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Praying Scripture Over Your Child’s Life (Part 2 of 2)

Praying Scripture Over Your Child’s Life (Part 2 of 2)

Jodie Berndt, best-selling author of the Praying the Scriptures book series, offers parents guidance for how they can more frequently and effectively pray for their children's faith, wisdom, self-discipline, character, life purpose, and more. (Part 2 of 2)
Original Air Date: April 15, 2021

Preview:

Jodie Berndt: And I would say to that parent, “First of all, you’re not alone. God knows exactly how you feel. He’s watched us make the dumbest decisions, walk the wildest paths, um, and He loves your child more than you do.”

End of Preview

John Fuller: Well, that’s Jodie Berndt, and she’s a mom who loves praying for her four children and loves connecting those prayers with the word of God. And as she joins us for a second day, she has more inspiring thoughts to help you and me, uh, make prayer for our kids a natural everyday thing. And I do hope you’ll stay tuned to find out more for today’s episode of Focus on the Family. Your host is Focus president and author Jim Daly, and I’m John Fuller.

Jim Daly: Uh, John, for a lot of moms and dads, uh, prayer might feel awkward or unfamiliar to them. Um, maybe some didn’t grow up in homes where they prayed much or at all. Uh, but whatever is your situation, uh, we want prayer to be part of your family life. That’s one of the goals here at Focus, because we believe in prayer and the power of prayer. And Jodie Berndt will offer some great encouragement like she did last time. And if you didn’t hear that broadcast, get the download, get the, the app on your smartphone, whatever we can do to get that into your hands is our goal. Uh, she has four adult children as John mentioned. She’s had a lot of practice praying for them. I felt her vulnerability last time was so inspiring. You know, we always project perfection, but she talked, uh, about some of the struggles her kids had and how she prayed through those things. Um, she first wrote about praying for children about 20 years ago, and now she’s updated this great resource, Praying the Scriptures for Your Children. And John will get more details how to get that.

John: Yeah. Give us a call, uh, the number’s 800-A-FAMILY, (800) 232-6459, or stop by focusonthefamily.com/broadcast.

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

Jodie: Thank you so much. So fun to keep talking.

Jim: (Laughs) So good to see you. Um, when we think about praying for our children, one of the big concerns for parents and I’ve experienced this is kind of the explosion of technology. And one, it keeps us so busy and distracted, and then of course it’s simply the influence of all of it. Uh, your children they’re grown now, but, uh, how much did tech affect your parenting and how did you pray for your kids to either manage it well or what did you do?

Jodie: Yeah. Well, you’ve just hit on one of the reasons we wanted to update this book because when I wrote the book 20 years ago, kids and technology basically came down to something that was new called Myspace. You know, there was no Facebook, no Instagram, no texting, no Snapchat, none of all these things that [inaudible].

Jim: It’s amazing to think there once was a time that there was no technology. (Laughs)

Jodie: There once upon a time. I know. Um, but you know, uh, Andy Crouch wrote that great book, The Tech-wise Family and in it, he says, uh, that, “Technology is the number one reason why parents think that raising kids today is more complicated than it was in the past.”

Jim: I think it is true.

Jodie: And I, I think it is true.

Jim: Mm-hmm.

Jodie: Um, partly for what you said, all the distractions, you know, the easy everywhere access of anything. Of course, the fear we have of our kids being exposed to unwanted content, whether it’s pornography or anything else, bullying, um, there’s a lot of fear that comes with technology, and yet it’s there, it’s gonna be part of our family’s life, it’s gonna be part of our kids’ lives. So, I think we need to know how to manage it and how we need to pray about it. And so, yeah, that was one of the reasons when I was looking back over that 20-year-old book and I thought, huh, Myspace, we need to, (laughs) we need to update that. So, we did.

Jim: Well as you’re talking with parents in the, the counseling and consulting that you do, I mean, what are you hearing?

Jodie: Counseling and consulting, you made me sound really good. (Laughs)

Jim: Yeah, no it’s true. (Laughs) But you know, when you’re talking with them about where they’re at, those that do have teenagers today, you know, my kids are they’re right at the tail end of 20 and 18-year-old.

Jodie: Right.

Jim: And, uh, you know, it, it, it is something you have to think about. Probably in times past, you didn’t have to pay attention to that-

Jodie: Sure.

Jim: -but it puts pressure on us as parents now to be praying for our kids to manage these things wisely, and we got to teach him how to do that.

Jodie: Absolutely. And of course, you know, there are the smart things you do putting filters on your home computers and managing screen time and all that. But I think parents can fall into a couple of different camps. Sometimes we can be so frightened of it that, you know, we kind of hit lockdown mode and a little bit like, keep your helmet on and hope your kids get through without permanent damage. Or we can say, “You know, it’s just out there and, uh, our kids are going to be exposed. So, it is what it is.” I think the best parents, uh, recognize that, that the technology is out there, it’s part of our kids’ world. So, let’s manage it wisely and let’s pray about it wisely. And one of my favorite prayers, I have a couple of them actually, Job 1:10, Satan and God are talking, and they talk about a hedge of protection around Job. And I pray a hedge of protection around my kids that God would just put that there so that some of the evils of technology don’t penetrate. So that’s sort of the defensive prayer, that Job 1:10. But then I also really think it’s important for parents to pray offensively. And I love, um, Philippians 4:8, which says, and I’m not going to quote it correctly, but it talks about what we need to think about. Think about whatever is noble, whatever is pure, whatever is excellent, whatever is praiseworthy. I pray that my kids would be drawn to that stuff.

Jim: Wow. That’s cool.

Jodie: Now, when, when I was young, growing up, my dad had a little, um, it’s from the Psalms, uh, it said, “I will set before my eyes no vile thing.” And, uh, he had taped that on top of the television set. And that was, you know, in my growing up days, that was technology, what you’re watching on TV. And I would pray that same thing, you know, “Lord, don’t let them look at anything, vile.” Some translations say worthless, don’t put it before their eyes.

Jim: Yeah.

John: Yeah. I like that offensive posture. How, how important is it for your kids to realize that they are gonna have choices out there?

Jodie: Yeah. Yeah. And that goes back to the wisdom conversation we had on the earlier show, just that we want our kids to have that discernment and that wisdom because it is gonna be out there and we’re not always going to be with them to say, “Hey, don’t look at that, don’t do that.” And even if we have filters on our home devices, they’re gonna go to a friend’s house where, uh, things are accessible. Um, if our kids have phones, you know… I have one friend whose son, and this is just precious that they, this was a teenage boy. And the parents were very concerned about what he was gonna be exposed to and, and how much limits they should place and that kind of thing. And, uh, he asked them to take a search engine off of his phone after a little while. He realized that it was not leading him anywhere good. And so, he said to his parents, you know, let’s get rid of that app. And to these parents, who’d been, as we all can be kind of in the pit of fear of what if, and it’s out there to have a child make that wise choice-

Jim: Right.

Jodie: -Was just so much bigger than the technology issue because it spoke to the wisdom issue. And I think we want to, uh, to your point, um, pray for our kids to have that wisdom.

Jim: Yeah. Jodie, you cover in the book praying for your child’s future marriage.

Jodie: Yes. Yes.

Jim: Now of course, uh, some people say, “Ah, with Focus, it’s always about marriage.” Well, we are a marriage and parenting ministry (laughs).

Jodie: Yes. Yes.

Jim: And we realized not everyone will get married and that’s good, and Paul talks about that, and, you know.

Jodie: Yeah. And I think we also can pray for our kids to thrive in a single situation.

Jim: Yeah, sure.

Jodie: You know, we want them to be where- wherever God has them to be not defined by am I married, am I not married-

Jim: Right, so we are not…

Jodie: -or dating not dating. Right, right.

Jim: So, we’re not trying to make an idol out is them is the point.

Jodie: Sure.

Jim: But for most people they will get married. And, uh, it’s kind of interesting because Jean and I have been doing this, you know, for years praying for the boys, but even thinking about in our case, those two women that are out there, two girls that have been growing up, where are they?

Jodie: Where are they?

Jim: Um, are they in Colorado or are they somewhere else in the world? I mean, it really is a mind boggling when you start praying for your kid’s future spouses. And you know, you go, “Wow, okay. Who is she? What is she doing?”

Jodie: And then I will tell you when they come along, there is no greater joy than to be able to say, “It’s you.”

Jim: We’ll talk about that… And you talk about your prayer and your prayer was Robbie, how that impacted your marriage and then how the Lord answered your prayers for your kids.

Jodie: When Robbie and I got married, well, Robbie and I, um, I… We met in college and, um, I thought he was super cute, but he didn’t think that he was, uh, my type. (laughs) I was, um, kinda grungy flash dance. I’d grown up at the beach and, um, he was preppy and squared away and real put together. And, and I also had grown up really in the Jesus movement. I was what he would’ve probably called the Je- a Jesus freak almost, you know.

Jim: A Jesus hippie.

Jodie: I was, I was. (Laughs) And, and he had been in an Episcopalian church and was very buttoned down in his appearance and in his faith. And so, I just set him up with my sorority sister, ’cause I thought they would be perfect, and that match didn’t really take. He and I, um, he and I got to be better, better friends and then fell in love. And he asked me to marry him. And we’d never really talked about getting married. It was right after graduation, um, and he, he had asked my parents, gotten my dad’s consent, but it came as a bit of a surprise to me. But I said, yes, you know. And it seemed like a good idea, and it turned out to be a great idea, you know? (Laughs) No, never a second thought.

Jim: Am asking myself where is this going?

Jodie: Yeah. As soon as the yes was out of my mouth, I was like, this is a writing good thing. But then later somebody asked me, they said, “How did you know Robbie was the one for you?” And I thought, “Well, I don’t know how I knew.” So, I asked my parents. I was like, “That’s an interesting question. Isn’t it? How?” And they said, “Well, I’ll tell you how you knew it’s because your dad,” this was my mom. She said, “Your dad and I always prayed that Job 1:10 prayer again, that God would put a hedge of protection around you. That, you know, anyone who wasn’t His choosing wouldn’t be able to get through. And also, Colossians 3:15 that the peace of Christ would rule in your heart.” And so those two prayers that they prayed over my growing up years, when I said yes and had that peace and rule that, that rule in my heart, I knew it was the right yes. And that was an answer to their prayer. So yeah, we started praying for our kid’s eventual mates, um, really from the time, you know, our, our children were conceived. We knew they’d be growing up and one day falling in love with somebody and doing the whole leave and cleave thing. And it has been such a delight. We have two married children and two who are now engaged, um, with weddings coming up soon. And when each of those people hit our radars and we knew they were the one, boy, what a treat it was to be able to look at them and say, “It’s you, you’re the one I have poured these prayers into over these years.”

Jim: And that- that’s the right outcome. That’s what you want. Now I’ve got to ask the opposite question. Uh, maybe those parents that have been praying or hadn’t been praying for years, uh, about their future child’s spouse, and then now they’re in conflict because they don’t really think that person is the right person for my baby.

Jodie: Yeah, boy. And that’s more common than you think, even within the Christian community, you know, and, and even when your child’s chosen made as a believer, it might not be the one that you think is the best match.

Jim: Boy, that is tough.

Jodie: It’s very tough. But I’ll tell you what day one, when, when that union happens, you are on that team and you’re supporting that team. I mean, all of the studies show them when parents support the marriages thrive, and when the parents don’t support, it’s a lot harder. So, um, I think if you’ve got a, a child that is married to somebody that you weren’t sure was the right choice, you just say, “God, they are married. And how do I get on board with this?” Because we know, right, God’s the redeemer, he’s the restorer. And I love what Tim Keller says, um, in The Meaning of Marriage, he says, “We all think we’re looking for a soulmate,” the exact right person in that right. He said, “You always marry the wrong person, because even if you marry the right person, the minute you get married, that person changes.”

Jim: Right. (Laughs)

Jodie: And I look at that like, like college Jodie, that Robbie fell in love with, love with was way more fun than like new wife and mom, Jodie, right?

Jim: Yeah, right. (Laughs)

Jodie: You know, and I just think each college Jodie was different, then newlywed Jodie was different, then mom Jodie which is different than empty nest Jodie. And each time I think I change. And it’s so great of God that he allows us to grow and change together and learn new things about putting one another first.

Jim: Well, and, and what I’m hearing you say, if you as a parent are in that spot keep praying, maybe double up those prayers, if, if…

Jodie: Double up those prayers. I would say two things. If you’re praying and your child’s not married yet and you’re disappointed, and you’re wondering when is that person going to come along because my child is 25, 35, 40, you know, whatever. Two things I would say, um, keep praying, but also speak life into the things that you see God doing in your child so that their identity doesn’t become tied up in with, oh, I’m married or I’m single. Because we know scripture is full of married people and single people that are honoring God and being trophy cases for His glory. You know, I love that, Isaiah. Um, I think it might be Isaiah 61, where, “We’re going to be a planting of the Lord, the display of his splendor.” Our lives can be that that’s the whole point of our lives, right, to bring glory to him, single or married, we can do that. So, I would say for that parent, go ahead and pray for your child’s spouse, but don’t bring it up to them. Um, affirm in them what you see God’s doing in their lives. Gods made you so compassionate. Gods made you so smart. Gods made you so funny.

Jim: Well, and I’d say, you know, maintain that relationship.

Jodie: Yes, yeah.

Jim: That’s key. Don’t push them away because of your over-the-top control issue.

Jodie: Absolutely.

Jim: Maintain that relationship. That’s number one.

John: Yeah. And there’s an element here too, where prayer is, is both, uh, an expression of the heart and permission to God to work on my heart.

Jodie: Yes.

John: Right? I mean, it’s, it’s something you mentioned yesterday. It’s not, um, a magic formula.

Jodie: Yeah.

John: So, there’s a whole scope of things you’re talking about where God isn’t obligated to answer your specific prayer. He might have something bigger, right?

Jodie: He does have something bigger. Has God ever stopped at our little prayers?

John: No. (Laughs)

Jodie: I think he’s always… What does Ephesians say? “It’s always immeasurably more than we could ask or imagine.” His ways, they’re always bigger.

John: No, that’s a good reminder. Thank you for that. Um, Jodie Berndt is our guest today on Focus on the Family. And we’re talking about concepts and scriptures in her book, in her 20th anniversary edition, the newly revised, Praying the Scriptures for Your Children: Discover How to Pray God’s Purpose for Their Lives. It’s an excellent resource. We’ve got it here at Focus on the Family. Give us a call 800, the letter A and the word FAMILY, or stop by focusonthefamily.com/broadcast.

Jim: Jodie, over the years you’ve identified three prayer truths about, uh, praying for your kids. What are they? Quickly tell me what are they? (Laughs)

Jodie: I’m sure there are 18 prayer traits. But as a parent, you know, I meet parents of young kids all the time and they just think, “Oh boy, when I get to the empty nest years, it must be great.” (Laughs)

Jim: We’re all smiling.

Jodie: And I think really, yeah, you know…

Jim: It doesn’t end there folks.

Jodie: It doesn’t end. So, you know, truth number one is you never stopped being a parent, right? You never stopped praying. You never stopped wanting God’s best for your kids. And when at whatever season they’re in, you might think this is it, this is the biggie, but it might not be, you know, there might be another biggie right around the corner. Um, and another truth I think is that, um, prayer is work. It’s a delight and it is a relationship. But as you said earlier, it is also a discipline, and we want to make time for that. We want to make it be part of our everyday experience. But you said something in the intro too, or about maybe not having time.

Jim: Right?

Jodie: Yeah. And, um, I think a lot of times young parents especially can beat themselves up because you think, “Oh, unless I have my coffee and my, my prayer journal and my Bible, like I see on Instagram, you know, it’s not gonna count. Um, but, but my kids got an ear infection, and the dog just threw up and I wouldn’t have time.” You know? (Laughs) And I was there. I was there. I thought, “Okay, it’s not… It’s doesn’t count unless I really carve out this time.” And, and yet I would say to those parents just do it, do it when you’re in the carpool line, do it when you’re walking behind the stroller, do it when you’re folding laundry. I love… There are so many prayers and scripture about how we are clothed, you know, cloth me with compassion and kindness. Okay. I’m folding these umpteenth pair of socks, clothe Hillary with compassion and kindness, clothe Robby with wisdom and self-control. Um, we have those prayer prompts all the time. You’re cutting up fruit for their snacks. You know, fill my kids with the fruit of the spirit, with that Galatians 5:22 with love, joy, peace, patience, kindness. Those prompts are everywhere if we just kind of be alert and [inaudible].

Jim: That’s really good.

Jodie: Oh, you think that too? (Laughs)

Jim: But it is just a great discipline in praying and you don’t, right, you don’t have to have this, uh, necessarily, this area you sit at with your-

Jodie: Right.

Jim: -you know, the word of God. That’s good if you’ve got that kind of thing.

Jodie: It absolutely is…

Jim: But if you don’t…

Jodie: I would never want to listen or to hear me say, don’t spend concentrated time with him. I mean, we were talking at the break and your wife’s going off to do that with some friends this weekend. I think we do want to carve out these times. But one time I was speaking in, uh, Connecticut and my daughter, Virginia, who is an adult now lives in New York city happened to be with me. And this has never happened before, but someone in the audience said, “You know, I got a question for your daughter,” during the Q&A time.

Jim: Oh, oh.

Jodie: And… I know.

John: Oh, that’s out of bounds.

Jim: Which question?

Jodie: Yeah. Oh, wait a minute. And they said, “How did you feel growing up, you know, with a praying mom? What, what was it like?” And so, she grabs the microphone, and she says, “You know, I didn’t like it very much.” And I thought, “Oh, well, you know, where’s this going?” And she said, “For one thing, she was always praying that if we were doing anything wrong, we’d get caught (laughs) you know, pray for sin to be exposed, right?” Uh, Numbers talks about that, “Be sure your sin will find you out.”

Jim: Good for you mom.

Jodie: And well, I think every mom probably… Although I do have one friend who said, “Why do you pray that? Why don’t you just pray that they won’t ever do anything wrong?” And I Laughed. I said, “I don’t have the faith to pray that. I know, you know, they’re wired just like I am, they’re going to do wrong. So, let’s pray that their sin would be exposed.” But then my daughter said, “And she also just prayed about kinda everything. Like we’d go to the mall, and we’d know we need a new pair of jeans and mom would pray before we went in,” and it’s, I don’t like shopping. So of course, I was praying for God to get us in and out quick. But but what my daughter said to that audience that day, she said, “It felt like a lot when I was growing up. But seeing it be part and parcel of our everyday lives,” she said, “for me and for my siblings, it really took sort of the mystery out of praying. It made us see it as doable, as something you could talk to God at any moment of your day.” And she said, “So even though I didn’t love it growing up, I will say, looking back now, I’m really grateful to have seen that modeled just sorta whatever your needs are tell God your needs.”

Jim: Yeah. And that’s so good. Uh, Jodie, I wanna zero in on some practical help for parents right at, you know, the next half of the, uh, program here. You’ve provided, uh, four really, uh, practical tools. One, give your children the why, two, build a prayer bank, three, introduce your children to real life Bible people, and four make prayer fun. You’re kind of touching on that with that last comment. But speak to those four truths about teaching your kids how to embrace prayer.

Jodie: Yeah. And that’s some of the new material in the book. And that address the question of when parents were saying, how do I teach my kids? How do I take, as we were saying that mystery out of it? And I think we touched a little bit on the fun part, um, in, in the other episode, as we talked about like the happy hope game around the dinner table. We would also do things like before the first day of school, we’d have a back-to-school ice cream sundae party. And we would just invite other parents and kids from the neighborhood and say, “We’re going to pray for the school year.” And we’d say, “Okay, you know, the Smith’s, you’re going to pray for the school bus safety. The Jones, you’re gonna pray for athletics. Uh, thee Robertson’s you pray for kids’ relationships with their teachers,” whatever it is. And then the families would come together. And I mean, the prayer time didn’t take more than 10 minutes, you know, as each person prayed for their assigned little topic. The ice cream sundae time took the bulk of the year.

Jim: Yeah, right. (Laughs)

Jodie: But it was great, ’cause it made it fun for the kids. ‘Cause kids will do what other kids are doing.

Jim: Right.

Jodie: You know, if you say to your own kids, “We’re going to pray about the school year,” you might get a good answer, you might not. (laughs) But if you say, “Hey, guess what the Caplins are coming over and we’re all gonna make sundaes and pray,” that makes it a lot more doable. So, make it fun. Introduce your kids to Bible people. That’s another one that, like I remember Hillary and I tell the story in the book, um, her 10th birthday, she, it was her first lumber party, and she had all these girls sleeping over and I, you know, we’d run out of things we were doing, and I thought, what should be next? And I thought, okay, let’s tell a story. And the biblical story of Esther popped in my mind. And I thought for a bunch of preteen girls, Esther being, you know, plucked out of obscurity and having all the makeup treatments she had, the ointments and the lotions, you know, and archeologists have actually found these old makeup tubs. So, we know it’s not just a Bible fairy calorie.

Jim: Makeup tubs?

Jodie: It really happened.

Jim: That’s a little frightening.

Jodie: Tub, okay. Maybe it’s a little container. (Laughs) But anyway, Esther didn’t need much of it, I’m sure. But, um, but so I told them the story of it, and it was clear as I was telling it that a lot of these young girls didn’t know, they didn’t know about the plot thickens and Haman, and Mordecai, and Esther being an orphan. And they didn’t know about the Jews getting ready to be annihilated. And then how at the very end it changes, and they were captivated. And when it got to the end, I thought the power in this story for them is not just God’s faithfulness, but it’s also knowing that Esther’s this young girl, not a lot older than they are, and God used her to save his people. And so, I think the more we can introduce our kids to real life, biblical people, you know, David, who’s a shepherd, right, a nobody, he becomes King. Moses, and if you read it in the, um, Exodus stories and Moses is like, “I can’t do it. You know, I have faltering lips. I don’t know how to speak.” And God’s like, “But you’re gonna go to Pharaoh.” So hey, you have a child who feels like they can’t be a public speaker, you’re like, “Look what God did to Moses.” All these people are just such regular ordinary folks. And I love the idea that we can give them, our kids that, that legacy and that vision. And let’s see, you mentioned two others.

Jim: The prayer bank.

Jodie: The prayer bank.

Jim: Uh, I really like this idea.

Jodie: Okay. Well, you know, I used to… I started out writing, um, financial planning books for a guy named Ron Blue who was kind of like…

Jim: It’s a good thing you moved to this. (Laughs)

Jodie: Well, Robbie would agree. Robbie was like-

Jim: This is a much better topic.

Jodie: “Stay away from the finances honey.” I know. So, um, but you know, one of the things I learned from, from Ron Blue and that we did with our own kids was teach them the value of saving and spending. We had these little jars where we saved, spend, give, and I thought, you know, prayer is the same way. And as we learn scripture, that’s saving it. We’re putting that in our memory bank. And I would actually encourage parents to, to get little prayer banks, whether it’s a little treasure chest, you decorate your, and if you’re crafty, maybe you learn a Bible verse and you write it in there. And maybe it’s just a mason jar where you slip the verse in that we talked about, the, the other one, Hebrews 3:13, “Encourage one another daily,” easy to learn. You learn that one, stick it in there, and you look for a time to encourage. And once we’ve built that capital in that memory bank, in that prayer bank, we have it to spend. So just like a financial need that comes up, we’ve got an emotional, or a physical, or a mental need, some friendship need, a relationship need, we can pray, “Lord, help me encourage that person daily,” because we’ve got that verse tucked in there. So, it’s just… It works like a, like a money bank.

Jim: That’s great. I like that. Jodie, we’re right at the end here. Uh, I guess I, I’m going to ask for Jean and myself, you’re slightly ahead of us. You have two married and two yet to be married but engaged. Uh, I think all in their 20s?

Jodie: Uh, I’ve got, I think one or two that are 30 or 31 now (laughs), yeah closing in on that. Yeah. (laughs)

Jim: But you’re just ahead of us on the curve. And I, I think the question is this, as our children mature and they move into that next phase, they’re out of the house, hopefully, uh, and they’re, you know, moving into a relationship with a spouse, et cetera, how do we, uh, let go of them and shift that parenting dynamic to, you know, uh, kind of top down if I could say it that way to peer to peer?

Jodie: I think that’s hard, um, because we, we love control, don’t we? (laughs)

Jim: We’re made for it.

Jodie: I mean, I use… I used to wanna pick my kids’ play dates, let alone their spouse or whatever. Um, and yet, yeah, we do need to kind of step back, our prayers change. Instead of praying, just for our daughter, Sally, suddenly Sally’s married to Jimmy and you’re praying for, for both of them as part of the, the leaving and cleaving, um, and just blessing them. I really feel like there’s a lot of power in blessing and in speaking words of life over your kids. You don’t have to agree with every choice your adult child is making to speak God’s favor over their lives and to bless them. And I think I meet so many parents of adult kids who, uh, see where they, where they think their kid is walking wrong, whether it’s just a matter of taste or whether it’s a moral, you know, sin decision-

Jim: Right.

Jodie: -and they think, “Well, how can I bless them? How can I love them? Don’t they know they’re wrong? I need to pray the Holy spirit will convict them. I need to make sure they know that what they’re doing is wrong.” And you think they know what you think, you’ve, right? They know that you think that’s wrong. Your job now that they’re grown up is to love them, to pray for them to speak God’s favor over their lives and allow the Lord to do what we talked about earlier, to work in them, to will, and to act according to His good purpose.

Jim: Well, I love your expression there of modeling the way you walk with the Lord and your adult children seeing that.

Jodie: But they see the fits and starts. They see me fall. They see me ask for forgiveness. They see me…

Jim: That’s all good though?

Jodie: Yeah, it’s all good for them to see it but sometimes it’s hard because as parents we don’t want our kids to see the holes in our armor, (laughs) but I think it’s good to, to show them that.

Jim: I think it’s really good because then they know that they’re not perfect either and they need grace from God.

Jodie: Yeah, I have one friend, my friend Lisa Robertson says, “You know, if I were perfect, my children would be tempted to worship me. So, it’s a good thing I’m not.” (Laughs)

Jim: I like that. And then let’s have some chocolate.

Jodie: Yes, yes. Amen.

Jim: Jodie, this has been so good. Thank you for the effort. I mean, a lot of people, you know, we, we will, as authors, we write a book, but thank you for the revision. Thank you for coming back to this great resource, Praying the Scriptures for Your Children. Sometimes, uh, the consumers of that content don’t realize how much you pour into it to actually make it happen. So, thank you for that.

Jodie: Thank you.

John: We’ve been listening to one of the best of 2021 conversations here on Focus on the Family, and I trust that Jodie Berndt has helped you move forward in your prayer journey. Now, if you need help from our counseling department, we’re here. Give us a call. Schedule a consultation. Those caring Christian counselors can pray with you. They can give you additional guidance in your parenting journey and offer a lot of help.

Jim: And if you’re a parent, let me speak directly to you. I want to encourage you to get Jodie’s great book from us here at Focus on the Family. With a donation of any amount, we’ll send it to you as our way of saying thank you. There are millions of parents who need biblical advice and many families who are struggling. You can offer them practical solutions through your support of Focus. And right now, because of some generous friends of Focus on the Family when you give your donation will be doubled to equip parents to raise children boldly in their Christian faith and help redeem broken families. So let me encourage you be a partner with us, give today,

John: Donate as you can and get this great book, which has prayers with scriptures for pretty much every situation, including really challenging times. It’s a wonderful resource. So again, donate, get the book. Our number is 800, the letter A, and the word FAMILY or stop by focusonthefamily.com/broadcast. Join us again tomorrow as we’ll hear about embracing your role as a spouse in our Best of 2021 series as it continues. And for now, on behalf of Jim Daly and the entire team, we’re grateful you joined us today for Focus on the Family. I’m John Fuller inviting you back as we once more help you and your family thrive in Christ.

Today's Guests

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

Praying the Scriptures for Your Children: Discover How to Pray God's Purpose for Their Lives

Receive Jodie Berndt's book Praying the Scriptures for Your Children for your donation of any amount! And when you give today, your support will be DOUBLED to Give Families Hope!

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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. 

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Headshot photo of author Kim Meeder

Kim Meeder

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Reigniting Your Passion for Jesus - Part 2

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Headshot photo of author Kim Meeder

Kim Meeder

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Headshot of Rhonda Stoppe

Rhonda Stoppe

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

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

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Author Debra Fileta in the Focus on the Family broadcast studio

Mrs. Debra Fileta

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Pastor Kevin Thompson

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Mr. Greg Koukl

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

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Dr. Kevin Leman

Dr. Kevin Leman

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Bundle of Why Your Kids Misbehave

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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.

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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!