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

Choose the amount you'd like to give.
$
Choose the amount you'd like to give.
$

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

Trusting God Through an Adverse Diagnosis in Pregnancy

Trusting God Through an Adverse Diagnosis in Pregnancy

Brandon and Brittany Buell offer hope to expectant and new parents of disabled children as they share their moving story of raising their toddler son, Jaxon, who was born with part of his skull and most of his brain missing as a result of a rare medical condition.

Opening:

Teaser:

Mr. Brandon Buell: For me, it was completely disbelief, because just hour before we got the news we were having a boy, which we selfishly wanted, and then the very next morning it feels like the entire world is crashing down around us because now that boy that we truly did want, he may not make it at all.

End of Teaser

John Fuller: Well, that’s Brandon Buell, and he and his wife, Brittany, are with us today on “Focus on the Family,” with Focus president and author Jim Daly. Thanks for joining us. I’m John Fuller.

Jim Daly: John, life is a precious gift, and in fact we are told in Genesis 1:27 that God created man and woman in His own image, and that should encourage each one of us right? We are made in the image of God, and it doesn’t get any more precious than that. Here at Focus on the Family we believe all people are of infinite value, regardless of age, their developmental stages, appearance or ability. We’re made in the image of God.

This is one of the foundational values that we hold on to, and that’s why we’re going to share the story of a remarkable little boy with you today, a little boy who wasn’t expected to live. He was diagnosed with so many problems that the doctors thought he should be aborted, but his parents, God bless ’em, decided to trust God rather than man with their child instead.

This will be a great reminder to all of us about why a child’s life does matter, and even if he or she didn’t turn out the way that we expected or according to our plan, perhaps with some physical or mental challenges, whatever it might be, you might be living in that place. This program is not just for you, but for all of us to know that God cares for us.

John: And Brandon and Brittany are the parents of Jackson. He’s known as Jaxon Strong because he’s such a survivor and perseverer. He is a 2-year-old with a remarkable story, and you might hear him as we’re conversing. He’s in Brittany’s lap right now. This family has been featured on national news. They have a foundation that supports neurological research, and the story is captured in the book Don’t Blink: What the Little Boy Nobody Expected to Live is Teaching the World About Life.

Body:

Jim: There you have it. And you can hear little Jaxon in the background, but Brandon and Brittany, welcome to Focus on the Family.

Brandon Buell: Thank you.

Brittany Buell: Thank you.

Jim: Let’s start before we get to Jaxon’s situation. You’re a young couple. Tell us a bit of background about yourselves. How did you meet, how many years ago was it? Your love story, I want to hear about that, because, man, it must be good because you’re committed to each other, and a lot of couples, when this kind of adversity hits them, they wobble, so I want to build that foundation first about you and each other.

Brandon: Absolutely and Brittany’s laughing because truly and honestly we actually met through MySpace back when MySpace was kind of the frontrunner before Facebook.

John: You met in MySpace. (Laughter)

Jim: Technology changes all the time, doesn’t it?

Brandon: It’s true, and we mention that in the book as well. But she had just moved down from North Carolina to Florida, and she was looking for a church and she found my profile, saw that I was gonna a Baptist church at the time there in Saint Augustine, Florida, where I was living. So we were trying to just be friends and church buddies. She wanted to know the area, but we met, and that first night we kind of knew the friend thing may not work out, that there was something else there.

Jim: There was already that chemistry.

Brandon: There was already a chemistry there. And so, she was getting to know the area, getting to know the church, we got to know each other. Six months later, we were engaged and less than a year after that we were married on May 1, 2011.

Jim: And you moved to Florida. You remained living in Florida, and what were your plans and dreams? What did you think life would look like?

Brittany: I don’t know. Did we even [know]? (Laughter)

Brandon: I mean the standard [ideas], where we were gonna work. We wanted to start a family when it was the appropriate time. We actually had a hard time doing that, and we didn’t know if we were gonna be able to have a kid at all.

Jim: Really? Were there some difficulties?

Brandon: There were.

Brittany: I was told that I couldn’t have children by a couple of different doctors for a couple of different reasons, so even though we were trying for two years, we ended up just kind of giving up on trying and then that’s where Jaxon came in.

Jim: Right. Wow. Let’s talk about it. So you stopped trying to have kids, and then bingo, the Lord said, “Okay, you’re pregnant.”

Brittany: Pretty much.

Jim: What was that like, and how did you feel? What was having dinner that night when you got the news like?

Brittany: I didn’t really believe it at first, because all these years I’ve been told it’s not gonna happen, so when I got the positive pregnancy test, it kind of shocked me and I was kind of, I don’t know, I was caught off guard ’cause I had just started finishing my dental degree. So in two months I was gonna go to school for that, and I’m like, all right, well, it wasn’t my timing, obviously, so God had other plans. So it was like a rollercoaster. I was happy, I was sad. I was scared at the same time, but mostly happy and excited.

Jim: Sure, how were you feeling, Brandon?

Brandon: I’m the analytical one, so to me it was the worst timing ever. We had just moved into a new home. We were trying to get started with that, and then there’s the phone call. Actually it was through a text message that I found out that we were even pregnant, by the way.

Jim: Well, she knows your analytical mind, so she’s communicating in your love language.

Brandon: I’m at work and I get a text message, and it kind of changed my whole day.

Jim: Wow!

Brandon: But for me, I just [thought], like the timing is terrible. This is not good. We don’t have any money set aside. We are not ready. But I’ve been told many times when I tell that story everyone’s like, “You’re never gonna be truly ready to start that family. Just dive in. It’ll work out.”

Jim: A very normal response.

Brandon: Good. I’m glad to know that. And it certainly has worked out just fine.

Jim: Yeah and so then you began to progress through your pregnancy, Brittany. What was the first sign that you felt maybe something wasn’t quite right? Or did you move through the first trimester, second trimester pretty easily?

Brittany: We were actually still in the first trimester when we found out. Our first ultrasound was done really early because I was inpatient and I had it done like eight weeks. And then our second one, we went in to find out if we were having a boy or girl, we were 17 weeks pregnant. [We] found out Jaxon was a boy, and the way the technician was acting was sort of off. She was really quiet. She wasn’t saying much. And she spent a lot of time on his head when we were going through the ultrasound.

And so, the first one they just kind of let us go. They were like, “Have a great day. We’ll see you in however many weeks.” But this one she’s like, “I need to go talk to the radiologist first and see if you guys can leave.”

Jim: Wow, that must have been unsettling.

Brittany: And the second she left the room, I was like something’s wrong. That’s not normal.

Jim: Were you together?

Brittany: We were. He was there with me.

Jim: And so, how long before the doctor came in the room or called you on the phone? What happened?

Brittany: Well, they actually sent us home that day. They were like, “Congratulations, you’re having a boy.” And I still felt that something was wrong on my way to work the next day. It was a Friday. I got the phone call literally while I was driving down the street, and they were like, “We think Jaxon has spina bifida,” so that started the first of many diagnoses that were misdiagnosed, but that’s the first call that we got.

Jim: Right, so that was what they said first of all. How did that hit both of you? I mean what did you feel, even with the misdiagnosis? You knew Jaxon wasn’t gonna be, you know, completely healthy. How did you process that?

Brandon: For me, it was completely disbelief, because just hours before we got the news we were having a boy, which we selfishly wanted. And then the very next morning it feels like the entire world is crashing down around us because now that boy that we truly did want, he may not make it at all. And we didn’t believe it, and of course I moved into the denial; then of course, into the anger, but just realizing that, you know, this is what God has given us, and so no matter what, we’re gonna go forward and we’re gonna see what He has in store for us.

Jim: Wow. And when did the doctors begin to suggest that maybe an abortion would be the best course of action?

Brittany: Well, they never used the word “abortion.” They used the word “termination,” but same difference in my mind.

Jim: Sure.

Brittany: Well, we found out when I was 17 weeks, and for us, we at the time didn’t know it was a misdiagnosis; we were 100 percent certain the doctors were right, because that’s all we knew.

Jim: Right, think of that.

Brittany: So we went along, and after that the following weeks we went twice a week to a specialty doctor, a neonatologist, and we had two ultrasounds a week and that’s when we had genetic counseling, genetic testing, amniocentesis, and that’s’ when the spiral of different diagnoses came. And I believe we were 25 weeks?

Brandon: Twenty-three weeks.

Brittany: Twenty-three weeks when we found out they were starting to suggest the termination.

Jim: Right.

Brittany: But in the state of Florida, we only had another week before twenty-four weeks for medical reasons was the cut-off limit.

Jim: So 24 weeks was it legally, right.

Brittany: And we denied it. We didn’t want to. We told them numerous times we didn’t want to do it.

Jim: Let me ask you about that, because I found that intriguing in your story, the courage that you had as a young couple again. I mean you’re in the doctor’s office; he’s the expert (he or she) and they’re telling you, “This is our professional recommendation. We think you need to terminate,” which is abort. And you stood your ground. That took a lot of courage.

Brittany: We didn’t feel like it was our decision to make.

Brandon: That’s absolutely true, and with our Christian beliefs, we just never wanted to go down that road, and when you get that news, it’s shell-shocking, as you can imagine, and we first asked, because we didn’t know what else to say, what to ask, and it was, “Is Brittany okay? Is she in any danger? What about Jaxon? And is he feeling any pain right now?” And the answers to all of them were “no,” but even if one of them had been “yes,” we would have moved that conversations into, “Okay, what do we do? How do we, you know, save Brittany’s life? How do we try and save our son’s life? Even if you’re saying it’s not possible, we want to exhaust all options.”

And we’ve always done that. Even after Jaxon was born and there were difficulties in the hospital, we’ve always had that mind-set. And so, we did stand our ground simply because we didn’t feel that was the right place to go. We did not feel that was the right decision to make. We felt he had a chance at life, God gave us this child, and it wasn’t gonna be our decision. If he was gonna pass away, if he’s ever gonna pass away, it’s not our decision. It’s not our timing. It’s not our choice to make, and we chose that from the very beginning. We went strong, and they actually even scheduled the abortion anyway.

Brittany: They called me—

Brandon: Even though we told them no, they still scheduled it. And we never went, and we never went that path.

Brittany: –they called me numerous days in a row while I was at work just to reiterate what they were saying, to go over the genetic testing again. They kept getting different lab results back and she kept suggesting that, that’s probably what we should do. And I told her, I was like, “It’s not our decision and we’re not going through with it. If God doesn’t want Jaxon to live, then it’s gonna be His decision, not mine. I couldn’t live with that.”

Jim: How did she respond to that statement?

Brittany: I feel like she respectfully took it, but–

Jim: Okay.

Brittany: –in the same sense, she also called me or sent me an e-mail about a week later and said, “Just so you know”–well, not a week later, just a couple of days later–“Just so you know, we went ahead and scheduled in case you change your mind, because you only have a week to do it.”

Jim: Okay.

John: What a story of courage. Brandon and Brittany Buell are our guests today. From time to time you might hear Jaxon, their son, as he’s in Brittany’s lap right now. He’s 2-years-old and you can find out about his story in the book that they’ve written, Don’t Blink. We’ve got copies at http://focusonthefamily.com/radio.

Jim: All right, so you move through this period of time in your pregnancy. You have committed Jaxon to the Lord is what I’m hearing, and it’s gonna be the Lord’s decision. Again, very brave, very courageous and admirable. So God bless you guys for that.

Brittany: Thank you.

Jim: Then the day comes, Jaxon is born, and what happened?

Brittany: Jaxon was born on August 27, 2014, and we knew it was gonna happen because it was scheduled. I guess they assumed that the extra three weeks in the womb wasn’t really gonna help him much; that’s what they thought. So they induced me, and Jaxon was born and it was really blurry for me, but the only thing I remember is Brandon coming to my shoulder and warning me about how small his head was, because throughout the pregnancy we knew he was behind in growth, he was about four weeks behind in growth when he was born. He was only four pounds, and his head was extremely small and very flat on top.

So Brandon came to my shoulder and he was just reminding me, “Now I want you to know his head is very small,” and no amount of warning could prepare either one of us for how small he really was, but he was healthy, he was breathing on his own and didn’t really need medical attention immediately, so that was very, what is the word I’m looking for?

Brandon: It was encouraging.

Brittany: That word.

Brandon: (Chuckling) It was encouraging, because when they then took him to the NICU, and he spent almost a month in the NICU just after being born, they had him hooked up to every machine, every tube and every connection you could think of because they thought he would need it. And slowly, one by one, they started turning machines off, and because the best reason was they realized he doesn’t need these things.

And virtually from the head down he’s perfect. He’s got a strong heart, he has strong lungs, when he cries, you can hear that for sure, and even with his neurological condition, he has about the fifth the size of the brain as he should. He’s missing 80 percent. So that’s why they never thought he would really make it. We had a doctor tell us he wouldn’t be here when he was 2, and he is.

Jim: In fact, you invited that doctor to his second birthday.

Brandon: We did.

Jim: I thought that was brilliant.

Brandon: They didn’t show up, but we thought it was the appropriate response.

Jim: And they’re doing, to be fair to the professional community, the medical community, they’re … they’re doing all they can do. Now of course as Christians we all believe in life, but that’s what makes that such a wonderful testimony, that you as a young couple, I’m just putting myself in the place of that doctor, being taught wisdom from a young couple. You know, we’re gonna trust God, and now every time they’re saying he’s not gonna make it; Jaxon’s not gonna make it, boom, he makes his first birthday, he makes his second birthday.

Brittany: We actually stopped hearing that recently. They don’t give us an age limit or anything anymore. They say Jaxon is writing his own book, and they are starting to believe us, I guess, that he’s not going anywhere.

John: I’m still stuck in the delivery process. They bring out this baby who has this quite misshapen head. And I’m sure that it’s a shock to everybody in the room, ’cause that was not necessarily expected. But I’m just struck by your decision to say, “This is our son. We’re gonna love him.” I mean there is a disconnect between your expectations and what actually happens in that room, in that moment. Where did that embrace of love say, “Yeah, this is our son and we’re gonna keep him”?

At that point, I would say by my third trimester, we weren’t listening anymore. I mean we were respectfully taking doctors’ advice, but as far as Jaxon was gonna be, we were 100 percent ready to expect—

Jim: You’d already accepted it.

Brittany: –anything before he was even born. So we knew we were gonna have a child who was gonna have some sort of special need and or some disability, so we expected it. We didn’t know what to expect 100 percent, but we already knew it was gonna be a different situation, so we prepared ourselves for it, and we weren’t really that shocked on that day ’cause he was better than we anticipated.

Jim: Yeah, in fact, in the book you tell a story that caught my attention where the doctor came into the hospital room to tell you that your little boy is never gonna see, never gonna hear, never going to speak, and somethin’ happened. What happened?

Brandon: That was just day two—

Jim: Day two.

Brandon: –and everything was still so raw. I mean we were crying all the time because we were loving him, joy that he was there, but listening to the doctor enough to say, “Well, maybe this is the last day we have him.” So we were just tryin’ to embrace him and love on him. He came in and showed us results from his MRI compared to that of a typically developing child, and as you can imagine, the MRI results were much different, and he compared those and then went on to tell us that Jaxon will probably never see. He’ll probably never hear. He’ll probably never walk. He’ll probably never talk. He’ll probably never communicate effectively. He’ll probably never even know when he’s hungry.

And just after he made that statement, I believe it was he put his laptop down onto a metal tray in that—

Brittany: I don’t think the tray was locked.

Brandon: –very cold, very cold stale hospital room, and that metal tray slammed down. And I’m actually kangarooing chest to chest with Jaxson at that time, and he jumps in my arms at the sound. And every single person in the room, including the doctor just have this amazed, startled look on their faces, saying, “That was obvious he startled to that, which means he obviously heard it.”

Jim Right.

Brandon: And the response from the doctor was to simply walk out of the room.

Jim: Didn’t say anything.

Brandon: Didn’t say a word.

Jim: That’s amazing.

Brandon: We’ve never even heard from that doctor again, never saw that doctor again.

Jim: Is that right?

Brandon: It’s true. It’s true.

Jim: I mean what a moment, to be told in one second that he’ll never hear.

Brandon: And that’s one reason that we’ve never given up hope, because on day two Jaxon was defined to us on day two, so why would we not believe in the strength that is in him? Why not believe in something else? And just to get back to the other point real quick, for me, I put myself in my son’s shoes. People told me not to do this, but this is my son. And he may be young, he may be different with how he communicates, but what does he want? He wants his parents to love on him, regardless. He deserves the best, and no matter what we go through, I think about that. And my son deserves the best from me, so I want to make sure I strive every day to do that.

Jim: Man, that is character. I’ve got to ask you. Of course you’re dealing with this. You mentioned crying so much in the beginning with all of the unknown, the pain of it. How did you two stay emotionally, spiritually connected with so much turbulence around you?

Brandon: We have always tried to keep Christ and God-centered in our lives. And actually something we mention in the book, my brother-in-law has always worked in the church, and we were in the middle of that NICU stage. Jaxon wasn’t a month old yet. We walked him out. They came to visit us at the hospital and we walked him out of the parking garage, got out of the room for a minute just for a breath of fresh air.

And he pulled me aside and he said, “I just want you to know that I’ve seen situations like this before where you are praying so earnestly that the child makes it and you’re so focused on the child that you forget your own marriage, and that if it doesn’t turn out the way we all want it to turn out, that don’t lose the marriage at the same time. I’ve seen it happen.”

And those words are in the book, but those words were so paramount to me; I’ve never once forgotten them. They’ve stuck with me. I still remember that moment in time, and we talk about that all the time, that let’s make sure no matter what happens, no matter what our day looks like, no matter how long we’re blessed to have Jaxon, let’s be sure we’re focused on our entire family, and we’ve always tried to do that.

Jim: The idea of heaven, you know, of course Heaven is for Real was a movie; first it was a book. A friend of mine was the literary agent on that whole thing, Rick Christian.

Brittany: That book is awesome.

Brandon: It’s fantastic.

Jim: And I’m just sitting here thinking of you guys, thinking of the story there of the little boy. If you don’t know the story, you can certainly get the book. But this little boy has an experience of heaven. And it’s so beautiful because he comes back and reveals things to his mom and dad that they’ve never shared with anybody, which confirms something happened.

But part of that he talks about being in heaven and seeing his sister, and they’d never talked about that miscarriage, and that she was running in heaven. How does that, when you hear a story like that from a little boy, Colton, how does that make you feel about Jaxon’s future, whether he’s with you next year or not, that he will be with Jesus?

Brandon: We believe strongly, and we talk about this as well, that we know that one day we will see Jaxon again. We will see all of our loved ones again in a place that we can’t even fathom, that will be so miraculous, so beautiful. And we know that Jaxon will be in his perfect form, as we all will, and we look forward to that day, and we know he’ll recognize us. And we even speak in the book about he may run up to us, say, “Mom and Dad,” and embrace us. And just we know that God has us in His hands.

Jim: And what’s so good about it is it shows your faith in God. God has to smile with this. There are things that happen in this life that disrupt us. We can’t put our faith in Christ into our circumstances. Another way to say that is our circumstances cannot dictate our hope, our faith, our trust, our love in Christ. This life is a short life; maybe for some it’s shorter than others; but at the end, we all come to an end, and we move on to the afterlife, right?

And for Christians we believe that’s heaven, and that’s what matters. And I just think God has to be smiling that you two were willing and able to show even the professional community that, no, we’re gonna trust God, not science, because this is beyond science.

Let me talk about your Facebook presence, because that’s awesome too what you guys have done with this situation. You have about 400,000 people on Facebook right now following your story with Jaxon. You’re raising money for neurological issues in young children. How is that going? What is that like to champion a cause now that is so close to your heart?

Brandon: Well, the foundation is the Jaxon Strong Foundation. We just established that this year, and it’s truly dedicated to Jaxon, because the mission of it is for neurological research. It’s advocating for individuals who have disabilities, and it’s sharing the belief that we have; every life has value and a purpose. I mean that is absolutely Jaxon wrapped up all in that.

So we wanted to make sure we were receiving so much support. You mentioned the online community with Facebook, and we never started [that]. Actually a colleague of mine, a former colleague of mine, started that Facebook page. It was just share Jaxon’s story. I didn’t think it would do anything; we just were proud of him. We wanted to celebrate his life. And very quickly it turned into what it has today, and we have received [an] overwhelming amount of support. Of course, there’s the other side that don’t like anything we stand for, but so much more support.

Jim: Yeah, and what’s so awesome when this happens is it does change perspective, and that’s what I love. In fact, I think there was a story in the book where a gynecologist wrote you on Facebook, I think, and said, quote, “When we come across an ultrasound like yours, we are trained to suggest termination,” which you described many doctors told you that. “But because of your son, I will stop doing this.”

That is amazing, you guys. I mean there’s one professional who’s saying, “Okay, the science isn’t complete. It’s not 100 percent, if they have this diagnosis, then this will be the 100 percent outcome. Because as you said, Jaxon is outliving all the outcomes, and that’s trusting God.

Brandon: Absolutely. That’s one of our favorite messages we’ve ever received. It was through Facebook. And we’ve received thousands, tens of thousands of messages. We try to reply to all of them. We can’t, we try. We have talked about that one so many times because that is the perfect example of the difference and the change and the impact mostly that Jaxon is having both on the medical world and both on the spiritual world as well. And sometimes those two can come together in a beautiful way from a little guy like Jaxon, because he is actually changing that. It’s amazing.

Jim: And what I love, too, even as you describe the, you know, the darkness that comes at you because you gave Jaxon life, that you manage it with peace. You know, that God’s peace is with you. You can feel it; you can see it. You’re not frustrated by it; you’re not going to war with those people. You pray for them.

Brittany: Right.

Jim: That to me, is the sign of God’s heart in you and His fruit in you, and that’s beautiful. I just want to say thank you for being with us. This is a special and like a holy moment to see your faith and your son here ooing and gooing. I’m looking at him right now. And we’ll put some family pictures up at the Focus on the Family website so we can celebrate with you what God has done.

Brandon: Thank you.

Jim: And pray for his future. You don’t know. I mean you still don’t know what his future will be and how long he will live, but mom and dad, what a beautiful story you’ve written here.

Brandon: Thank you.

Brittany: Thank you.

Jim: It’s beautiful. Just as a reminder, you know, we believe here at Focus on the Family that human life is created by God in His image. It’s where I started; it’s where I want to end today. “It is of inestimable worth in significance in all its dimensions, including the preborn child, elderly neighbors, those with cognitive and mental health challenges, those deemed unattractive, those with physical challenges, and every other condition in which humanness is expressed, from the single-cell stage of development to natural death.”

That is God’s domain. Christians, we are, therefore, called to defend, protect, and value all human life, and you’re not gonna hear a better story of doing than what you’ve just heard, and what a privilege to have you with us. Thank you.

Brandon: Thank you.

Brittany: Thank you very much.

John: And we’ll encourage you to do a couple of things. Go to the website and get a copy of the book, Don’t Blink, by Brandon and Brittany Buell, and we’re gonna post our statement about life. I want you to look at that so that you can be strong in the coming days, thinking about this story and what’s going on in the culture and people you might meet. And we want to encourage you to affirm life, and these are two ways you can do that; http://focusonthefamily.com/radio is the starting point. Or call us and we’d be happy to talk with you. Our number is 800, the letter A and the word FAMILY.

We’ll also link over to the Jaxon Strong for the Facebook page, so you can follow that and learn more about the story and keep up to date with this wonderful family.

We’ll also link over to the Jaxon Strong for the Facebook page, so you can follow that and learn more about the story and keep up to date with this wonderful family.

Jim: Ah, Jaxon Strong, you are, and again, good to have you.

Brandon: Thank you.

 

Closing:

John: Our program was provided by Focus on the Family, and on behalf of all of us here at Focus, thanks for listening. I’m John Fuller, inviting you back next time as we once again help you and your family thrive.

Today's Guests

Don't Blink

Receive Brandon and Brittany Buell's book Don't Blink for your donation of any amount!

Recent Episodes

Focus on the Family Broadcast logo

Rediscovering Faith in a Culture of Chaos

Dr. Os Guinness shares deep insights into the current chaos in the United States in what is a cultural revolution. He inspires believers to be agents of justice and compassion, offering solutions for the restoration of true freedom, which leads to peace and order in society.

Focus on the Family Broadcast logo

Listening to the Heart of Your Kids

Becky Harling offers practical ways you can intentionally listen to your child. From learning to give her a voice to the importance of non-verbal communication to teaching him how to make wise decisions, you’ll see how listening is one of the most important components of parenting.

Focus on the Family Broadcast logo

Taking Courageous Steps to Save Your Marriage (Part 2 of 2)

Ann White’s marriage was in desperate trouble, but she was terrified to let anyone know. She discusses how God helped her to break through dysfunctional patterns and finally ask for help. Hear this courageous story about a marriage restored. (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.

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.

Loving Your Spouse Through the Seasons of Marriage - Part 1

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

Author Debra Fileta in the Focus on the Family broadcast studio

Debra Fileta

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

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

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

How a Former Abortion Doctor Became Pro-Life

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

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

Mrs. Patti Giebink

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

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

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

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

Giving up Sugar, Tasting God's Goodness

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

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

Mrs. Wendy Speake

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dr. Kevin Leman

Dr. Kevin Leman

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

Bundle of Why Your Kids Misbehave

Why Your Kids Misbehave and What to Do about It

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

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

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

Dr. Kevin Leman

Dr. Kevin Leman

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

Bundle of Why Your Kids Misbehave

Why Your Kids Misbehave and What to Do about It

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

Loving Your Spouse Through the Seasons of Marriage - Part 2

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

Author Debra Fileta in the Focus on the Family broadcast studio

Debra Fileta

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

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

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

Reconciling Faith and Science in a Medical Crisis

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

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

Dr. Lee Warren

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

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

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

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

Praying Scripture Over Your Child’s Life - Part 1

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

Headshot of Focus on the Family broadcast guest Jodie Berndt

Jodie Berndt

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

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

Praying the Scriptures Over Your Children

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

Mothers and Sons: Being a Godly Influence - Part 1

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

Headshot of Rhonda Stoppe

Rhonda Stoppe

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

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

Moms Raising Sons to Be Men

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

Identifying Triggers in Your Marriage Part 1

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

Headshot of Guy and Amber Lia

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Author Debra Fileta in the Focus on the Family broadcast studio

Mrs. Debra Fileta

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

Are You Really Okay?

Are You Really OK: Getting Real About Who You Are

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

Navigating a Toxic Culture with Your Daughter - Part 1

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

Mrs. Meg Meeker

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

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

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

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

Play Video

Newest Release - Episode 1: The Truth About Life!

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

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

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

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

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

Focus on the Family

Thank you for submitting this form. You will hear from us soon.