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Focus on the Family Broadcast

Making Helpful Changes in Your Communication (Part 1 of 2)

Making Helpful Changes in Your Communication (Part 1 of 2)

Dr. Mike Bechtle wants to help people communicate better, especially in our social media world where everybody is talking all at once and nobody is listening. Mike explains we need “more weight” or value to our communication in order to be heard, and he talked about how we can use emotion in positive ways to energize our conversations. (Part 1 of 2)
Original Air Date: November 21, 2022

Man #1: I’ve had a number of times where somebody was talking nonstop and I should have interrupted, but I didn’t.

Man #2: Sometimes I try to make a joke, and either I don’t time it right or it’s just not a good joke, and then I end up regretting it all and wanted to put a shoe in my mouth.

Woman #1: When I was planning my wedding, my mom and I were looking at some flower girl dresses, and I wanted one color and she was telling me that that was not the right color to use for it. I looked her in the eye and told her, “Well, too bad it’s my wedding then.” Probably could have phrased that better.

John Fuller: … well, maybe you can relate there. I wonder if communication is one of those skills that you’ve never really felt good at? Uh, or do you wish you could learn how to express yourself more clearly? Uh, we’re going to be covering communication today on Focus on the Family, and your host is Focus president and author Jim Daly. I’m John Fuller.

Jim Daly: John, this is one of those life skills we don’t tend to talk much about. We just expect everybody can do it well or marginally well. Uh, like the first time you had to speak before a group or a crowd, you probably prepared your thoughts. Um, sometimes when I’m speaking, the best speaking engagements that I have are things that I’ve not prepared for, ironically. But typically, you want to prepare your thoughts in that kind of environment, so you don’t freeze, and all those kinds of things. Uh, but we don’t do much to prepare for our regular ordinary everyday conversations, right? How do I want to express myself? Like the scripture talks about, being edifying toward one another. Um, and that often means speaking positively about people, their strong attributes, not their (laughs) negative ones. And, uh, today I’m excited to have our guest here today, um, Mike Bechtle, who’s going to help us think about those conversations, not just the pre-planned ones, but the everyday interaction that we have with let’s say our spouse, our kids, maybe our parents, and then the neighbor.

John: (laughs). And at this time of year let’s include holiday guest. Thanksgiving and Christmas are upon us, and, uh, you might have a lot going on, uh, during this season, where communication, well, it would be, uh, a good thing to review.

Jim: (laughs). Yeah, having the family over.

John: Yeah.

Jim: What do we talk about?

John: Well…

Jim: (laughs).

John: We’re going to hear a little bit from Mike Bechtle about all of this. Uh, he’s been here before in the studio with us. He’s an author, a speaker, a blogger. He, uh, specializes in communication and leadership training. And Mike has a book he’s written that serves as the basis for our conversation today, It’s Better to Bite Your Tongue Than Eat Your Words.

Jim: (laughs).

John: And we do have copies of that book here at the ministry. Uh, stop by focusonthefamily.com/broadcast to get yours.

Jim: Mike, welcome back to Focus. Good to have you.

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

Jim: Especially on this issue of communication. It is kind of funny we’re right in front of Thanksgiving. Most people, I think will be having family over. Some, uh, really, you know, looking forward to that. Maybe some others (laughs) might not be as, uh, eager to see that happen. So speak to that issue, just how to- how to have a good family discussion when all the family’s at your house?

Mike: Well, it seems like when we talk to most people, we behave ourselves in conversation. But somehow when families are together, especially family members, you always have that one irregular one.

Jim: It’s a different filter for us.

Mike: It is.

Jim: (laughs).

Mike: And they come together and there’s somebody that knows how to push your buttons, I think.

Jim: Yes.

Mike: Had somebody the other day said, “Sorry I’m pushing all your buttons, I’m trying to find the mute button.” (laughs).

Jim: Right, let me give you an example for the listeners. I mean, one of those things is like, are you really going to have another piece of pie? Only your family would say that to you (laughs).

Mike: (laughs).

Jim: Right?

Mike: Well, and then there’s all the expectations that come with it, because everybody eats and leaves, and then certain people are left to clean up, and then so there’s feelings that come, and with family it comes up a little stronger. That maybe you haven’t seen some of these people for a year, but there they are and it comes back again.

Jim: That’s really good. Hey, Jean was brilliant. She came up with really decorative Thanksgiving paper plates, and I’m always volunteering to do the dishes on that day, right?

Mike: Oh, there you go.

Jim: So it’s pretty fast (laughs). I can get those done quickly. But it’s a- a good reminder. Let me ask, uh, someone’s got to be thinking when they heard the title of your book, again, It’s Better to Bite Your Tongue Than Eat Your Words, I would think some personality types would be saying, “No, I’d rather eat my words and tell them the truth straightforward.” Uh, speak to that (laughs) person who would probably disagree with your title?

Mike: Well, I think most people feel like they’re pretty good communicators. For that person, they tend to have a lot of courage, but they may not have as much compassion.

Jim: (laughs).

Mike: And so they’re focused on getting their point across, they’re more outgoing, but they don’t realize that there’s shrapnel-

Jim: Mm-hmm.

Mike: … that comes out of that.

Jim: That’s a good word.

Mike: Whereas somebody on the other side, they’re more concerned about the compassion. They worry about what people are feeling, what people are thinking, and so they will hold back and maybe not say things they should say.

Jim: Yeah.

Mike: Because they don’t want to hurt anybody’s feelings.

Jim: You know what’s so funny is, uh, temperament does play into this, personality type. I know for Jean and I, and I would think this is generally true, but I’m more extroverted, Jean’s more introverted. She did Chemistry, I did marketing. That kind of (laughs) tells you right there. But how- how does personality play into that communication type? When you say people believe they’re good communicators, I would definitely think that’s true of extroverts. We all think we’re great communicators, (laughs) whether you’re listening or not. We’re just going to keep talking.

Mike: Well, I think we’re in kind of an extrovert society.

Jim: Yep.

Mike: It’s not that there’s more of them, in fact it’s almost equal, but the extroverts are the ones that tend to speak… they think while they’re speaking.

Jim: Right.

Mike: In fact, they form words in order to de- decide what they’re thinking.

Jim: (laughs) It’s so true.

Mike: Introverts tend to not say anything until they have thought, they come up with their ideas. And so they don’t come out as quickly. So sometimes they think of the perfect response about 10 minutes after the conversation’s over.

Jim: Mm-hmm.

Mike: And so it’s just a difference in style. But a lot of times introverts, they don’t want to become extroverts, they’re comfortable with being able to be more reflective in the way they think. But sometimes extroverts look at them and think, boy, it would be so much easier if they could just be a little more outgoing and just talk more.

Jim: Just tell me what you’re thinking (laughs).

Mike: Yeah. There’s a- there’s a tendency for an extrovert to think, well, and introvert just needs to be fixed. They need to be healed.

Jim: Whoa (laughs).

Mike: And then they will be able to…

Jim: Then they’ll be more like me.

Mike: Exactly.

Jim: (laughs).

Mike: And if they do that, it’ll be much better.

Jim: You have a term in the book that- that you say, uh, some need to gain a little more weight. Now, that’s the first time I’ve ever heard that, especially going into Thanksgiving. I like that admonition, Mike, thank you. I’m having that extra piece of pie.

Mike: (laughs) Yes.

Jim: But I don’t think that’s what you’re getting at. What do you mean by putting on a little weight when it comes to communication?

Mike: Well, I think if you’re on top of a building and you toss a ping pong ball off the top of the roof, you’re not going to be able to tell where it landed. If you toss off a bowling bowl, it will. And so the same thing is true with, uh, with people. It’s not a matter of how loud you are or anything else, but how much value you bring.

Jim: Mm-hmm.

Mike: It’s just like when somebody asks for a raise, they say, “I’ve been here long enough. My boss needs to give me more money.” It’s like, well, but they’re paying you for the value that you’re bringing. If you can increase your value or increase your weight, what you bring, um, to come in deeper-

Jim: Ah.

Mike: … to come in with more resources, more- learn more skills. And that’s- I think that’s true with conversation, is because if we can learn deeper conversation skills, we’ve got the ones we grew up with, whatever we learned in our family of origin, whether it was healthy or unhealthy, that’s the tools we use. We go to school and learn how to do everything else. We take courses, but nobody really teaches us how do you communicate better. We can get those tools.

Jim: That’s a really good point. You know, going back again to those, you know, generally applied principles of extroversion and introversion, typically extroverts are… you know, they want to get to everybody.

Mike: Yeah.

Jim: So they’re an inch deep, and they’re- they want to talk to everybody at the party. It energizes them. And then the introverted person typically, not always, but typically wants to talk to three people and go very deep. And that’s another great attribute of- of the more focused introverted communicator.

Mike: Well, and it seems like a lot of times, for some reason, an- an introvert will marry an extrovert. You marry-

Jim: For some reason.

Mike: Yeah. Yeah. For… (laughs).

Jim: Well, we’re- we’re attracted to the opposite of what we are, typically.

Mike: Exactly. It’s where-

Jim: Yeah.

Mike: Yeah, it’s something we don’t have.

Jim: It’s a compliment to you.

Mike: And my- my son in law is an extrovert. I’m an introvert. He likes to go to a movie the day it opens, because he wants the crowd and the energy. My wife and I are both introverts, and we like to go the day it ends.

Jim: (laughs).

Mike: And maybe have the theater to ourselves. We did it a couple of months ago, and we were the only two people in the theater.

Jim: (laughs).

Mike: About 10 minutes later, one person walked in and we’re going, “Oh, great. A crowd.”

Jim: (laughs).

Mike: (laughs).

Jim: Broke our fine moment here.

Mike: Yes.

Jim: Uh, you know, I’ve had conversations in the past where emotions do get heated and kind of shut communication down. I mean, that’s kind of our first protective mode- modality, right? Is we just, boom, we shut down. But you believe emotions can be fuel for more effective communication. Speak to that? A lot of people that have had that happen, they- they’re probably scratching their heads. How?

Mike: I grew up thinking that most emotion was wrong.

Jim: Mm-hmm.

Mike: It was the way we were taught that in church. Anger was always a sin. That you shouldn’t- you can’t have certain emotions, and so you keep them inside, because they were still there. But I think God gave us emotions as fuel for getting things done, for passion. And so he’s given us our unique temperament, our unique personality as our tool to be able to make that happen.

Jim: Yeah.

Mike: So…

Jim: That’s really good. Um, describe the impact that our attitude can have on our communication? You have a great quote from Chuck Swindoll, who’s a terrific communicator.

Mike: Mm-hmm.

Jim: But what was that quote from Chuck that got your attention?

Mike: Yeah, Chuck- Chuck was our pastor for a number of years.

Jim: Oh, great.

Mike: And that’s where we first got to know him. But he’s got, and it’s a famous quote that he’s used so many times, but the very last line says, “I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me, and 90% how I react to it.”

Jim: It’s so good. So good.

Mike: And it just comes out of the whole idea that at- he says attitude is everything. That no matter what happens around us, I can either be reactive, be a victim of what’s happening, or I can be proactive and choose how I respond. We have the ability to do that.

Jim: Yeah, and you know, Mike, today you look at the culture and my goodness, we’re full of victim hood.

Mike: Mm-hmm.

Jim: You know, what people have done to us. Even in the church. I mean, we’ve got the same difficulty. You know, the pastor didn’t do this, or did this. And I mean, rather than just absorb some of those things, uh, I think many people often don’t intend to communicate something negative, it comes across that way. Maybe they did. But what a far healthier Christian way of handling those things, to say, well, 10% is what somebody said to me, and 90% is what- how I react to it. Right? I- I just let it go.

Mike: And I think that’s so healthy, that approach, because it’s so easy for us, like you said, in society, um, in work environments, even in families, to hear what other people say and automatically assume that everything is true. Even our own thoughts sometimes. We believe every thought we have. And it can get pretty toxic in there if I start believing everything that I just think.

Jim: Mm-hmm.

Mike: And so to be able to have, uh, the change to say, I can challenge my thoughts, I can… I don’t have to accept everything as being negative towards me or towards anybody else. It’s like, I can make choices about what I say, I can choose my words, I can choose my attitudes. And I think it’s a very biblical thing.

Jim: Yeah. When you look at that, I’m thinking of the person that maybe struggling with a negative attitude in life. Um, you know, so I want you to answer this questions kind- probably in two parts. Like how- how do you get off that road of negativity, especially for a believer? And the other part is just that idea of, yeah, what- what does God expect of us? You know, look at the political temperature in this country. I mean, the other side, whichever way you’re throwing that stone, it’s horrible and terrible and it needs to be thrown out of power. Which may be true (laughs), but the- the point of that is, what does God expect in our heart when it comes to our discourse, our attitude, our expression? And then if they’re on that road of negativity, how do they get off that highway on and get onto the fruit of the spirit, I would say, which is love, joy, peace, goodness, kindness, mercy. You know, that’s a far better spiritual, Christian road to be on.

Mike: Well, and I- I think logic is the only tool a lot of us have and what we use. And it’s like, well, if I- if you say something and I disagree with you, or if you have a different opinion, I believe I’m right. And if I believe that I’m right, why do I want your opinion? And so, if I listen to you and you say something that’s different than what I’m thinking, then, um, you must be wrong. So I have to use logic as my only tool. But that’s where it goes back to… all the biblical things don’t say a lot about logic. Yes, we have apologetics, we have everything else, but the scripture says that God brought people to himself because of his kindness. It wasn’t even his teaching, it wasn’t a lot of other things, it says but we have been drawn to him because of his kindness. I thought, if something as little as that to recognize some of those scriptures that it has to do with building trust, building relationships.

Jim: Yeah, that’s Romans 2:4.

Mike: Mm-hmm.

Jim: That if somebody’s saying, where’s that? Romans 2:4 (laughs). Go read it, it’s amazing. The- another scripture, probably in Proverbs, uh, where the power of the tongue. I know in the New Testament it’s there as well, the power of the tongue. Uh, speak to that for a moment, that, you know, those early writers of the scriptures recognize that the power of life and death is in the tongue. Uh, you might scratch your head and say, how could that be? But it’s where we impact people, for good or for ill.

Mike: Well, I think we were brought up with, um, we all heard the phrase, “Sticks and stones will break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” It’s like, yeah, right. Because words probably hurt us more than sticks and stones. When we- we when just use logic with people, then we don’t realize the power of our words.

Jim: Mm-hmm.

Mike: Because I think we’ve all been in situations where someone said a casual statement that changed our lives. They didn’t know it, but it was exactly what we needed. Ephesians 4:29, it’s like it was a- in a wholesome word according to the need of the moment, gave us exactly what we needed. At the same time, somebody else may have said just a flippant little word that cut us to the core, and it changed the direction we were thinking because of that. And so those casual words are so critical.

Jim: Oh. So true. I remember I’ve said this before, when I was five years old, my mom’s best friend Penny said to me, “You have diarrhea of the mouth.” (laughs) And I tried not to talk for a week just to prove her wrong.

Mike: Mm-hmm.

Jim: But I mean, it is kind of funny I ended up in a communications role (laughs). But…

John: (laughs). Well, the power of words didn’t, uh, have their- their lasting effect on you, I guess.

Jim: Yeah, right (laughs).

John: Well, this is Focus on the Family, with, uh, chatty Kathy over here, Jim Daly.

Jim: (laughs).

John: And I’m John Fuller. Our guest today is Dr. Mike Bechtle. And, uh, communication is the topic. Uh, his book is called It’s Better to Bite Your Tongue Than Eat Your Words. We’ll invite you to stop by our website to get your copy. That’s focusonthefamily.com/broadcast. Or give us a call, 800, the letter A, and the word FAMILY. And Mike, uh, we have a lot, uh, uh, of belief in the fullness of communication. Confrontation is one of those things, uh, Jim that you, uh, kind of brought to the surface when you stepped into leadership here. You said, we’re going to have healthy conflict. A lot of us don’t understand what you mean by confrontation, um, or what that looks like. We- we feel like we have to avoid it. What- what are your thoughts on confrontation?

Mike: Boy, confrontation is so natural. It just… we can’t avoid it, it’s going to happen, but a lot of times that’s what we want to do. We don’t- we’re not comfortable. We don’t know what to say or how to respond. Especially, you mentioned, the introverts. And an introvert has to think for a while, and in confrontation it’s like I need to respond quickly and come up with an answer, or they’ll think that I don’t know what I’m doing. And then somebody could get upset, I don’t want them to get upset, so we avoid confrontation. And I keep thinking of a story that I heard not too long ago about a rancher in the who had hundreds of cows. And every once- once in a while, these storms would come through mid-west. And it was like one cloud that would float through and just dump. Well, the cows didn’t like the rain, and so they would start running to get away from it. Well, they don’t run very fast. They went- ran about the same speed as the cloud.

Jim: (laughs).

Mike: So they stayed with the storm, because they didn’t just deal with it in the moment. And I think we’re the same way. A lot of times, if we avoid confrontation, we haven’t fixed anything, we haven’t changed anything, we’ve almost tucked it away so it can smolder in the background. And so healthy confrontation, in fact the definition, I looked up the word confrontation, to confront, it says to meet someone face to face with hostile or argumentative intent. So that sounds negative. But the second part of the definition that I saw said to face up to or deal with a problem or difficult situation. It’s like, yeah, it could be tough, but this means we’re dealing with it in a healthy way.

Jim: You know, Mike, that’s an interesting observation, because I think even for Christians in this culture, whether it’s inside the family, inside your marriage, inside your parenting, or dealing with the neighbor that doesn’t see the world your way, that’s a real good admonition. You don’t want to be doing the first definition, you know, confront with ill intent just to- just to do it, but to confront with truth. And I think that’s, uh, probably in the Christian culture today, that’s becoming more difficult for us to understand that that is healthy, that’s how God uses people to directly speak to another person’s heart about where they’re at. It doesn’t give you license to just (laughs) over and talk to your neighbor about their drinking problem, although if the lord opens up that opportunity, what a great thing if that person should turn from that and become a believer. I mean, how- how does change occur if we’re not challenging one another in a healthy way?

Mike: I think when we see that, it comes down to the relationship we have with the other person. If I don’t have trust with that other person, it’s probably going to turn negative. If my- my purpose, if my focus is to fix them, to change them, to get them to do something differently, it’s probably not going to make any difference. It’s not going to be that healthy. If you come to me and tell me I need to fix something or change something, I’m probably not going to be very happy about that, because you’re telling me I’m wrong, I’m bad and whatever. So I’m not open to making a lot of those kind of changes. Whereas with somebody, if I go to them and listen and just talk, and build a relationship and build trust, that’s probably the-

Jim: Yeah.

Mike: … biggest thing we can do to have healthy confrontation with people like that.

Jim: Yeah, it’s so true. You know, again, another, uh, confusing point for some, especially in the church, would be Matthew 5, where, you know, Jesus tells us to turn the other cheek-

Mike: Mm-hmm.

Jim: … if we’re dealing with people that are difficult, or people that hate us, for example. Um, that can trip us up a little too, so when do we confront? Are we supposed to turn the other cheek or actually say, whoa, what are you doing? I don’t appreciate you hitting me in the cheek.

Mike: Personally, I think there’s no rush. We feel like, okay, that person has a problem. I need to go deal with it right now. And sometimes I think it’s healthier to pull back a little bit and observe, and see, is this something I need to… is there- is there some danger that I need to do something right now? Or is it something where it’s like, let’s talk about what’s going on. Let’s… and- and just listen. There’s nothing… I think people are starved to be listened to. There’s nothing that’s stronger-

Jim: Huh.

Mike: … to build a relationship than listening. And it’s such an easy thing for us to do.

Jim: Yeah.

Mike: Because then we don’t have to talk loud, we don’t have to have answers, just listen and that opens the door for us to have that kind of confrontation.

Jim: Now, the curve ball I want to throw you, is in this high-tech environment that we live in, in modernity, where we have social media platforms, it’s constant cheek slapping.

Mike: Mm-hmm.

Jim: I mean, it feels like, I mean, it’s just, bam, bam, bam, bam. And if you’re brave enough to get out there and, you know, speak your mind, you’re going to get whacked by somebody. So how does social media change the dynamic of- of these deep biblical truths and these true human nature observations that we have? Uh, it seems like it puts it all on steroids.

Mike: Well, yeah. And I think social media is all talking, there’s no listening.

Jim: (laughs) That is so true.

Mike: There’s no relationship. It’s just people saying what they want to say, and because they’re not face to face, they tend to do it stronger than they would if they were in person.

Jim: And very little accountability for just-

Mike: Oh.

Jim: … spewing your thoughts.

Mike: I think no accountability.

Jim: None.

Mike: I-

Jim: Which is different in personal interactions.

Mike: Sure.

Jim: Somebody’s going to say, “Wait a minute, that’s not true.”

Mike: Yeah. Or you see that you hurt somebody and what- in this, there’s no accountability in that way. So when everything tends to be, I’m going to tell you the facts, that goes back to the logic again. I’m using my social media platform to say what I want to say, and it can be strong, and it tends to be negative. Well, somebody else responds, you don’t listen on social media, you come back with your perspective and it goes back and forth. And so it just escalates and grows. And so I think if people take that and bring it into a real conversation, it’s like that’s what they’re learning to do, is to communicate that way. Well, that doesn’t translate well into real conversations.

Jim: Yeah. We’re going to come back, but I- I do want to make sure we’re crystal clear on this, uh, explain why, and- and we’ve touched on this, by your attitude being, I’m going to fix the other person, is not a good starting place.

Mike: Mm-hmm.

Jim: That’s really- that may be a goal. Uh, I would really encourage people not to even make that a goal, just enter dialogue, help them… if anything, you’re trying to help them see a broader perspective, get a little more life perspective on it, et cetera. But if you’ve got the attitude that I’m going to fix this person by encountering them or confronting them, you’re probably already not going to go anywhere.

Mike: Well, if I have the mindset that I’m going to fix you, it puts me above you. It’s like, okay, I am here, and so you’re not where you need to be yet.

Jim: Right.

Mike: And so I’ll go from there.

Jim: Yeah. Now, I’m going to pull it out of your book, because you have a story about that. You tried to fix your son, and that didn’t go too well.

Mike: Our family is on vacation in Hawaii, and he was a teenager at the time. And he was…

Jim: (laughs).

Mike: … a pretty- he was-

Jim: I’m laughing just there.

Mike: (laughs).

Jim: Okay. That says it all. Next question.

John: What could go wrong- what could go wrong with this trip? (laughs).

Jim: Okay, so you have a teenager in Hawaii.

Mike: So we’re in Hawaii, and he was being, uh, a little more on the melancholy side, and he’s not a morning person. I am a morning person. He’s very much a night person. And so we go out to breakfast, and he didn’t even want to go. And he’d sit there with his head down, he would barely eat, and I’d try and make conversation, he wouldn’t respond. And I thought, okay, he’s being rebellious and he’s, you know, what’s wrong, what’s happening? And I’m worried about, he’s going to become a career criminal and-

Jim: (laughs).

Mike: … and all that stuff that comes (laughs) out of it. And then, one day in the middle of breakfast he was looking down at his food, and he just pulled his head up slowly, he looked me right in the eye and he said, “Two hours. Give me two hours, and then we’ll- we can talk.”

Jim: That’s exactly what Jean told me in our early marriage (laughs).

Mike: It was- and it’s true, because as-

Jim: Give me two hours.

Mike: … he- he said, “We’ll be fine.” And we were. Because he needed to wake up, and it just like, he couldn’t form words. Do the same with me at 9:00 at night, I can’t form multi syllable words or walk upright, and that’s what we ran into at him.

Jim: But-

Mike: But it changed everything.

Jim: Yeah. And there in the book you- you also give that end of the story that your son invited you out late one night.

Mike: Oh, Father’s Day.

Jim: (laughs).

Mike: He gave me the worst present ever.

Jim: (laughs).

John: (laughs).

Mike: He’s- he- he said, “I’m going to take you to a midnight movie.” And I said, “Why? What did I do wrong?” And he said, “No, you’ll be fine.”

Jim: (laughs).

Mike: I said, “I’m going to fall asleep.” He said, “Take a nap. You’ll be fine.” And so I did, and I went with him. And we went to the movie, and I don’t remember what it was, but we got out about 2:00 in the morning, went outside and it was just black, it was quiet, it was deathly quiet. And he said, “I just want you to see my world.” It was wonderful.

Jim: Mm-hmm.

Mike: And it’s like, it was one of the best moments we have because I got to experience part of what was so refreshing for him, to be in the quiet, to be outdoors, to be in- in the dark. And it was like, okay, that was important to him, and I- he got to share it with me.

Jim: I thought it was powerful. I mean, I applaud you for saying yes. I mean, a lot of dads would say, “Are you kidding me?” And they’d laugh and go to bed. And their son’s thinking to themselves, no, I wasn’t- I wasn’t kidding. I really wanted you to come out.

John: Mm-hmm.

Mike: And he wasn’t kidding about taking a nap, so I did.

Jim: (laughs).

John: (laughs).

Jim: Well, I can related, having, uh, just gotten through the teenage years with my two boys, both of whom like to sleep a little later than I wanted (laughs) them to. So, Mike, this has been so good. And I hope people are catching, uh, the tempo and the content here, and what a great book. It’s Better to Bite Your Tongue Than Eat Your Words. And I do want to come back next time and keep the discussion going. We’ll get into some more practical advice on how to apply that day to day, with your marriage, with your parenting, with your neighbors. Maybe even with your HOA.

John: (laughs).

Jim: I don’t know if it works there, but it’s possible.

Mike: Mm-hmm.

Jim: So, uh, first of all, uh, let’s come back and do that. And we’d love to put a copy of this book into your hands, here at Focus on the Family. And if you can make a gift of any amount, and what really helps, uh, Jean and I, I know Dina and John do the same, we support Focus Monthly.

John: Mm-hmm.

Jim: And if you can do that, uh, that would be extremely helpful, because it just evens out the budgeting, you know, issues that we have over the year. And, uh, that would be great, and we’ll send you a copy of the book as our way of saying thank you for being involved in ministry with us. And if that’s too much, we get it. And we know things are tight with inflation and other things. Um, a one-time gift would be great. If you need it and you can’t afford it, we’re a Christian ministry, we’ll get it into your hands.

John: Mm-hmm.

Jim: So just, uh, contact us, and we’ll trust others will take care of the cost of that. The bottom line is, be in ministry with us, or use the ministry here to build, uh, the situation that you’re in and let us help be a part of that-

John: Mm-hmm.

Jim: … solution for you.

John: We’re a phone call away, and our number is 800, the letter A, and the word FAMILY. 800-232-6459, and we’re also at focusonthefamily.com/broadcast.

Jim: And don’t forget about our matching gift campaign going on right now. Some generous friends in the spirit of fun really, it’s not, uh, something negative, but they just want to spur on the giving, and they have agreed to match every dollar, uh, with an additional dollar.

John: Mm-hmm.

Jim: So it’s a fun way to actually have your gift doubled. And as a result, we can rescue twice as many marriages, equip twice as many parents and give twice as many families hope this year and in 2023. So I want to invite you to partner with us during this crucial time, and your $50 gift will become $100.

John: Yeah, participate in this matching gift opportunity when you call 800, the letter A, and the word FAMILY. Well, details are all online at focusonthefamily.com/broadcast.

Jim: Mike, again, thanks for being with us, and, uh, let’s come back next time, continue the discussion. Are you willing?

Mike: Really looking forward to it.

Jim: Okay (laughs).

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

Today's Guests

It's Better to Bite Your Tongue Than Eat Your Words: The No-Regrets Guide to Better Conversations

Receive the book It's Better to Bite Your Tongue Than Eat Your Words and the audio download of the broadcast "Making Helpful Changes to Your Communication" for your donation of any amount! And now through a special matching opportunity, your gift will be DOUBLED, dollar for dollar!

Recent Episodes

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Caring for the Forgotten Generation

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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

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

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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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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

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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

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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.

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.

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 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.

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!

Thank you for committing to pray for the pre-born!

Sign up below for your free seven-day prayer guide. This daily guide will help give direction to your prayers for the pro-life movement. We will be praying with you!