so, we had to call a private service in.

Jim: Right.

Ronald: And it was a husband and wife who owned the business. And with the gunfire, they were told not to get out of their car, until they could provide safety for them. And then this time kept going by and kept going by. And so, the young man laid in the street just covered up with a sheet. His mother was there. And the crowds grew and grew in anger, as people put this out on social media.

Jim: Right.

Ronald: And so there was a lot of pain. And I think a lot of people felt that no one should be treated that way and that shouldn’t happen. And so did I. And I think even as law enforcement, even the ones that made the decision to lay him there, once they thought about it, yes, we should have done something different.

Jim: Right, so the hindsight was there. But in the present moment, they were thinking safety and not thinking of the harm it was doing to leave Michael’s body out on the street. I mean, again – such tough, difficult decisions. And you know, in this case a couple hours – four hours – but you know, you regret those decisions. I’m sure the police department regrets those decisions.

Ronald: You do. You know, and I – for me, during that time and hearing about that – ’cause I was traveling from out of town, and I was just getting reports from my office, but I began to think about if that with my son and how I would feel. And I began to start feel that pain and started getting emotional myself picturing that.

Jim: Ron, let me – let me ask you this – and  these are comments that I’ve heard, and I remember from the time when that was happening. Some would suggest – and I don’t want to be disrespectful, but I want to hear your answer. And when we talk about racial tension, this is where we need honest conversation, where we can all have courage to say what we’re perceiving, without being misunderstood. So, I say that in this spirit, because some at the time, they were talking about this incident in the context of a young man who was disrespectful. The officer had said, “Get up on the curb. Don’t walk in the middle of the street.” He turned on him, seemingly. And then, a physical altercation occurred. And some would say this young man didn’t want to or didn’t understand obeying authority is really important. and you got to do what they say.

How do you respond to that comment for people that are outside the area, that just see this as kind of a young man who didn’t know how to respect authority? I doubt those people making those comments would suggest that it was, therefore, right then for him to lose his life, that’s ridiculous, but how do you respond to that idea that all of us have to know how to respond to instruction and authority when we’re told to do something?

Ronald: Yes, we all do have to be able to follow instructions when we’re asked to. But it’s always easy to judge when we’re not in that moment and we’re not there. We also have to understand there are a lot of things that our young people face in our country.

Jim: Speak to the emotion of that. I really want to hear it, What’s that tension like? What are they responding to? What are they upset about? What – where’s that anger coming from?

Ronald: Well, I think there’s this sense, especially in some of our urban communities, of a lack of respect that goes both ways. And then it becomes that anger, it becomes that – you’re embattled on your decision making. And so, sometimes when we’re confronting individuals, it’s not necessarily they hate us as a person, but it’s the institution that we stand for.

Jim: Right.

Ronald: And so, I think that there’s a lot that goes into that. You know, not being there that day, it’s hard to know that. But I think respect goes both ways. I think it’s about conversation. And I would say the conversation can’t start in the midst of chaos. Conversation can’t start in the heat of the moment. And we can’t respect each other when we haven’t communicated beforehand, before incidents.

Jim: Well, and one of the – I asked that question not to lead the discussion. But a friend of mine, African American friend told me, “Jim, the problem was not that flashpoint. It was the history of the racism from the police department in the past.” And I – I don’t know if that’s fair, either, but that was his comment – that that was an expression of several symptomatic things that were going on, that this was a kind of, ingrained attitude within the Ferguson Police Department. But, you’re from there. I mean, tell me. Is that even accurate? Was there trouble there already?

Ronald: Yes. There was not a good relationship with law enforcement and community. You know, Ferguson – they say there’s two sides of Ferguson. There’s a side that’s more diverse and a side that’s more African American.

Jim: Right.

Ronald: The side that’s more African American, the citizens would say that their only encounters with the police was when something negative was happening.

Jim: Huh.

Ronald: A lot of them said that they couldn’t name one place – they couldn’t name who the chief was. And so, there is not a relationship, and there’s not a sense of respect. And – and so, I think that – I think your friend is absolutely right.

Jim: Yeah.

Ronald: You know, that was the tipping point. The…

Jim: Right.

Ronald: The water in the pot finally boiled out.

Jim: Yeah, which is why, when we look at it as a national news story, we see just this incident. We don’t get the whole picture of what was going on and why the frustration was there, so I appreciate that insight.

Ronald: Sure.

John: So, there was some real pent-up emotion and some – some issues underlying what happened, but, if I recall correctly, it deteriorated really rapidly, right?

Ronald: Yes.

John: I mean, this was not just a few people hanging out. I mean, if you’ve got gunshots and – and a growing mob, there’s something else going on here.

Ronald: Yes. The following day, on Sunday, things just really skyrocketed. That Saturday, there were large crowds, but the next day, it just really evolved.

John: In what ways?

Ronald: More gunshots. There was a building, a local gas station, where they thought that this incident that occurred and thought they were the ones that reported the theft. It was burned to the ground. And then there was looting. A lot of stores were looted, and so it really took a – a dangerous turn.

Jim: In the midst of all that, you had a fellow trooper say something that really wounded you. What was that?

Ronald: It was a friend of mine, and – and we had been friends and shared moments at different events together with our wives. And we’re in the midst of the crowd, and he says, “We need to leave.” And I said, “No, we need to stay.” And he talked about – “Well, you’re comfortable. These people respect you, and – and you’re comfortable, but the rest of us, we need to move out.” And the way that he said “these people…”

Jim: Hm.

Ronald: …really troubled me. And I think that people were there because they were hurt, and I think what you were saying to me is that, “Basically, you’re one of them…”

Jim: Right.

John: Hm.

Ronald: “…And I’m not.” And that’s not the way that I view policing…

Jim: Right.

Ronald: …And that’s not the way that I thought he viewed me.

Jim: Well, it’s kind of the core issue, isn’t it? I mean, that’s the issue – I mean, them and us rather than we.

Ronald: You’re exactly right. You know, we talked at the beginning about the book that I wrote. And whenever I sign that book and  autograph that book for people, I put, “I am you.” And I put that in every book, no matter who you are…

Jim: Right.

Ronald: …Because I think, in essence, we’re all a part of each other in some way, and there’s things that we share, no matter what our color and our gender and our beliefs.

Jim: And Ron, that – that gets to the core issue of your faith, because we haven’t mentioned the intricate nature of your faith and how that began to play into this moment in your life. I mean, you weren’t isolated. I’m sure you were praying more than ever. But what role did your faith play? I mean, what happened after that encounter? From what I understand in the book, you went into a restroom and just began to cry.

Ronald: I did. You know, the first day when I found out that I was going to be assigned at this – as a security commander, I walked down the streets of West Florissant. And as I got halfway down, these ladies came out, and they said, “Can we pray for you?” And I’m thinking, in the midst of all this chaos – you know, people throwing rocks, people yelling things and screaming, “Police, get off the street” – these women wanted to pray for me.

Jim: Huh.

Ronald: And so I said, “Yes,” and they huddled around me. And for that moment, I didn’t hear any bottles being thrown. I didn’t hear any names being thrown out. It was just a – a sense of peace.

Jim: Yeah.

Ronald: And at that moment, I knew that my faith would carry me and – and guide me through.

Jim: Yeah. That is so good. I mean, and what a great example for all of us to follow not only when we’re in the midst of trouble, but when we’re just waking up and going through our day – to rely on the Lord to guide us through that day. It seems like we, as believers in Christ – we really lean into the Lord when we’re in trouble – right? – when we don’t know what to do – kind of where you were at…

Ronald: Yes.

Jim: …In that moment. You mentioned being assigned the – the commander of security. I – I’m not sure what that meant, as I was reading through. You still had a Ferguson police chief, and then the governor, without really talking to you ahead of time, or any of his staff talking to you – you heard him mention your name on television. Is that right?

Ronald: No. Actually, we – there’s a Ferguson police chief, but then there’s a – an area police chief of a larger police department. And he actually took over. Chief Jon Belmar, St. Louis County, actually took over command…

Jim: OK.

Ronald: …of the whole incident for the first five days. Then the governor, five days later, decided he was going to have a news conference, and so he wanted everybody there. He wanted all the law enforcement leaders there. A lot of the politicians were there. Religious leaders were there. And so, I was told to attend by my boss, and I asked my boss, “What’s going on?” He goes, “Well, I don’t know, but the governor is coming to town and said he’s – wants to talk and – and – and give his views and opinions.” And so, we get there, and the governor comes into a room, and he’s talking to all the law enforcement, politicians. Then he steps back, and he says, “I’m going to make a change immediately.” And he says, “Effective right now, Captain Ron Johnson’s in charge of – head of security for the Ferguson incident.”

Jim: And, you didn’t even know he knew your name, right? I mean…

Ronald: Uh, no.

Jim: Wow.

Ronald: Right.

Jim: How did – how did – OK. What were your emotions like at that point when you’re going, “Wait a minute”?

Ronald: Well, at that moment, I’m thinking, “Why? Why me?”

Jim: (Laughter) That’s an amazing story.

John: Yeah. Why not somebody else? Yes.

Jim: I mean, when you think of leadership, which – you know, your book and what you do now is kind of helping leaders, right?

Ronald: Right. You know – and so, for me, at the moment, I kept saying, “Why me?” But then I said, “That’s not a question for you to ask.”

Jim: Oh, interesting. Huh.

Ronald: The question is that – this is a blessing that you’ve been given, and God gives you no more than you can bear. And you just have to continue to walk with that.

Jim: Yeah.

Ronald: And so that’s why I decided to walk down the streets of Ferguson – because that’s all that I knew, because I didn’t have a plan when I got in front of the podium. They said, “What is your plan?” And I wanted to say, “Well, I just found out 15 minutes ago that I was in charge.”

Jim: I admire your courage. I mean, I’m just sitting here as a leader myself, thinking, “Wow, that is amazing.” And you had to respond. Did you then come to the microphones? Did they invite you to come speak?

Ronald: I did, as a matter of fact.

Jim: (Laughter) Without a speech? Without anything…

Ronald: Well, the governor’s staff had written an initial speech for me.

Jim: OK.

John: That was thoughtful of them.

Jim: Yeah (laughter). Here you go (laughter).

Ronald: What they didn’t do for the – when I came up to the podium the second time, after the governor spoke again, they didn’t give me a sheet to answer the questions I was gonna be asked…

Jim: Correct.

Ronald: …by the media.

Jim: That’s tough.

Ronald: Yes.

John: Yeah. Well, we’re hearing right from the heart of a man who was in the middle of a lot of chaos and had to really lean on the Lord. He captures these experiences so well in his book, 13 Days in Ferguson. We’re talking to Captain Ronald Johnson on Focus on the Family and call us so we can send a copy of this book to you. It’s 800, the letter A, and the word family, or stop by the website, focusonthefamily.com/broadcast.

Jim: Ron, I want to step back a little bit. Your dad was a police officer.

Ronald: Yes.

Jim: Tell me about your relationship with him. And was he the reason that you wanted to become a police officer?

Ronald: Yes. My dad was a police officer at a local university in St. Louis, and I always admired him – so what he stood for and, when he put that uniform on, the pride that he had when he walked out the door. But, when he would come home, and the stories I would hear him talk to my mom about wasn’t about people that he arrested. It was about people he helped.

Jim: Uh-huh. Wow.

Ronald: And so I always valued that.

Jim: Yeah. And – and you moved to a predominantly white neighborhood, I think, sometime in your childhood, and you encountered, you know, people that weren’t too friendly to your family. What was that like?

Ronald: It was different. You know, I grew up in a community that was predominately African American. In St. Louis city. And then we moved, when I was about 9 or 10, to community where were the only African American family on our street.

Jim: Wow.

Ronald: And so, it was a new environment for us, but it was also a new environment for our new neighbors.

Jim: Sure.

Ronald: And so, it became challenging, and I think that, for us, a lot of our neighbors – things that they had seen on TV, or things they had heard about African Americans, was their belief about African Americans.

Jim: Yeah. And you had some neighbors running over your lawn and…

Ronald: Yes.

Jim: …terrible things, yes.

Ronald: They’d drive over our yard at night and spin their cars. And then one night, someone hit the fire hydrant. And our whole family’s in our home, and the police are there. And, we walk out, but nobody knocked on our door. Until my mother went to turn on the water, it’s just – the water is not working.

Jim: Right.

Ronald: And then, she heard some noise outside, but the police or no one knocked on our door…

Jim: Hm.

Ronald: …To tell us what had happened.

Jim: And your dad’s a police officer at this point, right?

Ronald: Yes.

Jim: Why, that’s amazing. I don’t quite understand that. What – how did you manage that? How old were you, and how did you process that?

Ronald: It was difficult. You know, my dad had been injured in a car accident, but he went out there, and he stood as a strong man, even though he walked with his cane. But he went out there in the midst of this crowd. And – and some were calling him names, but he went out there, and he just stood tall and never reacted and  – and brought the situation to a calm.

Jim: Yeah.

Ronald: But it was a scary time for us…

Jim: Yeah.

Ronald: …because I could look at the fear on my mom’s eyes as we all stood looking at – peering out the window to see if our dad was going to be OK, but also trying to figure out what happened.

Jim: And you were called names, right? I mean, you experienced that straightforward…

Ronald: Yes.

Jim: …At that time. I mean, I – I didn’t grow up in that kind of environment, so – meaning I was in a multi-racial situation in – in California. But I don’t recall a lot of that going on. I mean, it sounds odd. Maybe I missed it. I was a boy. But man, that’s got to sting. How does – what does that do to your dignity when people, not knowing you, treat you so poorly?

Ronald: Well, it hurts, because, you know, for us, in our home, we had never talked about that, because we had never experienced it.

Jim: Yeah.

Ronald: And so, for the first time now, as kids, we’re bringing that to our parents. And, “Hey, what does this mean? I don’t know what it means, but it hurts. The tone – I’ve never heard that tone.” But I think, for the kids – after I got older, kids that were saying that really didn’t know what it meant, either.

Jim: Yeah.

Ronald: Someone had told them these are the names that you say. And because I think hate is something that’s taught, and so, I think that, you know, someone had told them those names, and so they thought these are the names that I should say. But later on, we would become friends.

Jim: Yeah, it’s so interesting. I – it’s taught. You’re right. We demonstrate it around dinner tables, or conversation about current events and things like that. And that’s one reason we wanted to do this show with you, because it’s an important topic. I mean, when you look at our country and where we’re at, this is kind of the underlying issue, the racial tension, the racial divide. And I’m just grateful that you’ve put this into a story. Let’s come back. There’s so much more to talk about. I want to get on with that. You’re thrust into this role. But again, describe for me as commander, did the police chief of Ferguson, or the other gentleman that was given authority, kind of the wider police authority, did he report to you? Or did you report to him? Or what was the – the mechanism there? Who made the decisions on the ground to – to tear gas and to do other things, because I know you had to make some of those tough calls?

Ronald: Well, you know, initially, I reported to him.

Jim: OK.

Ronald: But then after the governor put me in charge, in essence, he was supposed to report to me. But I needed his partnership…

Jim: Absolutely.

Ronald: …And I needed his support. Until this day we’re friends. And when we see each other we embrace.

Jim: Well, and that – Ron, that’s one of the core things. And we’re gonna have you come back tomorrow, and we’re going to continue this discussion, because I want to get into the night and those events that occurred over the next 13 days, and some of those decisions you needed to make, the way the community responded to you,

But, as we end today, I think one of the core things to hear from you is, you know, making those controversial decisions. Let’s at least talk about one. When the marchers were marching, you decided to march with them, as an officer. You talk about the tension a moment ago within your command structure and the police either rallying around your leadership or pulling back. Marching with the marchers, I can only imagine what they were feeling and what they were trying to understand about what you were demonstrating. What are you doing, Ron? Tell us about that moment and the decision to march and how all the factions responded to that decision.

Ronald: Well, you know, the decision to march – I think too often, when we have this divide between law enforcement and community, it’s because community believes that we don’t see their faces and we don’t hear their voices.

Jim: So, is this nighttime? Is it daytime?

Ronald: It’s daytime.

Jim: OK, it’s daytime. How many people are marching? Thousands?

Ronald: There’s hundreds…

Jim: Hundreds.

Ronald: …There’s hundreds of people marching. And as we marked – marched down the street, more people start to get into the march.

Jim: Right, and here you are in uniform, and you go up to whom and say, “I’m going to march with you”? I mean, what did they – how did they respond to you?

Ronald: Well, I go up to a pastor that I knew, her name is Pastor Traci Blackmon, and I knew her, and I knew our kids and our kids are friends. And I walk up to her, and she congratulates me on being assigned as commander.

Jim: (Laughter) Oh, man. Thanks a lot.

Ronald: And so, she says, “Why are you here?” And I said, “Well, I’m here to march with you.” She was leading the march. And she says, “I’d rather you not.” And then I laughed, because I’m thinking she’s joking, we’re friends. But when I walked up to her, I called her Traci. And then she said,  “I’m serious, I’d rather you not.” And then I looked at her, because at that moment, that’s all that I had.

Jim: Right.

Ronald: I had no plan, but I knew I wanted to walk down the street. I wanted to see the people. I wanted to understand everything that they were going through and everything that they felt. And so, I looked at her with tears in my eyes, and I called her Pastor Blackmon. And I said, “I need to march for me.” And I said, “I’ll march in the back. If you’d let me march, I’ll march in the back. And when we get by the crowds, I’ll veer off. But I need to start this march.” And then she looked at me and said, “No, you can march, but you have to march in the front with me.”

Jim: Did she ever express to you why she hesitated? What was the concern? Was it just being an officer, what you represented as a police officer, not a friend?

Ronald: You know, I never asked. But I – but I answered that to myself. And I said to myself that initially, when I had shock when I was put in charge, but by the time – an hour later, by the time I got to that march, I was feeling pretty good about Ron Johnson, that I was somebody special.

Jim: Wow.

Ronald: And I think that that answer – when no – was God humbling me, that you’re nobody special. I’ve given you a task. And so, that is why I believe she said, “No.” So I answered that for myself.

Jim: Wow, Ron, I mean, what – that’s inspiring. And, what a place to end. But we’re going to come back next time, continue the discussion. And I want to get into those days, events and what took place. Can we do that?

Ronald: Yes, we can.

Closing:

Jim: Let’s do it. Boy, I hope you’re feeling and hearing an incredible testimony of a man who is humbly trying to do the assignment given to him. And, you know, in this kind of situation where it is packed with racial contention and the events of Ferguson, that’s headline news, but I think the Lord calls each and every one of us at different times in our life in a very similar way to be faithful to the call. Don’t ask why – I love that, Ron – don’t ask why. Just do it. Just start walking with Me. And, we can apply this to our lives in so many ways.

Closing Voice Track:

John: Well, we want to encourage you to get a copy of Captain Johnson’s book, 13 Days in Ferguson. Donate when you get in touch. We’ll send a copy of that to you, as our way of saying thank you for joining our support team. And you can do that by calling 800, the letter A and the word FAMILY, 800-232-6459. Or stop by focusonthefamily.com/broadcast.

Well, 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. We’ll continue the conversation with Captain Johnson and once again help you and your family thrive in Christ.

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13 Days in Ferguson

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Accepting Your Imperfect Life

Amy Carroll shares how her perfectionism led to her being discontent in her marriage for over a decade, how she learned to find value in who Christ is, not in what she does, and practical ways everyone can accept the messiness of marriage and of life.

Sara Hagerty, author of Every Bitter Thing is Sweet

Being Seen by God

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

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Being the Hero Within You

Rodney Bullard, Vice President of Community Affairs at Chick-fil-A, encourages listeners to make a heroic impact on the world in an inspiring discussion based on his book, Heroes Wanted: Why the World Needs You to Live Your Heart Out.

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.

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!