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How to Stop the Past From Controlling Your Future (Part 1 of 2)

How to Stop the Past From Controlling Your Future (Part 1 of 2)

In a discussion based on their book Take Your Life Back, Steve Arterburn and Dr. David Stoop describe how past emotional and psychological wounds negatively impact your life and relationships, and how you can experience positive change through the healing and freedom found in Jesus Christ. (Part 1 of 2)

Excerpt:

Steve Arterburn: The second most dangerous thing you could carry in your pocket would be plutonium. But the most dangerous thing is justifiable resentment. And you look back and you say, yeah, look what they did to me and all this. And you’re justified to stay in that bitterness and anger. But you have to work through that, and you have to say, this is killing me. It’s destroying my soul.

End of Excerpt

John Fuller: We’ve all been wounded by some other person or haunted by, perhaps, by sad memories, but God doesn’t want us to be paralyzed in the past, living in fear and regret. This is Focus on the Family and your host is Focus president and author Jim Daly. I’m John Fuller. And I’ll encourage you, stay tuned for some help with your past wounds to find purpose and meaning and vision. That’s what we have for you today.

Jim Daly: John, this is such a big issue, and, uh, we’re gonna talk about it. There are wounded people walking around this planet every day. I mean, all of us, because we live in a sinful world, right? And we’re all sinners, saved by grace. And we’re gonna probably peel some scabs back for you today, but in the hopes of bringing healing and restoration and giving you the tools to reallyTake Your Life Back, which is the title of the book of our guests. And I am looking forward to providing, um, help to you today to think differently about what you’ve done or what you’ve been living with, or what you’re living in, and giving you some practical advice to say, OK, we can take different steps moving forward.

John: Mhm, yeah. And Steve Arterburn is the founder and chairman of New Life Ministries and the radio host ofNew Life Live. He’s a teaching pastor at Northview Churchin Carmel, Indiana, and is also the founder of Women of Faith, and a lot of our audience members…

Jim: Yeah.

John: …Have been to those conferences. Five million folks went to those, mostly women.

Jim: (Laughter).

John: Dr. David Stoop is also with us. He’s a licensed clinical psychologist and is the founder and director of the Center for Family Therapy in Newport Beach, California. He’s often heard on theNew Life Liveradio program, and is an ordained minister as well.

Jim: Welcome to both of you.

Steve: Thank you.

David Stoop: Delighted to be here.

Jim: Pretty impressive. I’m mostly impressed with the fact you live in Newport Beach, David.

(LAUGHTER)

Jim: Actually, it’s called jealousy (laughter).

David: No, I know you. You get out there every now and then, don’t you?

Jim: Oh, man. It’s one of the most pretty places in the – on the planet, I think.

David: Somebody has got to live there, so I volunteered.

Jim: Yeah, you – you put your hand up for that duty, suffering for Jesus out there in Newport Beach.

Steve: Here’s what I think’s impressive is that Dave’s still working with me.

(LAUGHTER)

Steve: I mean, we have…

Jim: And you’re from Carmel.

Steve: Yeah, I mean, we’ve been through quite a bit together over the years. And, you know, a lot of people that are in partnership and writing partnership, uh, they fall out or don’t work together anymore. And Dave and I, we just keep coming back to each other and doing stuff together–

David: Probably 35 years, 36 years–

Steve: –and I love this man so much.

Jim: That says a lot about David, doesn’t it, Steve?

Steve: It does, a lot.

David: It says a lot about Steve, too.

Jim: I’m teasing. (laughter)

Steve: Oh my goodness.

Jim: You guys, it’s just so good. And you both have given your lives, really, to helping people, and that’s why in that setup just talking about helping people today, that’s what we want to do.Take Your Life Backis such a bold statement. At first, I was a little, you know, wow, OK, God. Is that really what we do – takeourlife back? It’s such a Western thing to think about, you know?

Steve: Yeah.

Jim: I’ve got control.

Steve: Right.

Jim: I know that’s not what you mean. What are you driving at, just fundamentally, at this principle that, hey, you can even have an effort to take your life back.

Steve: Hmm.

Jim: What does it mean to get that life back?

Steve: Well, you know, it kind of comes from 1 Corinthians 7:23, where it says, uh, you know, the Lord paid a very high price for you, and not to be enslaved by anything. And so we’re not taking our life back, because we want to be in control or in charge. We want to have it, so we can give it to the Lord. But, in fact, a lot of people are owned by something – maybe it’s out of their past, maybe it’s something they’ve done. And so, we’ve written this book to help you wherever you are to say, hey, I could be better. I could go from this reactive world, this reactive life, to starting to respond to God, rather than letting this thing control me, dominate me and really veer me off of what God called me to do as a person.

Jim: That’s so good. You know, sometimes we, uh, maybe, overdramatize or spiritualize the encounters Jesus had in the New Testament. I mean, the woman at the well, the woman caught in adultery.

Steve: Yeah.

Jim: But in essence, that’s what He was doing.

Steve: Yeah.

Jim: He was empowering them to take their lives back from their past, wasn’t he?

Steve: Oh, He was. And, you know, was, uh, watching this video of the Exxon Valdez cleanup, and there was this bird that was covered in this black, gummy, oily stuff. And I looked at it, I said, you know, that was me. But the blackness wasn’t oil, it was shame. I was totally covered in shame. And – and I’ve, uh, come here to Focus and worked with pregnancy centers and stuff and – because I paid for an abortion. And the shame from that abortion – I thought it was my job to live in that shame and prove to God nobody has ever felt worse about this than me. And then, I realized that’s exactly where Satan wanted me to be. There was nothing good about that. And I remember hearing Chuck Swindoll say, “Hey, your past just ended one second ago. Why would you live in it?” And that began working out of that shame and believing that God had died for me, that I could be free, and I could actually make a contribution in the world.

Jim: Yeah.

Steve: But as long as that shame was there, it was never gonna happen.

Jim: Hmm.

David: Well, there’s another side to that, too, though, because we – we take Rembrandt’s painting of “The Return of the Prodigal,” and we focus on the elder brother, and the elder brother is on the right side of that painting and looking down in judgment and aloofness and disdain at what was going on. Um, but he was the one of the guys who had it all together on the outside. He – he was in the in-group, he was successful, he did everything right, he was obedient. If you were a neighbor, you probably think he’s the perfect son.

Jim: Mhm.

David: And then the brother comes home from his far-off journey, and the father embraces him and throws a party. And when the brother comes in from the fields doing his faithful duty in working, he says, well, I didn’t know there was a party planned tonight. Go find out who it’s all about. And he comes back and finds out it’s his brother has returned home, and so he says, I’m not going in there. And the father comes out and begs him to come in, and he just, you know, all of the bitterness, all of the resentment, all of the envy, all of the hunger for the father’s love that he never really experienced comes boiling out of him, and you see what was really inside of him.

Jim: Yeah.

David: On the surface, he looked good, and a lot of us, who on the surface look good, but inside we – we’re ready to explode with bitterness and resentment, mostly because neither one of those boys had ever really experienced the father’s love. And now the prodigal has for the first time. The older brother never really – never really got with it. And there’s a lot of us who have never experienced our father – Heavenly Father’s love, and we can’t really experience love any place else, if we can’t experience it from Him.

Jim: The difficulty, David, is the love is there. Obviously, God says, I – I died for you. I love you that much. I mean, it’s there. But what prevents us from embracing it?

David: There’s a French theologian – Andre Gide – who speculates that some couple of weeks later, the two brothers are talking…

Jim: (Laughter) OK.

David: And the younger brother is saying to the older brother, maybe you ought to go off to a far country and live lasciviously, so that when you come home you can understand how much the father really loves us. And I don’t think that means we got to go out and sin boldly so we can understand how much God loves us. I think it means you gotta accept yourself…

Jim: Mhm.

David: A lot of people are trying to relate to God through their false self, through the facade. You call it facade-ification, I think.

Steve: I did.

Jim: Facade-ification, I like that.

David: Yeah, and God just kind of waits patiently, ignoring our efforts, because He’s saying, I’m waiting for you to bring me your real self. And really, let’s have an authentic relationship…

Jim: Yeah.

David: …because, I love the way the New Living translates the unfailing love of God. It’s unfailing – nothing can make it stop.

Steve: And we talk in the book on the side of taking care of all this, that, you know, first of all,you have to become a defender of your value. And so many people settle for so many things happening to them, because they don’t feel like they do have value. They don’t accept God’s love. And, I think some of that is from this false self. If I’m giving you a facade, and I’m living out of my false self, rather than my real self, if you tell me that you love me – and maybe God wants to use you to express his love to me – then I’m going to just discount it completely and say, well, yeah, but if you only knew me.

Jim: If you knewme.

Steve: Yeah, you wouldn’t love me. So you don’t feel it. You don’t think you’re worthy of it.And so, part of our restoration and recovery here is getting people to experience God’s love, maybe for the first time, so that you act as if you were deserving of it, maybe for the first time.

Jim: Right, and, Steve, I want to dig into your story and get, you know, that journey for you and how you came out of shame.

Steve: Yeah.

Jim: But, is there a gender connection here, too? Because, we’re four guys sitting at the table here. Women tend to – they process this a little differently than we do, generally. Uh, speak to that – that gender issue and how a woman’s going to think about it and how a man thinks about it.

Steve: Well, you know, my wife, um, is quite involved in life recovery. She facilitates three recovery groups for women at our church, and one of those groups is for women with sexual integrity problems, which is kind of unusual, that you would have women show up and be honest and – and want to deal with that. But here’s what we’ve discovered. Very few of these women feel worthy to make the choices in their life.

Jim: They’re looking at their own heart and saying, “I’m not worthy.”

Steve: Yeah, and so they’re letting somebody else decide, or they’re waiting for God to do what, probably, God is waiting for somebody else to do. And she kind of sees her role as to model for them. Uh, you can come from this broken place, experience God in a way that isn’t second hand – it’s not through a man. And that’s really, I think, in this day and age, well, that wouldn’t be. But it is so common. And even women that have been hurt by a man through his pornography problems and things like that – these women still aren’t making choices for themselves, not defending their value, not bringing good things into their life.And so what we’ve watched are these lights come on in these women who say, wait a second, I’m not a second-class person, here. I don’t have to, not only feel this inner shame that God died for me to not experience – but I don’t have to be a second-place person in this world. And if you look at Ephesians 5:21, it says that we should be submissive to each other in reverence to Christ. And a lot of times these women are just living out the part where they need to submit to the man, versus he also needs to be willing to die for them.So, taking your life back is becoming an equal player here at the foot of Jesus and giving your life to Him, and not letting somebody else dominate that life.

Jim: Yeah.

David: I saw a lady some years ago who – she said whenever the pastor preaches on Romans 8 she says, “I stay home.”

Jim: Oh, wow. What doesn’t she like?

David: And I said, why, you know? She says, because it’s too good to be true. No condemnation, unfailing love, nothing to stop God from loving…

Jim: All things work for good.

David: And she had a sense that she didn’t deserve any of that. And that’s – women struggle with that. A man may think he deserves it, but he – he’s blown it and, therefore, doesn’t deserve it.

Jim: That’s the difference. That’s what I was driving at. I don’t think men have quite the same instinct to look at their own heart and say…

Steve: No.

Jim: I am failing – because we think more highly of ourselves than we should, right? That’s a man’s ego.

Steve: We’re too afraid to go in there…

Jim: Yeah. But we do it differently. And that’s your story, Steve. And that’s – I want to give an example through your life, really, of what happened and how you had to kind of figure this out as a boy – the things that you, uh – that wounded your spirit, that kind of prevented you from maturing in a healthy way. Describe it.

Steve: Well, you know, I really felt like I was on my own. I had two older brothers, and we were very disconnected. And it was, uh, kind of a disconnected, uh, gotta fight for myself, gotta defend myself against them. And I kind of went into adulthood thinking that if anything was gonna happen, I had to make it happen. And sadly, um, I got into, uh, promiscuous sex as a way of – of just feeling some kind of connection. I know that may sound weird, but it was just a way to feel connected to something or someone, and totally absent of Christ in my life.

Jim: Steve, can I ask you a question there…

Steve: Yeah.

Jim: …Because so, you know, I talk to a lot of marriage experts and parenting experts. When you look at the issue of pornography, or even sexuality, the act has a benefit. It’s a gift from the Lord, when it’s in the right context, right? In marriage, etc. And it’s a beautiful thing and not something to be shameful about. But what is it – and here’s the question I’m always thinking about and asking experts – what is it that they’re actually trying to satisfy beyond the physical experience? There’s more to it.

Steve: Yeah.

Jim: It’s not that simple. It’s far more complex – either power, or control, or something. Through your experiences, did you land on an answer to that? What am I actually going for here?

Steve: Well, let me tell you a little piece of this. When I was growing up, my parents were very strict Southern Baptist, but my grandfather had pornography taped up or tacked up in his office, and I was allowed to go in there. I can still tell you what the images looked like, um, and…

Jim: And you’re 9, 8?

Steve: No, I was 5 and 6.

Jim: 5 and 6.

Steve: And I can still remember that.But, when I started to have an experience with pornography, just like a man who’s married has an experience with pornography, it’s not only a dopamine rush like you’d have from heroin, but also there’s oxytocin that is secreted – a hormone, uh, that is in the brain that’s a bonding chemical. When a mother nurses a baby, she bonds with that baby because of oxytocin. And if she’s a cave woman, and there’s a lion at the cave entrance, she’ll go kill that lion to protect her baby. A man that uses pornography – he’s not just having an experience. There’s a bonding chemical there that not only bonds him to pornography, but makes him aggressive toward any threat– like his wife. And a guy doesn’t understand, I’m using pornography, now I hate this woman that I married. There’s a physiological process there that totally separates us from the spouse and bonds us to this pornography.

So what have I learned? I learned that there was something far beyond my desire to have some kind of connection or some kind of experience of relief, and the same thing would happen with another person. When I was being promiscuous, there was a bonding that was going on there that drove me back to it, beyond just choice. You have to say it was compulsive, obsessive, even addictive. And it wasn’t until I was able to say, you know what, I don’t have a problem, the problem has me, that I could begin to recover from that. I think that this fantastic experience of sex in marriage, which, you know, which finally, I’ve been able to have that kind of experience. But, I think Satan destroys the number one, maybe, invention of God on planet Earth for all of us to enjoy. Satan has so destroyed that experience, and it’s such a joy to see other people finally discover that they’ve been settling for a superficial substitute and get back to trying to develop an intimate relationship with their wife that they’ve never known before.

Jim: Well, in this context of taking your life back – the title of your book,Take Your Life Back– I mean, that’s an area for you that you had lost, right?

Steve: Well, I had…

Jim: And so process – I’m thinking of the person who’s going, “I’m just like Steve.”

Steve: Yeah.

Jim: That’s me. I’m in that bondage.

Steve: Yeah. So, you have to say to yourself…

Jim: What do you do?

Steve: You have to say, I can’t fix this. I’m not able, on my own power, to fix this. And I know God can, and now it’s time for me to do something I’ve never done before. Maybe I’ve surrendered my problem to God, or maybe I’ve tried, but now it’s time to surrender my life. Maybe I accepted Christ as my Savior years ago, and I’m going to heaven, but now it’s time to experience something different, by totally surrendering my life. That’s where it begins. You don’t take your life back, unless you come to that place of total and complete surrender to God.

David: It’s the surrendering of your will as well as your life.When I – Steve and I were talking about this one. When we grew up, we surrendered our lives many times and didn’t know quite what that meant in terms of the outgrowth of that. And so, we’d have to do it over again. And it wasn’t until I was reading the third step, where it says that you turn yourwilland your life over to God. And I thought, wow, that was a piece that was missing for me – the will. If I got my will surrendered, it’s a whole different story.

John: And we will hear more from Dr. David Stoop in just a moment. Our guests are Dr. David Stoop and Stephen Arterburn. This is Focus on the Family, and, uh, we’re digging deep right now, trying to get into some of the past because it so affects the present. And you can find their book,Take Your Life Back, which has a lot of great help in it for letting that past go at focusonthefamily.com/radio, or call 1-800-232-6459.

Jim: And, Steve, just to reiterate for folks, these things are stepping stones. You talked about your upbringing, your childhood. Of course, a lot of people go, oh, yeah, OK, here we go talking about that. But these things are real. I mean, these wounds that you, um, have as a child affect your decision-making even years later. Why do you need this? Why do you compete the way you compete? Why do you hide? Why do you feel shame? Most of that starts in your family of origin.

Steve: Right, and I think Satan uses anything and everything. I didn’t have a horrible childhood.

Jim: Right.

Steve: So Satan uses that, and he kind of convicts you of – you ought to be better than this. You ought to – you…

Jim: Oh, man.

Steve: …had such a great thing. You – you should be ashamed of yourself that you haven’t done more with yourself, having such a great group of parents and all this. And he just…

Jim: The guilt is there, too.

Steve: He will just beat us up, if we listen to him. And so it’s easy to listen, to say – and he’s got so many ways to divert us away. And if we don’t finally come to the end of ourselves and say, everything I’m doing is a reaction to my past and my – my decisions, and I’ve gotta change this, so that I can start to respond to God versus react to some wound or something in my past. And that’s what we’ve tried to do here inTake Your Life Back, is a simple plan. And we were just at a workshop last week that we were doing. And a guy says, you know, I’ve been working on myself for 10, 12 years, and this book showed me this is where I really have to begin. And you do. You have to begin.

Jim: Kind of the battle plan.

Steve: Exactly.

Jim: Well, that’s good. Dave, you also had things happen. I think the relationship between you and your dad was not a healthy one.

David: No, it – he was…

Jim: What kind of course did that set you on and why?

David: Well, he was an Irishman.

Jim: (Laughter) Hey, careful.

David: He was from Ireland. No, I’m a citizen of Ireland.

Jim: I’m Daly, you know.

David: And, uh, he had an Irish temper that – I had an ulcer as a kid from living with his temper…

Jim: Mhm.

David: …Because he could – never knew what would set it off and that. And so I – I had vowed I would be different. When my first son was born, I made – I can remember as if it was yesterday. I can picture myself walking from the garage to the house. That I will be a different father than my father was to me.

Jim: That’s powerful right there. Think of the fact that you had to even think that and say that and feel it.

David: Yeah, that – but it didn’t work. It was the sad part…

Jim: You kind of became your dad.

David: I – no. About the time my oldest son was graduated from high school, I realized I don’t have any different relationship with him than I did with my father. It’s distant. It’s empty. And it was because I had carried all of that resentment and hurt and stuff from my dad kinda in the background. It was still operative in the present, even though it was in – it had happened in the past. And it wasn’t until I dealt with my father issues, which was 20 years after he died that I finally dealt with him. And I grieved for him.

John: And he died when you were a teenager, is that right, David?

David: No, I was 23. And he – when he – when he died, I – I – I didn’t care, really, because he wasn’t there for me in the first place, so what difference is it going to be now?

Jim: Yeah, I know that feeling.

David: And I was in a ministry, and I was – I just went right back to what I was supposed to be doing. And I thought that it’s all on the shelf, forget about it, move on.

Jim: Did you feel guilty about that, not feeling emotion?

David: No, I didn’t…

Jim: Sometimes Idid.

David: I faked it, yeah. I faked it at the wake, you know.

Jim: I remember I was 11 and, uh, I was living with my brother – 11, 12 – and I had just come off of living with my alcoholic father for a year. And I remember he got the phone call that he had died.

David: Wow.

Jim: And I remember watching – I was watchingI Love Lucy, laying on the couch. I mean, these are the old, you know, it was in reruns.

David: Yeah, right. That’s how it impacts you.

Jim: This was in the ‘70s, though, but I was watching that. And I remember my brother putting the phone down, hanging up, and he just looked at me, he said, hey, Jim, Dad’s dead. And I remember looking over my shoulder acknowledging it, and then looking right back and…

David: Yeah.

Jim: …Continuing to watchI Love Lucy.

David: That’s kind of what I did, except at the wake, I pretended to be sad. Twenty years later in a conversation with my sister, she’s talking negative about him, and I got mad at her. I said, I don’t want to hear it. I don’t want to talk about it. And when I hung up, it was like God said, you’re going to deal with this. And 20 years after he died, I finally grieved.

Jim: Twenty years.

David: And I was angry, off and on, I was sad. I wept tears over him. If you were driving next to me, you might have been scared, thinking I was having road rage, because I was raging at my father in the passenger seat, you know, imagining that. And then, when – I did that off and on for about a year and talked with friends, talked with people. And then I said, OK, God, now what? You started this, and He says, you do what I did. You forgive him. And I forgave him. And Pat Conroy has a line in one of his books. He says, “On the day I forgave my father, my life began. “

Jim: Wow.

David: And that was my story. And then 10 years later after that, my three sons and I, we did what we call the Stoop Wild Man Adventure. We took two weeks to get to Istanbul from Germany and just bummed around Europe together. And it was a time of healing and restoration, and I finally had the relationship I always wanted with them because I dealt with the issues of my past.

Steve: And working alongside Dave, and he’s just one of most consistent people ever. But to see this new part of him open up, and it was fascinating. He became this freer, uh, more connected to his sons and fulfilled person. It was just obvious, I think, certainly to me, but to everybody else.

David: We knew each other at that time when that happened.

Jim: To watch that happen. Steve, we’re landing on day one here. We want to come back next time with both of you and continue the discussion. But, um, as we’re landing today, I’m mindful of the fact that you know people who are listening, both men and women, are saying, “Yeah, I can relate to what you just said, Dave. I haven’t forgiven my dad yet.”

David: Right.

Jim: It happened last year, last week, 10 years ago – whenever it was.

David: A lot of our wounds are father wounds.

Jim: Yeah, the father wound. It shows you the power of a father in the family, and we’ve really denigrated that. And, uh, speak to that person who’s hearing us, and he’s not there yet. What can he or she do to say, OK, I’m gonna start that journey? What you’re saying is right. I haven’t been healthy in my relationship with the Lord…

Steve: Right.

Jim: …Because of this. What do they do?

Steve: Well, you know, um, probably the second most dangerous thing you could carry in your pocket would be plutonium. But the most dangerous thing is justifiable resentment.

Jim: Hmm.

Steve: And you look back and you say, yeah, look what they did to me and all this. And you’re justified to stay in that bitterness and anger. People say to you, yeah, I’d feel that way, too. But you have to work through that, and you have to say, this is killing me. It’s destroying my soul. I literally have to forgive this person. I have to grieve that they weren’t who I wanted them to be, or deserve. I have to forgive them. And then, I have to accept, this is my burden.

And you have to pick up that burden, and you have to get on with what God wants you to do. And if you are saturated with guilt, shame, bitterness, anger – all these things, there is a whole other world waiting for you. But first, you got to decide, I’m going to take my life back. And we’re going to help you do that, if you’ll let us.

Jim: Yeah, that’s excellent. Man, this is such a good conversation. Appreciate your vulnerability in this. And this is where people connect. It’s not in the picture of being perfect.

Steve: No.

Jim: It’s in the brokenness of not being perfect.

Steve: That’s right.

Jim: And I so appreciate that. You may feel like your life is out of control, or being controlled by others – maybe those emotions that Steve was just referring to. Man, we are here to help you. We have a counseling group, uh, caring Christian counselors who can start that process and help you think about where you’re at, and even refer you to other counselors around the country. Uh, we have many, many counselors on our data referral list that can help you. And, uh, we want to help you. And I’m telling you, I believe in this so much that for a gift of any amount, even if you can’t afford it, we’ll get the tool in your hand,Take Your Life Backby Steve and Dave, and it is a starting place for you to get serious with the Lord, shake off that bitterness, that anger and those things that we’ve talked about, and start fresh. It’ll be like oxygen coming into your lungs, I’m telling ya. And we want to be able to give that to you. So make a gift for any amount, and we’ll say thank you by, sending the book to you right now.

John: Donate, and get a copy ofTake Your Life Backand perhaps a CD of this broadcast when you call 800-A-FAMILY, 800-232-6459, or stop by focusonthefamily.com/radio, where you’ll find these and other great resources.

On behalf of Jim Daly and the entire team here, thanks for listening today to Focus on the Family. I’m John Fuller, inviting you back next time as we continue the conversation with Stephen Arterburn and David Stoop, and once again help you and your family thrive in Christ.

Today's Guests

Take Your Life Back

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Accepting Your Imperfect Life

Amy Carroll explains how listeners can find freedom from self-imposed and unrealistic standards of perfection in a discussion based on her book, Breaking Up With Perfect: Kiss Perfection Goodbye and Embrace the Joy God Has in Store for You.

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!

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Newest Release - Episode 6: Families Helping Families!

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

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

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

Praying Scripture Over Your Child’s Life - Part 2

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

Headshot of Focus on the Family broadcast guest Jodie Berndt

Jodie Berndt

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

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

Praying the Scriptures Over Your Children

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

Effective Habits to Embrace in Parenting

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

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

Dr. Randy Schroeder

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

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

Simple Habits for Effective Parenting

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

The Spiritual Battle for Your Marriage

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

Tim and Noreen Muehlhoff Cropped

Dr. Tim and Mrs. Noreen Muehlhoff

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

Defending Your Marriage

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

Reigniting Your Passion for Jesus - Part 1

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

Headshot photo of author Kim Meeder

Kim Meeder

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

Revival Rising

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

Reigniting Your Passion for Jesus - Part 2

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

Headshot photo of author Kim Meeder

Kim Meeder

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

Revival Rising

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

Mothers and Sons: Being a Godly Influence - Part 2

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

Headshot of Rhonda Stoppe

Rhonda Stoppe

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

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

Moms Raising Sons to Be Men

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

Identifying Triggers in Your Marriage - Part 2

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

Headshot of Guy and Amber Lia

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Author Debra Fileta in the Focus on the Family broadcast studio

Mrs. Debra Fileta

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

Are You Really Okay?

Are You Really OK: Getting Real About Who You Are

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

Embracing Your Role as a Spouse

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

Headshot of Kevin Thompson

Pastor Kevin Thompson

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

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

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

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

Sharing Your Faith with Grace and Purpose

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

Mr. Greg Koukl

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

Tactics front cover

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

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

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

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

Dr. Kevin Leman

Dr. Kevin Leman

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

Bundle of Why Your Kids Misbehave

Why Your Kids Misbehave and What to Do about It

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

Giving up Sugar, Tasting God's Goodness

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

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

Mrs. Wendy Speake

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dr. Kevin Leman

Dr. Kevin Leman

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

Bundle of Why Your Kids Misbehave

Why Your Kids Misbehave and What to Do about It

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

Loving Your Spouse Through the Seasons of Marriage - Part 2

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

Author Debra Fileta in the Focus on the Family broadcast studio

Debra Fileta

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

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

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

Reconciling Faith and Science in a Medical Crisis

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

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

Dr. Lee Warren

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

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

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

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

Praying Scripture Over Your Child’s Life - Part 1

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

Headshot of Focus on the Family broadcast guest Jodie Berndt

Jodie Berndt

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

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

Praying the Scriptures Over Your Children

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

Mothers and Sons: Being a Godly Influence - Part 1

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

Headshot of Rhonda Stoppe

Rhonda Stoppe

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

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

Moms Raising Sons to Be Men

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

Identifying Triggers in Your Marriage Part 1

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

Headshot of Guy and Amber Lia

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Author Debra Fileta in the Focus on the Family broadcast studio

Mrs. Debra Fileta

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

Are You Really Okay?

Are You Really OK: Getting Real About Who You Are

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

Navigating a Toxic Culture with Your Daughter - Part 1

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

Mrs. Meg Meeker

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

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

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

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

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Newest Release - Episode 1: The Truth About Life!

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

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

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