Give 2X the Families Hope!
Double your gift for struggling families.
Click Here to Help Families
Choose the gift amount you
would like to give.
$

Help 2X the Families!
Give Families Hope!
DOUBLE YOUR GIFT

Or choose the gift amount you
would like to give.
$
#GivingTuesday
Start your holidays off by GIVING FAMILIES HOPE!
Click Here to Help Families
Choose the gift amount you
would like to give.
$

Give back by helping families!
#GivingTuesday
DOUBLE YOUR GIFT

Or choose the gift amount you
would like to give.
$

Giving Tuesday header (general version):

Give 2X the Hope
Double your gift to rescue moms
and babies from abortion!
DOUBLE YOUR GIFT!
Choose the gift amount you
would like to give.
$

After Roe, moms and babies are still at risk of abortion.
Give Hope!
DOUBLE YOUR GIFT

Or choose the gift amount you
would like to give.
$
#GivingTuesday
Start your holidays off by saving lives
and GIVING HOPE!
DOUBLE YOUR GIFT!
Choose the gift amount you
would like to give.
$

Give back by saving lives!
#GivingTuesday
DOUBLE YOUR GIFT

Or choose the gift amount you
would like to give.
$

Giving Tuesday header (SOHL version):

Focus on the Family Broadcast

Reflecting on Our Blessings at Thanksgiving

Reflecting on Our Blessings at Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is a time to reflect on the blessings God has given us and express our gratitude for His bountiful grace and mercy. Becky Kopitzke will share fun ideas to incorporate gratitude into your family’s Thanksgiving traditions.
Original Air Date: November 24, 2022

Preview:

Becky Kopitzke: For my own kids, I try to teach them, “There are other kids around you, and just,” as you said, “open your eyes.” And the importance of doing that is, when we open our eyes, it causes us to recognize, beyond ourselves, that there are people all around us, there are people that we can serve, and it helps us to get off of our ow- out of our own head.

End of Preview

John Fuller: That’s Becky Kopitzke, and she joins us today on Focus on the Family. Thank you for being with us. Your host is Focus president and author, Jim Daly, and I’m John Fuller.

Jim Daly: John, before we launch into our program today, uh, let me say happy Thanksgiving-

John: Indeed.

Jim: … from everyone here at Focus on the Family to you. Uh, let me ask you, John. Does Thanksgiving tradition… What, what do you guys do, you and Dena?

John: Oh, it’s usually a lot of people. And for many, many years, especially when the kids were younger, we had, uh, two or three families getting together, which meant 20 kids. There was always activity, lots of things. And then as the kids got older, they started inviting their friends over to our house, and so that meant we had 15 or 20 people in the house.

Jim: Yeah. That’s for sure.

John: How about you?

Jim: We tease Jean… It’s so funny, ’cause Jean wants to go round the table. I think we’re gonna have 14 people this year.

John: (laughs)

Jim: Big table. You got your kids’ table, the adult table, that whole thing. But she wants to hear why everybody is thankful. And we have done this every year, and we start laughing and we say, “Okay, let’s go to why everybody’s thankful.” But it really ends up being the highlight of the Thanksgiving dinner. Right at the end when we’re all done and kicking back, we just go around the table and talk about looking over the last year, what are we thankful for.

John: Yeah. That’s a good practice.

Jim: Yeah. And so I hope that you in your heart, or expressed after that big piece of pumpkin pie, can think about what you’re thankful for. You know, Paul writes in First Thessalonians 5:18, “Give thanks in all circumstances,” not some, all circumstances, “for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” So today, we want to highlight ways you can bless your family and others during Thanksgiving, uh, stemming from a heart of gratitude and thanksgiving. Our friend, Becky, has some great thoughts on how to do that.

John: And Becky Kopitzke has been here before. She’s married to Chad. They have two girls, Clara and Noelle. And she coaches Christian writers and speakers, podcasters, and creators, and, uh, is an author herself. And we’ve talked about this book. We’re coming back to it because it’s so good. It’s called Love Because: How to Change the World One Blessing at a Time. And of course, we have copies of that here. Just stop by focusonthefamily.com/broadcast.

Jim: Becky, welcome back to Focus.

Becky: Thank you. It’s so fun to be here. It’s always fun.

Jim: It, it’s, it, you bring the fun. You’re like the party in a box. (laughs) Here we go.

Becky: (laughs) Well, like we were saying, it is a holiday today, so we ought to be having a party.

Jim: That’s exactly right. You know, you’re the mom of… You know this. You’re the mom of two girls.

Becky: I know.

Jim: Did you know that? (laughs)

Becky: I, last I checked, I still am.

Jim: How old are your girls?

Becky: They are now 15 and 12.

Jim: Oh, that is so-

Becky: Yes. Yep.

Jim: I, I… Oh. Ours are 22 and 20-

Becky: Sophomore and seventh grade, yeah.

Jim: … and I, I would love to go back there. It sounds funny, but it’s just such a great time.

Becky: It is really a fun time.

Jim: So what is something at Thanksgiving that you guys have done as a tradition?

Becky: Well, as a tradition, we do get together with all of the family, and, um, we-

Jim: You sound pretty excited about that. (laughs)

John: (laughs)

Becky: (laughs) I love all of the family. (laughs)

Jim: Mom and Dad, she didn’t mean it that way.

Becky: We have to get together with all of the family. (laughs)

Jim: (laughs) Okay, so you’re together.

Becky: Yes. I love the extended family. But for us, our traditions largely surround food and just the idea of recognizing and counting our blessings. I am that mom. No, I’m with Jean here, because I am that mom who says, “Let’s really think about what are we thankful for, where has God blessed us, and let’s not be afraid to talk about it.” And I get the same jokes. “Okay. Mom says we have to talk about what we’re thankful for.”

Jim: (laughs) Yeah, right. It is good.

Becky: But we give them the opportunity to do that, and as we go around that table, people actually start to pipe up and say, “Well, I am thankful for this and this and this.” And maybe they haven’t even thought about it all year round.

Jim: Exactly right.

Becky: So it just gives us an opportunity to do that.

Jim: You know, Thanksgiving, uh, just generally, the attitude of Thanksgiving, why do you think that would be important to God that His creation, you know, expresses thanksgiving, kind of like where he’s coming from?

Becky: Absolutely. We owe it all to him. We owe everything to him, and so thanksgiving is not just for the capital T Thanksgiving Day. Thanksgiving should be something we do daily. The Bible is filled with verses and passages on the importance of gratitude, the importance of generosity, of God’s generosity to us.

Jim: Hm.

Becky: And if we think that top of mind on a day-to-day basis, our outpouring ought to be thanks for everything He’s given us.

Jim: It’s so good. Now, with kids, we all have, you know, children, uh, you know, anywhere from your youngest girl to… How old’s your oldest, John?

John: He’s in his mid-30s almost.

Jim: Okay, there we go. That’s… Well, you never stop that, uh, parenting relationship.

John: No.

Becky: No.

John: That’s always good.

Jim: But, but in that context, you know, younger kids today, there’s so much, seemingly so much an attitude of entitlement-

Becky: Yes.

Jim: … that, you know, to be thankful when you’re saying, “Well, of course I deserve this trophy. I showed up.”

Becky: (laughs) Yeah.

John: (laughs)

Jim: But, uh, that’s not really how it works.

Becky: No.

Jim: So how, uh, how do we as Christian parents, how do we battle that attitude of entitlement with our teens and 20-somethings, even?

Becky: Yeah. Well, I recognized a while back that the important step that all parents ought to take, I was not doing this well, is to model it for them.

Jim: Huh. There you go. (laughs)

Becky: Am I modeling gratitude for my kids? When I think throughout a day what I’m complaining about or, um, what I’m feeling like I deserve and I’m not getting, what am I teaching them?

Jim: Yeah.

Becky: I’m not teaching them gratitude by my own actions, so that becomes key, especially as the kids get older and enter this age of… A lot of people will joke that teenagers are all entitled, uh, but maybe it’s because they picked it up from us.

Jim: Are there practical things you do to, to cultivate a sense of gratitude in your life?

Becky: Yeah, absolutely. Like I said, first of all, I recognize my own mouth, what is coming out of my mouth, right?

Jim: (laughs) I love that.

Becky: And so it’s, it’s things like stepping in front of the refrigerator and complaining, “There’s nothing here to eat.” Well, is that really true?

Jim: Well, in fact, you had a story about that. What happened?

Becky: (laughs) I, I opened up the refrigerator. I got to feed these people again, right?

Jim: It’s dinner time, or nearing.

Becky: It’s dinner time. It’s nearing dinner time, and we hadn’t been to the grocery store in a while. And so what we had were leftovers or a few scraps here and there. Our scraps is actually someone else’s feast if you think about it.

Jim: Right.

Becky: There are people in this world, in our own communities, who are not blessed with the same abundance of food that we have. I have a pantry that I can’t even walk into because it’s so filled with snacks from Costco, right? And so the fact that I thought I had nothing to make for dinner was really a perspective issue for me. I needed to step back and say, “Wait a minute. We are so blessed with this abundance of food, and the kids would probably be thrilled if I made pancakes for dinner, ’cause we can always make pancakes.” (laughs) And so-

Jim: I would be thrilled. (laughs)

Becky: Right? And so it’s that attitude that I don’t have what I need, or I’m focused on what I want and isn’t right in front of me, instead of counting all of these blessings and these opportunities that God has given us in our own families, because the kids are watching me.

Jim: Yeah.

Becky: You know, I have to deal with that between the Lord and me, right? I have an… If I have an issue with my gratitude, that’s between the Lord and me. But there are people in my household who are watching.

Jim: Well, when Jean’s out for the evening or something, if she’s out with girl friends, what I don’t tell her is, I, we usually have cereal night. (laughs)

John: (laughs)

Becky: Of course you do.

Jim: She of course planned a big meal-

John: Yeah.

Jim: … but I said, “How about some cereal, boys?”

Becky: (laughs)

Jim: They were like, “Dad, that’s great.” (laughs)

John: Make it easy. Yeah.

Becky: They probably look forward to it, right? I-

Jim: It became a special treat.

Becky: I’m pretty sure that right now… I am here in Colorado Springs, and my family’s back in Wisconsin. Pretty sure last night was a takeout night.

Jim: (laughs)

Becky: You know, there were burgers involved or something that had nothing to do with Mom’s plan for nutritious meals or… Actually, it’s, Dad’s the one these days.

John: Because there was no food, there was no food in the fridge, Becky. That’s why.

Becky: There was no food in the fridge. No.

John: (laughs)

Becky: No. Right? All we had were packs of chips. (laughs)

Jim: Yeah. I like that.

John: Well, Becky, you had a moment where you, uh, realized that being thankful could really change your relationship with your husband.

Becky: Yeah.

John: It sounds like it was kind of a mundane day, but something popped in your head. Some light bulb went off. What happened?

Becky: Yeah. Absolutely. It was an average day, as, you know, most of our lessons (laughs) begin as an average day. But my husband had grilled some dinner for the family. Especially in the summertime, that’s pretty standard. He’ll grill something, and then I’ll handle the side dishes. And we’re going through our routine. This is just the division of labor in our family. And we all ate the dinner, and I’m thinking ahead to the dishes that I’ve got to do, but instead, I took a second and I looked up at him, and I said, “Thank you for grilling.” And it was as though the environment around us just softened a bit, because I acknowledged that even though the assumption in our family is that he will grill and I will make the corn or the rice, or I will, you know, do the dishes, that division of labor is more than just something we assume of each other. It’s a way that we’re serving the family. And when I stopped for a second and told him thank you for that, I realized that this is something he does on a regular basis, and I’ve just not even been acknowledging it. I’ve been taking for granted his part.

Jim: Now, would you say that… Yeah. Would you say that if the meat was burnt a little bit?

Becky: (laughs)

John: (laughs)

Jim: “Hey, thank you for grilling.”

Becky: Okay.

Jim: “My meat’s a little burnt, but…”

Becky: I’ll tell you, I actually prefer it that way because… (laughs)

Jim: Yeah. Well, I’m kind of… I think I’m offering my lack of skills here-

John: (laughs)

Jim: … but my, my beef skills are usually a little over the fried side.

John: Well… (laughs)

Becky: Yeah. Because it, it’s not the result that matters.

Jim: Oh, good. Whew.

Becky: It’s… So you’re off the hook here, Jim.

Jim: Okay, that makes me feel better.

Becky: You’re off the hook, and, and because, you know, I, I burn carrots for goodness’ sake. (laughs)

Jim: (laughs)

Becky: And it’s, it’s the effort that we’re taking on a day-to-day basis to care for the family, to care for the household. And when we acknowledge that, I think we just meet this inherent need that we all have to feel seen and to feel as though we’ve done something that has contributed.

Jim: Right. And I like that idea of a thankful heart toward your spouse.

Becky: Yeah.

Jim: That’s what you’re saying.

Becky: Yeah. It’s a thankful heart.

Jim: Find something to be thankful about.

Becky: And it doesn’t have to be something big. It can be the fact that he mowed the lawn. I try to make an effort if my husband has mowed the lawn. I don’t want to mow the lawn, so I’ll say, “Thank you for doing that,” just to acknowledge that he has played that part in the family. And some people might say, “Well, my husband doesn’t care about words of affirmation, so he would just laugh at me.” There are other ways to show gratitude. It’s, the whole idea is a heart attitude toward the people that we’re doing life with day by day.

Jim: Yeah. Yeah. That’s what’s so important in the end. You had a dream that shook you back into a sense of gratitude that the book talked about. What happened?

Becky: Yeah. Well, my husband had been gone for a weekend. He was gone hunting. He’s an avid hunter. And, um, I support that. I make space for that in our household. And so in supporting his interest, especially when the kids were younger, I would take on the burden of what was left at home. And when the kids were small, that was a difficulty for me. But I was just fed up that weekend. My kids were bickering, and I just felt overburdened. I wanted a break. He got to go off to the woods to think, you know, happy thoughts (laughs) for a couple of days with nobody chattering around him. And, and I was exhausted, and I really had just had it with my family. My husband came home that night, and I had a dream that I was single, in my parents’ basement, living in my parents’ basement, and my mother was bugging me to get on to eHarmony and meet somebody. And I woke up with a start, and I thought, “Wait a second.” And I kind of tapped the side of the bed. (laughs) “My husband’s here. I’m married. I’ve, you know, fast forwarded from that part of my life that was-”

Jim: It was that real feeling dream.

Becky: Yeah. Like, ooh, that, that wasn’t-

Jim: Yeah. Those are-

Becky: … that dream wasn’t real.

Jim: Yeah. Yeah.

Becky: And all of a sudden, it came flooding back to me that I’ve always wanted this family life. I’ve always wanted the family life. I’ve always wanted my own washing machine, and I’ve wanted-

Jim: (laughs)

Becky: … children to raise and, and a husband, and God has blessed me with those things. But I recognized that they had become the very thing I was complaining about on a regular basis.

Jim: Well, and some women right now are saying, “Well, what do you get for your space?” So they’re not mad at Chad, do you get an opportunity to be with the girl friends and do the things you want to do outside the home?

Becky: I do, because we d- we are deliberate about finding that balance.

Jim: Yeah. Which is a good thing to do.

Becky: It is a good thing to do. And he’ll recognize… He got his hunting weekend, so I’m going to take this evening out for dinner with girl friends-

Jim: Yeah.

Becky: … or I’m go- I tell him, “I’m going shopping, because it’s my hunting trip.”

Jim: (laughs) Uh-oh. Uh-oh.

Becky: “And everything that you spent on hunting gear, I will now spend at the mall.” (laughs)

Jim: I think th- I think this is a good quid pro quo. That’s what I’m hearing. You mentioned the me weeds. Uh, speak to the me weeds. This is our flesh. This is our sinful nature. What are me weeds?

Becky: The me weeds are those… It’s those aspects of our heart that are wrapped up in, uh, being self-absorbed or being prideful. Anything that happens in our lives that chokes out our ability to recognize our blessings. And so for example, one of them for me is self-absorption. If I am so focused on what I have to do in a day, what I’ve got to get done, and I’m not looking outside of myself to think of other people, it’s impossible to bless the people around you. It’s impossible to be grateful for them when you don’t even see them, when we don’t even-

Jim: Yeah. It’s kind of like the list, the list is more important than the people.

Becky: Yes. Yes.

Jim: Yeah. I think list… A lot of women have lists. A lot of men do, too.

Becky: Mm-hmm.

Jim: But Jean has a list-

Becky: Yeah. A to-do list.

Jim: … or two or three or four. (laughs)

Becky: On a daily basis.

John: (laughs) Yes.

Becky: And there’s something really therapeutic about checking off the list.

John: Mm-hmm.

Jim: Well, being-

Becky: But in doing so, what have we missed?

Jim: Yeah. Yeah, being thorough. I mean, I appreciate it, ’cause I’m not a list-maker.

Becky: Yeah.

Jim: So it actually saves my bacon-

Becky: (laughs) I’ll bet it does.

Jim: … if I can stick with that metaphor.

John: (laughs)

Becky: I keep liking Jean better and better the more we hear-

Jim: Oh, yeah.

Becky: … talk about her.

Jim: No, I, I’m glad she’s a list-maker-

Becky: Yeah.

Jim: … ’cause we’d have a lot of chaos if she wasn’t making the list.

Becky: (laughs)

Jim: But it is true. Sometimes I’m not happy about that list. (laughs)

Becky: (laughs) Does she give you your own list?

Jim: Oh, no, not too often. She’ll just ask very kindly, “Could you do such and such?” And then of course, she puts the reminders on that tower thing in the kitchen.

John: Oh.

Jim: You know?

John: Yes.

Jim: You know? And so that, that thing-

John: Just to make sure.

Jim: … then pops up an hour later. “Remind Jim to,” whatever. Fill in the blanks.

John: (laughs) Yeah.

Jim: So it’s all fun. Um, you mentioned the four P’s of blessing, presence, possessions, perspective, and prayer. Kind of fill those out.

Becky: Yeah. Sure. These are the four ways that we can bless the people around us. I put them into these categories to make it easy to remember, but your presence is essentially, are you available for people? Do you look them in the eye when you talk to them? Are you looking outside of yourself and seeing that there are people all around you who could benefit from your attention and from your love?

Jim: Yeah, I’m feeling convicted by that right now, so.

Becky: Yeah. It’s very easy.

Jim: You look them in the eye? (laughs)

Becky: When you’re talking to them. And I think of this with my children.

Jim: Oh, yeah.

Becky: How often do I just do life alongside my children-

Jim: So true.

Becky: … but I’m not actually infusing life into my children by stopping to listen to what they’re saying? ‘Cause I’ve got the to-do list, and I’m working hard, and I work from home-

Jim: Yeah.

Becky: … and my kids are there, and they’re talking to me, and I may listen with half an ear and then look up, and they’ll look at me like, “Mom, did you just hear what I said?” So to look them in the eye is so important. And then blessing with our possessions is simply recognizing the abundance that we’ve been blessed with and being willing to share it with other people. And we’re s- so many of us… I should speak just for myself, but I in particular are… I’m very focused on making sure that I’m operating with good stewardship in my business, in my work, but it’s so important to look at the abundance God has given us and to share it with other people. It doesn’t have to be big. I’m not talking about writing big checks. I, I like to say… I mean this kindly, but writing big checks can be easy, but getting up and close and personal with someone who has a need that you can fulfill with your possessions… Maybe it’s just a cup of coffee-

Jim: Yeah, that’s good.

Becky: … that you hand to someone. That’s so important.

Jim: Hang on one second. If you’d like to write a check, please send it to Focus on the Family. (laughs)

John: (laughs)

Becky: (laughs) Yes.

Jim: Right at the end of the year here. I just thought it was a good place to mention that, John. I don’t know.

John: Yeah.

Becky: I d- yeah. For, those checks are an exception. (laughs)

Jim: (laughs) K- sorry, keep moving.

Becky: So important. Perspective is another one. Th- how are we looking at people? Are we looking at people the way God looks at them?

Jim: Hm.

Becky: Or are we walking into church and seeing somebody who’s looks different from us, acts different from us, and casting judgment on that person or presuming something about that person based on external appearances, or are we just open to the idea that our perspective of other people should be the same as God’s perspective on people, which that, is that he created each of us for a purpose, on purpose? So that a- alone, when we are open to the idea of getting to know other people is important.

Jim: Hm.

Becky: And then finally, prayer. Prayer, I think, is the one thing we all can do.

Jim: Mm-hmm.

Becky: It should not be a last resort. It’s the one thing we all can do. Whether we have possessions, whether we have abundance of time or not, prayer is something that we all can do that directly invokes the action of God.

John: Hm. Well, happy Thanksgiving to you. This is Focus on the Family with Jim Daly, and our guest today is Becky Kopitzke. And, uh, she’s got lots of great ideas on, about living intentionally, about, uh, being other-centric in your life. And, uh, her book is called Love Because: How to Change the World One Blessing at a Time. Those four P’s covered that concept really well. Get a copy of the book from us here. Uh, our website is focusonthefamily.com/broadcast.

Jim: Let me, uh, camp in some of these and ask you some questions to help fill that out a little bit, ’cause we were moving pretty fast there. But you had a story about possessions in the book, uh, something called the Agent Rusty Fish.

Becky: Yeah.

Jim: What, (laughs) what was that all about?

Becky: Oh, I love this story, and I can take no credit for it because some friends of ours, Mike and Vicky, told us that when their daughter was in high school… Their daughter Carly is now grown, and she has kids of her own, but when she was in high school, they wanted to instill in her a sense of generosity toward others, to be aware of needs, so they asked her to intentionally look for kids in her school who had a need, and then to come home and tell them about it, and they would pray over it-

Jim: Huh.

Becky: … and they would meet the need. And they called this… It was a covert operation. They called it Agent Rusty Fish.

Jim: (laughs)

Becky: And it was named after some rustic, silly lantern at their cottage, Rusty Fish. And so they would actually pray over these needs, and then they would write letters, anonymous letters signed, Agent Rusty Fish. And they would, would give whatever it is the student needed. Maybe if someone was short on funds to pay for lunch, they would get food cards. There was another student who had needed some important ski equipment fixed. And so they would provide funds for these types of things, or material blessings, but always, Vicky said it was the letter that made the big difference, because she just loved to be able to speak into these kids’ lives-

Jim: Uh-huh.

Becky: … and show them that they were seen, that they were seen and that someone knew their need and was willing to meet it. And so now the cover is blown. You know, years later, everybody knows now it was Mike and Vicky, largely because Vicky let me tell the story. (laughs)

Jim: Yeah, right. (laughs)

Becky: And it was Carly all along.

Jim: You blew the cover.

Becky: I did. I did.

Jim: (laughs)

Becky: But I just love that idea of teaching our kids to look for needs among other students.

Jim: Yeah. I like the concept, though, of helping them pray that through as well, though, ’cause it is easy to just… And we don’t do enough of it. I say it’s easy, but we should do more of that material blessing with people.

Becky: Yeah.

Jim: It’s a great way to do it with your kids in school.

Becky: Yeah.

Jim: That’s awesome.

Becky: Yeah.

Jim: But the prayer component’s really critical, too, ’cause you’re teaching your children so many good habits, and directionally, really helping them understand the bigger spiritual battles that go on.

Becky: Absolutely.

Jim: So describe that, you know, praying through some of those things.

Becky: Yeah. Well, when we bring it to the Lord in prayer, we’re acknowledging that he’s the source of all of our blessings. He’s the one who gives us anything that we can use then to pay forward to other people. And it’s also being discerning. No, this is a need I saw, but Lord, is it me that you want to fill it? Do you have another plan, perhaps, or am I stepping in on, uh, someone else’s opportunity to bless? And, and so it just really brings the Lord into the conversation and helps our kids recognize that he ought to be a part of every conversation when we’re talking about decisions on how to use our resources in particular.

Jim: Yeah.

Becky: That’s important.

Jim: The, uh, the practical nature of that, too, just keeping your eyes open to opportunity, I mean, they, it seems like they kind of curtailed it or aimed it at those, uh, school interactions.

Becky: Yes, because-

Jim: What are some other practical ways you can do that?

Becky: Well, again, because what we say is teenagers are entitled, and so you battle against that entitlement by filling them with lessons on how to be aware of what else is going on.

Jim: Right.

Becky: And so in, in my case, for my own kids, I try to teach them, “There are other kids around you, and just,” as you said, “open your eyes.” And the importance of doing that is, when we open our eyes, it causes us to recognize, beyond ourselves, that there are people all around us, there are people that we can serve, and it helps us to get off of our ow- out of our own head. Because often, especially teenagers, I think, their, their world is small, and it’s very much filled with angst.

Jim: It’s kind of the normal course of growth.

Becky: It is.

Jim: I mean, that’s why it’s so common and why there’s jokes about it.

Becky: Yeah.

Jim: ‘Cause that’s just, like, the normal development of human beings. We tend to be selfish early.

Becky: Yeah. Yeah.

Jim: Teen years, you’re myopic. You don’t really… You’re developing connection with other people, which would be empathy.

Becky: Yes.

Jim: But it’s just kind of coming around at that time, unless you have an exceptional child, which you might, where that, that child just really is in tune with other people around them. But normally, that’s blossoming during those years.

Becky: It is. And it’s age appropriate, right?

Jim: Right.

Becky: It’s age-appropriate behavior, so I, I don’t want to disparage kids and say that they shouldn’t be behaving this way, because scripture says, you know, “Folly is bound in the heart of a child.” And so it’s a natural part of growth.

Jim: Yeah.

Becky: So we as parents have an opportunity to speak into that and help them open their eyes beyond themselves.

Jim: Kind of water them, (laughs) if you-

Becky: Yes, exactly.

Jim: … look at it that way.

Becky: Exactly. And, and when they do that, when they start to see that other kids have problems or needs, it also helps them, in a way, to feel better about their own.

Jim: Yeah. I’m thinking about, how many times did we teach our kids to say please and thank you?

Becky: Yes.

Jim: I mean, I didn’t count them, but I bet I said, “Hey, remember to say please or thank you,” 20,000 times. I mean, it’s probably close to that.

John: (laughs)

Becky: Yeah. 40,000 times.

Jim: And then there’s this day, there’s this wild, crazy day that all of a sudden you overhear your child say please or thank you, and you go, “They got it. They got it.”

Becky: (laughs)

John: (laughs)

Jim: I mean, now-

Becky: It only took 20 years.

Jim: Yeah, whether it’s at 25 or 13 is kind of the battle.

Becky: Yeah.

Jim: But it’s awesome to hear your kids eventually absorbing those great ideas (laughs)-

Becky: Yes.

Jim: … and then putting them into action.

Becky: Right, that you knew all along were great ideas.

Jim: Okay, this is Thanksgiving, uh, so let’s, uh, think of some ways we can incorporate gratitude and blessing others. What are some more suggestions you might have?

Becky: Some of my favorite ideas are, especially for those families who don’t want to go around the room and talk about what they’re thankful for (laughs)-

Jim: (laughs) Little pressure there, actually.

Becky: Yeah. It feels like a lot of pressure. But I like the idea of a Thanksgiving tablecloth w- of paper, as they do at some super fancy Italian restaurants, (laughs) with a box of crayons and paper on the tablecloth-

Jim: Oh, and write it.

Becky: … and write out, what am I thankful for.

Jim: I hadn’t thought of that.

Becky: The little kids can draw pictures. Just, what are we thankful for this year? And if the family sits down to a table that is filled with notes and pictures of their, their blessings, that just makes the whole event more festive, I think.

Jim: Absolutely.

Becky: Yeah. And then also, I like the idea of sending Thanksgiving cards. Little late now, but, you know, next year. Think about this for next year.

Jim: Yeah.

Becky: Instead of Christmas cards, why not Thanksgiving cards? Again, to acknowledge that God is a part of the Thanksgiving holiday and the attitude o- of gratitude. And so acknowledge what your blessings have been. Um, allow people to see into your life a little bit through a Thanksgiving card before the barrage of Christmas cards, and yours might even stand out a little bit. Um, also, I like the idea of gratitude packages, which are bundles of treats that you can send to people in your life who serve you.

Jim: Hm.

Becky: That might be your orthodontist. It might be your mail carrier.

Jim: Wait a minute. I don’t have to go that far, do I?

Becky: Oh, you know what?

Jim: (laughs)

Becky: Because the orthodontist is already getting a lot of my gratitude-

Jim: (laughs)

Becky: … I say that with (laughs) air quotes. But sure.

Jim: That’s pretty funny.

Becky: People who are serving your family on a day-to-day basis. Um, you know, maybe, maybe it’s a teacher. Uh, maybe it’s a neighbor, somebody who you want to bless. But come up with packages and just say thank you for what they’ve done for you that year. And then one of my favorites is the thank prank. So this is something-

Jim: Yeah, tell me about-

Becky: Yeah. (laughs)

Jim: … the thank prank, ’cause I was trying to think, okay, what could I do? I would be drawn to this. It’s part of who I am. (laughs)

Becky: Yes. (laughs)

Jim: But the thank prank.

Becky: Yes. It’s fun. So my family and I came up with this a, a few years ago. Essentially, you come up with a little bag of treats, and there’s a sheet of paper on the outside that says, “You’ve been thank pranked. Essentially, thank you for who you are in our lives. Thank you for all that you’ve done for us.” This bag of treats, you put it on their porch, ring the doorbell, run away. And then inside of the bag is a replica of that same sheet of paper that they can then use to pass on to someone else.

Jim: Oh.

Becky: So it’s a pay it forward kind of a thing.

Jim: Okay.

Becky: Just, “Thank you for who you are and what you’ve done. We’re gr- our family is grateful for you. Now pass this on to someone who has served your family this year.”

Jim: So it could be a gift card or anything.

Becky: Yeah.

Jim: It doesn’t have to be candy.

Becky: Yeah. No. Well, it always should be candy, Jim. (laughs)

John: (laughs)

Jim: (laughs) That’s the part I’m missing here. No. I think it should be a donut. (laughs)

Becky: (laughs) Whatever floats your boat, it better go in that bag. But absolutely, just some sort of a thank you gift.

Jim: Yeah.

Becky: And encourage, encourage the paying it forward.

Jim: Uh, Becky, this has been so good, and I appreciate the reminder that thanksgiving can, uh, happen every day of the year. That’s the attitude of getting God into Thanksgiving, right? This is a characteristic or an attribute of His character-

Becky: Yeah.

Jim: … being thankful and grateful, uh, for the things in your life, for the people in your life, and being able to express that-

Becky: Yeah.

Jim: … on a consistent basis. And now, I’m so happy that Jean has been a great driver in our family in that regard, and I think the boys feel it, and it’s part of their personality now, and I love that. Thanks for being with us.

Becky: Thank you for having me.

Jim: Let me turn to the listener. Focus on the Family is here for you. We want to help your marriage and help you in that parenting journey. That’s our mission. So many people don’t realize, Focus is just a huge treasure trove of information and help for you. I don’t think, after 45 years, there’s a question we can’t answer and help you with, so call us. Uh, get in touch with us. Let us, uh, be part of that parenting or marriage journey with you and help you do the best you can do, because it really, first and foremost, honors the Lord in doing your marriage well and being a good parent and teaching your kids, uh, godly truth, right? That’s what it’s all about. And, uh, I want you to do that. So get in touch with us. Nothing’s going to be embarrassing. We will help you. And I’d also like to encourage you to give families hope this year. We’re right at the end of the year now. The big drive goes on. That was kind of a joke about (laughs) writing the check, but no, that’s how it works. And we would love to hear from you. Be part of the ministry. That’s as easy as I can say it. Uh, this accrues to your account with the Lord when you do ministry through Focus on the Family. I’ll commit to running it effectively and efficiently so you and your family can do ministry through it. So let’s do that for this time and this season, but also for 2023.

John: Hm. Be generous as you can, and know that right now, there’s a matching gift opportunity. Some, uh, very kind friends of the ministry have offered to match your donation dollar for dollar. So, uh, as you can, donate today. And, uh, when you get in touch and, uh, make that contribution, please know that our thank you for joining the support team is a copy of Becky’s book, Love Because: How to Change the World One Blessing at a Time. Donate and learn more at focusonthefamily.com/broadcast, or call 800, the letter A, and the word family. And coming up tomorrow, we’ll hear from Chaplain Bill Goodrich about ministry to seniors.

Bill Goodrich: We have seen, uh… Based on the principles that we teach for nursing home ministry, we have seen about 85% of the residents take Jesus’ hand for salvation and for strength to get them through their days.

Today's Guests

Love Because Book Cover

Love Because: How to Change the World One Blessing at a Time

Receive the book Love Because and the audio download of the broadcast "Reflecting on Our Blessings at Thanksgiving" for your donation of any amount! And now through a special matching opportunity, your gift will be DOUBLED, dollar for dollar!

Recent Episodes

Focus on the Family Broadcast logo

Caring for the Forgotten Generation

Chaplain Bill Goodrich of God Cares Ministry describes the vibrant opportunity to befriend and share Christ with the elderly in your community. He shares his heart for this forgotten generation of precious people who deserve our love and attention.

Focus on the Family Broadcast logo

Removing the Barriers Between You and Your Prodigal Child

When someone you love makes poor choices in their lifestyle, relationships, or moral decision-making, there IS hope! Phil Waldrep provides concrete steps to removing any barriers that might stop your prodigal child from coming back to the Lord.

Focus on the Family Broadcast logo

Making Helpful Changes in Your Communication (Part 2 of 2)

Dr. Mike Bechtle wants to help people communicate better, especially in our social media world where everybody is talking all at once and nobody is listening. Mike explains we need “more weight” or value to our communication in order to be heard, and he talked about how we can use emotion in positive ways to energize our conversations. (Part 2 of 2)

You May Also Like

Focus on the Family Broadcast logo

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.

Focus on the Family Broadcast logo

Accepting Your Imperfect Life

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

Navigating a Toxic Culture with Your Daughter - Part 2

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

Mrs. Meg Meeker

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

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

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

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

Cherishing Your Spouse Every Day

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

Mr. Gary Thomas

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

cherish front cover

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

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

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 about see life episode 4 normal version

Newest Release - Episode 4: Sometimes the Choice is Hard

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

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

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

Play Video

Newest Release - Episode 3: The Power of a Picture

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

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

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

Play Video about see life episode 5 normal version

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

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

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

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

Play Video

Newest Release - Episode 6: Families Helping Families!

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

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

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

Praying Scripture Over Your Child’s Life - Part 2

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

Headshot of Focus on the Family broadcast guest Jodie Berndt

Jodie Berndt

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

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

Praying the Scriptures Over Your Children

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

Effective Habits to Embrace in Parenting

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

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

Dr. Randy Schroeder

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

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

Simple Habits for Effective Parenting

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

The Spiritual Battle for Your Marriage

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

Tim and Noreen Muehlhoff Cropped

Dr. Tim and Mrs. Noreen Muehlhoff

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

Defending Your Marriage

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

Reigniting Your Passion for Jesus - Part 1

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

Headshot photo of author Kim Meeder

Kim Meeder

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

Revival Rising

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

Reigniting Your Passion for Jesus - Part 2

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

Headshot photo of author Kim Meeder

Kim Meeder

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

Revival Rising

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

Mothers and Sons: Being a Godly Influence - Part 2

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

Headshot of Rhonda Stoppe

Rhonda Stoppe

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

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

Moms Raising Sons to Be Men

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

Identifying Triggers in Your Marriage - Part 2

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

Headshot of Guy and Amber Lia

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Author Debra Fileta in the Focus on the Family broadcast studio

Mrs. Debra Fileta

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

Are You Really Okay?

Are You Really OK: Getting Real About Who You Are

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

Embracing Your Role as a Spouse

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

Headshot of Kevin Thompson

Pastor Kevin Thompson

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

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

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

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

Sharing Your Faith with Grace and Purpose

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

Mr. Greg Koukl

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

Tactics front cover

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

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

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.

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!

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!