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Reaching Out to the Elderly

Reaching Out to the Elderly

Diane Doering and Kay Owen-Larson offer practical suggestions for how your family can help alleviate the loneliness experienced by many residents of elderly care facilities, and share the love of Christ with senior citizens who are often overlooked and forgotten about by society.

Opening:

John Fuller: There’s a mission field near you with lonely, often forgotten people and they’re living out their final days in a nursing home or a senior center and they are longing to be loved. Well, here’s how one woman decided to make a difference in their lives.

Teaser:

Diane Doering: And we try to connect on that heart level, that emotional level, speaking directly to what it is they’re needing to hear to encourage their hearts.

And then, always with a message of how much God loves them, right at their point of need, right where He finds them today, no matter where they came from, no matter what they’ve been through, no matter what their relationship has been in the past with Him, He’s there, and He loves them.

End of Teaser

John: This is “Focus on the Family” with your host, Jim Daly. I’m John Fuller and we’re gonna be talking today about sharing the love of Christ with the elderly. And Jim, this is, I think something that’s pretty doable for every one of our listeners.

Jim Daly: It is, and John, this is something that is so important. We look at life. We talk about the sanctity of human life, and we concentrate a lot on the preborn, rightfully so, because their entire life is in front of them.

But so often, we neglect or fail to think about those that are in the later stages of life. And you know, we need to remember that there is so much that we can do to be a friend there and we’re gonna talk about that today.

John: And in the studio with us, we have Diane Doering. She’s the director of Care Facility Outreach for Friends of the Forgotten. That’s a ministry based in Omaha, Nebraska, and we also have Kay Owen-Larson. She’s founder and president of Crossroads USA Ministry, headquartered here in Colorado Springs.

Body:

Jim: Let me welcome both of you to “Focus.”

Kay Owen-Larson: Thank you very much.

Diane: Pleasure to be here.

Jim: Kay, in fact, you for disclosure purposes, used to be here at Focus. You were a Focus team member.

Kay: Yes, for seven years.

Jim: Seven years, and now you’re doin’ your own thing and what the Lord has directed you to do. And Kay, you really started for Jean and myself and the boys, you kind of awakened us to this whole area. Patty Watkins, my assistant, she works with you, and I think three or four times now, we’ve been able to give away Christmas gifts at homes around Colorado Springs. How many people do you impact every year?

Kay: Oh, we impact probably about three or 4,000 people.

Jim: Yeah and how do you do that?

Kay: That’s just here in the Springs.

Jim: Right.

Kay: We have chaplains in about seven other states and across the nation that are working with the elderly.

Jim: Oh, something about 10,000, I saw?

Kay: Yes, right and at Christmas time, we give away about 16,000 gifts for the elderly.

Jim: Sixteen thousand.

Kay: Yes.

Jim: That’s so good.

Kay: Right.

Jim: And when we have done that, it’s been so amazing just to see the response from folks. And there’s usually kind of two responses. One, they’re not comfortable or they don’t know what’s happening. You know, their mental acuity is not as sharp as it once was. And then others that are so pleasantly surprised—

Kay: Right.

Jim: –and they’re completely functional, but they just live in these assisted living homes and they are so thankful that kids, especially—

Kay: That’s right.

Jim: –come to visit them.

Kay: Yes, we had one year, we have a lot of homemade quilts and blankets that we take in. We have a yarn drive in January and February and then we give out that yarn to groups of people who will then make us Christmas gifts. And one year, we went into a facility here. It was a nursing home, and this lady had like three or four draped around her, because they were just rags and she needed that many to cover up her top, you know.

And so, I walked over to her and I took out this beautiful homemade blanket and I said, “I’d like to give this to you.” And she said, “I don’t have the money to buy it.” And I said, “No, ma’am, you don’t understand. I want to give it to you.” She said, “It’s much too pretty for me.” And I just started crying, and I put it around her and hugged her and loved on her and I said, “No, you’re not. You’re beautiful to God. He loves you, and you are so pretty in this.” And I took a picture of her. She was just gorgeous. But she was so thrilled to be able to just get something so small as a little blanket.

Jim: Yeah. Diane, you have a ministry called Friends of the Forgotten; what a wonderful title. Why do you think the elderly are so forgotten in our culture today?

Diane: I think No. 1 reason is, it puts us right in front of our own mortality. I mean, do we not work desperately hard to stay young, keep young, eat right? The goal is to journey as far as we can, right, in good health. And when you visit, especially a skilled-care facility, you are seeing people who are at their very last stop. They’re not going home. They are going to perish in that place that holds all their belongings in one tiny room, that they probably share with another person.

Jim: Yeah.

Diane: They’ve lost home, family, health, friends. They’ve lost everything and so, I think that is the reason that a lot of us don’t want to take a trip into a care facility. We would rather go all the way across the world on a mission trip, because we can come back home and say, “Thank You, God, that that’s not me; that’s not my family living those horrible circumstances.”

Jim: Yeah.

Diane: But we walk into a nursing home, and we know that, that could be someone we love, or it could be us, and might very well be some day. That’s a hard reality.

Jim: It is. You know, one of those Christmases, Kay, that Jean, the boys and I helped distribute those gifts, I remember one woman really impacted me and we went in. She was sitting in a wheelchair in the sunshine through the window and we walked in and she was so pleased to see us and was completely cognitive, completely lucid. She said, “I don’t have much of an issue. My family just felt I needed help with cooking.”

Kay: Right.

Jim: But she said, “You know, the sad part of it is, I really don’t see many of my family members anymore.”

Kay: No.

Jim: “It’s like they just put me here and they never visit me.” That’s a tragedy, isn’t it?

Kay: It is. About 85 percent of those who live in a skilled-care or nursing home have no regular visitors.

Jim: Eighty-five—

Kay: Eighty-five percent.

Jim: –percent. No regular visitors.

Kay: No regular visitors. And about 50 percent of those who live in skilled care have no family members. So, we have a large group of people there. Some of ’em were military wives. They came here. They never had children, and they have no family at all.

But we have a lot of people who have family here even in the same town that they reside in. They just don’t feel the need to go see them.

Jim: Ah, that is such a tragedy. And there is, to be fair, there are other experiences that we have had. I talked about Troy when he was pretty young. He was probably 5, and Trent was 7 and we were distributing the gifts. And I remember, Troy took a package in to a woman. She was sharing a room, just as you described, and Troy walked in with a bag, with a blanket and other goodies in there. And he was trying to give it to her, and she didn’t understand what was happening, which is, you know, we get that. But she thought he was trying to steal something from her.

Kay: Right, yeah.

Jim: So, he kind of panicked and didn’t know what to do. And I said, “No, no.” I was standing nearby, so I said, “That’s okay, Troy. She’s just not quite, you know, capable of knowing why you’re here, to bless her at Christmas, so just leave it in the chair.”

Kay: Right.

Jim: And he just did that and then backed out of the room. But you do encounter people—

Kay: Sure.

Jim: –who have some mental impairment now.

Kay: Right and you know, they’ve lost so many choices. They rarely get to make choices.

Jim: Yeah.

 Kay: So, we train our volunteers and our chaplains when they go in, give them as many choices as possible. Do you want to go to the living room? Do you want to go outside? What would you like to do today? But we do have a chaplaincy school that we train chaplains to go in and we have a training class for volunteers, because we want them to be trained. We want them to feel comfortable in what they’re doing when they go into a facility.

Jim: Diane, when you look at this, this situation, I mean, talk about a field that’s ready for harvest. I mean, these are people for the most part, that are sometimes days away or weeks away—

Diane: Absolutely.

Jim: –or certainly just a few years away from encountering death and moving into eternity.

Diane: That’s absolutely right.

Jim: What do we need to better understand as Christians, seeing this field as Jesus said, this field that’s white unto harvest? Can’t be a more ripe field than—

Diane: No—

Jim:–people than—

Diane: –I don’t believe—

Jim: –people that close—

Diane: –there is.

Jim: –to death.

Diane: You know, and I agree.

Kay: I agree.

Diane: I think that one of the most important things is to recognize the loss and the grief that they’re feeling. The tendency that we see when we’ve trained people to send out, is to try to tell them that it’s okay. Try to make it better, you know. It’s a nice home. This is a pretty facility. Mom, this is a much nicer place than where you lived before. We try to gloss over and kind of push away the fact that they’re grieving so many losses, and they are facing the final days of their lives. And as you mentioned, Jim, it could be tomorrow.

Jim: Yeah.

Diane: We try to encourage people when they’re going into facilities, to recognize that the people that you are going to speak to today, this may be the very last opportunity that they have to hear about how much God loves them–

Jim: Think of that. There’s …

Diane: –to know the love and grace of Jesus.

Jim: Very few sunrises left for them.

Diane: Exactly.

Jim: What a way to think of that. Diane, help us understand what your ministry does. What do you do to practically help?

Diane: Well, our ministry locally does outreaches. We don’t do weekend services. We’ve found when we started our ministry over 15 years ago that Sunday morning, when we would go and do the church service, all that we would really gather there would be churched people.

Jim: Right.

Diane: And we recognize very early on that there’s a very large population of people living in assisted living that are not church people, that do not have a relationship with Jesus. So, we transitioned early in our ministry into doing weekday outreaches and we call them music outreaches. And they really are songs that connect the soul, and we used hymns, because believers connect with those, but it’s amazing how many older people know hymns, even though they perhaps were not raised in the church.

Jim: Right.

Diane: And so, we incorporate songs and stories from the book I wrote six years ago, Finding Life in the Last Season. And we try to connect on that heart level, that emotional level, speaking directly to what it is they’re needing to hear to encourage their hearts.

And then, always with a message of how much God loves them, right at their point of need, right where He finds them today, no matter where they came from, no matter what they’ve been through, no matter what their relationship has been in the past with Him, He’s there, and He loves them.

Jim: You’ve talked about that sense of hopelessness, if I could paint that picture. You know, you do find that in these facilities. Kay, you had a powerful story of a man who rejected receiving gifts for many years. Tell us what happened.

Kay: Well, we’ve been delivering Christmas gifts for many years here locally in the Springs. And so, one year, we had a group of Focus employees actually [who] went with us. And we had this man, he was in a wheelchair, but every year he refused to receive a gift and he was not very nice.

Jim: Pretty gruff.

Kay: Yes, he just said, “No, I don’t want any part of that.” And so, but one year, one of the Focus employees brought their children and a little boy about 7-years-old walked up to him, and had this conversation with him. And the man was crying and he received a gift from this little boy. And so, after everybody left the facility, I went back over to talk to him, to find out why he was so open that day.

And he said, well, he told me this story of being in Vietnam and his whole unit being killed except for him on Christmas Eve. And he made a decision that night that he never wanted God and he never wanted to celebrate Christmas again.

But there was something about this little boy that broke through all of that and something just cracked and broke and healed him inside when this little boy gave him that gift. And so, it was just such a blessing to see God transform this man, just because a little child gave him a Christmas gift.

Jim: Well, and what pain was there, as you talked about earlier. I mean, we don’t know what’s behind those faces that you walk into those facilities and talk with, what kind of life they have led for 70, 80, 90 years—

Kay: Absolutely.

Jim: –and what pain they have, what regrets they have, what resentment they may have toward God Himself.

Kay: We see a lot of residents in the facilities who, if you ask them, on the surface, did you go to church? They say, “Yes.” But if you ask them if they know Jesus Christ as their Savior, many of them will say, “I have no idea what you’re talking about.” And that opens up the door for us then to read Scripture to them, pray with them and lead them to Christ. We lead more people to Christ in a facility, than most churches in Colorado Springs do.

John: Wow, that’s a startling realization. The need is so great there and in the case of the story you told about the man and the gift, 40 years. I’m thinking, he’s got 40 years of agony and anguish surrounding—

Kay: Yes.

John: –Christmas and a young boy can open that heart up just by being there. And I hope, as a listener, you’re encouraged by hearing how you can make a difference, just by showing up at these care facilities. And we’d like to help you with some other steps along the way in doing this, in opening up your life to reach out to those in need. Stop by our website for some resources and some helps. That’s www.focusonthefamily.com/radio.

Jim: Diane, talk about the early years of doing this. You have two children. They’re—

Diane: We do.

Jim: –grown now’ they’re in their 20s, I believe.

Diane: They are.

Jim: So, how did they react? Are they still engaged with this? And how did your family actually get started? What was the door opener for you?

Diane: Well, it was a process. It wasn’t wake up one morning; let’s quit our jobs and do this full time, for sure. We had really been praying as a family, what could we do outside of the four walls of the church? Just wanting to be, you know, the hands and feet of Jesus, and we had tried a number of different things, and God kept bringing us back to Scriptures about the widow and the orphan.

And through the early years of our ministry, before we actually founded it, we traveled to Africa. We did some work with orphanages. We actually built two orphanages in Kenya. And then we, on the home base front, spent time in nursing homes and ministering to elderly people and just sharing the love of Jesus with them.

We didn’t actually begin to formulate that into a ministry until about three years after we started doing it, and it was at that point where God said, “This is a mission field of people right here in your own community.” And we prayed about it, and our kids were small. We had a mortgage and car payment and all those things, but we really felt like God was asking us to lay down our jobs and start raising our own support and become domestic missionaries.

Jim: Well, so often here at Focus, we’re stressing getting kids into volunteer activity as early as you can and as often as you can, and of course, this is a great way for people to do that. And my kids have really enjoyed that. Talk about those attributes, though, that you’re seeing in your children now. If I could ask you and press you a bit to be more specific, what are those character development things that you see in children that are able to serve?

Diane: I see kids looking right through the outer exterior of a person and seeing right into the heart. You know, they might be a little intimidated in a nursing home setting initially, with the walkers and the wheelchairs and the dementia. But a couple of exposures to that and they see right through all that, right to the person underneath.

I used to laugh at my daughter when she was little, because she would be describing someone after we went home that she saw at the nursing home and she’s say, “You know, that girl, that little girl in the wheelchair.” I was like, “You know, no, she was 90,” but (Laughter) you know, she just connected with her on such a close level that it was like a friend. It was more of a friend than someone that she was visiting.

John: Yeah, you know, Jim, I remember when Dena’s dad was in a nursing home. He needed full-time medical care and we took the kids down there to see him and the first moment we walked in, it was everything you’re describing, Diane, in terms of a foreign place.

Diane: Right.

John: And there are the smells and the sounds and so much there and our youngest was probably 8 at the time, 7 or 8 and he kinda recoiled a little bit at all of that. But by the end of the day, he wanted to push Papa’s wheelchair around. He was all in and he got it. He did just what you described. He saw past the circumstances and past some of that gruffness and that sadness and said, “I want to do something here. I want to push the wheelchair, and it was a small thing, but a pretty big step for a child to take.

Diane: Absolutely. Children seem to move past all those things much faster than adults do.

Jim: Yeah, they do. Sometimes a child’s temperament, again, we’re talking about service things that the whole family can do. That’s what makes this program helpful to people, because again, out of sight, out of mind. If you don’t have elderly parents, perhaps, or grandparents in your life, you may not think of literally thousands of people right here in Colorado Springs, thousands of people who are living in assisted living homes that have nobody. Eighty-five percent, as you said, Kay, don’t have anybody visiting them. I mean, that is frightening.

But temperament of a child can play into this. ‘Cause again, my two boys, I have one that’s fairly extroverted. One’s a little more introverted. How would you coach the parents with that kind of child? You know, it’s a little harder for an introverted child to walk into that overwhelming environment, with all the things that you just described, Diane, and to absorb it, to process it and to feel comfortable in it.

My more extroverted child, he’s all in. He doesn’t care. He does look right through it and he’ll push anybody around in a wheelchair, especially if he can run (Laughter), which may not be wise. (Laughter) But Trent, my older one, would be a little more concerned about being in that environment. How would you coach a parent in that way?

Kay: Well, I do, do training classes for young people and adults, and in the classes when I’m working with the younger people, I always tell them, look past the shell. You’re looking at the shell. We want to get to the spirit of the person, and so, you have to look past the brokenness, the slobbering, the, you know, everything that’s going on with them and just remember, that’s not the real person. And so, if we can instill that into them before they ever go in, that changes them. And they love, absolutely love children.

Jim: They do.

Kay: I went in with a young man that was an employee at Focus. He came in with his family, and I got there a little early and I was talking to the people around the fireplace and said, “You know, got a gentleman coming in with four of his children, and we’re gonna visit for a while.” And so, I was waiting over by the door after my conversation with several of the residents and in comes the man with his children, and this older gentleman looked at me and said, “You know, lady, I’m sorry; we don’t care anything about you. We just want to see the children.” (Laughter)

John: Don’t take it personally. (Laughter)

Jim: He just kinda cut to the chase.

Kay: Yeah, he does; he was just interested in the—

Jim: What—

Kay: –children.

Jim: –why is that? Why is that so universal, that elderly people love engaging with children?

Diane: Because God created us to be an intergenerational people. And we are not intergenerational anymore. We have lost that in our families. We’re so disconnected and I visited a man down in Western Colorado and we moved him to Canon City.

And the first question when I went to see him in Canon City was, where are the children? Because when he was down in Del Norte, half of the building was a nursing home and half was a daycare.

Jim: Oh.

Diane: And so, the children were in and out all the time and it was good for the children and it was good for the elderly—

Jim: That’s an interesting—

Diane: –people.

Jim: –concept actually.

Diane: I think it’s the way to go, because you have such intergenerational interaction there.

Jim: Diane, let me ask you first and then Kay follow up with the same question. What are some of the activities that you can do? I know you do the Christmas giveaway. We participate in that. You’re doing kind of hymn sing-alongs during the week. What are some other things that can be done to engage these folks?

Diane: Well, I think one thing that’s very important to start with, with someone wanting to start a ministry perhaps with their family or just go out and do some one-on-one, talk to the activities director or the recreational therapy director at that facility. There are a number of activities that they need help with. And that’s a good way to engage people that, like you’re saying, maybe aren’t an extroverted person or an extroverted child. What’s something that they do like to do, because if they’re having a painting activity for the residents, that’s something that someone who maybe is a little bit more creative, but more quiet, can help with in a way where they can connect on a level where they’re enjoying the same activity. So, the activities director is a very key person at any facility to connect with, to try to find what the need is and can involve people with their gifting.

Finding Life in the Last Season is a devotional book that I wrote, and I wrote that book with the intention of giving people tools to be able to make those connections. It’s very simple to read someone a story and most people really love to be read to. And a lot of children really like to read to someone and so, we use that book as a tool to be able to connect people in that way and it also shares a message in a very “unchurchy,” “unpreachy,” very simple, straightforward way that shares the love of Jesus and anyone can do it.

Jim: And we’re gonna make that available, correct?

Diane: Yes.

Jim: Yeah, you know, we’ve touched on this, but that phase of life, kind of the end lap, if we think of it that way, it can be so lonely, especially if your family has basically planted you there and never comes to see you, and boy, all the regret that can build up.

Tying this all together for me, you know, Jean’s mom passed away not long ago and she was the last of the grandparents and I remember I got the phone call from Jean, who was with her mom when she passed and Jean called me and let me know and it was about 9:30 at night. The boys were just kinda gettin’ ready for bed, so I didn’t want to upset that.

And the next morning at breakfast we were together, the three of us around the table and I said, “Boys, I gotta let you know, Grandma’s gone. She passed away last night.” And Trent, my oldest, I remember he quickly turned to me and he said, “We don’t have any more grandparents.” And you know, right now it’s striking me that, that might be a way to connect with some older people, because you do learn a lot in that environment. My 15-, 13-year-old could really learn from kind of an adopted grandparent.

Kay: We have a program called Adopt a Grandparent.

Jim: You do! There you go.

Kay: Yes and it is good, because they can learn so much from each other.

Jim: Yeah and brighten each other’s life.

Kay: The elderly have so many stories; they just don’t have anyone to tell them to–

Jim: Right, isn’t that so true.

Kay: –that will listen to them.

Jim: What I loved about Trend’s heart in that regard was just the tenderness—

Kay: Yes.

Jim: –that he realized that’s something I now do not have.

Kay: Don’t have, yeah.

Jim: And he was missing it and that may be something that we need to connect him to. That’s exactly it. Well, listen, this has been terrific. I love the insights. Thank you for what you do.

Kay: Thank you.

Jim: Thank you for how you go about doing it. What would you say to the family, like my family or John’s family, to encourage us to engage? What would be your best pitch?

Diane: I would say to really grasp the truth that people are in their final days and they live right down the street from your house. They’re your neighbors. Don’t wait. Just pack up the family and go. It’s not hard to go love somebody. And it’s a great opportunity. You get back so much from a generation of people who, a lot of families have lost touch with that, like you said. They don’t have grandparents. What a wonderful way to introduce your family into the life of someone who’s going to enrich their life and you can give so much to them and to speak the love and grace of Jesus into the life of someone whose days are short.

Kay: Are numbered.

Jim: Oh, I so appreciate that and again, there’s tools to help you. We’ll make that connection, John. Diane, your book, Finding Life in the Last Season, terrific tool to use in that setting to read those stories to people who will really benefit listening to them. Thanks for bein’ with us.

Diane: Thank you so much for having us.

Kay: It’s been a privilege. Thank you again so much.

Closing:

 John: Diane Doering and Kay Owen-Larson have been our guests and we’ll encourage you to stop by our website to find Diane’s book, also a guide called Across the Generations, that you can download to help you and your family become more confident in encouraging older adults around you. We have an article by Kay, as well. All of this and the CD or download of the program at www.focusonthefamily.com/radio or when you call 800, the letter A and the word FAMILY; we’ll tell you more, 800-232-6459.

And let me just say here, thank you for praying for the ministry of Focus on the Family. There is so much that goes on here and your prayers are making a big difference. And also, when you give to the ministry, you’re helping us to produce programs like this and reach out and inspire families. And we heard from Sally who told us how much she and her friends in Lubbock, Texas appreciate Focus.

She says she’s listened to the broadcast since it began and she’s passed along much of what she’s learned from Focus on the Family to her kids and grandkids. They’re now being raised with our advice and she’s extremely grateful to be a contributor to Focus on the Family.

Well, Sally, we appreciate that and there are so many like you who have benefited from the work of Focus and are financially supporting the effort and we’re very, very grateful for that. Join the support team when you donate online or call 800-A-FAMILY.

Our program was provided by Focus on the Family and on behalf of Jim Daly, I’m John Fuller, inviting you back tomorrow, when you’ll hear stories of Thanksgiving, as we once again, help you and your family thrive.

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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 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 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!

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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!

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 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!

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.

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.

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!

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 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.

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 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.

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 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 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.

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.

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.

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.