Custom CSS of Section contains Conditional Preview for See Life Campaign Elements

Focus on the Family Broadcast

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on email
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on email

How Mental Illness Impacts Families (Part 2)

How Mental Illness Impacts Families (Part 2)

Our guests take a compassionate and knowledgeable approach to the topic of mental illness, discussing its medical, psychological and spiritual aspects as well as the challenges it poses for families. (Part 2 of 2)

Opening:

Teaser:

Greg Russ: There was just an incredible amount of brokenness and pain and you know, lack of sleep, just horribly lethargic. You know, I couldn’t concentrate and there I was, a 36-year-old man and I went over to my mom and dad’s apartment and I laid my head in their lap and I wept for two hours.

End of Teaser

John: Well, a painful memory for Greg Russ, describing life with a bipolar disorder. And you’ll hear more of his story coming up. Now last time on “Focus on the Family” with Jim Daly, we heard about the suffering that takes place when mental illness is in an individual, in a family. And we’ll be looking again at this subject and have some answers for you about this very serious issue. I’m John Fuller and Jim, there’s such a broad range of mental disorders and we’re not gonna be able to cover everything, but our panel of experts really touched on some important issues last time.

Jim: Well, and that’s important, the panel of experts, because John, you and I, we’re here to represent the questions that our listeners have. And we want to delve into the subject, because one, it’s very understated in the Christian community. It’s almost like we look the other way. And it’s important. [At] Focus on the Family, we want your marriages to thrive; we want you to uh … have a household where your children are doing well. And by touching these topics, I hope we can give you the tools that you need to address the issues that you’re encountering.

Last time we left off with the family being that safe place. But there are families that create the very depression and anxiety that we’re talking about.

John: Hm.

Body:

Jim: Describe that for us. What is happening in that family where that dysfunction is occurring?

Jared: The tragic thing in America is, that it’s often our deepest hurts and our greatest sorrows that occur within the context of the family. And that’s, I think, the opposite of the way God intended it, the way He designed the family to function, its structure, its purpose, its mission. And so, we see hurts of neglect and abuse that do traumatize children and adults, many times very deeply.

John: Well, that’s the voice of Dr. Jared Pingleton. He’s the director of Focus on the Family’s counseling department. He’s one of our panel of experts that we alluded to here, 36 years of clinical experience, I guess you started when you were like 10, Jared. (Laughter) And …

Jared: I was born at an early age. (Laughter)

Jim: Born at an early age.

John: Also served (Laughter) as a pastor. And then two members of our Physicians Resource Council and Jim, this is a group of professionals who help us. They celebrated 25 years now, coming alongside Focus on the Family and giving us guidance and insight when we come on the broadcast and talk about issues like this.

Dr. Ricardo Whyte is a psychiatrist and is director of chemical dependency services at Loma Linda Behavioral Medicine Center at Loma Linda University. And Dr. Don Graber is also on our PRC, as we call it and just recently retired after 35 years as a psychiatrist. And they brought great heart, energy, story and um … understanding of the Scriptures to the discussion yesterday, Jim.

Jim: They did, and we are so blessed to have all these men with us. What can families do a better job at to make sure that their relationships within the immediate family are as strong as they can be?

Jared: I think for our families to be strong and healthy, Jim, they need to be able to feel safe emotionally. When families feel safe, there’s an absence of shame and fear and guilt and hostility, criticism and judgment. And so, when we’re able to feel safe, we’re able to naturally open our hearts to one another. So, for me, there’s a basic difference between what I call healthy families and unhealthy families and it’s simply this. Healthy families are able to talk out their feelings, whereas unhealthy families tend to act out their feelings. And to me, a healthy family is one like we heard at the top of the show.

Jim: Let’s listen to the rest of Greg’s story that we started with. This is a person who’s suffering with bipolar disease. Let’s listen to the rest of the story and have you comment on it.

Clip:

Greg Russ: I went through a three-month period of sleep deprivation and the darkness had come in and moved in and had me in its grip. At the time, I did not believe in medicine. I did not believe in doctors. I thought it was a lack of faith on my part. And you know, the horrible condemnation and even the suicidal ideology, I just felt like that was part of my faith failing.

It took nine months to go all the way through that with no medication, no help, obviously not telling anybody what I was doin’, other than they just knew that somethin’ terribly was wrong. So, I guess we’ve all heard about functioning alcoholics. I guess I’m a functioning clinical[ly] depressed person (Chuckling) when I was in that state.

For the next nine years I would carry what Dr. Hart would call a low-grade depression. There was just an incredible amount of brokenness and pain and maybe a good word for it would be a lot of “residue.” So, you know, lack of sleep, just horribly lethargic. You know, I couldn’t concentrate.

I knew that for three or four months, I was gonna have this horrible suicidal ideology. I knew that I was gonna have to preach every week. And there I was a 36-year-old man and I went over to my mom and dad’s apartment after I left the psychiatrist’ office and I laid my head in their lap and I wept for two hours.

You know, so many people, they die on what I call “emotional battlefield.” And you know, we’re not gonna stop everybody from dyin’ on the emotional battlefield, but I tell you what. We could prevent a lot of casualties if we’d just be more aware of it.

End of Clip

Jim: Wow, I mean, here is a man who’s pastoring and working and came to the end of his rope. What are your initial observations of his story?

Ricardo:  I’m gripped by sadness, because that didn’t have to be. I think a lot of times parishioners don’t recognize that God also guides innovation. I consider Loma Linda University and I consider the role that God’s hand has played in helping that university make some wonderful breakthroughs. But when you’re talkin’ about the condition of bipolar disorder, and particularly acute mania, where you’re up and the patients describe it as almost being painfully euphoric. But the point is, he didn’t have to suffer for that long and he really put his life at risk, because some manic episodes end in suicide.

Don: That’s an important issue. Suicide is an awfully permanent solution to a temporary problem.

Jim: Hm.

John: But there’s–

Don: Well …

John: –such a stigma associated with what he was feeling that he didn’t know where to turn and then …

Don: Well, he said he was afraid of medicine and doctors and that’s true and patients are. I suffered from a bout of depression, I was reluctant to go get professional help and fortunately, got well in some other ways.

Jim: Why was that though? Why would you as a medical doctor, knowing the signs, why would you be afraid to seek help? That’s the crux of the issue.

Don: I was concerned about my professional career. I was concerned about what my colleagues would think. I wasn’t sure I could find a Christian psychiatrist that I was comfortable with andI just wasn’t anxious to do that.  I’m ashamed to say that, being a psychiatrist, because that’s exactly what we’re fighting, is that stigma.

And I knew it could be a biological thing. It could very well have been a medical condition and I might very well have needed a medication.

Jim: You know, one thing we need to talk about is the impact of mental illness on family members and in particular, we haven’t touched on schizophrenia and this next person’s story, I think illuminates for us the impact on family members. Amy Simpson has a painful and personal story that I think will help all of us better understand that secondary suffering that we’re alluding to, that can occur when someone in the family is diagnosed with a mental disorder.

Clip:

Amy Simpson: My mom, who has a serious mental illness, when I was growing up as a child, she showed some symptoms of her mental illness. She actually started showing symptoms at a very typical age for an illness like hers, which is schizophrenia.

She went through this cycle that’s very typical for people with schizophrenia and has continued to go through this cycle now through my adult life of having a serious breakdown, being hospitalized, getting medicated to some degree and then eventually, over time that medication building up and working better and better, helping her to function pretty well for a time.

And then eventually, she would decline again. And often her decline was caused by her either stopping her medication or taking less of it than she needed. Her illness has at times become so severe and so consuming of her life that she’s made some terrible choices and put herself and other people in danger.

She’s spent time living in homeless shelters, disappeared from home, lived in various places. So, I mean, all of that has been very difficult to deal with as an adult, as well.

I’ve been sort of walking through a healing process, as well. It hasn’t always looked like healing. You know, it hasn’t always felt like healing. Sometimes it’s felt like just diving deeper into pain and wondering if I was ever gonna find my way out. But I did actually find my way out.

End of Clip

Jim: I mean, the heavy heartedness of hearing this woman’s story. Speak to the Amy’s, those children, perhaps even teenagers and young adults that are dealing with parents who have struggled with mental illness. What can they do? And how do they cope?

Ricardo: I like to encourage patients like Amy that He came to set the captives free, so that in situations where it seems hopeless, it’s important to remember that we serve a God Who delivers.

John: Hm.

Ricardo: The other issue being, He didn’t come for the righteous. In a sense, He didn’t come for those that are well; He came for the sick. So, as a mental health practitioner, what I want to do is, I want to partner with you through a difficult time. Amy’s story highlights, this is not a walk in the park. This is not for the faint of heart. This is not for those who can only tolerate success. There will be some successes. There will be failures, but we’re constantly walking through this journey together. That’s what’s humbling about working in mental health care.

Jared: Our heart just goes out in compassion to the brokenness of this child’s experience. There are so many children who are secondarily traumatized by severe mental illness—the instability, the uncertainty, the unpredictability, the insecurity that those people grow up with is devastating. And what they need is a sense of a secure, stable, predictable, reliable environment. And that’s again, why I think the church has an opportunity to be a healing corrective community, of faith, of love and support.

Jim: Let me turn quite dramatically here. In the news, we’re hearing a lot about the school shootings and violence in the culture. And oftentimes now that’s attached in that news report with the breakdown of mental health care delivery and what has gone wrong and the fact that people that struggle with severe mental illness aren’t getting the help that they need. Is that fair? And what is happening in the culture where there seems to be so much more cruelty and victimization going on?

Jared: Well, that’s a huge point. I think we need to have compassion in the church to those who are hurting. One issue that I think is an enormous feature there is, there’s a lot of cost involved for appropriate healthcare.  And we have a huge segment of our homeless population that cannot afford or do not have access to adequate healthcare. So, I think the financial limitations are an enormous fact in that, the whole problem–

Don: Particularly in-patient psychiatric …

Jared: –because …

Don: Nobody wants to pay for that. It’s–

Jared: It’s extremely expensive.

Don: –terribly costly. It’s not hard to diagnose those psychiatrically ill patients who are likely to commit that kind of an atrocity, because they’re very ill. They’re probably not taking medication and that’s–

Jared: But their care is not–

Don: –why those things happen.

Jared: –prioritized. “

Ricardo: We have marginalized mental health. We have said it’s a luxury to actually address it. And what we’re seeing is the fallout from that, in that it’s something that could be addressed very easily, but it’s gotta be prioritized.

Jim: So, in your professional opinion, I want to make sure I’m understanding you, if we were more aggressive as a culture addressing mental illness and more willing to pay for that in some way, either through insurance companies or healthcare, whatever it might be, you feel that there would be a um … measurable decrease in the violence that we’re seeing.

Don: Yes, there aren’t very many schizophrenic patients that are violent. It’s the small minority. Most schizophrenic patients and most psychiatrically ill patients are not–

Jim: Give me a–

Don: –dangerous–

Jim: –percentage.

Don: –to other people Maybe five percent schizophrenic patients are dangerous.

Jim: Uh.

Don: And it’s a real dilemma. It’s harder now, I think, to get these patients into a hospital. For one thing there’s about a tenth of the number of state psychiatric hospital beds as there were at their peak many years ago.

John: Uh-hm.

Don: We just don’t have the psychiatric beds to take care of these people.

Jim: So, again, as professionals, you would say you feel … and I’ll use the metaphor of a mechanic, you feel like you have fewer tools in your hands to actually treat the problem.

Ricardo: As a community, we have to prioritize mental healthcare. We have to take this message to our governmental representatives and we have to stop seeing it as a luxury item and actually treat it like the priority that it is. Because even though that percentage of violence is small, the impact is potent.

John: Well, we’re hearing so many different good insights and perspectives on a very difficult subject, much bigger than we could possibly cover in –depth here on this “Focus on the Family” broadcast. Let me just suggest you stop by our website for some details, some follow-up materials, some things that might help you better understand a little bit of what we’re talking about here today.

Dr. Graber, there is a fear I think that some have that you’re just gonna prescribe a pill and I’m gonna have to spend the rest of my life medicated. And I don’t want to do that. So, would one of you just address that one head on, because that’s a pretty common stumbling block for someone to seek out appropriate help.

Jim: Well, and there’s two ends of that. One, should I take a pill as a Christian?

John: Hm.

Jim: And then on the other end, should I stop taking the pill?

Don: Well, and the answer to that, would you take insulin for diabetes? Would you take a heart medication if you had a heart condition? We’re talking about a condition, either a disease or a dysfunction of the brain. In some ways, it’s an artificial distinction to call the medical versus mental.

John: Uh-hm.

Jim: But that …

Don: Mental just means it’s the brain. That’s an organ in the body.

Ricardo: The bottom is, you don’t want to take a pill. And there are people who, even for their diabetes, they don’t want to take their pill. And so, the problem unfortunately is, is not only do they not want to take the pill; they don’t want to do the behavioral interventions that at times, they would experience a lot of gains. So, the pill …

Jim: It’s easier.

Ricardo: So, I’m like, look; if you want to do the behavioral interventions, ’cause I have some that’ll be helpful and do you want to respond, then so be it. But what you find is, a lot of times, what we can do is, we can use the medications to move you along to the point where you can now learn some of the behavioral interventions that may reduce the reliance on the medications.

John: Uh-hm.

Don: And …

Ricardo: But a lot of times people don’t tend to display the kind of discipline required for them to just rely on the behavioral intervention in order to cope with the psychiatric disorders.

Don: And the answer to are they going to be on medication the rest of their lives is something like this. If you have a first bout of depression and you respond to an antidepressant, you should probably get off of it in six months or so. I make a trial. You actually discontinue the medication and see if you’re okay off of it. You might do fine.

There’s about a 50 percent chance though that you’ll have another bout of depression. And you may have to go back on medication, and if you respond again to medication, now four to six months you have another decision to make. Am I gonna stay on it? Because it’s much less likely to occur on medication than off. Or are you again gonna go off medication?

And if you have a third bout of depression, the statistics get something like 80 percent or more that you’re gonna have another bout of depression. So, medicine and psychiatry, there’s a lot of trial and error, but you pay close attention to your patients. You try to understand what their wishes are and what their hopes and fears are and you work together collaboratively to try to work it out and do what you have to do to keep them feeling good and functioning.

Ricardo: Just to dovetail off of that, I’ll get patients who come in and they say, “Hey, I want to get off all my meds.” And what I’ll say is, “Hey, how about we establish some goals, okay? And let’s remove the medications that are incongruent with those goals and let’s keep the medications that are helping you with that goal. And let’s be goal-oriented in our decisions with regard to what medications we keep and not keep.

Jared: Medication is very important, but another piece we’re not addressing well today is, the research shows that equally effective in treating major mental illness is psychotherapy. And that’s where–

Jim: And a lot of people–

Jared: –counseling …

Jim: –ugh!

Jared: Yeah.

Jim: What does that mean?

Jared: Right.

Jim: ‘Cause there’s a variety.

Jared: There is and you know, the things that to me is important and very comforting is, that all truth is God’s truth. We don’t need to fear science, because–

Ricardo: All science–

Jared: –it–

Ricardo: –is God’s science.

Jared: –is. The truth of God is made clear in what He has created–

Don: All goodness …

Jared: –including our understanding of scientific truth, including the reality of biblically based counseling. We know that those principles work and what the research shows is most effective is a combination of proper medical care and psychotropic medication when necessary and good Christian counseling.

Jim: So, there’s medical help. There’s psychological help and of course, Christian counseling can be very important for mental stability, emotional stability. But there’s a question I want to ask and that is, what is the church’s role in all of this suffering? How do we help our fellow brothers and sisters through those difficulties, so that they can get through them? What’s happening in that area?

Jared: I think the problem there is the church is simply not doing its job, Jim.

Jim: How would it do–

Jared: It’s to be a community.

Jim: –it better?

Jared: Well, we’re to reach out to the broken hearted. We’re to alleviate the suffering. We are to support the wounded. We’re to–

Don: Have programs in the church for–

Jim: Yes.

Don: –those that have mental illness in their families, just like you would those that might have cancer in their family.

Jared: I’d love to hear sermons that bash the shame and stigma of mental illness.

Don: And to become more transparent about its presence–

Jared: Yes.

Don: — in our families and in our lives. Why do we cover it up?

Ricardo: One of the most helpful things about the recovery, the addiction recovery community is, one of the critical things we see necessary is being transparency [sic].

Ricardo: Of course, you have to careful and you have to be in a safe context, but transparency is so critical and us dropping the façade. I think it was so courageous what you did, Dr. Graber in acknowledging, hey these-

Jim: Yes.

Ricardo: –this was how I went through this. But too often we’re not seeing that kind of transparency.

Jim: Uh-hm.

Ricardo: And so, we all maintain the façade, like everything is okay with me. Everything’s not okay–

Jim: Well, that’s true.

Ricardo: — all the time.

Jim: And it’s one of the greatest weakness, because I think people that are wounded and hurting have a hard time attaching to something they see as perfect. And as we as Christians, try to project that everything’s perfect, our families are doing great–

Don: It would be so much healthier if we could share our brokenness.

Jim: –people would attach to it far better.

Don: They do.

Jim: I …

Jared: Because the church is not supposed to be a museum for saints. It’s supposed to be a hospital for sinners, but we need to make it safe.

Jim: Hm.

Jim: Let’s end with hope. I think that’s a good place to go. We have a montage of expression of hope from people that have suffered from mental illness. Let’s take a listen to that.

Clip:

Amy Simpson: I’m not qualified to perform heart surgery or cure diabetes or give someone medical advice in a situation where they’re facing an illness, but that doesn’t stop me from offering them my friendship and care.  Same thing is true with psychiatric disorders, with mental illness. Just because we’re not qualified to help treat that person, just because we don’t know exactly what they need, doesn’t mean that we can’t help

We certainly can help by extending friendship, by being present, by refusing to alienate people just because suddenly they … they show symptoms of a mental illness or they’ve been diagnosed with something.  And when we do that, when we decide that we’re still going to be friends with someone, we send the message that maybe God hasn’t walked away from that person either, that there’s hope.

So, the good news about the current state of the church’s response to mental illness, every little thing we do can make a big difference and can actually save somebody’s life, can actually keep somebody in the church, can actually offer a hope in our ultimate redemption in Christ that keeps somebody hanging on when they otherwise might let go.

Brad: My experience is this; my life’s never been better, and I think there’s people that would be surprised that I say that. Even when I looked so good and so successful by outward appearance, it can’t touch how happy I am today. It absolutely … I am so glad what happened, happened. As much as I hate it, and I don’t like my story, I don’t like telling it, God intervened and He saved my life.

Now He didn’t make happen what happened. He allowed it. Here’s the thing that I really believe, is that the church of all places has the real answer for people with mental health problems. The first thing you lose is your confidence. The second thing you lose is your hope. But if, in spite of how you feel and how depressed you might be, the only thing that I could hang onto at that point was, that I knew not with my mind, but with my faith, that God was still God. And I just had to override a lot of the pain sometimes and just keep going in spite of the fact that I wanted to hang it up. And I’m exhilarated when I can say it to them, that this is the sickest you have to be today, ever. From here, there’s hope.

LaDonna Gatlin: The one thing that I can say unequivocally is, there is hope; there is help; there is healing after depression, even suicide attempt, because I am living proof of that. And here’s the one thing that I would say to anyone who is dealing with depression, and I would look them in the eye and say, you are not always going to feel this way. You think you are, but you are not. I guarantee you that. There’s a way out of this. There’s medication. There’s therapy. There are things in place that can help you get through this. I’m living proof of it.

End of Clips

Jim: Now those were both the patients and family members who are giving us hope to lift those that are in a bad spot, to get them to a better place. Let me ask you doctors, what would you add to that?

Jared: The Apostle John gives us incredible hope when he reminds us of the reality of living. We’re not promised a comfortable problem-free life. He says, rather, in this life you will have many troubles, but be encouraged, Jesus says. I have overcome the world. And to me, that’s the ultimate message of hope. We have a Redeemer Who delights in transforming blessing out of our brokenness.

Jim: And quite frankly, that’s why I can walk around every day with a smile on my face. Dr. Don Graber, Dr. Whyte, Dr. Pingleton, thank you so much for being with us these last couple of days and expressing the thoughts that you’ve had on mental illness. Thank you.

Panel: Thank you for having us. Thank you.

Closing:

Jim: And John, the hope we have to offer is Jesus and as we’ve heard today, Focus on the Family’s built on that foundation of sharing Christ. One of the ways we get to do that is through our counseling team, which is um … speaking and praying with literally tens of thousands each year who are in a time of crisis, including those suffering with the mood and psychological difficulties that we’ve talked about these last couple of days. I would invite you to reach out to these families in need and give them a helping hand, by donating to Focus on the Family. There is no gift that’s too small, 20 or $30, $50 a month can do so much to assist us in helping them. And I hope you will do that today.

John: Well, so many are touched through this ministry, through the radio and all the different efforts that are going on here. Our counseling team and I’ll join in, in inviting you to participate in that way. Well, the subject of mental illness is so immense and so complex and nuances, we couldn’t possibly say everything that needs to be said in just two days of programs. But we’ve tried to give you a better understanding of the many challenges associated with mood and anxiety disorders that trouble so many families. And we want to offer hope to you and really the call on the church to have compassion for those who are suffering.

I certainly will say that the help we offer through our counseling staff is just tremendously beneficial to so many. And we have links for you to find out more about counselors in your area. We have articles and resources there. In fact, each of the personal stories we heard from LaDonna Gatlin, Greg Russ, Amy Simpson and Brad Hoefs, has a book associated with it and our thanks, of course, to each of them for their help with this broadcast.

You’ll find all of that at www.focusonthefamily.com/radio or call us and we can tell you more. Our number, 800-A-FAMILY; 800, the letter A and the word FAMILY.

Our program was provided by Focus on the Family and made possible by generous listeners like you. On behalf of Jim Daly, thanks for listening. I’m John Fuller, inviting you back on Monday. We’ll hear about charting a new course for your marriage and family, as we once again, offer trusted advice to help you and your family thrive.

Today's Guests

Focus on the Family Logo

Help to Strengthen Families

Please give to support family ministry. Your gift will go to work immediately — transforming lives through the power of the Gospel.

Recent Episodes

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

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

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

Promotional image for Focus on the Family broadcast "Reigniting Your Passion for Jesus"

Reigniting Your Passion for Jesus (Part 2 of 2)

For those of faith whose passion has waned over time, Kim Meeder will reinspire you in your relationship with Jesus Christ as she tells powerful, true stories about God that will spark renewed joy in your heart and encourage you to share the Gospel with others. (Part 2 of 2)

Promotional image for Focus on the Family broadcast "Reigniting Your Passion for Jesus"

Reigniting Your Passion for Jesus (Part 1 of 2)

For those of faith whose passion has waned over time, Kim Meeder will reinspire you in your relationship with Jesus Christ as she tells powerful, true stories about God that will spark renewed joy in your heart and encourage you to share the Gospel with others. (Part 1 of 2)

You May Also Like

Focus on the Family Broadcast logo

Abortion Survivors Tell Their Stories (Part 1 of 2)

Our guests share their dramatic stories of surviving the attempts to end their lives while in their mother’s womb, providing a stark and undeniable counter argument to pro-abortionists who argue that a fetus is not a living human being. (Part 1 of 2)

Focus on the Family Broadcast logo

Abortion Survivors Tell Their Stories (Part 2 of 2)

Our guests share their dramatic stories of surviving the attempts to end their lives while in their mother’s womb, providing a stark and undeniable counter argument to pro-abortionists who argue that a fetus is not a living human being. (Part 2 of 2)

Focus on the Family Broadcast logo

Changing the World Through Adoption

In a discussion based on his book Chosen for Greatness, Focus on the Family’s Paul Batura describes how adopting three sons has changed his life for the better, and highlights some of the amazing people in history who were successful not in spite of their adoption, but because of it.

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.

Play Video

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!

Play Video

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!

Play Video

Newest Release - Episode 3: The Power of a Picture

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

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

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

Play Video

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

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

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

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

Play Video

Newest Release - Episode 6: Families Helping Families!

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

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

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

Praying Scripture Over Your Child’s Life - Part 2

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

Headshot of Focus on the Family broadcast guest Jodie Berndt

Jodie Berndt

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

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

Praying the Scriptures Over Your Children

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

Effective Habits to Embrace in Parenting

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

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

Dr. Randy Schroeder

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

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

Simple Habits for Effective Parenting

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

The Spiritual Battle for Your Marriage

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

Tim and Noreen Muehlhoff Cropped

Dr. Tim and Mrs. Noreen Muehlhoff

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

Defending Your Marriage

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

Reigniting Your Passion for Jesus - Part 1

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

Headshot photo of author Kim Meeder

Kim Meeder

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

Revival Rising

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

Reigniting Your Passion for Jesus - Part 2

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

Headshot photo of author Kim Meeder

Kim Meeder

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

Revival Rising

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

Mothers and Sons: Being a Godly Influence - Part 2

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

Headshot of Rhonda Stoppe

Rhonda Stoppe

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

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

Moms Raising Sons to Be Men

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

Identifying Triggers in Your Marriage - Part 2

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

Headshot of Guy and Amber Lia

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Author Debra Fileta in the Focus on the Family broadcast studio

Mrs. Debra Fileta

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

Are You Really Okay?

Are You Really OK: Getting Real About Who You Are

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

Embracing Your Role as a Spouse

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

Headshot of Kevin Thompson

Pastor Kevin Thompson

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

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

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

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

Sharing Your Faith with Grace and Purpose

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

Mr. Greg Koukl

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

Tactics front cover

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

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

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

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

Dr. Kevin Leman

Dr. Kevin Leman

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

Bundle of Why Your Kids Misbehave

Why Your Kids Misbehave and What to Do about It

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

Giving up Sugar, Tasting God's Goodness

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

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

Mrs. Wendy Speake

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dr. Kevin Leman

Dr. Kevin Leman

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

Bundle of Why Your Kids Misbehave

Why Your Kids Misbehave and What to Do about It

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

Loving Your Spouse Through the Seasons of Marriage - Part 2

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

Author Debra Fileta in the Focus on the Family broadcast studio

Debra Fileta

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

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

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

Reconciling Faith and Science in a Medical Crisis

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

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

Dr. Lee Warren

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

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

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

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

Praying Scripture Over Your Child’s Life - Part 1

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

Headshot of Focus on the Family broadcast guest Jodie Berndt

Jodie Berndt

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

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

Praying the Scriptures Over Your Children

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

Mothers and Sons: Being a Godly Influence - Part 1

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

Headshot of Rhonda Stoppe

Rhonda Stoppe

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

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

Moms Raising Sons to Be Men

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

Identifying Triggers in Your Marriage Part 1

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

Headshot of Guy and Amber Lia

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Author Debra Fileta in the Focus on the Family broadcast studio

Mrs. Debra Fileta

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

Are You Really Okay?

Are You Really OK: Getting Real About Who You Are

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

Navigating a Toxic Culture with Your Daughter - Part 1

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

Mrs. Meg Meeker

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

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

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

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

Play Video

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!