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Focus on the Family Broadcast

Focusing On Your Family’s Mental Health

Focusing On Your Family’s Mental Health

Counselor Debra Fileta answers some general questions on mental and emotional health, covering topics like toxic people, codependency, anxiety and depression, and getting professional help. This insightful conversation will encourage you as you assess your own health and relationships.
Original Air Date: March 24, 2022

Preview:

Debra Fileta: Healing of heart, soul, mind, and strength is always part of God’s plan for our life. And just like we rely on things like physical therapy or going to the gym to get physically healthy, it’s okay to rely on counseling or even medication for us to get emotionally and mentally healthy. And I think we have to give Christian’s permission to realize number one, they’re not immune to these struggles. And number two, there is nothing wrong with acknowledging that they’re not okay. And then getting the help that they need.

End of Preview

John Fuller: That’s Debra Fileta and she’s with us today on Focus on the Family. Your host is Focus President and author Jim Daly, and I’m John Fuller.

Jim Daly: John the last couple of years has really highlighted the importance of health, all aspects of it, including physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual. And in the face of COVID, hopefully we’re, we’re looking in the rear-view mirror of that, uh, we all scrambled to be as healthy as possible. But there’s a lot of underlying stress, worry, sorrow, anguish, uh, woven into the mix. And we hear from families every day who are broken and hurting. And that’s one of the great things that, uh, Focus provides. You can contact us for anything, and we will try to respond with help and to equip you. That’s our goal. That’s what we want to do. So, as you listen along today with one of the best of the best guests we’ve had this past year, I think she will stir in your heart some questions you may need some help answering.

John: And that guest is Debra Fileta. Uh, her content always hits the mark with her audience, and she’s a licensed professional counselor, uh, a national speaker, a relationship expert, and, uh, wife and mom to four. And she’s written a great book that addresses some of topics that we’ll be discussing today. It’s called, Are You Really Ok? Getting Real About Who You Are, How You’re Doing and Why It Matters. And we’ve got copies of that here at the ministry. Just stop by focusonthefamily.com/broadcast or call 1-800, the letter A, and the word FAMILY.

Jim: Debra, welcome back to Focus.

Debra: Thank you. It’s good to be here.

Jim: Yeah, it is good to be here. Um, you know, knowing you, you have four children, you got a fairly recent arrival-

Debra: Yeah.

Jim: So, your hands are full.

Debra: Yes. Very.

Jim: It’s been a bit of a chaotic time for you too.

Debra: It’s a full season.

Jim: (Laughs)

Debra: Let’s put it that way.

Jim: So, your kids are like, uh, from 11 to one, right?

Debra: Yeah.

Jim: Or 12 to one.

Debra: Yeah.

Jim: That is so awesome. So, you’re living the dream.

Debra: Yeah.

Jim: I loved it. Somebody can great advice saying, you know, every stage of parenting has been great, and this was an empty nester, so I’ve tried to hold to that. Uh, just every stage, enjoy it and, uh, remember the highlights from it. So, isn’t that good advice?

Debra: Yeah, it is absolutely.

Jim: Uh, coming to today’s topic. The am I okay? kind of question, there are some big issues out there in the culture right now. And as a counselor, uh, you aim to help people get back on track. What are some of the general things that you’re seeing with your clients?

Debra: You know, I would tell you this, the main thing is that we’re not as healthy as we think we are. And we just talked about parenting. And I think sometimes we have a tendency to focus so much on our children, our marriage, our ministry, and neglect how healthy we are.

Jim: Our lack of.

Debra: Our lack of health. They did a study, and they took a bunch of people and they asked them to rate themselves on a scale. How good do you think you drive? How kind are you? And the majority of people rated themselves better than average.

Jim: Oh, good. I feel better.

Debra: We can’t, we can’t be better than average, right?

Jim: I think I would do that too.

John: Yeah.

Debra: And they took that same study even to the prisons and the prisoners rated themselves as better than average. So, pastors to prisoners, we all have a tendency to think that we’re doing better than really are.

Jim: Well, let me ask you this question and certainly knock it down. I’m not trying to persuade you but could that be a mechanism to get through the day that God provides this may be overly optimistic opinion (laughs) of ourselves so we can cope or is that, you know, at some point that’s not a healthy thing.

Debra: You know, I think there’s a level of optimism that’s healthy. But I think when we go through life never acknowledging the hard things, avoiding them, repressing them, pretending like they’re not there. There’s going to be a point where they hit us. There’s going to be a point where they start to bring us down. And I think a lot of people have seen that happen over the past two years since COVID and all of the things we’ve been going through, all of the hard that we’re not dealing with are starting to come to the surface.

Jim: Yeah. And there’s some crazy things. I think the post-op on this whole pandemic thing is going to be quite brutal-

Debra: I think so too.

Jim: To everybody who was engaged in trying to manage it for the country, I, I don’t think it’s going to be pretty.

Debra: Because we’ve been in survival mode for so long. And, in survival mode, you’re just trying to get through. But once you get to the other side, that’s when it starts to hit you. And that’s when you have to really face some of those hard things.

Jim: Let me ask you the, just the big, why the general, why question? Uh, we as Christians, you know, we, we believe we’re made up of body, soul and spirit.

Debra: Yes.

Jim: So in that context, when we look at our wellbeing, you know, I think generally we don’t pay enough attention to our physical health. I, you know, some people really are good at. I think Colorado here is one of the-

Debra: Yeah.

Jim: Fittest states in the United States. But again, it’s an outlier. And then, you know, moving right through that, to emotional health, mental health and spiritual health, describe those.

Debra: You know, when Jesus was asked, what’s the greatest commandment, he said, “Love the Lord with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength.” And he could have just said, love the Lord period. But he broke those up into four quadrants because they represent different parts of our health. Emotional health, spiritual health, mental health, and physical health. And so, I think it’s really important that we kind focus on all of those things.

Jim: Yeah. Which is good and, but understanding it is part of the battle. Because we, I mean lay people, you are a counselor, so you get it. But a lot of us don’t know how to assess or even be mindful of an unhealthy state. Let’s move to a topic that we get here often at Focus on the Family, dealing with toxic people.

Debra: Yeah.

John: Mm-hmm

Jim: Um, that’s one of the things. I mean, we might have an optimistic view of, of ourselves (laughs)-

Debra: Mm-hmm

Jim: But you know, dealing with toxic people is such a hard thing. So, first I guess, is what’s the definition of a toxic person? And then ho- what are some good tools spiritually and mentally to use in those kinds of relationships?

Debra: Well, I think it’s important that we started the conversation talking about our personal health because when you become healthy, you recognize toxic people more than you would have if you weren’t healthy. And so, once you start working on yourself and taking ownership for what you need to work on, then you kind of look around you and you can see when there’s people in your life that aren’t living in a healthy way, that are tearing you down, that are manipulative, that are constantly negative, that are critical all the time. And when we talk about toxicity, we’re not talking about a onetime event. I mean, we all have a little bit of toxicity in us because we’re sinful human beings. What we’re talking about is a pattern of behavior that is constantly bringing you down and constantly bringing the people around you down as well.

Jim: Yeah. And it’s important. I, I don’t know if we are educated enough or aware enough of knowing that toxic personality. Can you give us a little more in terms-

Debra: Yeah.

Jim: Of the adjectives? What does that relationship look like when the one person, let’s assume it’s you, the listener, you’re in a pretty healthy place? And then you have this girlfriend who does-

Debra: Yeah.

Jim: Name those characteristics.

Debra: Yeah. A toxic person is always going to be, um, using manipulative means, they’re selfish, they’re spiteful, um, they like to bring others down with their words, with their actions and they don’t take responsibility. It’s always everybody else’s fault. Um, so there’s a lot of things that you’re looking for in that pattern of behavior.

Jim: Yeah. Yeah. I would think in today’s culture too. I mean the, uh, hyper ness of toxicity is right there in front of us. I mean, on social media-

Debra: Right.

John: Mm-hmm

Jim: Pinterest, wherever it at. You know, there’s just like anonymous attacks on each other.

Debra: Right.

Jim: Seemingly anonymous. We know your handle, you might say, but to go after people, the way the culture goes after people today is so unhealthy.

Debra: Absolutely. And I think we’ve let our guard down. You know, we’ve started doing what we do on social media, behind this safety of a computer. And now it’s starting to affect the rest of our life in, in our real-life interactions.

Jim: Right.

John: In that regard, uh, Debra, so let’s say I have a coworker, not, this is a hypothetical because everybody at Focus on the Family is wonderful to work with.

Jim: (Laughs)

Debra: (Laughs)

John: But let’s say I have a coworker and they’re really, I can’t avoid them, but they’re always negative. They’re just pulling me down even though I want to be positive, how do I handle that?

Debra: When it’s a coworker or somebody that’s not in close proximity, you know, not a family member, for example, it makes it a little bit easier because you can take responsibility for your interactions. I think when we talk about the term boundaries, what we’re really looking at is what can I do here? What am I responsible for versus what can I force them to do? Because really you can’t make someone do anything.

Jim: Yeah.

Debra: But what you can do is begin to pull away. What you can do is set boundaries around your life and how you’re going to respond or choose not to respond, the amount of time that you’re are going to spend with someone, or lack thereof. And you start taking ownership of the things that you can change. And that’s what begins to change the relationship.

Jim: You know, one of the things I’ve observed and then we’re going to move on to some other topics, but I, I think even watching Jean, my wife, uh, when we were younger, certainly her stories, uh, being in high school, she’s a very kind person. That’s her trait, you know. And people can take advantage of that. And I know people listening, fit that category where you want to say yes so often. And Jean was like that. I mean, if-

Debra: Yeah.

Jim: I remember one of the things she told me about is, I think two boys asked her to the prom and she said yes to both because she couldn’t say no.

Debra: Wow.

John: (Laughs)

Jim: And then she had to unwind that, right?

John: Yeah.

Jim: And you can apply that later in the twenties and thirties. And I, I think a lot of people can connect with that. Especially I think women tend to want to do the right thing, be there for people, help people. They nurture. I mean it’s right there.

Debra: Yeah. Yeah.

Jim: So in that context for the listener that maybe is in the thirties and forties and hasn’t built sufficient boundaries, what can they do to be aware of it? And then what, how to manage the guilt feeling-

Debra: Yeah.

Jim: Of saying no.

Debra: Well let me put it this way, one of my favorite analogies with a healthy relationship is seeing it like a plant. If you give a plant too much water, like in this case that you’re talking about, I’m being too nice, I’m giving too, I’m not expecting anything in return, the plant will die. If you give it too little water-

Jim: Huh.

Debra: It will also die. And I think sometimes we need to see relationships in the context of a plant. Realizing that when we’re giving too much without expecting anything in return, we’re actually doing our part to kill, destroy, and harm the relationship.

Jim: Wow. That’s good. But there, is there a transaction, um, emotionally for that person that’s in that spot that they think by saying yes too much-

Debra: Oh absolutely.

Jim: They’re earning brownie points or something to where they have to get, get that right to say, wait a minute, this is costing my family, my husband, my relationship.

Debra: For many of us, we give too much because it’s rooted in guilt. We feel guilty or we don’t feel like we’re valuable enough to receive. Or we feel like God wants us to keep giving at the expense of ourselves. So, a lot of it stems from unhealthy beliefs about ourselves or about the world around us or even about God. And we have to get to the root of why we say yes too much. Why we give too much in order to be able start changing the pattern of our behavior.

Jim: Yeah. No, that is so good. Let’s move to co-dependency. Uh, it’s a term that a lot of people may not understand. So, maybe defining it would be the way to go. Uh, you have a story in fact about a young woman you counseled, what, what did co-dependency look like for her?

Debra: You know, when you think about co-dependency, I want you to imagine two cups that are half full and, and think about it this way, I counseled a woman who thought that marriage would fill up her cup. She thought it would give her the security, and the safety, and the purpose, and the value. And she gets into marriage, and within weeks, months, years, you name it, you realize that this relationship can’t fill you up if you’re not already full. Your relationship is only going to be as full and healthy as you are standing alone. And I think there’s too many people that go into relationships thinking it’s going to fill them up. It’s going to give them security or purpose. And we talk about co-dependency, we’re talking about going into relationships out of our need versus out of what we have to give.

Jim: Well, in fact, you use that term, uh, need love versus real love.

Debra: Right?

Jim: So, describe those two.

Debra: Need love drives you towards somebody based on what they can give to you because you’re feeling insecure, you’re feeling like you’re not enough standing alone, you’re feeling like you don’t have the value. You’re looking for what they can give you. But real love doesn’t look like that. When we look at Corinthians, first Corinthians 13, it’s all about the actions of love. It’s all about what we give in the relationship. And so, I think we really have come to terms with the relationships around us. Whether we’re talking about friendships or romantic relationships or marriage, do I come to the table with a need to receive, or am I coming to the table with a need to give?

Jim: Those, those gaps that we recognize in our lives, um, can be formed in a variety of ways. Many of them come from our childhood.

Debra: Yeah.

Jim: These triggers and you get into marriage and oh boy, do we get to really become, uh, professional at pushing each other’s triggers, right?

Debra: Yeah.

Jim: And these sayings in some other person, it’s not going to be a big deal.

Debra: Right.

Jim: But when, if I say something to Jean a certain way, boy, it gets a different response. And so, speak to the childhood issue and then, you know, the, the capability to recognize these things and then to begin to relax.

Debra: Yeah. So, I call them emotional sore spots and whether they drive us to co-dependent relationships or whether they’re what cause conflict in our relationships in the present, if you think about it like a sore spot, a black and blue spot… The other day I was leaving the house and I accidentally bumped my arm on the side of the door it caused a black and blue mark. Well then later my husband came over to, to give me a side hug as we were, you know, talking-

Jim: Which was very sweet of him.

John: (Laughs)

Debra: And he touched the black and blue mark and it hurt.

Jim: Yes.

Debra: But it wasn’t because of what he did. It was because there was a wound already. And so, if we think about that in the context of our emotional relationships, sometimes the wound is already there from childhood. Maybe I, I didn’t feel validated in childhood or, or I was neglected or abandoned or there was divorce in my family that made me feel a lack of value. Well, later on in life, when somebody gets near those wounds, they’re triggered, and we hurt all over again. And what we don’t realize is that many times it’s rooted in those past unhealed hurts.

Jim: Yeah. And that, that seems like a daunting task to be that aware of yourself. I don’t mean to-

Debra: It does, doesn’t it?

Jim: It, it’s an uphill thing.

Debra: Yes.

Jim: To really know yourself well enough to know why, why is this triggering me? What do I have to do? What work-

Debra: Yes.

Jim: Do I have to do in order to not let it penetrate or let that bruise-

Debra: Yeah.

Jim: Hurt so much.

Debra: Yeah.

Jim: That’s the real work, right?

Debra: That’s the real work.

Jim: What does that look like?

Debra: One of my favorite passages in scripture says, “the purposes of a person’s heart are like deep waters, but one who has insight draws them out”. When you think about drawing out waters in ancient times, they didn’t just turn on a faucet and the water came out, you had to do the work. You had to go to the well, you had to bring up that water. It was blood, sweat, and tears work. And that’s the work of becoming emotionally healthy. Sure, it’s work. And sure, it’s difficult. But if, if we want to have insight, if we want to have understanding of our own heart, we’ve got to do the work and draw it out. And I really believe we’re not doing it alone because God is with us. The holy spirit guides us a as we look back. And not only that, there’s the help of professional counselors that we can rely on.

Jim: Yeah. That’s good.

John: There are, there are a lot of helps, uh, available to you if you’re struggling, if you’re, uh, thinking, I need to learn more about this, we have resources and help for you here at Focus on the Family. We would point you to Debra Fileta’s book, Are you Really Ok? Uh, we do have copies of that here at the ministry. Just call 800, the letter A, and the word FAMILY, or stop by focusonthefamily.com/broadcast.

Jim: Debra, uh, 2020 with COVID, uh, a lot of the research is indicating right now, the, the spikes in depression and anxiety.

Debra: Yeah.

Jim: And, uh, I guess in that context, what are some of the signs so people, uh, can notice them? I, I would really encourage parents to be on the lookout with your children.

Debra: Yeah.

Jim: Because, uh, I was, uh, getting a haircut the other day and in the waiting area, there was about an eight-year-old boy and his dad. And he was pretending to be a doctor and was saying, “Daddy, let me give you a COVID shot.” And was swabbing the arm with the tissue and a, you know, an invisible syringe. And I thought, wow, the impact of that, here is this eight-year-old boy, that’s his play time with his dad-

John: Mm-hmm

Jim: Is pretending to give him a vaccine. Uh, that shows you how in tune children are with the world around them.

John: Yeah.

Jim: So how, how do we notice depression and anxiety? What does it look like?

Debra: Yeah. We talked earlier about how, when we don’t deal with certain things, they inevitably make their way to the surface. And I call that an emotional explosion, kind of like a volcano. The pressure just builds. And we’ve seen a lot of emotional explosions this year. And when we talk about depression and anxiety, it’s not just feelings of worry or sadness. Many times the emotional struggle starts to manifest in physical things. So, all of a sudden, you’re not hungry or you’re eating too much. Maybe you have insomnia, and you can’t sleep. Or maybe you’re sleeping too much, you can’t get out of bed. Maybe you’re are having a hard time concentrating. Maybe you feel fatigue and a lack of energy before you even get out of the bed. And all of these things, point to something going on underneath the surface emotionally. And I think sometimes we write it off because we don’t always understand the body-mind connection. But when you start feeling hopelessness and then you start seeing all of these things begin to manifest in your body, it’s time to take a pause and check in and really ask yourself what’s going on on the inside?

Jim: Yeah. You know, so much of what we deal with and what we talk about with great guests like you, is this, you know, informed, you’re a counselor, you’re an informed professional, you have, uh, you know, gone through the rigors of learning, training, practicing the art of counseling. It is a Christian thing to do, ironically.

Debra: It is.

Jim: In my opinion, you don’t need a state license to say it’s good to help somebody.

Debra: Right.

Jim: And, uh, but now combining those two things, you know, some people in the Christian community put kind of a stiff arm to counseling and psychology because it sounds too worldly. But the realness of that is combining both a great theological foundation with practical scientific application. The two kind of run together. They don’t run apart. And that’s the point, I guess-

Debra: Yeah.

Jim: For the Christian community. It’s okay to get help with a counselor.

Debra: Healing, heart, soul, mind, and strength is always part of God’s plan for our life. And just like we rely on things like physical therapy or going to the gym to get physically healthy, it’s okay to rely on counseling or even medication for us to get emotionally and mentally healthy. And I think we have to give Christian’s permission to realize number one, they’re not immune to these struggles. And number two, there is nothing wrong with acknowledging that they’re not okay. And then getting the help that they need.

John: Mm-hmm

Jim: Yeah. And I, I think back to the idea of working toward a good goal with emotional wellbeing, God wants you in that place because you’re more effective for him. I mean it’s not a selfish thing, but a healthy Christian is a magnificent tool in the hands of a mighty God, right?

Debra: Absolutely. And the opposite is also true.

Jim: (Laughs) Correct.

Debra: An unhealthy Christian is a magnificent tool that the enemy can use because all of that unhealth and struggle and conflict begins to overflow into all of our relationships and our family and our ministry.

John: Mm-hmm.

Jim: Yeah. Oftentimes, and again, I don’t mean to sound insensitive, but people that I encounter that are the most rigorous against counseling and additional help, medical help even are sometimes the most toxic people (laughs)

Debra: Yeah.

Jim: If I could say it that way because they’re, they’re unwilling to open themselves up to some additional help. They just say, you know, if I just pray, God will take care of me and then they tear people apart around them.

Debra: Yeah. There’s two types of people when you hear the, the title of the book, Are You Really Ok? The ones that worry me the most are the ones who answer too quickly and say, “Yeah, I’m good.”

John: Yeah. I’m fine. I’m fine.

Debra: “I’m fine.” No time to really sit with that question-

John: Mm-hmm

Debra: And dig deep.

Jim: Yeah. And Debra, in that regard, I’m going to press you a little bit. You, you dealt with anxiety personally. It, it impacted you. It affected you. Describe what happened in your own life and how you got through the forest of that.

Debra: Christians are not immune, and neither are licensed professional counselors, right? None of us are immune to the struggles of this world. And you know, the trauma from my past paired with the stress in my present caused me to have an emotional explosion at one point in my life. And I dealt with different things from depression to anxiety, to panic attacks that came to the surface and in a stressful season of life. And I had to learn to recognize the symptoms and get myself into help. Get myself the support that I needed. I’m not just talking the talk here. This is something that I have lived out. I’ve been a… There has been a point in my life where I wasn’t okay, and I needed to take the steps to get there.

Jim: And I think in the book, you even relate that to your childhood where you were fearful about things and… Describe some of that so we as parents-

Debra: Yeah.

Jim: And even if we’re experiencing some of that can relate to it.

Debra: The roots of our past have so much impact on who we are today. And I think sometimes we look on a superficial level in the present without going back. But when I look back, I see glimpses of who I am today in my childhood. I was an overly sensitive child. And there’s beauty in that. That’s why I’m a therapist today.

Jim: Right.

Debra: But on the other end of the spectrum of sensitivity is anxiety where you’re taking too much upon yourself. You’re too aware of things. And so, I think it’s important for parents to be able to look for those traits in their children, early signs of anxiety, early signs of depression, and even realize that it’s our role to help our children acknowledge our emotions and understand what’s going on underneath the surface.

Jim: Let me ask you, this is a really delicate example, but oftentimes here at Focus, if we’re talking about marital strife-

Debra: Yeah.

Jim: One of the things the producer are always reminding John and I to mention that if you’re in an abusive relationship, you need to get yourself into safety. Uh, there’s been some examples in the culture recently where people that should have known better did not give that advice to people who were in an abusive situation. And that’s, that’s such a poor choice, not to help them in that moment. And sometimes that can end in death, right?

Debra: Right.

Jim: Death of a spouse where you have a husband who’s out of control, uh, and just cannot manage it. And a lot of Christian people may give the wrong advice. You know, stick with the marriage.

Debra: Right.

Jim: No, you got to get yourself to safety, then work on the issues. But that’s one of those examples of where you don’t know if you’re really seeing it, but as a counselor, how would you encourage people to not only be observant, but when they need to speak to speak.

Debra: Yeah. You know, just because something is familiar to you and you have seen it happen in your childhood or, or in your marriage again and again, doesn’t mean it’s healthy. Sometimes we are so comfortable with unhealthy things that we don’t call them out, that we don’t recognize them, that we don’t put some accountability there. If you’re seeing signs of abuse in your relationship, if there’s manipulation and selfishness and, and you feel like you’re not safe in your relationship, the first thing you need to do is get yourself to safety. Set those boundaries around yourself and then get yourself healthy. Work on yourself before you begin working on the relationship.

Jim: Debra, this has been so good. Uh, and you’re so quick and capable of giving a pithy answer and getting right to the kind of the gem that people need to hear. And I so appreciate it. This is so good. And this is the second time we’ve come back to your wonderful book. Are You Really Ok? Getting Real About Who You Are, How You’re Doing and Why It Matters. And I’m sure we’re going to have you back again and again and again. And the listeners just really love how you approach things. So, thank you for being with us.

Debra: Well, thank you. The main reminder here is just because you’re a Christian doesn’t mean you’re healthy and we can work alongside of the holy spirit to get to a healthy place.

Jim: That’s it. And you know, Focus, John, we are built to help you. Uh, that’s what we’ve been doing for over 40 years now. And Dr. Dobson set that great foundation in place, and we’re continuing that tradition of having a state licensed counselor, Christian counselors available for you. Call, we’ll probably have to take your name and they’ll get back with you to help you, and guide you, and pray with you, and give you some ideas on next steps. And take advantage of it. I don’t think you’re going to surprise us after 40 plus years, we’ve heard a lot. And uh, I think we’ll be able to participate with guests like Debra, with her great book and with other resources to help you move in a better direction.

John: And as you get in touch, uh, if you’re in a good spot, remember that our donor community makes these counseling services available and other great resources to help people where they’re, uh, at their point of need. So, donate as you can, either a monthly pledge or one time gift and, uh, support the ministry of Focus on the Family. You can donate to the work here when you call 800, the letter A, and the word FAMILY, or stop by focusonthefamily.com/broadcast. And, uh, when you donate to Focus, uh, we’d be happy to say thank you for joining the support team by sending a copy of Debra’s book, Are You Really Ok? Just request that, uh, when you make that contribution. And join us tomorrow, American Idol contestant, Phil Stacey will encourage you with a reminder about God’s love and work in your life.

Preview:

Phil Stacey: What God is doing through your life is bigger than you’ll see here. But this life is just a moment. And one day we’ll open our eyes in eternity and forever feel the fullness of joy, forever feel the fullness of peace and, and our, and our faith and our hope is that God is orchestrating our lives. The best part of heaven is with us today. It’s God’s presence.

End of Preview

John: On behalf of Jim Daly and the entire team here, thanks for joining us today for Focus on the Family. I’m John Fuller, inviting you back as we once more help you and your family thrive in Christ.

Today's Guests

Are You Really Okay? Front Cover

Are You Really OK?: Getting Real About Who You Are, How You’re Doing, and Why It Matters

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Helping Your Daughter Navigate Friendships

Describing some of the challenges young girls face, Dannah Gresh exposes the lies girls are being told about their friendships, themselves, and God. She shares how parents can help their daughters combat these lies with the truth and discusses the importance of falling in love with God as their true source of fulfillment.

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A Legacy of Music and Trusting the Lord

Popular Christian vocalist Larnelle Harris reflects on his five-decade music career, sharing the valuable life lessons he’s learned about putting his family first, allowing God to redeem a troubled past, recognizing those who’ve sacrificed for his benefit, and faithfully adhering to biblical principles amidst all the opportunities that have come his way.

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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.

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!