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Leaving a Legacy of Faith for Your Children

Leaving a Legacy of Faith for Your Children

Lee Strobel encourages parents to embrace their role as their child’s most important modeler of a vibrant Christian faith.
Original Air Date: August 20, 2021

John Fuller: As we begin today’s Focus on the Family broadcast, we’d like to tip our hats to the invention that made this program possible.

Jim Daly: That’s right, John. Uh, today is National Radio Day, and I’m glad to say that one recent survey showed that almost 90% of people listen to the radio every day. You know, back in the early 1900s, radio was considered one of the most incredible technologies on earth, used by governments and military forces for navigation, news distribution, and so much more. Uh, today, thousands of Christian radio stations share the Gospel across North America and around the world. A broadcast like ours are a great missionary tool for hard-to-reach locations where hand-cranked radios are the only source of news and information. So, happy National Radio Day. We are very thankful for this invention and how it helps us impact literally millions of lives for Christ around the world, and we thank God for the local radio stations that bring this broadcast to you. Please let them know you appreciate their hard work.

Preview:

Lee Strobel: You know, I really believe that the family is the answer for how we’re gonna equip this next generation to be authentic, devoted followers of Jesus Christ because I’m convinced this next generation has the potential to be the greatest generation that has ever lived for Jesus Christ.

End of Preview

John: You’ll hear more from Lee Strobel on how to train your children or your grandchildren to stand up for their faith. Welcome to Focus on the Family with your host, Focus president Jim Daly, and I’m John Fuller.

Jim: John, we have a great message to share from Lee Strobel, and I think it will be particularly encouraging for dads to learn how important their role is in shaping the faith of their children. As many of you know, Lee is a best-selling author of over 40 books, including The Case for Christ series. Uh, he was an award-winning journalist before he converted from atheism to Christianity after spending two years investigating the claims of Christ. He’s the founding director of the Lee Strobel Center for Evangelism and Applied Apologetics at Colorado Christian University.

John: And that is right up the road, here, in Denver, Colorado, and Lee’s a great friend to this ministry. Let’s go ahead and hear, now, from Lee Strobel, speaking at an event sponsored by Focus on the Family.

Lee: Well, good morning.

Audience: Good morning.

Lee: It’s great to- a- actually, I was gonna start out by saying how great it is to be here, but I gotta be totally honest with ya and say I’m glad to be anywhere after what happened to me in Little Rock, Arkansas. I went to Little Rock to speak at a charity event, and this pastor picked me up from the airport, and he’s driving to the event and we’re chattin’ along the way, and he says, “Yeah,” he said, “I- I told the young woman in our church, I said Lee Strobel’s gonna speak tonight.” She said, “Oh, the guy who wrote The Case for Christ? Is he still living?” (laughing)

So, I’m glad to be anywhere. I’m glad to be alive after that. But, uh, by the way, I- I, you know, I- I look out and I see the lanyards, and I’m thinking, “Wouldn’t the world be friendlier if we just wore those all the time?”

Audience: (laughing)

Lee: W- wouldn’t it be friendlier? Well, we had an embarrassing thing happen. We were doing an event and, uh, we printed up, like this, you know, name tags with everybody’s first name real big so people could greet each other. People came in, they got their name tag, they went into the conference. We thought everything worked great, til about halfway through the first day. And this woman comes up to the registration desk and she’s all upset. We said, “What’s wrong?” She said, “My name has been misspelled.”

And we’re thinking, okay, is that really (laughs) a big deal? You know. We said, “What’s your name?” She said, “My name is Sylvia,” and sure enough, she’d been walkin’ around all day with a name tag that said “saliva.” (laughing) She was spitting mad, I’ll tell ya that. I- I-

Audience: (laughing)

Lee: Anyway, um, so, Leslie is here. Leslie and I just g- uh, came in from Houston, Texas. Any Texans here?

Audience: (cheering)

Lee: Yeah! All right. Yeah. We moved down to Texas few years ago, uh, to be near their- our two oldest grandchildren, and, uh, they assigned us our telephone number for our home telephone. You’re probably thinkin’ yeah, big deal. It was a big deal to us, ’cause no kidding, when we lived in Chicago, the phone number they gave us was one digit away from the cab company.

Audience: Ugh.

Lee: Seriously. So, Saturday night, 2:00 in the morning, these drunk guys at bars would call for a cab, they’d misdial, our phone would ring. It was bad enough getting waken up in the middle of the night, but then you had to get up, get dressed, get in the car.

Audience: (laughing)

Lee: But such as, I think we got a good number this time. But, uh, so anyway, my grandkids moved down there a couple years ago to Houston, and they’re total Texans. As you know, Texans always- Texas got a special culture, and my granddaughter, Abigail, she is total Texan. She’s got the cowboy hat. She’s got the cowboy boots. She- she- she horseback rides. Uh, but the reason we know she’s a total Texan, one night at dinner, she said, “Uh, bapa, could I pray for dinner?” I said, “Sure,” so this is what she prayed. “God is good. God is great. Thank you for the Lone Star State.” (laughing) That’s a true Texan. That’s a true Texan right there.

So, anyway, I moved to Texas. I’m from Chicago. I don’t know anything about Texas. So, I bought a book called, How to Talk Texan.

Audience: (laughing)

Lee: They have a book, so I read it. Couple things I learned. First thing, difference between y’all and all y’all.

Audience: (laughing)

Lee: All y’all’s plural, if you didn’t know. I never thought about it, but it makes sense. Right? But the thing I learned about talking Texan that I like the most, in Texas, if you wanna say “Thank you” to someone, you can say “Thank you,” or you can say, “I ‘preciate ya,” and that’s what I wanna say to you this morning. I ‘preciate ya I ‘preciate ya being here today. I ‘preciate your prayers for Focus. I ‘preciate your support of Focus. I ‘preciate ya.

And so, I was gonna talk, this morning, about the case for the family, but then I thought I’m preachin’ to the choir. (laughs) I- does- does anybody here not believe that God has established the family a- as the integral unit upon which culture is based? No, I think we’d all agree to that. So, I wanna kinda focus on a particular aspect of the family. I wanna focus on how the family is the primary way that faith is transmitted through the generations.

Colossians 2:7 says, “Let your roots grow down into Christ and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you are taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness.” You know, I mentioned my granddaughter, Abigail, and her prayer. She’s 14 years old, sh- going on 22, and, um, thi- this is- (laughs) this is a picture from last weekend when Abigail was baptized-

Audience: Aww.

Lee: … as a new follower of Jesus, following in the footsteps of her sister, who had come to Christ earlier and was baptized. And- and, uh, you know, w- what is better than seeing children and grandchildren come to faith in Christ and be baptized? I mean, we all wanna leave a legacy, don’t we? And yet, the most important legacy we can leave is a spiritual legacy that we leave through our family. But how can we do that in- in our increasingly skeptical and- and even hostile, uh, culture that we live in?

I met a guy recently. He said his granddaughter was in kindergarten, and she was taunted and bullied on the playground at kindergarten at a public school because she believes in God. And there’s no doubt that if your kids and if your grandkids come to faith in Christ, that they will be confronted and even marginalized because of their faith. But, you know, the researchers at the University of California at, uh, Santa Barbara did a landmark, multi-generational study over several decades, and they concluded that, you know what, families really (laughs) do a good job of passing down religious beliefs to their kids. And they said that hadn’t changed in the 35 years that they studied in their study.

However, they said one of the most interesting findings was that for passing along spiritual beliefs, having a close bond with one’s father is much more important than having a close bond with one’s mother. In fact, that’s not just true in Christianity. It’s true in- in virtually every world religion, that the father relationship is more important, in terms of adopting the family’s faith, except, interestingly, in Judaism. And in Judaism, it’s the- the mother’s influence.

Um, but psychologists have known for a long time that the fathers are so important in passing down faith to their children. In fact, the absence of a father, or, uh, an abusive father, uh, is a well-known factor in people walking down a path toward atheism. Paul Vitz, who’s a psychology professor at New York Universe, us- actually studied the lives of famous atheists through history, Camus, Sartre, Nietzsche, F- uh, Freud, Voltaire, Wells, Hume, Russel, um, Feuerbach, um, O’Hare, all of ’em, and every single one of ’em either had a father who died when they were young, or abandoned their mother when they were young, or with whom they had a terrible relationship. And the implication is why would you wanna know a Heavenly Father if your earthly father has abused or let you down or hurt you?

I believe the bad relationship I had with my father was one of the reasons I ended up in atheism for much of my life. I- I was an unwanted pregnancy, uh, in my father’s eyes. Uh, he looked at me on the eve of my high school graduation and said, “I don’t have enough love for you to fill my little finger.” And so, you know, I like to believe it is my intellectual questions that took me down the path toward atheism. I believe the psychological issues were every bit an influence.

My friend, Josh McDowell, had a similar experience. His dad, though, was a violent alcoholic, and Josh said to me, he said, “Lee, I grew up believing that fathers hurt.” He said, “People would tell me, ‘There’s a Heavenly Father who loves you,’ but that didn’t bring me joy. It brought me pain because I couldn’t discern the difference between a Heavenly Father and an earthly father.” And Josh became, what he described himself as being, an ornery agnostic until his investigation of Christianity told him it was true.

And same with me. I mean, I was an atheist til I investigated the evidence and became convinced that Christianity is true, and you know how I dealt with the issue of this painful relationship with my father? I took a queue from C.S. Lewis, who said, “Can you imagine what a perfect father would be like?” Imagine from a- what would a perfect father be like? He’d be loving, he’d be gracious, he’d be kind, he’d be your biggest cheerleader, he’d pull you up in his lap and give you a hug. So, that is a picture of our Heavenly Father.

Audience: Amen.

Lee: And when I was able to see that, it helped heal me of the pain of my relationship with my earthly father. So, dads, obviously, are really important if we’re gonna leave a spiritual legacy through our family, but here’s a fascinating tidbit from that study. What really matters, if you wanna pass along your faith to your children and grandchildren, what really matters, according to this study published by Oxford University Press, what really matters is the temperature of your relationship with your children.

The study said a fervent faith cannot compensate for a distant dad. Said a father who is an exemplar, a pillar of the church but doesn’t provide warmth and affirmation to his kid, does not have kids who follow him into the faith. Isn’t that interesting? What a reminder for dads and granddads. The study found that even if you read your Bible every day, even if you prayed every day, even if you went to church every week, your children will probably not be attracted to your faith unless you have a warm and an affirming relationship with them. That’s the key.

Well, not only is this father relationship with children important in leaving this spiritual gra- legacy, but grandparents and parents also need to help kids understand that it is okay for them to have questions and even doubts about their faith. Nancy Pearcey, professor at Houston Baptist University, said this, “In studies asking why young people left their family religion, their most frequent response was unanswered doubts and questions.” The researchers were surprised. They expected to hear stories of broken relationships and wounded feelings, but the top reason given by young adults was that they did not get answers to their questions.

John: You’re listening to Lee Strobel on today’s episode of Focus on the Family, and this reminder, just can get a copy of his book, The Case for Christ for Kids. Uh, we’ve got that here at Focus along with the CD of this broadcast. Just call 800, the letter A and the word FAMILY. 800-232-6459, or you can donate and request those resources focusonthefamily.com/broadcast. Let’s go ahead and return, now, to more from Lee Strobel, on Focus on the Family.

Lee: I mean, we need to help our kids and our grandkids understands, it is okay to have questions. It’s even okay to have some doubts. Jesus didn’t get upset when people brought questions to Him. He didn’t slam dunk anybody that came to him with a sincere question. You think of John the Baptist. If anybody should have known the identity of Jesus being the unique Son of God, it was John the Baptist. He once pointed to Jesus and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.”

He baptized Jesus. He- he saw the heavens open up. He heard the voice of their Father, saying, “This is my Son in whom I’m well pleased.” John the Baptist once pointed to Jesus and said, “I have seen and I testify, this is the Son of God.” But then what happens? He gets arrested. He gets thrown in prison. Question. What happens to a lot of us when tough times come? Doubts begin to creep in. Don’t they? And that’s what happened to John. Now, he’s sitting in prison. Now, he’s not so sure. Now, he’s got some hesitations, but what does he do? He gets a couple friends together. He says, “Go track down Jesus and ask him, once and for all, point-blank, ‘Are you the one we’ve been waiting for or are we to wait for somebody else?’”

So, they tracked down Je- “Hey, Jesus. Do you know John? Well, he got busted, and now, he’s freakin’ out. So, would ya just tell us, once and for all, are you the one we’ve been waiting for or are we to wait for somebody else?” Now, here’s a deal. How does Jesus react to this? Does Jesus get angry? Does He say, “How dare John, of all people, have the tomarity to express a hesitation about my identity?” No. Jesus says, “Those followers of John, go back to John and tell him what you have seen and heard. The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is preached to the poor.”

In other words, go back to John and tell him about the evidence you’ve seen with your own eyes that convinces you that I am the one I claim to be. So, they go back and they tell John, but here’s the deal. Has this now poisoned John in the mind of Jesus to the extent that John an- no longer has a role in the kingdom of God? No. It’s after this incident that Jesus gets up before a group and He says, “Among those born of women, there’s no one greater than John.” John the doubter. John the guy who dared to ask a question.

Friends, we gotta help our kids understand it’s okay to have questions. It’s even okay to have doubts, as long as you do what John did and you pursue answers. Because guess what? They’re gonna find there are good answers to the toughest questions of life and faith. See, we need to cultivate honest environments in our homes, in our churches, in our student ministries, in our Christian schools, where young people feel free to express hesitations and doubts, and where we can help them wrestle through the difficult areas of faith.

Dave Kinnaman, a great researcher with the Barna Organization, interviewed 5,000 young people, and this was his conclusion. “This generation wants and needs truth, not spiritual soft serve. This is a generation,” he said, “that is hungry for substantive answers to life’s biggest questions.” I mean, we need to help our young kids understand that- that, when it comes to science, that science and faith are not at war, but science, when done right, points toward the existence of a Creator who matches a description of the God of the Bible, and that a series of discoveries over the last 50 years in cosmology, physics, biochemistry, and genetics tells us that there is a Creator, and He does match the description of the Bible.

My friend, Dr. James Tour of Rice University, one of the greatest scientists in America, in fact, he’s one of the 50 most influential scientists in the entire world, said this to me. He said, “Lee, only a rookie who knows nothing about science would say that science takes away from faith.” He said, “If you really study science, it will bring you closer to God.” And we need to help our kids understand in history, that the facts of history point powerfully and persuasively toward Jesus, not only claiming to be the Son of God, but backing up that claim by returning from the dead.

In fact, (laughs) one of my heroes, when I was a student at Yale Law School, was the greatest defense attorney in the world, according to the Guinness Book of World Records. His name is Sir Lionel Luckhoo. Um, get this. If you’re an attorney, this’ll blow your mind. Sir Lionel Luckhoo, as a defense attorney, won 245 murder trials in a row, either before a jury or on appeal.

He’s in the Guinness Book of World Records, the greatest lawyer who ever lived. Knighted twice by Queen Elizabeth. Became a member of the highest court of his land, but he was a skeptic about the resurrection of Jesus until he took two years of his life and investigated the historical evidence, and this was his conclusion. He said, “I say unequivocally, that the evidence for the resurrection of Jesus Christ is so overwhelming, that it compels acceptance by proof, which leaves absolutely no room for doubt.” This, from the greatest defense attorney who ever lived.

I mean, we need to help our kids understand that we, as Christians, have an unfair advantage in the marketplace of ideas. We have truth on our side. Now, what does that mean? Does that mean we should go out debating people? No, not necessarily. I’m not a debater. You’re probably not a debater. But it does mean that we can dialogue. We can have conversations. We can have friendships. We can have relationships that, when we sit down with our kids and with our grandkids, that we can do more listening than talking. We can ask more questions than force-feed answers.

Where we don’t have to pretend we’re smarter (laughs) than we really are. Where we’re more loving and understanding. We need to help kids understand at a young age that our faith is not built on fairy tales and make-believe and wishful thinking, but on a solid foundation of truth. And we need to check what are our Sunday schools teaching our kids. What are our Sunday schools teach- do you know what your church is teaching your kids?

Natasha Crain, who’s an expert in this area, said, “The sad truth is that many Evangelical Sunday school programs are unintentionally teaching our kids how to become secular humanists.” In other words, they’re creating nice kids who don’t really need God. That’s because many Sunday schools are teaching values. So, they’ll- they’ll teach the story of David, and they’ll talk about the value of courage. They’ll teach the story of Moses, and they’ll teach the value of leadership. But guess what? Secular humanists believe in courage. They believe in leadership.

So, many of our Sunday schools are not teaching kids why Christianity is true, and why it makes sense to believe the Bible, and how we know that Jesus is the unique Son of God. They’re telling kids stories from the Bible, but they’re not educating kids on why we can trust the Bible as being the Word of God, and the result, we get nice kids who are not tethered to the truth of Christianity.

I mean, this stuff is not too complicated for little kids, and that’s why we ended up doing children’s books on my- all my case books, Case for Christ and Case for Faith. A- n- w- we did it for little kids because they get this stuff. They understand it. It ca- it can be communicated in a way that they understand, and we need to educate our children and our grandchildren right through Sunday school, right through student ministries, right through high school, and into college so that they have a strong faith and a vibrant faith that’ll withstand the cultural tests to which it will be put.

You know, I really believe that the family is the answer for how we’re gonna equip this next generation to be authentic, devoted followers of Jesus Christ, because I’m convinced this next generation has the potential to be the greatest generation that has ever lived for Jesus Christ. Why? Because the great generations are tested by adversity. Isn’t that right? The greatest generations go through tests of adversity. Remember in eastern Europe when the iron curtain was down, and yet, the church flourished, even where it was illegal, and somebody asked a pastor, “Why is that?” And he said, “Because the church is like a nail. The harder you hit us, the deeper we go.”

Adversity builds strong spiritual generations and our children and our grandchildren are gonna have adversity in this culture that you and I haven’t had. But I believe, with the help of strong, vibrant families, and dads who care and spend time with their children and love them, we can create a generation that will go down in history as the greatest one ever to live for Jesus Christ. That is a goal I think we should all (laughs) get behind, for God’s glory.

So, let me pray. Father, thank You for this institution You have given us of the family. Thank You for the way that our faith can percolate through the generations, and we do pray for these upcoming generations, the challenges that they will face. We pray that You will drive their faith deeper and deeper to Your glory. Pray this in Jesus’s name. Amen.

John: Well, that was Lee Strobel speaking at an event sponsored by Focus on the Family.

Jim: Uh, John, Lee really hit it out of the park, and his message sums up the essence of our goal, here, at Focus on the Family, and I hope your goal too. We want to equip and empower your family to have a strong faith, and to pass that faith along to your children in a way that ensures they’ll receive it and live it out. And Lee is right, we live in a culture that is increasingly hostile to our faith, and we see that in the news on a regular basis. So, helping our children really know what they believe and why is even more critical today. They need to be able to defend their faith at school and the workplace and maybe even in a courtroom someday. If you have children or grandchildren between the ages of eight and 12, I’d strongly recommend you get a copy of Lee Strobel’s book, The Case for Christ for Kids. In the book, Lee answers the questions young people ask most about our faith and presents the facts of Jesus’s life in an understandable way. It’s an excellent resource, and I’d like to send the book out to you when you make a monthly pledge to Focus on the Family to help us continue working hard each and every day to help your family and others thrive in Christ. One way we’re doing that is by offering free faith-building resources like the Live It challenge. And we create a new challenge every month with specific activities that will help you and your children develop a more vibrant Christian walk while building lasting Biblical habits. Come check it out at our website.

John: And you can look for the Life It challenge details and also that book by Lee Strobel at focusonthefamily.com/broadcast.

Jim: So, please, join our support team, and when you make a monthly pledge of any amount, we’ll send you a copy of The Case for Christ for Kids. And if you can’t make a monthly commitment right now, we understand. We’ll send this book out to you for a one-time gift of any amount.

John: Well, again, our website is focusonthefamily.com/broadcast or call us, 800 A-FAMILY. 800-232-6459. On behalf of Jim Daly and the entire team, thanks for joining us today for Focus on the Family. I’m John Fuller inviting you back as we, once more, help you and your family thrive in Christ.

Today's Guests

Cover image of Lee Strobel's book Case for Christ for Kids

The Case for Christ for Kids

Receive Lee Strobel's book The Case for Christ for Kids for your donation of any amount!

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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!

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!