Custom CSS of Section contains Conditional Preview for See Life Campaign Elements

Focus on the Family Broadcast

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on email
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on email

Teaching Kids to be Grateful (Part 2 of 2)

Teaching Kids to be Grateful (Part 2 of 2)

Author Susie Larson shares practical ways for parents to teach their children gratitude, especially during tough times. (Part 2 of 2)

Original Air Date: November 25, 2014

Excerpt:

Susie Larson: I have a shunt in my arm. I’ve got the IV bag hanging from our miniblinds, which are kinda crooked and broken from all the heavy IV bags. And at this particular day, my boys were at a friend’s house and my husband came in the door, trying to keep joy in the home. “I’m home,” he says and boom, the floor gives way beneath him and he drops up to his armpits in our entryway.

Jim Daly: Oh, my goodness.

Susie: Yes and it’s a little split entry, so I’ve got my IV. Oh, and the dryer was broken, so we had a rope hanging of ratty clothes in our living room, all the clothes that I wanted to burn–

Jim: Oh, my goodness.

Susie: –’cause we just had no money to replace anything. So, the dryer’s broken. Picture it. The clothes are hangin’ from a rope, ’cause it was winter. I’m hangin’ from this IV. I’m looking down through the spindles at my husband, who’s shell-shocked, up to his armpits in the hole. He was standing on the Christmas boxes in the closet (Chuckling) underneath. And I said, “We are pathetic losers!”

End of Excerpt

John Fuller: Oh, maybe you’ve had those moments where you look around and everything seems to be falling apart and you’re thinking, what more can go wrong? We’re gonna be hearing how you can learn to be grateful in those moments and actually model gratefulness for your kids. This is “Focus on the Family,” with Focus president and author, Jim Daly. I’m John Fuller and last time we started a conversation with two special ladies. Susie Larson, a radio personality, speaker and author and Lisa Anderson, who heads up Focus on the Family’s Boundless broadcast and podcast and we’ll recommend you check that out sometime. Our topic is thankfulness and thankfulness can be very difficult when you’ve got challenges in life. And Susie shared last time, she had experienced a lot of pain and heartache. But God has a plan and you’ll hear more about that as Jim Daly continues this conversation now with Susie and Lisa.

Jim: When you look at the world today, I am sure you could find things to be disgruntled about, things that are rubbing you the wrong way, things that you don’t want to be thankful for. And you know what? Frankly, it’s completely rational to have those, I think, to have those attitudes, but you know what? As Christians, the Lord calls us to something greater. And that’s like in Colossians 3:16 where it’s written there, “Let the Word of Christ rule in your hearts to which indeed, you were called in one body, and be thankful.”

That says to me that when we have the Word of Christ, the scriptures in our hearts, then it’s easier to be thankful for all things. We don’t act out of our natural humanity. Our guest today is a well-known author and speaker, Susie Larson and she has some wonderful things to share with us about being thankful and teaching our kids how to live with a grateful heart. Susie, it’s great to have you back.

Susie: Good to be with you, Jim. Thanks for having me.

Jim: We last time for those that didn’t hear it, last time we touched on your life and the impact that you had with some horrific situations—sexual and physical abuse as a teenager, not from your family, but from friends of your brothers and other things.

Unfortunately, that is too often a common experience in our culture and I applaud your courage to even talk about it. And if you didn’t hear that last time, I would encourage you to download it. Get the CD, get it on your SmartPhone, your iPhone, I mean, there are so many ways you can listen. It will be a great instruction to you to hear Susie’s story and how she has written a book, Growing Grateful Kids, comes right from her heart. And I’m looking forward to opening it up today. Lisa, it’s great to have you back at the microphone, as well.

Lisa Anderson: Great to be back here. I just resonated so much with Susie’s story and that, because while I didn’t grow up with a history of abuse or an incident of abuse, I had a season, moving from my late 20s into my 30s, where I had some very big job difficulties. I lost my dad and I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis within the course of about a year. And that was literally the day my doctor sat me down and said, “Lisa, you have rheumatoid arthritis. There is no cure for it. We’re not close to a cure and many people die early of this disease.

And that’s where I entered a season of getting worse, worse, worse, just like Susie said yesterday, that I just thought, okay, well, I’m single and I’m just useless anyway and so, God just needs to take me home. And it was very much a season of self-loathing and just understand, I have no purpose. There’s nothing.

And so, to live out of that gratefulness, I think, Susie, what you had to say was so encouraging in light of that, to know, ’cause I had to walk through that season, too. And there’s no way I could’ve made that easier. There was no Band-Aid that could’ve been put on it, but to understand that, wow, looking back on it, God had total purpose in that and the way I view people, the way I view suffering, the way I view elderly folk. I mean, they were the ones I talked to. They had arthritis—

Jim: Sure (Chuckling)

Lisa: –you know. I mean, it was huge for me as a 20-something to understand that.

Jim: Well, and of course, praying for the Lord for that relief is always present–

Lisa: Uh-hm.

Jim: –and a thing I’m sure you do, Lisa, but yet–

Lisa: But He didn’t solve it.

Jim: –you may not hear—

Lisa: Yeah.

Jim: –from Him in that way, like Paul and the thorn in his side. Susie, we left off last time talking a lot about your background, what gives you the heart of gratitude. And it is somewhat difficult for people to understand that when you go through traumatic circumstances, that you’re at the bottom of the barrel, you know, as we talk about, whatever that might be. And maybe you are in that spot and it’s a different circumstance from Susie’s, but you’re relating to her pain. The question again that I want to get to is more the practical application. How do you begin to pull back the yoke of your life’s airplane and get altitude, when it comes to gratitude?

It’s so easy as Lisa was just saying, to stay down low in that self-loathing part. We almost do it as a mantra in the Christian commu[nity], “How’re you doin’?” “I’m really overworked; I’m tired. I live down here; I’m really discouraged.” And we should be living lives that are full of light, full of grace, fully of joy. But people are having a hard time getting there. Help us again. How did you begin to get to that point where you could say, “Lord, I’m grateful, even though I don’t have much?”

Susie: Well, I think it’s 1 Thessalonians 5:18 that says, “In all things, you know, give thanks to the Lord.” That’s my paraphrase. But the Bible is very clear, Jim, that God inhabits the praises of His people. And again, I just want to reset. I wasn’t a naturally grateful person. I was a naturally fearful, full of anxiety type of person. And so, this was climbing a mountain for me, to crawl my way up and go, “I need a perspective from You, Lord, ’cause all I can see is the low ground and how bad the land feels right now. But as I climb up for perspective and I start to see things from Your perspective, then my eyes actually open up to all the more that I have.”

And it really culminated for me one day and my husband’s 6’3″. I think Lisa and Jim, you both met him before. He’s 260 pounds. He’s a big guy. And he was such a saint during that time. And we had this little split-entry house that was falling apart because of all the stuff we were going through and we didn’t have the money to fix it.

And if you can picture the day. I’m on this couch that I just had spent six months on pregnancy bed rest, so the springs are popping, ’cause I was growin’ deep and wide on that (Laughing), while growing the baby in my belly. And right from that I went back to bed on that couch, ’cause of Lyme disease.

I have a shunt in my arm. I’ve got the IV bag hanging from our mini-blinds, which are kinda crooked and broken from all the heavy IV bags. And at this particular day, my boys were at a friend’s house. And my husband came in the door, trying to keep joy in the home. “I’m home!” he says. And boom, the floor gives way beneath him and he drops [in] a hole, up to his armpits in our entryway.

Jim: Oh, my goodness.

Susie: Yes! And oh, and the dryer was broken, so we had a rope hanging of ratty clothes in our living room—

Jim: (Chuckling) Oh, my goodness.

Susie: –all the clothes that I wanted to burn; we just had no money to replace anything. So, the dryer’s broken. Picture it. The clothes are hanging from a rope, ’cause it was winter. I’m hanging from this IV. I’m looking down through the spindles at my husband, who’s shell-shocked, up to him armpits in the hole. He was standing on the Christmas boxes in the closet (Laughing). And I said, “We are pathetic losers!” You know, and we kinda had a good laugh about it, otherwise I would’ve cried.

Jim: Did he just have to crawl out of the hole? How—

Susie: He crawled—

Jim: –did he get … ?

Susie: –out. (Laughter) He was up to his armpits and he crawled out and he put a piece of plywood over the hole. And I remember wanting to break down and just sob and I just sensed the nudge, “Open your journal.” And so, I started to write, “Lord, thank You for a husband who keeps coming home, ’cause he could still keep driving,” you know. “Thank You that I do have food in my fridge. Thank You that I have a roof over my head. Thank You that I can actually drink water out of this tap and not be afraid to get sick. Thank You that I have three little boys who don’t know we are in this crisis of our lives. Thank You by faith that I will not die, but I will live and declare the works of the Lord.”

And I filled three pages of things that I was thankful for and it was sacred. That’s what I mean. God does move in when you are thankful. I felt a buoy of hope with everything I wrote. And at that moment. I was the richest woman alive. But the minute I would look to the left or right and commit the sin of comparison, I was the poorest woman alive. And it was just again, a sacred exercise for me to say, this is not about your circumstances. It is about your heart. I mean, it just is.

You can’t blame your circumstances. You can’t attribute them to how great you are or point to them to say, this is why I’m absolved of responsibility. That’s a hard word, but as Christ followers, His Word is true for us and there is reasons [sic] to give Him thanks, whether we see them or not.

Jim: Two things you said there just to amplify ’em, because it just hits me. One is that idea that when you are grateful, when you are faithful, God turns toward you.

Susie: He does.

Jim: I believe that. I felt that as a boy myself going through all the trauma I was going through, that He just needs that spark of faith. And you literally can feel Him move in your heart. It’s hard to explain, but I think it’s something He delights when you show Him, especially when the world is upon your shoulders like that, when it’s all goin’ bad.

Susie: Yeah.

Jim: And like Job, you still have the ability to say, “Lord, I believe.” It catches His ear.

Susie: He moves on every act prompted by our faith. And in Psalm 126 it says, “He who sows in tears, will reap with shouts of joy.” They weep as they plant their seeds, but they come back rejoicing with the harvest in their arms. That was one verse I hung onto. And I gotta tell you, it matters to God when you thank Him, because that’s when it’s hard, because that’s a sacrifice of praise. It matters when you believe Him when your circumstances tell you everything else. And you come through the other side. I think it matters how you go through hard times, because it determines how you fare on the other side.

Jim: Absolutely. I was just looking at Philippians here as you were talking, Philippians 4:6, which is a Scripture that many of us know, but do we believe it?

Susie: Right.

Jim: That’s the question.

Susie: Uh-hm.

Jim: We could know it; it says in the Scripture that demons know the Word.

Susie: Yes.

Jim: They know God and they, you know, do their …

Lisa: Well, don’t you sometimes, Susie, have to sit down and write it out? I mean, I’m assuming that everything on those three pages, you weren’t immediately like, oh, I’m gonna claim this right now. I believe it fully. But that—

Susie: No, most of it—

Lisa: –act of writing.

Susie: –yeah.

Lisa: Yeah.

Susie: Most of it was writing what was really already true.

Lisa: Yes.

Susie: Because that’s the thing is, we’re richer than we know. And that is what’s so important for us to know, is that He does care that we thank Him, but it is an act of our will.

Jim: Well, and let me point that Scripture out. It says, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything …” Oh, man, we suffer in the West on that one, “in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be known to God.” You know, for us, I think we don’t understand a thankful heart.

Susie: And you know what, Jim? I’d say hard times now looking back after stuff we’ve walked through, they’re an opportunity to make a believer out of you.

Jim: Yeah.

Susie: Do you really believe this stuff? Because if you tell your kids to be thankful, you tell them that God is good, but they see you worrying more than you do pray. You know, if they see you picking apart somebody more than you do believe the best about them, this is why we have to wrestle this stuff to the ground ourselves and so, your hard times are perfect opportunities to make a believer out of you. Do you believe this stuff? Because to me, it’s the difference when you’re trying to teach your kids character, gratitude. It’s the difference between a speaker who Googles his speech and just relays something that somebody else put together and a speaker who imparts it from their gut, because they’ve walked it and lived

Jim: Right.

Susie: And that’s I think, where we gotta parent from, is to say, son, daughter, I have wrestled this thing to the ground. I know this to be true. Hear me in this. He will come through for us. To me, that’s so different than, “Say thank you.”

Jim: That’s was the other point I wanted to grab a moment ago, was you called it “the sin of comparison.” And you just touched on it again. Elaborate on that. Is it a sin to be comparing to what others have?

Susie: I think it is and let me tell you why. The fruits that come out of comparison are pride or despair. So, you compare and you come out ahead and you’re like, “Ah, I’m not so bad.” Pride is what got the enemy kicked out of heaven. God distances Himself from the proud. We taught our kids that pride is the most insidious sin and we went after that thing in them like selfishness.

Jim: Can I ask you, how did you approach that? Because a lot of parents hearing this, they’re connected to your story right now. They’re going, wow; our lives have been relatively easy compared to what I’m hearing. And I can see that root of pride in my children. They’ve had a meal on the table. Every meal has been there for ’em. We live in a nice neighborhood. We have good jobs. How do they teach their kids to have that attitude when things are going okay?

Susie: Well, always I would say with humility. I mean, when we would start to see it spring up with our kids, we would sit them down and say, “Do you understand that it’s not that life is good because you’re good. I mean, you get to play this role on this football team because we actually have the money to sign you up. And there are a 1,000 kids who could probably play twice as good as you who will never have this opportunity. God has given you a gift, but He’s also given you opportunity. It’s yours to steward and steward well with a thankful heart. So, just to look at opportunities.

But I also used the TV a lot. I was the queen of that remote control and I made no apology about it. If I would see pride in action, I’d push pause. Do you see how that looks? How does what he just did make you feel? It gives me nausea. Well, that’s what pride looks like to God, too. And so, this is something that is not a small thing. So, when we commit the sin of comparison and come out on top, pride is sinful.

But you know what else is when you come out on the bottom and you despair. You lose sight of everything you do have. And so, that also puts you in the ditch and so, I think looking to the right or left is committing the sin of comparison.

Jim: I gotta press you a little bit though, Susie. I mean, your kids, they’re older now. They’re all married. They’re doin’ great. Did they have bumps in the road? I mean—

Susie: Oh, my.

Jim: –they sound like they’re angels.

Susie: Oh, they so are not angels. I’m a faster and a prayer. (Laughter)

Jim: Okay, so they’re normal.

Susie: They’re normal. A couple of them took the long road home and in some ways, but it was good for me, ’cause it reminded me that’s not up to them to prove my identity and that there’s not a formula in parenting.

Can I just say if there’s one of the most valuable things I learned is, that parenting is not a formula that guarantees an outcome. It is an offering that promises a harvest. And the harvest is gonna probably look different than you think. And the reason this is important is because as a radio host, I get books across my desk from people who have kids that are like ages 4 and 6 and they’re writing a parenting book with a formula that guarantees an outcome. And it’s devastating to parents who did right and didn’t get right. There are plenty of godly parents who showed up for this parenting thing, but their kids have a will, just as we have a will.

Jim: Correct.

Susie: You can’t make your kids Christian and if you think you can and you did your best and they turned out well, get on your knees and raise your hands and thank God. But if you did your best and their still not pointin’ in the right direction, God is with you and He loves you. And don’t doubt the seeds that you’ve planted. I would just pray by faith, “Lord, this is not a formula that guarantees an outcome. This is an offering that promises a harvest.” And I just think that’s so important.

But I’ll just tell you, after I got sick and I started to get better, my husband ended up with cancer. So we had our—

Jim: Oh.

Susie: –okay, I’m just telling you.

Jim: Just keeps comin’.

Susie: It did and it was hard, but by then we were different. We had shifted our hope onto the Lord. But he was finishing this family room in our next house that we were in and he got sick. And so, he had to stop the construction, so it was a plywood floor, sheetrock walls, but he has his TV in his fireplace and an easy chair. And so, he would come home from radiation and he’d cover up with a blanket. And the kids never wanted to go out with their friends. They wanted to sit by his feet and they never wanted to leave him. So, friends would come and say, “Hey, you want to come out and play?” ‘I just want to be with my dad.” It was so sweet.

But one day a woman brought a meal and a toy for each of them. And they’re all lined up playing a videogame on the TV. Dad’s sleepin’. And I’m like, “Boys, isn’t it so nice what she brought?” And they weren’t looking, weren’t paying any attention. And I’m like, “What do you say?” And on cue, all three turned around and said, “Sorry.” (Laughter) I’m like, wrong programmed response. Thank you. And I was mortified, but I’m like, okay, I’m doing my best here.

Jim: Okay, now you’re connecting with all of us. Oh, yeah, she—

Susie: Sorry.

Jim: –does have normal kids.

Susie: Yeah, yeah, oh, they were used to saying sorry, yeah.

Jim: Oh, I’m mortified at some points. You know, that’s parenting, but I mean, we have …

Susie: They’re not there to make you look good.

Jim: We had some guests over to the house for dinner and they had bought, which was really sweet of them, it wasn’t anybody’s birthday, but they brought little gifts for for our two boys. So, at the very end of the evening, they gave them the gifts and (Chuckling), my youngest at the time, he opened it up and he went, “Oh, I’ve already got one of these.” (Laughter) I about sank. I was going, no, wrong—

Susie: Do you have the gift receipt–

Jim: –wrong response.

Susie: –and exchange it?

Jim: So, they politely said, “Oh, that’s too bad. You know, maybe you can give it to a friend,” which was very generous of them.

Susie: Oh, that’s sweet.

Jim: And we said goodnight and boy did I say, “Troy, hey, when that happens, you just say thank you. Thank you for this and don’t be, you know, lookin’ down on a gift.”

Susie: Yeah.

Jim: And you know, he said, “Oh, okay, Dad.” But you find yourself in that place as a parent, don’t you?

Susie: You so do and I want to make it clear. My boys are good men, but they weren’t angels and they did have me on my knees. But I will tell you, their choices tested something in me and I think this is really important when it comes to raising grateful kids. Again, you can’t impart what you don’t possess. And so, we have to wrestle this whole idea of walking with God and being grateful ourselves, so that we can impart it to them.

But when they start to make choices that reflect their own fallen nature, your identity can’t come from them, because if our kids are our source, that’s idolatry and it’s too much pressure for them. They’re a gift to be stewarded. And so, when their choices trigger something in you, that’s on you. And you’ve gotta get with God and say, what is this bringing up in me? Because they’re not meant to carry the burden of your identity.

And it’ll be tempting to do that, good and bad. You might get a lot of pride because they turned out well or despair because they didn’t. And I think it’s really important to understand. This thing is an offering. These kids are gifts, but their walk, as they walk it out, you’ve gotta just trust that this is between them and the Lord. You pray. You do your best and you leave the rest.

Jim: Yeah, that’s good advice and that’s humility as a parent. You’re listening to “Focus on the Family.” Today’s guest is Susie Larson, her book, Growing Grateful Kids. Lisa Anderson from Boundless is joining me and Lisa, you’re ready to jump in here. You got springing up.

Lisa: I have a question for both of you as parents, ’cause of course, not having kids, but I do have many nieces and nephews and this is something that’s kind of been of interest to me.

Jim: So, you’re the one that spoils these kids; that’s the problem

Lisa: I try not to. I am kind of that aunt that’s like, ’cause I travel a lot and like when I come back, “What did you bring me? What did you bring me?” And my question for you is, do parents have to actively, especially again, bringing up the first-world country thing, do you have to counteract affluence? I mean, my sister and her husband live in this kind of gated Stepford Wives community. And my nephews growing up, when the birthday parties came around, it was like the kid down the street brought in the bounce houses and the—

Jim: Yeah.

Lisa: –slides. Then the next kid brought in the complete magic show and some entertainment, whatever.

Jim: Something big.

Lisa: Yeah, it’s always big. And then my sister’s like, well, what am I gonna do? And as believers, do they keep up because they can or do they say, no, we shouldn’t keep up, because there are kids across the world (Chuckling) that are doing … how do you deal with that as parents and keeping that Christian worldview of possessions?

Jim: Yeah, Susie, I mean, for me and Jean, what we try to do is punctuated pain. And what I mean by that is, we’ll scale back sometimes, like at Christmas. If we’re sensing that the “spoiledness” is creeping in, we’ll say, hey, you know, this Christmas, what we want to do is one gift. And you’ve got a couple of other gifts.

Lisa: And your kids are like, “Yeah, let’s do it.”

Jim: (Laughing) Yeah, no, not usually, in fact, what? Why? But we talk to them about, you know, the idea of Christmas is about giving, not about taking and receiving. And so, I think they’ve done reasonably well at that, but you’ve gotta look for what I would call points of punctuated pain. You want to not overindulge them. I think as parents, we’re all prone to overindulging our kids, especially if you can afford it and you’ve gotta fight the temptation to do that. Would you agree?

Susie: I love what you just said, because it speaks to also being very sensitive to the season of their lives, because again, if we go on autopilot with our kids, as if there’s a one-size-fits-all, we’ll miss those sacred teachable moments. But I think if you sense that you’re in a season, you make those adjustments. I think those are the most profound things. And I think it needs to be said. You can’t teach compassion and empathy by conking them on the head or using guilt, you know? Eat up; people are starving around the world. That never works.

Lisa: That’s what I got—

Susie: But I think—

Lisa: –growing up.

Susie: –yeah, but coming underneath it with compassion and humility and gratitude is a whole different thing. And one thing we did on Christmas morning is we’d gather together every Christmas morning before the presents and we would spend some significant time when they were young, too, and they looked forward to it. But we would pray for our military and their families.

Jim: Ah.

Susie: We would pray for trafficking victims. We’d pray for the poor, for missionaries. And we would just say, you know that the majority of the world doesn’t get to do this and this is such a—

Lisa: Great.

Susie: –wonderful gift from God and we’re gonna enjoy this. But before that, we’re gonna remember those who don’t have this.

Jim: That’s a good idea.

Susie: It was really a sacred time and literally even when they got to be teens, they didn’t even think about it. They’d walk right by the toys and go, who are we gonna pray for this morning?

And I think even taking them when you can, like when they’re teens on a mission trip and show them the other part of the world. But you can also take ’em to a local foster care county office and paint the walls and they may roll their eyes.

And those lessons take time. Time seasons those lessons. They may not like it initially, but you just have to interrupt their plans to be selfish and expose them to things. But I say in a compassionate … like we’re in a position to help. Isn’t this great? And be aware that there’s others [sic] who have needs. And you just come at it, I feel like from a humble place, it helps cultivate a sense of, I’m participating with God and doing something that’s near to His heart, rather than again, an “ought to” and a “should do.”

Jim: Well, and I like Tim Kimmel, you know, a parenting expert and he’s written many books, but he also encourages parents to get their kids at the youngest age possible to volunteer—

Susie: Yes.

Jim: –kind of what you’re saying.

Susie: Oh, I love that.

Jim: And just jump in and make that part of your family’s creed, that you do volunteer work together and that’s something that you know, in our busy schedules all of us, it’s hard to do that, but it can be one of the most valuable things to teach your children that attitude of gratitude and that’s a good thing to do.

Jim: As your kids got older, was that harder, Susie when they were 16, 17? What did you do to continue that tradition or new traditions to help them maintain gratitude in their hearts?

Susie: Well, a couple things. One thing is, we wanted them to remain teachable and that might be tricky to think about cultivating gratitude. But somebody once said, you can’t grow beyond your ability to receive correction. And so, there’s a big difference between giving a blessing and singing their praises. And so, we would have these family meetings about once a month and we weren’t rigid about it, but just according to the need.

But we would always use those family times to go around and this provided opportunity for communication. So, we would go around. Each of us were on the hot seat where we would say a growth area and a strength area.

And so, to have a forum where they could say, these are strength areas; these are growth areas. But we wanted them to know that when you get out in the world, you have bosses who are gonna confront you. You have spouses who are gonna confront you. You have to separate what you do with who you are. This is not an indictment on who you are. But if you really want to be everything God wants you to be, you gotta be able to receive correction.

And I had one son who lived in the corner. He was our strong-willed child. He like had permanent residence there is seemed, you know. And when he graduated, he said, “I know I was a handful. I know I said ‘up’ every time you said ‘down’ and ‘right’ every time you said ‘left.’” But he said, “You never made me feel like a troubled child. You always made me feel like nothing was impossible if I learned to respect authority.” And he said, “Thank you for that.” And I was like blown away, because I did feel like the kid lived in the corner. But he said, “Now when my boss corrects me or, you know, my wife brings a correction, it’s almost instinctive for me to separate who I am with what I do.” And so, that was one of those things that they were grateful for later.

Jim: And the idea there, Susie, not to shame them. So many parents, we’re shaming our kids into tryin’ to get the behavior we want.

Susie: Uh-hm.

Jim: But it comes at a great cost.

Susie: That is a critical point and that I feel so strongly about, too, because you

Today's Guests

Growing Grateful Kids: Teaching Them to Appreciate an Extraordinary God in Ordinary Places

Receive a copy of Susie Larson's book Growing Grateful Kids with your donation of any amount!

Recent Episodes

Focus on the Family Broadcast logo

Fueling Great Relationships With Others

Dr. John Townsend offers practical ideas on how to create incredibly meaningful relationships in every area of your life. He describes the types of people who are needed on your “life team” to help you grow – and others who need to be held at arm’s length, as you seek balance in your relationships with friends and colleagues.

Focus on the Family Broadcast logo

Simple Habits to Embrace in Your Marriage

Dr. Randy Schroeder has counseled thousands of married couples and has discovered simple tools that help couples avoid divorce and build a thriving marriage. In this broadcast, he describes practical habits to help couples navigate expectations in marriage, build emotional closeness, and resolve disagreements.

Focus on the Family Broadcast logo

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)

You May Also Like

Focus on the Family Broadcast logo

Avoiding Shame-Based Parenting

Psychologist Dr. Kelly Flanagan discusses the origins of shame, the search for self-worth in all the wrong places, and the importance of extending grace to ourselves. He also explains how parents can help their kids find their own sense of self-worth, belonging and purpose.

Focus on the Family Broadcast logo

Becoming a Clutter-Free Family

Joshua Becker discusses the benefits a family can experience if they reduce the amount of “stuff” they have and simplify their lives. He addresses parents in particular, explaining how they can set healthy boundaries on how much stuff their kids have, and establish new habits regarding the possession of toys, clothes, artwork, gifts and more.

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.

Play Video

Newest Release - Episode 2: Heroes Providing Hope

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

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

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

Play Video

Newest Release - Episode 4: Sometimes the Choice is Hard

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

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

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

Play Video

Newest Release - Episode 3: The Power of a Picture

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

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

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

Play Video

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

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

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

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

Play Video

Newest Release - Episode 6: Families Helping Families!

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

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

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

Praying Scripture Over Your Child’s Life - Part 2

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

Headshot of Focus on the Family broadcast guest Jodie Berndt

Jodie Berndt

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

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

Praying the Scriptures Over Your Children

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

Effective Habits to Embrace in Parenting

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

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

Dr. Randy Schroeder

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

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

Simple Habits for Effective Parenting

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

The Spiritual Battle for Your Marriage

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

Tim and Noreen Muehlhoff Cropped

Dr. Tim and Mrs. Noreen Muehlhoff

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

Defending Your Marriage

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

Reigniting Your Passion for Jesus - Part 1

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

Headshot photo of author Kim Meeder

Kim Meeder

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

Revival Rising

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

Reigniting Your Passion for Jesus - Part 2

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

Headshot photo of author Kim Meeder

Kim Meeder

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

Revival Rising

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

Mothers and Sons: Being a Godly Influence - Part 2

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

Headshot of Rhonda Stoppe

Rhonda Stoppe

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

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

Moms Raising Sons to Be Men

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

Identifying Triggers in Your Marriage - Part 2

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

Headshot of Guy and Amber Lia

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Author Debra Fileta in the Focus on the Family broadcast studio

Mrs. Debra Fileta

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

Are You Really Okay?

Are You Really OK: Getting Real About Who You Are

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

Embracing Your Role as a Spouse

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

Headshot of Kevin Thompson

Pastor Kevin Thompson

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

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

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

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

Sharing Your Faith with Grace and Purpose

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

Mr. Greg Koukl

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

Tactics front cover

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

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

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.

Play Video

Newest Release - Episode 1: The Truth About Life!

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

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

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