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Getting a Handle on Anger in Difficult Times

Getting a Handle on Anger in Difficult Times

For those times we struggle with anger, Deborah Pegues offers guidance for understanding it, calming it, and gaining solace through God's love. Don't miss the hope and encouragement she offers in this discussion based on her book 30 Days to Taming Your Anger: How to Find Peace When Irritated, Frustrated, or Infuriated.
Original Air Date: October 7, 2020

Excerpt:

Mrs. Deborah Pegues: You got to start your individual track and say, “I’m going to make a difference. I’m not going to be stuck in anger. I’m not going to be stuck in hate. I’m not – I’m going to stop wishing for a better past. I’m going to start working towards a better future.”

End of Excerpt

John Fuller: Well, that’s Deborah Pegues. 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: Let’s face it, John. We live in an angry world, don’t we?

John: We do.

Jim: People are riled up over politics, different situations, misunderstandings, religion. The list goes on and on, especially in the midst of a global pandemic. We have that as well. Unresolved racial tensions are rising and, you know, highly contested Presidential election right in front of us. So, Scripture repeatedly urges us to rein in that anger. And it’s one of the more difficult disciplines for the Christian community. One verse that comes to mind is James 1:19 from the New Testament. “Let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger.” And here at Focus, we certainly want you to live freely in Christ. That’s the goal and that’s what it’s all about. Even if anger isn’t a problem for you, and I hope it isn’t, I’m sure at some point when that guy cut you off on the freeway, it might rise a little bit.

John: (Laughter).

Jim: And what are you going to do? Today, we want to help you understand where anger comes from, how to control it, how to channel it, how to figure out what is good anger, what is bad anger. And we have a wonderful guest today. One of your favorites.

John: Yeah. Every time Deborah is on, we have a great groundswell of response.

Jim: We do.

John: And, uh, she is certainly accomplished. She’s a certified behavioral consultant, a Bible teacher, international speaker. She’s written a number of books. And the one we’re going to be really zeroing in on today has to do with the topic of anger. It’s 30 Days to Taming Your Anger. And we do have copies of that here at Focus on the Family.

Jim: Deborah, it is great to have you back here at Focus.

Deborah: Thank you so much. I’m mad as heck and I’m not going to take it anymore.

(LAUGHTER)

Jim: Well, you’re coming to us from L.A., so I get it. L.A.’s been one of those areas that have had a lot of things going on.

Deborah: Yeah.

Jim: But let’s – let’s start with, kind of, the more personal aspect of it. Why does anger have such an impact on us and why do we let it get a hold of us so quickly?

Deborah: Well, I am going to start back with the fact that in the United States, we are a country of rugged individualism. (Laughter) So, everything upsets us if it doesn’t go our way.

Jim: Interesting.

Deborah: But I’d like to just start out by defining anger. Really, it’s just an emotion of protest. So, we’re always protesting something. That’s kind of in our DNA as Americans.

Jim: Right. In fact, you describe three degrees of anger. So, help us get a handle on those three. What are they? And how do they impact us?

Deborah: Well, and these aren’t obviously an absolute. But this is what – how the Lord gave it to me. Irritation, frustration, and infuriation. It goes from mild to bad. (Laughter)

Jim: Right. That’s the way to say it. Talk about irritation. Let’s describe that and maybe an example would help the listeners better get it.

Deborah: Yeah. You know, those are things that people do just kind of get under your skin. They’re speaking too loudly on the cell phone in public or your husband comes into the room and you’re watching your favorite show and he starts to ask you questions about it.

Jim: Yes. Okay.

Deborah: Or sometimes he’ll leave a switch the channel just for a minute.

Jim: (Laughter).

Deborah: Those are all very irritating. (Laughter) Irritating.

Jim: That is irritating. I agree with all of those.

Deborah: Yeah. Yeah.

John: (Laughter).

Jim: So, now that’s – that’s the low burner setting. What’s the medium burner?

Deborah: Well, then, the frustration is somebody’s blocking a goal that you’re trying to reach. So, let’s say you are on the freeway and you’re trying to get over, they’re trying to get over, too, but you had the right away and whatever. So, that’s – that – what you call it? The frustration. I’m just, “Oh, just can’t – you’re stopping me from doing something that I’m trying to do.” And it can be a small thing as well. And so – and it’s, again, it’s not as serious as infuriation where I am like, totally furious now. And I think what we’ve seen in our culture and seeing in our culture is one of those instances where people are infuriated. They’re at the top of their anger in terms of what has happened just across the country, that the response to the covid virus – just all kinds of things that we’re just finding for infuriated about. You know, and this is what it is.

Jim: Okay. So, those are really good descriptors. So, I want to kind of dig into each one. The irritation side. How can we keep from being irritated? It sounds impossible. I mean, you get irritated because something right in front of you happens. And to have the discipline to be able to say, “Okay, I’m not going to be irritated.” It’s almost angelic, right. It’s beyond human capacity. But you’re saying it’s not.

Deborah: No, I am saying it is beyond human capacity. You said it right. It requires some heavenly intervention. (Laughter)

Jim: There we go. Yeah.

Deborah: The bad individual. It really does. But it requires us to operate in grace and longsuffering and patience and aren’t those, like, fruit of the spirit? I always like to say that and to say it slowly. The ability to cope with these things have to come out of a spirit that empowers you to do it. I – I can’t do it by myself. I can tell you this. I don’t like what people just chew loudly. I don’t know what it is.

Jim: (Laughter).

Deborah: I – I looked it up and I understand there’s something in your ear that makes it like that. (Laughter)

Jim: Macaroni and cheese. Listening – listening to people eat macaroni and cheese. Drives me crazy. I can’t do it. I got to leave the room.

(LAUGHTER)

Jim: I – it’s funny.

Deborah: Really?

Jim: It’s like – it’s like nails on a chalkboard for me – the smacking noise. (Laughter) There’s my irritation.

John: So, where’s the grace of God in Jim listening to somebody eat macaroni and cheese?

Deborah: I can’t help him out because I can’t stand for him to eat popcorn or anything that makes a sound.

Jim: (Laughter).

Deborah: And I feel so sorry for Darnell’s eating sometimes and he has corn chips or something. You know, those are very loud.

Jim: Yeah. They are.

(LAUGHTER)

Deborah: And I’m just sitting there going, “Jesus, please help me right now.” (Laughter)

Jim: Okay. Right. Exactly, Deborah.

Deborah: But…

Jim: Now some…

Deborah: But here’s to do deal…

Jim: Yeah.

Deborah: …With it, you know, when you got do with it because you got to ask Him. Listen, I’m not kidding you. I say, “God, help this not to irritate me.” And I just, you know, I just start to back it back. Why is this irritating me? I’m – I’m thinking – I’m trying for it not to. But I just asked God and what I do sometimes I suffer through it without saying anything, because you know what that does? (Laughter) That teaches my flesh that I can’t always have things my way.

Jim: Yeah. And, you know, a context for this. You mentioned a moment ago – the – the fruit of the spirit. For those of us that are Christians, we know that’s love, joy, peace, goodness, kindness, mercy. I remember – and patience – I remember somebody saying to me one time, “You know, I don’t have much patience.” And the thought struck me, and I did say this out loud. I probably shouldn’t have. But I said, “Well, I don’t think it’s like a menu that you order from.” Right?

(LAUGHTER)

Jim: As a Christian, you don’t say, “Well, I’ll take a dose of patience and four helpings of love.” I mean, if you’re in Christ, these attributes should be present in your life. And if they’re not, you may want to reconsider if you’re truly rooted in Jesus.

Deborah: Well, I say – this is what I say. The extent to which you can exemplify the fruit of the spirit. I got to really get that word in people today. It is produced by the Spirit. So, to the extent that you – you have to really practice that so that you develop that fruit. Now I’ll just say, “God, this fruit does not develop. It is so raw.” Right? (Laughter) “It is so limp. It’s still a seed.”

Jim: Yeah. And the main point is, if you don’t have a lot of patience, that means work on it. Don’t use it as an excuse to be impatient.

Deborah: Yes. Absolutely.

Jim: Hey, Deborah, you were called by God to write and to speak and you started writing this book on anger. What were some of the instantaneous obstacles that you confronted when you started to speak about this topic? How was the Lord dealing with you?

Deborah: Well, let me do it. The frustration I had in writing. I work at home. I have a nice home office. And people think because you work at home that you’re just available all the days – all day to do something.

Jim: (Laughter) Right.

Deborah: So, I would be writing they would just call me. “How are you doing?” And I’m thinking, “Why am I answering the phone?” So, I have to have a predetermined coping mechanism for dealing with some frustrations. But here’s what I know, and I have to believe this. And I always say all behavior comes out of a belief. I have to believe that sometimes that – that’s a Divine interruption. Or whatever it is that’s blocking my progress, I have to step back and say, “You know what? There may be something Divine, something going on here.” And so, I don’t always want to have this to do list that is so rigid, I’m so set on the goal until I can’t be flexible. So, they can’t deal with the frustration is to stop and acknowledge what could be going on. How many stories did we hear, um, when they had the 9/11 events of people who were delayed that day or whatever? I’m sure that some of them were probably frustrated that they were delayed, but, look, it saved their lives. So, we just got to stop. Put that in perspective as well.

Jim: Yeah. That’s exactly right. Let me ask you this before we move to the next level, the highest temperature of anger – infuriation. What is the difference between irritation and frustration? Do you handle frustration differently or what are the added things you need to do to de-escalate your frustration?

John: Hmm.

Deborah: Well, you have to have a mindset about frustration, because keep in mind, all of these things generate from us. Nobody is, quote, “irritating us.” That’s how we’re choosing to respond. Nobody’s frustrated us deliberately. Most of the time it’s not deliberate. So, or -and then sometimes it’s not somebody. It could be traffic. It could be anything. So, we have to have a mindset that no matter what happens today, I’m going to guard my peace. I’m going to guard my heart. And that’s what you have to do, especially when you live in Los Angeles and you get to drive the freeway.

(LAUGHTER)

Jim: That’s right. That’s right.

John: You’ve been there, Jim. So, you know that. Yeah.

Jim: Grew up there.

John: Always energetic and optimistic. This is Focus on the Family and we’ve got Deborah Pegues with us today. And we want to drive your attention to her book, 30 Days to Taming Your Anger. You can get that directly from us at focusonthefamily.com/broadcast. And, uh, we know that anger – while we’re having some fun here – can be a very difficult emotion to deal with, so let me remind you we have a team of caring, Christian counselors on staff here at Focus on the Family. Give us a call. We’ll arrange a time for someone to call you back and talk through your circumstances with you. It’s free and our number is 800, the letter A and the word FAMILY.

Jim: Deborah, let’s move to the, uh – the hottest temperature of anger. That’s the infuriation that people can feel. And that’s like a visceral response. Your body feels it. You’re – it’s so angering to you that it’s a full body response – your mind, your body. I mean it’s like fight or flight. That’s the impression I get. A: is that description accurate? And then give us an example of how you noticed that higher level of anger in you.

Deborah: Well, you feel it. You know, you pump more blood. You just feel your pulse increase. This is the point where you have to really, really, really manage yourself and do some self-talk because it’s like a seesaw in your mind. If the emotions are high, the rationale is low.

Jim: Huh.

Deborah: And so, you want to stay really rational because the person who is most rational is going to be the most powerful in that – in that environment or that situation. So, you got to really start to talk to yourself and you got to tell yourself this is working together for my good. I was getting on the freeway and I was already late trying to get downtown L.A. and a car came up besides me and just almost ran me off the road. I was so afraid. I was so afraid. And I realized sometimes at the root of being infuriated was the fears of what could have happened. And so, I thought, “Man, I wish I had a B.B. gun or something.” (Laughter)

Jim: Right, no.

Deborah: “A gun – a gun that wouldn’t kill somebody, but that could really inflict pain.” Because when we are angry, we want to retaliate, which means to return the punishment. And so, we got to really manage ourselves when it comes to that. And again, that comes back to having a strong sense of grace and say, “I’m going to extend grace.” Not because you want to just, like, ignore that. It’s for you. You want to stop that flow of adrenaline. You want to – you want to stay in control. You don’t want that seesaw too high on the emotional side.

Jim: Well, that’s so true. And I actually was laughing as I was reading the book and looking at the prep. I was mentioning to my wife, Jean, one of your stories (laughter), which is so funny because I can relate to it. You and your husband had a 21 day fast and you go to a restaurant, a buffet style restaurant, and something went wrong. And that was one of your examples where you kind of lost it. But I was laughing because I was with you. I said, “I’d be in the same boat after not eating for 21 days.”

Deborah: (Laughter).

Jim: You go to a restaurant. What happened and why did that set you off?

Deborah: Well, it set me off because it was one of those restaurants where it’s like a smorgasbord buffet.

Jim: (Laughter).

Deborah: But at any rate, I put my purse down at the table. You know, you can do that in this kind of enclosure. And I came back and someone else was at our table eating already. And I’m thinking, like, “What happened here?” And I have to tell you this, because sometimes when the climate is sensitive like that and it was and they didn’t look like us, so let me say this. I thought that the white – white waiter had just superseded us and given somebody at our table like, “Oh, they can find another one.” What – that wasn’t what happened at all. But they felt so bad because I had my plate in my hands. And they didn’t see the purse on the floor, you know. And the lady said, “I’m sorry.” And I – you know, so I didn’t let them know I was upset, but I was just furious inside. And I thought, “You know what? There are other seats in this restaurant. You are overreacting.” (Laughter) “You’re just overreacting.”

Jim: Yeah. Well, no. I mean, that’s – that’s a great example of how you got to get control. And it’s also an example of how you rush to judgment on things, right?

Deborah: Absolutely.

Jim: That you could – you fill in these blanks that the other person’s not actually thinking or expressing. And that can lead you down a bad path.

Deborah: It can. And that’s why, why don’t we just decide we’re going to give everybody the benefit of the doubt?

Jim: Yeah. I mean…

Deborah: Wouldn’t that be a great strategy? That no matter what happens, I’m not going to assume the worst.

Jim: Okay. Now, let me parlay that into the cultural moment and because I think that’s a good onramp for that discussion. When you look at it, the inability of people to give the benefit of the doubt is rampant right now. I mean, certainly in the political sphere, that doesn’t happen because both sides are trying to incriminate the other side so they can get more votes or whatever. But that is, I think, cascading down to the culture where you have cable news and everything else that reinforces that opinion that you have of the other person, not the benefit of the doubt. How do we – particularly, how do we as Christians, decouple from that toxic energy? You know, and have a healthier attitude in a cultural melee like we see right now?

Deborah: And I’m glad you asked how do we as Christians, because I find that we are some of the biggest offenders.

Jim: (Laughter) Right.

Deborah: I – I am telling everybody. (Laughter) “Do not put anything negative. I am not political. Don’t put anything negative on my Facebook.” Listen, we’re going to have to be an example in this area. We are not an example. I know Christians who want even called the current President’s name. They call him “45.” I think that’s the number. And I’m thinking, “Really? What do you do with – what do you with that Scripture that says, ‘Pray for those in authority’?” We got to go back to the Book. We’ve got to go back to the Bible. All authority is of God. We need to begin to say, “Okay. God, has chosen someone to be in authority. He has a will and a purpose. No matter what.” But we are in a culture now, Jim, where you can’t even – if you don’t agree with somebody, they hate you. (Laughter)

Jim: Right. Or worse.

Deborah: You just can’t disagree. And so, I’m saying to those of us who really, really want to walk according to the word of God, can we start to set the example? Can we not be negative? Can we not be so slanted toward politics? I’m – at this point, I’m almost convinced it’s best not to say anything, but just pray. I really am. Because that’s practical, too.

Jim: Yeah, no, I…

Deborah: It’s just – it’s best not to put it out there because you know what? There may be people that you’ve been ministering to or you are impactful in their life and the minute they hear you on this side of the political spectrum, then they don’t like you anymore. To me, my message is bigger than politics.

Jim: Right.

John: Hmm.

Jim: And Deborah, I mean, another, you know, obviously touchy subject, but if we don’t talk about it, I think people will, you know, question the lack of sincerity in our discussion. But racial tension is huge right now. And, you know, you see the black lives matters movement and politicians and how they’re responding. ANTIFA is part of that equation. How do we in the Christian community – and I grew up in L.A. where you live. And, you know, it’s very multi-ethnic. That was my experience. My school – I lived in Compton for third and fourth grade. So, I – you know, I had a really wide experience living with people where I – you know, I wasn’t the dominant race in Compton. That wasn’t – I was the minority child. But speak to that issue directly. You’re an African-American woman. You know, what are we missing? Particularly, again, as Christians, what do we need to think about when it comes to ethnicity?

Deborah: I’m so glad you asked. And I’ve been writing about this and talking about it. I have put out a list of 10 things whites need to do and 10 things blacks need to do to break this racial divide. We’re going to have to begin to understand each other. I have found consistently that people who have a negative attitude towards the opposite race, they don’t have friends of that race. But here’s the deal. We’re going to all have to stop using this broad brush to paint a racist, all bad or whatever, because there is a lot going on. And let me just back up and say black lives do matter. And one of the most infuriating things is for people to say, “all lives matter.” When we hear people say that – I’m just going to – this is a heads up. When we hear people say, “all lives matter,” we know that they don’t care about black lives. Or I don’t say they don’t care, I just think they don’t understand. It’s like your house – your – your house is on fire and your and – and your neighbor comes over to say, “My house matters, too.” Yes, but yours isn’t on fire. (Laughter) We’re focusing on the one that’s been devastated right now. And so – and let me just say also that I don’t embrace all of the tenets of the Black Lives Matter organization, but the concept about black lives matter, that’s critical. We’re going to have to get to know each other. We’re going to have to hear our stories connect with each other. Let me understand you. Let you understand me. And then we’re going to have to repent for the things that we did that we shouldn’t have done. But I want to say this. You don’t have to repent if you haven’t done anything wrong. And one of the reasons it’s hard to have this conversation with whites is because it’s very uncomfortable. But I tell everybody, “Listen” – you know, I’m always, kind of, putting a funny spin on something. I was in a group and I said, “Raise your hands if you owned a slave.” Well, nobody owned a slave. See, you didn’t do it. So, you shouldn’t feel guilty about the sins of your ancestors, so give yourself a break, because the guilt will keep you from reaching out. And so, we’re going to have to reach out to each other. We really are. And I have a whole list of those things that I’m – I understand that you’ll be posting that. But blacks have to do something as well. And we’re going to have to put away the broad brush and we can’t get stuck in the anger. And we’re going to have to take the initiative most at a time to make you comfortable with us. Now, I’ll get flack with saying that, but I have experience in that area. I worked at a company and I was an affirmative action hire. And people would go to lunch and nobody would invite me. Well, being my little shy self – not.

(LAUGHTER).

Deborah: After (laughter) – after about a week of that when I saw a group gather and they were from my floor, I just put my purse on my arm and I said, “Do you guys mind if I join you?” And I said, “Of course not.” Well, I became friends a whole bunch of people when I left that company, I had five goodbye parties.

Jim: (Laughter) Oh, that’s a great example. But it’s still I realize that tension exists and perspective. You know, people are not monolithic, even, you know, by definition, race, or faith, et cetera. We have a variety of – of denominations in the Christian faith. People say, “Why is that?” Right? Because there’s different perspectives about what the Scripture is saying, et cetera. But I think that’s a good reminder for us, A: to get to know people that don’t look like us. I mean, that’s a great thing to do and, uh, particularly to get to know people within the body of Christ. You know, we shouldn’t have the most segregated day of the week being Sunday. And I’m proud to go to a church that’s multi-ethnic and, you know, it really gives us great diversity. Let’s go to another aspect of anger, Deborah. We often hear that anger is a secondary emotion, that there’s something else occurring. It’s, kind of, underlying the anger emotion. One of those you identify as fear. You’ve mentioned that a moment ago. Let’s tease that out a bit further. Why is fear or bitterness, perhaps, or unforgiveness roots of anger?

Deborah: Well, because, again, there’s a – you feel something before you feel anger. So, let’s give – let’s give an example that I gave it a bit earlier. The guy who almost made me wreck the car. Fear was at the base of that because he – I could have hurt myself or I could have died. So, that made me angry. I was really responding to the fact that I almost lost my life. But there are other things. I walked into a store about a year ago and it was on a Sunday afternoon. I was the only one in the store. And there were two clerks who didn’t look like me. And they never asked, said “hello” or asked me, “Could they help me?” Then someone else came in right after that and they ask that person, “Could I help them?” Now, what did I feel? I wasn’t just angry at first. I didn’t jump to anger. I felt disregarded, disrespected, just dismissed.

Jim: Right.

Deborah: So, you have to identify what you are feeling and then ask yourself is – you know, I tell myself, is this vital? You know, can I just get beyond it? Because for my own health, I need not to be stewing on that. I don’t need to send that underground. I don’t need to deal with that. And so, I may call the home office and report the incident, because sometimes you need to do something. Sometimes you need to protest. That’s why I – I believe in people protesting peacefully, because if you don’t protest in a way that advances your ball down the court, then you just wasted time. You just wasted time.

Jim: Yeah. And, you know, positive change is necessary. And that’s so true. You also describe how feeling powerless can be that root of anger and that you’re touching on that Maybe in the context of the culture right now, give us that perspective of powerlessness and how that drives people to fear and then to anger.

Deborah: Well, when you see police brutality and then nothing is done, then you feel like what – where is – where is the hope? I’ve lost my hope. And that’s one of the things I’m challenging black people to do. Don’t lose your hope, because when you lose your hope -you know, see hope is energizing. I got to always think that somewhere down the line, things are going to get better. So, I recently started to chronicle the – our history of the United States. I went from 1609 to 2020. And I’m thinking, “Well, some progress has been made too slow. 411 years ago we were brought to this country, but some progress has been made.” So, you got to have your hope. You just gotta keep hoping and believing and doing your part and believing that even your individual track will be different if you manage it differently.

Jim: Deborah, I don’t want to be insensitive, but I did hear something, and I want to repeat it and get your response to it, because, again, so often it’s this assumption that it leads us down the wrong path. But sometimes if you look at something from a different perspective, it can be enlightening. And I would like your honest response to this. You know, when you look at the battle of slavery in the United States and you go back to the founding fathers and I know statues are being torn down and there’s anger toward that period of time. Someone said to me, “What people are failing to recognize is slavery as an institution, slavery as a means of production, et cetera, was a 3,000 year old global tradition that human beings were using because that was the means to production.” And we can all agree that it was horrific and terrible. But what the person said, though, is that these founding fathers, if you look at it, they created the document where all men are created equal. And although they couldn’t enact that at the moment, that would have divided the country, et cetera – and maybe they should have found greater courage to attack it right then – it did set up the runway to end slavery, although it took 90 years. And you think about that – a 3,000 year old tradition. My roots were Irish. We were slaves to the British in some ways. I think the American experience was far more horrific for the African-American community, obviously. But that idea that they saw the future, even though they couldn’t enacted in that moment and created a pathway for Abraham Lincoln to actually do that. How do you react to that perspective?

Deborah: I don’t know if they intentionally created a pathway. I think, personally, they took advantage of free labor when people were brought here against their will. And keep in mind, slaves weren’t considered people. They were – they were, uh what, six tenths percent of – six tenths of a person.

Jim: A five – yeah. Right. Exactly.

Deborah: Yeah. So, I don’t think they envisioned that. In fact, when I was studying that and doing the – the – even when they did the Declaration of Independence, we were still slaves. And so – so we do say that “all men are created equal, endowed by their Creator” blah, blah, blah, blah. But that didn’t include the slaves. But that was a very divisive issue even then. I just think it – they took advantage of a situation and that and it is what it is. You know, you can’t get stuck in that. But I don’t want – I don’t give them a pass, though, because they could have stopped it.

Jim: Right.

Deborah: It shouldn’t have taken that long. It shouldn’t have taken that long.

Jim: And then – and then in that context, even with that clarification, Abraham Lincoln gets credit for obviously acknowledging that there was an error there, right? And making that correction.

Deborah: And he gets the credit because of the pressure that was put on to do that. You understand? So, as – you know, and listen, I – I love – I love everybody, but I have to keep my eyes wide open as to what brought the pressure. Even the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was Lyndon Johnson was pressured by Martin Luther King and other states to get this out there. So, you know, we have to keep the pressure on. We can’t let hate fill our hearts. But slavery was wrong. And it was – it was just wrong.

Jim: I agree. And, uh, you know, again, that’s why I so appreciate being able to have a open discussion with you. Deborah, this has been so good at so many levels, personally, culturally, for the church, et cetera. And what a great book, Taming Your Anger30 Days to Taming Your Anger. And like we said before, you are very popular here with the Focus on the Family listeners. People respond and people have been blessed hearing your comments. And I hope today talking boldly about the things we’ve talked about, they again, will be blessed by your perspective. You’re a sister in Christ. I love you. And I’m so grateful for your input today. Thank you so much for being with us.

Deborah: Thank you. And you guys are just the best. And thank you just for the opportunity to really express how I’m feeling today about these things.

Jim: Well, God bless you.

John: And online we have a number of resources for you. We’ve got those two lists that two lists that Deborah has provided for us. Ten things you can do to bridge that racial divide along with her book 30 Days to Taming Your Anger. And if you can, please, make a generous, monthly pledge to Focus on the Family because you’re regular support allows us to budget and plan so we can meet the needs of families across the globe. And when you make a pledge of any amount today, we’re going to say thank you by sending a copy of Deborah’s book, 30 Days to Taming Your Anger. And we understand times might be tough. if you can’t commit to a monthly pledge, um, make a onetime gift and we’ll send that book to you as well. Donate online at focusonthefamily.com/broadcast. Or when you call 800, the letter A and the word FAMILY. On behalf of Jim Daly and the entire team, thanks for joining us today for Focus on the Family. I’m John Fuller inviting you back as we once again help you and your family thrive in Christ.

Today's Guests

Cover image of the book "30 Days to Taming Your Anger"

30 Days to Taming Your Anger

Receive Deborah Pegues' book 30 Days to Taming Your Anger for your donation of any amount! Plus, receive member-exclusive benefits when you make a recurring gift today. Your monthly support helps families thrive.

Recent Episodes

Promotional image for Focus on the Family broadcast "Reigniting Your Passion for Jesus"

Reigniting Your Passion for Jesus (Part 2 of 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. (Part 2 of 2)

Promotional image for Focus on the Family broadcast "Reigniting Your Passion for Jesus"

Reigniting Your Passion for Jesus (Part 1 of 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. (Part 1 of 2)

Focus on the Family Broadcast logo

Remembering the Gospel This Christmas

Allison Pittman inspires listeners to make Christmas more meaningful as she shares insightful parallels between the Bible and Charles Dickens’ classic novel A Christmas Carol.

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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.

Focus on the Family Broadcast logo

Accepting Your Imperfect Life

Amy Carroll explains how listeners can find freedom from self-imposed and unrealistic standards of perfection in a discussion based on her book, Breaking Up With Perfect: Kiss Perfection Goodbye and Embrace the Joy God Has in Store for You.

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.

Play Video

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!

Play Video

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!

Play Video

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!

Play Video

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!

Play Video

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!

Play Video

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!

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.

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.

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!

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 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.

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 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.

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 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 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.

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.

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.

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.