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Helping Your Children to Embrace Their Future

Helping Your Children to Embrace Their Future

As a parent, you may struggle to let go of your young adult child as you're concerned about their future choices for a career and spouse, and their spiritual well-being. Pastor John Ortberg offers encouragement and advice for helping your teen discover God's direction for their life as they leave home.

Opening:

Excerpt:

John Ortberg: For parents, when you look at your kids, when they come out of the womb, God is speaking through their life. How much or little do they move? How much or little do they talk? What do they love doing? Let their life speak.

Jim Daly: Yeah.

John: And teach them to allow God to speak to them through their life.

End of Excerpt

John Fuller: For a teenager, making big decisions can be frightening and confusing. They think about all the possibilities, like a career path, college, buying a car, even marriage. It’s easy to get overwhelmed. And as parents, we need to know how to help. And, good news – we’ve got that help for you today on “Focus on the Family.” John Ortberg has some great advice, to help your teen try to decide their next steps. Your host is Focus president and author Jim Daly. And I’m John Fuller.

Jim: John, sometimes we do broadcasts that are really meant just for us. (Laughter) This is…

John F.: This is one of those programs.

Jim: …Seemed like one of those, with teenagers in both of our households. You’ve got some adult children now that have launched.

John F.: And a couple of teens still in the home.

Jim: Right. So we’re still living the dream. And I know many of you listening are in that same spot where you have teens or maybe 20-somethings who are trying to figure out, where does God want me? Or even, is there a God? I mean, that is a question as well for many of our young people. We’re going to touch on that idea of God’s will for your life today and for your kids particularly with John Ortberg, who is a pastor there at Menlo Pres in the San Francisco Bay area. It’s so hard to describe California cities, because they’re just – they’re massive. And John, it is great to have you back.

Body:

John O.: Thank you. It’s really, really good to be back.

Jim: Now, you’ve written this wonderful book, All The Places To Go. And that is kind of the metaphor as I read through the material of the book. You know, these 19, 20-year-olds stand at this street sign, and all these signs are saying, go this way, go that way – the metaphor of that.

John O.: Yep.

Jim: What – what do you think is the issue? Is there are too many choices today?

John O.: Well, you know, when I was a kid and I was that age, I had a – a teacher in college that was a huge influence on me. But I was overwhelmed by, like, what am I going to do with my life? And on the one hand, it’s a really exciting moment, because there’s so many possibilities. But, there’s so much pressure around it. And I found – I would have people tell me, you know, you have a lot of potential. I grew to hate that word potential because it just felt like such a weight around me. But this teacher, Dr. Hawthorne, had such an impact on my life. And he loved this passage in the Book of Revelation, where God is saying, see, I’ve set before you an open door that no one can close. And that idea of an open door, that you were meant to make your life count for something beyond yourself, to have an impact on eternity – and every young person, the parent of every young person, that’s what we long for, is, like, how do I identify and go through those doors that God opens up for me? And it’s wonderful, but it can be paralyzing. And we live in a day where there are so many choices. You ever eat at the Cheesecake Factory?

Jim: (Laughter) Yeah. Wow, what a menu.

John O.: Just that menu exhausts me. And I feel like I’m obligated to look at every stupid item on it because I might miss out.

Jim: (Laughter) Right.

John O.: And even…

Jim: Chicken Madeira. The – just go there, right there.

(LAUGHTER)

Jim: I’ll just – I’ll order for you next time.

John O.: Yeah. Scary that you have memorized the menu of the Cheesecake Factory.

Jim: I only memorized one thing. (Laughter)

John O.: Really, Jim, really. But – but you can get – apparently, you know that fear of missing out has become a thing now. There’s actually a little acronym around that, because there’s so many choices. And we look at other people whose lives seem to be so great, and feel like I got to be experiencing all of that.

Jim: Well, and John, one of the things, too, is that the open-door experience can be that way. I mean, I feel like the Lord really helped me in that way. Doors would close. Doors would open. It was palpable for me in my life. But others don’t have that experience. And I’m – you know, there’s no distinction between us. Just maybe I’m dense. (Laughter) And the Lord said, OK, this guy, we really got to open the door.

John O.: I’ve always felt like that was probably the case. Um…

(LAUGHTER)

John F.: That Jim is dense?

John O.: Yeah.

Jim: We’re in agreement on my density. But – but – but talk about that difference because some people, good people, they’re going, OK, Lord, open a door. And then they have three options – they’re going, no, Lord, just open one.

John O.: It gets frustrating.

Jim: It can become overwhelming, even in a spiritual context.

John O.: No, it does. And it was for me. And I’m so glad we’re into this topic. So, when I went to grad school, I was getting a degree in psychology and theology, both. I thought I was going to become a therapist. And then I started doing therapy, and I was terrible at it. People would come and see me, and they would get worse, as they saw me longer. And I hated doing itBut, I really didn’t know what I was supposed to do with my life. And I can remember praying, literally for hours and literally in tears of frustration, God, just tell me what to do with my life. I don’t care what it is. I will do it. Just tell me. And God never did. And I felt this, like, either I’m praying wrong, or God isn’t keeping up His end of the bargain, because He’s supposed to let me know. And what I didn’t understand then, and it did – took me so many years to realize, is God is much more concerned with the person I become than the circumstances I inhabit.

Jim: Hm.

John O.: God’s primary goal for me, and for your kids, is character formation, and decision-making is an indispensable part of character formation.

Jim: Yes.

John O.: And part of what that means is, often God’s will for your life will be, I want you to choose. Like, for parents listening, would it be a good thing – I’ll sometimes ask parents this – if all of your kid’s life, they just did whatever you told them? Move here, major in this, go to this college, take this job, date this person.

Jim: Play football. (Laughter)

John O.: Yeah. And often parents will say, yeah, that sounds like a great idea. But no, that’d be a terrible idea. That’s like the Stepford Wife thing. What you want to do is you want to raise a kid, who is able to make great decisions. But, what that means is, your will for them will often be, I want you to decide, rather than I’ll tell you what to do. And I didn’t know that. I thought God was supposed to always tell me what to do.

Jim: Yes.

John O.: And the truth is – the truth is, when I was asking God, tell me what to do with my life, what job should I take, I wasn’t so much wanting God’s will for my life, as I was wanting to be spared the anxiety of making a difficult decision.

Jim: Or making the wrong one.

John O.: Exactly.

Jim: Well, you and Nancy have three grown kids now.

John O.: We do.

Jim: So you can look back as an experienced parent. You’ve launched, and now you’re empty-nesters. And I – I’m interested where your kids may have wanted…

John O.: Yep.

Jim: …to go a different direction, and you and Nancy were struggling with that.

John O.: Yep – yep.

Jim: You know, that’s going to speak to my heart, as a parent right now.

John O.: So – so – so one of the big myths, when I became a parent was when my kids were born, I thought, I will just mold them. They will be like blank slates. They will be wet clay, and I will shape them. And they came out of the womb so much more wired and shaped than I ever thought they would, and I had so much less control over them. And learning to let go of control was so hard. And one of the things I found was, because all three of our kids are real different from each other, and they’re all real different from us – and uh, they would go down paths vocationally, spiritually, emotionally, in every way, that were their own paths that were very different than us – and I would find myself realizing, part of what I have to die to is, I want to look good as a parent.

Jim: Boy, that is so true.

John O.: And so, trying to discern, when am I concerned that my child flourish and do well, but when is my concern really selfishly, I want to look good as a dad, because I’m a pastor, and I want people to look at my kids and think, well, there’s a really good father, he’s got stuff. And so for any parent who’s listening to this right now, to say, the starting point isn’t inside the kid, it’s inside me.

Jim: So true.

John O.: And where do I need to die to my need to look good as a parent? And I must – you know, that death to self, for parents, that’s, like, really foundational.

Jim: It is. And that’s an important first step, and it’s probably the most difficult step you’ll ever take as a parent is, I’m not going to be wrapped up. My sense of self-worth will not be defined by my child’s behavior.

John O.: And then, I would say a second step for parents that are wrestling with this stuff is you have to accept that your child is the way that God wired your child, not the child you wanted them to be.

Jim: Yeah. Now, that’s profound. And – and the – the question becomes – I can hear it coming back through the microphones right now…

John O.: Yep. (Laughter)

Jim: But John, and Jim, you know, I need to shape my child. I mean, God doesn’t say kick back. We need discipline. We need formation. So speak to that balance, what you’re talking about here.

John O.: You cannot shape your child. You can love your child. To love your child is to will they’re good as God intends them to be good. And you can always do that. And that will mean encouraging, that will mean confronting, that will mean setting boundaries. But you cannot shape them. If you’re a feeler, and you want to have a real deep, emotional, intimate relationship with your child, and that kid’s a thinker and, um…you know. When – when one of our kids was little, and I would tuck her in at night, I’d say, do you know how much I love you? And she’d get big tears in her eyes. And I remember going then to the next kid’s room and saying, do you have any idea how much Daddy loves you? And she’s just looking up at me, and I’m thinking, oh, man, I’m really connecting now. And then what she says to me is, “Daddy, you got something hanging from your nose.”

(LAUGHTER)

John O.: And it’s like, it’s not going to be the same. I can – I get to love this child, but it’s not going to look the same way that it does with this other child. And so, to recognize your child’s interests, their IQs, whether or not they want to go to college, whether or not they want to climb a ladder, whether you’re a – you have to die to all that stuff. And you have to recognize how it is that God has wired your child, and accepting that this child is the way that God has wired them and not the way you want them to be. That’s going to involve death to self.

Jim: And that is so true, and another good thing for parents to hold on to.

John O.: Yep.

Jim: You know, John, when I speak to youth groups or something like that, church youth groups, or a graduation ceremony – I get the privilege of doing that from time to time – one of the things I’ll talk about, and it was true in my own life, is that I realize, for me, that God’s will for me is to live within, kind of the orb of God. I think He delights in what we delight in vocationally. I don’t think He says, Jim, you need to be a watchmaker. I mean, He just says, when you wake up, be ready to do my bidding. And so, one of the things I did from my early 20s was to try to wake up every day and just say a little prayer, saying, Lord, whatever I do today, help me to represent you well in what I do, in my attitude and everything like that. That way, it took the pressure off being on a point in some continuum that’s concocted in my own mind, that if I’m not doing this very thing vocationally, then I’m not in God’s will. I – do you agree? I mean, I don’t think he’s aiming to…

John O.: I – I heard a fabulous sermon by Martin Luther King, not long ago. And he said, you know, what if you’re street-sweeping, if your job is to be a street sweeper, sweep that street the way that Michelangelo painted, the way that Shakespeare wrote poetry, the way that Beethoven composed music.

Jim: With all your heart.

John O.: Sweep it, so that God and all the angels in Heaven stop what they’re doing to look and say, there’s a great street sweeper. And I think, you know, somebody at our church – we live in the Bay Area, you know – everybody wants to be an entrepreneur, venture capitalist, save the world. And one of the parents in our church said, God forgive me. I – it’s more important that my kid go to Harvard, than go to Heaven.

Jim: Yeah. Wow.

John O.: And – and so to say, to ask as a parent, where am I trying to live my dreams, aspirations, and validations through my child? And where do I die to that and teach them it’s more important, if you’re sweeping streets, to do that to the glory of God, than to be the CEO, or some real glamorous – you know. And again – and that gets back to me. And then it also gets to, be a student of your child.

Jim: I love that.

John O.: I remember, as a parent, talking to Neil Warren, the e-Harmony guy – he’s been with Focus lots of times – about, how do I be a good parent? He said, like in real estate, the number one law is location, location, location. The number one law in parenting is observation, observation, observation. And if you study that child – because we believe that everybody’s made in the image of God…

Jim: Exactly right.

John O.: …You will love that kid, but you will learn to see what it is that God put in them and not what it is that you have a need to be in them.

Jim: Yeah. That is so good. Uh, John, we have a question from a young lady named Katherine, just to bring this home. We’ve got a couple of other audio clips in a moment. But here’s one question that we really liked and that she asked.

Katherine: So, a lot of times people say you’re never going to feel ready for the next phase of life, but you should just keep going anyway. But at the same time in high school, there’s a lot of emphasis on doing things that will make you ready for the next phase. You’re supposed to study for entrance exams. In youth group, you go through dating curriculums to get ready for marriage. So, how can parents balance encouraging their kids to take those steps to prepare for the next phase, but also assuring them that we probably won’t ever feel ready to take that next step?

John O.: You know parents live with so much guilt around perfectionism when it comes to parents.

Jim: Yes, we do.

John O.: And the reality is sometimes some issues are problems to be solved. And then other issues are tensions to be managed where the tension will never ever go away. And this is a tension to be managed. Yes. Before my kid goes to school, I want them to start learning how to relate to other people. How do you be polite? How do you get along with kids? How do you play? But the reality is if you use a sense of full readiness as the decision criteria, you’d never do anything.

Jim: Never get there.

John O.: You’d never get married. You’d never have a kid. Think about it in the Bible. When does God ever come to somebody in the Bible and say see I have set before you an open door. Moses, I want you to go face Pharaoh.

Jim: But I can’t speak (laughter).

John O.: Yeah, yeah. Oh, I feel ready for that.

Jim: (Laughter) Yeah, right.

John O.: Nobody feels ready for that. God’s promise isn’t you’ll feel ready. What his promise is, I will be with you.

Jim: Right.

John O.: And that’s what I want to try to teach my kids, is that whatever is going on – yes, do your best to be diligent and prepare. But then when you plunge in there and you feel unprepared – and you will. You feel inadequate – and you will. No, your acceptance before God does not depend on how well you’re performing in this. And at least where I live, we live in such a performance culture. And I think one of the great gifts that parents can give their kids is to say, you do not live in a performance culture. We are not a performance family. And God is not a performance God.

Jim: That’s a big request. But it’s the right one…

John F.: …And the kind of perspective you can have if you benefit from having John’s book, All the Places to Go: How Will You Know? We have that book and a CD or download of our conversation today at focusonthefamily.com/radio or call 1-800, the letter A and the word family

And John, I hear what you’re saying. God’s not a performance God.

(LAUGHTER)

Jim: I always love this set up.

John F.: There are some parents who…

John O.: I sense a “but” coming somewhere.

John F.: Well, no, there are just some parents that we know, and that we hear from who say, and so far my 28-year-old kid doesn’t show any signs of performing anything, except hanging around the house. So there’s a balance here. How do we find that balance with our kids?

John O.: Yeah. You have to ask yourself if my child goes off track, in what direction are they likely to go off track. And if that kid is, you know, just constantly driven, performance-obsessed, they’re going to need more space and grace. But absolutely, it’s just as possible, that there’s going to be a kid that’s just not motivated.

John F.: Yeah, they’re it really apathetic.

John O.: Yeah, exactly. And so, then you’re going to have to provide a lot more motivation, a lot more structure, a lot more boundaries, teaching them they’re going to have to live with the consequence of choosing not to do stuff…

Jim: That is so true, John (Ortberg). And, you know, we’re kinda talking about the direction our – our young people go, and helping them launch well and know the will of God for their lives. But it encompasses everything that we’re discussing right now. And I’m thinking of the parents, and it – it doesn’t have to be mom. It could be dad, but either mom or dad, – where behavior is most critical, not character. And of course, we’re going to say, no, no, no, no, it’s character too. I mean, behavior is born out of character, right? But, we are emphasizing behavior, behavior, behavior, and we’re not developing the character they will need to make the right decisions, when no one’s looking. And we’ve told them what to do till they’re 18, and then they launch, and they’re failing. Help the parent, who has been on the behavior train, better understand the character train.

John O.: Yeah, but one of the ironies of parenting is, you’re working yourself out of a job from the day that they’re born. And when they’re little, I can control everything, and so, I have this illusion that I’ll always be able to control everything. And what I want to do is continue to move, over time, from higher control to less control, and from focus on behavior to focus on the heart. And so, one of the best things that a parent can do to help a child develop and to make that shift is, just ask them questionsAnd I think for parents, when you look at your kids, when they come out of the womb, God is speaking through their life. How much or little do they move? How much or little do they talk? What do they love doing? Let their life speak.

Jim: Yeah.

John O.: And teach them to allow God to speak to them through their life.

Jim: I love that imagery where, you know, the Lord is saying, don’t keep the kids from me. I – I think the Lord loved to talk to kids, because their hearts are – there’s no pretentious nature with children. They’re just out there. And I think the Lord – He loved that. He had loved engaging teenagers. That’s the image I have of that. Like, hey, don’t keep ‘em away from Me. Let Me talk to ‘em.

John O.: One – one of my favorite statements Dallas Willard used to make about tiny little kids is, what we love about them is, they haven’t learned to manage their face.

Jim: (Laughter) Right.

John O.: And you can just tell by their face what’s going on inside. And the older we get, often, we lose that capacity.

Jim: We really do. We hide. Let’s play another clip. Again, we’re talking about launching, and open doors and closed doors. We broached that at the beginning of the program, but let’s go to a question from a young man named John.

John: So, a lot of people, when they’re talking about opportunity, they use the illustration of there being open doors, and you just have to find the right open door to go through. But when you’re out of college, and you’re done – done with school, a lot of times, it can seem like there are no open doors. And finding a job, or just moving on with life can feel like a really daunting task. So, how can parents help their kids to either see the open doors, or help them to kind of address the concern of what to do when there are no open doors?

John O.: Love this question. The – the way that you begin is, you don’t start with the real big open doors. What job should I take? Who should I marry? You start with the little open doors that are going on every day. In this conversation, every moment comes with a door. God, how can I do your will in this moment? How could I encourage somebody? How could I lift somebody up? And then, when I leave from here, am I worried about catching my plane? God, how do I trust you with this open door? How do I trust you when money comes my way? How do I trust you when there’s a test coming up and I’m anxious about it? How do I trust you when I’m not one of the popular kids at the school?

When I’m – in my own life and when I’m working with my kids, the way that this begins is, I want to show them, there’s open doors all the time, every day, and it’s only when you start with the little doors – God, how do I see You in this moment? – that you develop the discernment and the ability, so that when the big doors come, you’re ready for them. And if you wait until the big doors are there, it’s way too late. So you start with the little doors, and then you take the pressure off the little doors. I think for so many young people, we have to teach them to reject the myth that says, if you choose the wrong door, you’re stuck with God’s plan B for the rest of your life.

Jim: Yeah, that – that if-then kind of thing.

John F.: That old center-of-the-will idea.

Jim: Yeah.

John O.: It’s exactly right. God is more interested – the main thing – this is Dallas Willard, also – the main thing God gets out of your life is the person you become.

Jim: That’s it. That’s what matters most.

John O.: That’s the main – and that’s the main thing you get out of your life.

Jim: Yeah.

John O.: And so, the idea that choosing this job, or even this person seals your fate is completely erroneous, because whatever it is that you choose, you can still become the right person. And that’s God’s core will for your life. So, take the pressure off of that. Now get to know yourself really well. You got to become the world’s leading expert at knowing, what are your strengths? What are your weaknesses? What do you like doing? There’s a ton of stuff around that. And again, for me, when I was growing up, I was really bad at that, ‘cause I had this romanticized idea that when the right job comes along, I’ll just know.

Jim: Right.

John O.: Like, when the right person comes along, I’ll just know. No, no, no, no, no. You got to do all the hard work in getting to know yourself really well.

Jim: So true. I think, also, John – and you mentioned this in the book – this idea of closed doors being a blessing.

John O.: Yeah.

Jim: Because in Western culture, you know, our faith is born out of an Eastern culture. It’s not Western. It’s not Greek. It’s not logic flow. It’s – it’s different. And sometimes, we in the West struggle with that, where we’re zero sum, we’re the victors, we win, you lose. And when we think of a closed door, or opposition or a setback, we see that as totally negative, when it could be the Lord speaking through that. And I think that’s where the Scripture says, in all things, rejoice, right?

John O.: Well, you see all – you know, none of us knows our story. And so, we look at Joseph and his continual disappointment. He ends up being sold into slavery. He ends up in prison. And then those are the very things that God uses to make him a vehicle of grace and salvation for his people. Paul wants to go into one place, and the door is closed. And he’s disappointed. But then God opens up all of Europe, and so the church takes on a whole… You know, for crying out loud, we’re the people of the cross. You know, Jesus is on a track for what everybody thinks is going to be the Messiah, to bring about the liberation of Israel. And it’s in the closed door to that that the resurrection takes place. So if there’s any people that ought to accept open doors in our lives, it’s people that follow Jesus.

Jim: Absolutely, and I – that’s one of the things, as a father, I want to make sure my boys embrace.

John O.: Yeah.

Jim: …Is that when there’s a dead end, smile (laughter).

John O.: And one of the best… so good. And one of the best things – two of the best things you can do as a parent is, No. 1, tell your kids about your failures.

Jim: Mm-hm.

John O.: You know, for me, my failure as a therapist, my failure as a preacher – first time I got up to preach at a church, when I thought I was going to love it, I fainted dead away.

Jim: You did? (Laughter).

John O.: Yeah, and then I got up a year later. The next time I got up to preach, I fainted dead away. And the worst part was, it was a Baptist church, not a charismatic church…

(LAUGHTER)

John O.: where you get credit for that kind of stuff.

John F.: You didn’t have any excuse.

John O.: Nah.

Jim: It’s not – wow.

John O.: And – and you know, I just kept praying, God, take this away because I think I’m called. I think this is an open door, but you can’t preach if you faint on a regular basis. It makes people nervous.

Jim: Were you – were you nervous?

John O.: Oh, yeah.

Jim: I mean you’re introverted.

John O.: Yes, yeah.

Jim: Is that why you were fainting?

John O.: No, absolutely.

Jim: You were overwhelmed.

John O.: I felt the pressure of it, and I thought, this sermon’s not going well. And boom, I hit the deck.

Jim: (Laughter) Oh, my goodness.

John O.: And God never took that away. I’ll – I’ll still have that sensation sometimes. But – but the verse that became wonderful for me was, “My grace is sufficient for you, and my strength is made perfect in weakness” – and so to embrace weakness. And, you know, I’m a three on this thing called the Enneagram, which means I’m an achiever, and I want to impress people. And to say I’m weak [is] really hard for me. And to embrace it just feels so counter. But that’s been one of the gift – best gifts that I can give my kids is to say, you know, I tried to plant a church, and that never really went much of anywhere. And I – I wanted to become a therapist, and that never worked out. And I wanted to go into preaching, and I fainted. And for them to know I’ve failed, and failed and failed, and then to celebrate it with them when they fail, so they feel like that’s OK…

Jim: Boy, that is so good.

John O.: …Rejection and failure – to make those opportunities, when we celebrate the love of God and not occasions of shame and hiding.

Jim: Man, that is so good, John (Ortberg). I mean, I’m – I’m just sitting there thinking, in my own parenting, how critical that is, how important that is to make sure that my kids feel loved, and accepted and not shamed. That is so, so important. This has been terrific. The time has flown by. Man. All the Places To Go – it really talks about how to launch your children well and how to help them in their 20s making decisions. And hopefully, you’re having those phone conversations with your 20, 21-year-old, and they’re calling from college and – or vocational experience, whatever they’re doing. So often, we emphasize college as if that’s the only doorway. We know it’s not. And, you know, some kids thrive in that environment. Other young people don’t, and that’s OK. It’s what you want to do for God and – and being content in that.

And John, this is a great resource for parents to have, to have a discussion. Get this program, by CD or download, and – and listen to it with your teen, with your 20-something, and talk about it. Uh, your book is a wonderful resource, and I want to make this available to you for a monthly pledge of any amount. This is important to have this discussion. And I – I know, with my boys, I’m gonna have ‘em read the book, too, and, it’ll be important for them to have confidence in what God is calling them toward. And, we so appreciate John (Ortberg). Thank you again for being with us.

John O.: Well, for everybody listening, for your goal for your kids to be not that they do the right thing, but they become great decision makers and to help them see God’s will for their life is that they become great decision-makers.

Closing:

John F.: And again, John’s book is All the Places To Go. Uh, we’ve got that, a CD, and a download, as well, of our program, and our broadcast app so you can listen on the go. All of that and more to help you in your parenting journey at focusonthefamily.com/radio or call 800, the letter A, and the word FAMILY.

Now, in closing, let me share that when you commit to donating to Focus on the Family on a regular basis, you’re allowing us to distribute this broadcast on stations across the country and, literally, to be heard around the world. You also help us expand the ministry by developing more online resources like podcasts, for example. Those help us reach younger listeners – particularly, those in their 20’s and 30’s, young couples, moms and dads. And they may not know much about Focus, but they need to. In fact, we heard from one gentleman who said his wife borrowed the car the night prior, and she had it on a Christian radio station. He got in the next morning and our broadcast was on. And he said, “That was really helpful. I ordered the book and CD, and now I know why my wife needed to borrow the car.” That’s what it’s all about. Us making that impact and you helping us. We’re so grateful for your listening and taking the time to become a monthly supporter. Please make a monthly pledge today and know that we’re going to be helping people whether they intentionally listen, or perhaps, as that gentleman, just accidentally tuned in. Uh, make that donation, and as a thank you we’ll send a copy of John Ortberg’s book, All the Places to Go. You can donation at focusonthefamily.com/radio or when you call 800, the letter A, and the word FAMILY.

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

 

Today's Guests

All the Places to Go ... How Will You Know?

Receive John Ortberg's book All the Places to Go … How Will You Know? for your donation of any amount! Plus, receive member-exclusive benefits when you make a recurring gift.

Recent Episodes

Focus on the Family Daily Broadcast logo

Mothers and Sons: Being a Godly Influence (Part 2 of 2)

Rhonda Stoppe explains how a mom with sons can shape them into becoming good and godly men. She offers moms practical guidance for spiritual training, effective communication, supporting the father-son relationship as a wife, and more. (Part 2 of 2)

Focus on the Family Daily Broadcast logo

Mothers and Sons: Being a Godly Influence (Part 1 of 2)

Rhonda Stoppe explains how a mom with sons can shape them into becoming good and godly men. She offers moms practical guidance for spiritual training, effective communication, supporting the father-son relationship as a wife, and more. (Part 1 of 2)

Promotional image for Focus on the Family broadcast "Embracing Your Role as a Spouse"

Embracing Your Role as a Spouse

Pastor Kevin Thompson explores three primary roles in marriage – friend, partner, and lover – and explains how spouses can live out those roles optimally by investing in their relationship mentally, emotionally, and physically.

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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!

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Newest Release - Episode 4: Sometimes the Choice is Hard

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

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

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

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Newest Release - Episode 3: The Power of a Picture

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

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

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

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Newest Release - Episode 5: It’s Going to be Amazing!

After a couple has chosen life, hear the heartwarming stories of children that culture would have cast aside, yet are making tremendous impacts in their communities. Whether the diagnosis was adverse or the circumstances were difficult, these stories will inspire you to come along side of families who have chosen life!

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

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

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Newest Release - Episode 6: Families Helping Families!

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

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

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

Praying Scripture Over Your Child’s Life - Part 2

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

Headshot of Focus on the Family broadcast guest Jodie Berndt

Jodie Berndt

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

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

Praying the Scriptures Over Your Children

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

Effective Habits to Embrace in Parenting

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

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

Dr. Randy Schroeder

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

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

Simple Habits for Effective Parenting

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

The Spiritual Battle for Your Marriage

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

Tim and Noreen Muehlhoff Cropped

Dr. Tim and Mrs. Noreen Muehlhoff

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

Defending Your Marriage

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

Reigniting Your Passion for Jesus - Part 1

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

Headshot photo of author Kim Meeder

Kim Meeder

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

Revival Rising

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

Reigniting Your Passion for Jesus - Part 2

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

Headshot photo of author Kim Meeder

Kim Meeder

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

Revival Rising

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

Mothers and Sons: Being a Godly Influence - Part 2

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

Headshot of Rhonda Stoppe

Rhonda Stoppe

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

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

Moms Raising Sons to Be Men

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

Identifying Triggers in Your Marriage - Part 2

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

Headshot of Guy and Amber Lia

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Author Debra Fileta in the Focus on the Family broadcast studio

Mrs. Debra Fileta

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

Are You Really Okay?

Are You Really OK: Getting Real About Who You Are

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

Embracing Your Role as a Spouse

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

Headshot of Kevin Thompson

Pastor Kevin Thompson

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

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

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

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

Sharing Your Faith with Grace and Purpose

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

Mr. Greg Koukl

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

Tactics front cover

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

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

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

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

Dr. Kevin Leman

Dr. Kevin Leman

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

Bundle of Why Your Kids Misbehave

Why Your Kids Misbehave and What to Do about It

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

Giving up Sugar, Tasting God's Goodness

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

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

Mrs. Wendy Speake

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dr. Kevin Leman

Dr. Kevin Leman

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

Bundle of Why Your Kids Misbehave

Why Your Kids Misbehave and What to Do about It

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

Loving Your Spouse Through the Seasons of Marriage - Part 2

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

Author Debra Fileta in the Focus on the Family broadcast studio

Debra Fileta

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

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

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

Reconciling Faith and Science in a Medical Crisis

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

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

Dr. Lee Warren

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

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

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

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

Praying Scripture Over Your Child’s Life - Part 1

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

Headshot of Focus on the Family broadcast guest Jodie Berndt

Jodie Berndt

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

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

Praying the Scriptures Over Your Children

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

Mothers and Sons: Being a Godly Influence - Part 1

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

Headshot of Rhonda Stoppe

Rhonda Stoppe

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

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

Moms Raising Sons to Be Men

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

Identifying Triggers in Your Marriage Part 1

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

Headshot of Guy and Amber Lia

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Author Debra Fileta in the Focus on the Family broadcast studio

Mrs. Debra Fileta

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

Are You Really Okay?

Are You Really OK: Getting Real About Who You Are

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

Navigating a Toxic Culture with Your Daughter - Part 1

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

Mrs. Meg Meeker

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

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

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

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

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Newest Release - Episode 1: The Truth About Life!

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

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

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