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Navigating the Common Challenges of Marriage (Part 1 of 2)

Navigating the Common Challenges of Marriage (Part 1 of 2)

Best-selling author Gary Chapman addresses conflicts that arise when expectations meet reality in marriage, and provides steps to better communicate with and love your spouse. (Part 1 of 2)

Original Air Date: March 14, 2013

Opening: 

Teaser:

Woman: When we were dating, he made a funny little sound, clearing his throat. I thought it was kinda cute and endearing. But now that we’ve been married a few years, that funny little sound comes a lot more often than I realized. It’s not that cute anymore. In fact, it’s pretty annoying.

End of Teaser

John Fuller: It’s amazing how little things can suddenly become kinda big and really irritate us so quickly. This is Focus on the Family with your host, Focus president and author, Jim Daly. And I’m John Fuller.

Jim Daly: Now you’re gonna have to strap on your sense of humor, because today we’re gonna talk about those annoyances in our marriages that can create some conflict. One of our most popular guests, Dr. Gary Chapman, joined us to dive into these issues and help us learn to navigate them better so we could have a stronger marriage. That’s a good thing. The true test for me was talking to Gary: he mentioned, “You know one great thing you could do is go home and ask your spouse, ‘What’s something I could do to improve our marriage?’“ I did that with Jean, and she quickly said, “Well, I actually have two.” 

(LAUGHTER) 

And if you’re wondering, “What were they?” we – both of us can only remember one, the first one, which was I’m a little too spontaneous at times. So something like, “Hey, let’s go to Disneyland this weekend,” and we live, of course, in Colorado, so that becomes a stressor… 

John: It’s a big trip with a lot of plans. 

Jim: …for Jean. Yeah, no planning at all. And I think that was her point. And we literally can’t remember the second one. 

John: That’s a good thing. That’s probably a gift. And I do think of our own relationship – and Dena and I – it doesn’t take too long for me to realize, “Oh yeah, I’m doing that thing which really bothers her.” It’s just hard to stop some habits. 

Jim: It is. It’s a daring question to ask your spouse, but it does help in that marital communication. It’s important to be open with each other in that way. Today’s programs with Dr. Gary Chapman will help you figure out how to walk that fine line of marital communication. 

John: And Dr. Chapman is the author of the best-selling book, The Five Love Languages, and this conversation is based on a compilation of his writings called, Happily Ever After: Six Secrets to a Successful Marriage. We’re gonna pick up now as Dr. Chapman describes how he and his wife Karolyn dealt with the kitchen drawers being left open and cupboards not being shut. 

Jim: Never happens at my house. 

(LAUGHTER) 

Body: 

Gary Chapman: Well, you know, Jim, for years and years and years, I talked to other people about how to, you know, negotiate these things and these changes and how to – when to make requests and how to make requests and all of that. We’ll talk about some of that today, I’m sure.

But there are some things that your spouse will never change. And you never know what they are, but if you go for a few years, you know, trying your best to make requests and they don’t change, there comes a place where you have to accept that they are not wired to do that. I think… 

(LAUGHTER) 

Jim: That’s disappointing. 

Gary: …that my wife did not get a drawer-closing gene. And there’s no way she can close drawers. 

(LAUGHTER) 

So, I finally decided that I would take the responsibility to close the doors and the drawers. And I said to her, “Honey, you don’t ever have to worry about this again. You can open ‘em whenever you like and when I come home, I’ll close ‘em. You can open ‘em again if you like. I’ll close ‘em. You don’t ever have to worry about closing drawers and doors.” It’s never been a problem since then. 

(LAUGHTER) 

I have no emotion about it. It’s just my job, okay. 

Jim: Well, now you’re a man of wisdom, because I’m sure you learned quickly now that you do that, you – every time you close a door or close a drawer, you don’t mention it to her either, do you? 

(LAUGHTER) 

Gary: No, never say a word about it. You’re not… 

Jim: I still have to learn that one. “By the way… 

John: And you don’t slam it, right? 

Jim: …I’m closing another door for you.” 

(LAUGHTER) 

But Gary, let’s ask the simple question: why when it comes to marriage and why we as human beings wired the way we’re wired? Why? I think it’s 100 percent that we want some aspect of our spouse to change. 

Gary: Yeah. Well, it’s always true. It’s just there. I think it’s because God made us unique. All of us are unique in many, many ways. And there’s gonna be a certain amount of things in a Christian marriage or any marriage for that matter, that are gonna irritate you. You never know what they are until you get married. And then you discover them. 

And immediately, you want them to change. I mean, that’s the natural response is, you want them to change, because typically, it’s something that’s not, you know, earth-shattering. I mean, you could easily do this, could you not? You know, and that’s our reasoning. 

And so, we ask them and if they don’t change, we ask again and again and again and again. And eventually, you know, we end up arguing over these things. And so, one of the things that I’ve tried to do years ago in my counseling is to help couples learn a way to request change so that you’re more likely to get change. 

And I encourage people to change. You know, if you find out the – that your spouse is upset about something and it really irritates them, if you can change, why not change? You know uh, I mean, let’s make life as pleasant as we can for each other. I mean, didn’t we get married wanting to live happily ever after? I mean, didn’t we want to make each other happy? So, if I find out that this irritates my spouse and I can change it, then let’s change it and let’s make life as pleasant as we can for each other. 

Jim: Well, let’s go after one of the myths then, because I’m sure there’s conversation that’s happened between husbands and wives and one of these myths pop up. It would be, “Yeah, I can’t change that attribute of my behavior.” 

Gary: Yeah. 

Jim: Is there anything we truly cannot change? 

Gary: You know I don’t know if it’s cannot or will not.

 Jim: Right, but it’s a big difference. 

Gary: Yeah, there is a big difference. But like with my wife, I mean, really, she’s not a rebellious woman, you know. And that’s why I’ve concluded that there must be a drawer-closing gene and she didn’t get one. I mean… 

(LAUGHTER) 

Jim: Well, personality does play into this. I will reveal one of the two things my wife shared with me today. And that is, uh, she said, “When we’re together with the kids, you’ll often spring a plan on me and you haven’t talked to me ahead of time. And I may have a reason why I don’t want to do that, but now the kids are all excited to go do that. So, then I look like the bad guy by saying, you know, we can’t do that.” And I quickly responded, “Well, I think it’s because you’re a planner and I’m more spontaneous. So, accept my spontaneity, because…” 

(LAUGHTER) 

John: Or plan to accept it. 

Jim: But – but I – I need in that case, I need to kind of hear her heart. She is a planner. She knows 85 things that need to be done next week. And when I spring out of bed and go downstairs and we’re havin’ breakfast with the kids and say, “Hey, would you guys like to go to Disneyland next week?” And she’s going, “No, no, time out.” That could be irritating. 

Gary: Absolutely, absolutely. And that – and we – we tend to excuse ourselves. You know, we tend to say, well, this is who I am. You know, you just need to accept it. But the reality is, if we’re gonna live together in harmony, which is what marriage is all about, we’re teammates; we’re here to love and encourage and support each other and help each other accomplish God’s purposes for our lives, if we’re gonna do that, we’ve gotta be willing to change things. 

And so, I – I think we should take seriously what our spouse says, reflect on it and ask how could I do that differently? And be willing to do that. And if they’re coming at us every day with these things, we get overwhelmed and we begin to feel like, well, I – I can’t ever please the person, you know. And that’s why one of the suggestions I make is, don’t overload the person with requests. You may have 15 things that irritate you, but let’s process them over a period of time. In fact, I suggest, you know, this week, you tell me one thing that I could do or stop doing that would make life better for you. And then next week, I can tell you one thing that would make my life better. So, every other week, you know. 

Jim: And that’s good to open up the discussion that way. You can actually talk about those things. I would think a lot of marriages today, in those relationships, you just shut down and there’s distance that grows. I’m tired of fighting it, all the phrases that we could put in there. What in our makeup again, especially for Christian couples, what would motivate us to not do that? Why wouldn’t we want the best for our spouse? Why do we all of a sudden become uh, indifferent to our marriages? 

Gary: I think many times it comes across as controlling or sometimes we use the word “nagging” and we feel like, well, they’re trying to make me do something I don’t want to do. And they’re trying to make me be somebody that I’m not. And we see this controlling. And none of us like to be controlled, and so, we get defensive. If we view it as an effort to control us, we get defensive. 

I mean, look, 15 things they keep harping on. They don’t like me. They wish they weren’t married to me. And then we get to where we don’t like them. So, I think if we don’t have a plan for handling these irritations, we tend to end up, you know, feeling the other person doesn’t love us. The other person doesn’t want to be married to us. And that’s not a good feeling to have when you’re in a marriage. 

Jim: Why do you think though, that you go in on your wedding day? Everything is so happy. And you’ve dated and you think, “This is Mr. or Mrs. Right.” And you get into marriage and then you find these little quirks that irritate you and the communication begins to dwindle. “He doesn’t talk to me the way he used to talk to me when he dated me. Now he just comes home and grunts and watches Monday Night Football.” 

Jim: What is happening there in that relationship that really is a microcosm perhaps, of the bigger culture? We tend to be a coarser culture today. We’re less interested in other people. We’re more narcissistic, more self-focused, more me-focused. Is all of this playing into these relationships, our marriages, to where we struggle redeeming conflict and making it better and using a biblical approach to doing so? 

Gary: I think it is, Jim. You know, before we get married and while we’re dating, we’re in the “in-love” stage. And when you’re in that stage of the relationship, the other person’s perfect. I mean, everything about them’s perfect. 

Your mother can see their flaws, but you can’t see their flaws. You know, uh, but when we get married, we come down off of that. The average lifespan is about two years of that, with – so, if you’ve been dating for two years, you might come down on the honeymoon. We come down from that. Now we’re back to being normal and normal in our culture is self-centered. 

And so, we start processing marriage from a self-centered perspective. We have all these expectations we have of our spouse. They have expectations of us. And when we don’t meet those expectations, we not only lose the euphoria, we now have negative feelings toward them. 

And then they start bringin’ up these little things that irritate them and we have more negative feelings toward them. So, we move from this euphoria to a very negative, emotionally negative relationship with each other. And – but I think you’re exactly right. I think as Christians, we have to come back to the basic concept that love is the key to all relationships. 

We love God, because God first loved us. And Jesus said that, as I have loved you, you love others. Love is looking out for the other person’s interest. And in a marriage, if I have as a husband, the attitude of Christ and I’m looking out for my wife’s interest and my attitude is, “Honey, how can I help you? How can I make your life easier? How can I be a better husband to you?” she’s gonna tell me and I’m gonna be able to minister to her. And if she has that attitude toward me, then I’m gonna be looking out and doing those things for her. So, we can process our humanity if we let the love of Christ control our hearts.

That’s the key issue, is we gotta have a heart that reaches out for the other person. 

Jim: Oh, that is so well-put. Um, I’m thinking of the word you used there, which is “expectations.” And it seems to me that even in my own experience in my own marriage, but those that I’ve counseled and talked with, that is the pitfall of relationship. And in marriage, you – you do end up with a lot of expectations for your spouse and what they’re going to do. And when those expectations aren’t met, you do get hard of heart, don’t you? 

Gary: Yep, you do. 

Jim: How does a couple, how do we declare those expectations? How do we um, maybe change those expectations in the relationship and talk about it perhaps over a 30-year marriage? What happens in the early years, the middle years and the later years? 

Gary: Well, I think in the early years, we’re getting to know each other and we’re discovering what the hot spots are in our relationship. We’re discovering those things over which we get defensive about each – with each other. 

And that’s why I say to young couples, better to have a weekly time that you sit down and say to each other, “How are we doing? How am I doing as a husband? How am I doing as a wife?” And – and just a time to share with each other what the hot spots might be. And then talk about, how can we do it better? How can we make it better for each other? 

If you start that kind of relationship in the early years, you can carry it with you all the way through the middle years and the latter years. And you develop this concept that, I’m in this relationship for you and you are in this relationship for me. And we both have that attitude. You carry that through the years; you will process the conflicts. You’ll process the challenges that you face in life, whether it’s physical disease or all kind of other things that we face as we move along. But it’s the attitude; it’s the heart that helps us do that. 

Jim: And that’s ideal. I would want to give hope to the middle year and the later year folks that, if they haven’t done that, and there’s stress in their relationships, always has been, it’s not too late to start, right? 

Gary: No. We start where we are. And any time you wake up and realize things are not good; things are not what they should be, the question is, “Okay, what can we do to make it different?” 

John: Well, this is Focus on the Family, hosted by Jim Daly. I’m John Fuller and our guest today is Dr. Gary Chapman. And we’re talking about marriage, specifically. Uh, the book he’s written that is kind of the foundation for a lot of our conversation today is called Happily Ever After: Six Secrets to a Successful Marriage. And uh, Jim, along these lines here, where we’re at right now in the conversation, our executive producer shared a story about expectations and – and I’d like to ask you about this, Dr. Chapman, because uh, as a newlywed couple, he was waiting for the grass to grow a little bit longer before he cut it. And his wife expected him to cut the grass sooner than this. 

So, instead of talking it through, she just went out and mowed the lawn. And his assumption was, great! She likes to mow the lawn. So, he just waited for her to – to do it again. Uh, we all have those kind of unspoken expectations or we make the assumption. We read the situation and it doesn’t always pan out that, that – that’s a really correct reading. So, it really is imperative for us to have that regular conversation that you talked about, but life is busy. 

Gary: Well, life is busy, but I do think we come into marriage with expectations, primarily based on what our parents did. If her mother mowed the grass, then she will likely see that as her role. If his father mowed the grass, he will see that as his role. They may have some differences that you just said about when to mow the grass, but I think that’s why – when – before couples get married, I suggest you make a list of all the things that will have to be done after you get married. Someone’s gotta buy the food, cook the food, wash the dishes, vacuum the floors, the whole – everything you can think of. 

John: That’s pretty non-romantic. 

Jim: Well, I was gonna say that doesn’t always apply. Jean’s mom mowed the lawn, but Jean does not mow lawns. 

(LAUGHTER) 

So – but the general rule of thumb is what you’re getting at. 

Gary: Yeah. Yeah. Make that list and then, separately uh, he puts his initials by the ones he thinks he will do and she does the same. And then they come together. And maybe they agreed on half of ‘em, or two-thirds, but the other third, you need to negotiate. Who’s gonna do this after we get married?

Then you go in on the same page and you can change those things as you move along, but at least, you’re moving in the marriage with the same expectations, as far as roles are concerned. 

Jim: Sure, you know, the – that sparks a thought for me, Gary in this uh, for perhaps older married couples, maybe in their mid-40s and beyond, probably have a more traditionally approach in terms of roles around the house. And then younger couples, they may still share some of that traditionalist attitude. But I would think a lot of women particularly, let’s say 25 to 40, have a different view than their moms did about their role. And they want their husbands to share more in those domestic chores than maybe what their fathers did. 

Gary: Yeah. 

Jim: Is that true? 

Gary: I think that is true. And I think that’s why we have to discuss that. And you know what I say is, let’s find the best team member for each of those things. For example, there are wives who relax by mowing grass. I mean, they love to mow the grass. And the husband… 

John: Not yours or mine, though. 

(LAUGHTER) 

Jim: No, Jean and Dena. 

Gary: It’s not my – it’s not mine either. 

Jim: Blessed is the man whose wife likes to mow the grass. 

Gary: Yeah, but – but see – but see, if he feels like, “Well, that’s a man’s role. I should be doin’ that.” But if it’s meaningful to her and doing something for her in addition to getting the grass mowed, then he should be willing to look after the small children while she mows the grass. 

Jim: Or do the dishes. 

Gary: Or do the dishes. He’s doing her a favor, you know, rather – but because of the traditional patterns, we sometimes think, well, you know, I’ve got to do this, ‘cause I’m the man. Or I’ve got to do this, because I’m the woman. We’re on the same team. Let’s assign it to the best team member. One of you typically is better, for example, at balancing the checkbook than the other. 

John: Ouch. 

(LAUGHTER) 

Gary: So, let – let’s put it… 

Jim: Is he hittin’ where it hurts? 

John: Oh, yeah. 

Gary: …with the best team member. Yeah. 

John: Yeah, I thought it was my role to do the checkbook and then about two years into it, Dena looked at me and said, “Do you want me to do that?” And I said, “Uh, sure.” And it’s been balanced ever since. 

Jim: ‘Cause it was causing you… 

(LAUGHTER) 

It was causing you a little stress, I take it. 

John: Yeah. It was causing her stress. I think my lack of attentiveness to the checkbook was not helping. 

Jim: Dr. Chapman, I mean, what we’re talking about is it’s so common. Somewhere here we’ve gotta just relax and approach this with a sense of humor. When you think of the way God designed us, you do have to chuckle a little, because there seems to be purpose in this chaos. 

Why did God create people to be attracted to opposites? People that irritate you end up the people you’re going to be married to for life. That seems like bitter humor. 

Gary: All I can figure is God wanted us to learn how to love. And He loved us when we were unlovely. So, He gives us in marriage often a chance to love someone who at the moment is unlovely to us. And if you have that spirit, that attitude of Christ, of love, then you can process these things and it all works together well. But if you don’t learn how to love, it’s gonna be a battle. So, the fundamental thing I think that God is trying to teach all of us is to be like Christ and to love people. And in marriage, this is the workshop. This is where it all starts. If we can learn to love each other, then we can learn to love outside the marriage. 

Jim: Well, Dr. Chapman, you’ve gleaned, I think from Scripture and from natural human tendency, a wonderful truth and that was The Five Love Languages and you’ve applied it to children and obviously, adults. Recap those for us. What are those five basic love languages that we possess as human beings? 

Gary: You’ve got five ways to express love emotionally and each person has a different love language. So, the key is to learn your spouse’s primary love language. One of them is words of affirmation. “You look nice in that outfit. I really appreciate what you did.” For some people, that fills the love tank, because that is their language – words of affirmation. 

Gifts, universal to give gifts as an expression of love. The gift says, he was thinkin’ about me. Look what he got for me. 

Third love language, acts of service: doing something for them, cooking a meal, washing dishes, walking the dog, whatever, doing something that you know they would like for you to do. For some people, this really communicates love to them. Actions speak louder than words for these people. 

Then there’s quality time, giving them your undivided attention, sitting on the couch, walking down the road, going out to eat, but they have your attention. 

And then number five is physical touch, holding hands, kissing, embracing, arm on the shoulder, the whole sexual part of the marriage. 

And if you discover your spouse’s primary language and give heavy doses, they will feel loved. If you don’t speak their love language, you can be speaking some of the others and they won’t feel loved. 

Jim: And there are some tendencies that connect to those languages. Let me give you an example. This may be a bit vulnerable, but um, you know, Jean is words of affirmation. And I – it took me a long time to understand that and I still don’t probably fulfill that always for her. And in the early part of our marriage, I would make a point of observation, which… 

John: A criticism, you mean? 

(LAUGHTER) 

Jim: Yeah, uh, exactly right. And um, and I don’t think, well, not at that time, I didn’t realize the damage that I was doing. Because I would think there’s a correlation between a person that really responds to words of affirmation and their sense of self-worth. Usually do you find that those go together? That a person that has low self-esteem, words of affirmation are very important to them. It’s like oxygen. 

Gary: Yeah. If this is their love language, then it is tied to self-esteem. And if they don’t feel loved, then they feel like they’re not worthy of love. So, communicating words and when you give negative words to a person whose love language is words of affirmation, it is a dagger to their heart. 

Jim: It will kill the relationship. 

Gary: Yeah, it will and because it’s – it is communicating to them the opposite of love. It’s negative words. And there are other people, you can give them negative words and they roll off like water on a duck’s back because that’s not their love language. 

Jim: And you can actually notice this in your parenting with your kids. Uh, I’ve applied that and I appreciate your discovery of those things. And I know with my son, Troy, it’s all physical touch. He loves to hug. He loves to be hugged. He loves me to, kinda run my fingers through his hair, high-five him, tickle him. And if I ask him and I have asked him, even at a young age like at age 7 when I first asked them that and gave them the five options, he quickly said, “Oh, Daddy, it’s physical touch.” 

Gary: Yeah. 

Jim: Isn’t that amazing? 

Gary: It is; it is. My wife’s love language is acts of service. That’s why before I left to come out here, I made sure the garbage was out. 

(LAUGHTER) 

Jim: Well, in fact, you have a story in your book, talking about dusting the blinds. 

(LAUGHTER) 

Tell me about that one. That was funny. 

Gary: Well, we were sitting around the house one night and my wife said, “You know, honey, these blinds are getting dusty.” And I looked at the blinds and I said, “They are, aren’t they, honey?” That’s all I said. But I heard the lady. I catalogued it. And two mornings later, it was a Friday morning, I was getting ready to leave later to go to a marriage seminar. It was about 6:30 Friday morning. I was in there vacuuming the blinds. And she stumbled in and said, “Honey, what are you doing?” And I said, “Honey, I’m making love.” 

(LAUGHTER) 

Jim: And that – that’s a great way to see that. I mean, that – most men would definitely miss that. 

Gary: Yeah. 

Jim: ‘Cause that is not what I think of when I talk about lovemaking. 

(LAUGHTER) 

It’s “cleaning the blinds.” But it – it caught my attention and I need to think about that uh, acts of service, which may not be Jean’s primary love language, but I would think it communicates. 

Gary: Well, any of these can communicate love. And if you give a person a heavy dose of the primary love language, you can sprinkle in all the others and get extra credit. 

Jim: Oh, that’s so good. Dr. Chapman, we have talked about so many great things, but there’s some more in this area of marriage and your book, Happily Ever After. When I look at the trauma that marriage is under today, so many Christian marriages particularly ending in divorce, it’s horrible. It’s painful. And uh, we need to do our best, because our marriages truly are witnesses to the world, aren’t they? 

Gary: Well, I think people see our marriages, you know. We may not think they do, but they see our marriages. They see the way we treat each other in public. And the children observe it more than anyone else. And we do our children a great disservice when we don’t work on our marriage and learn how to have a loving relationship. 

Closing: 

John: A terrific reminder from Dr. Gary Chapman about some of the common challenges in marriage and how to get some perspective on things. And there is more to come, tomorrow. 

Jim: Dr. Chapman is so good at helping you and your spouse get through these little issues so that they don’t become big issues down the road. And this is what we do here at Focus on the Family. We want to give you the tools to strengthen your marriage, which is the bedrock – the foundation of the culture. It points to what we were just talking about there with Dr. Chapman. Your marriage is a witness to the world. It’s a testimony. But we know sometimes things um, they go sour. That’s why we have caring Christian counselors available for you, to talk to and hopefully they can help point you in a good direction, a Biblical direction, to sort out the difficulties you’re facing. 

We also offer Hope Restored Marriage Intensives, for those marriages that are on the brink of divorce. I’m tellin’ ya, it is an incredible program. It’s not easy. I mean this is hard, kinda marriage boot camp work. But couples that go, and these again, are couples that have even signed divorce papers: 4 out of 5 of those couples have stuck it out and are still successfully married. Those broken marriages have been redeemed. And I think that is awesome. 

We also have other resources available to you, like the book we mentioned today, Happily Ever After by Dr. Chapman. But we can’t provide these things without your support, everybody. Your prayer and financial empowerment allow us to come alongside marriages like yours with encouragement and Godly advice. Can I ask you to join us in this ministry to couples, today? Right now is the time to step up and make a contribution because we have some generous friends of Focus who will match your donation, dollar-for-dollar. So your gift will help twice as many couples. If you give $50, it’ll be a hundred and so on. Thank you for standing with these couples and supplying the help they need! 

John: Donate today and make a generous pledge or gift of any amount and we’ll send a copy of Dr. Chapman’s book Happily Ever After as our way of saying thank you for being a part of the support team. You can do that and find details about Hope Restored and Dr. Chapman’s book at focusonthefamily.com/radio. Or call 1-800, the letter A and the word FAMILY. 800-232-6459. 

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Balancing Gender Differences in Your Marriage (Part 1 of 2)

Robert and Pamela Crosby help married couples understand and celebrate their gender differences so that they can enjoy a stronger bond and deeper intimacy. Our guests offer practical tips for improved communication, successful conflict resolution and offering affirmation to your spouse. (Part 1 of 2)

Loving Your Spouse Through the Seasons of Marriage - Part 1

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

Author Debra Fileta in the Focus on the Family broadcast studio

Debra Fileta

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

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

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

How a Former Abortion Doctor Became Pro-Life

As an abortion doctor at Planned Parenthood, Dr. Patti Giebink believed she was helping women. Later, she began reading scripture and God gradually changed her heart on the abortion issue. Patti tells the story of her long journey from abortion doctor to pro-life and encourages listeners to share the message of life with compassion.

Headshot image of Focus on the Family broadcast guest Dr. Patti Giebink

Mrs. Patti Giebink

Dr. Patti Giebink is an OB-GYN who serves on the board of the Alpha Center, a well-known pregnancy center located in Sioux Falls, S.D. She also travels intermittently to work in mission hospitals in Pakistan and other countries. After completing her medical training, Dr. Giebink worked for Planned Parenthood from 1995-1997, during which she was the only abortion-provider in the state of South Dakota. She eventually experienced a radical change of heart on the issue of abortion after receiving God’s grace, forgiveness, and love, and she is now a passionate advocate for the pro-life movement.

Cover image of the book "Unexpected Choice: An Abortion Doctor’s Journey to Pro-Life"

Unexpected Choice: An Abortion Doctor’s Journey to Pro-Life

Unexpected Choice is told from the perspective of a doctor who actually performed abortions through Planned Parenthood. The book chronicles her journey from being a pro-choice physician to someone speaking on behalf of the pro-life movement.

Navigating a Toxic Culture with Your Daughter - Part 2

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

Mrs. Meg Meeker

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

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

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

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

Cherishing Your Spouse Every Day

Do you love your spouse, or do you truly cherish them? Gary Thomas encourages couples to make a daily effort to go beyond the ‘duty’ of love, and combat the natural inclination to drift apart, by choosing to see the best in their spouse.

Mr. Gary Thomas

Gary Thomas is an international speaker and best-selling, award-winning author whose books include Married SexSacred Marriage and Sacred Parenting. He has also written numerous articles for several prominent national magazines. Gary and his wife, Lisa, reside in Texas and have three children. You can learn more about Gary by visiting his website, www.garythomas.com.

cherish front cover

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

“Most marriages survive by gritting teeth and holding on. But marriages can and will not only survive but thrive when husbands and wives learn to cherish one another.” Those are the powerful words of bestselling author Gary Thomas in his newest book–Cherish. And in a world desperate for marriage redemption, it is needed now more than ever. Thomas shows that although there are a countless number of marriages consisting of two people just going through the motions, there are real ways this pattern can be reversed: when husbands and wives learn to cherish one another in proven, loving, and everyday actions and words.

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Newest Release - Episode 2: Heroes Providing Hope

Discover the amazing work our PRC’s Directors, Nurses, and Volunteers are making in their communities! You’ll see firsthand testimonies of a PRC in action, and that there are other options outside of abortions! You’ll also discover how your family can support your local PRC!

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

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

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Newest Release - Episode 4: Sometimes the Choice is Hard

Hear real life stories of parents who have made the decision to choose life even though the circumstances were overwhelming. You’ll see why “ALL” life is precious to God and why choosing life is always the right decision!

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

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

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Newest Release - Episode 3: The Power of a Picture

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Newest Release - Episode 6: Families Helping Families!

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

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

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

Praying Scripture Over Your Child’s Life - Part 2

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

Headshot of Focus on the Family broadcast guest Jodie Berndt

Jodie Berndt

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

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

Praying the Scriptures Over Your Children

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

Effective Habits to Embrace in Parenting

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

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

Dr. Randy Schroeder

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

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

Simple Habits for Effective Parenting

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

The Spiritual Battle for Your Marriage

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

Tim and Noreen Muehlhoff Cropped

Dr. Tim and Mrs. Noreen Muehlhoff

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

Defending Your Marriage

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

Reigniting Your Passion for Jesus - Part 1

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

Headshot photo of author Kim Meeder

Kim Meeder

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

Revival Rising

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

Reigniting Your Passion for Jesus - Part 2

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

Headshot photo of author Kim Meeder

Kim Meeder

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

Revival Rising

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

Mothers and Sons: Being a Godly Influence - Part 2

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

Headshot of Rhonda Stoppe

Rhonda Stoppe

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

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

Moms Raising Sons to Be Men

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

Identifying Triggers in Your Marriage - Part 2

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

Headshot of Guy and Amber Lia

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Author Debra Fileta in the Focus on the Family broadcast studio

Mrs. Debra Fileta

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

Are You Really Okay?

Are You Really OK: Getting Real About Who You Are

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

Embracing Your Role as a Spouse

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

Headshot of Kevin Thompson

Pastor Kevin Thompson

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

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

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

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

Sharing Your Faith with Grace and Purpose

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

Mr. Greg Koukl

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

Tactics front cover

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

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

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

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

Dr. Kevin Leman

Dr. Kevin Leman

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

Bundle of Why Your Kids Misbehave

Why Your Kids Misbehave and What to Do about It

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

Giving up Sugar, Tasting God's Goodness

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

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

Mrs. Wendy Speake

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dr. Kevin Leman

Dr. Kevin Leman

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

Bundle of Why Your Kids Misbehave

Why Your Kids Misbehave and What to Do about It

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

Loving Your Spouse Through the Seasons of Marriage - Part 2

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

Author Debra Fileta in the Focus on the Family broadcast studio

Debra Fileta

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

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

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

Reconciling Faith and Science in a Medical Crisis

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

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

Dr. Lee Warren

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

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

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

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

Praying Scripture Over Your Child’s Life - Part 1

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

Headshot of Focus on the Family broadcast guest Jodie Berndt

Jodie Berndt

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

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

Praying the Scriptures Over Your Children

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

Mothers and Sons: Being a Godly Influence - Part 1

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

Headshot of Rhonda Stoppe

Rhonda Stoppe

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

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

Moms Raising Sons to Be Men

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

Identifying Triggers in Your Marriage Part 1

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

Headshot of Guy and Amber Lia

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Author Debra Fileta in the Focus on the Family broadcast studio

Mrs. Debra Fileta

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

Are You Really Okay?

Are You Really OK: Getting Real About Who You Are

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

Navigating a Toxic Culture with Your Daughter - Part 1

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

Mrs. Meg Meeker

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

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

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

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

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Newest Release - Episode 1: The Truth About Life!

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

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

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