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Focus on the Family Broadcast

Reconnecting With Your Spouse (Part 2 of 2)

Reconnecting With Your Spouse (Part 2 of 2)

If busyness, exhaustion, and distraction have caused you and your spouse to drift apart, listen in as Dr. Greg Smalley and his wife, Erin, offer practical suggestions for rekindling intimacy in a discussion based on their book Reconnected: Moving From Roommates to Soulmates in Your Marriage. (Part 1 of 2)
Original Air Date: August 12, 2020

Excerpt:

Erin Smalley: The- the truth is, is that most couples when they get married, you know, they’ve been hard after pursuing each other and so their focus is directly on one another. And then they- they conquer, they get married and then many other things start to take their eyes off of each other. You think about, you know, work and kids and just the pursuit of this new life. And that’s what I was saying to Greg, is that our eyes have not remained on each other. It’s been this slow fade of we went from absolutely pursuing each other wholeheartedly to pursuing many other things wholeheartedly.

End of Excerpt

John Fuller: That’s Erin Smalley and she’s with us again today along with her husband, Dr. Greg Smalley. And this is Focus on the Family with Jim Daly. Thanks for joining us, I’m John Fuller.

Jim Daly: Uh, John, we started a great conversation with Erin and Greg yesterday on how couples so often after we get married, begin to feel more like roommates. Uh, growing apart in marriage is something that happens almost naturally if you don’t make your relationship a priority. And we’re not talking about a full-blown crisis, uh, you’re just kinda going through the motions of work and kids and all the things that are going on. And pretty soon, it’s just a- a business you’re running, right? Home economics. Um, but we want to uh, encourage you to do it differently. The way God intended it to happen and that’s to connect at all levels. Emotionally, spiritually, physically, and uh, and how to prime the pump to make sure that can happen. If you’re feeling like your marriage could use a new spark or that you uh, need to regain some ground with your spouse, you’re gonna wanna lean in today.

John: Yeah, we have a- a great conversation that started last time and I’ll encourage you to swing by the website for the CD or listen there. Or, uh, to get the app so you can listen on the go. Um, we talked with Dr. Greg Smalley and Erin Smalley about a variety of things and um, I’m sure we’ll recap that in a moment. Let me just say, they’ve written a number of books. It’s always great to have them here um, as Greg said yesterday, we let them out of their offices to come into the studio, ’cause they head up the marriage effort here and um, they really make a big difference, uh, in that realm. Uh, the book that we’re talking about today is called Reconnected: Moving from Roommates to Soulmates in your Marriage. And we do have that. Uh, contact us for a copy. Our number is 800, the letter A and the word FAMILY. Or online, focusonthefamily.com/broadcast.

Jim: Greg and Erin, welcome back.

Erin: Thanks for having us again.

Dr. Greg Smalley: Yeah, we’re excited to be here.

Jim: Well, let’s uh, recap for those that are just joining us. And if you missed the conversation last time, get the download, uh, get the app for your smartphone so you can listen anytime. Uh, why is it so easy for married couples to drift apart and start to feel like roommates?

Greg: I think we put so much effort and energy into courting, dating, winning her, putting that ring on her finger. What we notice is that oftentimes when we accomplish that, then our- our focus changes to all these other things. So uh, figuring out jobwise, career-wise, having kids, staying involved with friends and family. All these things cry for our attention and there begins then, a- a slow fade.

Jim: Yeah.

Greg: You know, we- we date and everything to get married. It happens fast but then over time it’s just this slow fade that we don’t notice.

Jim: Erin, let me ask you this on behalf of moms. And, you know, I see this in Jean. Um, especially when the boys were young. There’s this uh, zeal and, you know, it can be either a mom or a dad, but I think it generally fits with mom. Where the justification that I- this is the time I really need to be pouring into the kids, you know and uh, I just don’t have enough time for you. You can really rationalize that on a good basis. You know, the kids are two, three and five.

Greg: And very demanding.

Erin: Mm-hmm (affirmative)-.

Jim: Very demanding and I’ve gotta be there for them, honey and I’m sorry I’m just not, you know, I’m not gonna be there that often for you. Whatever that means. Emotional connection, talking-

Greg: Yeah, you’re a big boy, you can take care of you.

Jim: So, I just- I wanna play that out a little bit because I think that’s one of the core, especially in that season of life-

Erin: Mm-hmm (affirmative)-.

Jim: A- a mom particularly can really justify I’m gonna be ignoring you for a while, so we’ll check back in later.

Erin: Yeah, it just- that just won’t work, and I think our culture just feeds that. You know, these kids, uh they are important, they’re a blessing. But they are not the center of the world. The marriage- the stronger the marriage is, the better it is for those kids. And so, the greatest thing that mom can do, and again, it’s like we talked about yesterday, it’s not that we have to spend 24/7 focusing on our husband, it’s-

Greg: Although I wouldn’t mind, I’m just saying.

Erin: (laughs)

Jim: (laughs)

Greg: It’s okay.

Erin: You would have plenty of needs that I could address.

Greg: (laughs)

Erin: But it’s looking at that there’s certain things that we can be doing to continue to build the connection between- between Greg and I, between your spouse and you.

Jim: Yeah.

Erin: It’s important because that is the healthiest thing you can do for your kids.

Jim: Well, and so often in this culture and in this modern time, there’s so much fear that if mom, again, feels like she’s dropped the ball somewhere that somehow kids will be permanently damaged.

Greg: Yeah.

Jim: Kids are resilient, they’re gonna get through a little loneliness, they’ll get through a little neglect. I mean, I’m talking the normal stuff, you know.

Erin: Yeah.

Jim: Make sure they’re fed, and they sleep.

Erin: (laughs)

Jim: But I’m just saying they don’t need you all the time.

Erin: Yeah, but- and honestly, when they see- they’re little eyes see mom and dad connecting, it breeds security and safety in their hearts.

Jim: Yeah. Think of that.

Erin: And that’s something powerful.

Jim: But uh, we mentioned lightly last time, this idea of communication and the impact on marriage. So, let’s get to that one. You suggest there are four significant conversations. This is where you want everybody, the pen and paper. Um, that spouses need to have, those c- those four core conversations. What are they?

Greg: Yeah, people, when they say, “We just need better communication.”

Jim: (laughs)

Greg: Well, that involves a lot of-

Jim: We’re talking to husbands here.

Greg: Right. One of them we call small talk and people often pooh-pooh that one. Like, “Oh, that’s at a surface level-”

Erin: Not Smalley talk.

Greg: (laughs)

Erin: Small talk.

Jim: Yeah, good, good.

Greg: That’s when we’re just checking in. How’d your day go? What’s going on? Here’s the weather, what’s… It’s- it’s small talk. What it does is it creates a small connection without the exhaustion of the deep, emotional connection.

Erin: Yeah, and then-

Greg: You need that small talk.

Erin: There’s work talk and that’s more, you know, the business of running the family. The administration of the family and the marriage. And of course, that’s important, we need to do that, we need to look at our budget and our finances and our schedules. But again, a marriage can’t exist only on that.

Jim: Mm, that is so good.

Greg: Yeah, and then there’s gonna be times where we hit conflict. So, we’ve gotta work through the conflicts. We just call that problem talk. So, there’s some issue that we need to work through and that’s important, instead of sweeping problems under the rug, let’s deal with it. Here’s what we’ve noticed, here’s the problem. Those three: small talk, work talk, problem talk, those happen naturally. You actually really don’t need to force those to take place. It’s just a normal part of being in a relationship. But if that’s all you’re doing, you are killing your marriage.

Jim: Well, you guys are counseling lots of people. How much percentage-wise, how much of a percent are couples just locked in those kinds of communication?

Greg: Locked in those three.

Erin: Yeah, what we find, 85% to 90% that-

Greg: I mean, think of that.

Erin: I know, that’s a ton of time. But the thing is, is usually they sit back and they’re shocked that that is what they’re doing. They don’t even realize what they’re doing because like Greg said, those three happen spontaneously. But the fourth one is the one that you have to intentionally pursue. And that’s that life-giving heart talk. The deeper level talk. And if you- you don’t do that, then, you know, it’s if you don’t pursue it, it’s not gonna happen.

Jim: Yeah, let me ask you. It’s so obvious, you see it in the research, you’ve described it, you put labels on it and yet our tendency in our humanness, in our brokenness, I would say as a Christian, we lean that way.

Greg: Yeah.

Jim: In the unhealthy direction. Or I should say the less productive direction.

Greg: They’re- they’re needed, those other types of communication-

Jim: Yeah, they’re needed.

Greg: They’re important-

Jim: But they’re not life giving.

Greg: They- they don’t bring life.

Jim: Yeah.

Greg: And that’s the difference.

Erin: Y- and they’re also not as vulnerable, so they’re not risking, they’re pretty safe. You know, we-

Greg: Well, that’s getting to the question, which is why?

Erin: Yeah.

Jim: Why do we go to the easy stuff and we don’t do the other stuff that is the stuff that the Lord would want us to talk about?

Erin: It’s more vulnerable, and it also takes intention.

Jim: Okay.

Erin: And I don’t think we understand that when we’re dating and we’re engaged, we are doing that naturally because we’re so locked in and focused. And then we- we train each other that well, maybe it’s not so safe to go to those deep places.

Jim: Yeah.

Erin: Because maybe it’s gonna lead to conflict and disconnection. One of the number one human needs that we have, is we long to be known and to be valued and connected. And so it’s- it’s vulnerable, there’s a lot at risk. And so, to recognize that if we build this safe place in our marriage, that we can intentionally go there. And the awareness of we need to intentionally go there.

Jim: Sure.

Erin: We did it all the time as we pursued each other wholeheartedly. There is no autopilot, we’ve gotta continue to pursue each other at that level.

Jim: Yeah. Now, you have developed four questions you ask each other, and I’d love to post those on the website so people can go. Because when I looked at all the content material, these really… They hit me and reminded me that I need to do this, frankly. (laughs) Speak to those four questions you ask each other.

Greg: Yeah, the point of the four questions was when I realized that- that we had to be intentional to have this life giving conversation, then I kinda went, “Okay, so how would I really do that?”

Erin: (laughs)

Greg: Like, “What- what does that mean?” So just asked Erin. I said, “Okay, if- if I’m gonna explore your inner life, so whatever’s going down a little bit deeper, wh- what could I ask you that would be meaningful?” And instantly she goes, “Oh, I got four. Ask me how I’m feeling, so how am I doing emotionally, okay? Ask me how things are going between me and our children, but not from an administrative standpoint.”

Jim: A relational standpoint.

Greg: A relational standpoint. Um, her female friendships are very important to Erin, so she said, “Ask me how things are going between me and my girlfriends.” And then this last one, I love. She said, “Ask me one thing that God’s been teaching me as of late.” Well, I tell you what, I have locked those into my brain so anytime that we’re, you know, commuting to, you know, a kid’s practice or sitting in a- in a- the stands, you know, as they’re playing, or at dinnertime or wherever, I- I’ll just ask one.

Jim: Okay, then you have to listen.

Greg: Well, that’s implied.

Jim: If you don’t, you’re in big trouble.

Erin: Yeah, and the propensity is to wanna fix it if there’s a problem, or you know, let’s delve into, you know, if we did A, B, C and D, well then that wouldn’t be happening, you wouldn’t feel like that. But it’s just recognizing you’re just listening.

Jim: Yeah.

Erin: And trying to understand and caring about what they’re going through.

Greg: Well, as guys, we need a goal. So, here’s the goal. So I ask her those questions simply to stay updated-

Jim: Yeah, that’s good.

Greg: In what’s going on in her life. I wanna stay current.

Jim: No, that’s good. Now, Erin, you have four that are different-

Erin: Yes.

Jim: From Greg that you ask him.

Erin: Yeah.

Jim: What are they?

Erin: Yeah, because if I started with how are you feeling, he might just go blank and-

Greg: Fine.

Erin: Yeah.

Greg: (laughs)

Jim: And- and the point is you can create any.

Greg: Yeah.

Erin: Yeah.

Jim: What’s gonna work in your marriage.

Erin: Yes, and that’s-

Jim: But these are good ones.

Erin: Yes, so I’ll ask him when he- when he comes home after a long day, um, we’ll sit and we’ll have our 10 minutes together. What was the high of your day? Okay, what was the low of your day? You know, what is- what is stressing you out, what is-

Greg: John Fuller’s name comes up a lot.

Erin: (laughs)

John: No!

Jim: This is good, I like this.

Erin: (laughs)

Greg: (laughs)

Erin: What is really, you know, weighing heavy, stressing you out at work and at home? And again, my goal isn’t to fix it or to try to make it better, it’s just to listen and to care and to know what’s going on inside of Greg. As well as, what’s God teaching you right now?

Jim: Huh.

Erin: We’re both, you know, into different things during the day and God is speaking to us through so many different modes. And so it’s fun to hear what God is teaching Greg.

Jim: Now, that is really good.

Greg: And- and let me… And- and again, remember, it started with me asking her, “To really get to know you, what would be meaningful to you to have me ask on a regular basis?” So, I mean, these- these are not prescripted like-

Jim: You’re right.

Greg: These are the four you need to ask.

Erin: Yeah.

Greg: We… As a matter of fact, and- l- we should put these on the show notes, which I’m now doing John Fuller’s job, so- so sorry.

John: (laughs)

Erin: Yeah.

John: Thank you for doing that.

Greg: (laughs)

Erin: That’s [crosstalk 00:12:19].

Greg: But we- we have created though, like hundreds and hundreds of questions that couples can ask. And you can link into that, download it. I’ve put these on my cell phone, so under the notes you can carry a copy in your car. I mean, get a little pdf. So, we- we’ve hundreds that’ll prompt as you look through them, what would be several that are meaningful?

Erin: Yeah, I print those off daily for couples. I’m like, “Here, you’re not talking. Take these, start here. See which ones work for you.” Because a simple little question can lead to such a deep in-depth conversation.

John: Yeah. Well, we’re having some great conversation right now with Greg and Erin Smalley. This is Focus on the Family with Jim Daly. And um, we’re gonna encourage you to get a copy of the book that the Smalley’s have written called, Reconnected: Moving from Roommates to Soulmates in your Marriage. We’ve got that and some other great resources, including our free parenting assessment online at focusonthefamily.com/broadcast. Or call 800-A-FAMILY.

Jim: Uh, distractions you mention in the book uh, come into play in all this. What are some of those sacred moments you wanna uh, k- keep distractions from seeping into?

Erin: Yeah.

Jim: And how do we do it?

Erin: It’s easy to get distracted-

Jim: Yeah.

Erin: In our culture today because we’re running at such fast paces, we’ve got our cell phones. We’re constantly checking things and you know, scores and Facebook and on and on. And just realizing that when you’re doing other things, your eyes are not on your spouse. And there’s these sacred moments that we personally don’t want to miss that opportunity to connect. One of the biggest ones is- is when we go to bed. When we go to bed, pillow talk is a big thing that we can choose to lay there on our cell phones and some nights we do. When we’ve had a long, hard day and we just wanna veg, but then I miss out. I miss out on connecting with Greg and I don’t want to. I wanna connect.

Jim: Are you a night person, by any chance?

Erin: I am.

Jim: Okay. (laughs)

Erin: Yeah.

Jim: I’m going, “Greg, Greg, poor Greg.” (laughs)

Erin: (laughs)

Greg: I’m ready for bed at 8:30 and it seems to be getting earlier.

Jim: Jean… You and Jean are the same and I lay down in bed, it’s not time for talk. (laughs)

Erin: Yeah, but-

Jim: This is a bed, it’s time for sleep.

Erin: (laughs)

Jim: (laughs)

Erin: But uh, what I have found, is I am a night person and so I could stay up a whole lot later. But because Greg goes to bed early and I want that connection, I go to bed early now. So-

Jim: Oh, that’s nice.

Erin: It’s helpful.

Greg: Oh, it- it’s the funniest thing. So, we agreed, listen, I know that you would much rather stay up. Why don’t you just come to bed? Let’s- let’s have 10, 20 minutes of just lying together joking, talking, being intimate and then y- you can leave.

Jim: (laughs)

Greg: Seriously. There’s been times, like I’ll never forget the time (laughs) that we went to bed. I thought we both went to bed. I got up the next morning, walked down, because I get up earlier than Erin, and there was a table that had been built-

Jim: (laughs)

Greg: That wasn’t there the night before. (laughs)

Greg: I’m thinking are there elves?

Erin: It wasn’t just a table.

Jim: It’s not just a table.

Erin: It just wasn’t a table; it was six chairs too. (laughs)

Jim: (laughs)

Greg: And it so freaked me out, I’m like, “Did someone break in not to steal, but to construct?”

Erin: (laughs)The hilarious thing is my girlfriend came over too and helped me. (laughs)

Jim: (laughs)

Greg: Sound asleep. So, Erin and I connected and she’s got this whole other life after I fall asleep.

Erin: Party going on after you’re in bed. (laughs)

Greg: But seriously though, all joking aside, for a lot of couples, they are on such different schedules like that.

Jim: Yeah.

Greg: That- that for them just to know start off in bed together. Doesn’t mean that you have to both stay in bed. You can get up and work.

Jim: Well, what I’m hearing you say is accommodation. You know.

Greg: Yeah.

Jim: You gotta make some accommodation. Don’t be hard hearted about no, I go to bed at 9:00 and we’re not changing, you know-

Greg: Yeah.

Jim: That kind of thing. Let me move to perhaps one of the most important… I think it is the most important area. And that’s developing spiritual intimacy with each other. Um, that can in the face of busy schedules and all the pressure, that can be one of the first things to go. That you’re not reading the word together, you’re not praying together. You know, so many people I talk to, particularly wives, will say, “I yearn for that. I just don’t know how we’re gonna do it. My husband’s so busy. He’s out the door so quick and…” But speak to the importance of that.

Greg: It’s so important to connect soul to soul. We’ve talked a lot about connecting heart to heart to- to that deeper kind of inner life conversation. But our souls need to connect. We need to connect spiritually. As a young husband, that was so intimidating for me. I saw some absolute spiritual powerhouses in my dad and some mentors and the way that they would do that was so intimidating that it so shut me down. I’d get so discouraged and Erin would feel disconnected. And one of the things that I now share with young husbands is, listen, just narrow this down to just a couple things. Which is how about this? Every day, pray with your wife. That might be early in the morning when we have- sit down for some coffee and have five minutes or whatever. It might be at night, as we’re laying in bed together.

Jim: Good goal.

Greg: But- but pray together. And that even can be intimidating. And so what- what I’ve learned to do with Erin, is I simply just say, “Hey, what’s one thing that I can pray for you about that’s going on tomorrow?” What I love is, she’ll answer it and I’ll go, “I didn’t…” Think in my mind, “I had no idea she was facing that tomorrow.” (laughs) So there’s a way even that it keeps you current.

Jim: Mm-hmm (affirmative)-.

Greg: And so just say, “What’s one thing that I can pray for you about?” And join hands and- and do that. She does the same and- and you have this quick prayer time. It doesn’t have to be 20, 30 minutes and include the Lord’s Prayer and all these things. Just, how can I be praying for you? That so unites us. That’s a daily goal. And then I encourage husbands, have a weekly goal to attend church together, ’cause the researchers show that if you’re praying together and going to church, that so makes a difference in your marriage. So, go to… attend church together and then join some sort of small group so that you are around like-minded couples-

Jim: Right.

Greg: Who also value marriage. Who value connecting and can help and fight for your marriage at times. And-

Erin: Mm-hmm (affirmative)-

Greg: And those three things; pray together, attend church and be a part of a community experience. So, a Sunday School class or small group, that’s how we can really strengthen our shared spiritual relationship.

Jim: And you know, Greg, there’s going to be a portion of the audience listening and they’re going to say, “That- You know, that’s a good idea. We need to do that.” It’s a healthy response to your admonition.

Greg: (laughs)

Jim: There’s gonna be another uh, group of people where, you know, for all the reasons we talked about last time and today, their hearts are a bit cooler, there’s um, you know, I don’t know, there’s just a- a hesitancy, an unwillingness to go there. I’ve been wounded, it’s not a safe place for me, whatever it might be. So, I think the- the question is, if a listener is saying, “I wish I had that, but my heart’s closed,” if they’re honest with themselves. Or maybe they’re saying, “I think my husband’s or my spouse’s heart is closed,” how do they develop that safety in the marriage to begin to open up to these ideas in a- in a more accepting way? In a let’s do it kind of way-

Greg: Yeah.

Jim: Rather than it’s never gonna happen.

Greg: Which is so critical because that was one of the factors that contribute to people feeling like roommates, is that these- the marriage doesn’t feel safe.

Erin: Mm-hmm (affirmative)-.

Jim: Well, and I guess the question more clearly, is just the dimming of that light.

Greg: Yeah.

Jim: Rather than the- the light getting brighter.

Greg: Yeah.

Jim: Meaning your marriage and your connection, it just continues to dim.

Greg: Yeah.

Jim: How do we reverse that and create that sense of safety that we can try these things and be optimistic about them?

Greg: What I love is that God actually has given us a really simple formula. In the Book of Joel, in The Old Testament, there’s a verse that really stood out to Erin and I. We realized that it’s really the key to creating safety in a marriage. And the verse said, “Rend your heart.” So, he’s talking to the- to his bride, the children of Israel. He’s saying, “Rend your heart. Open your heart to me. Don’t tear your garments, don’t tear your clothes,” as they used to do as a sign of- of grieving because they’d made some mistake. He goes, “Listen, I don’t want your- your clothes torn. I want your heart torn back to me because,” and he lists four things that he is. That when Erin and I realized if- if we use those four things in our marriage, that’s what creates safety. He said that, “I am slow to anger,” so he’s talking about patience. “That I’m full of grace, that I’m abounding in steadfast love and I’m compassionate.”

Jim: Hmm.

Greg: And so if you just take those four things and go, “How do I learn to be more gracious, more full of grace? How do I give Erin grace in our marriage?” The more I do that, it makes her feel safe. What does compassion look like? How do I be more patient?

Jim: Yeah.

Erin: And so often, when we come up against a spouse that has a closed heart, we wanna bash through their walls and pry their heart open. And what does that cause? It causes them to feel more unsafe. So instead, I… What you’re saying Greg, is that we stand outside that wall and we show up in ways that are patient, that are gracious, that are kind. Because believe it or not, even when your spouse is closed, they’re watching you. And they’re watching around that wall to see how are you showing up out there?

Jim: Hmm.

Erin: And if it’s a safe environment, well then, it’s more likely that they might step out and take a step out towards you. So, it’s recognizing I can’t control if my spouse’s heart is closed or not, but I certainly have great influence in the overall environment of the relationship.

Jim: Yeah. Let me- let me ask you this question. You know, typically, again, uh, it won’t always be male, female. I don’t wanna get stuck in that trap. But oftentimes you have one or maybe both in the- the marriage relationship where being right is really important. You know, just- it just is part of perhaps your childhood when you were brought up. But y- you- you’ve gotta correct people, especially your spouse. (laughs)

Greg: Yeah.

Jim: You know, you gotta be right. How- how do you fight that appetite to correct and to have to be right?

Erin: Yeah.

Jim: Does that make sense?

Erin: Yeah. I actually talk about that a lot each and every day with couples that you know, you can do that. Certainly, you can do that, but is it gonna lead you to what you want? It’s gonna lead to this tug-of-war, this emotional tug-of-war that you know, I- I think it’s this way, I think it’s that. But it’s recognizing what I really want is that deep connection. And there’s two different people, two different perspectives and often what I say is, “I expect to hear that there’s two different ways of looking at it and both are valid.”

Jim: Yeah.

Erin: So how do we honor each other? How do we… We- we can offer suggestions, but you know, we can ask, “Hey, are you open to my feedback?”

Jim: Hey, uh, you- we have other elements there. You talk about dreaming together. We’re not gonna have time to get to that. That’s why people need to get a copy of the book. And you’ve done a wonderful job with this. But I do wanna end with that husband and wife who has been listening to the program today, maybe both days, and he or she is feeling that sense of brokenness in their relationship. They recognize uh, that there’s distance in the relationship, that they have grown apart. Um, and perhaps they’re lonely and scared, they don’t know how to, you know, connect back together. What’s something they can do today, tomorrow, uh, as a first step to get their spouse closer to them?

Greg: Yeah, I think one of the most powerful ways to do that is to pay attention to what- how your spouse is really feeling, to go after their emotions. I’m telling you that- that when Erin and I are really disconnected, if I just take a moment and just say, you know, “How- how are you really doing? T- talk to me about- about what’s going on for you.” Like this morning, I mean, we’ve had a lot going on. We- we met up for coffee and- and we just sat there. And it was such an easy thing just to do, just to… You know, tell me about what… How you really doing? And- and there’s something about pursuing Erin. And when I pursue her emotions that- that creates that connection, that creates that safety.

Erin: Mm-hmm (affirmative)-.

Greg: And so, it may be a really tough season and there’s so much that we could do and oh, we should be doing this and doing that. But just- just- just invite your spouse out. T- let- let’s just take a walk, let’s just go for some coffee. Tell me about how you’re really doing? That begins a different type of experience. It b- creates a small connection that- that they can build on.

Erin: Mm-hmm (affirmative)-.

Greg: And over time, you’re- you’re gonna feel more connected. It’s gonna feel awkward, weird in the beginning. But pursue each others’ heart, go after the emotions and watch what that does.

Erin: Yeah, and even as he was talking, the thing that was just going through my mind is, how safe that makes me to feel. To be pursued and to know that Greg wants connection with me. That’s a powerful statement to say to someone, especially your spouse. I wanna be connected with you, I value you. And I’ve noticed that these small foxes have- have creeped in and can we take a look and figure out what is it that’s causing our disconnection? Because I- I’m committed to you, I wanna be your best friend, and I’m- I wanna- I wanna walk this out. Can we take a look at it because I want that connection, it matters to me.

Jim: Well, and again, you guys have done a brilliant job with the book, Reconnected, and there’s so much more in here. And you know, again, as Christians particularly, if I could speak to you, the Christian couple. We’ve got to model this well. I mean, the Lord himself created the institution of marriage. And I think one of the- one of the reasons the culture is struggling is because we in the church too, have not done it as well as we should have. And we’ve gotta keep that in mind. That- that we’re honoring the Lord when we do well in our marriages, and it doesn’t mean you’re gonna be perfect. You’re gonna make mistakes, and we get that. I make mistakes. John, you may not.

Erin: (laughs)

Jim: (laughs) But um, the point is, uh, all the tools that you can muster to help you do the best job you can do. And I try to do that more now, to think that people are watching and how can I model my marriage in such a way that people want that? And that’s a good goal even if you’re not hitting it out of the park every day. Uh, contact us here at Focus. We are here for you, we want you to call. We have caring, Christian counselors who can help you. We have that great Focus on Marriage Assessment, five to 10 minutes, that’s all it’ll take. It’ll point out your strengths and your weaknesses. And then we have so many tools that can help you. And if your marriage is in a really bad spot, we’ve got Hope Restored, a four-day intensive that can take you to a better place. Post two-year survey work that we’ve done, 80% of those couples are married still and doing better. So, we have every resource you need to get this job done. And again, Greg and Erin, thank you so much for being with us.

Greg: Oh, our pleasure.

Erin: Yeah, thank you.

John: Yeah, call us to let us know how we can put some of these resources into your hands or serve you. Our number is 800, the letter A and the word FAMILY. 800-232-6459, or stop by focusonthefamily.com/broadcast.

Jim: And let me ask you, our listener, to join us in this ministry to couples and families. Uh, your regular support of Focus on the Family empowers us to provide solid, practical help to people who need it, with tools like Greg and Erin’s great book, Reconnected. And today, when you make a monthly pledge of any amount, we’ll send you a copy of that book to say thank you for standing with us and supporting the family. And if a monthly gift doesn’t work with your budget, we get it. We’ll send you a copy of Reconnected for a one-time gift as well. This content will help your marriage regardless of what season in and it’ll uh, allow you to move in a Godly direction.

John: Once again, our number: 800, letter A and the word FAMILY. On behalf of Jim Daly and the entire team, thanks so much for joining us today for Focus on the Family. I’m John Fuller, inviting you back next time as we once again help you and your family thrive in Christ.

Today's Guests

Reconnected: Moving From Roommates to Soulmates in Your Marriage

Receive the Smalleys' book Reconnected for your donation of any amount! Plus, receive member-exclusive benefits when you make a recurring gift today. Your monthly support helps families thrive.

Recent Episodes

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Living For an Audience of One (Part 2 of 2)

Karen Ehman’s journey as a recovering people-pleaser began when she realized she was seeking others’ approval more than God’s. In this conversation, Karen shares practical guidance on healthy boundaries and encourages you to serve God intentionally in the areas he’s called you to serve.

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Living For an Audience of One (Part 1 of 2)

Karen Ehman’s journey as a recovering people-pleaser began when she realized she was seeking others’ approval more than God’s. In this conversation, Karen shares practical guidance on healthy boundaries and encourages you to serve God intentionally in the areas he’s called you to serve.

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Helping Your Daughter Navigate Friendships

Describing some of the challenges young girls face, Dannah Gresh exposes the lies girls are being told about their friendships, themselves, and God. She shares how parents can help their daughters combat these lies with the truth and discusses the importance of falling in love with God as their true source of fulfillment.

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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.

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Affair-Proof Your Marriage (Part 1 of 2)

Pastor Dave Carder offers couples practical advice for protecting their marriages from adultery in a discussion based on his book Anatomy of an Affair: How Affairs, Attractions, and Addictions Develop, and How to Guard Your Marriage Against Them. (Part 1 of 2)

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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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!

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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!

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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!