Focus on the Family Broadcast

Sharing Your Faith With Grace and Purpose

Sharing Your Faith With Grace and Purpose

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.
Original Air Date: June 14, 2021

Preview:

Greg Koukl: Jesus, very rarely got to the so-called gospel. You know, he didn’t get out the, the, the steps and then invite people to receive Christ. A lot of what He did was get to the bad news and He didn’t get to the good news. What was He doing? He was getting people thinking about the things they needed to be thinking about. He was what I call, putting a stone in their shoe. Annoying them in a good way.

End of Preview

John Fuller: Well, Greg Koukl joins us today on Focus on the Family, to give you some practical ideas for how to share your faith with pretty much anybody you run into. Your host is Focus president and author Jim Daly. And I’m John Fuller.

Jim Daly: You know, John, uh, we don’t mention it very often, but we have five, uh, strategic areas in mind at Focus on the Family. The first is evangelism and discipleship. Today’s program fits into that. Of course, second would be marriage and then third parenting and advocacy for children. That’s our ultrasound machine project, our foster adoption efforts, and then engaging the culture. So, if you wonder how we decide shows, and what we wanna do, uh, typically it’s gonna fit into those five areas.

John: Mm-hmm.

Jim: And, uh, today I’m really happy to say we are concentrating on evangelism and discipleship with our guest. Uh, when you look at the culture today, uh, there’s so often this angst about sharing faith. Should I, do it? Should I not? I, I, I might be embarrassed. I might be called a name. And, uh, I think at the end of today’s program and with the resource we’re gonna talk about, uh, you will be fully equipped to engage somebody in a discussion about eternity, about their relationship or non-relationship with God and what they can do to remedy that.

John: Mm-hmm. Yeah. And Greg Koukl is, uh, an apologist for the faith. He’s founder and president of Stand to Reason ministries. He’s the host of a talk show and he’s written a number of books, including one that we’re talking about today, Tactics: A Game Plan for Discussing Your Christian Convictions. And we have copies of that here at the ministry, uh, give us a call, 800-A-FAMILY, or stop by focusonthefamily.com/broadcast.

Jim: Hey, Greg, welcome to Focus on the Family.

Greg: Thank you fellas, it’s a real treat to be with here today.

Jim: Now, I, I, I want to start in an interesting spot, when you were younger and you like many people, uh, in your twenties, it feels like, you were smarter than the average guy and you thought, I don’t need to be a Christian.

Greg: Yeah. Yeah.

Jim: I mean, I’m smarter than these guys and they’re not that smart.

Greg: Yeah. I-

Jim: Why did you have that feeling?

Greg: Uh, well, I was raised in a, a Christian environment and it was, uh, uh, v- very perfunctory. You know, you just kinda go to church on Sundays, you do the thing, basic thing, but there was nothing else in our life really that was deeply informed by, by our, our spiritual convictions. We lived a secular life most of the time. It’s like a lot of people. And so, when I was about 17 years old, uh, maybe 18, I was challenged by my own convictions and somebody asked me, “Do you really believe that?” And I thought to myself, no, I guess I don’t really believe it. And then I walked away. Now this was mid ’60s, and so there were a lots of distractions that were entering the culture at that time. They were a lot more appealing than, uh, religion.

Jim: Sure.

Greg: And so, I went that way and I left religion behind me. And then I got, I was at Michigan State University in an honors program there, honors college there, and a pre-law program. And, and, uh, I just, like you mentioned, I, I thought I was too smart to be a Christian. I thought it was, uh, for, for people who needed to have other people do their thinking for them, basically. And I just didn’t want any of that. So, I just walked away from that. And for about six years, I totally embraced a secular culture.

Jim: Yeah. And in some ways that gives such validity to your conversion.

Greg: Mm-hmm.

Jim: And what, the other aspect I like about it, uh, that you wrote about in Tactics, is it, the, just the slow process it was. It wasn’t this instantaneous blinding of a light.

Greg: That’s right.

Jim: That, you know, there was only yes or no.

Greg: Right.

Jim: I mean, it, it, and that truly is how most people come to faith. It’s over time.

Greg: You know what? That’s a really good observation. It’s pertinent to our discussion today because, um, very few people nowadays, when they hear the gospel for the first time, or even the second time, or maybe the third time say, “All right, I get it. I’m in, where do I sign up (laughs)?” You know, there’s lots and lots of resistance to the gospel. And so, when we, when we have, uh, uh, uh, an evangelism technique that is focused on harvesting, okay, let’s pray with the person. Let’s give them a sign on the dotted line. Let’s close the deal. Man, that really puts a lot of Christians off because that, that seems like fighting words for a lot of folks. And in our culture with the hostility that seems is building more and more, okay. This just scares people away, Christians. And I understand that completely. And so, they’re sitting on the bench rather than being engaged. And over the years, I, I have come to understand that before there can be a harvest, there has always got to be a season of, let’s just call it gardening, all right? It’s that period of time that, that we experience, if we become Christians as, uh, adults, that we’ve been thinking over, mulling over, listening, pushing away from the table, coming back to the table, asking questions. That long period of time that usually has multiple people involved in our lives, doing a little here, doing a little there, before the harvest is ready. And that’s the thing that I focus on in my approach.

Jim: And, and the point is, that’s always in the back of your mind, that should be, uh, is this person ready?

Greg: Yeah.

Jim: Do you think this person’s there?

Greg: That’s right.

Jim: But a good approach is to consider yourself the gardener.

Greg: This is what-

Jim: And to water and to till, and to pick out a couple of weeds.

Greg: Exactly. Yeah.

Jim: And those weeds in my mind would be people that have errant beliefs about Christianity, about Christians, who Christ was.

Greg: Right. Right. Right.

Jim: I mean, that’s the weeding of the spiritual garden in that person’s heart.

Greg: That’s right. In fact, I’ll put it more strongly than that. I have been a Christian for 47 years. I’ve, most of that time I’ve been in active ministry. Uh, Stand to Reason is 28 years old, so I’ve spoken to more than 80 college and university campuses around the country and other places, the world. But I never have it as my goal to get somebody to sign on the dotted line when I engage in a conversation with them about Christ. And the reason I don’t do that is because I have a plan that I’ve found to be much more effective to making a difference, especially in the gardening thing. I learned a long time ago that I wasn’t really a good harvester, even though I prayed during the Jesus movement with people to receive Christ. I realized that what I do when I speak at, uh, at events, when I write books, when I’m on shows and in my own radio show, what am I doing? I’m, I’m just gardening. I’m tilling, I’m planting. I’m pulling weeds here and there. And in the process of gardening over time, people get ready for the harvest. And when the harvest is ready, when the fruit is ripe, it just falls into the basket. It’s easy when the fruit is ripe. And this is why I think most people are not harvesters, but they’ve been forced into a harvest mode. I think most people are gardeners.

Jim: No, and that’s good. And we’re gonna, uh, uh, unpack that and explore that over the next few minutes. L- let me start with a phrase, uh, that I’ve used, uh, which is something like this. You can’t argue someone into the kingdom. I, I may say that slightly differently, it’s more like the finger wagging.

Greg: Mm-hmm.

Jim: Because what I have found is that when you are arguing with somebody vehemently, with emotion, if I could say it that way, people’s hearts tend to close down.

Greg: Mm-hmm. Yeah.

Jim: I mean, how many people do you respond to that are in your face, arguing with emotion.

Greg: Right (laughs). Right.

Jim: But you do say there’s a way to argue lovingly.

Greg: That’s right.

Jim: And I would accept that, but I just think the finger-wagging argument, I mean, my own spirit closes down to somebody who’s rushing me emotionally.

Greg: Sure. Of course. Well, my approach to that is if anybody gets mad, I lose. All right?

Jim: Right. That’s good.

Greg: If I get mad, I lose. If they get mad, I lose. Okay. And a lot of times people, people get mad because of the style. Now, my response to that comment that you can’t argue anyone into the kingdom, is maybe a little different, because I’m thinking of arguing as making a case as opposed to getting into a quarrel. If you get in a quarrel, people get mad, they’re blocked off. But if you’re making the case, offering reasons for it, that’s powerful when used by the Holy Spirit.

Jim: Let me ask you in that context. So how do you refrain from the emotion of making the case? And I think that’s key.

Greg: Yeah.

Jim: Because, uh, unlike the maybe detached attorney, who’s pleading with the judge or the jury, uh, that seems very, uh, applicable.

Greg: Okay. Right (laughs).

Jim: But when you’re in it going, “Listen, that is stupid what you’re thinking?” I mean (laughs), that’s not gonna work.

Greg: You know, I know, listen, I’m chuckling now because I’m at Focus on the Family. And in families, you have discussions that sometimes are tense.

John: (Laughs).

Greg: And that’s like asking a husband, “How do you keep from getting emotional when you’re arguing with your wife?”

Jim: (Laughs).

Greg: And the answer to that of course, is practice. You have failures, you come back to the table, you work it out. You reflect in how you did, because it’s not easy. But I found though the more confidence a person has in their view, all right?

Jim: Mm-hmm.

Greg: The more courage they’re going to have in addressing issues and the more grace they’re going to have in engaging people. And this is why apologetics, the, the art of giving answers for challenges or making a case for your view, this is why it’s so important for the rank-and-file Christian, to be able to traffic in, in some degree, because this gives them the confidence. And when you’re confident of your view, you don’t have to raise your voice. You don’t have to shake your finger at people. You can just slowly, carefully, graciously offer something like using the game plan that I discussed in the book T- Tactics. And in a few simple steps, get into a conversation that doesn’t cause you to get so angry. I have had so many people that said, “Thank you for this book because it’s changed my life.” And this is the phrase I get most often gentlemen, from those who have talked to me about the book, “It’s changed my life.” Because it’s given them a tool that allows them to do the very thing that you’re talking about, Jim.

Jim: Yeah.

Greg: And that is to have a conversation without having a fight.

Jim: And we’re gonna touch on some of those, but I, I’m kinda knocking the arguments out of the way here in the beginning.

Greg: Mm-hmm. Okay.

Jim: And so, temperaments it’s another one for me, because I tend to be more extroverted.

Greg: Okay.

Jim: So, I can be on an airplane and have a discussion with somebody. And, you know, uh, sometimes I feel for the more introverted person who starts with just speaking to a stranger can be intimidating.

Greg: Right. That’s right.

Jim: So, it doesn’t have to do with their position in Christ or anything like that.

Greg: Mm-hmm.

Jim: It’s the way God has made them. They’re more introverted.

Greg: That’s right.

Jim: I mean, is it their fault? I mean, how, how does that more introverted person take on the challenge and talk to someone?

Greg: No, this is such a good question because it fits perfectly under the first step of the game plan that I discussed in the book. What I wanna encourage people to do is to get, just think about getting into the shallow end of the pool. The simplest way to do that is to just ask questions of people. You-

Jim: Kinda like what Jesus did (laughs).

Greg: Yes. What Jesus did, like 360 sometimes in the gospels. I mean, he used questions all the time. But I call this the Columbo approach or the Columbo tactic after Lieutenant Columbo from 1960s, uh, TV fame. And, uh, he would solve the crime by coming in low key, under the radar, scratching his head, mumbling, you know, and then, “Do you mind if I ask you a question?” Kind of thing.

Jim: Right.

Greg: And then he asks a question. So, if we are Christians who wanna make a difference for Christ but we do really don’t know how to navigate, why don’t we just take a few moments? And this is the very first step of the game plan. Not worrying about getting them to sign on the dotted line, not worried, you’ve been worried about getting to the gospel yet. That might not happen in this conversation. This might be a simple gardening conversation. Okay? Will you just put a stone in someone’s shoe? You just get them thinking. Why don’t you start gathering some information? And sometimes this general information about the person. We, you mentioned something about relationship earlier, Jim. Sometimes a relationship that’s congenial for sharing the gospel can happen in just a few minutes, if we are gracious and show interest in the other person.

Jim: Mm-hmm.

Greg: And so, the more information we can gather from that person, not only about themselves, but if we start moving in spiritual topics, or they come up, about their ideas the better. And so, this is why I encourage people to use a question like, what do you mean by that? When somebody brings something up that has a spiritual context or a challenge, well, all Christians are hypocrites or the Bible has been changed or, well, Jesus never really existed. Now, some of these seems to be straightforward claims, but if you ask the question, what do you mean by that? Now the ball is back in their court, you’re showing interest in their point of view, and you let them talk.

Jim: Mm-hmm.

Greg: And the more they talk, the better it is for you, because you’re getting more information that you might be able to use in a moment.

John: Yeah. And these kinds of questions disarm, uh, the person and give, uh, a little bit less oxygen to that emotion. So-

Greg: Yes, that’s right.

John: Uh, we want you to get a copy of this book by Greg Koukl, it’s called Tactics: A Game Plan for Discussing Your Christian Convictions. Uh, we’ve got it here at Focus on the Family. And our number is 800, the letter A and the word FAMILY, or stop by focusonthefamily.com/broadcast.

Jim: Uh, Greg, in fact, that Columbo approach, I love it. And it, and I’ve used that term in the past not even knowing this is something that you coined. Uh, but you use that Columbo approach with a woman who declared herself as a Wiccan witch on the issue of abortion.

Greg: Yeah. Yes. Right.

Jim: Talk us through that, because again, it’s another great illustration of how to engage in a conversation.

Greg: Mm-hmm.

Jim: Give us the setup, what you said and how you got into the issue of abortion.

Greg: Sure. Sure. It, this, this was in, in, in Northern Wisconsin, where we have a place. And I, I know, uh, uh, John you’re from Wisconsin.

John: I am, yeah.

Greg: It’s a wonderful state, I love it there. And so, I go fishing when I go up there, I did as a kid. And, uh, here I caught this big, small mouth bass. I got a picture of it. I wanted to get it digitized. And so, this young lady was helping with the process. Okay. And I noticed that she had a five-pointed star around her neck. That’s a pentagram and it’s often an occultic symbol. So, I asked her does the jewelry have religious significance for her? And she said, “Yes, I’m a pagan.” And then she began to talk a little bit about it. And I realized, as I’m asking her more questions, notice the questions, getting more information, I realized that I’m talking to a witch. And so, I just asked her, “Are you Wiccan?” And then she said, “Yes.” And explained her view. “We, uh, respect all life,” is what she said. And I said, “Oh, that’s great. If you respect all life that would probably make you pro-life with regards to the abortion question.” And she had said, “No, I’m actually pro-choice.” Yeah, I said, “Isn’t that strange for, uh, a witch to be pro-choice?” And she said, “Well… Cause, cause most of them are pro-life as it turns out. And, and so she said, “It is a little bit odd.” And then she says the strange thing. She said, “I know I could never do that,” referring to abortion, “I could never kill a baby.” It’s so odd that she’s identifying abortion as baby killing even though she’s in favor of it.

Jim: Right.

Greg: And so, uh, and so I said, “Well, maybe you wouldn’t wanna kill babies, but maybe we should stop other people from killing babies.” And she said, “I think everything should be taken into consideration.” I said, “Okay, what would make it (laughs) legitimate to be able to kill a baby?” And she said, “Incest.” So, it’s a standard kind of slogan from pro-choicer’s. And so, then I said, “If I had a two-year-old standing next to me, who had, had been conceived by incest, then in your view, I should be allowed to kill this child.” And that stopped her in her tracks, because she, it was a fair application of her view, but she didn’t know how to respond to it. Now, notice that in every step of the way I am using questions to either gather more information or in this point to exploit a weakness in her view. And she didn’t know how to respond to it. Okay. Now I did notice at this point, uh, that the line was growing behind me. Okay. So, I needed to stop my conversation. Now, like I, my, I hadn’t got to the gospel yet. All right? But notice, I wasn’t on that train, you know, I wasn’t pursuing that, uh, approach, instead I was gardening. And so, I was free to do what I could in the circumstance I had and leave it there and let the Holy Spirit work.

Jim: Yeah.

John: Mm-hmm.

Jim: And Greg, what, what’s so important with that, and for all of us to think about, is that you’re helping them kind of unshackle their philosophy.

Greg: That’s right.

Jim: Which is a good thing to do. You’re not there to win. And I think so often even Jesus demonstrated that.

Greg: Yeah.

Jim: Of course, he’s the, the winner of all times, right?

Greg: (Laughs).

Jim: He wins.

Greg: Yeah.

Jim: But it, it, whether He encountered the woman caught in adultery or the woman at the well or all of his engagements.

Greg: Or Nicodemus to all of it, right?

Jim: He, he, he, he doesn’t display kinda this, I must win the argument mentality.

Greg: Right.

Jim: He does exactly what you’re saying.

Greg: Right. Right.

Jim: He leads the person to a conclusion, which is a righteous conclusion. That’s what you’re talking.

Greg: Yeah. You know, it, it’s interesting you mentioned Jesus here, because Jesus very rarely got to the so-called gospel. You know, He didn’t give out the, the, the steps and then invite people to receive Christ. A lot of what He did was get to the bad news and He didn’t get to the good news. What was he doing? He was getting people thinking about the things they needed to be thinking about. He was what I call, putting a stone in their shoe. Annoying them in a good way.

Jim: Yeah. Greg, we’re running out of time and there’s so many great questions here. That, probably the biggest question in the world, the number one search on social media, if God is so good, why is there evil in the world?

Greg: Mm-hmm.

Jim: I mean, it’s the question.

Greg: Mm-hmm.

Jim: And y- you consider it a self-defeating argument. Why?

Greg: Well, I have a way of putting this, and this is one of the more complex issues, and it’s hard for people to get it sometimes. But let me just put it this way, all right.? This is dealing with the argument; I’m not bringing Tactics in it at this particular point. Okay. Uh, everybody in the world, it doesn’t matter when they lived or where they lived, know one thing is true, that something is wrong with the world.

Jim: Mm-hmm.

Greg: That the world is not the way it’s supposed to be.

Jim: Mm-hmm.

Greg: All right? But think about it. There can’t be a world, a way that it’s not supposed to be, right now, problem of evil, unless there is a way that it is supposed to be. And there can’t be a way the world’s supposed to be without a supposer.

Jim: Mm-hmm.

Greg: So, if there is no God, there is no way for the world is supposed to be, there is no right and wrong. There is just what people want, or maybe what their evolution has tricked them into believing. But there is no right and wrong to be violated for the problem of evil. What this means is, and I could, got a little quickly here, but what, and I go in more detail in the book in this. What this means is, the problem of evil is not a good argument against God, it is a good argument against atheism. It is one of the best arguments for the existence of God. And that’s called, the moral argument for the existence God.

Jim: Well, and I want to, uh, tease that out just a little bit.

Greg: Okay.

Jim: Because in the book, you, you, uh, equate that to, uh, the score of a, of a bowling match or probably any game.

Greg: Yeah. That’s right.

Jim: That if we didn’t have the score, we wouldn’t know who’s winning.

Greg: Yes. So, I describe that.

Jim: Describe that.

Greg: Okay.

Jim: Because I think that was a good way to apply that to the existence of God.

Greg: Correct. Yeah. You, uh, you don’t know a good bowler from a bad bowler, unless you have a way of keeping score or golfer or anything else for that matter, football.

Jim: Right.

Greg: Um, you have to way of keep, have a way of keeping score. So, when we say there’s bad in the world, we’re saying that something has happened that gets a low score when it should be scoring high. But my question is, where does the scoring system come from? Well, the scoring system can only come from someone who has the authority to make the rules for the whole world. And that’s God. If there is no God, there’s no scoring system. And if there’s no scoring system, there is no absolute good or bad. There is just personal feelings and personal beliefs and opinions. And that’s all you can say, moral relativism. Okay. But there is really a problem of evil, everybody knows that. Therefore, there must really be a scoring system. Therefore, there must really be a God.

Jim: Well, and, and another way of saying that too, is some, you always draw the line somewhere depending upon your moral compass, right?

Greg: Right.

Jim: Uh, whether you’re a believer or non-believer.

Greg: That’s right.

Jim: There’s always something going on in the world, sex trafficking, exploitation of children, that everybody is going to agree upon generally.

Greg: Right. That’s right. That’s right.

Jim: And that’s your point.

Greg: Those are the current hot buttons too. And that’s a weird place to go when people are trying to deny objective morality, start pushing their hot buttons. Because the fact is Jim, everybody is made in the image of God, and they have a moral machine built in whether they like it or not. This is part of the inside out tactic that’s in the book. It’s going to come out. They’re gonna talk in objective moral terms, even when they try to objective morality.

Jim: One of the examples you use in that is, uh, in the area of, of same-sex marriage, if that’s a natural function that some have claimed that this is the way we’re wired.

Greg: That’s right.

Jim: This is what God has done, even though they’ll even claim that.

Greg: Right.

Jim: But then you talk about same-sex adoption.

Greg: Yeah.

Jim: Now these are really touchy subjects.

Greg: They are.

Jim: I get that people are listening right now going, “I can’t believe Jim is talking about that.”

Greg: (Laughs). He’s talking about that.

Jim: But it, it’s a real, um, formidable argument that you make. Go through that idea of same-sex marriage and then, um, you know, parenting within same-sex adoptive couples.

Greg: Right. The, well, think of the argument that is offered oftentimes in favor of homosexuality and therefore justifies same-sex marriage. And that is, homosexuality is natural for me and therefore you can’t object to it. Now the equation there is, if it’s natural, then it’s moral. If it’s not natural, then it’s not moral. Okay. But when you think about that line of thinking that they’re holding, if homosexuality is natural for them, that makes it good. Then having homosexual couples having children is not natural (Laughs) for them. So therefore, on the same standard they’re offering, then having children or adopting children is not right, it’s wrong. Now, notice I’m not imposing-

Jim: Because it wouldn’t be natural.

Greg: Yes. Notice I’m not imposing my own standard, I, I’m just applying their standard consistently. This is another tactic called taking the roof off. And it can be very, very powerful in, in different circumstances. This is an example of one of them.

Jim: No, and, uh, uh, and again, I think, phew, I think one of the core things there, uh, in my coaching or my leadership in this area is to always remember that God’s heart is for everybody.

Greg: That’s right.

Jim: Regardless of where they’re at in life. And I don’t care if you’re same sex attracted or a Pharisee within the church who looks down on other people who don’t live according to your standard.

Greg: That’s right. Mm-hmm.

Jim: It, it’s equally, um, wrong.

Greg: Mm-hmm.

Jim: And, and I just wanna make sure that people understand that, uh.

Greg: Well, your mission statement, I read it outside.

Jim: (Laughs).

Greg: It says, partnering with the Holy Spirit to spread the gospel. And boy, that’s my, uh, spirit as well. That’s my project. That’s what I want people to say, you can use reasons, arguments, a technique like the tactical game plan, but we wanna partner with the Holy Spirit when we do it.

Jim: Hey Greg, we’re right at the end, we have stuffed this half hour with as much, I mean, people are probably scribbling notes.

Greg: (Laughs) oh, yeah.

Jim: Guess what? You don’t have to get a copy of the book.

Greg: I explain that out well.

Jim: I will explain how to do that in a minute, but, um, speak to the person who is starting to feel like, okay, maybe I can do this. They’ve been reserved in their faith.

Greg: Right.

Jim: But God says to us to go out and proclaim the good news to the whole world.

Greg: Right.

Jim: So, with that, we don’t get a get out of jail (laughs) free card here with you.

Greg: Right.

Jim: Uh, part of the expectation is we become part of the family of God, that we will share that with others appropriately. And that’s what I love about what you’re doing.

Greg: Yeah.

Jim: But how can they know when it’s the right opportunity to start a faith discussion? That’s probably the core question.

Greg: Yeah. Well, this is where I think the garden concept comes in. And I mentioned earlier, switching metaphors here, getting into the shallow end of the pool. If you use the tactical game plan, even the first two steps, and just start asking questions of people, drawing them out in a personal way. Asking what do you mean by that? If they raise a spiritual issue, a point of view, ask them the second question. How did you come to that conclusion? Now notice this puts no Christian at any risk of any kind, because we’re not putting anything on the table. We are just drawing the other person out, but I, I promise you gentlemen, and I promise your audience, they will be amazed just by these first two steps. Not even trying to make a case, how powerfully the Holy Spirit will use those first two questions of the game plan to get them moving forward and to put a stone in someone’s shoe. It’s amazing.

Jim: Yeah. Stone in their shoe, not in their forehead.

Greg: That’s it. (Laughs).

John: (Laughs).

Jim: I mean, seriously, that’s really important.

John: Yes.

Greg: I never thought of it that way. It’s a good contrast.

Jim: (Laughs). Yeah. You can, you can, uh, take it with you.

Greg: (Laughs).

Jim: But, uh, Greg, man, this has been so good, and I get excited about this. I don’t, it’s probably the spirit in me. I love these discussions.

Greg: Yeah.

Jim: And I love the thoughtfulness in which you’ve done this. You, I mean, you have taught this at Biola. You, uh, uh, you’re just living it. And I so appreciate that example.

Greg: Thank you.

Jim: Some of us, you know, we’re trying to keep marriages together and help parents be better parents.

Greg: Yeah.

Jim: But when you get right down to it, this is a critical part of our lives.

Greg: It’s absolutely true.

Jim: Is teaching people about who Jesus is and helping them better understand in a gracious way.

Greg: Mm-hmm. In a gracious, thoughtful way.

Jim: So, thank you again for being with us.

Greg: You’re so welcome.

John: Well, I trust you’ve picked up some great ideas from our guest to share your faith and if necessary to take a stand. That was Greg Koukl on this Best of 2021 Focus on the Family presentation. He did such a great job outlining what some of those conversations can look like.

Jim: He did John. And we barely scratched the surface of his book Tactics: A Game Plan for Discussing Your Christian Convictions. But we’ve given you a solid sense of the great content that’s in it. And you know I can’t think of anything more important than being equipped to talk with another human being about Jesus. And that’s why Focus on the Family here. We want to give you the tools you need to share your faith and to help others discover the hope we have in Christ. As Christmas approaches, we can further that hope as well as the healing, the peace, the grace, and the joy that Jesus Christ came to give us. When you support Focus on the Family you come along side those who are struggling, to give those families hope. When you donate today, a gift of any amount, we’ll send a copy of Greg’s great book Tactics as our way of saying thank you for ministering to couples on the verge of divorce, families in crisis, bewildered parents, frightened mothers considering abortion, and others who just need a touch of hope. And now through a special year end matching opportunity, your gift will be doubled dollar for dollar. God will use your gift to bring healing and redemption to twice the families. So, on behalf of those families you’ll touch, thank you. And I am grateful to you for your help.

John: Donate today to Focus on the Family and get your copy of the book Tactics. We’ve got all the details at focusonthefamily.com/broadcast or call 800, the letter A, and the word FAMILY. We hope you have a super weekend with your family and your church family as well. And then join on Monday as Gary Thomas explains the difference between loving your spouse and truly cherishing them.

Preview:

Gary Thomas: And for me the big difference is that love focuses me on my obligations. I need to sacrifice, I need to serve, I need to be faithful. Cherish focuses me on the beauty, the excellence, the worth, the wonder of my spouse.

End of Preview

Today's Guests

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Tactics: A Game Plan for Discussing Your Christian Convictions

Get the book Tactics with your donation of any amount! And when you give today, your support will be DOUBLED to Give Families Hope!

Recent Episodes

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Overcoming the Betrayal of an Affair

The Bulmans’ marriage almost shattered when Rick discovered his wife Tiffany, was having an affair. The day after the revelation, Rick remembered a conversation from their premarital counseling where the minister said if adultery necessitates divorce, then God is not big enough to fix a broken relationship. In this interview, Rick and Tiffany will share how their marriage was restored and offer hope to other couples.

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

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Accepting Your Imperfect Life

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

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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

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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.

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

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

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

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

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

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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.

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Dr. Tim and Mrs. Noreen Muehlhoff

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

Defending Your Marriage

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

Reigniting Your Passion for Jesus - Part 1

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

Headshot photo of author Kim Meeder

Kim Meeder

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

Revival Rising

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

Reigniting Your Passion for Jesus - Part 2

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

Headshot photo of author Kim Meeder

Kim Meeder

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

Revival Rising

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

Mothers and Sons: Being a Godly Influence - Part 2

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

Headshot of Rhonda Stoppe

Rhonda Stoppe

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

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

Moms Raising Sons to Be Men

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

Identifying Triggers in Your Marriage - Part 2

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

Headshot of Guy and Amber Lia

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Author Debra Fileta in the Focus on the Family broadcast studio

Mrs. Debra Fileta

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

Are You Really Okay?

Are You Really OK: Getting Real About Who You Are

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

Embracing Your Role as a Spouse

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

Headshot of Kevin Thompson

Pastor Kevin Thompson

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

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

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

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

Sharing Your Faith with Grace and Purpose

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

Mr. Greg Koukl

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

Tactics front cover

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

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

Loving Your Spouse Through the Seasons of Marriage - Part 1

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

Author Debra Fileta in the Focus on the Family broadcast studio

Debra Fileta

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

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

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

How a Former Abortion Doctor Became Pro-Life

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

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

Mrs. Patti Giebink

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

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

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

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

Giving up Sugar, Tasting God's Goodness

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

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

Mrs. Wendy Speake

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dr. Kevin Leman

Dr. Kevin Leman

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

Bundle of Why Your Kids Misbehave

Why Your Kids Misbehave and What to Do about It

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

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

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

Dr. Kevin Leman

Dr. Kevin Leman

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

Bundle of Why Your Kids Misbehave

Why Your Kids Misbehave and What to Do about It

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

Loving Your Spouse Through the Seasons of Marriage - Part 2

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

Author Debra Fileta in the Focus on the Family broadcast studio

Debra Fileta

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

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

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

Reconciling Faith and Science in a Medical Crisis

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

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

Dr. Lee Warren

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

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

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

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

Praying Scripture Over Your Child’s Life - Part 1

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

Headshot of Focus on the Family broadcast guest Jodie Berndt

Jodie Berndt

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

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

Praying the Scriptures Over Your Children

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

Mothers and Sons: Being a Godly Influence - Part 1

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

Headshot of Rhonda Stoppe

Rhonda Stoppe

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

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

Moms Raising Sons to Be Men

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

Identifying Triggers in Your Marriage Part 1

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

Headshot of Guy and Amber Lia

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Author Debra Fileta in the Focus on the Family broadcast studio

Mrs. Debra Fileta

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

Are You Really Okay?

Are You Really OK: Getting Real About Who You Are

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

Navigating a Toxic Culture with Your Daughter - Part 1

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

Mrs. Meg Meeker

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

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

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

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

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Newest Release - Episode 1: The Truth About Life!

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

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

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

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

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