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Focus on the Family Broadcast

Giving Your Family a Year-Long Break

Giving Your Family a Year-Long Break

In a discussion based on her book Just Too Busy, Joanne Kraft describes the benefits her family experienced in taking a year off from outside activities so that they could slow their pace of life and have more time together. She challenges parents to consider how they, too, can counter the demands of a hectic schedule.

Original Air Date: January 7, 2013

Opening:

John Fuller: Well, here’s psychologist, Dr. Kevin Leman reflecting on the trap of busyness that so many families find themselves in.

Clip:

Dr. Kevin Leman: If you take a look around and you see what’s happening in the American family, the Canadian family, families across the world; they’re on a conveyor belt that doesn’t stop. And I just conjured up in my mind this little gerbil, who is on this little wheel in that cage and he’s running and running and running and he doesn’t get anywhere (Laughter). And that seems to be the plight of the family today.

End of Clip

John: Well, maybe that describes you. Maybe you’re running and running, always busy, but seemingly getting nowhere. If that’s the case, hang on. We’ve got some hope for you on today’s “Focus on the Family,” hosted by Focus president Jim Daly and I’m John Fuller.

Jim Daly: And John, families today are so busy and today’s program will be for all of us as parents who just seem like we are that gerbil, like Dr. Kevin Leman said. We’re on that wheel, just spinning. At the end of the day we’re thinking, “What did we really accomplish today?”

John: Uh-hm.

Jim: It can be insane sometimes trying to get from one event to the next.

John: Oh, yeah, yeah, I mean, I sometimes overload on what’s goin’ on. I just have delegated all of that to Dena. I’m just happy for (Laughter) her to handle that.

Jim: You sound like the typical husband here. You gotta pitch in somewhere.

John: I’m plugged in; I’m plugged in. It affects me.

Jim: Do you take ’em somewhere?

John: Oh, yeah, we divvy up. We have to.

Jim: Well, that’s good.

John: Divide and conquer.

Body:

Jim: Well, listen, today we’re gonna talk about that extreme busyness in the family. We have a special guest with us,Joanne Kraft. She’s written a book, Just Too Busy: Taking Your Family on a Radical Sabbatical. Joanne, welcome to Focus.

Joanne Kraft: Thank you so much for having me. It’s an honor to be here with you.

Jim: What in the world were you thinking when you came up with this concept of a radical sabbatical and what is it?

Joanne: I’m not sure we were thinking at the time actually. Well, actually it happened a little bit organically. Like every mom I know, I’m a busy mom. I think that’s a little redundant. I think every mom’s busy. And I was taking my kids to their activities after school. I had ’em involved in some great things.

I thought I had boundaries, you know. They were doing one thing. I was being real good about it. And then I realized that my garage door was, you know, opening and closing like a draw bridge in peewee golf. And I thought (Laughter), is anybody like watching me do this?

Jim: Like your neighbors?

Joanne: Yeah, I was a little concerned, but it was just overwhelming. And I started to realize that, as great as these things weren’t the best things, because our relationships weren’t becoming closer, though I love watching my kids hit a home run.

Jim: Well, Joanne, let’s paint the picture, because you know, we all have different family types and stages out there. How old were your kids at this time when this struck you, we are way too busy?

Joanne: Okay, my children were between the ages of 5 and 15. I have four children. My daughter, Meagan, my son, David, Grace and Samuel. And so, they were between the ages, I believe, 1st grade and 10th grade.

Jim: Hm. So, that is a busy household.

Joanne: Uh-hm.

Jim: You got a lot goin’ on. What struck you with all of that? Why did you come to this conclusion that this is insane?

Joanne: Well, you know, I think it was a couple of things. It was kind of a busy mom hurricane. I was noticing that when I was (Laughter) meeting moms at the grocery store, we speak in the language of busy. We would meet each other and say, “Hi, how are you doin’?” And then we’d start using that word as if it was something of value. You know, “Well, I’m so busy.” And then we’d start playing “busy-mom poker,” I like to call it.

Jim: (Laughter) What is that?

Joanne: We’d start one-upping each other.

Jim: How does that go? Give u the dialogue.

Joanne: Well, okay. It goes, you know, “Hi, Susie. How are you doin’?” “Oh, I’m fine; how are you?” “Oh, I’m so busy.” “Oh, what are you doin’?” “Well, I’m going to, you know, I have three soccer games in Jamaica and I’ve got, you know 12 dozen cupcakes to make.” You know, and then I go, “Well, really? Well, I’ve got basketball tryouts for 24 hours straight.” You know, you just start playing that game.

Jim: So, I see that hand and I raise you by this much.

Joanne: That’s right. And you know, what I was realizing, you know, Jim, there was no joy about it.

Jim: Hm.

Joanne: It wasn’t like the moms were going, “And it’s great and I love it.” We started to wish away time.

Jim: Well, does a mom derive value from that sense of busyness?

Joanne: What I believe is, we love our children passionately and we want our kids to have bigger, better, more than we had. And I think I was getting confused and thinking the more I did, the busier my kids were, the more they were getting out of it. You know, “good” is the enemy of the best. And the best really was time together.

Jim: What were some of those special moments that you missed out on? Just so those of us that are too busy can actually realize, uh-oh, this is what Joanne’s talkin’ about.

Joanne: Well, I think a lot of times with moms, we tend to, you know, want to do everything. And I’m his No. 1 fan with baseball. He was pitching at the time. And I thought, well, you know, it’s really more important that I say yes to everything, including making the potato salad, ’cause I make the best potato salad with a secret ingredient. And surely I must impress the other moms and make this potato salad. So, I skipped his game, went home, made the potato salad. It was the only time my son has ever hit a home run since or before. I’ve never gotten to see that, because I was busy.

Jim: How did he feel about that? Have you ever talked to him about that?

Joanne: You know, he’s now 18 and young men don’t communicate as well as our daughters (Laughing).

Jim: Mostly in grunts.

Joanne: Yeah, mostly. And he’d say, “It’s okay, Mom,” but to me, it’s not.

Jim: You talk in the book about captivity of activity. What is that?

Joanne: Well, I like to use these little catch phrases (Laughter), you know, “bondage of busyness,” “captivity of activity.” Beth Moore has a great saying. She says, “No one can do 1,000 things to the glory of God.”

Jim: (Laughing)

Joanne: That’s it.

Jim: Why do we in America especially, why do we think that is not true?

Joanne: Because I believe that, that’s what society says, you know. I believe that’s what’s happening and we get distracted. We get drawn away. I think as a woman, I go to women’s conferences and I love, you know, we’ve all, as a woman, you hear the Mary and Martha example given over and over. But in that verse in Luke, chapter 10, Jesus says, “Martha, you’re distracted by many things. Mary’s chosen the better part.”

Jim: Hm.

Joanne: A lot of times we pick that better part, you know, time with Jesus, but we don’t realize, to get to that, we’ve been distracted.

John: Hm.

Joanne: And a lot of these things distract.

Jim: How does believing in the busyness of life as you know, that’s just the way it is, why is that a destructive thought?

Joanne: I think that’s a copout.

Jim: Hm.

Joanne: I think for me it was, because I think a lot of times with our busyness, the older generation told me, “Hey, you’re too busy,” I thought, you know what? You don’t know me. You don’t know our life. We have more opportunity than you had. I’m sorry you kicked the can, you know. That’s what you did, but we have the opportunity to do all these other things. We didn’t think they understood.

Jim: Joanne, in your book, Just Too Busy, you talk about ADD. And when we hear ADD, we think of hyperactivity and all that, but you (Chuckling) refer to ADD as “activity denial disorder.”

Joanne: Uh-hm. (Laughter)

Jim: I mean, define what that is.

Joanne: Well, it’s something I suffer from, activity denial disorder. I want to say yes to things. I forget sometimes that no is a complete sentence. And I love my children passionately, but I would start to say, yeah, that activity’s good. I still struggle with it. I’m signing up for Bible studies now at church. I want to sign up for all of ’em.

The same is with our children. We have to remember, it’s not the activities, you know, it’s spending time together, it’s having dinner around the kitchen table. You know, my mom passed away about 12 years ago and I was a great soccer player. In high school, I was. I mean, I MVP’d. I find value in sports. I love ’em. If I were to run down the field now, I’d need to be resuscitated (Laughter), but if I could have one day back with my mom it would not be her cheering me on when I shot that left-footed goal to win the game. I would be eating dinner around the table with her. I’d be in the family room with her, talking with her. I’d have this one on one with her. And I wanted to have that with my children. I wanted those to be the memories of my kids.

Jim: That is really profound, ’cause I think especially in a materialistic culture, we tend to think that, that is the way to the heart–buying things, even sometimes out of guilt we’re driven to do that. Busy parents, single parents., we tend to want to use materialism to say we’re sorry. But what kids do remember is time spent with them, isn’t it?

Joanne: Most definitely. There’s the Scripture in the Bible that I love, Psalm 90:12 and it’s, “Teach me to number my days, so that I may gain a heart of wisdom.” Sometimes that has to be our first step in the morning. Just pray. Say, “God, show me where my priorities should be. Show me what Your priorities are for me today.”

Jim: Do you think in marriage now, just to take this to the husband-wife relationship and I don’t want to be stereotyping anyone and I know that every couple will be different. Jean and I tend to fall in this camp. She says yes to a lot of things that I would not say yes to (Laughter). I mean, this week we just had that experience.Is it often the mom that is saying yes more than dad?

Joanne: Oh, absolutely. (Laughter) My husband jokes, I signed him up for things at church he never even knew he was on the list (Laughter). And they call him. He’s like, “What?!” You know, yes, absolutely it’s us.

Jim: How does a couple grapple with that? I mean, how doesthe husband and wife [each] recognize the busyness, try to break the pattern? How would a husband approach this in a gentle way with his wife?

Joanne: Well, I’ll tell you, it’s funny, because when the busyness happened, our book is not just about busyness; it’s about all the different layers that God showed us in between. One of the chapters is on marriage. And one of the things I noticed was, any good, godly man is not gonna tell his wife, stop spending time with the kids. They’re not, because they love their children as much as we do, right?

So, I think what I noticed was, with husbands, either they think that it’s not gonna be different or this is how it is. I really kind of put it really more on the shoulders of me as the wife to really go, “Hey, wait a minute; he is first. What am I showing my children if my children are first in everything?” And our kids got to see for that year, that radical sabbatical, they didn’t come first. I really tried to put my husband first.

Jim: So, it started that idea of a radical sabbatical, started by you recognizing you needed to help.

Joanne: Well, that was definitely a part of it because I think we have a great marriage, but no marriage is gonna be strong if you’re not spending time together.

Jim: Well, we’ve identified the problems that modern culture foists on us. Talk about that realization that the radical sabbatical; how did that come about and what is it?

Joanne: Well, okay. It was New Year’s Eve and we were invited over to our friend’s house and I thought, “Well, heck yeah. I just bring a spinach dip and mess your house up. Perfect. We’re coming.”

Jim: Not the potato salad?

Joanne: Well, no, I didn’t bring a potato salad. I’ve already been punished for that one.

Jim: That’s a summertime thing (Laughter).

Joanne: Yeah, yeah, yeah. But I went to my girlfriend’s house and our husbands went off to watch basketball. Our kids went off to play. And my girlfriend and I started playing busy mom poker, you know. And she just said offhandedly, what if we took a year off and did nothing?

Jim: Hm.

Joanne: And I thought, well what if we did take a year off and did nothing?

Jim: She was kinda joking.

Joanne: Yeah, it was pretty offhanded for her. And I took it serious[ly]. And our husbands came in and I asked my husband. I said, what do you think? And he said, “I’m on it; let’s do it.”

Jim: (Laughing)

Joanne: And I thought, uh-oh, no, I don’t know if I want to do this–

John: Now you’re committed.

Joanne: –right, ’cause my girlfriend was watchin’.

Jim: And so, what did that mean though, to take a year off?

Joanne: Well, for us, what we did, New Year’s Day, we have a family devotion time. It’s a little more special than the rest of the year. We set goals. We talk as a family and we talk about what’s coming. And we shared with them then, hey, we’re takin’ a year off of anything that mom has to drive you to, we’re not gonna do.

Jim: Wow.

Joanne: So, that was our rule and not every family wants to do that. You guys’ families might be doing better than we were.

Jim: Now my boys would say, haircuts? (Laughter) They would love that. You’re not gonna get a haircut. All right!

Joanne: Oh, yeah.

Jim: You didn’t mean that though.

Joanne: No, actually I’ve cut their hair before. What we meant was, anything that mom had to drive to was done. Our daughter, Grace still was in choir at school. That was okay. It didn’t take time away from dinner around the table. It didn’t take time away from us and that’s what we did. And each month we did a family field trip. We did something special each month together.

Jim: By driving, taking them like [somewhere].

Joanne: Well, I realized busyness even had to do with our quiet time. We were busy. The first month we did something together, it was overwhelming what we chose to do–this, this, this and this. And it’s like, we can’t even slow down if we want to.

Jim: How did it go? What was the first month like?

Joanne: It was a disaster actually. (Laughter)

Jim: That’s some honesty.

Joanne: And Grace got to choose. It was her birthday month and I think mom guilt set in, so we went ice skating and we went on a picnic. We went to a matinee movie. Not only was it busy; it was expensive.

John: Hm.

Jim: So, it didn’t actually achieve [less busyness].

Joanne: Yeah.

Jim: What kind of corrections did you make at that time? What [were] month two and three like?

Joanne: Well, I’ll tell you what was the big change for me, was by the spring, it was my turn to choose the field trip. And I went to write down Daffodil Hill on the calendar, and my kids almost choked, because Daffodil Hill, all that is where we live, it’s a little farm that explodes 300,000 daffodil bulbs. But then I remember when I was a kid, when it was rumored we were gonna go on vacation, I thought for sure we’re going to Disneyland. We lived in California at the time. But when our 9-passenger wood-paneled station wagon showed up in front of a lumber mill and in front of a fish hatchery, I realized this is no vacation, you know. But you know what? Looking back, it’s the best memories. And so, I kept Daffodil Hill down and our family learned to be closer. We did.

Jim and John: Hm.

John: You’re listening to “Focus on the Family.” Our guest today is Joanne Kraft. I’m John Fuller. Our host is Jim Daly and there is more online. If you would like to stop by our website, you’ll find resources. How were the kids initially with all of this? I mean, you just said, Joanne, that looking back now those boring times, if I may,were–

Jim: To the fish hatchery.

John: –yeah, they were actually rich times. Were your kids unconvinced that this was a good move?

Joanne: Well, what’s interesting is, I have included in the book all my kids’ reactions honestly. And one of ’em was not thrilled, my son. But my daughter, Meagan has written a letter as an adult now. She’s an adult, looking back as to that time and she is so grateful for it. It was the change for us and it was something she’ll never forget.

Jim: Well, again for the person that may not quite be grabbing what you did, for your son, you eliminated baseball for that year; is that right?

Joanne: I know. Don’t I sound awful? I know.

Jim: That sounds pretty hard to a former Little Leaguer myself.

Joanne: A lot of people are thinking that’s horrible.

Jim: How did that go down?

Joanne: Well, you know, I’m married to a very logical man and my husband will say, you know, there’s only one Mark Spitz. And if my son is not loving the sport where he eats and breathes and drinks it, he can do without the sport, you know. And so, we did. We took it. My son still talks to me. He loves me very much (Laughing), so he’s okay now.

Jim: It was for that year.

Joanne: Yeah.

Jim: And how old was he again?

Joanne: At the time he was 12.

Jim: But that can be a pretty critical year, too, when boys particularly are finding their feet athletically.

Joanne: Uh-hm, right.

Jim: Do you think there’s any residual effect on him because of that?

Joanne: Well, I’ll tell you what’s interesting is, taking a break from things has become kinda the norm in our home, because it wasn’t long after that, that he said to me, “Hey Mom, I’m gonna take an iPod fast.” And I went, “What?” And he said, “Yeah, I’ve been spending too much time with it, so I’m just gonna take a day tomorrow and not use it.” Okay, that was huge for me, ’cause I thought, wow!

Jim: Hm.

Joanne: He’s actually thinking, this is taking up too much of my time. And to me, that was an effect of us taking that break.

Jim: That’s a great example of teaching discernment skills. Other benefits that you might have seen in your kids? What did the other children think about it?

Joanne: Okay. Well, I’ll tell you this. This is huge. For anybody who has teenagers, those of us who have teenagers or have been a teenager understand that when the kids get older, you’re not a big part of their life as far as their wanting to hang out with you. They’ll climb over your dead body to get to a friend, over you.

Jim: (Chuckling)

Joanne: And my daughter, Meagan, by the beginning, she so was not into this. She was my sophomore, going into junior in high school.

Jim: Oh, that’s tough. That’s a tough moment.

Joanne: Yeah and not to mention, we look kooky, right?

Jim: Right.

Joanne: I mean, and so, by November it was her turn to choose what we were gonna do as a family and I was just ready to say no, you know, no, it’s just the automatic with a teen. And she said, “Hey, mom, what if we just hang out all day in our pajamas and watch movies as a family?” Okay, that was huge. That was huge. She wanted to actually be with us.

John: Uh-hm.

Jim: So, in effect, you’re teaching your family how to relax. That is a biblical concept. You touched on it. I want to ask about it though, others thinking you’re kooky.

Joanne: (Laughing)

Jim: I mean, what did others like your girlfriend back at the beginning of this, her observation and neighbors and friends from church, what were they saying to you?

Joanne: Yeah, well, I’ll tell you; they were very supportive and they were watching us. We were kinda like in a fish bowl. Yeah, are they really gonna do this? We had an audience. But what I found was interesting is, they may not have done what we did, but so many of them said, you know what? We’re gonna have our own sabbatical from fast food. We’re gonna have meals more around the table. People were actually taking their own radical sabbatical in their own way, you know. Radical doesn’t just mean “extreme;” it means “revolutionary.”

Jim: Hm.

Joanne:And it was making a revolutionary change in their home.

Jim: Looking back on it, how do you think it impacted your marriage, back to that aspect of the radical sabbatical?

Joanne:Well, I think it impacted our marriage in that we took time together. We actually had time. We weren’t slapping high fives as we were going to practices. You know, you take this one here; I take this one there. We had time together. But even more so, we showed our kids what we want to see in our kids’ marriages when they’re older.

John: So, you and your husband had to kinda live this out in your own lives. I mean, you couldn’t take the extra time and devote it to outside of the home activities. Is that right?

Joanne:Right.

John: And what did that mean for you? Did you have to give some things up?

Joanne:Well, my husband was on the board at church and he stepped down from that for a year and I stepped down from the women’s ministry board. We still were involved in our Bible studies. We still did that, because that was somethin’ the whole family could go to, you know, at church. But for us, it really was modeling for our children just an intentional marriage, you know, that we actually wanted to be together, spend time together. Our kids were old enough where we didn’t need a babysitter by their teen years, so we could actually neglect them for like an hour (Laughter) and go and actually have coffee together.

John: Uh-hm.

Joanne:And so, that became a ritual with us. We still do that.

Jim: The impact of your friends. I mean, did other friends pick up on this and were you able to observe what they were doing?

Joanne:Well, actually, they were starting, like I said, they were paying attention. And what I’d get is, I’d see a girlfriend at the store and now instead of saying they’re so busy as a badge of honor, it was almost like, you know, I really shouldn’t be this busy. You know, because busyness is almost I think like telling me I’m fat, you know. I don’t want to hear that, okay. I know, but I’m used to eating Ho-Hos every day or whatever. You know, with women, we don’t want to be told, but we like to see. We like it modeled.

Jim: When you think back on it, the biblical orientation for all of this and really rooting it in Scripture, you mentioned Martha and Mary.

Joanne:Uh-hm.

Jim: That’s an obvious one. Are there other scriptural references? It always struck me for example, that Jesus could heal everyone, but at moments, He chose to withdraw from the crowd.

Joanne:Uh-hm.

Jim: He needed to replenish. Is that a premise for this radical sabbatical?

Joanne:Oh, one of the Scriptures–that’s a great question, Jim–one of the Scriptures that really hits me, well first off, Jesus never ran anywhere. So, if I’m running places I’m not modeling Jesus. It was “Jesus wept,” not Jesus ran ever. But the Scripture that really hit me was John 10:10 and that was, “The enemy comes to steal, kill and destroy, but Jesus came to give us life abundant.” And how I broke that down was, the enemy comes to steal our time. We have time stealers. How that was played out for me was, I was at a conference and they asked me, where would your kids put a yellow sticky note if somebody had to get you immediately? Where would they put that sticky note? Would it be on your iPod? Would it be on your iPad?

Jim: The television set.

Joanne:On television? On your iPhone?

Jim: Hm.

Joanne:My husband had been telling me, you’re spending too much time on the laptop. And I thought, well, phff! You’re spending too much time on your laptop. How do you know? (Laughter) But here’s where it hit me is Samuel won flower seeds at school and my youngest brought home some seeds and he surprised me and hid them somewhere where I would find them. They were in my laptop. That broke me.

Jim: Hm.

Joanne:I thought, oh, okay. This needs to be put away. My kids can’t see me spending more time with my laptop than with my kids. So, the enemy comes to steal. He steals our time. The enemy comes to kill our joy. I’m not joyful when I’m firing cheeseburgers into the backseat and running from fast food to yelling about shin guards. There’s no joy there. The enemy comes to steal and then kill our joy. The end result is, the enemy comes to destroy our relationships. That’s the kill shot right there. So, if we’re not starting out; we’re not intentional now with our children, we’re not gonna have those relationships with our adult kids and it starts now.

Jim: Joanne, you came to this realization. I’m sure there are many moms driving right now in the minivan, running to and from some activity with their kids and they’re hearing this, going, yeah, but.

Joanne:Uh-hm.

Jim: How do they get started? What do they do tonight when they get home and they talk to their husbands?

Joanne: Well, I wish I could give ’em a hug, ’cause I’ve been right there with them. I wish I could talk to them face to face. What I would tell them is this. I would say Revelation 21:5, “Behold He makes all things new.” That is a life-changing verse. And that word “behold” in the Greek, it’s active. It’s an active present-tense verb. It means right now.

God can make anything new, anything new. That means our busyness, our children, our relationships. He can redeem the time. I write about how he can redeem the time. Nothing is at a loss right now. He can change anything.

Jim: Joanne, when you look at the breakdown of the family in our culture today. One of the enemies of the family is the way that time eats away at our ability to have relationships.

Joanne:Uh-hm.

Jim: Here at Focus, we talk about mealtimes together and the importance of that. It’s not eating together per se; it’s spending time together. You come from a blended family. Your husband was a police officer. He’s now doing other things.

Joanne:Uh-hm.

Jim: That is a very demanding vocation; many marriages fail in that vocation. Talk a bit about that, how you and your husband have brought your respective families together and the way that this has played out in your personal testimony.

Joanne:Well, our family comes from broken places. I was married very young and I had two children. I went through a divorce. I wasn’t a Christian at the time and I don’t say that to make an excuse, but I say that to share just where I was spiritually.

My husband and I were married and he adopted our oldest two when they were real little itty-bitties and we had two more children. One of the things that’s huge for me and I never ever talk “blended” in our family, because you know what’s funny is, there’s so many families out there that are hurting. I have a passion for single parents, working moms, stay-at-home moms. I’ve been all those things.

But here’s the thing. God doesn’t make half families. God doesn’t make half siblings. I really have a hard time when I speak at conferences and these moms come up to me and they have such sweet hearts, but they’ll say, “This is Susie, my stepdaughter. And this is my son from my marriage.” You know what? I’m not God’s half child. I’m not God’s stepchild. I’m God’s child.

And I really encourage parents, don’t talk blended; just talk family. Let’s say you’re in a divorce situation and that child may not want to call you “mom.” That’s okay. You know what? You call him “son,” because that’s your son. And you give him value and you don’t put a label on him, like “stepchild” and “stepson.” And you don’t set him apart that way.

Jim: Do you think, given your circumstances and what the Lord brought you and your husband both through, do you think this attention to spending time together has been one of the keys to your success as a family?

Joanne:Well, I think the key to our success as a family has definitely been Jesus Christ. I think that has been the No. 1 key. We could not open the door without Him. He is our saving grace. And you know, I think with families, I think if they lean on God, if they put God first, it falls into place. If you’re in a blended family and there’s another family that’s pulling and drawing away time, don’t focus on that. Don’t be distracted by how they are when the kids are with them. You focus on being that godly family with that child and you do the right thing every time, even if that child doesn’t want to go to a fish hatchery or doesn’t want to hang out with the family. How boring. Hang on; hold onto those reins. God has a hand in it.

Jim: Joanne, when you look back on this, did you do this for just the one year or is it something that has become part of your family DNA

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Becoming a Clutter-Free Family

Joshua Becker discusses the benefits a family can experience if they reduce the amount of “stuff” they have and simplify their lives. He addresses parents in particular, explaining how they can set healthy boundaries on how much stuff their kids have, and establish new habits regarding the possession of toys, clothes, artwork, gifts and more.

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! 

Focus on the Family

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