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Finding Hope for Your Desperate Marriage (Part 2 of 2)

Finding Hope for Your Desperate Marriage (Part 2 of 2)

Best-selling author Dr. Gary Chapman offers practical advice and encouragement to struggling couples in a discussion based on his book Loving Your Spouse When You Feel Like Walking Away: Real Help for Desperate Hearts in Difficult Marriages. (Part 2 of 2)

Opening:

Excerpt:

Gary Chapman: I do believe that many, many people give up in those difficult marriages which, if they had a different perspective on things – which I’m calling reality living – they could be an influencer. It is true we can’t change our spouse. We can’t make them change. But we can influence them.

End of Excerpt

John Fuller: Insights from Dr. Gary Chapman, and he has more encouragement and hope for your marriage today, on Focus on the Family. Your host is Focus President and author Jim Daly, and I’m John Fuller.

Jim Daly: Last time, we talked with Dr. Chapman about some difficult situations within marriage – having a spouse who’s a workaholic or one who is depressed. We also touched on reframing your mindset to be more positive towards your spouse. I realize it’s a hard thing to do, but it’s necessary. And I love what Dr. Chapman said in that clip just a moment ago: “You can’t change your spouse, but you can influence them.” And with God’s help and guidance, you can have a thriving marriage. Today we have more help and trusted advice for desperate marriages. And I know you’ll want to hear what Dr. Chapman has to share.

John: He has been with us here a number of times on Focus on the Family. He’s always a favorite guest for Jim, for me, and also for our listeners – great responses every time he’s here. No doubt you’re familiar with his best-selling series, The Five Love Languages books. And our conversation today is based on another book that Gary wrote, called, Loving Your Spouse When You Feel Like Walking Away.

Body:

Jim: Gary, welcome back to Focus on the Family.

Gary: Thank you. Good to be back with you, Jim.

Jim: Man, we started the conversation last time, and it just went – so many good nuggets of wisdom that we discussed when it comes to the irresponsible spouse, the workaholic spouse. We’re gonna get into more of these things today. But Gary, we started with this concept of reality living. That’s not a retirement home…

(LAUGHTER)

Jim: …Title. Reality living, in your book, says what?

Gary: It says basically that we have to change our attitude and choose to see the positive in any situation. And there’s always something positive in the situation. So we change our attitude. The reason that’s so important is attitude leads to behavior. If I see something positive in the person, then it’s easier for me to give affirming words, for example.

Jim: Right.

Gary: So we change our attitude. And the other thing is that we recognize – and here’s a key reality – “I cannot change my spouse.” Everybody agrees to that.

Jim: They remind you every holiday season.

Gary: Absolutely. But here’s the rest of that story: I can influence my spouse. And we fail to recognize the power of influence. You know, in simple things – let’s say you come home after work, and you walk in the house, and you go give your spouse a hug and a kiss and ask how their day went. You just had a positive influence on them.

Jim: Yes.

Gary: On the other hand, you walk in at the end of the day, walk into the house. You don’t go greet your spouse. You go to the refrigerator, get you a drink, turn on the TV and sit down and unwind. You’ve just influenced them in a negative way.

Jim: “You don’t care about me.”

Gary: “You don’t care about me.” That principle applies in every marriage, in every situation. We do influence each other. What we need to learn is how to have a positive influence, and especially in these difficult marriages that we’re talking about today.

Jim: In that context, Gary, it just takes some thought and energy, right? I mean, you need to think about these things. Why do we not do that? What keeps us distracted from doing perhaps our number one job?

Gary: I think it’s because we just do what comes natural. And in our culture especially, what comes natural is to follow your emotions. So you feel hurt. The emotion of hurt leads you to lash out at them. And it makes things worse. You’ve had a negative impact on that relationship now. I think, Jim, another issue that I think is really important that often, in a very difficult marriage, the place to start – and this will be hard for people to hear – the place to start is by acknowledging my own failures in the marriage.

Jim: Yeah. That’s not easy to do.

Gary: See, because…

Jim: But it’s the right thing to do.

Gary: That’s right. Because, see, in our mind, the main problem is them. They’ve got the problem. They’re the alcoholic. They’re the workaholic. They’re the ones who won’t work. They’re the ones – and I understand that. And okay, so let’s say they’re 95 percent of the problem. But if you want to get things started off in a positive way and make a turn in your behavior, you apologize to them for your 5 percent. And you say, “Honey, I’ve been thinking about us a lot, and I realize that I’ve hurt you along the way, and I’ve failed to be a support to you in a lot of ways. And, in fact, I think I’ve come across as condemning to you in a lot of ways. And I deeply regret that. And I just want to ask you if you’ll forgive me from my behavior over the last 10 years.” Wow. They haven’t heard that before.

Jim: Yeah. And sometimes, Gary, I would think, depending upon how much scarring has occurred, if I could put it that way, you may not get the best response at that moment. You may, like you just expressed – like, “Wow. I’ve never heard that.” Or you may get, “Yeah, right. You know, I’ve heard that before.”

Gary: Absolutely. But they’re going to walk away, and they’re going to be thinking, “Wow.”

Jim: That’s different.

Gary: That’s different.

Jim: And that’s the key thing.

Gary: And so then, if you follow that up with really changed behavior on your part…

Jim: Right.

Gary: …It’s going to make a tremendous impact.

Jim: That’s amazing. Actions speak louder than words, right? Let’s move to some of the other conditions, you know, we talked about last time. But this idea of the controlling spouse – I doubt people want to be controlling. I mean, I think it is in our nature. But we don’t get married thinking, “I can’t wait to control that guy or that woman.” But it manifests. So I guess the question for me is twofold. What is happening there in the perpetrator, in the controller personality? What are they trying to achieve in that control? And then the second part of that question – how do they arrest it? How do they see it and begin to correct that?

Gary: Yeah. I think most people who have a controlling personality do not realize that they come across as a controller.

Jim: But you had a story in the book from – I think it was Philip and Gina – where Philip was driven and thought he was doing all the things you just expressed, you know, on behalf of the family. But Gina couldn’t take that controlling nature. What happened in their particular case?

Gary: You know, Philip had this idea that he wanted to retire when he was 50.

Jim: Okay.

Gary: He was a very driven guy. And he was – you know, he cut every corner to, you know, make sure he’s going to have enough money to retire.

Jim: So he’s putting all the acorns away?

Gary: Absolutely.

(LAUGHTER)

Gary: Yep. And, like, he told her that he was gonna – he put in these water saver shower heads.

Jim: Right.

Gary: “They’ll save us a bunch of money on water here,” you know. And she had – it took her 10 minutes longer to rinse the soap off of her body when she was taking a shower, you know. It just irritated her to death, you know?

(LAUGHTER)

Jim: Every day?

Gary: Every day, you know? And on that particular one, she said to him – she said, “You know, I know you think we’re saving money.” But she says, “I can’t take 10 minutes every day out of my schedule, you know, to just get the soap off my body.”

Jim: Right.

(LAUGHTER)

Gary: And if you don’t call the plumber and get that changed, I’m going to call the plumber myself. And I’m going to do it by Friday.

Jim: Wow. Okay.

Gary: He called the plumber. See, with a controller, there comes a place where you have to on individual issues say those kind of things. And, if they don’t, then you follow through because you have to break that model. But, eventually – because that alone did not change the situation – but, eventually, she left him a note one day, and she said, “I don’t know how you feel, but I’m just tired of being a child in our relationship.”

Jim: Wow.

Gary: And she said, “I’m going to move in with my mother.” And she left him the name of a counselor and a phone number. That rocked his world.

Jim: Oh, yeah.

Gary: It took him about a week, but he finally called the counselor. And when he did, he started the process of understanding his personality and how it was impacting her and their marriage. And the whole thing got turned around. And, eventually, after he had dealt with some of his issues as to why he was like he was, then the two of them got marriage counseling, and then they moved back together.

Jim: And they made it work?

Gary: And made it work.

Jim: Wow. That’s amazing. It’s so sad to hear that she was treated less as a child living with her mother than she was with her husband. Think of that.

Gary: Yeah.

Jim: What are some of those other do’s and don’ts in this category of the controlling spouse – the things not to say and the things to say?

Gary: Yeah.

Jim: I think what you’re saying there is so right – confront.

Gary: Yep.

Jim: But what are some of the negative things that we might say?

Gary: Well, it never helps to argue with a controller.

Jim: Huh.

Gary: That’s our natural bent, is we argue.

Jim: So ultimatums are the way to go?

Gary: Yeah. Ultimatums are far better than arguing. Arguing just goes downhill.

Jim: Okay.

Gary: It gets worse and worse and worse. And they don’t resolve because you can’t talk a controller out of their position because they know what they’re doing is good.

Jim: Right.

Gary: So arguing never helps. The submissive servant, long-term, doesn’t help. You see, sometimes a wife will just give in to a controlling husband, for example, and say, “Well, that’s just the way he is. So I’m just going to give in into this, and I’m just going to do whatever he says. And I’m just going to overlook this behavior.”

Jim: Because that brings peace…

Gary: Yeah.

Jim: …Or a type of peace?

Gary: Yeah. It brings a level of peace. But it’s a narrow peace. It’s not a deep peace.

Jim: Yeah.

Gary: And, ultimately, it never works.

Jim: Gary, as we transition now, we’re going to talk about physical abuse and also, um, issues of pornography and infidelity. This might be a good time to, uh, make sure small kids are away from the – the radio or the podcast, however you’re listening, whatever environment. But in that context, Gary, moving to physical abuse, I mean, here at Focus on the Family, we scream, “Get to a safe place if you’re in that situation.” We want to make sure the listeners know that. Don’t stay in a dangerous situation – you or your children. So get to safety, whether that’s a friend’s home, a family member’s home. And then get engaged with a counselor or someone who can begin to help you. But let’s go to the physically abusive spouse. What is happening in that relationship? Maybe walk us through the steps of the cycle of physical abuse.

Gary: Well, what happens is that within the abuser, tension begins to build over things they don’t like about their spouse. And they just hold it in for a while. And then eventually, it’s like an explosion. And they – that’s where the physical abuse comes in, where they slap or slam or kick or whatever. And then typically, there’s great remorse. They come back and say, “Oh, I’m so sorry, Honey.”

Jim: Well, we see that depicted in movies all the time…

Gary: Yeah, absolutely.

Jim: …Where that cycle is occurring.

Gary: And they seem so sincere. And they say, “It’ll never happen again.” But the cycle starts over.

Jim: Huh.

Gary: Two or three months, it may be good. And then, there’s another explosion.

Jim: Can I ask you – and this is to not draw sympathy for that abuser. I mean, that’s horrific. And no human being should abuse another human being. We all know that. What has happened to that human being where they become the abuser? And it’s not always men.

Gary: Yeah.

Jim: There’s a growing number of women that are the abuser. But what is happening there? When you look at their childhood and what went on, is there a pattern…

Gary: Yeah.

Jim: …That counselors see?

Gary: Often there’s anger that’s growing out of childhood abuse themselves. They were abused themselves.

Jim: So the abused become the abuser?

Gary: Yes. And because they never processed that anger and that hurt inside – because they couldn’t. If your parent is abusing you as a child, you can’t process it with the abuser. And so you…

Jim: So these are patterns?

Gary: That’s right. You hold it inside. But then you’re – begin following the same pattern they followed.

Jim: Ugh.

Gary: Because your hurt, your anger is inside. And that’s why the abuser needs help. You know, obviously, if they’re willing to go for counseling, they can get help for themselves.

Jim: Right.

Gary: If they’re – if they’re willing to do that. But I’m also asked the question, Jim, why – why do women stay in marriages like that?

Jim: Well, that’s the next one I was gonna ask.

Gary: Yeah.

Jim: And we say that around dinner when we know a relative or friend is in that spot.

Gary: Yeah.

Jim: We say, “Well, she just attracts those types of guys.”

Gary: Yeah.

Jim: What are we unwittingly saying when we say that?

Gary: Well, a part of that is there’s different reasons why women stay in abusive situations. One is that they have a personality themselves that’s what we call a rescuer mentality.

Jim: Uh-huh.

Gary: That they find significance in their own lives by helping people who are in trouble and helping them work through their problems.

Jim: Right.

Gary: And so they recognize that their spouse has a problem. And they – and they want to help the problem. And they – and so they have this mentality of – and they tend to end up marrying people who have these kind of personalities because, that – “I can help them.” Another…

Jim: Gary, before you move on.

Gary: Yeah.

Jim: Let me ask you this. I can hear the rescuer rationalizing, “That’s a wonderful Christian attribute, to want to help people.”

Gary: Yeah.

Jim: It sounds godly – and is godly. When does it become unhealthy?

Gary: I think the desire to help other people is certainly a godly desire. But when the person you’re trying to help is physically abusing you…

Jim: And you’re not leaving.

Gary: …And you’re not doing anything about it…

Jim: Right.

Gary: …Then you’re actually hurting them rather than helping them because you’re helping them establish a very negative behavior that’s never going to serve them in a positive way.

But I really want to scream a neon sign here. It’s not your fault that that person is abusing you.

Gary: Absolutely.

Jim: I mean, you may be enabling it in some way. But it’s not you. They’re choosing to do this.

Gary: Ab – Absolutely.

Jim: And you’ve got to get to a safe place. That’s our biggest point. I’m sorry. Now, you were going to go on.

Gary: Yeah, I was going to say another reason why some wives stay in abusive situations is they have isolated themselves from their family and their friends because they didn’t want to…

Jim: The embarrassment.

Gary: Yeah, they didn’t want their family to see them with a black eye or a bruise. And so they wait until they get healed before they even interact. And so they feel so isolated. They don’t have anywhere to go…

Jim: Yeah.

Gary: …Because no one else knows what’s going on. And then another is that they are actually fearful that if they do leave, the spouse will kill them.

Jim: And it can be that desperate.

Gary: And it could be – it could be that desperate for sure.

Jim: Man.

Gary: So that’s why some people stay in those kind of relationships. But that’s never the answer.

Jim: Gary, as we move to another very difficult topic in troubled marriages, and that is the unfaithful spouse, it’s an ever increasing problem in marriages today, the use of pornography, for example, and the damage it does. Let’s start there, with pornography, its prevalence in marriages today. What should Christian couples do who want to please the Lord? What should they do in this regard?

Gary: Well, you know, Jim, you’re exactly right that pornography has pervaded our society. And the whole technology world has made it so much easier now to have access to pornography. It’s always destructive to a marriage. I say to men especially, you know, “Guys, if you’re walking down that road, if you haven’t gone very far, can I urge you to turn around and burn the bridges and come back into the real world?”

Jim: Now, some men – and some women, now, too – addicted to pornography hear you say that, Gary, and they say, “I don’t know if I can.”

Gary: Yeah.

Jim: ‘Cause it is addictive behavior. So speak to that issue of addiction. And you may have maybe the light touch of it that a person can say, “Yes, I will choose a different path.” And they can do that starting right now.

Gary: Yeah.

Jim: Then others can’t. Describe the difference.

Gary: Yeah. And that’s why I say in the early stages. If you’re just beginning to go down that road, you can turn around. But if you’re already down to the end of that road and you’re addicted, you’ll have to have divine help. It’s just as addictive as cocaine. And what happens when you get to the end of that road, it’s idolatry.

Jim: Hm.

Gary: You have taken sex and made it God. You’ve taken a gift of God and made it God.

Jim: Right.

Gary: And you’re worshipping at an altar. So it’s idolatry. And so what I say to the guy who’s down at that end of that road is, “First of all, you’ve got to make the decision that it’s detrimental to your marriage. And it’s detrimental to you. And it’s obsessive with you. It’s become the center of your life. And that’s why I say you need divine help.”

Jim: Yeah.

Gary: “So go to somebody. Go to a pastor. Go to a counselor. Go to a trusted, older friend. Go to somebody and share…”

Jim: Start somewhere.

Gary: “…Where you are, you know. And let’s begin to take that journey back into the real world.”

Jim: Yeah. Gary, on behalf of – I just have that – that wife in my mind who has struggled with this. Maybe her husband is at that point where he’s addicted. And he’s justifying it by saying, “Well, it helps us in our physical relationship. It’s not a big deal. Trust me, this is a good thing.” Give her the ammunition, the ability to come back, spiritually speaking, biblically speaking, and say, “No, I don’t think so.”

Gary: Yeah. I think, Jim, this is where I feel some of the greatest pain, personal pain, when women sit in my office, when they’ve just discovered that their husband is into pornography. Here’s what they say, Jim: “What’s wrong with me?”

Jim: Yeah.

Gary: “Why does he have to go to a screen to see somebody he doesn’t even know? What’s wrong with me?”

Jim: Yeah.

Gary: And they weep.

Jim: It breaks their heart.

Gary: It breaks their heart. Because let’s face it, the sexual part of marriage is the most intimate part of marriage. I mean, the whole thing of becoming one flesh that…

Jim: Or knowing each other.

Gary: Knowing each other. Those biblical words, you know. And so I think – when I say to the lady, “You have to take a strong stand. And you have to say, ‘No, this is not acceptable. I cannot accept this. If you’re willing to go get some help now, then you begin to get some help. And we can talk about this. But I cannot accept this. And whatever the implications are if that’s the world you choose to live in, okay. You know, I don’t think that’s pleasing to God.’ And if he’s a Christian, you can talk as a Christian to each other about it because the whole biblical perspective is there. Jesus said, ‘You look on a woman, you committed adultery with her in your heart already.’ I mean, so, you know, you’re guilty of adultery is what it is. It’s non-physical adultery.” And so I think a wife has to take a loving but strong stand against that and not accept it as normal behavior.

Jim: Gary, let me make sure we clarify that because some counselors will take a position that there’s a distinction between the two, that pornography is not full-fledged adultery. It’s just a difference of opinion theologically, even, in that regard. Would you agree that those two statements are out there, that there is a distinction?

Gary: Yeah, and I think there is a distinction between that. There is mental adultery.

Jim: Okay.

Gary: That’s what Jesus said.

Jim: And that’s what He’s talking about.

Gary: That’s what He’s talking about. Mental adultery. And there’s physical adultery. And, yes, they’re not the same. They’re not to be equated, but they’re both adultery, according to Jesus. So I think that, you know, the mental adultery involves you and somebody, some picture or some person that you’re looking at.

Jim: Right.

Gary: Physical adultery involves two people.

Jim: Right.

Gary: And a lot of other people get hurt in the process with that.

Jim: Yeah.

Gary: And I think it is a deeper hurt in a marriage when your spouse is sexually involved with somebody else.

Jim: It’s the ultimate unfaithful.

Gary: Absolutely. Yeah, it is a deeper hurt.

Jim: Yeah.

Gary: No question about it.

Jim: Let’s move to that because that’s also a topic in your book. And this is where we’ll end. And again, what I want people to hear if you need help in any of these difficult areas that we’ve talked about today, we’re here for you at Focus on the Family. That’s our mission. We want you to thrive in Christ. And we don’t want you to languish in a marriage that is just unhealthy. So at least take that first step and call us. Gary, that unfaithful spouse situation, there’s two paths in front of that faithful spouse – either divorce, which scripture clearly says is an option. Then there’s repairing the marriage, probably aligning with the heart of God to say He hates divorce in every case. But that’s a difficult journey. Describe those two decisions.

Gary: It is a difficult journey. I do believe that there is life after infidelity, but it requires the person who’s been involved in the infidelity choosing, with the help of God, they’re going to break off that relationship. It’s going to be history. No contact. And then they’re going to get help themselves. They’re going to get counseling themselves and deal with what is it about them that led them to where they were willing to get involved in a relationship outside the marriage. So they need help. It also is going to require real forgiveness on the part of the spouse.

Jim: Yeah, most profound.

Gary: Yeah, and the other thing I like to really make clear here is that even if your spouse does break off the relationship, even if they do get counseling, even if they do come back and the two of you begin to get counseling and you choose to forgive them, which is the biblical response…

Jim: Yeah.

Gary: …Where God forgave us no matter what we’ve done. He forgives us. And we’re to forgive as Christ forgave. But forgiveness does not rebuild trust.

Jim: That’s a process.

Gary: Forgiveness opens the door to the possibility that trust can be reborn.

Jim: Yeah.

Gary: And as you say, it’s a process.

Jim: That’s well said.

Gary: So I say to the husband who, if he’s been unfaithful, “If you want her to trust you again, here’s your response. You say to her, ‘My cell phone is yours, honey, anytime you want to look at it. My computer is yours. If I tell you I’m going over to George’s house to work on his car, if you want to come by and see if I’m there, it’s fine, honey.’“

Jim: Or call George.

Gary: Yeah, or call George. “‘I’ve deceived you enough. I’m through with deceit. I’ve hurt you enough.’ And you take that approach. She’ll trust you again three months, six months, nine months down the road. She’ll trust you again.”

Jim: So that’s a good thing to do. What are some other do’s and don’ts in that very harmful, hurtful situation?

Gary: I think one thing is often if the relationship has gone on for a while and you break it off, that person’s going to call you again two or three times trying to pick the relationship back up.

Jim: Yeah.

Gary: You can’t keep them from calling you, but you don’t get involved in a conversation with them. You make it as brief as you can. Then you tell your spouse, “They called me today. Here was the conversation that went on.”

Jim: Gary, when you look at this – I mean, the Lord knows us. He knows all of us. He knows the thought lives that we have. It’s an open book for Him. Why does He put up with it, I guess? How does He put up with it? What is God trying to do through all of this in our own hearts? I mean, I’m talking about that really painful situation of unfaithfulness. What does the Lord want to achieve in both people?

Gary: Yeah. Well, let’s face it, we’re all broken in one way or another. And some of our brokenness hurts other people more than other things do. And this – in the marriage – this is the deepest hurt I think we can have is for our spouse to be sexually involved with someone else. And that is why it takes time for there to be healing in this kind of relationship. Well, I think what God wants to do is always redemption. God is in the business of redeeming people, taking people where they are with all of their failures, first of all, forgiving them when they repent. Forgiveness is always based on repentance. God doesn’t forgive everybody. He forgives people who apologize, who confess their sin and turn from their sin.

Jim: Mmhmm.

Gary: He forgives them. And so that is the message of the gospel. No matter who you are or what you’ve done, you can be forgiven. Then you turn your life over to Him to let Him remake your life, and as we said early – earlier on in the program, to make you like Christ.

Jim: Yes.

Gary: And as you become more and more like Christ and your spouse becomes more and more like Christ, you discover the marriage you always wanted – a loving, supportive, caring relationship.

Jim: What a great place to end. Gary, that’s the goal. Thank you so much for being with us here at Focus. Thank you.

Gary: Well, thank you, Jim. I always enjoy chatting with you.

Closing:

Jim: And Gary, I have a few more questions that I want to ask you regarding sexual abuse within marriage, healing childhood traumas, and abusive relationships that exist. We’ll take that portion of the conversation to our website. So, turning to you, the listener, join us online to hear that part of our discussion.

And maybe today has made you realize that you have a problem in your marriage that needs to be resolved and you’re ready to start. We have caring, Christian counselors on staff here at Focus that will provide you with that initial consultation and then be able to refer to someone in your area to carry the conversation forward.

And for couples who are further down the road towards separation or divorce, we also have our Hope Restored marriage intensives. I am so excited about how God is working through these intensives to make marriages stronger than ever before. The stories we hear from the couples that go through the program are really inspiring. One of the participants recently told us: “When we arrived, we had been separated for two and a half months. We had been to four different marriage counselors on and off over 15 years. My husband said he would give Hope Restored a 100 percent effort, but he had low hope that if God didn’t do something big, it would be time for formal separation. I am thrilled to say that we both have hope, and now, have some great tools to start operating in a safe place with each other.” John, I love that. This couple, like so many others, now have hope in their marriage, and that’s what it’s all about.

John: Yeah, that program has done so much for so many couples who seemed like they were out of gas totally.

Jim: Yeah, in so many cases, they’ve already signed divorce papers, so I don’t think you’re going to present something that we haven’t seen.

John: Yeah, so make a call today. Talk to one of our counselors. Maybe learn more about Hope Restored. Our number is 800, the letter A, and the word FAMILY.

Jim: And I hope you’ll join us in this ministry to couples, which will help strengthen families across the globe. Your ongoing monthly support of Focus on the Family allows us to continue providing couples with this hope in Christ through broadcasts like this one, other articles and resources, our counseling efforts, and Hope Restored. Partner with us to help marriages thrive. In this culture today, we need marriages to thrive. In fact, we’ll send you a copy of Dr. Chapman’s book, Loving Your Spouse When You Feel Like Walking Away, as our way of saying thank you for standing in the gap with your monthly commitment. And if you can’t afford that, we’ll send it for a one-time gift as well.

John: Yeah, become part of our support team and get your copy of Dr. Chapman’s book and a CD or download of this really great two-day conversation we’ve had with him. Our number is 800-A-FAMILY or online – focusonthefamily.com/broadcast.

By the way, when you’re at our website, be sure to check out the extra portion of this conversation that we had with Dr. Chapman.

On behalf of Jim Daly and the entire team, thanks for listening to Focus on the Family. I’m John Fuller inviting you back as we once again help you and your family thrive in Christ.

Today's Guests

Loving Your Spouse When You Feel Like Walking Away

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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)

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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)

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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!