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Showing Love in Everyday Relationships

Showing Love in Everyday Relationships

In a discussion based on his book The Seven Laws of Love, Dave Willis outlines the ways true love is expressed, helping you better understand what love looks like in action. He offers insight on how you can have a positive and significant impact on the world around you by loving others as Jesus did.
Original Air Date: March 20, 2020

John Fuller: Hey, this is John Fuller with Focus on the Family. And thanks so much for joining us today. In just a minute or two we’ll get to our scheduled broadcast about 7 ways you can show love in your everyday relationships. Well, what we wanted to share right now, though, is just a portion of an interview we had yesterday with Dr. Francis Collins. He’s director of the National Institutes of Health and he had some really informed, reasonable things to say about the current situation with the coronavirus.

Jim Daly: Right.

John: Listen to the entire conversation with Dr. Collins. It is terrific. And we’ve got it at focusonthefamily.com or you can go to YouTube and watch it there. And let me remind you that our staff is working from home and we still are available to you via the phone. We have encouragement and hope for you on our website. We’re trying to serve families during these uncertain times. So, please, let us know how we can help you. Our number is 800, the letter, and the work FAMILY. 800-232-6459. And then finally join Jim and me, and the entire team here at Focus, in praying for our nation and this world especially for those directly impacted by this pandemic. And remember this is an opportunity for us – those of us to follow Christ – to demonstrate our hope and trust in God and, uh, to reach out to others. Last night I got home – my wife was walking out the door to an elderly neighbor’s house and she had, yes, a package of toilet paper that she was delivering. And, uh, these are opportunities for us through everyday moments to really just express the love of Christ. Thanks again for join us today. Let’s go ahead and hear now from Dave Willis.

Excerpt:

Dave Willis: “Be kind and compassionate to one another”, it says in Ephesians. “Be tender-hearted toward one another.” And what that means practically is be your loved one’s biggest encourager not their biggest critic. And if we’ll just choose to lead with encouragement and to always speak the truth through that lens of encouragement, then we’ll be on the right track.

End of Excerpt

John: Dave Willis joins us today on Focus on the Family, and your host is Focus president and author Jim Daly. And I’m John Fuller.

Jim: Well, I’m sure you’re familiar with the verse in the New Testament of the Bible about the way of love. It’s 1 Corinthians 13:4-8. You’ll know it when I say it here. “Love is patient and kind. Love does not envy or boast. It’s not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way. It is not irritable or resentful. It does not rejoice at wrongdoing but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends.” And, man, that is what we believe here at Focus on the Family. We want to help you have the best relationships you can have, whether that’s in courtship or marriage, with your children, in your friendships and especially in your relationship with the Lord. So today we want to explore what love truly looks like and help you learn how to build purposeful and intentional relationships with those around you, emulating the love of Christ.

John: And as I said, Dave Willis is with us. He’s a former pastor, a speaker, an author, a relationship coach and a television host for MarriageToday. He’s married to Ashley, and they’ve been on the broadcast here before. They have four boys. And Dave has a great book called The Seven Laws of love: Essential Principles for Building Stronger Relationships. Look for that at focusonthefamily.com/broadcast.

Jim: Dave, I just want to say I love you, brother. Welcome to the program.

Dave: I love you guys, man.

Jim: (Laughter).

Dave: I was having so much fun, I almost forgot we were recording.

Jim: You were lost in love there.

Dave: I was. I just love hanging out with you fellas.

Jim: So, let’s – let’s go there. I mean, we think we know the definition of love. What is love truly?

Dave: Well, in its most basic form, love is commitment. You know, I get into broader definitions in the book, but I think that one of the biggest distinctions between our culture’s definition of love and God’s is our culture looks at love as a feeling; a feeling you have for a while, a feeling you can fall in or out of. But every time we see love in Scripture, it’s something that’s rooted in action. It’s rooted in selflessness. It’s rooted in commitment. And Jesus shows us that kind of love in what he has done for us and then calls us to show that kind of love for each other. And if we’ll root our relationships in that kind of love, it will take all of our relationships to a new level.

Jim: Well, sometimes, we so often complicate things. And the older I get and the more I read the word and walk with the Lord, I think what I hear him whispering is, “It’s not that complex.”

Dave: Yeah.

Jim: Just simplify it, Jim. Don’t overthink it. In fact, you went on a mission’s trip, I think, to Guatemala to an orphanage. There, you saw a demonstration of love. What happened? What caught your attention?

Dave: Yeah. I was in a – really, just a world-changing place for me. It’s an orphanage called Casa Shalom, which means “house of peace.” And this – this orphanage serves about 100 kids at a time in a place where, you know, the government-run orphanages – there’s no foster care system, and the government-run orphanages really have a lot of corruption. Some of these kids have been trafficked…

Jim: Right.

Dave: …Into sex slavery…

Jim: Exploited.

Dave: …From the people that should’ve been protecting them. So, the private-run orphanages, the Christian ones like Casa Shalom, are really just doing a world-changing work. And the kids are so full of joy and life. They’ve been through so much, but most these kids are running and playing and joyful. And it’s just a beautiful picture of God’s healing and redemption. But on my first visit there, um, Josh and Jessica Hanson, who – a couple who run the place – Josh was walking us around. And all these kids had a heartbreaking story. And then this teenage girl ran up to him and just gave him the biggest hug, and she was so full of joy and life. And she just hugged him and then went off with some of the other girls to – to play. And he got tears in his eyes.

Dave: And he says, “And that’s Margarita. And, you know, her story is heartbreaking. She had been abused in the worst kinds of way by her dad, and then she was taken out of that home, put in a home of an aunt and uncle. Her uncle abused her in the same unspeakable kind of ways. So, by the time she got here, she was just broken. And she didn’t trust anyone and with good reason because everyone that should have ever protected her is – had abused her. And so, we just did our best to love her. This is a place where we just want to – want to love, and we believe in and God’s healing coming through – through real love. And so, we served her. We loved her. We tried to make her feel safe every way that we could. But weeks went by. Months went by without her barely speaking to any of us. And we just kept loving and kept praying and kept letting her know that she’s part of the family here.” And then one night, out of the blue, you know, we’re sitting out on the hillside, and it’s the most beautiful setting. And there’s – off in the distance, you can see a volcano that’s still active. You can just see so much beauty there naturally in Guatemala. The little boys are playing soccer. The girls are jumping ropeAnd Margarita comes, and she sits right next to Josh and Jessica, who were sitting on the hillside looking at these kids. And she scoots in close, and Josh kind of holds his breath because she’s never gotten close to an adult, especially a man. And she gets right next to him, and she puts her head on his shoulder. And he just can’t believe what’s happening. He just kind of holds his breath, and – and then she speaks to him. And in Spanish, she says, “You know, when I came here, I didn’t know – I didn’t know what it meant to feel safe. But I feel safe here.” And she said, “And I – and I also didn’t know what love was or if it was even real.” She said, “But I know that God loves me, and I know that you love me.”

Jim: Yeah.

Dave: And then she got up and went off and just started playing. And he said, “From that moment on, she’s been a different kid.” And he’s – it was such a touching and profound moment for them. And for me, just to hear the story, I’m, like, in tears, like, “Oh, my gosh, this is amazing,” because it is a picture of what love can do.

Jim: Well, and it’s redemption, too.

Dave: It is.

Jim: Yeah. Your mom was a hospice nurse. And as a boy, you used to go with her. I find that a little unsettling…

Dave: Right. It sounds…

Jim: …That you were around, you know…

Dave: Yeah.

Jim: …A lot of dying people. Yeah, it sounds a little odd.

Dave: It sounds a little morbid. Like, you know, what – should I – should social services have come and taken me, you know? (Laughter).

Jim: Well, I wouldn’t go that far.

Dave: No.

Jim: But it just – you know, for me, that just was unusual. But you said it was extremely positive.

Dave: It was life-changing. I did tease Mom about it. Like, “Mom, you know, it’s – it’s weird.”

Jim: “What are you thinking, Mom?”

Dave: “It’s weird, like, for me to be hanging out with dying people.”

Jim: But what did it do that really brought you a different perspective?

Dave: I’m so thankful for that experience. And Mom, if you’re listening, I love you. You’re the most loving person on Earth. She really is, which made her a great hospice nurse.

Jim: Yeah.

Dave: Showing care and compassion to people who are dying. And she’d make house calls and be on call, and if I was riding around with her, then I would just go with her. And I would hang out. And to me, it just felt so normal. I didn’t realize till later that was a pretty unique…

Jim: How old are you at this time?

Dave: I guess I would have been, uh, from probably age, like, 9 to 12 in this window of time.

Jim: OK. So, you were cognizant of what was going on.

Dave: Yeah. I knew what was going on. I knew that these people were dying. And they knew they were dying. And it led to some really interesting conversations. And it – it shaped my worldview in a lot of ways that I didn’t understand fully till later – that when somebody’s dying, what is important to them comes into laser focus, right? What matters to someone at the end of their life just really is in focus. And so, they would talk to me about their life, about their regrets, about their joys. And what I learned in those moments is that every significant joy a person has at the end of their life is rooted in a relationship – relationship with God, relationship with their loved ones. And every significant regret a person has at the end of their life is also rooted in relationships – a part, a time where they’ve – they failed someone they’ve loved, or they – they didn’t give forgiveness or seek forgiveness when they needed to, or they didn’t prioritize God until the end of their life. And I’m so thankful that I heard that from people. You know, I never heard people say, “If only my – my golf score would have been better. If only I’d have made more money.”

Jim: (Laughter).

Dave: You know, things that we get so worked up about. And really, at the end, on your deathbed, I promise you, it’s not going to matter. But love will matter. Love is the only part of life that really can last forever because we bring that with us into eternity. That – that’s God’s kingdom here on Earth. And so, let’s not wait till we’re on our deathbed to realize that that’s really what’s important.

Jim: Yeah. Being a pastor and, you know, studying the Scripture, uh, what is that finer definition of love? What did you come to the conclusion – that love is what?

Dave: Love is a commitment and an action that’s rooted in selflessness for the sake of the other person ahead of your own. And…

Jim: Wow. That’s good.

Dave:  And that’s what God has done for – I mean, Jesus lived that out. He gave his very life. And that’s an act of – that’s what love looks like, you know. Love doesn’t look like a heart-shaped box filled with chocolates on Valentine’s Day, even though that’s nice, too. I do love some chocolate. But love is action, and its selflessness. And Jesus said, “This is – this is what love looks like.” And then in the marriage ministry Ashley and I do, He raised the bar to the extreme level by saying, “Now – now, husbands, I want you to go love your wives this way. I love my church this way; you go love your wives this way.” You know, He gave his very life. He – he gave all of himself. And then He said, “Love each other in your homes. Love each other in marriage. Love each other with this kind of same love.” He told His disciples – “Same way I’ve loved you, now go love – go love others.” And that’s our call, too. And so, like, Jesus, you died for us when we were completely unworthy of it. You gave everything to us when we had no way to repay you. And Jesus is saying, “Yeah, that’s what love is. Now go out into the world and do that, and you’ll change the world.”

Jim: In The Seven Laws of Love, you mention how boundaries produce power in love. What – connect those dots for me.

Dave: Yeah, I had a friend named – named Tommy, who kind of gave me the illustration. He said that – that – you know, that the Mississippi River and kind of the Florida swamps have the same amount of water, but the Mississippi River is able to take goods and services and people anywhere they want to go because it flows in one direction with clear boundaries on both sides, where the swamps and the marshes have all that water but there are no boundaries so it’s just – everything is just kind of wet and nasty. And so, yes, love needs boundaries. And I think people think, “Well, that doesn’t seem right. Love’s supposed to be limitless, and love’s supposed to be, you know, without boundaries.” But God gives everything that matters boundaries for our protection. And not for our limitation, but for our protection. And The Seven Laws of Love are really just outlining what those boundaries are that are gonna help love flow freely and powerfully from us to others.

John: Well, you’re listening to Focus on the Family with Jim Daly. I’m John Fuller. And our guest today is Dave Willis. And, uh, his book is called The Seven Laws of Love: Essential Principles for Building Stronger Relationships. And we have copies of that and additional resources at focusonthefamily.com/broadcast or when you call 800, the letter A and the word FAMILY.

Jim: Dave, let me, uh, emphasize this because I think in the culture today, um, there is a selfishness that continues to grow. I mean, it feels like when I was 5, I didn’t feel – and I – you know, I wasn’t totally cognizant of everything. But, you know, you’re becoming aware. It seems like the culture was kinder back then, that we tolerated things a bit more, that we didn’t have social media biting at each other.

Dave: Oh, yeah.

Jim: And so today, it feels like, uh, you know, there’s just so many things working against loving your neighbor, as Christ commanded us to do. I mean, “I don’t like the way that person looks. I don’t like the way that person speaks. I don’t like what they say when they speak.” It’s all that stuff, right? And even in the church, we express those – you know, especially in the political arena, I mean, we express great disgust with people that don’t think the way we think or go the way we want them to go. So, with that, let’s dive into the laws because I think – the point I’m trying to make here is it’s very practical. The church needs to understand what it means to love God and to love your neighbor. And for the rest of the program, that’s what we’re gonna talk about.

Dave: Yeah, that’s it.

Jim: So, law No. 1, uh, is that love requires commitment. So how have we, as a culture, let commitment fall away?

Dave: Gosh, in every way. You know, in the marriage work that Ashley and I do, you know, we just see all the time that the whole concept of – of a committed marriage is something that’s just falling apart in our culture. And that’s – that was really the – the kind of the cornerstone of commitment in human relationships that God established. And so, if that’s falling apart, the ripple effect from that is then – what’s the point of commitment anywhere?

Jim: Well, in fact, that kind of proves my point. It’s a symptom of something in the soul.

Dave: It is.

Jim: And if divorce rates are growing in the Christian community, that would say we don’t know what we’re doing.

Dave: Yeah, we…

Jim: I mean, really.

Dave: We’re buying into everything the world says about relationships, and they have no idea what they’re talking about. But God’s word is – is still timeless, and he still has the perfect plan for the way love and relationships are supposed to work. And without commitment, uh, it just – it won’t exist.

Jim: OK.

Dave: Every bit of love has to exist within – within a commitment to that person.

Jim: So, Rule 1 is commitment.

Dave: Yes.

Jim: Rule 2 is selfless sacrifice. OK, now I’m getting uncomfortable.

Dave: Yeah, of course.

Jim: Really? You’re gonna ask me not to do something I really want to do in order to, you know, appease my wife?

Dave: Well…

Jim: Come on, Dave.

Dave: That’s – that’s where – that’s where love is most powerful is when it – when it costs us something because that’s really the main distinction between, like, the world’s view of relationships, which is just networking – you know, “You do something for me; I’ll do something for you, but I’m not gonna do more for you than you did for me. I’m gonna…”

John: It’s all transaction.

Dave: It’s all a transaction.

Jim: No. 3 – and this is a good one to explore a bit – speaking the truth in love. That’s certainly a phrase we use as Christians. What does that actually look like? I mean, we can be brutal, speaking the truth in love.

Dave: Yeah. Yeah.

Jim: I mean, I love you…

John: Don’t hurt your feelings, but – yeah.

Jim: I love you, but yeah – you know…

Dave: Yeah, you’re looking really bad today.

Jim: Have you looked in the mirror lately?

John: (Laughter).

Dave: How much weight have you gained?

Jim: Right. It’s all that stuff. But we can – we can kind of coat it in love, but we’re really throwing you a dagger.

Dave: Yeah. Yeah. Well, the truth and love always are inextricably linked. Jesus is the embodiment of both. You know, he said, “I’m the way, the truth and the light.” He said, “I’m the embodiment of truth.” And he’s also, of course, the embodiment of love. They can’t exist apart from each other. But the Bible also says you have to – because they’re connected so much, you have to speak the truth in love. Just speaking facts apart from love with cruelty in your voice, is not speaking truth, and it’s not speaking love. We’ve got to be willing to speak the truth in love, which means I’m telling you this, uh, even if it wounds me to say it because it’s for your good, and I’m saying it out of love. And that can happen if we have to kind of correct or admonish one another when we see somebody stepping out in sin and do that in a loving and a humble way and to invite people to do that for us as well, to have that kind of accountability in a world where we don’t – we don’t like accountability. But we all need it. But we can’t be cruel, you know? In marriage, we always – we always tell people in the marriage ministry – Ashley and I do – that you got to tell each other the truth. But you never, ever, ever, ever get to be cruel. “Be kind and compassionate to one another”, it says in Ephesians. “Be tender-hearted toward one another.” And what that means practically is be your loved one’s biggest encourager not their biggest critic. And if we’ll just choose to lead with encouragement and to always speak the truth through that lens of encouragement, then we’ll be on the right track.

Jim: Yeah. No. 5 – you say, “Love offers grace and forgiveness.” You had some analogy about forgiveness and mosquitoes. I don’t know how you could say those two things in one sentence, but what – how’d that go – forgiveness and mosquitoes?

Dave: Yes, so mosquitoes and forgiveness – who knew they went together?

Jim: (Laughter).

Dave: And what I learned…

Jim: I’m still skeptical.

Dave: Yeah, well…

Jim: Prove it to me.

Dave: Here’s the deal. Like, I am delicious, apparently. Like…

(Laughter)

Dave: There’s something about me that – when I moved to an area, the mosquitoes have like – “Have you tried – have you tasted the new guy? He’s amazing.” Like, I don’t know what it is, but they just – I’m like the hot restaurant in town.

(Laughter)

Dave: Everybody wants in. And Ashley, they don’t like. You know, even though she’s the beautiful and wonderful one. And – but they don’t like her, so they’re always coming to me. And she laughs about it, so I’ve got to lather myself up with – with mosquito repellent, with DEET and all that.

Jim: That’s really good stuff. (Laughter)

Dave: And it is. And so, I smell weird, but it keeps them away. And it kind of got me thinking that, you know, just like mosquitoes, a lack of forgiveness in our life can just be something that is so incredibly distracting and annoying and something that – that captures us, our thoughts and our focus and takes away our peace because all we’re thinking about are these tiny little things swarming around us when we have the ability to put something on that’s going to repel it. And – and love is really the repellent to that lack of forgiveness because when we choose to love, what it does is it softens our heart. And it allows us to let go of those grudges that we’re holding onto and to really embrace peace. God doesn’t want his kids walking around holding grudges against one another because when you do it, you’re the one that suffers. It was St. Augustine who said, “Holding a grudge is like drinking poison and then hoping the other person dies.”

Jim: Right.

Dave: And there’s so many of us gargling this poison of a lack of forgiveness, trying to punish the people around us when it only hurts us. And Jesus is saying, “Live in love, live in freedom and let go of those grudges.”

Jim: Well, and it’s – you know, the people that have been hurt are hesitant to open themselves up to love because there’s always the chance of being hurt again, right? So, you…

Dave: Yeah.

Jim: I guess in some ways, you might call that callousing of your heart that you’re guarded after a while. But real love is also healing and transformative, as you said at the beginning. What are some steps to take toward finding that kind of healing love, to rip the scabs off, to be able to trust?

Dave: Yeah. And when you’re – when you’re hurt, it’s hard. It’s kind of like if – if you go to the beach and you get sunburned and then someone comes and they – they pat you on the back and you want to punch them because they’ve hurt you – not intentionally. They didn’t do anything at all wrong. They just touched you in a place you were wounded. And there are a lot of us carrying around kind of this emotional sunburn and scarring all over our hearts because of things that have happened in the past, times we’ve been hurt. And so, the people who are trying to love us now – just by proximity of being around us, it’s like they’re touching a wound, and we’re pushing them away.

Jim: Yeah.

Dave: But really, to really experience healing, we’ve got to be willing to take the risk and let people in, starting first and foremost with Jesus – you know, the ultimate healer – to just find peace and healing in his word and in his promises and in what he says about you and the fact that he is never going to leave you or forsake you even if other people in your life did leave you and forsake you. And to find your healing in him and then to have the courage and the faith to allow other people into your life where you can love them – and yes, any time you’re in a relationship, there’s an element of risk that you could get hurt. But it’s a risk that we have to have the courage to take because love is always worth the risk.

Jim: Well, and that’s the key. I mean, you’re gonna live a very shallow life if you stay in that protected area and you don’t interact with people because you don’t want to be wounded. There’s lots of rationalizations for that, but I think, you know, trusting God to trust others is what you’re saying.

Dave: Yeah.

Jim: Uh, Dave, you share a story of a friend of yours. I – I think he’s a police officer named Jamie. What did he share with you that made, uh, an impact on the seventh law, which is love lives forever?

Dave: Yeah. Uh, Jamie’s a great guy, and – and – just a shout-out to all of you who are – who are protecting us as first responders. The work that you guys do is so important and does not go unnoticed. And, you know, Jamie’s one of those guys, uh, keeping our community safe. And – and part of what he gets called to do – because he is not only a brave protector, but he’s also a tender-hearted and compassionate guy is he gets to do a lot of the death notices. You know, when – when someone has been killed in an auto accident, he goes to the home and informs the family. When someone has died within a home, you know, he’s usually one of the first on the scenes just to be a presence. And he’s got this pastor’s heart, and he – he provides a lot of hope and help in those moments. And he was telling me the story of – of being called to a home where an elderly woman had passed away, and he was the first one on the scene. And he went into the house, and the husband was there. And he was just very, you know, tenderly and gently stroking his wife’s hair and – and kneeling by her bedside and – with tears in his eyes. And Jamie started talking to him, and this man just started telling all these stories about his wife and – and their love that they had for each other, the love that she had for Jesus and how he knew that she was with Jesus now, the love she had for their family. And – and as Jamie looked around the house and he just saw all these pictures documenting, you know, decades and decades of – of living a life of love, a life worth living, and – he realized that, man,  this is a woman and this is a couple that – they’ve – they’ve done it right. I mean, this is a love story that really will last forever. Because – because of Jesus, love isn’t a story with a happy ending. Love is a story with no ending and one that can continue because of him in eternity, and these are two people that really understood that. And as he shared that story with me, it was just a reminder that – that God is still doing miracles every day just through those simple acts of love.

Jim: And the sweet thing in that story – if I know it correctly, I think the – the man said, “66 years just wasn’t enough time to spend together.”

Dave: Yeah.

Jim: I mean, that’s so sweet.

Dave: The most – the most important line in the story – I – I left it out, but what a beautiful line. Yeah, 66 years together – it wasn’t nearly enough time.

Jim: Yeah.

Dave: And I think, man, what a – what a powerful picture of, uh – of the way that a – a marriage should look.

Jim: Um, you mentioned love is everlasting, and that can be a great legacy, obviously. You knew a family in your hometown that lost their son in a car accident. How was love demonstrated in that instance?

Dave: Yeah, it is a powerful story. It was a family that I’d – I’d grown up with. Um, and there was a young man named Paul, and he had a car accident one night. I didn’t know Paul personally, but I went to school – I was in the same grade with his younger sister Kathy, so I knew this family well. And Paul, when he was about 19, had a car accident. His family was called to the hospital. One of those calls you never hope you get as a parent – “Your son’s been in an accident. Get here right away.” And when they got there, their worst nightmare was confirmed, that Paul had passed away in this accident. And in that moment of absolute pain and panic, you know, they can’t even think straight. The doctor said, “And I hate to ask you this right now, but this is a time-sensitive issue. Um, would you like to donate your son’s organs? You know, he was a young, healthy guy. A lot of lives could be saved, um, through this tragedy.” And so, they thought about it, and they said, “You know, Paul loved people. We know that he’s not in that body anymore. He’s with Jesus. He would want us to say yes to this.” And so, they did. They said yes, and they signed the papers, and they – they went on their way, just – just grieving the loss of their son. And then after about a year, as they’d kind of gone through that grieving process and were thinking back to their son’s life and legacy, they said, “You know, we want to meet these people who received one of our son’s organs. I mean, they’re – they’re part of our – our family now. They’re part of us, and they’re part of Paul, and we should meet them.” And so, they reached out to the hospital, and the hospital reached out to these recipients. And every single one of them said, “Yes, please. We would love to meet you and thank you.” And they went on this kind of road trip tour just to meet people. They met a woman who’d received one of their son’s kidneys, and she hugged them, and she wept and cried and said, “Thank you. I’m going to get to watch my grandchildren grow up. I’m so sorry for your loss, but because of what you did, I – I have a new life.” And one by one, there were stories like that. And they waited intentionally to the very end to get to the guy who’d received their son’s heart. And so, sure enough, they wait till the end. And they – they get to this gentleman’s house, and they – they pull up the gravel drive out in the country where he lives. And before Paul’s dad had even stopped the car, Paul’s mom had flung open the car door and had run out of the car because she saw this gentleman standing on his porch. And she ran up to him, and before he could even greet her, before he could even speak, she – she just kind of flung herself into his arms, and she embraced him in a hug that was so tight, he couldn’t even breathe. And – and after a few moments of kind of awkward silence, he tried to say, “Hello. It’s nice to meet you.” And she just said, “Please don’t speak. Please don’t speak.” And a few moments, later she slowly pulled away, and there were – there were tears streaming down her face, but there was a huge smile on her face. And she said, “When I hold you close to me, I can feel my son’s heart beating inside of you.” And when I heard that story, it was just a reminder of this reunion we’re all gonna have with our Father, God our Father in heaven one day. And when we cross from this life into eternity, I believe that the arms that created the universe are going to want to wrap themselves around us, that God is going to run to you like he ran to the prodigal son and wrap us up in a big bear hug. And in that moment, he’s not going to want to praise us for how much money we made or how many academic degrees we got or any of those kind of things. I think the first thing he’s gonna want to say to us is, “When I hold you close to me, I can feel my Son’s heart. I can feel the heart of Jesus, a heart of love beating inside of you. And that’s what really matters.” In the end, that’s all that really matters. And if we’ll live life with that kind of perspective, I think it’ll keep us on the path God has for us.

Jim: What a beautiful story. Thanks. I can’t see anything right now ’cause my tears. But that is perfect. What a great place to end. And Dave, I’m so grateful to you for your wonderful book, The Seven Laws of Love. We’ve done our best to cover as much as we possibly could. But you need a copy of this. And, uh, really, join us in ministry. Help us financially. Pray for us.  And I’d love to send you a copy of Dave’s book as our way of saying thank you when you do join us to be a partner in this ministry.

John: Donate and help the work of Focus on the Family expand, and we’ll say thanks, as Jim said, by, uh, sending a copy of The Seven Laws of Love by Dave Willis. And you can find all the details at focusonthefamily.com/broadcast, or call 800-232-6459 – 800, the letter A and the word FAMILY.

Jim: Dave, thanks for being with us. Give our love to Ashley, as well.

Dave: Absolutely. Thanks again, guys.

John: Well, on behalf of Jim Daly and the entire team, thanks for joining us today for Focus on the Family. I’m John Fuller inviting you back as we once again help you and your family thrive in Christ.

Today's Guests

The Seven Laws of Love

The Seven Laws of Love

Receive Dave Willis' book The Seven Laws of Love for your donation of any amount!

Recent Episodes

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How I Found God Through My Abortion Journey (Part 2 of 2)

Cynthia Wenz shares her incredible testimony of discovering God’s love and forgiveness. As a teenager, Cynthia lived recklessly and strayed away from the Lord. By age 29, she had three abortions, numbing herself from the reality of killing her children. After realizing her mistakes, Cynthia became pro-life and experienced many years of turmoil and grief before undergoing post-abortion recovery. She now advocates for pregnancy resource centers across the nation. (Part 2 of 2)

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How I Found God Through My Abortion Journey (Part 1 of 2)

Cynthia Wenz shares her incredible testimony of discovering God’s love and forgiveness. As a teenager, Cynthia lived recklessly and strayed away from the Lord. By age 29, she had three abortions, numbing herself from the reality of killing her children. After realizing her mistakes, Cynthia became pro-life and experienced many years of turmoil and grief before undergoing post-abortion recovery. She now advocates for pregnancy resource centers across the nation. (Part 1 of 2)

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Embracing Hope and Love After a Loss

Dr. Gary Chapman and Candy McVicar describe the grief process and offer practical help & comfort to couples who have experienced infant loss.

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A Legacy of Music and Trusting the Lord

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

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Accepting Your Imperfect Life

Amy Carroll 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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Newest Release - Episode 2: Heroes Providing Hope

Discover the amazing work our PRC’s Directors, Nurses, and Volunteers are making in their communities! You’ll see firsthand testimonies of a PRC in action, and that there are other options outside of abortions! You’ll also discover how your family can support your local PRC!

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

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

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Newest Release - Episode 4: Sometimes the Choice is Hard

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

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

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

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Newest Release - Episode 3: The Power of a Picture

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

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!

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

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

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

Praying Scripture Over Your Child’s Life - Part 2

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

Headshot of Focus on the Family broadcast guest Jodie Berndt

Jodie Berndt

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

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

Praying the Scriptures Over Your Children

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

Effective Habits to Embrace in Parenting

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

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

Dr. Randy Schroeder

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

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

Simple Habits for Effective Parenting

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

The Spiritual Battle for Your Marriage

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

Tim and Noreen Muehlhoff Cropped

Dr. Tim and Mrs. Noreen Muehlhoff

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

Defending Your Marriage

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

Reigniting Your Passion for Jesus - Part 1

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

Headshot photo of author Kim Meeder

Kim Meeder

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

Revival Rising

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

Reigniting Your Passion for Jesus - Part 2

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

Headshot photo of author Kim Meeder

Kim Meeder

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

Revival Rising

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

Mothers and Sons: Being a Godly Influence - Part 2

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

Headshot of Rhonda Stoppe

Rhonda Stoppe

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

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

Moms Raising Sons to Be Men

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

Identifying Triggers in Your Marriage - Part 2

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

Headshot of Guy and Amber Lia

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Author Debra Fileta in the Focus on the Family broadcast studio

Mrs. Debra Fileta

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

Are You Really Okay?

Are You Really OK: Getting Real About Who You Are

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

Embracing Your Role as a Spouse

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

Headshot of Kevin Thompson

Pastor Kevin Thompson

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

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

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

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

Sharing Your Faith with Grace and Purpose

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

Mr. Greg Koukl

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

Tactics front cover

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

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

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!