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Living in Peace With People Who Drive You Crazy

Living in Peace With People Who Drive You Crazy

Dr. Mike Bechtle explains how we can stop allowing difficult people to control our emotions, and how we can set healthy boundaries and extend the love of God to them.
Original Air Date: November 22, 2017

Teaser:

Woman #1: It drives me crazy when you’re in a conversation with someone and you could tell they’re not paying attention to a thing you’re saying, they’re just thinking of the next thing they’re gonna say.

Man #1: My mother, she likes to accuse people of taking things when she just lost them.

Woman #2: It drives me crazy when my husband doesn’t understand that I have a very short attention span.

Woman #3: My Aunt Vicky constantly thinks that she has the worst life ever.

Man #2: I personally can’t think of anything because I think if there was something that really drive me nuts about the person, I wouldn’t be friends with them.

End of Teaser

John Fuller: (laughs). Well, maybe you can relate to that. Uh, we all seem to have one or two, or maybe more, challenging people in our lives, and dealing with them can really just increase your blood pressure, and upset your schedule, even ruin your day. But don’t despair. Today on Focus on the Family, we’re gonna help you explore some ways to manage those relationships better, and, uh, we’re gonna help you find peace in the midst of chaos. Your host is Focus President and author, Jim Daly, and I’m John Fuller.

Jim Daly: John, I don’t know about you, I- I struggled to think of somebody that really sets me off, that drives me crazy. Um, you know, they’re there, but I tend to have such a low key approach to some things. I just kind of move out of the way (laughs) and then, then it kind of goes away for me. I don’t know that that’s the healthiest way to approach it. I know for you, you know folks often talk about the holidays and that crazy relative that’s coming and man that person drives me nuts, and we get that. And actually we want to talk about that today in order to equip you to do a better job understanding how to live and work and deal with folks that push your buttons.

John: Yeah, this is the time of year when we often rub shoulders with people we don’t see a lot and we get together and there can be some friction.

Jim: Well you know right there in Romans 12:18 it says, “If possible, so far as it depends on you…” I love that, you know (laughs). “…live peaceably with all.” And as Christians, we are told to love one another, and that sometimes is really hard. I mean even to love our enemies. That kind of service and sacrifice only comes from an indwelling of the Holy Spirit. And that’s what we want to try to do today is, uh, kind of open those floodgates for the Lord to work through you.

John: Well our guest is Dr. Mike Bechtle, and he’s an author, a speaker, corporate consultant, and a ministry coach. Today we’ll hear more about his book, People Can’t Drive You Crazy If You Don’t Give Them the Keys.

Jim: (Laughs). I love that title!

John: It’s a great title.

Jim: Mike, welcome back to Focus on the Family.

Dr. Mike Bechtle: Oh, thanks, it’s always a privilege.

Jim: Okay where’d you get it? Where’d you come up with that one?

Mike: I have no idea.

Jim: (Laughs).

Mike: It just sorta appeared on the page. I thought, “That’s not bad.” Because we can all identify with it.

Jim: Okay, but when you crack the pages open, I love the story you shared there. And of course, we’re talking about, you know, people that drive us crazy when we talk about crazy people. But you talk about a tuba. I thought that… I’m gonna use that tonight with my boys, my teenage boys, because I think this is a great framing tool.

John: And for all the folks who play tuba-

Jim: (Laughs).

John: …or have a tuba player in their home-

Mike: (Laughs).

John: …this isn’t intended for you.

Jim: But the tuba kind of overwhelms everybody that’s the point. And you applied that in this word picture.

Mike: Well I think it’s true with an orchestra. We love hearing an orchestra because there’s so many different instruments that come together. And when they blend their sound, you get a sound you can’t any other way. It’s the uniqueness of the instruments together. But if you have the tuba in the middle of a concert that goes off and does his own thing, it kind of changes the whole dynamic.

Jim: You can’t really hear the violin. (Laughs). That’s the point.

Mike: You can’t hear the flute, you can’t hear the violin, and you don’t know what to do with the tuba. It’s like Tubas Gone Wild-

Jim: (Laughs).

Mike: ..and you’re trying to figure out where do we go with this.

Jim: So when you apply that, are you talking… the tuba represents those people in our lives that are just off key and just overwhelming the whole room.

Mike: Well yeah, you’re not sure what to do with them. And a lot of times it’s because they’re family.

Jim: (Laughs).

Mike: There’s a lot of people in our lives that do that but especially around the holidays we do see people we don’t see all the time and sometimes it’s family members. And they can change the whole dynamic when they come in and you’ve got a tuba player.

John: But, well let’s play it safe. Let’s end with family, the discussion today. (Laughs).

Mike: (Laughs).

John: Let’s start… We’ll talk about strangers first (laughs).

Jim: (Laughs).

John: The outer ring. You had a story in your book that was hilarious about an airport observation. Somebody that wasn’t getting the service they felt they deserved. Tell us what happened there.

Mike: Well it’s goes back to the whole idea of what you can control and what you can’t control. And there’s things you can’t control, like the stock market, like late delayed flights, and that’s what happened here. I was-

John: Mechanical problems (laughs).

Mike: Mechanical problems! Exactly. And we can get really upset, even though we can’t do anything about it. Now, it was years ago I was sitting in the gate area, and the flight was delayed and this man was at the counter. And he was just berating at the top of his lungs, he was yelling at the gate agent, and he must have special privileges, and he was going after it. It was pretty embarrassing for everybody and finally he just said, “Do you know who I am?” And then he repeated it. “Do you know who I am?” And so she got on the microphone very calmly and just said, “Ladies and gentlemen, we have someone at the counter who doesn’t know who he is.”

Jim: (Laughs).

Mike: “If any of you recognize him please come up and let us know.”

Jim: I love that! (laughter and talking over each other) I hope she got a raise or a bonus or something.

Mike: She got a big round of applause from everybody in the whole area.

John: Oh really? Oh, wow.

Jim: I just think that’s a funny way to handle it. What did he do? Were you observing this? What did… when she said that, what was his reaction?

Mike: He just turned around and, I think it was a little sheepish because he had been caught, he was so angry. And when everybody started applauding he was the center of attention and he just sort of disappeared.

Jim: Well let me, let me go there. Because what creates in us that specialness (laughs) that we feel we need to be treated differently than everybody else. Don’t you know who I am, Mike, come on.

Mike: Well I think we all have a certain comfort zone, I call it a setpoint. It’s kind of like a thermostat. Something where nobody’s bugging us and they’re not messing with our lives and we feel comfortable and that’s where we like to be. And when somebody comes in and messes with our lives it takes us away from the setpoint. It’s like changing the thermostat. We want to keep it a certain way because we’re comfortable, and then they come in and they change the thermostat for us, and we feel like, “Wait, no. This is about me.”

Jim: Yeah.

Mike: And we tend to focus on what all the other people are doing. And in some way we feel a little entitled because they’re messing with us. Why are they driving me crazy?

Jim: Yeah. You know I’m just… As you’re saying this, it’s interesting that Jesus, of course, who is our model for those of us who claim faith in Christ. He had every opportunity to say, “Hey, don’t you know who I am?”

Mike: Yeah.

Jim: In front of Pontius Pilate or any of the rulers of the day. And our wonderful leader, the Son of God, never chose to approach a person that way.

Mike: Yeah.

Jim: How can we do any different, right?

Mike: It’s so interesting because he is our model for that. And he didn’t go around trying to fix people. He got involved with people and took them where they needed to go.

John: Yeah.

Mike: Every, every situation was different.

Jim: Boy, that is so good. Explain this quote from your book. You said, “We love to watch crazy people, as long as we don’t have to interact with them personally.” (Laughs). And again, when we talk about crazy people we’re talking about those that are just driving us crazy.

Mike: Yeah. Mm-hmm (affirmative). Well, it’s kind of like being on vacation. You don’t come home from vacation and tell stories about reading the newspaper on the lanai in Hawaii. You talk about the storms and the close calls that you had. We love drama when it’s past tense, and when it’s third person. And with these types of events to be able to to watch other people, that’s why we do it on TV. There’s always a villain, or there’s somebody in the reality shows you’re thinking, “They are just crazy!” And we like watching it from the security of our living room with our Cheetos.

Jim: (Laughs).

Mike: To actually be there and have that conversation, how do you confront somebody like that, it’s uncomfortable.

Jim: It really is. You had an experience with your son that I thought was really insightful. You were in, I think trying on ski goggles.

Mike: Yeah, uh-huh (affirmative).

Jim: Describe what happened there in terms of our ability to understand reality.

Mike: Well I think we tend to see things through our own lenses, and we assume that we’re right because that’s what we see. I mean if I really believe that I’m right, do I want your opinion?

Jim: (Laughs) No.

Mike: And so we went in the sporting goods store, my son was probably about 10, and we try it on ski goggles. I tried on a pair that had blue lenses, he tried on a pair that had red lenses. And I saw a jacket hanging across the room and I said, “Tim, what color is that jacket?” And he said, “Well, it’s blue.” I said, “No, it’s red.” And he looked at me like I lost my mind. He said, “It is not. It’s blue.” And I said, “No, it’s red.” And we went back and forth. I couldn’t convince him because he was seeing one color, I was seeing the other color. It’s what we saw so we assume we’re right. We took off our lenses and the jacket was white.

John: Yeah.

Mike: So we didn’t see the jacket the way it was, we saw it through our perspective. Through our filters.

John: And that, it’s a great simple illustration of how to do that. Make it more complicated, though. In our personal experiences that way, how do we create lenses that give us a false impression of what’s real?

Mike: You know, I think we look at what other people do, and we see their behaviors, and we think, “If I was doing what they’re doing, this would be my motive. This is what I would be thinking.”

John: Interesting.

Mike: So we assume that they’re thinking the same thing.

John: Yeah.

Mike: We project our lenses on them, when they may be thinking something totally different. In fact, they usually are.

John: Yeah.

Mike: And so we, to be able to approach that and look at them from their lenses knowing they’re thinking differently. So we can’t make those assumptions. We need to explore and actually talk to them.

Jim: In fact, uh, you mentioned in the book, a relational coworker that had a relationship problem with just about everybody she came into contact with. And that probably is one of the most practical illustrations you can provide all of us. What happened in that case?

Mike: Well I remember there’s several of us were talking about this one coworker, and it was starting to get down to the point of gossip. And it was someone who was arrogant, someone who was narcissistic and just seemed to have it in for everyone. Everyone looked at her behavior. And then one of the women in the group said, “I wonder what happened.” He said, “What do you mean?” She says, “That’s not normal behavior. It’s not a normal way of relating. Something had to have happened to her when she was growing up, just her environment or whatever, that is caused her to handle life this way.”

Jim: Yeah.

Mike: And it really threw us all back a little bit and thought, okay we all are a product of everything that’s happened to us in the past. The choices we’ve made the things we’ve learned, and we don’t know why someone has the behavior that they do but there are reasons that got them there.

Jim: Mike, in fact, we struggle at times to apply scripture to our modern day lives. You know, we think these are ancient people living with ancient customs. But this area of how we interrelate with one another, how human beings treat each other, is as relevant today as it was 2000, 4000 years ago when the scriptures were being written, right? Uh, what are some of those applications of scripture?

Mike: The Bible does give us practical advice for everyday living. And that’s why we can take verses, especially out of the Proverbs. Things like Proverbs 18:7 that talks about hearing both sides. One side sounds good until you hear the other perspective, and to be able to not assume that we know what somebody is thinking. Um, Proverbs 10:19 about talking less, and listening more. Somebody said God gave us two ears and one mouth for a reason. Uh, thinking before you respond, Proverbs 15:28. And then just being careful with what we say, Proverbs 21:23.

Jim: I like this from Proverbs 10:19, I mean, just think of this, all of you listening think of this and how it applies to your life. “When words are many, transgression is not lacking, but whoever restrains his lips is prudent.” I mean, that’s a, a, you know, maybe the language seems antiquated but that’s a way of saying, sometimes the wisest person in the room is the one who’s talking the least. (Laughs).

Mike: Yeah.

Jim: That is so true.

Mike: It’s true. Well, I think that there’s, and I don’t have the verse in front of me, I think it’s in Proverbs 24, that we thought about putting on our guest room wall. It says something like, “Don’t stay too long in your neighbor’s house lest they grow to hate you.”

Jim: (Laughs).

John: (Laughs).

Mike: I thought that would be a great plaque on the wall when people stay with you.

Jim: Right, they’d love it. Every neighbor understands that exactly. Philippians 2:4 is another one. And again this is applying it to your everyday life, it says there, “Let each of you look not only to his own interests…” which we all do, “…but also to the interests of others.” I mean, that’s, uh, directly applying to what you’re talking about.

Mike: You know, I think that’s kind of a key to the whole thing. Is that it’s so easy to look at everything through our lenses, through our perspective, and saying, “Why are these people not doing it the way they should?” And really, one of the most important things we could do from all these verses, is to stop and listen.

Jim: Yeah.

Mike: And just to look through their lenses, not to agree with them, just to understand.

Jim: Well, Mike, that friend that coworker that pulled you all back for a moment to say something must have happened to this person because they’re behaving oddly. There’s got to be some damage, emotionally, that was done that drives him or her in that direction. That perception that you talked about versus reality, I find it intriguing, Mike, that when Jesus was in front of Pontius Pilate, and I’ve mentioned this many times for the faithful listeners – you’re going to hear it again. But I’m intrigued by the fact that when Pontius Pilate was pushing Jesus to answer his questions, particularly in the gospel account of John, that’s where the most robust area is, Jesus responds to say, “I’ve come to testify to the truth.” Eh, you know, if you think about it as a faithful follower of Christ, what would you expect him to have said? I came to testify to righteousness. That’s one. I came to testify to His grace. That’d be another. But Jesus said, “I came to testify to the truth” because that covers it all, doesn’t it? (Laughs).

Mike: That’s so good

Jim: And it is good because it’s a great illustration for us. We need to know the truth as best as we can, even in our human foibles, right?

Mike: What happens, anytime we have what we call crazy people in our lives that we’re basing it on our assumptions, our expectations, but not truth. And the way to deal with all of this is to go to truth.

John: You’re listening to Focus on the Family with Jim Daly. And Mike Bechtle is our guest today talking about his book, People Can’t Drive You Crazy If You Don’t Give Them the Keys. And you can get your copy at focusonthefamily.com/broadcast.

Jim: And Mike, the title so aptly describes this next question, you know. If you don’t give people the keys to your emotional heart, they’re not going to drive you off a cliff, basically. But, um, we can’t really change anybody. We can’t even change, necessarily, external circumstances. We can influence those, but the only thing we can truly change is our own attitude towards something.

Mike: Right.

Jim: And that’s where the key factor comes in, right? (Laughs). Control the keys, meaning your attitude, and you kind of control your emotional stability. Hand those over to somebody else, meaning you get upset at somebody, you know, somebody pushes your button and maybe your kids. Okay, let’s get closer to that. Maybe your spouse who has this ability to just push the right button at the wrong moment and, bam! There you are into an argument. Describe for us from a, uh, Christian perspective, what is it handing over the keys, and what, how do we keep the keys and keep control?

Mike: I think it’s what you just said at the beginning. The realization that we can’t fix somebody else. And that we really can’t change another person. We can influence them. There’s things we can do. But if my happiness and my security depends on what you do, I’m probably going to be disappointed because I can’t change another person, the only person I really am responsible for is myself and making choices, myself.

Jim: Why for a lifetime? I mean somebody who’s in their 50s, like me, or 60s and 70s, we’ve struggled our whole life with that.

Mike: Yeah.

Jim: And somehow it’s like banging your head up against a wall. We constantly just give the keys over. What can you practically do to say, “Okay, I heard that program on Focus today. I’m not going to hand my emotional keys over. I’m not gonna let that person drive me crazy. Now what?” (Laughs).

Mike: I think it’s like playing tennis, that you stay on your side of the court. I can serve, but I can’t be responsible for how they return it.

Jim: Do you use triggers to help you stay in that lane and that side of the court?

Mike: You know, I think it’s something as simple as going back to truth. It’s like, I don’t know what the truth is. And when they respond a certain way I can say they need to change, they’re messing up my lives, they’re ruining everything. Especially, like you said, if it’s a family member.

Jim: Yeah.

John: Mike, I’m thinking of parents who are saying, “But I have to train my child.” And so, where’s the room for that in this equation?

Mike: Yeah, I think it’s… Training the child is part of our responsibility, and we are guiding them. The same time, they’re real people.

Jim: Your aunt is not your child. (Laughs).

Mike: That’s right, that’s right. And we’re preparing them to be adults. And we’re, we’re giving them the tools they need. And part of that is gonna be the process of helping them understand what does it mean to operate from truth. And do-

John: All right, so do, do I talk to my child and say, “Hey, you’re really driving me crazy here.” Or do I just let them have some space?

Mike: I can do that. I think it’s fair to say, you know, “When you’re doing this, I am feeling just crazy here. I feel like you’re driving me crazy.” But then we go back to truth of what’s really happening. When you do this, you’re better than that. And I want to help you get to where you’re gonna go. “It’s driving me crazy, but I love you no matter what.” And I think it’s that unconditional love. When we have a wayward teenager that’s making a lot of bad choices, to separate the behavior from the person-

John: Must do.

Mike: To say that they are… Their value comes from who they are not from what they do, and to… For them to know that they’re unconditionally loved could be the thing that brings them back.

John: Yeah, and that’s so critical. So many parents are going through that. In fact, I think you experienced that as a parent, right? You had to demonstrate it which always brings a greater credibility-

Mike: Sure.

John: …to the microphone here so, could you explain any example that you might have had with your own kids?

Mike: Sure. My son was making some of the teenage choices you don’t want him to make for a few years and was choosing a path that really wasn’t where we had taught him to go. We dropped him off at college, and-

John: So he was driving you crazy?

Mike: Oh yeah. Oh yeah.

John: (Laughs).

Mike: That’s the… I was trying to be nice.

John: Yeah.

Mike: But, But he was driving us crazy. And then we dropped them off at college, and it terrified me because I thought, “Okay, now I’m not there to talk to him, to guide him, to make those kind of choices.”

John: Control him.

Mike: Yeah! Control him.

John: (Laughs).

Mike: What… I can’t fix him.

Jim: Right.

Mike: At least I have a chance when he’s in my home but I can’t now. And I remember looking in the rear-view mirror and seeing him walk backwards and he didn’t look, look back. And at that time I felt like God said, “Okay, I love him more than you do. You can’t be here but I can. I’m gonna stay with him. I’m gonna be working with him constantly. Your, your job is to pray for him-”

John: And it’s hard to embrace.

Mike: It is, but I think it goes back truth.

Jim: It’s truth.

Mike: Everything goes back to truth. It’s like we’re responsible for the choices we make, staying on our side of the court, as it were.

Jim: Also Mike, you had a quote in the book I want you to explain which said this. “We will spend every hour that we have.” Period. I was looking for the next word but that’s it. “We will spend every hour that we have. If we don’t determine where we’re going to spend it then someone else will decide for us. Who deserves the best of your time today?” Man, that is convicting.

Mike: Yeah. If I had a $100 bill, it has no value in itself. It’s a piece of paper with ink on it. It gains value when I do something with it. I take you to a restaurant, it has the value of food, take it to the theater, it has the value of entertainment. Time is the same way. A minute really doesn’t have value by itself, it’s what we do with that minute. And whatever I choose to do with that minute, whoever I spend it with, whatever choices I make, that’s the value that minute has. But the difference between time and money is that money you can choose not to spend. You could save it, you can invest it. Can’t do that with time.

John: Time just tick-tocks. You can-

Mike: You will expend minute. And that’s why if you don’t decide intentionally, make a choice about what do I do with that minute then someone else is making the choice for you

John: Boy, that’s just a good life reminder of what’s most valuable in this life. You know, I was able to hold a moon rock a friend of mine had a moon rock from one of the astronauts. First of all it’s amazingly light, it’s like foam. But he said to me, “You know, this is the most precious material on earth.” And I thought that’s really interesting. More precious than diamonds, the things that the Earth has created, because it’s outside of the Earth. It’s a moon rock and there’s only a, you know, a few dozen of them in the world. And you think about that, but in the same way that value for time, it’s amazing that we negate or we discount the most valuable commodity that we’re given in life. It’s not money, it’s time.

Mike: Yeah.

John: And what we do with our time. I love that, calling it out to that one hour, how are you going to spend it?

Mike: And that’s what goes back to how do you deal with your crazy people. If I can spend an hour listening to them-

John: (Laughs).

Mike: …instead of spending an hour trying to fix them. That’s an investment that’ll pay off.

Jim: Well, let’s move in that direction. Uh, you know one of the key things is holidays are always present. We said and promised we’d end with the family side. And there might be one or two people that push your buttons (laughs) in that area. And you’re gonna host the Christmas dinner and 25 people are coming over. But that one person, when she gets on the silverware and tells me how tarnished my silverware is-

Mike: (Laughs).

Jim: …or how the plates aren’t just right or how dry the turkey is.

Mike: Are you gonna share a name with us?

Jim: No. (Laughs).

Mike: No. (Laughs).

Jim: I’m just guessing (laughs).

Mike: Hypothetically. Yeah.

Jim: I have a friend.

Mike: (Laughs).

Jim: But, uh, but that is really the point and it just does something to get under your skin. And you’re saying, “Why do we go through this every holiday where we invite that relative over?”

Mike: Yeah.

Jim: What’s a different way to approach it this year?

Mike: Gosh, it’s with family, it’s like swimming with sharks.

Jim: (Laughs).

Mike: They’re all under wa… You know-

Jim: Is it because everybody’s so comfortable with each other they’re not wanting to behave?

Mike: Well I think there’s patterns we’ve developed for so long, and it’s the way we’ve always done it. So if they’ve always had Christmas dinner at your house because you have the biggest house it’s the most central everyone expects that and you expect it to. So suddenly you’re saying, “All right, I’m going to have Christmas dinner but that person is coming over they complain about the silverware. Uncle Joe doesn’t like turkey so I have to make a ham every year-”

Jim: (Laughs). Or a yog… What is it, a tofuky?. (Laughs).

John: (Laughs). A tofuky!

Mike: Oh yeah. The, the to-, the tof-

Jim: A tofuky.

Mike: Yeah, I think something like that.

Jim: It’s a, like a, it’s a turkey, a tofu turkey.

John: Yeah, they’ll be out of them at the store now.

Jim: Okay, I know. Don’t write me, I get it. I’ll pronounce it better next time.

Mike: And nobody complain, I mean everybody complains about how many raisins there are in the dressing-

Jim: (Laughs).

Mike: …and it’s, there’s nobody helps clean up.

John: It’s a setup for disaster.

Mike: It is, and so you dread it. You want to be with those people because you care about them but what do you do in that situation? I think one thing is to call it back to say, “Okay, what choices can I make?” And sometimes it might be asking Uncle Joe to bring his own ham.

Jim: (Laughs). Right.

Mike: And maybe saying, you know what, just, uh, d-, announcing saying, “This year I’m not gonna have it in my house but wherever you have it, I’ll help coordinate. Or I’ll reserve a room at a restaurant, I’ll send out an invitation how much it’s going to cost.” Or I could take a Caribbean cruise that week or, or, um, have the house tented for termites.

Jim: (Laughs).

Mike: There’s, there’s-

John: (Laughs). That’s a drastic move.

Jim: But it’s in the repertoire. (Laughs).

John: Could be effective. (Laughs).

Mike: It’s extreme but it’s the idea that-

Jim: (Laughs). It sends a message.

Mike: …(Laughs) I can make some choices I don’t have to say it has to be the way it’s always been. I can make some simple choices to get other people involved.

Jim: Yeah.

John: Yeah.

Mike: I can hire a cleaning person to come in afterward.

Jim: Hey, Mike, how do you differentiate between that line of what’s real and then the admonition in scripture not to be a gossiper? Wha- (laughs). If you can tell me where that line is I deeply appreciate it.

Mike: Wait, it’s really hard, you have to find it in the moment. I think, where, because when you’re with family and you’ve got that crazy relative that everybody knows about, there has to be some discussion about how are we going to handle this. What do we do with this person? But when it drops into, we’re telling stories about how bad it was, that’s when it’s gotten into gossip.

John: Yeah.

Mike: So it’s a matter of how do we talk about survival, or boundaries, without going into that area.

Jim: Man, that is good. Mike here’s the kicker question; the whole half hour been talking I’m thinking, “What if I’m the crazy person in another person’s life?” (Laughs). How do we know truth that well to say, “Uh oh. I’ve got something I got to do or I’ve got to change.” What if we’re that person?

Mike: Well, I think we are.

Jim: (Laughs).

Mike: There’s an assumption that because-

Jim: There’s no if?

Mike: Well, yeah, n-, right. Because everybody else might be crazy to us, and they say if you join a group and there’s nobody crazy than it has to be you.

Jim: (Laughs).

Mike: But in this context to be able to recognize it to someone else, we’re moving their setpoint, to the degree that I do that, that makes me the crazy person for them.

Jim: Yeah. That’s so good. And it’s been so great having you here at Focus On the Family. Thank you.

Mike: Yeah, thank you. It’s always a privilege.

John: Well a fun conversation with Dr. Mike Bechtle about his book, People Can’t Drive You Crazy If You Don’t Give Them the Keys.

Jim: John, I know Mike’s message has resonated with many of our listeners. As we’re entering the holiday season with Thanksgiving and then Christmas, there’s probably a troubling family member who comes to mind. Or maybe it’s a neighbor or a coworker. Whoever it is, Mike’s book is a great resource for you.

And here at Focus on the Family, we want to put that tool into your toolbox so that you can do a better job of living in the fruit of the Spirit, and that’s our goal today. So if you can send a gift of any amount to Focus and we’ll say thank you by sending you this great book. And I guarantee you’ll find lots of good advice in this great resource and it will make your life a little more peaceful than it is right now.

John: Our number is 800, the letter A and the word FAMILY. 800-232-6459. Or donate and get the book at focusonthefamily.com/broadcast.

Jim: And let me remind you that some good friends, uh, to the ministry have provided us with a matching gift, which means any donation you make today will be doubled. And as a result, more marriages can be strengthened, more parents are equipped to raise godly kids, and together we can give more families hope.

John: We’d really love to hear from you today. Again, our number is 800, the letter A and the word FAMILY, and that website where you can donate focusonthefamily.com/broadcast.

And, uh, coming up next time, the importance of family traditions.

Teaser:

Jessica Smartt: The reason we’re doing all of these traditions is because I want to bond my children to our family to let them know you have people here that are for you. And to bond them to their faith.

Today's Guests

People Can't Drive You Crazy if You Don't Give Them the Keys

Receive Mike Bechtle's book People Can't Drive You Crazy if You Don't Give Them the Keys for your donation of any amount. Your gift between now and December 31 will be matched – dollar for dollar – up to $5 million!

Recent Episodes

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Simple Habits to Embrace in Your Marriage

Dr. Randy Schroeder has counseled thousands of married couples and has discovered simple tools that help couples avoid divorce and build a thriving marriage. In this broadcast, he describes practical habits to help couples navigate expectations in marriage, build emotional closeness, and resolve disagreements.

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How I Found God Through My Abortion Journey (Part 2 of 2)

Cynthia Wenz shares her incredible testimony of discovering God’s love and forgiveness. As a teenager, Cynthia lived recklessly and strayed away from the Lord. By age 29, she had three abortions, numbing herself from the reality of killing her children. After realizing her mistakes, Cynthia became pro-life and experienced many years of turmoil and grief before undergoing post-abortion recovery. She now advocates for pregnancy resource centers across the nation. (Part 2 of 2)

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How I Found God Through My Abortion Journey (Part 1 of 2)

Cynthia Wenz shares her incredible testimony of discovering God’s love and forgiveness. As a teenager, Cynthia lived recklessly and strayed away from the Lord. By age 29, she had three abortions, numbing herself from the reality of killing her children. After realizing her mistakes, Cynthia became pro-life and experienced many years of turmoil and grief before undergoing post-abortion recovery. She now advocates for pregnancy resource centers across the nation. (Part 1 of 2)

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A Legacy of Music and Trusting the Lord

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

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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!

Play Video

Newest Release - Episode 6: Families Helping Families!

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

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

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

Praying Scripture Over Your Child’s Life - Part 2

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

Headshot of Focus on the Family broadcast guest Jodie Berndt

Jodie Berndt

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

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

Praying the Scriptures Over Your Children

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

Effective Habits to Embrace in Parenting

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

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

Dr. Randy Schroeder

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

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

Simple Habits for Effective Parenting

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

The Spiritual Battle for Your Marriage

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

Tim and Noreen Muehlhoff Cropped

Dr. Tim and Mrs. Noreen Muehlhoff

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

Defending Your Marriage

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

Reigniting Your Passion for Jesus - Part 1

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

Headshot photo of author Kim Meeder

Kim Meeder

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

Revival Rising

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

Reigniting Your Passion for Jesus - Part 2

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

Headshot photo of author Kim Meeder

Kim Meeder

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

Revival Rising

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

Mothers and Sons: Being a Godly Influence - Part 2

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

Headshot of Rhonda Stoppe

Rhonda Stoppe

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

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

Moms Raising Sons to Be Men

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

Identifying Triggers in Your Marriage - Part 2

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

Headshot of Guy and Amber Lia

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Author Debra Fileta in the Focus on the Family broadcast studio

Mrs. Debra Fileta

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

Are You Really Okay?

Are You Really OK: Getting Real About Who You Are

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

Embracing Your Role as a Spouse

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

Headshot of Kevin Thompson

Pastor Kevin Thompson

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

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

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

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

Sharing Your Faith with Grace and Purpose

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

Mr. Greg Koukl

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

Tactics front cover

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

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

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

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

Dr. Kevin Leman

Dr. Kevin Leman

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

Bundle of Why Your Kids Misbehave

Why Your Kids Misbehave and What to Do about It

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

Giving up Sugar, Tasting God's Goodness

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

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

Mrs. Wendy Speake

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dr. Kevin Leman

Dr. Kevin Leman

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

Bundle of Why Your Kids Misbehave

Why Your Kids Misbehave and What to Do about It

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

Loving Your Spouse Through the Seasons of Marriage - Part 2

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

Author Debra Fileta in the Focus on the Family broadcast studio

Debra Fileta

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

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

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

Reconciling Faith and Science in a Medical Crisis

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

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

Dr. Lee Warren

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

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

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

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

Praying Scripture Over Your Child’s Life - Part 1

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

Headshot of Focus on the Family broadcast guest Jodie Berndt

Jodie Berndt

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

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

Praying the Scriptures Over Your Children

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

Mothers and Sons: Being a Godly Influence - Part 1

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

Headshot of Rhonda Stoppe

Rhonda Stoppe

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

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

Moms Raising Sons to Be Men

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

Identifying Triggers in Your Marriage Part 1

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

Headshot of Guy and Amber Lia

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Author Debra Fileta in the Focus on the Family broadcast studio

Mrs. Debra Fileta

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

Are You Really Okay?

Are You Really OK: Getting Real About Who You Are

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

Navigating a Toxic Culture with Your Daughter - Part 1

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

Mrs. Meg Meeker

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

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

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

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

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Newest Release - Episode 1: The Truth About Life!

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

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

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