Custom CSS of Section contains Conditional Preview for See Life Campaign Elements

Focus on the Family Broadcast

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on email
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on email

Preparing Teens for the College Years (Part 1 of 2)

Preparing Teens for the College Years (Part 1 of 2)

College professor and author Alex Chediak offers advice to parents on guiding their teens toward academic and career success. (Part 1 of 2)

Opening:

Teaser:

Alex: College is an investment in learning how to think, becoming a more competent intellectual Christian adult. What you learn in the classroom won’t directly necessarily influence you on the job, but it teaches you how to think. So, you’re in college to learn how to learn and to learn to love learning and to develop the ability to speak well, to write well, to be logical, to be analytical. These are skills that are broadly applicable in a variety of jobs.

End of Teaser

John: College professor Alex Chediak, talking about the academic and career side of college and he’s here today to talk much more about that. In fact, he wants to help you as a mom or a dad to prepare your child spiritually and emotionally for all of life that’s coming their way, particularly in the college years. This is “Focus on the Family.” Your host is Focus president and author, Jim Daly. I’m John Fuller and Jim, I’m really gonna be listening in here to today’s discussion.

Jim: John, me, too. I mean, of course, I’ve got two boys that we’re really thinking now about how to get them as ready as we can as their parents, for their college experience, not to say they’re both gonna go that direction. I think we need to recognize right from the git-go that some kids don’t go to college and that’s okay. They go to vocational training. They do other things. And more and more, I’m hearing that, that is a good choice for many adult children. So, today we do though want to talk about how we get our kids ready to go and to put them in a place to succeed in college. And we’re gonna do that with a very special guest.

John: Yeah, Alex is a professor of engineering and physics at California Baptist University and he’s written some books. And the one we’ll be talking about today is called Preparing Your Teens for College: Helping Them Face the Challenges, Faith, Finances and Friendships. I should note that he and his wife have three children. They live in California and he’s written for our “Boundless” website, Jim. So, he’s–

Jim: This is one talented professor.

John: –he’s very, very busy, too.

Body:

Jim: Alex, welcome to “Focus.”

Alex: Thanks so much for having me.

Jim: Hey, we’ve talked about this issue on the broadcast of how do I know that college is right for my son or daughter? I just alluded to that. There’s been an increase in college attendance in recent decades. However, college graduation rates are down. It seems counterintuitive. Uh … enrollment’s goin’ up, but graduating seniors are going down. What’s goin’ on?

Alex: Well, I think what’s happening is, the greater percentage of students that are going to college, some of them are not as prepared as we’d like them to be. And in some cases, they may be goin’ to a four-year college, when a vocational school like you alluded to a moment ago, may be a better fit for them.

Jim: Or a junior college.

Alex: Or a junior college, right and develop some of the maturity and disciplines at a junior college or they’re more hands-on oriented and geared for maybe something more vocational, technical, skill-based, whether it’s plumbing, welding, mechanic . We’re actually seeing a shortage in those areas–

Jim: Yeah.

Alex: –because in a sense, it’s as if we see an oversupply to the four-year schools.

Jim: Let me ask you this. How do we help a child? You know the Scripture that talks about raising your child with their bent.

Alex: Yes.

Jim: And how do we as parents, best understand that bent in this regard? I’m thinkin’ of that even for my own kids. Trent can be more mechanically inclined. He does most of the stuff around the house now, even though he’s not in high school yet. But he’s very–

John: That’s great for you.

Jim: Yeah, well, I say most of the stuff, but he’s really good mechanically.

Alex: Yeah.

Jim: He knows how to use his hands. I am not that good at that stuff and he might be someone … I’m just using him as a general expression, but that’s what you should be doing as a parent, kind of recognizing that, that he might find greater pleasure using his hands in that way, rather than going to a four-year school and using, you know, other attributes that God has given him.

Alex: Right. I think what happens sometimes in the public school system, at least in this country in the last 20 years or so, is that high schools really measure themselves by the percentage of students they send to four-year colleges.

Jim: Uh-hm.

Alex: So, it’s a steering process and I’ve seen kids in my classes who didn’t work out so well in calculus and physics, but they’re incredibly good with their hands. And one of them, in fact, a former student of mine, sees him at Costco. He was in the auto shop and he’s on his way to becoming an Air Force mechanic, where he’ll probably make really good money and have great benefits and a great career. But it took him a couple of years to figure out that college wasn’t for him.

I think sometimes we have a one-size-fits-all mentality that’s really not helpful in the way we raise our kids. So, talking in terms of finding their own bent, I think we look for passion and talent overlapping in ways. And giving them chances to explore their passion to see what talents come out. ‘Cause I think talents are really revealed in the crucible of experiences.

I remember for me in high school, I thought I was interested in something and I needed to actually do it to see if I was.

Jim: Hm.

Alex: So, I thought, I was a tutor for a while in high school, helping younger kids learn things. In fact, and then I got some calls for even smaller kids. And then I had some adults wanting help with basic math skills. And so, I started doing a bunch of freelance tutoring and that really stirred in me an interesting in wanting to teach.

Then I got to college and I looked for more opportunities to want to teach. And every time I got confirmation that, you know, people are learning, people are benefitting from it, and that gave me more fuel to keep going with it. So, I think you look for a feedback loop like that.

Jim: Let me ask you, there seems to be another big problem right now with the economy in the state that it’s in. And that is, a lot of the college graduates coming out right now aren’t finding work. I think the statistic I saw was about half. That’s tough to go four years, maybe five and carry the debt that many are carrying and to come out and albeit it’s an interim step, but they end up being a barista at a coffee shop or something.

I mean, what should the expectation of the parents be right now? Because I’m sure a parent who’s put out maybe tens of thousands of dollars for tuition is thinking, you know, when junior finishes that senior year, they’re really on their own now. And only to find out they’ve gotta move home again.

Well, I think what you want to in the high school years before your child picks a major and a college, if really think about the salary prospects in that major. A lot of this, the hiring and the salaries are a function of the major, to be honest with you, whereas technology and business, healthcare are doing very well right now and the liberal arts aren’t doing quite so well. Although there, kids can succeed there, but they have to really work on getting work experiences in college.

Jim: Let’s be practical about that.

Alex: Yeah.

Jim: I mean, let’s talk about, if you go to a private college and you end up with a French literature degree–

Alex: Right.

Jim: –and $70,000 in debt, that’s not a good thing.

Alex: No, no, in fact, if you have $70,000 in debt, you have more debt than 95 percent of people going to college. So, I think parents need to think and the student needs to think going in, okay, I need a strategy from now to graduation.

‘Cause I’ve seen students take on $15,000 debt their freshman year and then I talk to them and say, “Hey, look, how’s that gonna scale in four or five years?” And the math is not good, right. So, I think you need to think about the whole plan. How’s my kid gonna afford this college from day one to graduation? And how much debt am I gonna end up with, compared to how much money he could be making those first couple years when he’s out in the workforce?

Jim: Now this book that you’ve written, Preparing Your Teens for College, we’re kind of talking at kind of the engaged period. But what are you doing with your teenager to talk about these things? I would think a lot of parents might think, well, this is over our 15-year-old’s head.

Alex: Yeah.

Jim: It’s probably not.

Alex: No, no, no, in fact, I wrote this book for parents of kids of all ages, but especially 12 and older. So, I think if your child is 14-, 13-years-old, it’s not too early to start thinking about, hey, what are the character qualities I need to help my child develop in terms of personal responsibility and maturity and character, so that when they go out, they can do their homework without somebody watching over them, so that they go into bed at a reasonable hour. ‘Cause that’s what makes or breaks most freshmen. It’s not their SAT score and high school grades. It’s–

Jim: Well …

Alex: –their discipline skills, their character–

Jim: Yeah.

Alex: –there.

Jim: Let’s talk about that, because I would think, you know, for me, I’m livin’ that right now. I’ve got Trent and Troy and they’re right in that age range. And we’re starting to talk about that. What are those character deficits that you’re seeing as a college professor–

Alex: Yeah.

Jim: –that raise the red flag? If you can wind the clock back–

Alex: Right.

Jim: –five, six years, what could some of those students—you don’t have to name ’em, obvious (Laughter), but I’m sure they’re in your mind–

Alex: Yes.

Jim: –but if you could talk to their parents and wind that clock back, what would you encourage those parents to have done–

Alex: Right.

Jim: –five or six years ago to get them better prepared?

Alex: I think helping them access the classroom well. I have students who, as freshmen in college, don’t know how to take notes in a very helpful way. So, helping them in high school to say, hey, how are you using your class time? You got 50 minutes with the teacher. How are you spending that time in terms of your mental engagement, in terms of what you write down? Some kids write down too much. They’re trying to copy every little word you say and they’re gonna be 10 minutes behind you. Other kids aren’t writing anything down. They’re half asleep and they’re gone. So, helping them understand what is good classroom management of making sure that you are learning and getting’ the most out of your classroom. And then how are you schedule your homework? How are you prioritizing what you spend time on and when you spend time on it? Sometimes we have, you know, the helicopter parent–

Jim: yeah.

Alex: –in our day, where the parent’s telling them, okay, do your math now. Do your English now. Do this now. And they get to college and they have no idea how to prioritize, what is more important?

Jim: Hm.

Alex: And so, that’s discipline, time management, delayed gratification is a big one. Being willing to say, you know what? I need to study tonight, but tomorrow night I can see my friends and have a good time. I have a test tomorrow. I’m not gonna go play tonight. I’m gonna be able to play tomorrow. That’s okay. I can wait till then, that ability to delay. Impulse control is a big one.

Jim: And you know, I’ve gotta say, it’s hard when your kids are 13 and 14 if your child doesn’t have a desire in that. You’ve gotta work very hard to get that going.

Alex: Right.

Jim: Some children have that natural bent and–

Alex: Right.

Jim: –you know, one of my boys, he’s just disciplined in that way and he gravitates toward getting ready, being prepared, studying for the test. He likes scoring high.

Alex: Yeah.

Jim: He’s competitive in his nature in a positive way.

Alex: Yeah, yeah.

Jim: The other one not so much. I mean, he’s sayin’, wow, this doesn’t really thrill me. I don’t like it. I’d rather play.

Alex: Yeah.

Jim: Give us some tips–

Alex: I would …

Jim: –as a parent, how do you rein that in a little, age appropriately?

Alex: Right.

Jim: How do you begin to say, okay, it’s good you look to play, but we need to do this? How would you go about that?

Alex: Yeah. I would say, try to encourage them to understand that God has given them a mind and that God calls them to use it and this is their time to work. That God makes everyone to work. I tell my daughter, she’s the same like your second son. I like to play. “What’s your favorite subject in school?” “Play time,” right, that kind of thing.

But try to remind them that God’s given you a brain and that He calls you to develop it and that if you develop it, you can have great experiences in life down the road. And if you don’t develop it, you’re gonna be stunted. You’re gonna have less opportunities later on, because God blesses those who are prepared. And we reap what we sow. And so, if we don’t sow, we’re not gonna be able to reap the fruit later on. So, I try to connect it to, look at all the good things that can come to you if you can apply yourself now. What do you want to accomplish in life?

I’m working with older students, so that’s more compelling. But I think at 11-, 12-years-old, you try to get them to understand, God’s made us to work and that we are happiest when we can do things that our … that our minds and our hearts and our bodies can do. And God’s wired us to work and that happiness comes as a byproduct of that being useful in the world. God told everyone to be useful.

You know, loving God with all your mind, heart and soul and loving your neighbor as yourself, that requires a certain amount of usefulness to other people. You have to be able to do things that make other people’s lives better.

And everyone’s supposed to be doing that. The woman who’s a stay-at-home mom is doing that. She’s raising children. She’s being very, very useful in the world and using her gifts and her skills in ways that are enormously and eternally profitable.

So, the man who goes to work, the woman who goes to work, the woman who’s at home with her kids, parents, we’re all working. So, helping kids to know, hey, we all work.  You have to work, too. This is what God’s made us to do.

John: Uh-hm.

Alex: And then you apply different measures of carrots and sticks. I see both in the Bible, where God uses incentives and motivations, but also punishments, especially the younger ones, this is what you need to do. And then you develop the skills, develop the habits. Once you have the right habits, I think it’s easier to keep ’em going.

Jim: At that age, I think the answer’s yes, but I’ll ask the question. I mean, at that age, do you start equating college and the rewards of working hard going to college with what you ‘re doing with chores and perhaps allowance and what they’re earning? How do you make that connection for them, that if you work hard, you get rewarded? And when it comes to preparing them for college, if that’s the direction they’re going to be going, to help them take it from an abstract?  Because, you know–

Alex: Right.

Jim: –my kids right now, as I’m havin’ that discussion with ’em, you know, they’re thinkin’, well, diggin’ ditches might be okay. I like the sun, you know. But you’ve gotta say–

Alex: Yeah.

Jim: –“Listen, that’s not where you want to necessarily be–

Alex: Right.

Jim: — when you’re 50–

Alex: Right, right..

Jim: –’cause that’s gonna be hard. It might be what you do in your 20’s and that’s good. It’s good hard work and —

Alex: Right.

Jim: –it may be a good thing for you to do. But what college will provide you typically is more opportunity and that kind of thing–

Alex: Yes.

Jim: –better long-term value in terms of your earning power and those kinds of things.

Alex: Right.

Jim: How do you instill in a 13-, 14-, 15-year-old those kind of concepts, which sometimes it’s hard for them to grasp?

Alex: Yeah, I think you want to talk to them about where they see … expose them to adults in different fields of work and have those adults talk to them about what they like and don’t like about their job, what they wish they had done differently growing up and what they’re glad they did growing up. And help them see what they can do with … okay, let’s say, they’re good at math, but they don’t really like it. They’re kinda lazy. They’d rather be outside mowin’ the lawn. Then you talk to them about, okay, this is where this career path could take you. And this is where this other career path could take you. Now think long term with me about where you want to end up. I think a future orientation is so important to start filling in 13-year-olds. ‘Cause I think once you hit puberty, your mental (Laughter) capacities grow. Right?

Jim: Oh, they grow, okay.

Alex: Right.

Jim: I didn’t know that’s–

Alex: They …

Jim:  –the direction you were going there, but that’s good.

Alex: Oh.

John: Your mental capacity.

Jim: Yes.

Alex: Well, a second value is the fact that your ability to think complex way begins to develop. And you begin to think abstractly.

Jim: Right.

Alex: And you can kind of see–

Jim: Cause and effect.

Alex: –in the future, cause and effect.

Jim: Right.

Alex: And walk yourself down a few years longer than you can when you’re 11-years-old. But then, they’re 14-years-old, you can start talkin’ to them about, okay, high school is gonna end in the next four years. Where do you see the future? If you want to work with your hands, this is what you need to do to get development, to get training, to get skills so that you can do that for a living.

If you want to develop the interests you have in maybe math or science and get better at that, this is where you have to go and you have to apply yourself mentally. But what I would encourage them, is no matter what you’re gonna do with your life, working hard at school is gonna make you a better at whatever you do.

Jim: Yeah.

Alex: Because the mental development has cross-disciplinary benefits. No matter what you do in life, if you work hard in math or science classes, they’re gonna make you a better writer, a better communicator, a better reader of history books, because you’re gonna be more analytical.

Jim: Do we sell our kids short thinking at that age, of 13, 14, 15, that they’re not really capable? I’m thinking back. You know, the Jewish tradition, at 13 you do a Bar Mitzvah and we’re gonna start talkin’ to you now like a man or a woman.

Alex: Yeah.

Jim: You’re no longer a child. You’ve passed through a threshold. But we generally talk about “failure to launch.” We keep kids in a perpetual state of adolescence, even beyond 18.

Alex: Yes.

Jim: And it’s a big consequence to the culture in terms of productivity and maturity and all those things. Are are we, even in the Christian community, are we taking too low of a bar approach with our 13-, 14-, 15-year-olds? And we’re not expecting them to be able to comprehend, hey, life has consequences. We’ve gotta start thinkin’ about this and where your talents lie.

Alex: Right.

Jim: I’m sure a lot of parents hearin’ that go, “Ooh! That seems really early. I would have that discussion at 18 or 19.”

Alex: Yeah, I think kids can handle more than we think. You know, I think kids rise to the level of expectations that we have for them. And they apply themselves to something that interests them and where they see the value.

And so, it’s a matter of captivating their hearts and their minds and giving them a vision for it. And they’ll rise to that. I mean, kids who are 13 and 14, they’re looking to older people for mentors. And we know from statistics and from research studies, that those who don’t have parents will find them in a gang or the wrong crowd and they’ll look up to that 18-year-old guy in the gang and say, “You’re kinda like my dad.” And they’ll go that way.

So, what they’re looking for is someone to lead them into adulthood. So, I’m very interesting in promoting this idea of apprenticing to adulthood., that at 13-, 14-years-old, you are now a young adult in apprenticeship for the next five years in our house until you leave. And we want to send you out with a certain set of basic skills that you can use in the world to be successful.

Jim: Hm.

John: Alex Chediak is our guest and I like that concept a lot. I want to ask you a question about that. Let me just say, this is “Focus on the Family” and you can find his book, Preparing Your Teens for College: Faith, Friends, Finances and More. A download or a CD of this program is also available at www.focusonthefamily.com/radio.  And if you give a gift of any amount today, we’ll send this book to you as our way of saying thanks and helping you get the tools you need to help that child launch well.

And Alex, right there, I’m thinking, well, there are kids who say, “That’s a good plan, mom or dad. I’m not playin’ that game.” I mean, you just can’t motivate them well.

Alex:  Yeah.

John: What do you do about that?

Alex: I think a series of carrots and sticks, so maybe some more sticks, they could be necessary sometimes. Okay, well, if you don’t get your grades up, you’re not gonna have the car on the weekend. You want to have more freedom and more independence? Well, it comes with responsibility, as well.

John: Yes.

Alex: So, helpin’ them realize that the things that you want in life at 14-years-old, you want to be your own person. You want to have freedom. You want to be with your friends. You want to have–

John: Uh-hm.

Alex: –independence from mom and dad and that’s healthy to a degree, because you’re becoming your own adult; you’re becoming your own individual, right? You’re separating out a little bit from where you came from..

But to help them understand that, with that increased freedom, with that increased independence comes more responsibility. Because life doesn’t come with just freedom. None of us have pure unaccountability. We’re all accountable to God, to our coworkers, to our boss, to our spouse. And to help them realize okay, you can have these things that you want if you in turn, are fulfilling your responsibilities. Your job is to be a student, your job is to do these chores around the house and some of the chores are gonna be for money. And some of the chores are gonna just be because you’re a member of our family and we expect you to work. And we’re training you to enjoy your independence and be successful in that and not be overwhelmed by it.

I think Proverbs talks about the idea of somebody who’s passed by the field of a sluggard, right. It was overgrown by grass–this idea that you either dominate your responsibilities or you become dominated by them.

John: Hm.

Alex: And you become at the bottom and you don’t want to be there. And you just kinda keep on motivating to think about what is in your best interests. And I think when a teen sees that you have their best interest in mind, that you’re not tryin’ to control them. You’re not trying to trap them. You want them to succeed. You want them to thrive. You want them to enjoy all the good things that God’s created them to enjoy, then there’s the middle level of moral authority that you develop in their life, where they see, you know what? Dad really does want what’s best for me. I’m gonna listen to him because he does have what’s best in mind for me.

Jim: Alex, let’s talk about the component of faith, which is so important and it fits in here, especially with what you’re describing there with being overrun or somewhat in control of your environment. You know, the Lord, I think, expects to hold things loosely at times, so that He can manage our lives with us obviously.

But let me give you some statistics. A lot of parents are concerned because their kids that go off to college, we hear a lot about falling away of faith and those kinds of things. I think you remind us in your book that 89 percent–

Alex: Yeah.

Jim: –of kids who come from homes where there’s a vibrant Christian faith, where faith is meaningful, actually those kids, 89 percent of them do well. They are connected to the Lord through their college experience and they survive and thrive in that environment.

Talk to the parents that have concerns in that regard, where maybe they’re seeing wobbliness, where the culture is winning the heart of their child and they’re really worried that at 18, 19, as they go off to college, are they gonna get into the drinking games and all of the other stuff that’s going on, on a college campus?

Alex: Yeah, I would just encourage parents to know that, what you do in the house has the greatest impact on your children in terms of their well-being. Like you said, 89 percent, those are people that grow up in homes where their mom and dad built into their faith. If you build into the faith of your teen, if you model Christianity to them, even if they themselves are a little bit resistant when they’re 15, 16 to it, if they’re seeing it modeled by you in the home authentically, not perfectly, but authentically and meaningfully, the way you treat one another as husband and wife, the way you treat your children, the way you react towards your neighbors, towards your work, towards your money, towards your time, they can see that Christianity is real in your life and then you’re trying to train them to at least know what Christianity teaches.

This is what the Bible says about our need for a Savior and about our sin and about the fact that Jesus came to die so that if we trust in Him, we can have eternal life and that we can have a meaningful, more significant life even now, but God made everything to be enjoyed. And God’s not tryin’ to trap you and to steal your pleasures. He’s wanting to maximize your pleasure. When He forbids premarital sex, it’s so that you can have greater fulfillment and greater joy. And when He forbids drunkenness, it’s not that you can never have a good time; it’s because drunkenness will make you a fool and it’ll make you miserable in the long run.

So, seeing that God’s will for you is that you thrive and God has plans for you to thrive. And if you live life His way, it’s always gonna be best, at least if they can see that modeled in your life, even if they go through a little bit of ups and downs, they’re probably gonna come out on the right side. And only the faith can be a little bit of a messy process, because they’re trying to think of it for themselves. They’re tryin’ to kick the tires, so to speak. And that’s normal.

When I’ve had teens do that I’ve known, I’ve encouraged them to ask the tough questions about whether they can know that the Bible’s reliable? Or whether Jesus rose from the dead?

Or if the miracles in the Bible … what’s up with the miracles? Or what about God’s moral laws? Do they even make any sense? Encourage them to wrestle through that and be honest with them, because we have answers. Our faith is not the absence of reason. Our faith is built on reason. Our faith is built on history.

So, I think as we do that to our teens, and with our teens, and engage them in that process, they may go through some ups and downs, but God can use that tremendously in their life. And the seeds that are sown can be borne into fruit later.

So that there’s some balance there in terms of giving them greater leverage and responsibility and freedom, knowing that if they blow it here and there, we can be there to help them process it. And that their experiences now are gonna prepare them for the future.

Jim: And you’re really talking about preparing your children with spiritual conviction–

Alex: Yeah.

Jim: –to be able to survive in that environment.

Alex: Right.

Jim: Um … how do we go about doing the best job? You know, sometimes we break this or reduce it into a formula. And a lot of frustrated parents are saying, “I did all that, yet junior went the wrong way.” And then you start incriminating each other as mom and dad. You weren’t the best father you could’ve been.

Alex: Right.

Jim: You weren’t the best mom you could’ve been. We followed the formula and it didn’t work. Deconstruct that for us. Why is it not formulaic? Because just like, you know, it sounds like I’m describing the Lord’s relationship with us.

Alex: Right.

Jim: We’re like a bunch of teenagers to Him, you know. Here we are.

Alex: That’s true.

Jim: Yeah and–

Alex: Yeah.

Jim: –and we’re making choices that don’t please Him, like we would a son with a father. And so, how do we do the best we can do to ensure that our kids get that spiritual conviction, so when Friday night rolls around, they’re making wise choices.

Alex: Yeah, I think it’s not formulaic, because our teens are independent agents. I mean, but they’re responsible before God and they stand or fall on their own choices. And they’re their own individual. They’re becoming their own adult. So, it’s not formulaic in the sense that they’re gonna have to choose things. And there’s part of it that’s between them and the Lord. And we can pray for them. And at that point, some of the t

Today's Guests

Preparing Your Teens for College

Receive a copy of Alex Chediak's book Preparing Your Teens for College with your gift of any amount!

Recent Episodes

Promotional image for the Focus on the Family broadcast "Praying Scripture Over Your Child's Life"

Praying Scripture Over Your Child’s Life (Part 1 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 1 of 2)

Promotional image for Focus on the Family broadcast "Reigniting Your Passion for Jesus"

Reigniting Your Passion for Jesus (Part 2 of 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. (Part 2 of 2)

Promotional image for Focus on the Family broadcast "Reigniting Your Passion for Jesus"

Reigniting Your Passion for Jesus (Part 1 of 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. (Part 1 of 2)

You May Also Like

Focus on the Family Broadcast logo

Avoiding Shame-Based Parenting

Psychologist Dr. Kelly Flanagan discusses the origins of shame, the search for self-worth in all the wrong places, and the importance of extending grace to ourselves. He also explains how parents can help their kids find their own sense of self-worth, belonging and purpose.

Focus on the Family Broadcast logo

Becoming a Clutter-Free Family

Joshua Becker discusses the benefits a family can experience if they reduce the amount of “stuff” they have and simplify their lives. He addresses parents in particular, explaining how they can set healthy boundaries on how much stuff their kids have, and establish new habits regarding the possession of toys, clothes, artwork, gifts and more.

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.

Play Video

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!

Play Video

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!

Play Video

Newest Release - Episode 3: The Power of a Picture

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

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

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

Play Video

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

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

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

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

Play Video

Newest Release - Episode 6: Families Helping Families!

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

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

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

Praying Scripture Over Your Child’s Life - Part 2

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

Headshot of Focus on the Family broadcast guest Jodie Berndt

Jodie Berndt

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

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

Praying the Scriptures Over Your Children

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

Effective Habits to Embrace in Parenting

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

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

Dr. Randy Schroeder

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

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

Simple Habits for Effective Parenting

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

The Spiritual Battle for Your Marriage

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

Tim and Noreen Muehlhoff Cropped

Dr. Tim and Mrs. Noreen Muehlhoff

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

Defending Your Marriage

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

Reigniting Your Passion for Jesus - Part 1

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

Headshot photo of author Kim Meeder

Kim Meeder

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

Revival Rising

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

Reigniting Your Passion for Jesus - Part 2

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

Headshot photo of author Kim Meeder

Kim Meeder

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

Revival Rising

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

Mothers and Sons: Being a Godly Influence - Part 2

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

Headshot of Rhonda Stoppe

Rhonda Stoppe

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

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

Moms Raising Sons to Be Men

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

Identifying Triggers in Your Marriage - Part 2

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

Headshot of Guy and Amber Lia

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Author Debra Fileta in the Focus on the Family broadcast studio

Mrs. Debra Fileta

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

Are You Really Okay?

Are You Really OK: Getting Real About Who You Are

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

Embracing Your Role as a Spouse

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

Headshot of Kevin Thompson

Pastor Kevin Thompson

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

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

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

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

Sharing Your Faith with Grace and Purpose

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

Mr. Greg Koukl

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

Tactics front cover

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

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

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

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

Dr. Kevin Leman

Dr. Kevin Leman

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

Bundle of Why Your Kids Misbehave

Why Your Kids Misbehave and What to Do about It

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

Giving up Sugar, Tasting God's Goodness

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

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

Mrs. Wendy Speake

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dr. Kevin Leman

Dr. Kevin Leman

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

Bundle of Why Your Kids Misbehave

Why Your Kids Misbehave and What to Do about It

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

Loving Your Spouse Through the Seasons of Marriage - Part 2

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

Author Debra Fileta in the Focus on the Family broadcast studio

Debra Fileta

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

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

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

Reconciling Faith and Science in a Medical Crisis

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

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

Dr. Lee Warren

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

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

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

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

Praying Scripture Over Your Child’s Life - Part 1

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

Headshot of Focus on the Family broadcast guest Jodie Berndt

Jodie Berndt

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

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

Praying the Scriptures Over Your Children

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

Mothers and Sons: Being a Godly Influence - Part 1

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

Headshot of Rhonda Stoppe

Rhonda Stoppe

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

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

Moms Raising Sons to Be Men

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

Identifying Triggers in Your Marriage Part 1

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

Headshot of Guy and Amber Lia

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Author Debra Fileta in the Focus on the Family broadcast studio

Mrs. Debra Fileta

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

Are You Really Okay?

Are You Really OK: Getting Real About Who You Are

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

Navigating a Toxic Culture with Your Daughter - Part 1

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

Mrs. Meg Meeker

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

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

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

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

Play Video

Newest Release - Episode 1: The Truth About Life!

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

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

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