Focus on the Family Broadcast

Reaching Across Cultural Divides (Part 2 of 2)

Reaching Across Cultural Divides (Part 2 of 2)

Dr. David Ireland explains how Christians can help foster racial and ethnic diversity, and experience cross-cultural relationships in healthy, godly ways. (Part 2 of 2)
Original Air Date: January 21, 2020

Preview:

Dr. David Ireland: … I’ll use a phrase that… It’s not a cliché but it’s appropriate. White silence leads to black rage.

John Fuller: Hm. Well, we all need to consider talking more, learning more, and looking for opportunities to show God’s love and care for all people. We’re gonna talk about that today on Focus on the Family as Dr. David Ireland joins us again. Uh, your host is Focus president and author, Jim Daly, and I’m John Fuller.

End of Preview

Jim Daly: John, we had an excellent conversation last time with David, and I think his pastor’s heart was on display during our discussion. Um, some people may have been uncomfortable with it, we’re talking about racial issues, and that’s a good thing, to be open and honest, to try to find that way forward where we can live out the Christian faith in a strong way, and that is the title of David’s book, One in Christ. I believe that’s God’s heart for all of us, no matter the color of our skin. If we claim Christ, we’re one in Christ first and foremost. Everything else is really, uh, as David put it yesterday, it’s like the tossed salad. We’re all a little different but we’re all part of the meal, and I love that expression that he gave to us last time. Um, too often we’ve let issues of prejudice and diversity, uh, fall into that quagmire and divide us. And right now in our country, as I shared last time, I’m worried about that because the, the depths of the division, and the heights of the division are, in my mind, bigger than ever before, even though we’ve made quite a bit of progress over the last 30, 40 years in a very positive way. But it certainly has not been enough, and we’re gonna come back this time and talk further with Dr. David Ireland again with his book, One in Christ.

John: And it certainly seems like an appropriate topic this week as we celebrate the sanctity of all human life. Uh, contact us to get a copy of David’s book. Our number is 800, the letter A, and the word FAMILY, or you can find that at focusonthefamily.com/broadcast.

Jim: David, welcome back.

Dr. Ireland: Jim, thank you so much. John, good to see you again.

Jim: Now last time, people heard this, but you’re pastoring in New Jersey.

Dr. Ireland: Yes. I pastor Christ Church, a very diverse congregation, about 70 different nationalities that call Christ Church home.

John: Mm.

Jim: Almost 10,000 people.

Dr. Ireland: Yeah. And so busy, but, uh- (laughter)

John: Yeah, how’d you come out here to Colorado? How’d you make the time for that?

Dr. Ireland: I, I ran away. They didn’t even know I left. (laughter)

Jim: I’m sure they know you’re gone, let me tell you, but it is good to have you here. You’ve written this wonderful book, One in Christ. For those that didn’t hear the broadcast, or the podcast last time, just go back and listen to it.

John: Mm-hmm.

Jim: Contact us and John will give those details again. But, um, it, it really was a good, open discussion, and I’m so grateful for that because I think one of the core things that we need to do is to be able to communicate with each other and share our real feelings. You know, so much of those real feelings now are hidden because of political correctness.

John: Mm.

Jim: People don’t feel like I can actually say what I’m thinking, and that’s a dangerous place to be for everybody. I don’t care the color of your skin, but if we can’t talk openly about what we’re feeling, we’re not gonna make progress, right?

Dr. Ireland: Absolutely. In fact, I appreciate you guys and Focus hosting this kind of conversation, and it has national implications. I always try to tell people that when someone is vulnerable with you on a tender topic, look at that as a privilege.

Jim: Huh.

Dr. Ireland: Don’t allow their naivete, or their myths to hinder you-

Jim: Yeah.

Dr. Ireland: From being able to have very pointed conversation. It… You should become a safe person, particularly the Christian community, when we’ve been charged by Jesus Himself to love your neighbor as you love yourself, which suggests then that you need to have this thick skin, and a big heart so you can be able to allow people-

Jim: Mm.

Dr. Ireland: To come around you and say what they need to say-

Jim: Yeah.

Dr. Ireland: And not walk on eggshells on tender topics like diversity and race.

Jim: You know, one of the things that I found so helpful… And I did the international work here at Focus for a long time. I traveled to about 70 countries, so I got a good taste of the world, and, uh, in a good way, meeting the Christians from around this world. And humor helps, and humor is universal. I mean, not every joke flies but generally, people get it, and I’ll never forget being in Kenya with Dr. Lillian Mahomey, it was one of the early trips, 1992, ’93, right in that range, and I met with her. She was a psychologist there in Kenya, and we’re having lunch, and I said, “You know, Lillian, what we have to share at Focus on the Family about marriage and parenting, is that gonna be applicable and important to people here in Kenya?” And she looked at me with a smile on her face, she said, “Oh, Jim. It’s just like an American to think you invented the family.” (laughter) And I love that line.

Dr. Ireland: Yeah.

Jim: It was such a smart line. And I said, “Oh, Lillian, I’m sorry, but will it touch a heart here?” And she said, “Absolutely. People here have marital problems, we have parenting issues just like you do in the US. In fact, it is the universal language.” Wow!

Dr. Ireland: And, and I appreciate that ’cause I guess I have a similar background in that I’ve spoken in some 75 countries, you know, of the world and every country, when you go there, they want to know that you love them. And when you have that kind of platform, then they open their hearts to you.

Jim: Yeah.

Dr. Ireland: You know, in fact, I was in Zambia, and I… First time speaking there in this South-Central African country, and when I spoke, people felt so close to me. And then I asked the host, “Why do I feel that they’re close to me?”

Jim: Mm.

Dr. Ireland: And, and he said, “Because you’re an American and they think you’re gonna hurt them.”

John: Mm.

Dr. Ireland: And so when I changed… You know, I opened my heart, and they opened theirs, there was this receptivity.

Jim: Yeah. You know, David, I want to get into the meat of the book and be able to express to the folks what you’ve written, and hopefully, uh, they’ll be motivated to get a copy of the book. That’s what I hope, uh, because there… It’s jam packed with good things for us to consider and to think about. One of the things you mention in there, um, in kind of a rebuttal to those that say, “Hey, we’ve made great strides, uh, political correctness and tolerance have provided, you know, kind of an avenue for us to move forward.” But you kind of disagree with that. What is the downside of political correctness and tolerance?

Dr. Ireland: Tolerance particularly is that it’s negative. There’s nothing positive about tolerance. What I-

Jim: Now, I- I’m just going, “Really? What? That doesn’t even sound right.”

John: That’s countercultural. Yeah.

Jim: Tell me why.

Dr. Ireland: Because when someone tolerates you, they put up with you. (laughter) You’re not… You’re not…

John: Hm.

Dr. Ireland: You’re not their preference. Y- you’re not-

Jim: You tolerate your teenagers. (laughter)

Dr. Ireland: And, and, and sometimes they feel tolerated, and, and so what I do with people, particularly when it comes to diversity, is that I say, “Don’t tolerate, accommodate.”

Jim: Huh.

Dr. Ireland: And I gave the example of the generalization of how men and women, we shop differently, and so when I got married, uh, way before the flood. (laughter) I’ve been married 35 years. The Noahic flood. But my wife said, “Honey, let’s go to the mall. I want to buy a pair of blue shoes.” I said, “Sure.”

Jim: You said what?

Dr. Ireland: So, (laughter) so I figured… I figured she’s gonna-

John: That’s true love.

Dr. Ireland: Shop the way I shopped. You know, men are… You know, when we shop, we go on a hunt.

Jim: Right.

Dr. Ireland: When women shop, they’re on a safari. (laughter) And so she took me to the… To the mall, and we’re shopping and she went to one shoe store, she put it on, it fit perfectly, the price was right. I said, “Let’s get it.” She said, “No.”

John: Yeah, we’re done. Yeah.

Dr. Ireland: We went to another s- shoe store at the other end of the mall. By the time it was all over, went to like, six shoe stores. I was livid, (laughter) and, and, and I said, “I can’t do this anymore. It’s not right.” I said, “You need to shop the way I shop, be a hunter.” And… But when I matured as a husband, I learned then to be accommodating, and accommodating means that since her style’s different than mine… Her style’s not worse or better than, it’s different. So when we go to the store now, I take a book with me so I don’t make her feel rushed, I don’t make her feel pressured, I don’t make her feel as if, you know, her style is not good. And so what that has done is broadened this level of acceptance from me towards her, and a greater level of intimacy in our relationship. I take that same principle to the area of diversity. When you practice accommodation with someone, whether they have different music taste, or they may have a different food dish. I remember when this Asian American said to me, “I don’t like eating with Americans” And he’s second generation, “because they look down their noses at the Asian foods, and so, I’m uncomfortable eating with Americans.”

John: Mm.

Dr. Ireland: And he said that very vulnerable to me, which meant he didn’t want anyone to say when he’s ordering his dish, “Ew, like how could you eat that?” (laughter) And so accommodations. See, tolerance is when I say, “Ew, how could you eat that?” Accommodation says that, you know, “What other dishes do you eat, and help me, you know, have a taste of that.

Jim: Having an interest, yeah.

John: Why do you like that?

Dr. Ireland: Yeah. “May I have a taste of that?” And-

Jim: Mm.

Dr. Ireland: You know, that type of thing. So it creates a bigness in your heart.

Jim: Yeah.

Dr. Ireland: Accommodation says, “Let me mature.” Accommodation says, “There are more styles other than mine, and mine is not the preferred, or the only.”

Jim: Yeah. And that’s good, it’s a good way to look at it, having an interest in others.

Dr. Ireland: Sure.

Jim: I mean, that’s really… And I think that’s the heart of God. He wants us to have that interest in others, and from that comes empathy, and, you know, support emotionally in that way. A- another big controversial issue, um, the whole statue, and the flag, the Confederate flag thing, and everybody’s gonna have, um, you know, motivation on this one. You know, “It’s part of our history. Why are we trying to destroy the history?” It may not be a great part of our history, but it’s still part of our history, so why allow people to go into a park and, you know, knock down a statue of some Confederate Army representative. Uh, what… The other side is, “Hey, this is offensive.” I want to get both sides, you know, that’s a part of our history that isn’t a very positive thing at all, and we want to eliminate that, and I don’t understand why the white community doesn’t support us eliminating these statues that represent racism in the park. So, hopefully I’ve given both sides fairly.

Dr. Ireland: Uh, you have. I, I like the idea of what some cities have taken the approach. They created a commission that was very cross cultural, very diverse, and they allowed that commission then to look at the individual statues that were being brought into question. And so, I think through the lens of diversity, we can arrive at something that’s gonna be fair because I don’t like the idea of having a revisionist history in areas that’s unnecessary, and in the same breath, when there’s blatant abuse, then that’s also wrong. I, I hope I’m not sounding political. What I am saying is that when there’s specific statues looked upon through a multi-cultural lens, then the decision becomes one that’s good for the community.

Jim: Hm.

Dr. Ireland: And I think that’s the approach that many cities have taken, and I applaud them for that.

Jim: No, and that’s a good… I think a good middle ground, you know? This is accommodation in the best sense, correct?

Dr. Ireland: Absolutely.

Jim: Yeah. Uh, David, in fact, uh, Alex was a story you mention in your book, an Asian man who had some difficulty with his kids playing with other nationalities. Describe that. And again, I think the reason I want you to touch on this story is if we remove kind of all the, the peels of the onion, many people think this way, and that’s what will touch our hearts.

Dr. Ireland: I remember I was looking for stories and Alex was a Chinese man in my congregation. And I asked Alex, I said, “Alex, tell me your story about diversity.” And he says… When… The moment I said that, his eyes welled up with tears. He said years ago, about 25 years ago, when his children were small, that they were playing with different kids, there were Blacks, whites, and the neighbors were saying to Alex, “Why are you allowing your kids to play with those other kids?”

John: Hm.

Dr. Ireland: And then, so he got angry. He said, “Why are you playing with those other kids? You play with Chinese kids.” And his kid said something to him. He said, “Daddy, you taught us that Jesus calls us to love people.”

Jim: Huh.

Dr. Ireland: And when his children said that to them, he started weeping because he realized that there’s a conflict in his heart in terms of his Christian faith, and his worldview in regards to diversity.

Jim: That is a great point, David, and I, I think it catches me because in Southern Cal, I lived in some pretty diverse neighborhoods. I, I lived in third and fourth grade in Compton, very diverse at the time, Latino, African American obviously, and fewer white, uh, families. But why do kids get it and adults don’t? You’d think it would work the other way around, that as you mature in life, you gain wisdom, you would better understand this, but it’s, it’s almost the inverse, that children, by their very nature, are much more open to one another than adults, so what’s happening as we grow that makes us brittle?

Dr. Ireland: We grow, we hear stories, we experience things, we experience victimization, and pain, we experience rejection, and so it then causes us to become more and more entrenched in place of safety, and place of safety is almost a monolithic, a monocultural lifestyle.

John: Hm.

Jim: It’s a human, uh, thing-

Dr. Ireland: Yeah.

Jim: To, to run to safety and to exclude others at that point.

Dr. Ireland: Correct, and in that monocultural setting, which is very devastating, not only from a business perspective when you look at it through the lens of organizations, or even a church perspective, it limits you from growth.

Jim: Yeah.

Dr. Ireland: It limits you from becoming a full human being.

Jim: Mm.

Dr. Ireland: It limits you from maturing into your full potential.

Jim: Mm.

Dr. Ireland: You know, and so there’s a lot of limits that occurs, and most people don’t realize that. And when we look at it on a practical level, the way we know when we’re cross cultural and diverse is that people that are a different race, ethnicity, culture come up to you and they feel safe to talk to you about things that may have happened to them-

Jim: Wow.

Dr. Ireland: That may be racial, cultural, and ethnic.

John: Mm.

Jim: Man, you think of the Lord’s words, that He came to set us free.

John: Yeah.

Dr. Ireland: Yeah.

Jim: That’s a way to apply them right in this space.

Dr. Ireland: Absolutely.

Jim: He came to set us free from those, those burdens.

Dr. Ireland: Absolutely.

John: And Alex demonstrated that when he said, “Oh, I have a… I have a problem here.” And he bent his own worldview to adapt to Scripture. He let God shape his worldview, and it sounds like it was a really transformative moment.

Dr. Ireland: And he had… And he had to also stand up to the support of his now Christian worldview-

John: Mm.

Dr. Ireland: With his neighbors that were Chinese.

John: Yeah.

Dr. Ireland: So where the rubber hits the road is then how do we act in public when we’re dealing with diversity? Is diversity something private, in the back room, or is diversity in the public?

Jim: Mm-hmm. Yeah.

John: Well, we’re calling you to consider some hard things on this Focus on the Family broadcast, um, but we have a great guide, Dr. David Ireland, and he’s written a terrific book, One in Christ: Bridging Racial and Cultural Divides. We’ve got the book and the CD or download of this conversation, and other resources at focusonthefamily.com/broadcast, or call 1-800, the letter A, and the word FAMILY. 800-232-6459.

Jim: David, um, this is the last part of the program, the last quarter. We’ve done yesterday and today, and I want to make sure the listeners know your story because I think we’ve heard you, Dr. David Ireland. I mean, the pastor of church in New Jersey, and there’s so much more to your story. You’re eight years old when your mom and dad came to this country. Pick it up there as an eight-year-old, you have a pretty well-formed opinion, it’s… You know, eight, you know what’s going on. What was that like? You moved to New York.

Dr. Ireland: I moved to New York. I came from that small island nation of Jamaica. I didn’t understand anything about race, diversity, prejudice, none of those things, and my family bought this house in a small little community called Rosedale, Queens, out of New York. And within two weeks of us living there, the house was firebombed. You know, the… A Molotov cocktail was thrown into the rear bedroom window and exploded-

Jim: Your bedroom.

Dr. Ireland: Yes, my bedroom. I was actually in the bedroom at the time, and-

Jim: Mm.

Dr. Ireland: Saw this explosion.

Jim: Wow, that had to be horrific.

Dr. Ireland: It was, and it was six white teenage boys that threw a Molotov cocktail there to, you know, try to blow us up. Uh, the house was damaged but no one in the house was damaged, and what was more upsetting though is that we had to have round the clock police surveillance for six months because of the death threats that followed.

Jim: My goodness.

Dr. Ireland: And, and so it was very painful, but… And I didn’t understand. I didn’t understand the issue of… I, I didn’t know there was anything such as prejudice. I had no idea, so it was so foreign to me. “Why am I hated? Why am I disliked?” And then when I became a Christ follower, it was July 6, 1982, Jim, at 10:00 pm.

Jim: What age?

Dr. Ireland: Yeah, I was 20 years old at the time.

Jim: Okay.

Dr. Ireland: And when I became a, a follower of Jesus, He challenged me to open up my heart, not only to forgive others that have victimized me, but to ask God to forgive me for my own sins. And when I did that, something happened in my heart where I started to love people that were so different than myself that, you know, the thought of being victimized never even entered my mind. What I did understand is that all things work together for good to them who love God-

Jim: Hm.

Dr. Ireland: And are called according to His purpose-

Jim: Yeah.

Dr. Ireland: Even firebombing incident. And so, I have a basis now, when I talk to whites, Blacks, Asians, you know, Latinos, I can come from whatever angle they want me to come from.

Jim: Right.

Dr. Ireland: The pain of victimization or the success of shepherding a church that’s very diverse, so whatever angle. And so that platform, it helps me to connect with people.

Jim: You know, a- and I want to know more of this story. I mean, you went through that pretty quickly, you know, and you came to the end where it worked for your good, and that’s all wonderful but what were the answers to those questions you, you… When you’re 9, 10, 11-

Dr. Ireland: Uh, I-

Jim: And people are treating you in such a harsh way? How did your mom and dad, the adults in the story-

Dr. Ireland: My, my parents were so… They were so wise that, uh, they shielded us. There were four Ireland children, they shielded us children from this. In fact, we had a above ground pool that they told us one year, “Let’s take out the pool.” And I didn’t find out the reason why we took out the pool until I was an adult, and I was… In this book, One in Christ, I… In fact, I even have some of the letters in there that my mother hid from me as a child, letters that neighbors were sending, hostile letters, death threats that, uh-

Jim: Oh, man.

Dr. Ireland: That that revealed. She said… And they said the reason why they, they told us to take out the pool is ’cause they were afraid that people were gonna throw acid in the pools and when the children went in there to swim, that we would get burned.

Jim: Oh.

Dr. Ireland: So they took up this pool, got rid of the pool, and I’m bemoaning the fact, and they shielded us from it.

Jim: Right.

Dr. Ireland: They didn’t want our hearts to get junked up with prejudice-

Jim: Wow.

Dr. Ireland: So they never told us the reason. The book was written f-… With someone who has an ax to grind. The book is written for someone who walks through 75 nations of the world talking to people, no matter what their race and ethnicity is, so to speak, to help them get healing, and to help them come to a place where they can be mature-

Jim: Yeah.

Dr. Ireland: And feel free, in terms of diversity. And so that story is a-

Jim: Yeah.

Dr. Ireland: Is… You know, and I know I raced through it, but-

Jim: No, no. I didn’t mean… Yeah, but it-

Dr. Ireland: That story… That, that story is, uh… Is very helpful on many levels.

Jim: But it connects, it connects with people. And in fact, the teenagers who did that were never brought to justice, right?

Dr. Ireland: They were caught but they were never punished. The judge simply said, “This is just a childhood prank. Let them go.”

Jim: Wow, that is unbelievable.

John: A- and David, I mean, I want to understand. So your parents did their best to shield you, but you had to have a growing awareness of what was going on. It… I mean, did, did you have points in time when you thought, “This is wrong? We’re just us, we’re not a threat.”

Dr. Ireland: Well, it was. I mean, not only that, I mean, there’s so many documentaries that was produced on Rosedale, Queens. It was so bad that-

Jim: Mm.

Dr. Ireland: If a white family sold their house to an African American family, where that white family moved to would be bombed, as well as the house that was sold.

Jim: Mm.

Dr. Ireland: That kind of pact was established in some of the-

Jim: Mm.

Dr. Ireland: More visceral kinds of whites that had that perspective. So, it was very, very, you know, tenuous in terms of the environment, but I, I… When looking back, my heart didn’t get junked up, and I’m thankful to both my parents and to God for preserving me because-

Jim: Hm.

Dr. Ireland: Prejudice… I always say prejudice is everyone’s problem. Reconciliation must become everyone’s responsibility.

Jim: Well, it’s a great statement. Uh, in addition to that element, uh, forgiveness is a big part of it, right? Did… And you said you understood when you accepted Christ at 20 that we’re all sinners saved by grace, and it sounds like you applied it, even to your childhood, and the trauma that you had, and the people that mistreated you for a lot of people. And, again, I don’t care what your skin color is, that’s a hard thing to do when you receive harsh treatment from someone and it’s unfair, it’s easy for our flesh, for our heart to respond very negatively to that. Um, forgiveness is a core part of your book, and how do we do that in a racial context? How do we move toward forgiving people for saying things, doing things? I mean, that kind of a pact you described is breathtaking to me. I didn’t grow up in that kind of environment. That’s unbelievable.

Dr. Ireland: Forgiveness is very important, and it’s necessary, and I mentioned in yesterday’s broadcast that free workbook that I want to just repeat again for the audience, if you go to the website oneinchristbook.com, that’s oneinchristbook.com-

John: And we’ll link to it.

Dr. Ireland: Yeah. When you go there, I take you through this workbook that helps you to practice and experience forgiveness, so there’s a personal side of it, where it’s a private… Where you’re reflecting, and there’s exercises. But it’s also a group workbook, and so you can take a group through it as well. The idea is that if you don’t get free through forgiveness… ‘Cause that’s what forgiveness means, it means to let go. The imagery is of a bird that’s in a cage. When you open the door of the cage and you let the bird out, that bird has experienced forgiveness. When you don’t forgive the people that may have hurt you, you yourself are imprisoned, you are enslaved to the pain. They have gone on, they’re living their life. They’re not even thinking about you, but you are bound. And so when you forgive them for the victimization, as traumatic as that may be, and I realize it is, you find yourself being free. Dr. Gordon Allport wrote a tremendous book called The Nature of Prejudice. In it, this Harvard sociologist outlined that there’s six levels of prejudice. The first level is when you simply distance yourself from people that are different than you. The sixth level is when you go through ethnic cleansing. And so, that is a wide array, and some people say, “Well, I’m not prejudice.” And if I look at your friendship base and there’s a disconnect, oh yes you are. Mild level, level number one, but it’s still prejudice, none the same.

Jim: Huh. Yeah, and we should all be mindful of that, as you’ve mentioned.

Dr. Ireland: Absolutely.

Jim: Um, in that area of forgiveness, um, probably one of the most recent acts of violence, of course, was Charleston, South Carolina, where that man… Young man went into that church, a Bible study midweek and basically assassinated a number of people. You include that story in your book. Describe it for maybe the handful of people that can’t remember it or don’t know it, what happened?

Dr. Ireland: Uh, Dylann Roof went in there on a Wednesday night Bible study, I believe it was a Wednesday night Bible study and just killed the individuals that were there in this prayer meeting, Bible study. But the point I bring out more than anything was the fact that one of the women that lost her mom, she, as a devout Christian, says, “I forgive him.”

Jim: Yeah.

Dr. Ireland: And those words, that’s ringed loudly to me, to know that my mother’s pulled from my life because of this victimizer, but yet because I still believe in the gospel message of forgiveness, I’m going to forgive Dylann-

Jim: Mm.

Dr. Ireland: For what he did.

Jim: That is a God thing.

John: Yes.

Jim: That is not something that a human being can do on their own power, um-

Dr. Ireland: It cannot, and there was a similar story in South Africa in the post-Apartheid, when they were going through the whole reconciliation meeting-

Jim: Yeah.

Dr. Ireland: I remember one of the officers that worked, you know, against the Blacks there in Africa… In South Africa, one of the Afrikaners, to get punished. The woman that he had killed her son said, “I don’t have any children any longer, but I have love in my heart as a mother. I would like the opportunity to love this police officer as a mom.”

Jim: Wow. Mm.

Dr. Ireland: That was a demonstration-

Jim: Yeah.

Dr. Ireland: Of the forgiveness that only Christ could put in someone’s life and heart-

John: Yeah.

Dr. Ireland: And that’s why I challenge people, that if you want to be a modeler of reconciliation… Just like there’s six levels of prejudice, let’s look at six levels of reconciliation, you become one of the most tremendous modelers of reconciliation so we can transform society.

Jim: Yes. I like it. In fact, let’s end there, ’cause it’s such a good story, the Navajo woman that you have in the book. I think this is such a beautiful illustration, and in her simplicity, she lands a sledgehammer of reality-

John: Mm.

Jim: And spiritual rightness. Tell that story.

Dr. Ireland: This gentleman was finishing up his dissertations, doctoral dissertation, on something that’s dealing with the Navajo Indian tribe, and when he went to live among the Navajo on their tribal area, the family that he… That was hosting him, there was an elderly grandmother that she… Her English was very broken, very limited. But somehow, they built a, a rapport, and this gentleman’s white. As they built a rapport with one another, and they had limited words exchanged, but it was a heart that was connected.

Jim: They ate meals together, and all that-

Dr. Ireland: Sure.

Jim: So they connected.

Dr. Ireland: Absolutely. And then at the end, when he was about to go back to school, they threw a party for him. On the way out to his car after the party, the elderly grandmother ran out, and she stood there in front of this gentleman, and she put her hands on his cheeks, and looked him in the eye. And in her limited English, she said to him, “I like me best when I’m with you.”

Jim: Mm.

Dr. Ireland: To say in this environment of diversity we’ve created for this bit of time, you pulled out qualities in me that I never saw before in me, so she said, “I like me best when I’m with you.”

Jim: Well, I think every one of you know exactly why we invited Dr. David Ireland to be with us, uh, these last couple of days, to have this discussion. So insightful, um, so correct, so, uh, spiritually on point, and, uh, I so appreciate you being with us, David. Thank you.

Dr. Ireland: Thank you, Jim.

Jim: And I hope, uh, you’ll contact us to get a copy of David’s book, One in Christ: Bridging Racial and Cultural Divides, and, uh, you know, make a gift of any amount and we’ll get this book to you as our way of saying thank you. If you can’t afford it, don’t worry about it. Others will cover the cost, I’m quite certain so just let us know and we’ll send this out to you, um, to help you along this journey of better understanding people who are different from you.

John: We really would love to hear from you, and if you can, please donate generously to Focus on the Family. Our number is 800, the letter A, and the word FAMILY. 800-232-6459, or stop by focusonthefamily.com/broadcast. Coming up tomorrow, Dave and Ashley Willis offer encouragement to husbands and wives.

Dave Willis: One of the greatest gifts you can give your kids is to model for them what marriage should be, and to give them the security that comes from seeing a mom and a dad in a loving relationship with God, and in a loving relationship with one another.

Today's Guests

One in Christ

One in Christ: Bridging Racial & Cultural Divides

Receive Dr. David Ireland's book One in Christ for your donation of any amount!

Recent Episodes

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Investing in Your Child for the Teen Years

A panel of parents join with Jim Daly and John Fuller to discuss preparing their children for the teen years and adulthood, providing a biblical perspective on sexuality, peer relationships and technology.

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The Heart Of a Warrior

War veteran Chad Robichaux uses a story of nearly being captured by the Taliban in Afghanistan to make an important point: when we are at a critical juncture in our life, we need to recognize that fact and then make a move. He calls it being “on the X.” Chad goes on to share how he almost committed suicide while suffering PTSD, and encourages his audience to fight against suicidal thoughts. He concludes by describing how a mission to save his Afghan interpreter turned into a huge evacuation of anyone targeted by the Taliban after American forces left Afghanistan.

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Taming Your Child’s Tongue

In a discussion based on her book I Can’t Believe You Just Said That!, Ginger Hubbard offers parents a Biblically-based three-step plan for dealing effectively with their children’s back talk, whining and lying. She also stresses the importance of dealing with matters of the heart, rather than simply addressing outward behavior.

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A Legacy of Music and Trusting the Lord

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

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Accepting Your Imperfect Life

Amy Carroll shares how her perfectionism led to her being discontent in her marriage for over a decade, how she learned to find value in who Christ is, not in what she does, and practical ways everyone can accept the messiness of marriage and of life.

Navigating a Toxic Culture with Your Daughter - Part 2

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

Mrs. Meg Meeker

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

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

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

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

Cherishing Your Spouse Every Day

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

Mr. Gary Thomas

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

cherish front cover

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

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

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Newest Release - Episode 2: Heroes Providing Hope

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

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

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

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Newest Release - Episode 4: Sometimes the Choice is Hard

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

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

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

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Newest Release - Episode 3: The Power of a Picture

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Newest Release - Episode 6: Families Helping Families!

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

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

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

Praying Scripture Over Your Child’s Life - Part 2

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

Headshot of Focus on the Family broadcast guest Jodie Berndt

Jodie Berndt

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

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

Praying the Scriptures Over Your Children

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

Effective Habits to Embrace in Parenting

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

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

Dr. Randy Schroeder

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

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

Simple Habits for Effective Parenting

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

The Spiritual Battle for Your Marriage

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

Tim and Noreen Muehlhoff Cropped

Dr. Tim and Mrs. Noreen Muehlhoff

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

Defending Your Marriage

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

Reigniting Your Passion for Jesus - Part 1

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

Headshot photo of author Kim Meeder

Kim Meeder

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

Revival Rising

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

Reigniting Your Passion for Jesus - Part 2

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

Headshot photo of author Kim Meeder

Kim Meeder

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

Revival Rising

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

Mothers and Sons: Being a Godly Influence - Part 2

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

Headshot of Rhonda Stoppe

Rhonda Stoppe

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

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

Moms Raising Sons to Be Men

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

Identifying Triggers in Your Marriage - Part 2

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

Headshot of Guy and Amber Lia

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Author Debra Fileta in the Focus on the Family broadcast studio

Mrs. Debra Fileta

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

Are You Really Okay?

Are You Really OK: Getting Real About Who You Are

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

Embracing Your Role as a Spouse

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

Headshot of Kevin Thompson

Pastor Kevin Thompson

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

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

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

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

Sharing Your Faith with Grace and Purpose

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

Mr. Greg Koukl

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

Tactics front cover

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

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

Loving Your Spouse Through the Seasons of Marriage - Part 1

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

Author Debra Fileta in the Focus on the Family broadcast studio

Debra Fileta

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

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

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

How a Former Abortion Doctor Became Pro-Life

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

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

Mrs. Patti Giebink

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

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

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

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

Giving up Sugar, Tasting God's Goodness

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

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

Mrs. Wendy Speake

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dr. Kevin Leman

Dr. Kevin Leman

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

Bundle of Why Your Kids Misbehave

Why Your Kids Misbehave and What to Do about It

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

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

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

Dr. Kevin Leman

Dr. Kevin Leman

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

Bundle of Why Your Kids Misbehave

Why Your Kids Misbehave and What to Do about It

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

Loving Your Spouse Through the Seasons of Marriage - Part 2

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

Author Debra Fileta in the Focus on the Family broadcast studio

Debra Fileta

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

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

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

Reconciling Faith and Science in a Medical Crisis

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

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

Dr. Lee Warren

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

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

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

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

Praying Scripture Over Your Child’s Life - Part 1

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

Headshot of Focus on the Family broadcast guest Jodie Berndt

Jodie Berndt

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

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

Praying the Scriptures Over Your Children

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

Mothers and Sons: Being a Godly Influence - Part 1

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

Headshot of Rhonda Stoppe

Rhonda Stoppe

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

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

Moms Raising Sons to Be Men

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

Identifying Triggers in Your Marriage Part 1

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

Headshot of Guy and Amber Lia

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Author Debra Fileta in the Focus on the Family broadcast studio

Mrs. Debra Fileta

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

Are You Really Okay?

Are You Really OK: Getting Real About Who You Are

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

Navigating a Toxic Culture with Your Daughter - Part 1

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

Mrs. Meg Meeker

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

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

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

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

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Newest Release - Episode 1: The Truth About Life!

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

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

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

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

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