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How Do You Forgive Evil?

How Do You Forgive Evil?

Polly Sheppard, a survivor of the June 17, 2015 church massacre in Charleston, South Carolina, and the Rev. Anthony Thompson, who lost his wife during the shooting, describe the event and explain how they've been able to forgive the perpetrator. This program will also highlight the movie Emanuel, which tells the stories of the victims and survivors of the shooting.

Opening:

John Fuller: It was a typical night at Mother Emanuel AME Church, one of the oldest black churches in the South. And a small group ranging in age from 26 to 87 had gathered for their weekly Bible study. A young white man unexpectedly entered and was welcomed by the group. And almost an hour later, when everyone had just closed their eyes for prayer, Dylann Roof began shooting. He fired 77 bullets at point-blank range, killing 9 people. And his intent was to start another race war.

This is Focus on the Family, and we’re gonna hear about this catastrophic and the aftermath where God showed up in some rather unbelievable ways. Your host is Focus President and author, Jim Daly, and I’m John Fuller.

Jim Daly: John, it’s difficult to describe the pain, the grief, the loss that uh, you or I will experience when a beloved friend or family member dies. And it’s part of life. We’re going to lose those around us at some point. It feels like a part of you is missing and your life will never be the same because that person is gone. And you may wonder, “How can I move on from this point?” Um, I experienced this as a young boy when I lost my mom at 9 to cancer. It’s painful enough to lose someone you love because of an illness or an accident or some natural disaster – that certainly happens – but when they’re taken from you by an act of evil, um, by someone else, there’s no words to describe the grief and loss and hatred that you can have for that person. It’s hard to imagine how you or I would respond to a situation like what happened on that fateful night at Emanuel Church that you described.

What we do know is that this world can be a very evil place. Um, evil that is the result of sin. And because of sin, we are more likely to respond to evil with more evil. It’s our human nature. Um, that’s our sinful human nature – apart from God. But God can change that. And as Christ-followers, that’s why I’m so grateful today on what we’re gonna hear.

Romans 12:21 says, “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” So often, we – we read these words and we just run right through it, thinking that we’re doing that well. But it’s when you’re tested, when something happens, that you really know who you are inside – the character that you actually possess, not the veneer that you project. And today’s story is gonna be about – powerful story about the character of some wonderful people.

John: Mmhmm. Yeah, we have Polly Sheppard with us. She’s a retired nurse and survivor of the Emanuel Church shooting in Charleston, South Carolina. And uh, Polly is joined by Reverend Anthony Thomas, whose wife, Myra, was killed during the attack. Uh, their stories – Polly and Anthony’s stories are reflected in a new movie called, Emanuel. It’s gonna be shown in theaters next Monday and also on Wednesday – June 17th and 19th. And that first date happens to be the four year anniversary of the shooting at Mother Emanuel Church.

Jim: And, John, I’ve seen this film. It is powerful. It is worth everybody’s time to go, because it provokes such emotions in you. And it is such a wonderful illustration of God’s forgiveness expressed through human beings. And it’s profound. Uh, Brian Ivie, who directed our film, Dropbox, about the South Korean pastor, is the director of this film. And we’re proud to once again, uh, make everybody aware of Emanuel, a wonderful film that everyone should see.

Body:

Jim: Anthony and Polly, you have been sitting so graciously. Thank you for that. But welcome to Focus on the Family.

Anthony Thompson: Well thank you for having us.

Polly Sheppard: Thank you.

Jim: Let’s start by describing your hometown of Charleston, South Carolina. You know, a lot of people haven’t been there. I’ve never had the chance to be there, myself. Um, it’s a history that a lot of people may not know about – the history of slavery. Describe that history for us.

Anthony: Well, we’re very hospitable people. Of course, we have the undertone of racism, which derived from slavery, ‘cause two-thirds of the slaves came to Charleston, South Carolina, being that it was a port city.

Jim: So two-thirds of the slaves in the United States back, you know, 150 years ago, came through Charleston?

Anthony: Yes.

Jim: That was a processing center, if I could say it that way.

Anthony: It was.

Jim: That’s amazing. And today, I mean, where are we at today? Is there still that undertone of racism and is it evolving in terms of its attitude toward each other?

Anthony: Well, since the tragedy, you know, some miraculous things have happened thanks to God’s intervention. The city has come together, you know – united Blacks, Latinos, Whites, Mexicans, uh, different denominations, different cultures. You know, and we are trying to uh, focus on ra – racial reconciliation. And right now, the mayor’s office – our newly elected mayor, Mayor John Tecklenburg – uh, formed an advisory council of maybe 500 pastors all over South Carolina, and the focus is on racial reconciliation, repentance, and forgiveness.

Jim: Yeah. Well, and we’re going to talk about your story that uh, again, is remarkable. How have you come to terms with the hatred and violence that Dylann Roof perpetrated against you and – and the church? I mean, um, I guess the big question is, how have you processed this?

Anthony: Well, when it happened, it was hard to process. We had no idea who committed the crime. As a matter of fact, the night of the tragedy, I was on the street, city of Charleston, just uncontrollably crying. Had no idea who committed it. Only thought by mine was, was my wife fine? Was – was she suffering? Was she dead? Had no knowledge of what was going on…

Jim: Yeah.

Anthony: …until maybe um, maybe 15 hours after the tragedy had happened.

Jim: And your wife was leading the Bible study? Myra?

Anthony: Yes. She was leading the Bible study. She was um, very – worked on it very diligently.

Jim: Yeah.

Anthony: She is a perfectionist, and she wanted to do 100%.

Polly: That’s true.

(LAUGHTER)

Anthony: And always – it is true.

Jim: Polly, let me ask you, because you were there that night.

Polly: Yes.

Jim: Uh, how many people were in the room? Paint the picture for those of us that may not have all the detail and we didn’t follow the story too closely.

Polly: It was 12 of us in – in that um, room.

Jim: 12 people?

Polly: 12 people. Three of us survived out of that room, and the other nine died. Um, we started Bible study with Myra, and about 15 minutes into the Bible study, Dylann came in. Well, we were used to um, students coming in, because we are near the college to Charleston. And they would come in – plus our parking lot was rented out to the college at Charleston – so they would come in periodically. So it wasn’t nothin’ strange…

Jim: Okay.

Polly: …having him come in. But he sat through the Bible study, and he was kind of blank – blank stare. But it was like he was listening. And when we stood for the benediction, he started to shoot.

Jim: Oh.

Polly: He shot Reverend Pinckney first. And Reverend Simmons jumped up to see about Reverend Pinckney.

Jim: Oh.

Polly: So he shot him. And it startled him when he jumped up, so he just turned the gun, and – and, you know, that gun can shoot 14 bullets at one time.

Jim. Oh.

Polly: So I think it caught everybody in the first round. But he had like, a laser on that gun so he could see – see the people under the table. Because when he started shooting, Felicia yelled, and all of the ones that were standing hit the floor.

Jim: Yeah.

Polly: So – but he had laser on – on that gun, where he could see them under the table. So he shot them over and over again.

Jim: Mmm.

Polly: That’s the scene.

Jim: Very few people will ever experience that kind of violence. I mean, what was going through your mind? I mean, you’re in the room. You’re hearing the gun.

Polly: I was waiting – I was waiting for the bullet for me. But when he got to me, um, picture this: I was under the table – about like this round table – but my head was facing out.

Jim: Uh-huh.

Polly: Everybody else’s head was facing in. So I could see his feet coming toward me. He had on um, Timberland boots, and they were very dirty.

Jim: Yeah.

Polly: But I’m watching them, and I’m wondering, “Could I take him down? Could I catch his legs?” And I could hear (unintelligible) in my mind, God saying, “Be still. Be still and know that I am God.” Right?

Jim: Wow.

Polly: But when he got to me, he started talking, and my body just relaxed. I had relaxed and was waiting for the bullet. As I said, “Lord, if this is really happening, way You want me to go, this is the way I’ll go.” Um, but he started talking to me, asking me, “Did I shoot you yet?” And I said, “No.”

Jim: He said, “Did I shoot you yet?”

Polly: Yeah. At first, he told me to shut up, ‘cause I was praying.

John: Oh.

Polly: And he – he heard me praying up this, so he knew I was still alive.

Jim: Yeah.

Polly: So that’s why he came walking this way. But he came walking that way, too, because the young man – he was after the young man on the other side of me, which is Felicia’s son. But Felicia’s son rose up on his elbows as he um, was talking to me and asked him why he was doing this. And he said, “I have to. You’re raping our women, and you’re taking over the country.” So Tywanza said, um, which is Felicia’s son, “You don’t have to do this. We mean you no harm.” He said it two or three times, but he shot him and then he came back. And he was still talking. He said, “I’m 21, and my life is over.”

Jim: Wow.

Polly: But I – I never heard him say he was gonna – trying to start a race war, because he didn’t mention that in there.

Jim: He said it later?

Polly: That was on his manifesto.

Jim: Yeah.

Polly: Yeah.

Jim: And Felicia’s son’s name?

Polly: Tywanza Sanders.

Jim: Tywanza. To honor him. But he also said to you, “I’m not gonna shoot you because I want you to tell the story.”

Polly: Tell the story.

John: Mmm.

Jim: What an amazing…

Polly: I think he meant what happened in that room, but my story is how good God is.

Jim: Okay that – that right there is amazing.

Polly: Yeah, when your back is against a wall…

Jim: Yeah.

Polly: …He’s got you. He never retires. He is always with you.

John: Mmm.

Polly: And so that’s the story I’m telling.

Jim: Polly, um, many people listening to this, again to frame it, you’re in the room, people are being shot right in front of you, you’re under a table, you’re praying out loud for this situation, he confronts you, he says to you, “I’m not gonna shoot you ‘cause I want you to tell the story…”

Polly: Yes.

Jim: …many people hearing this now are thinking, “You must hate this person. You must have this incredible bitterness because he took your friends.” He took that young man right next to you, who was trying to be kind in even confronting him, to say, “We’re not trying to bring you harm.”

Polly: Yeah.

Jim: How – this is the question: how does a human being do that? How do you forgive like that?

Polly: Well, I never had hatred for Dylann. I felt sorry for him. This is a 21-year-old young man – his life is – his life is over. But I’d say if he repent and ask for forgiveness, God would forgive him. That’s His command. You have to forgive in order for Him to forgive you for the things you do. You have to forgive other people.

John: Mmhmm.

Jim: We – we read that, we know that, very few of us will be tested the way you were tested in that.

Polly: Yeah. That’s our faith.

Jim: But that’s what we need to do.

Polly: That’s our faith. We have to believe in God, believe in that Word…

Jim: Yeah. Yes.

Polly: …and then He’ll save you every time.

Jim: Well, again, I mean that’s a powerful story. I’m sure everyone’s leaning in, listening. Anthony, your wife was leading the Bible study. Um, you had a – kind of a tradition, I saw in the film, that you guys would try to hug each other before, uh, you’d leave the house. What happened on that day, particularly?

Anthony: Well that particular day, Myra and I were still in our uh, pajamas…

Jim: (Laughter).

Anthony: …which was very unusual because normally we get up and we’re gone. But she was still at the dining room table, working on her Bible study lesson.

Jim: Oh.

Anthony: And uh, she wanted me to help her. And I was, “No. I’ve had enough. You know, we worked on this for two months. You’re on your own.” Yeah. Yeah…

John: (Laughter).

Anthony: …like I said, she was a perfectionist. She wanted 100%.

(LAUGHTER)

Jim: She wanted two months for a Bible study. Wow.

Anthony: And I told her, I said, “Well, imperfect world. We’re getting 99, but not a hundred.” She said, “Well, I’ll do 99.” However, there was some strange things happening just watching her. She was very happy that day.

Jim: Huh.

Anthony: I mean, just bubbling over with joy.

Jim: Why do you think that was?

Anthony: Well, I discovered later, it had something to do with where God had her at the time. At first, I didn’t understand…

Jim: Wow.

Anthony: …because uh, I know I hadn’t made her that happy.

(LAUGHTER)

Jim: Well all of us husbands understand exactly what you’re saying.

Anthony: Yeah, and so I wanted to talk to her about it…

Jim: Huh. Oh.

Anthony: …but I said, “I’ll wait ‘til she gets back from Bible study…”

Jim: Oh.

Anthony: …’cause I just didn’t want to ruin that moment.

Jim: Wow.

Anthony: And of course, after the tragedy, a few days, few months, I figured it out. You know? She was already there. She was – she was already in her glory.

John: Well, is that what you mean by where God had her?

Anthony: Yeah. I mean, ‘cause she was glowing. I mean, her – her – she just had this glow about her that day. And I just – just kept watching her.

Jim: It caught your attention?

Anthony: Yeah. I was…

Jim: Isn’t that something?

Anthony: Yes.

John: Well this is Focus on the Family with Jim Daly. I’m John Fuller, and our guests today are the Reverend Anthony Thompson and Polly Sheppard. Uh, what an incredible story they have to tell. It’s captured in the new film, Emanuel, which is out in theaters next Monday and Wednesday. And then Anthony has written a book that’s just come out that captures um, his perspectives, Called To Forgive. And of course, we have that here. Details about the movie and the book at focusonthefamily.com/broadcast.

Jim: Polly, let me turn back to you, and I’m sure people – I know people are gripped by what they’re hearing. Um, you have been so eloquent to talk about your forgiveness toward Dylann. It sounds like it was almost instantaneous that you had this pity for him, this poor soul, a wretched soul who would do something like this? Did you have to process that at all, or was it just present?

Polly: No, I had to process it. I – I didn’t speak for about three months. I didn’t talk about it.

Jim: Huh.

Polly: Um, I didn’t go to the bond hearing, and I wasn’t – wasn’t talking to people…

John: So you weren’t processing with anybody else?

Polly: …to the things that I was processing. You know how you go through the grief process?

John: Sure.

Polly: It’s denial and all those things. But I knew I had to get up and go the way God was directing me.

Jim: Yeah.

Polly: So…

Jim: In that context, again, I’m thinking of people listening that may not have gone through something as horrific as what the two of you and the others went through, but maybe there’s some other form of unforgiveness, whatever it might be. They’ve never really processed it, as you’re saying.

Polly: Right.

Jim: Yet, I would think this kind of an event is right there in your face. You gotta do something with it because of all the emotion that you’re feeling. But the unforgiveness between a spouse, the unforgiveness of unfaithfulness, whatever it might be, what word do you have for them going through this? I mean, what would you say?

Polly: You forgive and there’s so much peace.

Jim: Huh.

Polly: Once – once you forgive each other, it’s peace. It’s a pardon. Un – unforgiveness is like drinking poison and waiting for somebody else to die.

Jim: Right.

Polly: So…

Anthony: So true.

Polly: And you’re only harming yourself. When you forgive, actually it’s a good healing for you.

Jim: Yeah. We have a clip from the movie that I want to play and then get your response. Um, again, it speaks for itself.

(Start MOVIE CLIP)

Anthony: You know, I forgive you and my family forgives you. But we would like you to take this opportunity to repent. Repent, confess, give your life to the one who matters the most: Christ.

(End MOVIE CLIP)

Jim: Anthony, that was you speaking at the bond hearing. Uh, the judge did something very unexpected, and that was to ask for the families to address uh, Dylann Roof. Which doesn’t typically happen. That usually happens in the sentencing phase. Did he ever – the judge – did he ever explain why he did that? And in that moment, what was your mindset and then those words you spoke?

Anthony: Well the judge never mentioned that to us. It was just done instantly.

Jim: So you didn’t expect it?

Anthony: Didn’t expect it to happen.

Jim: He didn’t prep anybody?

Anthony: No.

Jim: He just was moved to do it?

Anthony: Mmhmm.

Jim: And in fact, if I remember correctly, you just had your head down. You didn’t really – it sounded like, and I want you to say this, but it sounded like you didn’t want to participate. You were still angry, obviously. But in that context, you felt the Lord speak to you, and what did He say?

Anthony: Yes. Well, He said, “Get up.”

Jim: Wow.

Anthony: “I have something to say.” And I recognized that voice. You know, if you have a relationship with the Lord, you know when He’s talking to you. And so I got up, and I said, “Now Lord, You have something to say, You need to say it. ‘Cause I don’t have anything to say.” You know, first of all, I didn’t want to be at the bond hearing. It was not – not my desire (unintelligible) to be there. However, I just – just opened my mouth and said, “I forgive you. My family forgives you. But you need to repent. We want you to take this opportunity to repent. Confess, repent, give your life to the One who matters the most: Christ. And if you do that, everything else will be okay.”

Jim: Wow. I mean, that is true for every human being that walks the face of this earth, right?

Anthony: Yes. That is.

Jim: And that’s – that’s the Christian message.

Anthony: It is.

Jim: Repent. Turn from our wicked ways. Um, but so dramatic.

John: Anthony, how were your words received by both um, the perpetrator and the people around you?

Anthony: Well, the perpetrator – he only glanced, you know the – ‘cause they had his head down the entire time. And God was telling me somehow to get his attention. And I’m like, “How do you do that?”

Jim: Yeah.

Anthony: And – but when I said “Christ,” he did lift his head up. And for about a few seconds, we glanced each other. So I know he heard it.

John: Mmm.

Anthony: Uh, other people felt like it was too soon. Um, felt like it was uh, the, uh, slave mentality. You know, forgiving somebody so no harm will come to you.

John: Mmhmm.

Anthony: And uh, some really ridiculous things. Yeah.

Jim: What – let’s unpack that a little bit…

Anthony: Yeah.

Jim: …’cause in that context, um, I – I thought about that a lot in preparation for this. Because that was a message that your concern – I think, Polly, you would agree with this – that people would feel like easy forgiveness isn’t dealing with the issue. That you have to go hard, and then if God puts that in your heart to forgive over time, that’s more uh, reasonable. But again, um, people are missing the point, aren’t they? That we don’t have to harbor hatred in our hearts as a uh, a part of justification, right?

Anthony: Right.

Jim: God can, instantly or over a short period of time, give you that forgiveness for somebody.

Polly: Oh yeah.

Jim: And it’s not cheap grace.

Anthony: And that’s what a lot of people don’t understand. They believe that forgiving the person is letting the person off the hook, when actually, you’re letting yourself off the hook. Because you’re receiving that peace…

Jim: Yeah.

Anthony: …that you need from the burden of bearing anger and hate and rage, which is sin. And uh, Christ died on the cross to release us from that burden – that burden of sin, which is anger, hate, racism, discrimination, all those things which we harbor sometimes, and it leads us to acts of violence. You know, it makes our lives more miserable. And a lot of that is going on today in the world…

Jim: Yeah.

Anthony: …a lot of shoot – a lot of violence, a lot of shooting, ‘cause somebody’s mad…

Jim: Yeah.

Anthony: …at somebody who offended them.

Jim: Yeah.

Anthony: And when all you need to do is seek God, ask Him to forgive you, help you to forgive the person who offended you, and the peace you’re trying to seek with other means, you’ll receive that peace immediately.

Jim: And it’s so true, and I think, you know, that’s one of the core things I want people to hear today is it’s possible to forgive in Christ.

John: Yes.

Polly: Yes.

Jim: Polly, I know we mentioned this, but I want to play the clip that you described from the movie, where the shooter confronted you. I know we described that, but I – I want to hear it from the movie’s perspective. So let’s listen.

(Start MOVIE CLIP)

Polly: When he spoke to me, I was on the floor, looking up at him from under the table. His eyes were very dark – like dark pools. Um, but he just stopped and he told me – he said um, “Did I shoot you yet?” And I said, “No.” And he said, “I’m not going to. I’m gonna leave you here to tell the story.”

(End MOVIE CLIP)

Jim: I just – it’s so moving, again, um, that here you are in a dialogue with the Lord in the – probably the most horrific scene you’re ever gonna have in your life. And I – that just moves me. I’ve always thought if I were in an airplane that was going down, if I were in a catastrophic event, how would I behave? If I were asked to give my life for the Lord, how would I behave? And you know the answer to that question – it gives me tears thinking about it – because you, unlike me, you have faced it.

Polly: Yeah.

Jim: I haven’t had that gun to my head.

Polly: Yeah.

Jim: You have. That gives you credibility.

Polly: Yeah.

Jim: And I just so admire the fact that you said, “Jesus, that’s the answer.” And to be able to pray for him, to encourage him, I would only hope I had half that ability. And I – man, I don’t know what to say other than I love to see Jesus in you. Huh.

Polly: It’s heavy.

Jim: But it’s real.

Polly: Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.

Jim: How do you…

Polly: I think the Bible’s talking to Dylann too.

Jim: The – how? How?

Polly: That’s why he left me. Right? When he got to me, he just couldn’t do it. See, what you don’t know is he told the agents he couldn’t shoot me because I was lookin’ at him.

Jim: Wow.

Polly: So what did he see when he was looking at me?

Jim: Wow.

Polly: That’s the thing.

Jim: Boy that’s something. That is something. Anthony, as a pastor, um, where is uh, Charleston today? Is there hope? We started there, but now that we know the full story, is there hope in Charleston? And not just Charleston, is there hope in this country that we can actually move in a better direction, that we can put these things behind us so everyone is feeling like that’s over? Can we ever get there and what does that place look like?

Anthony: Yes, there is hope in Charleston, and uh, it’s very evident right now. People are just coming together in a city where we never talked about racism and now the focus is on racial reconciliation. We have forums on racism. We’ve had several. We’re reaching across our cultural barriers and denominational barriers. We have three predominately white churches in Charleston. With my church, it was predominately black. We come together, exchange pulpits. We – our congregations exchange Bible studies, and we talk about, you know, how can we help each other? How can we get to know each other? And we’ve come to the conclusion that we have to start at – at home.Starting in our own neighborhood.

Jim: Yeah.

Anthony: You know, knock to your neighbor’s door and introduce yourself, find out who they are, don’t look at the color.

Jim: Yeah.

Anthony: Don’t think about the culture or the denomination. Just say, “I’m Anthony, and glad to meet you, Bill.”

Jim: (Laughter).

Anthony: “How many children you have?” So that’s what we’re doing.

Closing:

Jim: Yeah. That’s a beautiful start to move in that direction. Let me – let me say something that might be a bit provocative, but when you look at the culture today, it catches my attention. The Christian experience has been one of persecution for two thousand years. You know, we’ve had this carve out, you might say, where we have religious freedom and some other things, but that’s not been the typical story of the Christian church. And in fact, even now when you look around the world, Christian persecution is kind of – certainly on the rise and is the most persecuted religion in the world today.

Here’s a – an interesting thought, and I’d love your response to it: as a white man in America – and I think of the black church and what you have experienced – isn’t – isn’t it interesting that we all will learn, I think, so much about how to behave when people mistreat us, from you, as we move forward in a culture that no longer really likes us? No longer really, uh, sees it the way we see it. Maybe we need to turn to the black church and say, “How do we operate when people, um, show ill will toward us?” Isn’t that interesting?

Anthony: It is interesting.

Jim: I mean, I think you’re in the moment of teacher, and we need to be in the moment of student. How do we survive? How do we thrive? And man, you have given us a great example today. So thank you for the start of that dialogue.

Anthony: You’re welcome.

Jim: Thank you, Polly.

Polly: Thank you. Thank you for having us.

Anthony: Yes, yes. Thank you for spreading that gospel of forgiveness.

Polly: Yeah.

Jim: Amen. Well thank you for living it. And let me, again, encourage people to see the movie this coming Monday and Wednesday, Emanuel. It is a must-see for every believer, and I’m telling you what, unbeliever too. This will show you the true heart of God.

John: Mmm. We’ll have details about how you can get tickets for the movie, Emanuel, and how you can get a copy of Anthony’s excellent book, Called to Forgive, stop by focusonthefamily.com/broadcast or call 800, the letter A, and the word FAMILY – 800-232-6459.

And when you get in touch, please consider a generous donation to the ministry of Focus on the Family so we can continue to um, produce programs like this and reach out and help families wherever they are around the world.

Well, on behalf of Jim Daly and the entire team, thanks for joining us today for Focus on the Family. I’m John Fuller inviting you back as we once again, help you and your family thrive in Christ.

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Called to Forgive

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Offering encouragement found in her book Unseen: The Gift of Being Hidden in a World That Loves to be Noticed, Sara Hagerty describes how we can experience God in ordinary, everyday moments, and how we can find our identity in Him apart from what we do.

Loving Your Spouse Through the Seasons of Marriage - Part 1

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

Author Debra Fileta in the Focus on the Family broadcast studio

Debra Fileta

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

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

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

How a Former Abortion Doctor Became Pro-Life

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

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

Mrs. Patti Giebink

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

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

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

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

Navigating a Toxic Culture with Your Daughter - Part 2

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

Mrs. Meg Meeker

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

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

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

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

Cherishing Your Spouse Every Day

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

Mr. Gary Thomas

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

cherish front cover

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

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

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Newest Release - Episode 2: Heroes Providing Hope

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

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

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

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Newest Release - Episode 4: Sometimes the Choice is Hard

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

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

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

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Newest Release - Episode 3: The Power of a Picture

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

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

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

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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!

Play Video

Newest Release - Episode 6: Families Helping Families!

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

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

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

Praying Scripture Over Your Child’s Life - Part 2

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

Headshot of Focus on the Family broadcast guest Jodie Berndt

Jodie Berndt

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

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

Praying the Scriptures Over Your Children

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

Effective Habits to Embrace in Parenting

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

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

Dr. Randy Schroeder

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

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

Simple Habits for Effective Parenting

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

The Spiritual Battle for Your Marriage

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

Tim and Noreen Muehlhoff Cropped

Dr. Tim and Mrs. Noreen Muehlhoff

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

Defending Your Marriage

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

Reigniting Your Passion for Jesus - Part 1

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

Headshot photo of author Kim Meeder

Kim Meeder

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

Revival Rising

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

Reigniting Your Passion for Jesus - Part 2

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

Headshot photo of author Kim Meeder

Kim Meeder

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

Revival Rising

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

Mothers and Sons: Being a Godly Influence - Part 2

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

Headshot of Rhonda Stoppe

Rhonda Stoppe

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

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

Moms Raising Sons to Be Men

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

Identifying Triggers in Your Marriage - Part 2

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

Headshot of Guy and Amber Lia

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Author Debra Fileta in the Focus on the Family broadcast studio

Mrs. Debra Fileta

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

Are You Really Okay?

Are You Really OK: Getting Real About Who You Are

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

Embracing Your Role as a Spouse

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

Headshot of Kevin Thompson

Pastor Kevin Thompson

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

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

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

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

Sharing Your Faith with Grace and Purpose

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

Mr. Greg Koukl

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

Tactics front cover

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

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

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

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

Dr. Kevin Leman

Dr. Kevin Leman

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

Bundle of Why Your Kids Misbehave

Why Your Kids Misbehave and What to Do about It

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

Giving up Sugar, Tasting God's Goodness

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

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

Mrs. Wendy Speake

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dr. Kevin Leman

Dr. Kevin Leman

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

Bundle of Why Your Kids Misbehave

Why Your Kids Misbehave and What to Do about It

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

Loving Your Spouse Through the Seasons of Marriage - Part 2

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

Author Debra Fileta in the Focus on the Family broadcast studio

Debra Fileta

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

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

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

Reconciling Faith and Science in a Medical Crisis

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

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

Dr. Lee Warren

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

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

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

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

Praying Scripture Over Your Child’s Life - Part 1

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

Headshot of Focus on the Family broadcast guest Jodie Berndt

Jodie Berndt

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

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

Praying the Scriptures Over Your Children

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

Mothers and Sons: Being a Godly Influence - Part 1

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

Headshot of Rhonda Stoppe

Rhonda Stoppe

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

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

Moms Raising Sons to Be Men

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

Identifying Triggers in Your Marriage Part 1

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

Headshot of Guy and Amber Lia

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Author Debra Fileta in the Focus on the Family broadcast studio

Mrs. Debra Fileta

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

Are You Really Okay?

Are You Really OK: Getting Real About Who You Are

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

Navigating a Toxic Culture with Your Daughter - Part 1

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

Mrs. Meg Meeker

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

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

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

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

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Newest Release - Episode 1: The Truth About Life!

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

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

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