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Helping Teen Girls Love Their Families Well (Part 2 of 2)

Helping Teen Girls Love Their Families Well (Part 2 of 2)

In light of the challenges of parenting – and being – a teen girl, author Jessie Minassian offers encouragement and practical advice about topics like managing conflict, balancing boundaries and freedom, dealing with siblings, and more. (Part 2 of 2)

Original Air Date: March 7, 2018

Opening:

Excerpt:

Jessie Minassian: And in my mind, in the universe where everything and everyone revolved around me, my dad was at the center of most of the conflict, my stepdad. Um, it seemed like he was unreasonable, that I couldn’t do anything right, that he was always angry. And I was just done. And so I decided I was going to run away, at least I thought I would. And so I started stuffing my backpack with various sundry items, like the $10 I had, because that was going to help.

Jim Daly: That’ll go a long way!

Jessie: Right?

End of Excerpt

John Fuller: That’s Jessie Minassian describing just some of the challenges that teens face within the family, uh, in the context of relationships. And as a parent, I’m sure you’ve observed some of that teenage angst in your home or, hang on, it’s coming! (Laughter) Jessie is back with us today on Focus on the Family. And your host is Focus president and author Jim Daly. I’m John Fuller.

Jim: John, last time we had a great conversation with Jessie about family dynamics, as you mentioned, and how parents and teens can kind of better navigate, these issues, like independence and bad attitude and maybe the imperfect reality of family life.

You know, so often, we expect perfection, and you’re not going to get that. You’re going to have something on a continuum that’s good to poor. Uh, perfection, I don’t think, is on that continuum.

These problems happen. It’s that rebelliousness and, uh, you know, the gentle stuff. This is a program for that Family 101. It’s not where you have serious, um, and possible disorders that you might be dealing with. And I would encourage you if you’re questioning if you do, if your teen is in a place that’s more at-risk in terms of their behavior, call us, and we’ll go deeper with you in that regard. And we have programs and resources that can help in that space.

But for this, this is just the normal stuff where we all giggle about teen attitude and parent attitude. And if you missed the program last time, I’d get it. It was so fun, and Jessie was so vulnerable with us. I think we were pretty vulnerable, too, John!But that’s where life is at. And we all have, at this table, we all have teen kids. And, uh, I think we’re living the dream right now.

John: And we can, uh, offer the CD to you, Jessie’s great bookFamily: How To Love Yours (And Help Them Like You Back)– not love you back necessarily, just like you back. We’ve got all of that and a link over to her website Life, Love and God. Just swing by our website focusonthefamily.com/radio to get started.

Body:

Jim: Jessie, welcome back to Focus!

Jessie: It is so good to be here with you guys.

Jim: It was so fun last time, and we just – I so enjoyed that – and very practical. That’s what I love about it – uh, things that both parents and teens can do to help the relationship through these turbulent years.

You know, one parent said to me, uh, a while back – and I really love this – that they enjoyed every stage. And that’s my goal. I want to enjoy the toddler years. I want to enjoy the terrible twos. I want to enjoy the – those middle years of six, seven, eight. Oh, how those years are so nice (laughter). Daddy, you’re awesome, Daddy. We love you, Daddy.

Jessie: (Laughter) Stroke our ego.

Jim: And then you get into adolescence and then the teen years. But they can be very enjoyable years. You connect in a different way, but it doesn’t have to be a downer. There probably will be more tension, more independence, more conversation around I need more space, Dad. Won’t you trust me? Well, maybe until you do something I can’t trust you for, right? And we covered all those topics last time.

Um, let’s get back at it. Communication and conflict is kind of core. And you covered that in your wonderful bookFamily: How To Love Yours And Help Them Like You Back,which I so enjoy that title. Um, that communication and conflict can be challenging, uh, in every household. So how do we go about– knowing we’re sinful human beings– how do we, in fact, understand our teens a little better? There’s going to be some unhealthy habits – whatever they might be. And moms and dads are going yup, yup, that’s my teen, just fill in the blank, right? But how do we – how do we get started in helping to correct some of that behavior in a way that’s constructive not deconstructive or destructive?

Jessie: Yeah, absolutely. I think – I think we better preface this whole episode first by saying, I’m so thankful for your grace and the collective grace from listeners because this is not something that I am great at either… (Laughter)

Jim: Well, that’s…

Jessie: …Of that conflict.

Jim: …The truth of all…

Jessie: Right?

Jim: …Experts.

Jessie: Oh, goodness.

Jim: I mean…

Jessie: It’s so true.

Jim: Yeah.

Jessie: So true. I mean, we’re right in the trenches with this, too, in trying to figure out – I mean, I confess in the book that I – this is not something I’m super proud of (Laughter) but I tend to be a thrower. Like, there are very few things that can get me that mad they…

Jim: What does that look like exactly?

Jessie: Well… (Laughter) Let’s talk about this. I probably need some counseling on this. No, I’m doing a lot better. I haven’t thrown anything in a very long-ish…

Jim: Are these…

Jessie: …Time.

Jim: …Spongy things, or hard….

Jessie: No, like a pot of…

Jim: …Hard surface?

Jessie: …Oatmeal against a…

John: A pot of oatmeal?

Jessie: I was pregnant. There were hormones involved. (LAUGHTER)

Jim: Excuses!

John: Oh, man.

Jessie: And then my cellphone one time, which I had to pay for, um, an open bag of chips, which went everywhere.

Jim: That one sounds fun actually.

Jessie: And most shamefully, most shamefully, I was so mad, one time, I threw God’s Holy Word at my husband (laughter).

Jim: OK, now we’re…

John: You threw the Bible.

Jim: Everybody’s going what?

Jessie: I know.

John: Oh, man.

Jessie: (Laughter)

Jim: But what’s going on there? I mean, you obviously are doing better. You said that.

Jessie: I am doing better.

Jim: So what was the trigger?

Jessie: I’m grateful.

Jim: What was the trigger?

Jessie: The trigger was family members who – there’s something about living under the same roof with people 24 hours a day that…

Jim: It drives you nuts! (Laughter)

Jessie: …Know how to push your buttons. Maybe just my husband and children know how to push my buttons, but it gets me to that point where my emotions just can feel out of control. And I’ve been learning, through the power of the Holy Spirit, how to give those to the Lord and try to stay calm and even and live out those verses in Proverbs – a gentle answer turns away wrath. Um, a gentle answer also curbs my own wrath. So…

Jim: Right.

Jessie: …You know, I’m working on all of that, but this is – this is something that I’m still in process of. So I don’t want to come across as I’ve got the perfect, you know, five-step solution. But I do think Scripture is so able to point out how to do life well in every area – and that includes family conflict. So, um, we talk in my family about fighting fair. Like, fights are pretty inevitable. Conflict is inevitable…

Jim: And some people go, no, but it’s true. I mean, I think in a healthy situation you’re going to have disagreement.

Jessie: Disagreement at least – disagreement, things that you don’t appreciate about another, things that rub you the wrong way. It doesn’t have to become all-out war. We can have a discussion or a fight that is constructive where the end goal is a better understanding of each other, right? For communication to take place doesn’t mean that you have to agree with me. It doesn’t mean that our kids have to agree that we are wise and all-knowing. (chuckle) But it means that we’ve communicated information, and we’ve come to a better understanding of each other. And I think if we have that foundation, then we can allow family conflict to make us stronger as a family and as individuals.

Jim: Well, that’s half the battle is teaching your kids how to disagree in an appropriate way, rather than with all the body language and the attitude…

Jessie: Yes.

John: The fog of emotion.

Jim: Or the fog of emotion.

Jessie: Or shutting down…

Jim: Because they want to win.

Jessie: …Becoming silent.

Jim: You want to win. I mean, it’s just not the best of human…

Jessie: It’s so true.

Jim: …Characteristics. You, in fact, use Proverbs 12 as a funny but guiding way to provide wisdom, particularly for teen girls. But you call it the, uh, foolish girl and the wise girl. So what, in Proverbs 12, caught your attention in that regard? And then you created a table actually,that we’ll post online, and people can see this. But foolish girl and wise girl – Proverbs 12.

Jessie: And we will add to that. It’s not just foolish girl. It’s foolish parent and wise parent, as well.

Jim: Oh, we don’t want to add– no, no, we don’t want to post that one. (Laughter) OK, for all the teens listening, we’ll post the foolish parent one.

Jessie: This is sort of a rubric.

John: It’s a 2-way story.

Jessie: This is a rubric for which I’m learning…

Jim: I kind of avoided that, didn’t I?

Jessie: (Laughter) Right, so I mean, all throughout Proverbs 12 we have really wise counsel for how to do communication well. And the foolish girl hates being told when she is wrong. She gets trapped by a rebellious attitude, insists my way is right. And how often, as parents, do we insist that our ways is – are right?

Jim: Pretty much every day. (Laughter) It’s true.

Jessie: Maybe I should think about this because my kids are going to listen to this…

Jim: Yeah.

Jessie: …Broadcast…

Jim: Yeah.

Jessie: …And they’re going to be like, see, Mom, I told you your way’s not always right. Um, she gets irritated easily and lets everyone know when she’s mad. Um, she twists or exaggerates the truth, um, uses careless mean words, plans ways to hurt others and creates drama. And the antithesis of that is someone who becomes wiser by the correction of others. And, I mean, it’s really easy for us to say oh, our teen should become wiser for our correction. But are we paying attention to the ways that our kids are pointing out where we need to grow, even if it’s not in the most respectful way? Can we find that kernel of truth?

Jim: Yeah.

Jessie: Um, a wise girl, or parent, gets out of trouble with an honorable cooperative attitude, listens and learns from others, lets insults slide and doesn’t take other’s disagreements personally, always tells the truth in loving ways, uses words to bless and heal others and finds joy in spreading peace.

Jim: Wow.

Jessie: And that’s what I want to be said of my life in the way that I communicate with my family, um, rather than how many things Mom threw (laughter).

Jim: No, that – yeah, the thrower. You know, the one that catches me that I would think, um, people struggle with – but I think for the way God has created a woman, uh, they struggle – you struggle with this. I want you to confirm this or deny it – but lets insults slide and doesn’t take others disagreement personally.

Jessie: Oh, gosh.

Jim: That’s got to be a tough one.

Jessie: It’s really hard for men and women, I think. But yeah, I mean, to not take it personally, especially for moms – I think we, without Christ’s intervention, so easily let our mothering become our identity. And so if anyone has anything critical to say, whether it be our husband or our children about our parenting style, or what we’re doing, it’s very hard to disentangle that from our core.

Jim: Husbands are saying Amen. (Laughter) I can hear it right now. (Laughter) OK, I’m going to get so much criticism from this. (Laughter) But, folks, this is where the – you know, life is real, right?

You, also, in your book, talk about that conflict journey. And as I was alluding to a few minutes ago, you have those 8, 9, 10-year-old years with your kids. And they’re just so kind to you because you can do no wrong. And you’re mommy and daddy. And I love you, Mommy and Daddy. And you’re going, this is awesome. And then 11, 12, 13, and you start to feel that conflict.

Um, talk about that dynamic – that change at that moment. Because that’s probably where most of us, as parents, begin to blow it. We begin to fail because it’s been relatively smooth, and it’s been good, and we’ve done devotions together as a family. They have done the things we’ve wanted them to do when we, generally, asked them to do it. And now it’s 13, 14. It’s a little more rebellion we might be seeing. They’re not wanting to read together. They’re not wanting to study the Word together maybe. They have excuses. Maybe even, you know, church is boring. Mom and Dad, come on, do we – can’t we do home church? I mean, church is boring. All those things that start to happen…

Jessie: Yeah.

Jim: …How do we recognize that pattern? And what do we do to, I guess, keep them engaged?

Jessie: Yeah, yeah. Wow, I have so many thoughts on that.

Jim: Yeah (Laughter).

Jessie: The first one being – I mean, someone had told me early on – I’m so grateful for this analogy – that our goal, as we’re parenting, you know, at first we’re kind of leading. We’re up ahead. We’re kind of showing them the way to go. And then as they enter kind of those tween years, they’re coming up alongside us, and we’re kind of walking this thing together. And then as the teen years come, we’re actually kind of taking a step behind and kind of pushing them out in front of us and saying, all right, you know the way, now walk in it.

Jim: And that’s a good thing to do.

Jessie: And that’s a good and healthy thing. But as parents, we’re having a really hard time with that. And I think part of it – I think part of it is the society that we’ve created. We think that kids are adults at 18 because they’re technically adults.

Jim: Right.

Jessie: And so we think that we have to parent intensively until they’re 18. And then all of a sudden, they’ll magically become adults and know how to do everything. I think we need to remember – I mean, 100 years ago, kids were pretty much adults at 13. You know, they…

Jim: Right.

Jessie: …Were already going to work. It was – they were done with school. Um, and they’re capable of that. And so I think we’re seeing this pushback from teens of wanting more independence because they should have more independence. They should be making more decisions. And moms, we are so guilty of helicopter parenting and lawnmower parenting – trying to clear the way in front of them. And, um – and we need to let them fail, let them try and fail, let them make some of those choices and then take it with a grain of salt. Jim, I know you’ve said take the long view of parenting, and I couldn’t agree more. I mean, for me, I have lowered my standard of what I expect for my teens as they enter those years, um, from perfection down to I just want them to know that they’re loved, and I want them to know where to find Jesus…

Jim: Yeah.

Jessie: …And to take a step back and realize they’re God’s kids, and they’re going to have to make those decisions on whether to attend church, or they’re going to have to make the decisions on what they’re going to eat or where they’re going to spend their money and who they’re going to hang out with. And I’m not saying we shouldn’t be involved, as parents, at all. But I think the pendulum has – needs to swing more back to the middle and find that balance of letting them be adults before they leave our home.

Jim: Um, Jessie, in your book, you have some great advice for teens about their role as the older or younger sibling. Now the sibling rivalry thing… (Laughter) I don’t know if you guys are seeing that. But, man, I see it and especially if their sizes– I’ve got a big firstborn and, you know, a modest second-born. And those two go at it all the time. And that’s normal.

Jessie: It is normal. Oh, man.

Jim: But, uh, speak to that sibling rivalry and what older children need to know, what younger children need to know.

Jessie: When I was younger, my – I had three older brothers who – they had their kind of pecking order all figured out. And so when I arrived as this new fresh blood, I got the brunt of all of the torture. And there were some pretty fun embarrassing stories about how that played out. So I don’t expect that there’ll be always peace between brothers and sisters, but I do think that we need to hold our kids to a higher standard, or they themselves…

Jim: Treat each other…

Jessie: …To hold themselves to a…

Jim: …Better.

Jessie: …Higher standard – right.

Jim: Yeah.

Jessie: So for younger siblings, they have an excellent opportunity to have someone else go first. And there’s something to be said for being able to watch someone else live life and make decisions both good and bad and get to watch that and decide, is that how I want to live my life? How is that working out for that sister who decided to move in with her boyfriend? Or how is that working out for my brother who is studying really hard so that he can get good grades?

And then make their decisions accordingly. And on the flip side, for older siblings, you have an amazing responsibility and opportunity to live out First Timothy 4:12 – to be an example to the believers in your faith, in your purity and in your love and your faithfulness, all those things that we’re trying to grow in. Um…

And I did not take that responsibility well when I was a teenager. I sort of tolerated my younger sister’s existence. She was seven years younger than I was.And because, again, the world revolved around me, and it all orbited around my likes and dislikes, I wasn’t intentional about investing into her when I was in the home with her. And it’s one of the greatest regrets I have of my life. And so my encouragement for older siblings who are still in the home with their younger siblings is to take that responsibility seriously. You have such power and opportunity and influence to be able to shape a life, um, if you just take the time to do that.

Jim: But how often we say to the older sibling, hey, treat your younger brother better than you’re treating him. Come on. Don’t speak to him that way.

Jessie: Yeah.

Jim: That’s not appropriate. It’s almost like please and thank you. You sometimes have to say that, like, 1,000 times, right? (Laughter) And you’re going, OK, for the 1,010th time, can you not speak to your younger brother…

Jessie: I know.

Jim: …That way?

Jessie: And it goes back to what we talked about yesterday that we cannot be the Holy Spirit in our children’s lives. And it drives me nuts because I say those words all the time, too, Jim. And…

Jim: OK, that makes me feel better.

Jessie: …Even though I now, as an adult, can look back and say, man, I really blew this amazing opportunity I had to be a good big sister, I’m watching my two daughters now play this out in front of me. And it seems like, even though I know all the right things – I’ve written books about this – I still am having a hard time getting to the heart of my kids to be able to see the world outside of how it affects them.

Jim: Well, and we have to remember, as parents, it’s planting those seeds and then water, water, water.

Jessie: Yes.

Jim: And sometimes…

Jessie: Yeah.

Jim: …It’s a 100-year plant, right? Eventually, you’re going to see that thing blossom. And you’re…

Jessie: Yeah.

Jim: …Going to hear a kind word said from one sibling to the other. And you’re going to go, finally, finally!

John: And to quote that parenting expert Jim Daly, (Laughter) take the long view. Just last night, one of my daughters walked into the kitchen. And she called her older sister and said, I’m going to meet you at such and such a coffee shop and talk. And they had more time together last night than I had…

Jim: That’s a great thing.

John: …With them.

Jessie: Wow.

John: And it really was. But 10 years ago, oh, man, the – I mean, the fireworks were flying. So be encouraged, parents.

Hey, this is Focus on the Family with Jim Daly. I’m John Fuller. And our guest today is Jessie Minassian, and we’re enjoying a conversation about, uh, teens, particularly teen girls, but encouragement to love your family, as a teen, and to receive their love back – some great practical help in Jessie’s book. Get a copy of that and a CD of our conversation today at focusonthefamily.com/radio. Or call us, and we’d be happy to send that out to you. Focus on the Family’s number is 800, the letter A and the word FAMILY.

Jim: Jessie, you use a phrase in the book, “Mean Mom Syndrome.” And I think I can almost say the “Mean Dad Syndrome” because I know where this is going. But it’s not about the parent. It’s about the siblings. And…

Jessie: Yeah.

Jim: …Tell me that dynamic where the older sibling kind of takes on that role.

Jessie: Yeah, I think – I mean, part of it is good. Our kids – or part of that healthy growing up is imitating what they see in adults. And sometimes for good or for bad, what they see is…

Jim: I call it becoming bossy.

Jessie: Yeah, right. (LAUGHTER) I’m trying to look at the positive first, but, yes.

Jim: That is so good of you.

Jessie: So the problem is that, especially for girls, and I would imagine possibly for older boys, as well, for their – they kind of take on this, like, parental role…

Jim: Right.

Jessie: …Thinking that it’s their job to get their younger siblings into shape.Um, but for girls, I see a lot of this kind of mean mom syndrome. Like, it’s… (Laughter) At least, I hope that that’s not how…

Jim: The mean side of it, huh.

Jessie: …I sound. But when when they take on that because they don’t have the, you know, the age of – and wisdom that comes with age to be able to do it gently, they just come across as bossy and telling them what to do. And you should do this. You shouldn’t do this. And it’s kind of comical to watch sometimes because they’re doing the exact same thing that they’re telling their younger siblings not to do.But I think, you know, unfortunately, some kids don’t have the luxury of having a parent in the home who’s…

Jim: Yes.

Jessie: …Parenting well. And so this gets a little bit trickier.But I encourage girls and boys, you still can take out the mean part. Even if you’re forced to take on a bit of a parental role, um, you can still do it in a kind and gentle way.

Jim: Yeah, no, it’s so good. I’m thinking of those examples where, you know, my oldest is saying, hey, Dad said you need to put your shoes…

Jessie: Yeah (laughter).

Jim: …Over here. And I’m sitting here thinking, yeah, but your shoes are over there. It’s kind of like…

Jessie: Exactly.

Jim: …They got the concept, but they’re still not executing exactly right, you know.

Jessie: We hope they’ll get it before they have their own kids.

Jim: (Laughter) Yeah. And those poor younger siblings are just going, all right, whatever. You know, I so often see Troy just saying, yeah, OK, I got it. And he does it. And then I’m still looking at the older one going, come on, what about your shoes?

Um, you talk also about that relationship between Dad and teen daughter. And there’s so many dynamics in that. And I think, for a lot of us dads – not understood dynamics – not well-enough.

Jessie: Yeah.

Jim: We try to sometimes, I think, parent our daughters like we do our sons. We recognize the differences. But it is a different tack that you need to take. Describe that. Um, you had – you know, had to build that with your stepfather. But describe the challenges there, both from the dad’s perspective, but also the teen girl’s perspective.

Jessie: Yeah, there’s so many things to pack in and out of that. And I really want to make sure to touch on both sides, both for the dads, to call you to a high standard of taking your responsibility with your daughter seriously to understand that you are going to be the first taste that she has of what it looks like to have someone love you unconditionally, to appreciate who you are, to tell you that you’re beautiful, to show you what it looks like to treat a woman well so that when she goes out on dates, she’s going to know that this guy’s not worth her time because he doesn’t treat her the way that you treated her.

And on the flip side, I also want to make sure that daughters know that you have the responsibility to let God fill up where your daddy’s going to blow it because he is. He just is. He’s not perfect. He’s not your perfect daddy the way that God is.

And so I’ve had both. I feel like I, um, wish that, especially in those years when I was in the home, I wish that there was more warmth from my father, more of a connection there. Um, but I also watched the way that God filled up those holes left by not knowing my biological father and also by the struggles that I had, um, with my dad in the home. Uh, he was so faithful to make sure that I wasn’t lacking anything and to help me be confident and all those things that, you know, we point to dads – I feel like there’s been a lot of talk in recent years about a dad’s role and how important that is, and I’m so thankful for that.

But I don’t want to put too much emphasis there so that a dad doesn’t feel like he has to play God and make sure that his daughter is – you know, understands her worth and her beauty and doesn’t go looking for the attention of boys, and it all rests on his shoulders or his daughter’s going to become, you know, whatever. So…

Jim: You know, one – let me interject there because I think one of the things – and we like simple. I mean, guys like simple – presence.

Jessie: Yes.

Jim: A father just…

Jessie: Yeah.

Jim: …Needs to be present.

Jessie: Yeah.

Jim: And I think if you can aim at that – just to be available, have those discussions, make time to, just be able to just carve that time out. Maybe it’s 10-15 minutes. It’s a walk around the block. But just let her know you care and you know about her.

Jessie: Yeah.

Jim: That’s pretty simple.

Jessie: Yeah.

Jim: It’s not complicated.

Jessie: Yeah.

Jim: And it means you’ve got to put some things aside, maybe not do the work you planned on doing tonight. But just give her some of your time. And I think if you do that, your daughter will be generally pretty healthy.

Jessie: Absolutely, yeah, yeah. I would agree with that. And, again, it’s not – unfortunately, our children have this nasty little thing called free will. So you…

Jim: Right.

Jessie: …Could do everything…

Jim: It’s not a formula.

Jessie: …Perfectly, and it may not have the impact that you hope it will. But, I mean, there’s plenty of studies that show that that presence and that warmth, that availability, do go a very long way in her formation, in her identity and also in her – uh, in her faith.

Jim:The other area here – and this will be it for today, as we’re running out of time – but it’s a powerful story with your mom. You and I share that – we both lost our moms to cancer. Um, but we haven’t talked about the mom factor. Talk about your mom – what you learned in that setting, the fight she may have had, but more importantly, the love you had for each other.

Jessie: My mom was the wisest and the best. I am so grateful that she chose to keep me. I’m so grateful that she was brave enough to stick with a marriage that was very difficult for a lot of years. Um, I’m so grateful for her.

The thing that I regret most is not the door-slamming and the eye-rolling and the years that I spent with her, the thing that I regret most is the apathy.

Jim: Yeah.

Jessie: And it really has fueled a desire in me to help families understand that change will come. We don’t know when it will happen. It could be slow, you know, of them leaving the nest and going off to make a life of their own. But you just don’t know how many days you have. And losing my mom – um, it’s been 10 years now – um, has changed how I live today. Life is no longer safe in the sense that I realize that my stepdad and my in-laws, we’re mortal creatures.

Jim: Right.

Jessie: And Solomon in Ecclesiastes, he says it’s better to live in the house of mourning than the house of pleasure, right? It’s better to go to the funeral than to the party because it teaches us how to live today. It reminds us of our end, and it reminds us to live today with purpose and intentionality and to make the most of the minutes and the hours and the days and the years that we have with our kids, with our parents, with our siblings, um, and to do life on purpose.

Jim: Well, that is well said. And that’s really the crux of your book,Family: How To Love Yours And Help Them Like You Back.I think that is a perfect place to end. Um, have the long view and love each other even through the tough stuff. You have touched our hearts today, Jessie.

Jessie: Thank you, Jim.

 

Closing:

Jim: Thank you for your tenderness and for your stories. And to our listeners, if this conversation has sparked some questions or concerns about your own family, we’re here for you. Call us at Focus on the Family. We have many, many resources to help you at all different levels, I mean, at the top level, the 101 or the 404, you know, the deeper issues that you face. And we want to be there for you no matter what, whether that’s the counseling team or just the book that can help you steer and guide you in your way. Uh, we want to encourage you and support you, so contact us today.

John: And our number is 800-232-6459. 800, the letter A and the word FAMILY. And you can visit focusonthefamily.com/radio to learn more.

And please, when you get in touch, consider a generous financial gift to this family ministry. We rely on the kindness of friends like you to help us equip and encourage parents as we’ve done today. When you make a gift of any amount today we’ll say thank you by sending a complimentary copy of the book by Jessie Minassian. That’ll be a great resource for you. Donate online at focusonthefamily.com/radio or when you call 800-A-FAMILY.

And don’t forget about our Brio magazine for teen girls. If you want to help your teen daughter have an exciting, faith-based resource to help her better understand today’s culture and relationships and how to live out her life as a Christian, Brio magazine can help. We’ve got details at the website but join the tens of thousands of households that receive this terrific monthly magazine.

Coming up next on Focus on the Family: how to celebrate those differences in your marriage instead of letting them drive you crazy.

Teaser:

Dr. Robert Crosby: Will, will, will. The will of a man and the way of a woman. God knows and understands men and women because he made us and he knows how to talk to us.

End of Teaser

Today's Guests

Family: How to Love Yours (and Help Them Like You Back!)

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Recent Episodes

Promotional image for the Focus on the Family broadcast "Praying Scripture Over Your Child's Life"

Praying Scripture Over Your Child’s Life (Part 1 of 2)

Jodie Berndt, best-selling author of the Praying the Scriptures book series, offers parents guidance for how they can more frequently and effectively pray for their children’s faith, wisdom, self-discipline, character, life purpose, and more. (Part 1 of 2)

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)

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Avoiding Shame-Based Parenting

Psychologist Dr. Kelly Flanagan discusses the origins of shame, the search for self-worth in all the wrong places, and the importance of extending grace to ourselves. He also explains how parents can help their kids find their own sense of self-worth, belonging and purpose.

Focus on the Family Broadcast logo

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.

Loving Your Spouse Through the Seasons of Marriage - Part 1

Debra Fileta has identified the four seasons of marriage that correspond with our natural seasons – spring (new life and new love), summer (things get hot!), fall (showing our true colors), and winter (long days ahead). In this interview, she will help couples better understand the four seasons of healthy relationships, what to expect during each one, and how to carefully navigate them for a stronger marriage.

Author Debra Fileta in the Focus on the Family broadcast studio

Debra Fileta

Debra Fileta is a licensed professional counselor specializing in relationship and marital issues. She is also a public speaker and the author of multiple books, including Married SexChoosing Marriage: Why It Has to Start With We > Me, Love in Every Season, and Are You Really OK: Getting Real About Who You Are, How You’re Doing, and Why It Matters. Debra’s popular relationship advice blog, TrueLoveDates.com, and her Love + Relationships podcast reach millions of people each year offering guidance on topics including love, sex, and marriage.

Love in Every Season: Understanding the Four Stages of a Healthy Relationship

Every relationship goes through four life-changing seasons: Spring. Summer. Fall. Winter. Each season plays an important role in taking your relationship to the next level. And depending on how you navigate each season, your relationship will either flourish and grow, or it will slowly die. Whether you’re single, dating, engaged or married, join licensed professional counselor and relationship expert, Debra Fileta as she takes you on an eye-opening psychological and spiritual journey through the four seasons that she has observed in every healthy relationship.

How a Former Abortion Doctor Became Pro-Life

As an abortion doctor at Planned Parenthood, Dr. Patti Giebink believed she was helping women. Later, she began reading scripture and God gradually changed her heart on the abortion issue. Patti tells the story of her long journey from abortion doctor to pro-life and encourages listeners to share the message of life with compassion.

Headshot image of Focus on the Family broadcast guest Dr. Patti Giebink

Mrs. Patti Giebink

Dr. Patti Giebink is an OB-GYN who serves on the board of the Alpha Center, a well-known pregnancy center located in Sioux Falls, S.D. She also travels intermittently to work in mission hospitals in Pakistan and other countries. After completing her medical training, Dr. Giebink worked for Planned Parenthood from 1995-1997, during which she was the only abortion-provider in the state of South Dakota. She eventually experienced a radical change of heart on the issue of abortion after receiving God’s grace, forgiveness, and love, and she is now a passionate advocate for the pro-life movement.

Cover image of the book "Unexpected Choice: An Abortion Doctor’s Journey to Pro-Life"

Unexpected Choice: An Abortion Doctor’s Journey to Pro-Life

Unexpected Choice is told from the perspective of a doctor who actually performed abortions through Planned Parenthood. The book chronicles her journey from being a pro-choice physician to someone speaking on behalf of the pro-life movement.

Navigating a Toxic Culture with Your Daughter - Part 2

As a pediatrician, Dr. Meg Meeker has seen thousands of girls come through her office through the years. They struggle with eating issues, sexual identity, social media…and many other challenges in this toxic culture. Dr. Meeker will encourage parents to invest love and time in their daughters and develop their character to give them the best opportunity for a bright future, all rooted in a spiritual foundation. The discussion also includes healthy feminism vs. toxic feminism

Mrs. Meg Meeker

Dr. Meg Meeker is a pediatrician who is widely recognized as one of the country’s leading authorities on parenting, teens and children’s health. With appearances on numerous nationally syndicated radio and TV programs, her popularity as a an expert on key issues confronting families has created a strong following across America. Her work with countless families over the years served as the inspiration behind her best-selling books which include Strong Fathers, Strong DaughtersStrong Mothers, Strong Sons and The Ten Habits of Happy Mothers

Cover image of Dr. Meg Meeker's book "Raising a Strong Daughter in a Toxic Culture"

Raising a Strong Daughter in a Toxic Culture: 11 Steps to Keep Her Happy, Healthy, and Safe

Meg Meeker has been a pediatrician for more than thirty years, is a mother and a grandmother, and has seen it all. She knows what makes for strong, happy, healthy young women–and what puts our daughters at risk. Combining that experience with her famous common sense, she explains the eleven steps that will help your daughter–whether she’s a toddler or a troubled teen–to achieve her full human potential.

Cherishing Your Spouse Every Day

Do you love your spouse, or do you truly cherish them? Gary Thomas encourages couples to make a daily effort to go beyond the ‘duty’ of love, and combat the natural inclination to drift apart, by choosing to see the best in their spouse.

Mr. Gary Thomas

Gary Thomas is an international speaker and best-selling, award-winning author whose books include Married SexSacred Marriage and Sacred Parenting. He has also written numerous articles for several prominent national magazines. Gary and his wife, Lisa, reside in Texas and have three children. You can learn more about Gary by visiting his website, www.garythomas.com.

cherish front cover

Friends, Partners, and Lovers: What It Takes to Make Your Marriage Work

“Most marriages survive by gritting teeth and holding on. But marriages can and will not only survive but thrive when husbands and wives learn to cherish one another.” Those are the powerful words of bestselling author Gary Thomas in his newest book–Cherish. And in a world desperate for marriage redemption, it is needed now more than ever. Thomas shows that although there are a countless number of marriages consisting of two people just going through the motions, there are real ways this pattern can be reversed: when husbands and wives learn to cherish one another in proven, loving, and everyday actions and words.

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Newest Release - Episode 2: Heroes Providing Hope

Discover the amazing work our PRC’s Directors, Nurses, and Volunteers are making in their communities! You’ll see firsthand testimonies of a PRC in action, and that there are other options outside of abortions! You’ll also discover how your family can support your local PRC!

Yes, I Promise to Pray for the Pre-born and Their Moms!

Will you pray for the pre-born and moms that are facing unexpected pregnancies? We will send you a 7-day prayer guide that will help guide you along this journey with us!! You can even choose to receive this great resource by text!

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Newest Release - Episode 4: Sometimes the Choice is Hard

Hear real life stories of parents who have made the decision to choose life even though the circumstances were overwhelming. You’ll see why “ALL” life is precious to God and why choosing life is always the right decision!

Yes, I Promise to Pray for the Pre-born and Their Moms!

Will you pray for the pre-born and moms that are facing unexpected pregnancies? We will send you a 7-day prayer guide that will help guide you along this journey with us!! You can even choose to receive this great resource by text!

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Newest Release - Episode 3: The Power of a Picture

Have you ever wondered what a baby looked like in the womb? With today’s technology, Moms and Dads can see the baby’s heartbeat, facial expressions, and movements! You’ll find out why more women choose life once they hear their baby’s heartbeat and realize it’s a real living human!

Yes, I Promise to Pray for the Pre-born and Their Moms!

Will you pray for the pre-born and moms that are facing unexpected pregnancies? We will send you a 7-day prayer guide that will help guide you along this journey with us!! You can even choose to receive this great resource by text!

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 6: Families Helping Families!

So, after all you’ve seen through the SeeLife ‘21 Episodic journey; what can you do now? We’ll share how you can partner with some amazing organizations that are making significant impacts in the pro-life movement! You want to Celebrate Life!

Yes, I Promise to Pray for the Pre-born and Their Moms!

Will you pray for the pre-born and moms that are facing unexpected pregnancies? We will send you a 7-day prayer guide that will help guide you along this journey with us!! You can even choose to receive this great resource by text!

Praying Scripture Over Your Child’s Life - Part 2

Jodie Berndt loves to pray for her children. She’s been doing that for the past thirty years. Now she helps other parents to talk to God, asking for the salvation of their kids, and for wisdom, self-discipline, purpose, a future and much more. She offers fun and practical encouragement that moms and dads can put to work immediately in their daily lives as they prepare their children for a life in Christ.

Headshot of Focus on the Family broadcast guest Jodie Berndt

Jodie Berndt

Jodie Berndt is a public speaker, a Bible teacher, and the the author of 10 books. Find out more about Jodie and get some free resources (including printable prayer cards and calendars) at her website, jodieberndt.com.

Cover image of Jodie Berndt's book "Praying the Scriptures for Your Children"

Praying the Scriptures Over Your Children

You will discover how using the Bible to shape your desires and requests opens the door to God’s provision—and frees us from things like worry and fear in our parenting! This expanded edition of the bestseller features updated content on issues like technology and identity, and comes with new material designed to invite children into the family prayer circle. Purchase now and receive 10% off your product.

Effective Habits to Embrace in Parenting

To be an effective parent, you must be a leader in your child’s life, guiding with a gentle hand and setting a solid example. Dr. Randy Schroeder provides the insight you need to be a leader-parent. As he explores the foundational Rs—relationship, routines, responsibilities, and rules—you’ll better understand the role you play in your child’s life. You’ll learn great phrases to employ such as “Either/Or/You Decide” and “When You/Then You”. While there is no perfect parent, this nuts-and-bolts material will equip you to lead your child in a loving, confident manner.

Headshot of Focus on the Family broadcast guest Dr. Randy Schroeder

Dr. Randy Schroeder

Dr. Randy Schroeder has spent more than four decades writing, counseling, speaking, and teaching. For nearly 25 years, he was Vice President of Student Personnel Services, Dean of Students, and a professor of pastoral counseling at Concordia Theological Seminary in Fort Wayne, Ind. He’s also led a successful counseling practice helping individuals, couples, and families to thrive in their lives and relationships.

Cover image of Dr. Randall Schroeder's book "Simple Habits for Effective Parenting"

Simple Habits for Effective Parenting

Effective parenting is now within your grasp! With this inspiring how-to comprehensive book, achieve extraordinary results in raising a child to be self-assured, self-reliant, and responsible! You will be able to successfully lead and lovingly encourage your child toward a Godly life!

The Spiritual Battle for Your Marriage

God designed marriage to reflect His love to the world; and because of this, the enemy wants to destroy God’s beautiful design. Based on his book, Defending Your Marriage, Dr. Tim and Noreen Muehlhoff share about the reality of spiritual warfare against marriages, and how to combat the enemy’s lies with the truth of God. Couples will be encouraged that they’re not alone in the fight for a godly marriage and better equipped to be a shining example for the world around them.

Tim and Noreen Muehlhoff Cropped

Dr. Tim and Mrs. Noreen Muehlhoff

Dr. Tim Muehlhoff is a professor of communication at Biola University in La Mirada, California where he teaches classes in family communication, interpersonal communication, apologetics, gender, and conflict resolution.  Tim and his wife, Noreen, are both on staff with Biola’s Center for Marriage and Relationships  where he is a co-host of The Art of Relationship podcast. 

Defending Your Marriage

Is your marriage under attack? Sometimes it can feel like the world is trying to tear your marriage apart. Internal conflicts or external pressures might make you wonder if something sinister is going on. How can you tell if you’re facing spiritual opposition? And what can you do about it? Tim Muehlhoff provides a straightforward resource for protecting your marriage from the threats of the evil one. He looks at what Scripture says about spiritual warfare and how our everyday struggles have deeper spiritual realities. And he provides practical steps for guarding our marriages with the whole armor of God.

Reigniting Your Passion for Jesus - Part 1

For those of faith whose passion has waned over time, Kim Meeder will reinspire you in your relationship with Jesus Christ as she tells powerful, true stories about God that will spark renewed joy in your heart and encourage you to share the Gospel with others.

Headshot photo of author Kim Meeder

Kim Meeder

Kim Meeder and her husband, Troy, are the co-founders of Crystal Peaks Youth Ranch, a non-profit organization in Bend, Oregon, that rescues abused horses and pairs them with hurting kids for mutual healing. Kim is a popular motivational speaker and the author of a half dozen books including Hope Rising and Bridge Called Hope, which feature inspirational stories from her ranch.

Revival Rising

With enthusiasm that will set ablaze your passion to reach the hurting, Kim Meeder encourages you to let the holy fire of God’s presence fill your heart, soul, mind and strength. As your fear and pride melt away, those around you who are losing their battle for hope will be transformed by encountering His redeeming love in you. This–this is revival rising.

Reigniting Your Passion for Jesus - Part 2

For those of faith whose passion has waned over time, Kim Meeder will reinspire you in your relationship with Jesus Christ as she tells powerful, true stories about God that will spark renewed joy in your heart and encourage you to share the Gospel with others.

Headshot photo of author Kim Meeder

Kim Meeder

Kim Meeder and her husband, Troy, are the co-founders of Crystal Peaks Youth Ranch, a non-profit organization in Bend, Oregon, that rescues abused horses and pairs them with hurting kids for mutual healing. Kim is a popular motivational speaker and the author of a half dozen books including Hope Rising and Bridge Called Hope, which feature inspirational stories from her ranch.

Revival Rising

With enthusiasm that will set ablaze your passion to reach the hurting, Kim Meeder encourages you to let the holy fire of God’s presence fill your heart, soul, mind and strength. As your fear and pride melt away, those around you who are losing their battle for hope will be transformed by encountering His redeeming love in you. This–this is revival rising.

Mothers and Sons: Being a Godly Influence - Part 2

Rhonda Stoppe describes her early motherhood challenges of raising a son, which was intimidating to her. She found help through group of older women mentors. She urges moms to see their role as ministry in shaping sons to be good and godly men. Rhonda outlines several practical suggestions to moms about spiritual training, how to communicate with boys, and supporting the father-son relationship as a wife.

Headshot of Rhonda Stoppe

Rhonda Stoppe

Drawing upon 35 years of experience as a mentor, pastor’s wife, and homeschool mom, Rhonda Stoppe offers encouragement and guidance to women as an author and public speaker. She is popularly known as the “No Regrets Woman,” as she is especially passionate about helping women live life without regrets. Rhonda’s books include Moms Raising Sons to Be MenReal Life Romance, and The Marriage Mentor, which she co-authored with her husband, Steve.

Cover image of Rhonda Stoppe's book "Moms Raising Sons to be Men"

Moms Raising Sons to Be Men

Mothers of boys have the special calling to shape future men of God. Popular speaker Rhonda Stoppe, mom to two sons, knows this opportunity is a challenge, a joy, and probably the most important work of a woman’s life. Drawing from years of experience, this inspirational resource will revive the faithfulness and fortitude a woman needs to partner with God as they shape the character and heart of a future godly man.

Identifying Triggers in Your Marriage - Part 2

They were both convinced they had married the wrong person. From almost the very beginning of their marriage, Amber and Guy Lia experienced various tensions and personality clashes related to house cleaning, backseat driving, workaholism, and intimacy. In this two-day Focus on the Family broadcast, Amber and Guy discuss how they bravely faced the triggers head-on, and committed to working on their own relationships with Jesus. As you listen to the Lia’s story, you’ll feel hope that you, too, can see real marriage transformation!

Headshot of Guy and Amber Lia

Mr. and Mrs. Guy and Amber Lia and Mrs. Jean Daly

Amber Lia is a work-at-home mom, blogger, public speaker, and co-author of two best-selling books. Her husband, Guy, is a former TV, feature film, and VFX development and production executive who has worked on popular TV shows and films. Guy and Amber own Storehouse Media Group, a faith- and family-friendly TV and film production company based in Los Angeles,

Cover image of the book "Marriage Triggers" by Guy and Amber Lia

Marriage Triggers: How You and Your Spouse Can Exchange Angry Reactions for Gentle Biblical Responses

A husband-wife team offers practical advice for married couples to end the cycle of reactionary arguments by examining the most common issues that trigger disagreements and apply God’s Word to radically transform relationships.

What to Do When You're Not Okay - Part 2

Life can be pretty stressful. Between work, relationships, and other obligations, the pressure builds, and we lose sight of who we are. Counselor Debra Fileta helps you better understand your emotions, assess your mental, physical, and spiritual health, and intentionally pursue a path to wellbeing. In dealing with anxiety, depression, and panic attacks, Debra understands the importance of self-examination as well as the benefits of seeking professional help. She offers biblically-based advice, tools, and encouragement to help you get on a path toward healing and wholeness.

Author Debra Fileta in the Focus on the Family broadcast studio

Mrs. Debra Fileta

Debra Fileta is a licensed professional counselor specializing in relationship and marital issues. She is also a public speaker and the author of multiple books, including Married SexChoosing Marriage: Why It Has to Start With We > Me, Love in Every Season, and Are You Really OK: Getting Real About Who You Are, How You’re Doing, and Why It Matters. Debra’s popular relationship advice blog, TrueLoveDates.com, and her Love + Relationships podcast reach millions of people each year offering guidance on topics including love, sex, and marriage. Debra resides in Pennsylvania with her husband, John, and their four children.

Are You Really Okay?

Are You Really OK: Getting Real About Who You Are

In Are You Really OK? author and licensed counselor Debra Fileta challenges you to get real with who you are and how you’re doing spiritually, emotionally, mentally, and physically so you can recognize where you need growth and healing.

Embracing Your Role as a Spouse

As a spouse, you have three roles to play—a friend, a partner, and a lover. On this one-day Focus on the Family broadcast, Pastor Kevin A. Thompson explores those different roles and challenges you to live them out by investing emotionally, physically, and mentally in your relationship. As friends, he suggests we learn to play and laugh together. As partners, he equips us with solid ways to handle conflict and communication. As lovers, he offers some thoughts on how to bring back the sizzle. He shares five keys to saving your marriage: humility, respect, mercy, communication, and resilience. You’ll be encouraged to intentionally invest in your marriage.

Headshot of Kevin Thompson

Pastor Kevin Thompson

Kevin A. Thompson (MDiv, Beeson Divinity School) is lead pastor at Community Bible Church, a growing multi-site church with four locations in western Arkansas. Every year he meets with nearly one hundred couples with a range of needs, from pre-marital counseling to navigating the most serious betrayals. A marriage and parenting conference speaker, he and his wife, Jenny, have two children and live in Fort Smith, Arkansas. He blogs at kevinathompson.com.

Cover image of Kevin Thompson's book "Friends, Partners & Lovers"

Friends, Partners, and Lovers: What It Takes to Make Your Marriage Work

With engaging stories and clear, simple language, pastor Kevin Thompson shows how to live out three distinct roles in marraige. Using solid biblical principles, he helps you and your spouse grow your friendship, be supportive partners through the good times and the bad, and develop a healthy and satisfying sex life.

Sharing Your Faith with Grace and Purpose

You can confidently and lovingly share your faith—you just need to learn some new tactics to do so! In this Focus on the Family Daily Broadcast, apologist Greg Koukl outlines the “Columbo” tactic of asking questions, the “self-defeating argument” tactic to find holes in your opponent’s arguments, and other specific methods for engaging in faith-building conversations with others. Greg pulls from his over 30 years of experience debating atheists and agnostics to help you share your faith with grace and truth.

Mr. Greg Koukl

Greg Koukl is a writer, public speaker and talk show host who’s spent 30 years advocating for and defending the Christian worldview. Greg has written or contributed to 15 books, including The Story of RealityTactics, and Precious Unborn Human Persons. Greg has published nearly 230 articles and has spoken on 80 college and university campuses in the U.S. and abroad.

Tactics front cover

Tactics, 10th Anniversary Edition: A Game Plan for Discussing Your Christian Convictions

In a world increasingly indifferent to Christian truth, followers of Christ need to be equipped to communicate with those who do not speak their language or accept their source of authority. In Tactics, 10th Anniversary Edition, Gregory Koukl demonstrates how to artfully regain control of conversations, keeping them moving forward in constructive ways through thoughtful diplomacy. You’ll learn how to stop challengers in their tracks and how to turn the tables on questions or provocative statements. Most important, you’ll learn how to get people thinking about Jesus.

Understanding the Root of Your Child's Misbehavior - Part 1

Often, children act out because they are used to getting attention through bad behavior. Dr. Kevin Leman offers advice to help parents transform their child’s behavior. He discusses the benefits of allowing your kids to learn from real-life consequences and describes the importance of understanding your child’s temperament based on his birth order.

Dr. Kevin Leman

Dr. Kevin Leman

Dr. Kevin Leman is an internationally known family psychologist and an award-winning, New York Times best-selling author. He is also a popular public speaker and media personality who has made countless guest appearances on numerous radio and TV programs. Dr. Leman has written more than 50 books including The Birth Order BookHave a New Kid by Friday and Making Children Mind Without Losing Yours.

Bundle of Why Your Kids Misbehave

Why Your Kids Misbehave and What to Do about It

Tantrums. Talking back. Throwing toys or food. Meltdowns. Slamming doors. Kids know just how to push your buttons. You’ve tried all sorts of methods, but nothing seems to work. In this book, Dr. Kevin Leman reveals exactly why kids misbehave and how you can turn that behavior around with practical, no-nonsense strategies that really work . . . and are a long-term win for both of you.

Giving up Sugar, Tasting God's Goodness

As a latchkey kid, Wendy Speake turned to sugar for comfort. Every Friday, she would pedal to the candy show and use her allowance to fill her bag with candy. And one day, when she was older and a mom of three young boys, she came to realize that she was still “pedaling” away from her stress and using sugar as comfort, instead of turning to Jesus. She was joyless, worn out, tired, and in need of a change. In this interview, Wendy will challenge Christians to take 40 days to focus on fasting from something they turn to instead of Jesus for comfort. She invited people to break free from a dependence on sugar and taste the goodness of God.

Author Wendy Speake smiling as she holds up her book "The 40-Day Social Media Fast"

Mrs. Wendy Speake

With a background in Hollywood as a trained actress, Wendy Speake ministers to women as a bible teacher by applying the power of drama, poetry and comedy to the study of Scripture and real-life application of biblical truths. She has co-authored two books with Amber Lia titled Triggers: Exchanging Parents’ Angry Reactions for Gentle Biblical Responses and their latest, Parenting Scripts: When What You’re Saying Isn’t Working, Say Something New. Wendy is also the co-author (with Kelli Stuart) of Life Creative: Inspiration for Today’s Renaissance Mom.

Cover image of the book "The 40-Day Sugar Fast"

The 40-Day Sugar Fast: Where Physical Detox Meets Spiritual Transformation

Welcome to the 40-Day Sugar Fast, a fast that begins with us giving Jesus our sugar and ends with Jesus giving us himself–the only thing that can ever truly satisfy our soul’s deep hunger. On this 40-day journey you’ll learn how to stop fixating on food and other things you use to fill the voids in life and instead fix your eyes on Christ. Anyone who runs to sugar for comfort or a reward, who eats mindlessly or out of boredom, who feels physically and spiritually lethargic, or who struggles with self-control will discover here not only freedom from their cravings but an entirely new appetite for the good things God has for us.

Understanding the Root of Your Child's Misbehavior - Part 2

Often, children act out because they are used to getting attention through bad behavior. Dr. Kevin Leman offers advice to help parents transform their child’s behavior. He discusses the benefits of allowing your kids to learn from real-life consequences and describes the importance of understanding your child’s temperament based on his birth order.

Dr. Kevin Leman

Dr. Kevin Leman

Dr. Kevin Leman is an internationally known family psychologist and an award-winning, New York Times best-selling author. He is also a popular public speaker and media personality who has made countless guest appearances on numerous radio and TV programs. Dr. Leman has written more than 50 books including The Birth Order BookHave a New Kid by Friday and Making Children Mind Without Losing Yours.

Bundle of Why Your Kids Misbehave

Why Your Kids Misbehave and What to Do about It

Tantrums. Talking back. Throwing toys or food. Meltdowns. Slamming doors. Kids know just how to push your buttons. You’ve tried all sorts of methods, but nothing seems to work. In this book, Dr. Kevin Leman reveals exactly why kids misbehave and how you can turn that behavior around with practical, no-nonsense strategies that really work . . . and are a long-term win for both of you.

Loving Your Spouse Through the Seasons of Marriage - Part 2

Debra Fileta has identified the four seasons of marriage that correspond with our natural seasons – spring (new life and new love), summer (things get hot!), fall (showing our true colors), and winter (long days ahead). In this interview, she will help couples better understand the four seasons of healthy relationships, what to expect during each one, and how to carefully navigate them for a stronger marriage.

Author Debra Fileta in the Focus on the Family broadcast studio

Debra Fileta

Debra Fileta is a licensed professional counselor specializing in relationship and marital issues. She is also a public speaker and the author of multiple books, including Married SexChoosing Marriage: Why It Has to Start With We > Me, Love in Every Season, and Are You Really OK: Getting Real About Who You Are, How You’re Doing, and Why It Matters. Debra’s popular relationship advice blog, TrueLoveDates.com, and her Love + Relationships podcast reach millions of people each year offering guidance on topics including love, sex, and marriage.

Love in Every Season: Understanding the Four Stages of a Healthy Relationship

Every relationship goes through four life-changing seasons: Spring. Summer. Fall. Winter. Each season plays an important role in taking your relationship to the next level. And depending on how you navigate each season, your relationship will either flourish and grow, or it will slowly die. Whether you’re single, dating, engaged or married, join licensed professional counselor and relationship expert, Debra Fileta as she takes you on an eye-opening psychological and spiritual journey through the four seasons that she has observed in every healthy relationship.

Reconciling Faith and Science in a Medical Crisis

Dr. Lee Warren is a neurosurgeon who has faced many heavy challenges in his life – from serving in the Iraq War to removing deadly brain tumors to experiencing the loss of a teenage son. He’ll share about his difficult quest to find answers to some of life’s toughest questions, while holding onto his faith in God and the sure hope of heaven

Headshot of Focus on the Family broadcast guest Dr. W. Lee Warren

Dr. Lee Warren

W. Lee Warren, M.D., is a brain surgeon , inventor, Iraq War veteran, and author of I’ve Seen the End of You: A Neurosurgeon’s Look at Faith, Doubt, and the Things We Think We Know, winner of the Christian Book Award®. His previous book, No Place to Hide, was included on the 2015 U.S. Air Force Chief of Staff’s Recommended Reading List. Dr. Warren has appeared on The 700 Club and the CBS Evening News, and his writings have been featured in Guideposts magazine. His Dr. Lee Warren Podcast, which is heard in more than 60 countries, helps listeners use the power of neuroscience, faith, and common sense to change their lives.

Cover image of Dr. Lee Warren's book "I've Seen the End of You"

I've Seen the End of You: A Neurosurgeon's Look at Faith, Doubt, and the Things We Think We Know

This gripping inspirational memoir grapples with the tension between faith and science—and between death and hope—as a seasoned neurosurgeon faces insurmountable odds and grief both in the office and at home.

Praying Scripture Over Your Child’s Life - Part 1

Jodie Berndt loves to pray for her children. She’s been doing that for the past thirty years. Now she helps other parents to talk to God, asking for the salvation of their kids, and for wisdom, self-discipline, purpose, a future and much more. She offers fun and practical encouragement that moms and dads can put to work immediately in their daily lives as they prepare their children for a life in Christ.

Headshot of Focus on the Family broadcast guest Jodie Berndt

Jodie Berndt

Jodie Berndt is a public speaker, a Bible teacher, and the the author of 10 books. Find out more about Jodie and get some free resources (including printable prayer cards and calendars) at her website, jodieberndt.com.

Cover image of Jodie Berndt's book "Praying the Scriptures for Your Children"

Praying the Scriptures Over Your Children

You will discover how using the Bible to shape your desires and requests opens the door to God’s provision—and frees us from things like worry and fear in our parenting! This expanded edition of the bestseller features updated content on issues like technology and identity, and comes with new material designed to invite children into the family prayer circle. Purchase now and receive 10% off your product.

Mothers and Sons: Being a Godly Influence - Part 1

Rhonda Stoppe describes her early motherhood challenges of raising a son, which was intimidating to her. She found help through group of older women mentors. She urges moms to see their role as ministry in shaping sons to be good and godly men. Rhonda outlines several practical suggestions to moms about spiritual training, how to communicate with boys, and supporting the father-son relationship as a wife.

Headshot of Rhonda Stoppe

Rhonda Stoppe

Drawing upon 35 years of experience as a mentor, pastor’s wife, and homeschool mom, Rhonda Stoppe offers encouragement and guidance to women as an author and public speaker. She is popularly known as the “No Regrets Woman,” as she is especially passionate about helping women live life without regrets. Rhonda’s books include Moms Raising Sons to Be MenReal Life Romance, and The Marriage Mentor, which she co-authored with her husband, Steve.

Cover image of Rhonda Stoppe's book "Moms Raising Sons to be Men"

Moms Raising Sons to Be Men

Mothers of boys have the special calling to shape future men of God. Popular speaker Rhonda Stoppe, mom to two sons, knows this opportunity is a challenge, a joy, and probably the most important work of a woman’s life. Drawing from years of experience, this inspirational resource will revive the faithfulness and fortitude a woman needs to partner with God as they shape the character and heart of a future godly man.

Identifying Triggers in Your Marriage Part 1

They were both convinced they had married the wrong person. From almost the very beginning of their marriage, Amber and Guy Lia experienced various tensions and personality clashes related to house cleaning, backseat driving, workaholism, and intimacy. In this two-day Focus on the Family broadcast, Amber and Guy discuss how they bravely faced the triggers head-on, and committed to working on their own relationships with Jesus. As you listen to the Lia’s story, you’ll feel hope that you, too, can see real marriage transformation!

Headshot of Guy and Amber Lia

Mr. and Mrs. Guy and Amber Lia and Mrs. Jean Daly

Amber Lia is a work-at-home mom, blogger, public speaker, and co-author of two best-selling books. Her husband, Guy, is a former TV, feature film, and VFX development and production executive who has worked on popular TV shows and films. Guy and Amber own Storehouse Media Group, a faith- and family-friendly TV and film production company based in Los Angeles,

Cover image of the book "Marriage Triggers" by Guy and Amber Lia

Marriage Triggers: How You and Your Spouse Can Exchange Angry Reactions for Gentle Biblical Responses

A husband-wife team offers practical advice for married couples to end the cycle of reactionary arguments by examining the most common issues that trigger disagreements and apply God’s Word to radically transform relationships.

What to Do When You're Not Okay - Part 1

Life can be pretty stressful. Between work, relationships, and other obligations, the pressure builds, and we lose sight of who we are. Counselor Debra Fileta helps you better understand your emotions, assess your mental, physical, and spiritual health, and intentionally pursue a path to wellbeing. In dealing with anxiety, depression, and panic attacks, Debra understands the importance of self-examination as well as the benefits of seeking professional help. She offers biblically-based advice, tools, and encouragement to help you get on a path toward healing and wholeness.

Author Debra Fileta in the Focus on the Family broadcast studio

Mrs. Debra Fileta

Debra Fileta is a licensed professional counselor specializing in relationship and marital issues. She is also a public speaker and the author of multiple books, including Married SexChoosing Marriage: Why It Has to Start With We > Me, Love in Every Season, and Are You Really OK: Getting Real About Who You Are, How You’re Doing, and Why It Matters. Debra’s popular relationship advice blog, TrueLoveDates.com, and her Love + Relationships podcast reach millions of people each year offering guidance on topics including love, sex, and marriage. Debra resides in Pennsylvania with her husband, John, and their four children.

Are You Really Okay?

Are You Really OK: Getting Real About Who You Are

In Are You Really OK? author and licensed counselor Debra Fileta challenges you to get real with who you are and how you’re doing spiritually, emotionally, mentally, and physically so you can recognize where you need growth and healing.

Navigating a Toxic Culture with Your Daughter - Part 1

As a pediatrician, Dr. Meg Meeker has seen thousands of girls come through her office through the years. They struggle with eating issues, sexual identity, social media…and many other challenges in this toxic culture. Dr. Meeker will encourage parents to invest love and time in their daughters and develop their character to give them the best opportunity for a bright future, all rooted in a spiritual foundation. The discussion also includes healthy feminism vs. toxic feminism

Mrs. Meg Meeker

Dr. Meg Meeker is a pediatrician who is widely recognized as one of the country’s leading authorities on parenting, teens and children’s health. With appearances on numerous nationally syndicated radio and TV programs, her popularity as a an expert on key issues confronting families has created a strong following across America. Her work with countless families over the years served as the inspiration behind her best-selling books which include Strong Fathers, Strong DaughtersStrong Mothers, Strong Sons and The Ten Habits of Happy Mothers

Cover image of Dr. Meg Meeker's book "Raising a Strong Daughter in a Toxic Culture"

Raising a Strong Daughter in a Toxic Culture: 11 Steps to Keep Her Happy, Healthy, and Safe

Meg Meeker has been a pediatrician for more than thirty years, is a mother and a grandmother, and has seen it all. She knows what makes for strong, happy, healthy young women–and what puts our daughters at risk. Combining that experience with her famous common sense, she explains the eleven steps that will help your daughter–whether she’s a toddler or a troubled teen–to achieve her full human potential.

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Newest Release - Episode 1: The Truth About Life!

In this episode, we will tackle tough questions like, “When does life begin?” and “What does the Bible
say about Life?” You’ll discover and understand the stages of pre-born life and that babies are more than
just a clump of cells!

Yes, I Promise to Pray for the Pre-born and Their Moms!

Will you pray for the pre-born and moms that are facing unexpected pregnancies? We will send you a 7-day prayer guide that will help guide you along this journey with us!! You can even choose to receive this great resource by text!