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Sharing the Gospel Through Hospitality (Part 1 of 2)

Sharing the Gospel Through Hospitality (Part 1 of 2)

In this Best of 2019 broadcast, Dr. Rosaria Champagne Butterfield challenges listeners to share God's love by opening their home to strangers, neighbors, and anyone in need, in a discussion based on her book The Gospel Comes With a House Key: Practicing Radically Ordinary Hospitality in Our Post-Christian World. (Part 1 of 2)
Original Air Date: January 30, 2019

Teaser:

Dr. Rosaria Champagne Butterfield: That practically means you, Christian, share the gospel with a house key. That practically means you, Christian, share the gospel with an invitation that, hey, you know what? Christmas, Easter, Thanksgiving – my house. There’s no question about where you’re going to spend your birthday. You’re my brother. You’re part of a family. And the Christian community exists sometimes on what I like to call a starvation diet of community.

End of Teaser

John Fuller: Some great insight from Dr. Rosaria Butterfield, who believes that many Christian families today are missing out on a life-changing ministry opportunity. And you’ll hear about that today on this “Best of” edition of Focus on the Family. Your host is Focus president and author, Jim Daly. And I’m John Fuller.

Jim Daly: John, it’s absolutely amazing how God works. Often in ways that we can’t even imagine. The simple act of hospitality that Rosaria just described is what transformed her life. Years ago, she was about as far away from God as anyone could be. She thought Christians were the enemy and she was happy with her life as a lesbian, a feminist, and as an outspoken advocate for LGBTQ rights.

But God orchestrated something impossible. A Christian couple, Ken and Floy Smith, invited Rosaria into their home. And through their friendship she experienced a radical transformation, and eventually gave her life to Jesus Christ.

And today, Rosaria is a pastor’s wife and a homeschooling mom. And she has a powerful message to share about how all of us can have that same amazing impact through hospitality, that Ken and Floy had in her life.

I can’t think of a better message to come back to here at the end of the year – the week before Christmas – when we’ll be celebrating the birth of Jesus with so many friends and family.

This is such a great time of year to show hospitality and share our faith in that context. And I hope everyone listening will be challenged, and a little convicted, by what Rosaria has for us today.

John: And I must say that her book, The Gospel Comes With a House Key: Practicing Radically Ordinary Hospitality In Our Post-Christian World, is a terrific resource. We have it. It’s the foundation for the conversation today.
I should mention, Jim, our Sunday School class is just finishing up going through this book and it’s been eye-opening and really inspiring for us to open up and have better community.
Find more about that book at focusonthefamily.com/broadcast.

Let’s go ahead now and hear how we began that conversation, a Best of 2019 broadcast with Dr. Rosaria Butterfield.

Jim: Rosaria, welcome back to Focus on the Family.

Rosaria: Oh, thank you so much. It’s always an honor and privilege to be here with you.

Jim: It’s just good to see you. My heart…

Rosaria: It’s good to see you, too.

Jim: …Is leaping inside… (Laughter) Because it’s so much fun.

Rosaria: Yeah.

Jim: I just love the way you think and what God has done…

Rosaria: Yeah.

Jim: …With your life. Uh, and what a background. And we’re not going to cover all that ground. We’re getting into a new direction today, but I so appreciate what the hand of God has done in you…

Rosaria: Amen.

Jim: …In your husband, in your family.

Rosaria: Praise God.

Jim: It’s a powerful testimony. In fact, if the listeners missed it, you can get it through Focus on the Family…

John: We’ll link over to the download, yes.

Jim: …Because it is something that you should share with friends. It’s one of those, um, amazing stories of God’s work in someone’s life.

Help us understand why you are so passionate about hospitality. You know, we read that in Scripture, and we think, yeah, be kind, be joyful, be hospitable, OK. And we keep moving.

Rosaria: Yeah.

Jim: But it is the…

Rosaria: Yeah.

Jim: …Key…

Rosaria: Yeah.

Jim: …To unlocking the heart of…

Rosaria: Yeah.

Jim: …Especially nonbelievers.

Rosaria: It is. And it’s also connected to what it means to be a radically converted person in this post-Christian world.

Jim: Why?

Rosaria: Here’s why – when I share with people what Ken and Floy Smith did for me in my conversion process – now, we – I don’t believe that I’m discipled into conversion. I don’t believe that, you know, it was a casserole that brought me to faith. It was… (Laughter) it was the spirit of God…

Jim: Yeah, this is love.

Rosaria: …Which is a supernatural – you know, the power of heaven coming down to save a sinner like me.

But the highway that that traveled on was Ken and Floy Smith’s tireless Christian hospitality. I was in their home at least weekly for two years. And while in their home, I would argue with them. And after I would argue with them, I would go back to campus where I was a professor at Syracuse, and I would demean them. I would mock them. And I would go back the next week and do it again.

Jim: Why did you say yes? I mean, what…

Rosaria: Well, because I was doing research on a book for the religious right. And I thought of Ken Smith is my unpaid research assistant – it was…

Jim: So, he could, uh…

Rosaria: Yeah. No, I just…

Jim: So, this came with a little bit of an undercurrent.

Rosaria: Oh, yeah.

Jim: Yeah.

Rosaria: No, an agenda.

Jim: OK.

Rosaria: I mean, if I thought evangelical Christians had an agenda, believe me, as a gay rights activist, I had a bigger one, in my opinion.

Jim: Right.

Rosaria: And I thought I had the winning one.

John: Hm.

Jim: So, you said yes. You go to the home.

Rosaria: I said yes. And…

Jim: And boom.

Rosaria: And week after week, it’s the sort of – it’s the same thing. Lots of people come in. Good food, simple food – sort of like how I cook – simple food, but plenty of it. People come in. They talk. Then at a certain point, the – you know, the Bible’s open, the psalter’s open. They sing the Psalms exclusively – four-part harmony. The aesthetic beauty of the Psalms was compelling to me. And the words, quite frankly, were disgusting… (Laughter) I don’t know what else to say.

Jim: To you at the time, right.

Rosaria: To me at the time, absolutely.

And after years and years of that – and I talk about this elsewhere – something happened. The Bible got to be bigger inside me than I. And that’s what changed. And when I came to Christ, I did not stop feeling like a lesbian, but I knew Jesus was who He said He was.

Jim: Yeah. To paint that picture a little more fully…I mean, you even referred to their home as the cult house…

Rosaria: Oh, I did. Yeah.

Jim: …Probably to your students.

Rosaria: Oh, yeah, yeah.

Jim: I mean, and the reason I’m asking…

Rosaria: Well, and especially to my lover at the time, you know.

Jim: Yeah, right.

Rosaria: Because she’d be like, what are you doing again? Oh, I’m warming up my vocal chords, like that was just the most common thing for me to do, you know.

Jim: So…

Rosaria: But we were going to sing…

Jim: Yeah. And the challenge…

Rosaria: …Which was compelling.

Jim: Yeah. And the challenge there is this tension you had to feel…

Rosaria: Yes.

Jim: …Between your life and what it was…

Rosaria: Right.

Jim: …Then as a sinner not drawing – or knowing God…

Rosaria: Right.

Jim: …And then this odd attraction…

Rosaria: Yes.

Jim: …With this couple…

Rosaria: Yeah, very odd…

Jim: Yeah.

Rosaria: …Disarmingly odd…

Jim: How long did that process…

Rosaria: …Attraction.

Jim: …Take before you said, Lord, I get it?

Rosaria: Two years.

Jim: It was two years.

Rosaria: It was two years.

Jim: Let me just turn to listeners again because this is critical. Think of somebody in your life that you think is so beyond God’s reach they could never become a Christian and start praying for them. Start inviting them over, right? I mean, that’s the thing.

Rosaria: That’s right.

Jim: Why – let me ask you this question, Rosaria. Why do we stumble with that simple idea?

Rosaria: Well, because I think the spiritual warfare that we experience is disarming to us, and it’s unusual. And instead, my invitations is for Christians to just – just relax and step into the conflict.

But I think that we want it to be nice. We want to have a nice dinner. We want the table settings to match. We don’t want the cat to have a hairball (Laughter) as soon as the guests come in. You know, we want – and we certainly don’t want our guests to be potentially offended. We don’t want our guests to offend us. We have lots of anxiety. And this is spiritual warfare.

And instead, I think what we need to do is what Ken and Floy Smith did. They said, “You know what? If we’re going to be agents of grace, then we need to get close enough to this stranger to put the hand of the stranger into the hand of the Savior. And you know what? Somebody here is going to get hurt.”

Jim: Yeah.

Rosaria: “May God be given all the glory.”

Jim: Yeah. And – and I – I love the idea that you’re – um, what’s the right way to say this? – you’re deconstructing the complexity…

Rosaria: Yeah.

Jim: …Of doing something like this.

Rosaria: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.

Jim: It doesn’t have to be something huge.

Rosaria: And this doesn’t happen in la-la land. Guess what?

Jim: Right! (laughter)

Rosaria: Guess what? You know, 20 years ago, people could sit together at the same table even though they voted differently. Today we’re told that’s impossible. A good question is why? And those are some of the things that I try to unpack in this book and some of the practices that I think are necessary. But here’s what I know – as I’ve shared with people my testimony, and I share with you what Ken and Floy Smith did for me, I have so many people just walk away rich, young ruler-style.

Jim: Mm.

Rosaria: And they say, “Wow, they’re super Christians. I could never do that.” And I’m here to say I think we all – I don’t think anybody’s called to be a super Christian. But I think we’re all to be – we are all called to set our boundaries a little differently.

Jim: Yeah.

Rosaria: In the past, we’ve set them according to our checkbook and according to our calendar. In a post-Christian world, we’re called to set them according to the blood of Christ. Ken and Floy Smith were just a little ahead of the game.

Jim: Yeah, but it’s where we should all be.

Rosaria: Yeah.

Jim: And that’s why I like the subtitle of your book, which is Radically Ordinary Hospitality.

Jim: Describe what that looks like day to day.

Rosaria: Yeah. Well, day to day, it means two things. First of all, conceptually, it means always looking at the objective of the Christian life – the purpose – your purpose for being here. And that is to seek strangers – and seek them you must, they don’t actually fall from the sky – to seek strangers and make them neighbors and embrace neighbors, praying that God would make them family of God.

So that’s, conceptually, the journey. And once you cross those thresholds, everything changes. When you cross the threshold between stranger and neighbor, you never go back to stranger. The bridge is burned down. You can’t go back there. And when you cross the bridge from neighbor to family of God, you can’t go back either.

Jim: Yeah.

Rosaria: And so that’s conceptually what it means. And what it means practically is that for the last 17 years of marriage, Kent and I have just done this thing that we thought was normal. But we, you know, we are in the world, so we know that Christians don’t think it is.

Jim: (Laughter) Right.

Rosaria: And so, we sort of – so think of this book as our coming out party, if you will. Um, so for – when Kent and I got married, we were the only believers in our extended families. That means that we were lonely people.

Jim: Yeah.

Rosaria: And our commitment to family of God meant that – that we believed that our home was a place where a family of God gathers. Not by invitation only, but organically and regularly. So, we started practicing daily hospitality with our family of God from the very beginning of our marriage. One of the nice, little, old ladies in the church had bought us one of those little guest books (Laughter) that you fill out. Well, after four months of marriage, we had filled it up entirely. And we looked at each other and said, “We’re gonna throw this sucker away…

Jim: Get a new one.

Rosaria: …And we’re” – no… (Laughter) we’re never gonna get a new one because we’re gonna have God keep these tallies…

Jim: Oh, wow.

Rosaria: …Because there’s something about keeping these tallies that is going to spook us…

Jim: Hm.

Rosaria: …Because we were noticing then a crisis of loneliness in the church.

John: Hm.

Rosaria: And, you know, part of how the post-Christian world became a post-Christian world is the secular world capitalized on some real sin issues in our church. I’m not talking right now about sexuality.

Jim: Right.

Rosaria: I’m talking about cold hearts.

Jim: Right.

Rosaria: I’m talking about the willingness to allow crushing loneliness to reside in the hearts of the people who are our fellow shoulder-rubbers in the pews.

Jim: Right.

Rosaria: And why? Well, because it was a sin that just went under the radar. We started to feel that our time was our own, that our homes were our castles. And that really the scriptural command that the Gospel would come with a hundredfold, practical, nurturing connections within the family of God – and that’s in Mark, chapter 10 – we might get to that in this conversation – is we started to see that as somebody else’s business. We started to prefer programs over relationships.

Jim: Hm.

Rosaria: And we – we looked at the singles in our church as people who needed to be fixed or fixed up.

Jim: Yeah.

Rosaria: And that’s – those are sins that we are revisiting in this post-Christian world.

Jim: Well, and I so appreciate that – the way we started the program, that heart for truth and understanding.

And I think that’s true. When we really dissect where we’re at, we’re in a cold place. We have automatic garage door openers. I would assume that, like me, I know some of our neighbors, I don’t know all our neighbors.

And even when I’m in, you know, Christian company, many people don’t know any neighbor. And I – I think that’s an indication of what you’re talking about – this – uh, you know, it sounds harsh, but that cold-heartedness…

Rosaria: Yeah.

Jim: …That we don’t really care. The other thing is just with modernity, you have so many things pulling at your time. Uh, you know, we’re busy people, and we make excuses…

Rosaria: Yes.

Jim: …That we’re busy people…

Rosaria: Yes.

Jim: …And therefore, we don’t have time for hospitality and getting to know the people around us. And that…

Rosaria: Right.

Jim: That’s really an error, isn’t it? Because…

Rosaria: Yes, it is.

Jim: …Um – an old book – I think Paul Tripp is the author – Instruments in the Hands of God

Rosaria: Love that book.

Jim: …There’s a line in there that caught me for today’s program and that is our relationships belong to God.

Rosaria: Uh-hm. That’s right.

Jim: Think of that – that our relationships belong to God. And it’s how we nurture them and how we steward them…

Rosaria: That’s right.

Jim: …That is important to Him…

Rosaria: That’s right.

Jim: …The Heavenly Father. When you start looking at it from that perspective, wow…

Rosaria: Right.

Jim: …That’s a lot of responsibility.

Rosaria: Right. Absolutely. And I would say in addition to modernity creating a kind of self-absorption, the idea that somehow I’m really busy and that I’m really…

Jim: (Laughing) I’m guilty of that!

Rosaria: …I’m really busy doing important things, and maybe I should have a blog in my own name. I mean, can I just tell you that I think the Puritans would call that sin?

Jim: Mm.

Rosaria: I really do. And maybe you all have blogs in your names, and so you’re just kind of like, ah, Rosaria, I can’t believe you nailed me but…

Jim: Well, I happen to have a blog. (Laughter)

John: I’m going to plead the Fifth… (Laughter) …Because I never do anything with it, but I have one, yeah. (Laughter)

Jim: But speak to our hearts.

Rosaria: But…

Jim: Tell us…

John: And we’re open, yeah.

Rosaria: Here’s the deal, I mean, in modernity, the idea was the self-autonomous individual finding meaning in nothing but himself.

Jim: That’s the American creed.

Rosaria: But now we’re at even a more dangerous place because we’ve moved from modernity to post-modernity. And we are now in a place where we have the quote, unquote, “intersectional person” finding purpose and meaning in nothing but victimhood.

Jim: Yeah, that’s so true.

Rosaria: And, you know, that is damaging in a different way. But that’s what makes it impossible today or seemingly impossible. I argue, in the book, it’s not impossible. You just have to have enough hutzpah (laughter) to…

Jim: I like that.

Rosaria: …To move on with that. But often Christians feel that, how can I talk to my neighbors who identify as lesbian when everything I say is hate speech?

Well, here’s how – you make sure that your relationship with that person is stronger than the words you’re going to use.

And how do you do that? Well, get off Facebook, stop thinking that anybody really cares what you have to say on Twitter…

Jim: (Laughter).

Rosaria: …And peel some potatoes, put on a pot of coffee…

Jim: Invite them over.

Rosaria: …And invite him over. And you know what? It’s not efficient. We’re talking about one person at a time.

Jim: Yeah. It’s tough. But you’re really hitting it. I want to highlight some of the critics that you’ve had in your church. I mean…

Rosaria: Hm.

Jim: …Because I think that’s an important place to go, and that – that will be something that you face.

Rosaria: Sure. Absolutely.

Jim: Um, People that say, you know, I just don’t have people over. Maybe their personalities are more introverted. Speak to the temperament…

Rosaria: Yeah.

Jim: …Issue, too…

Rosaria: Yeah.

Jim: …Because this is hard to do for some people that aren’t bent toward relationship in that way.

Rosaria: Right. Right. And I would say, too, that everybody doesn’t have to do this the same way, all right. So, there are lots of things that you can do, and if you do what you do, and you open your arms a little wider, you’re going to find that you have a niche that I don’t have.

Jim: Hm.

Rosaria: And so, there are various things. When it comes to seeking the stranger, one of the best things you could do is go get home studied. You know what? The welfare state has cornered the market on strangers.

And if a couple of families in the church do it together, that means that you all can support another family in crisis.

Now, all that means is that you have access to people in need. It doesn’t mean you have to do anything. There are seasons of life when you can’t. If you’re a mom with small children – and let’s face it, 7 o’clock is not the time you’re having dinner with friends. That’s bath time.

Jim: Right.

Rosaria: Um, is there a time during the day that you can open your home to other moms with small children but make it explicitly Gospel-focused? I think this is the challenge – Christians need to do what you do but realize that the Gospel’s not gonna transmute by osmosis.

So, if you’re having, you know, lunch with people, how are you going to move from egg salad to eternity? Well, figure that out!

Jim: Ask good questions.

Rosaria: Ask good questions. But, I’ll tell you in our house it helps to have a routine already established.

John: Hm. Dr. Rosaria Butterfield is our guest on Focus on the Family.

And, uh, we’re talking about her book, The Gospel Comes with a House Key. And you can get copies of that, a CD or a free download of our conversation at focusonthefamily.com/broadcast.

And I want to ask you about that because earlier you said, you know, if Christians have an agenda, you had an agenda. All right…

Rosaria: I did.

John: …So go back to me. I’m inviting a neighbor over for coffee.

Rosaria: Uh-hm.

John: Um, I feel like I have to turn it to Jesus right now.

Rosaria: Yeah. And so, here’s what I would say, too – that’s a great question. One of the reasons that we have found making open invitations to our neighbors so useful, I mean, one is I talk in the book about a crisis in our neighborhood that – that kind of conjured that up.

But it became so useful to just say, “Thursday night is neighbor night. Thursday night is soup and prayer. I put on pots of soup at 6:00. Come join us. Anybody’s welcome.” We put this out on the Nextdoor app, invite 300 households, no kidding.

And then at 7 o’clock, we’re going to have a short Bible lesson, and we’re going to sing a psalm, and we’re going to pray. And, you know, what – first of all, neighbors already know what we’re going to do. So…

Jim: So, it’s not a surprise.

Rosaria: …It’s not a surprise. And because we do this every single night – Kent has been leading family devotions every single night. At a certain point the – you know, the kids bring all the dishes up to the dishwasher, and they send the Bibles and the mugs of coffee and the psalters down.

And you know what? Sometimes neighbors say, “Uh, hey, I got to go.” That’s fine. But they don’t always.

But the reason for these open and regular invitations is this – many of your neighbors, I might even say most, are afflicted with abuse and addiction. And that means that as noble as your invitation, you know, Tuesday night at 7:00 might be, quite frankly, many of your neighbors do not know if they’re going to be sober or safe that particular Tuesday.

But, you know, if it’s regular – hey, we do this every week – one of those weeks, they will be ready. And so, we turn it in this way, and it’s a known reality. And we’ve had neighbors say, “Wow, is this some strange ritual you do?” I don’t care what you call it, but we’re going to go there. And the reason is because we’ve just talked about heavy things, we’ve just talked about important things, and now we want Jesus to enter this conversation, not to stop the conversation but to deepen it.

And then you know what? We’re gonna come back and do this tomorrow, and we’re going to do this the next day. So, we don’t have a one-time opportunity to talk to our neighbor. This is the problems – that people have very shallow understandings of the relationships that they are to create. I’m not talking about a shallow relationship with my neighbors. God never gets the address wrong. He gave me these neighbors. He appointed these relationships. And I’m going to build them for as long as He keeps me there.

Jim: Yeah.

Rosaria: And so, to spend a good amount of time listening is very important. I mean, how will you know what the Gospel bridge is to your neighbor?

Too often, Christians think in false categories of personhood. They think, oh, there’s got to be some special Gospel for my neighbor who identifies as lesbian or a – a different way of approaching the Gospel for my neighbor who identifies as Muslim – or not.

You know, I mean, a big question that Christians have to ask – this was a question Ken Smith asked me 20 years ago – “Rosaria, do you believe that what is true determines what is ethical? Or do you believe that what is ethical will determine what is true?”

We are all image-bearers of the holy God – every single person. I don’t care what category you have slapped onto yourself. There’s only a few that are going to survive eternity. We know the word of God will survive eternity, so we want to make sure that our neighbors, who might never hear it elsewhere will hear it from us.

But we also know that our gendered bodies will be in eternity in one way or another. You will be male or female in the New Jerusalem or, God forbid, you will be male or female in hell.

Jim: Hm.

Rosaria: And so, you know, the world we live in has created all these false notions of personhood. And, you know, it’s the Christian neighbor who can call out the image-bearing of a holy God that each and every human being does.

But here’s what we need to also remember – life is hard. And some people have one cross to bear, and others have 10. So rather than pretending that the Christian life is democratic, why don’t we just work hard to roll up our sleeves and help carry some of those crosses? But we can’t do it until they – we know what they are.

Jim: Well, and here’s the issue with that – it’s hard work.

Rosaria: Yes.

Jim: You know, and this, uh, Scripture that comes to my mind, Rosaria, is, uh, you know, do these good deeds so that they’ll honor your father in heaven. It doesn’t say, “Say these good words.”

Rosaria: That’s right.

Jim: Do these good…

Rosaria: Amen.

Jim: …Deeds because through those deeds, someone’s heart typically is opened. Even the most crusty of hearts…

Rosaria: Absolutely.

Jim: …is opened in that way because they see what’s real.

Rosaria: That’s right.

Jim: When somebody’s willing to do the word…

Rosaria: That’s right.

Jim: …Um, it…

Rosaria: That’s right.

Jim: …Changes the relationship, doesn’t it?

Rosaria: Yes. And what we’re talking specifically about is the way table fellowship does that – that these aren’t just good deeds of changing – I mean, it’s good to change a tire – a flat tire. I personally don’t know how to do that, so you really don’t want my help.

Jim: But helping neighbors and…

Rosaria: …But helping…

Jim: …You know.

Rosaria: …Neighbors, those are very good things. But – but to gather nightly at the table, um, that – that has the thumbprint of Jesus all over it.

You know, have you ever wondered – I – I’ve often wondered in Luke 7, how it is that Mary, this woman of the streets, wanders into this dinner party? (Laughter) And the next thing you know, she’s at Jesus’ feet – oil, tears, loose hair. I mean, I’ve thrown a lot – I do hospitality every night. I’ve never had…

John: Have any – anything like that (laughter).

Rosaria: …A party crasher like that.

Jim: Something like that.

Rosaria: That’s crazy, right? But what’s also so amazing about it, I think – I mean, I think it’s amazing – is that it shows us how accessible that home was. And that home was accessible because these first-century homes had a kind of outdoor, um, easy-access, uh, porch, really.

Jim: Yeah. Rosaria, uh, I need to ask some tough questions, too, about our attitude as Christians.

Rosaria: Uh-hm.

Jim: …And the issue about our tongue and how we use our tongue. And I, I want to get into this. And I’m going to have you come back, if you can – let’s come back next time, tomorrow, and continue the discussion.

Rosaria: Love it.

Jim: But – but this idea – I think it’s partly born out of insecurity, that we don’t know enough to spiritually battle competently, and so we turn to this defensive posture…

Rosaria: Yeah.

Jim: …When people knock us off our – our spot.

Rosaria: Right.

Jim: And we attack verbally…

Rosaria: Right.

Jim: …Which is utterly the wrong thing to do…

Rosaria: Yeah. Absolutely.

Jim: …When you’re talking to somebody with the Gospel. I love Romans 2:4, which says, don’t you know it’s God’s kindness that leads one to repentance?

Rosaria: Right.

Jim: I mean, this is what you’re saying.

Rosaria: Right.

Jim: It doesn’t – I often speak in front of audiences, and I’ll ask, who was beaten verbally, emotionally or physically into the kingdom of God?

Rosaria: Right, zero.

Jim: I’ve never had a hand go up.

Rosaria: No, absolutely. And you never will.

Jim: Nobody has said to me, I was so mistreated by those Christians…

Rosaria: Right.

Jim: …That I decided to become one of them.

Rosaria: Right. Absolutely.

Jim: It’s always the other way.

Rosaria: That’s right.

Jim: I saw such incredible love.

Rosaria: Right.

Jim: They treated me with such kindness.

Rosaria: Right. Right.

Jim: And yet, it’s a tool we don’t readily use.

Rosaria: That’s right. No, I think that’s absolutely right. But I would also add to that that those Christians were disarming.

Jim: Right.

Rosaria: I came to them with a sense that this is who I am. I came to them with the sense that I am a lesbian. That’s what I said to Ken Smith my first meeting. Two years later, through his clear Gospel witness and love, I came to realize that lesbian may very well be how I was, but it will never be who I am.

Jim: Which is so powerful.

Rosaria: So, he did not meet me where I was and leave me there. He met me where I was and took my hand and said, let’s go talk to Jesus about this.

John: And that’s how we concluded part one of our Best of 2019 conversation with Dr. Rosaria Butterfield, talking about her fantastic book, The Gospel Comes with a House Key: Practicing Radically Ordinary Hospitality in our Post-Christian World.

Jim: Rosaria’s message is so powerful. And I hope people are resonating with what we shared today.

The last time we aired this program, a listener said, “You hit it out of the park!”  She was so convicted by Rosaria’s stories of inviting neighbors over to share the Gospel with them. This listener promised to pray about how God might use her in the same way!

And we even heard from a Christian family living in Bangladesh, who was singing worship songs in their home. This family was visited by a Muslim neighbor who asked if they could open their window so she could hear the song better.

John: Mm-hm.

Jim: That’s great.

John: Wow.

Jim: That’s not normally what happens. This led to an opportunity to talk to that neighbor about Jesus.

John: Mm-hm, that is awesome.

Jim: And that is so good.

That’s why Focus on Family is here, everybody — to help you grow bold in your faith and spread the Good News message of Jesus Christ!

Rosaria’s book, The Gospel Comes with a House Key, can be a resource for you, or maybe for a family member or a friend. Maybe even a small group at your church, John, like you mentioned earlier. Contact us today about how you can get a copy.

Better yet — send a gift of any amount today to Focus on the Family and we’ll put a copy in your hands as our way of saying thank you for supporting the ministry.

John: You can donate and get your copy of the book by calling 800-232-6459. That’s 800,  the letter “A” and the word FAMILY. Or you can stop by focusonthefamily.com/broadcast

Jim: Well, we really need to hear from people right now, especially at the end of the year.  This month we’re inviting friends like you to Share the Gift of Family — that’s the campaign – and with your financial support and prayer support, specifically, so that we can continue strengthening marriages, equipping parents, and being a light of the Gospel in our world today.

Right now, thanks to some generous friends, we have a matching gift opportunity which means anything you give today will be doubled!  So please, partner with us right here at the end of 2019!

John: And anything you can do will be so appreciated whether that’s a monthly pledge or one-time gift. Help us impact more and more families with God’s love.

The website, again, is focusonthefamily.com/broadcast. Or call 800, the letter A, and the word FAMILY.

And be sure to join us next time as Dr. Butterfield shares more about the spiritual gift and responsibility of hospitality . . .

Teaser:

Rosaria: If we’re going to be agents of grace, then we need to get close enough to the stranger to put the hand of the stranger into the hand of the Savior. And you know what? Somebody here is going to get hurt.

Today's Guests

The Gospel Comes With a House Key

Receive Rosaria Butterfield's book The Gospel Comes With a House Key for your donation of any amount! And when you give today, your donation will be doubled to support the Gift of Family.

Recent Episodes

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Finding Space to Connect With God

Kathi Lipp and Cheri Gregory share ideas on how you can find the space and the place to spend time nurturing your relationship with God. They reflect on some of their imperfections and the abundant grace God offers to cover those shortcomings.

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Saving Your Marriage From Divorce (Part 2 of 2)

Dr. David Clarke shares that if you are struggling in your marriage that you are not alone and there is hope. He discusses the three main bad marriage types: “We’re unhappy but willing to work on it marriage,” “My marriage is stuck but my spouse won’t work on it marriage,” “My spouse committed a big sin marriage.” (Part 2 of 2)

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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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Amy Carroll explains how listeners can find freedom from self-imposed and unrealistic standards of perfection in a discussion based on her book, Breaking Up With Perfect: Kiss Perfection Goodbye and Embrace the Joy God Has in Store for You.

Loving Your Spouse Through the Seasons of Marriage - Part 1

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

Author Debra Fileta in the Focus on the Family broadcast studio

Debra Fileta

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

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

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

How a Former Abortion Doctor Became Pro-Life

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

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

Mrs. Patti Giebink

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

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

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

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

Navigating a Toxic Culture with Your Daughter - Part 2

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

Mrs. Meg Meeker

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

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

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

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

Cherishing Your Spouse Every Day

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

Mr. Gary Thomas

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

cherish front cover

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

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

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

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Newest Release - Episode 4: Sometimes the Choice is Hard

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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!

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Newest Release - Episode 3: The Power of a Picture

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Newest Release - Episode 6: Families Helping Families!

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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.

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

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

Dr. Kevin Leman

Dr. Kevin Leman

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

Bundle of Why Your Kids Misbehave

Why Your Kids Misbehave and What to Do about It

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

Giving up Sugar, Tasting God's Goodness

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

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

Mrs. Wendy Speake

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dr. Kevin Leman

Dr. Kevin Leman

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

Bundle of Why Your Kids Misbehave

Why Your Kids Misbehave and What to Do about It

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

Loving Your Spouse Through the Seasons of Marriage - Part 2

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

Author Debra Fileta in the Focus on the Family broadcast studio

Debra Fileta

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

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

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

Reconciling Faith and Science in a Medical Crisis

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

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

Dr. Lee Warren

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

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

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

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

Praying Scripture Over Your Child’s Life - Part 1

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

Headshot of Focus on the Family broadcast guest Jodie Berndt

Jodie Berndt

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

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

Praying the Scriptures Over Your Children

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

Mothers and Sons: Being a Godly Influence - Part 1

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

Headshot of Rhonda Stoppe

Rhonda Stoppe

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

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

Moms Raising Sons to Be Men

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

Identifying Triggers in Your Marriage Part 1

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

Headshot of Guy and Amber Lia

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Author Debra Fileta in the Focus on the Family broadcast studio

Mrs. Debra Fileta

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

Are You Really Okay?

Are You Really OK: Getting Real About Who You Are

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

Navigating a Toxic Culture with Your Daughter - Part 1

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

Mrs. Meg Meeker

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

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

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

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

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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!