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Hope for the Anxious During Unsettling Times

Hope for the Anxious During Unsettling Times

Author Deborah Pegues offers an insightful look at worry and anxiety and presents effective strategies to deal with the stress they cause. She encourages us to rely on God's power to find strength and peace in the midst of any problem we face.
Original Air Date: October 23, 2020

Excerpt:

Mrs. Deborah Pegues: I always say Christians need to be the – not the thermometer that measures the temperature, but we got to be the thermostat. We got to set the temperature. We’re going to set the environment. We’re going to set the mindset that we’re going to have in any adversity. We can do that. I mean, we can do it through Christ who strengthens us. And so, that’s what we’ve got to do. Decide we’re going to have a peaceful atmosphere. I’m gonna guard my peace.

End of Excerpt

John Fuller: This is Focus on the Family with Jim Daly and our guest today is Deborah Pegues. Thank you for joining us. I’m John Fuller.

Jim Daly: John with all the news we see daily about the COVID-19 pandemic, the racial tension leading to protests and riots and the upcoming Presidential election, we are bombarded with situations and circumstances that leave us feeling anxious and worried. And that’s, uh, I’d say, a normal response. Counselors often report anxiety is running rampant as clients come to meet with them.

John: Mm-hmm.

Jim: It’s a pandemic in itself. During these times, though, I find comfort in the words of Jesus from the Gospel of John in chapter 16, verse 33. He says, “In the world you will have tribulation.” And we all say, “Yeah.” “But take heart. I have overcome the world.” What a comfort that our faith is based in something that transcends the troubles of this world.

John: Mm-hmm.

Jim: That’s good news for us. And here at Focus on the Family, we want to remind you of God’s love for you so that you can live in that freedom, that this life doesn’t hold you in bondage.

John: Yeah.

Jim: In His grace and power, you can do all things. And that includes conquering anxiety. And we’re going to talk about that today with a great guest.

John: And a couple of weeks ago, we spoke with Deborah Pegues. She is a perennial favorite with our listeners here at Focus on the Family. And we talked about managing anger. If you didn’t catch that, please go to the YouTube channel, or get the app, get a copy of the download or a C.D. Let us know and we’d be happy to help you with that. Today, she’s back with a look at worry and anxiety. Uh, we’re going to be talking about her book. It’s a short little book, but a very powerful one, 30 Days to Taming Worry and Anxiety.

Jim: Deborah, welcome back to Focus.

Deborah: Thank you so much. I know we’re going to have a great time.

Jim: It’s good to have you here again. Let me ask you right out of the gate. As a behavioral consultant, you work with people all the time. That’s what you’re doing is trying to help them. What are you hearing about the way anxiety is affecting them? What are you seeing in the culture as you’re coaching people with their emotions?

Deborah: Oh, anxiety is running rampant and among Christians as well. And I’m – I’m experiencing a little anxiety myself right now, but I know what’s driving it. My husband is getting ready to leave town for a getaway and I never stay at home by myself. And he’s gonna be gone about eight nights. I am just already anticipating staying – working all night long, so I don’t have to go to bed while it’s dark. (Laughter)

Jim: I’m so glad you experience that. I’m sorry to say that to you, but I’m the same way. When Jean and the boys are out of town or something and I’m home alone, I hate it. It’s not where I want to be. I only like being at home when Jean’s there and the kids are there. It’s a much better feeling, right? What does that say about us? (Laughter)

Deborah: Well, it’s fixed to something we believe or habits we’ve developed. But, see, I’ve never liked staying by myself in our 41 years of marriage. I don’t like staying by myself. I – I just don’t. And, uh – but we also had a break in, an attempted home invasion, and I think that’s driving part of it.

Jim: Oh, sure. Well, that makes more sense. Of course.

Deborah: Yeah. Yeah. And – and, yeah.

Jim: Deborah, you, uh – you describe in your book a time when you had a particularly stressful day. I think it related to your brother – just to jump to another example of anxiety and stress. What happened with your brother and how did you manage it?

Deborah: Well, this was when my mom was alive, and I was her primary person who made sure she got taken care of. So, the state had a program where they would even hire a relative to take care of someone. And he had given her medicine. She had run out of it. And I – it was a board meeting day and I had a big presentation. We were doing a big project for this church I was the CFO of it. It was just too much coming in on me. I had just started with this condition called trigeminal neuralgia. And it was my – you know, my jaw was hurting. And it was so much converging. And ’til I just felt so stressed. I just said, “Jesus, come now.” (Laughter)

Jim: Yeah.

Deborah: But you know what? I got – I got through it because sometimes you have to – and this is a season we got to really practice taking a deep breath. Now, that’s very practical and spiritual, I believe. You just take a deep breath and just recenter yourself and say, “Listen, what should I do next?” Sometimes I’ll just ask God, “What is my next step? I have too many things to do. What is the best use of my time? What do You want me to do next?”

Jim: Yeah. Deborah, too, what that identifies is your ability to identify those stressors. You know, that is half the battle, I think, is know the stressful situation you’re in, being able to kind of call it out, that you – you’re self-aware enough to say, “this is causing me stress” and then you can deal with it much better rather than just reacting – right? – and not even knowing why you’re reacting.

Deborah: Absolutely. And I’m big on pencil and paper, so I’ll make a list of what are the top three things, top five things, that are really stressing me now. And then I’ll ask myself, are any of these within my realm of influence? If it’s something I can’t help – you know, I can’t help the traffic. I can’t help the political situation. What’s – what’s stressing me? I – what’s stressing me? Even now, I have so many friends who are on opposite sides of the political divide. And so, just trying to be that peacemaker, I’m finding that stressful and – and that kinds of stress leads to anxiety. So, I can’t get them together for a fun time because I know it’s going to turn into, “he’s this” “she’s not that” blah, blah, blah.

Jim: Yeah.

Deborah: So, that can be stressful, too. So, you just try to identify first of all, what is stressing me? What’s within my control? What’s not?

Jim: One thing you mentioned in 30 Days to Taming Worry and Anxiety is this need for a secure foundation. You then use an analogy of a four legged stool. What are the legs of that stool that give us that secure foundation?

Deborah: Well, I say life is like a stool that at the base is all your beliefs and then the four legs, the four pillars of your life, are the physical, the relational, the emotional and the financial. Those areas all have incidences of stress and anxiety. And right now, the financial part, people are – some people have already lost jobs. Some are anticipating losing a job. When we understand that, that’s the nature of anxiety, anticipating a negative outcome. You can anticipate a negative outcome in a relationship. They’re expecting more divorces now that we’ve had the pandemic because couples are spending too much time…

Jim: Yeah, think of that.

Deborah: …They say too much time.

Jim: That’s sad.

Deborah: You know, kids. But I – when I read that stat, I thought, that is terrible. So, you know, but those are all areas for anxiety. And so, you got to do what you need to do. I told my husband, “Go on a trip. That’s fine to go by yourself if that’s what you need to kind of get away from all of the hustle and bustle of being married to me.”

(LAUGHTER)

Jim: I can’t imagine that. You’re not energetic at all.

(LAUGHTER)

Deborah: I have a lot going on and my husband’s like – you know, he likes to sit there and watch the grass grow.

(LAUGHTER)

Jim: I was going to say, Darnell, I think, is very peaceful, isn’t he?

Deborah: He is. And, you know, if I don’t have 10 things to do, I’m like, “Oh, this is boring.” (Laughter)

Jim: That is so amazing. It’s so typical of couples, right? Opposites marry each other. Hey, Deborah, you once were distracted from prayer. I think this is so funny. This is a great example. I love your examples…

John: Very common. Yeah.

Jim: …Because they’re very straightforward; very, you know, common to all of us. But you were wanting this special prayer time, a little quiet time, kind of get rid of your anxiety, and what happened?

Deborah: Well, I – I didn’t allow enough time for it, so I…

Jim: (Laughter).

Deborah: …And this is so important. (Laughter) But I said, “Okay, I’m set up. My environment is ready. I’m going to listen to this C.D. by a certain artist that I just love. I get down there and I can’t find the things. So, I say, “Oh, it must have been in the trunk of my car.” I go to the trunk. It’s not there, but there was a lot of disarray there, so I organized the trunk real – real quick. Went back to the – my office.

(LAUGHTER)

Deborah: And, oh, I can just check messages since I’m just standing right here.

Jim: (Laughter).

Deborah: So, I check the messages. (Laughter) Oh, there’s a plant with a yellow leaf. Why don’t I just water that? I’m right here. Okay, I can just check a message or two. By the time I got back to my prayer room, I mean, I literally had about honestly only about five more minutes left in this one hour that I was going to spend securing my foundation. Because I know the importance of being in the presence of God and how it calms you down when you get there and exalt Him above all that’s going on. Anyway, I didn’t get a chance to do that that day. And let me tell you, it shows in how you relate to people. That’s why I say to deal with the anxiety and stress, secure your foundation, get in the presence of God, and decide how you’re gonna respond today. You’ve got to get in the presence of God and receive His strength for today and declared that, that this is the day that I’m going to exemplify You in all that I do. Well, I didn’t have time to do that.

Jim: Yeah.

Deborah: So, when I got back up there, all I had time to pray was, “God bless everybody. Just bless the whole world.”

(LAUGHTER)

Jim: But, it was a great lesson in, yeah – how to – how to relax by, you know, really actually relaxing, not creating more stress for yourself.

Deborah: Yeah.

Jim: That importance on self-care. I do want to punch that again, because I think in our culture, it’s so difficult to do. And then we start making excuses for it, you know, like what you just said. You know, I got to do this, or I got to – I’ve got to do that with the kids, my husband, my spouse, whatever it be. And you diminish the self-care area. And it also feels a bit selfish as a Christian to be too concerned about self-care. But, you know, give us that best punch. Why should we embrace self-care?

Deborah: Because Jesus set the example. I remember a story when there’s a disciples came back, and they had been out there saving the world. And they said, “This is all that we’ve done.” And His only response was, “We need to get away for a while.” If Jesus saw the need to do that, to take these times where you go and get quiet and – and rebuild yourself on the inside, how much more should we do that? And when we don’t it shows. When I’m tired, I’m more irritable. I just need to just get somewhere and be quiet and not say yes to so many things. That’s part of self-care. Saying no is a significant part of self-care and we got to learn to do that.

Jim: How do you get there? How do you get there, Deborah? I know my wife, Jean, has struggled with that. She’s doing far better now than she did, you know, 10 years ago in her younger life. I mean, she was just a “yes, I’ll help you,” kind of person. In some ways, that’s really sweet. But you can get to the point where you’re over “yessing” people – if I could say it that way – and you end up so thin that you are burned out. So, that – for that person that sees, you know, it’s a bit rewarding to be available for other people to help them.

John: Yeah.

Jim: It’s very Christian to want to give and that’s all good. But when it impacts you negatively and then you begin to get a little anxious about your use of time or you’re worried that you made two commitments at the same time, now, what do you do? What are some steps that personality type, that – that individual can take to be more assertive for their own well-being?

Deborah: Well, first of all, you got to understand your why. Why are you saying yes? And it looks very noble in many cases, but sometimes we don’t want people to be upset with us if we say no. And so, I always make an appointment on my calendar. And even in my own head. So, I have a phrase I use when people ask me to do something and I really want to say no. I’ll say, “I have another commitment.” Well, I do have another commitment. I’ve committed to not wearing myself out saying yes all the time.

(LAUGHTER)

Deborah: And so…

Jim: And being comfortable with it. Yeah.

Deborah: And – and being comfortable with it. Because you know what? If you don’t manage yourself and again, Jesus was the example. We’re going to have to do that so that we can be effective. Even when they came to Jesus and said, “Listen, everybody’s looking for You.” I love that story. It’s in Mark 1, first chapter of Mark. “Everybody’s looking for You.” And then it goes on to say, “But He said, ‘I have to go into the next towns because that’s what I’ve come to do – to preach. I – healing is great, but My primary goal was to teach.” Here’s the deal. We got to stay focused on our priorities. You – you really can’t be everywhere all – at the same time, and especially if you have children and a husband. What’s my priority? God, my marriage, and then maybe my church or my career. But if I keep that – and listen, Jim, we do this. Friday nights, people know not to call me. That’s my date night consistently for 40 something years – date night. So, I – that’s sacred. So, we have to guard it because we teach people how to treat us by what we allow. So, we teach people to always violate those boundaries and timeframes that we’ve set for our family, they’re gonna just keep doing it and you’re gonna grow more resentful.

Jim: Hey Deborah, you are a CPA by training, and I know the COVID situation and other things have put a lot of pressure on people’s finances. That’s one of the legs of the four legged stool – your ability to manage money. You have an extensive list, probably 12, 13 items. What are a couple of those? And we’ll post those at the website, with your permission, Deborah, so people can go and take a look at them. But what jumps out at you right now from that list that people need to be mindful of when it comes to managing their money?

Deborah: Well, first of all, I don’t want them to get anxious because it looks like they’re going to run out because what they thought was their source was just really a channel. And I like for people to always remember that God is your Source. He chose your job to be a channel for your finances, but He has many other channels. And so, just like on your television, I’ll say, “Hand God the remote. Let Him select the channel.” Don’t be anxious about this. But what you can do is prioritize your spending. Get with your spouse and just spend money according to God’s priority. Agree on it. Don’t let that be a – a source of division. Agree on what the priorities will be. “This is what we’ll spend.” And stick to it once you’ve come to an agreement. But most of all, just don’t worry. Anxiety, again, is expecting a negative outcome. When you are worrying, you need to stop and say, “What am I believing? What am I believing?” Because usually worry comes out of a – a false belief about God. He is able.

Jim: Yes.

Deborah: And you’ve got to believe that, and you got to embrace that. He’s able to do even more than you could ask or think. Now that’s big because I can think of a lot of stuff, but He’s able to do more than that. So, that’s what I say. Stay out of debt. Don’t do emotional spending. This is not the time to comfort yourself with high priced restaurant food that you ordered in because you didn’t want to cook. Just begin to do the things that are practical.

Jim: Hm.

Deborah: Yeah.

John: This is Focus on the Family and our guest today is Deborah Pegues. And, uh, she’s got this great little book, 30 Days to Taming Worry and Anxiety. A lot of the insights you’re hearing today are captured in this book and so much more. Get a hold of it by getting in touch with us. Our number is 800, the letter A and the word FAMILY. Or stop by focusonthefamily.com/broadcast.

Jim: Deborah, you’re touching on this, but I want to hit it straight on. We do turn to distractions as a coping mechanism to escape stress and anxiety. Why do we need to be mindful of that – what those distractions are? What are some of those distractions and how – how do we avoid those pitfalls?

Deborah: Well, listen, my – our pastor taught a message once and he said some distractions are divine distractions. I had a friend who lost a daughter recently. And so, I had my – that day laid out, but I just felt like the Lord was saying, “Call her and just listen to her or talk to her or whatever.”

Jim: Yes.

Deborah: And so, that wasn’t a distraction. But we’re going to have to guard it. And you do that with the list. You have to have a prioritized list. And don’t put too much on it because that’ll stress you out as well. You know, you put about two or three major things you’re going to get done today, and that’s all you’re gonna get done and you’re not going to beat yourself up if you didn’t get to the rest of them. That’s why you probably only need to see about three of them at a time. I mean, I have lists. My lists, have lists, but I don’t pull them all out at the same time.

(LAUGHTER)

Jim: Deborah and that…

Deborah: I’ll…

Jim: I was just gonna say in that regard, how do you create margin if, you know, you’re listing two or three major projects that you need to get done today, and that takes you pretty much to the end of the day? How do you remember to be present for that friend, that very example that you gave, when it’s – you know, some might feel, even though it’s, um, you know, catastrophic in that case, how do you turn your mind and your emotions that this is not an interruption, but it’s most likely what God wants you to concentrate on right now and not be put off your balance because of that?

Deborah: Right. And even if you don’t have the margin, you can just decide, I’m not going to get to this item on this list today. Everything doesn’t have to be done today. It’s just – that’s why we need to get up in the morning when we have – those of us who are prone to having lists – to hold that list up and say, “God, here’s what I think I need to do today. But even now, I lay it at the altar. I just put it at Your feet so that You can prioritize it.” We really gotta stop trying to live life in our own strength and our own rationale, because sometimes He’s calling us to do something different and – and it’s okay. You’ve got to give yourself permission. You’ve also got to give yourself permission not to be productive 24/7.

Jim: (Laughter).

Deborah: Listen, I took a three hour nap yesterday. That’s why I was probably up so late because I slept from three to six. (Laughter)

Jim: I’m going to take that as permission to do the same.

John: Yeah. That’s good. That’s good. I appreciate what you’re saying there, Deborah, because even just yesterday, Jim, Dena and I took a walk after work and we had kind of an agenda for what we were going to talk about on this walk.

Jim: (Laughter).

John: And, sure enough, we ran into some neighbors we haven’t seen forever. And we talked to them for 15, 20 minutes and we left. And I just said, “That was kind of a divine appointment. People should be the priority.” And – and I’m so glad we saw those folks and we did eventually get to what we wanted to talk about. But if I had my list in mind, I’d be waving at them and walking right by, but I hear you saying people really should be the priority.

Deborah: Yeah. And, you know, especially now because we need each other. And so, to the extent that you can interact with people, God uses people. And so, people help bring us joy. So, don’t get so focused on the goal. Don’t get so focused on the goal that you stop being a person.

Jim: Well, in that regard, too, expectations can be, you know, terrible in terms of our expectation of our spouse and what that person will do today for me. I mean, we have all that going as well. How do we manage those expectations?

Deborah: Well, here it is. First of all, you got to manage the expectations you have of yourself. What – you know, sometimes we live in shoulds. See, I have an expectation of myself that I should always have food ready and I pretty much do. I’m Suzy Homemaker here because I think part of it is I feel guilty for working so much. But I make sure my husband has his favorite meals are always there, frozen in a serving size – blah, blah, blah, blah. But he told me the other day when I was trying to get ready for the launch of my new book, he said, “I don’t require that of you.” You know, he said, “You – you need to not do that.” But I’m thinking, yeah, but I know I’m going to work ’til like midnight, so I don’t want him looking for food. Any rate, so we got to evaluate the expectations that we have of our self and ask ourselves, is that reasonable? But we also got to manage expectations that other people have. To what extent are we saying yes because we don’t want to disappoint somebody? Is that reasonable? Then we got to look at expectations we have of other people. Is it reasonable? Have I expressed it? You know, those are the kinds of things we’ve got to look at because a lot of times we don’t express our expectations. It creates more stress because now we’re sitting here thinking somebody should know, but we didn’t tell them.

Jim: No, it’s, uh – I’m kind of smiling because I’m listening to you talk about getting your frozen food ready for Darnell and finishing your book.

(LAUGHTER)

Jim: I mean, some people are going, “What?” And to do it by midnight.

(LAUGHTER)

John: Two – two incompatible goals right there in expectations.

Jim: I mean, that sounds exhausting, but I get it.

Deborah: (Laughter).

Jim: Hey, uh, Cynthia was a mentor for you in some way, a friend. Explain the story of Cynthia and what she taught you.

Deborah: Well, she lost two children on the freeway. It was just a traumatic time. But here’s the deal, she is one of the most joyful people that you’re going to find. She says, “Where there is a crisis, Christ is.” And she models this kind of peace.

Jim: Huh.

Deborah: But she had to get there because she couldn’t even get out of bed either, uh, for the first few months after her children died. But then she found a letter that they had each left her. And it was just very power empowering for her. She set the tone by how she’s going to respond to stress. I always say, Christians need to be the – not the thermometer that measures the temperature, but we got to be the thermostat. We got to set the temperature. We’re going to set the environment. We’re going to set the mindset that we’re going to have in any adversity. We can do that. This – this isn’t – this requires supernatural intervention. Anything I talk about when I say we can do it, I mean we can do it through Christ who strengthens us. And so, that’s what we’ve got to do. Decide we’re going to have a peaceful atmosphere. I’m gonna guard my peace.

Jim: Yeah. That…

Deborah: That’s important. Guard your peace.

Jim: Yeah, it’s so good. Let me give you a little experience I had and have you speak to it. I remember being at lunch with a nonbeliever. We were just eating. And he was saying to me, “You know, I’m really concerned.” I said, “Well, what are you concerned about?” He said, “Well, you guys in the Christian community are so anxious right now about everything, that really troubles me, because if you guys are anxious, knowing what you believe, I’m really anxious.” And I thought, wow, what a – what an expression of what we need to be in Christ for those who are watching us – um, that we claim Christ and yet we’re anxious, which makes – potentially makes them even more anxious because we’re supposed to be the people that believe in the hope of Christ, right? That we are not anxious for anything. In fact, Paul says that. “Be anxious for nothing.” It’s hard to do.

Deborah: Well, it’s hard to do if you’ve not programmed yourself to do it. When I say programmed yourself – you program yourself with the word of God and its shapes and inform how you think and – and what you do. This is our finest hour. Listen, all of my speaking engagements were canceled because of COVID. So, I could have just easily have said, “Oh, my God, what am I gonna do now?” Well, what I’m going to do now is say, “God, what are You saying next?” He’s a creative God…

Jim: (Laughter) Right.

Deborah: …And I (laughter) – you know. And so, we have to always recheck our beliefs. What am I believing? What am I not believing about God when I had this anxiety? I’m not believing then that He’s going to supply all my need according to His great riches, His resources, not my paycheck. He’s chosen a different channel now. I got to go with the flow. We need to model this to the world, Jim. If we’re gonna get people to really embrace Christ, they need to see a difference. This is our finest hour. We don’t even need to talk negatively. We don’t need to join in an awful conversation.

Jim: Yeah.

Deborah: We need to say, “God is doing His thing. That’s what He’s doing.”

Jim: Deborah, let me ask you, too, in that kind of context, how you have managed releasing tension? I mean, I think I’m a bit of an avoider in that regard. You know, if there’s something going on, I’d rather solve it quickly and move on. I don’t like lingering in tension. It’s probably part of my childhood experience, you know, being an orphan kid and all the turbulence going on when I was a child. But it – you know, I just don’t like hanging out in tension. If you’re going to – if there’s gonna be this tense conflict, I’m going to go do something. You guys work it out.

(LAUHGTER)

Jim: And that’s probably, you know, something I need to work on. But how do you manage that tension? How do you de-escalate tension?

John: Hmm.

Deborah: Well, I think you need to address it. I I’m from your cut. (Laughter) Listen, if there’s something – whatever you can do to fix the situation, do that.

Jim: Yeah.

Deborah: You know, don’t let stuff linger. There’s a confrontation that needs to happen and I use that word strategically. It means “coming together face-to-face.” And so, if you need to come together face-to-face with somebody, then do it. Do it. Get that out of the way, because there are other things we can’t resolve. My niece went to the hospital and – and almost didn’t survive COVID, but I couldn’t do anything about that except get a lot of people praying about it because that’s practical. I like to say that. Praying is practical. Worshiping is practical. Confronting is spiritual. When we go back on those spiritual disciplines – let’s work those relationships. Let’s keep them free of conflict if we can. And that means confronting the issue. If you go outside, and this is very common, and I’m looking for a space to just kind of be quiet for a moment and your spouse joins you, but you really wanted to be alone, learn how to say that, “I’m good.” Before you go, “I’m – I’m gonna go and have some quiet time now.” Rather than seeing him. He sees I’m reading the Bible why is he out here talking to me?

(LAUGHTER)

Jim: Because he loves you.

(LAUGHTER)

Jim: Hey, that does…

Deborah: Because we learn how to express our needs. That’s part of keeping tension and anxiety and stress out of your life. Express what you need and say it in a way that’s God honoring rather than waiting to – for somebody to violate that, you express what you need upfront.

Jim: Yeah. And, you know, it really does lead to that next question about the use of laughter and humor in your relationships. That’s – what’s a fun way to get your point across. But how – how critical is humor in relationship?

Deborah: Oh, we need to laugh. It’s like – it’s medicine, as the Bible says. It’s medicine. I got to YouTube, and I type in “funny jokes,” “funny clean jokes.” So, I have books that have funny jokes. I watch reruns of things that are not so sexual these days. I like to watch I Love Lucy.

Jim: (Laughter).

Deborah: And, you know, those kind – good, clean things like that. You need to laugh. You know, there’s still something to laugh about. “The joy of the Lord is our strength” and we need to practice that. And – and don’t watch the news too much. No, no, don’t watch… (Laughter)

Jim: No, Deborah, that’s so true. It just it – it creates an anxiety in you and that worry. Uh, Deborah, let’s end with your stress model. I think this is a good acrostic that people can use once they learn it. But you use the word “stress” and then each letter represents something. Can you go through that with us real quick?

Deborah: Sure. Sure. “Stress.” S – T – R – E – S – S. “S” is for seek God’s guidance. “T” is for trust what He tells you to do. “R” is remember past victories. If He did it once, He’ll do it again. “E” is exalt God above the problem. Don’t bring God down to the level of your problem. “S,” is solicit the prayers and support of others. And the other “S” is stand on the promises of God. He’s promised to meet all your needs. He’s promised to guard your joy. Allow Him to do that.

John: Hmm.

Jim: Yeah. And it’s so good. Uh, Deborah, 30 Days to Taming Worry and Anxiety. What a goal. It’s a great goal, particularly for us as Christians…

John: Mm-hmm.

Jim: …To get a handle on these things that are like wild animals in us. If we don’t leash them, they will do damage. And so, I so appreciate the insights that you bring, the lists that you’ve talked about. Again, we’ll post those at the website. People can get that. If you can help us in this ministry, put an arm around someone through Focus on the Family by supporting us with a donation of any amount and we’ll send you a copy of Deborah’s wonderful book, 30 Days to Taming Worry and Anxiety as our way of saying thank you. And again, Deborah, this has been so good. You’re – you’re so pithy in applying God’s principles. And I think that’s why listeners respond so favorably to what you have to share. Thank you for being with us.

Deborah: Thank you so much for having me.

John: If you can, donate today when you call 800, the letter A and the word FAMILY. As Jim said, that allows us to, uh – to reach out and do broadcasts like this and to provide caring, Christian counseling services. You can have a one-time consultation over the phone with one of our counselors at no charge. That’s made possible by generous donors. So, as you can, please, donate when you call 800-A-FAMILY. Or online we’re at focusonthefamily.com/broadcast. And, as Jim said, when you donate today, we’ll send a copy of Deborah’s great book, 30 Days to Taming Worry and Anxiety. And be sure to join us again next time as Ryan and Selena Frederick share encouragement to let God’s light shine through your marriage.

Teaser:

Mrs. Selena Frederick: God has given me this position of either helping my husband, really helping and stepping into that role, or really cutting him off and allowing sin and brokenness to just take over.

Today's Guests

Cover image of the book "30 Days to Taming Worry and Anxiety"

30 Days to Taming Worry and Anxiety

Receive Deborah Pegues' book 30 Days to Taming Worry and Anxiety for your donation of any amount!

Recent Episodes

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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.

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

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

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A Legacy of Music and Trusting the Lord

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

Focus on the Family Broadcast logo

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

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

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

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Newest Release - Episode 4: Sometimes the Choice is Hard

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

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

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

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Newest Release - Episode 3: The Power of a Picture

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Newest Release - Episode 6: Families Helping Families!

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

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

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

Praying Scripture Over Your Child’s Life - Part 2

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

Headshot of Focus on the Family broadcast guest Jodie Berndt

Jodie Berndt

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

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

Praying the Scriptures Over Your Children

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

Effective Habits to Embrace in Parenting

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

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

Dr. Randy Schroeder

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

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

Simple Habits for Effective Parenting

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

The Spiritual Battle for Your Marriage

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

Tim and Noreen Muehlhoff Cropped

Dr. Tim and Mrs. Noreen Muehlhoff

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

Defending Your Marriage

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

Reigniting Your Passion for Jesus - Part 1

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

Headshot photo of author Kim Meeder

Kim Meeder

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

Revival Rising

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

Reigniting Your Passion for Jesus - Part 2

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

Headshot photo of author Kim Meeder

Kim Meeder

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

Revival Rising

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

Mothers and Sons: Being a Godly Influence - Part 2

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

Headshot of Rhonda Stoppe

Rhonda Stoppe

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

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

Moms Raising Sons to Be Men

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

Identifying Triggers in Your Marriage - Part 2

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

Headshot of Guy and Amber Lia

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Author Debra Fileta in the Focus on the Family broadcast studio

Mrs. Debra Fileta

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

Are You Really Okay?

Are You Really OK: Getting Real About Who You Are

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

Embracing Your Role as a Spouse

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

Headshot of Kevin Thompson

Pastor Kevin Thompson

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

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

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

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

Sharing Your Faith with Grace and Purpose

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

Mr. Greg Koukl

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

Tactics front cover

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

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

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!