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Understanding Teen Depression and Suicide (Part 1 of 2)

Understanding Teen Depression and Suicide (Part 1 of 2)

Best-selling author Dr. Gregory Jantz offers practical advice for helping parents whose teens may be dealing with depression. (Part 1 of 2)

Opening:

John Fuller: Well, here’s a woman describing what depression felt like when she was a teenager.

Quote:

Unidentified Woman: It was just overwhelming. I felt like it was hard to get out of bed in the morning. I felt like I didn’t have what it took inside of me to do life. I felt like I just didn’t have what it took because I was so overwhelmed by that darkness. I didn’t feel sad all the time. I just was completely discouraged. It was hard for me to see my future.

End of Quote

John: Hmm, well, you’re going to be hearing more about teen depression today on Focus on the Family, and what you can do about it. I’m John Fuller. And your host is Focus president and author Jim Daly.

Jim Daly: John, depression suicide rates among kids is staggering. The numbers are just going off the charts. And we, as parents, should all be alarmed and concerned – everyone should be alarmed and concerned. According to the Department of Health and Human Services, more than 3 million adolescents – that’s ages, 12 to 17 – reported at least one major depressive episode in the past year, and more than 2 million reported severe depression that impeded their daily functioning, just like what we heard from that young lady there.

Here at Focus on the Family, we wanna be here for you, and we want to be, here for you in every aspect of your parenting. And today, we want to come alongside you and help you understand the difference between normal teen behavior and when you should have cause for concern. And most importantly, to help you and equip you to understand the warning signs of depression in your teen.

John: Yeah, and we have resources and hope for you here at Focus on the Family. And, we’ll invite you to stop by focusonthefamily.com/radio, or give us a call. And our guest today is Dr. Gregory Jantz. He’s a psychologist and the author of dozens of books, including, The Stranger in Your House, which is the subject of today’s conversation.

Body:

Jim: Dr. Jantz, welcome back to Focus on the Family.

Dr. Greg Jantz: Oh, very good to be with you. What an important topic we have.

Jim: Oh, it’s so true. And, you know, just here in Colorado Springs, we have had an escalation of teen suicide that is, um, breathtaking…

Greg: Yes.

Jim: Two of the schools not far from – from Focus on the Family, here, have had 12 suicides in the last two – three years.

Greg: It’s more common than you ever would imagine.

Jim: What is happening, Gregory? What – what is going on in the psyche of the teenagers today? – some Christians – these are Christian homes that are impacted as well. What is going on that gives them such hopelessness?

Greg: We’re living in a time and a culture with our kids that it’s hard for us to imagine the pressures that they may be feeling. There’s the pressure of, I have to be a certain way. The big question – where do I fit in? I’ve got the pressure of technology, social media. So there’s a lot that’s running in the background for kids these days that we may not fully understand just the level of pressure that that’s creating. A lot of our kids right now, if you ask them about the future, there’s a general sense of just – they’re apathetic. It’s like, if I look at the future, it doesn’t look that great. And, uh, they’re also seeing parents who are struggling with depression. So we have a lot of issues out there that our kids are – are seeing, and they’re carrying a very heavy weight we’re not always aware of.

Jim: Yeah, you know, the faith component to this, along with your background in psychology…

Greg: Yes.

Jim: …As a psychologist, in many ways, it must startle you. It must concern you. But even beyond that, you’re a dad of two teenagers.

Greg: I am.

Jim: So that practical experience of what they’re going through, what their friends are going through, um. Do you have any description, in that regard? What do you see firsthand as a parent, like the rest of us?

Greg: Sure, sure. Well, we need to also – and we love our kids dearly, don’t we?

Jim: Yeah, absolutely.

Greg: And we wanna – we want to be able to reach into their lives and understand what’s goin’ on. So a teenager, though, they’re going through a lot of changes.

Jim: They are.

Greg: There’s a shedding of the skin.

Jim: It’s true.

Greg: Maybe, you know, it’s like, OK, I thought I knew her. I thought I knew him. And all of a sudden, there’s this change. And you go, who is this? Who is living in my house? I don’t know you anymore. And so there’s a natural, uh, transformation – shall we call it? – and sometimes it’s awkward. Sometimes it’s like, oh, no, I don’t even know how to relate to my kid anymore. So I’m going to call all that pretty normal.

Jim: Yeah.

Greg: That’s normal.

Jim: And that is. What – as a parent, what are some of those things that differentiate between normal, and now I’m a little worried?

Greg: Yes. And that’s what we need to look at.

Jim: Yeah.

Greg:So a teen may go through – there’s the moodiness, there’s an awkwardness. You know, the big question is, who am I, and where do I fit in? So, but when you begin to see that suddenly their social circle has changed – it’s the kid who has the ear buds in their ear and they’re never taking ‘em out. It’s like they’re disconnecting. You’re seeing them disconnect from a peer group. You may see them disconnect from the family. And you know something’s going on, but it’s like you can’t reach them. If it’s a young man, you may say, hey, what’s going on? How are you? And it’s one-word answer. Fine.

Jim: Yeah.

Greg: You know, it’s like, how do I reach him or her? If you notice that, um, they’re withdrawing more and more – now there’s sometimes this can be normal, they’re working through some things – but we’re talking three months have passed, uh, maybe academically, we see some concerns, they’re not wanting to do the normal things they were doing – be with the friends. Uh, you don’t see them, their routines have changed, and they maybe they want to hide out in – in their room. You see a constant negativity. So we’re looking for a pattern that is lasting over a period of time. And we also may really need to listen to the words they’re using. They may be using fewer words, but, um, kids give us some clues.

Jim: Yeah.

Greg: Um, you know, like, nobody likes me. Or, um, they may say things that, uh, surprise you. Um, nobody cares about me, and – and things that normally you didn’t hear them say.

Jim: Now some of that can be very, eh, normal. I remember being a 7-year-old, and I was depressed ‘cause my older brothers and sisters, uh, seemed to get all the fun, and they got all the permission to do fun things…

Greg: Right.

Jim: …And, you know, I’m way later born than they were – six years to my closest sibling – but I remember one time going – (laughter) and this is actually silly – but just saying, I’m gonna kill myself because nobody here loves me.

Greg: Right.

Jim: And there’s a difference between kind of just isolation, and then real depression. I mean, looking back on that, I was just a child who was lonely.

Greg: But looking for attention.

Jim: Looking for attention more, especially with my extroversion – it’s like, nobody’s paying attention to me (laughter).

Greg: Yes.

Jim: And that bugs me.Em, for that parent, how do you discern adequately between, OK, this is just – he’s feeling isolated versus, uh, oh, we better take him to a psychologist?

Greg: Sure. If you’re not able to have time where they’re able to tell you what’s goin’ on. And, you know, it could be a kid may feel betrayal – my friends have rejected me. Particularly, um, for boys, they’re going to handle this differently, generally. But a sense of betrayal – I feel rejected. And you may see some real aggressive behavior. You may see them really withdraw. Um, we may see a time of a lot of tears. But as we look at what – if we cannot connect with them, and, you know, here’s what I’m gonna suggest. Don’t just go into their room and say, take those ear buds out of your ears, and let’s talk. That’s probably not gonna work.

Jim: That drives him, probably, to more silence.

Greg: Right. But, if you can find a way, to engage in some activity with him, and I think sometimes as simple as, hey, let’s go out for just a little walk. I – I want to have some time with you.

Jim: Yeah.

Greg: And began to hear their heart. What’s going on? How were they hurt? You see a kid who gets hurt repeatedly – rejections, betrayal. They may not know even how to process that, or what’s goin’ on? How do I even put that into words? You’ve probably noticed, by the way, your boys may be a little slower to put, feelings into words.

Jim: Yes.

Greg: Generally speaking. But help them. We’ve got to find a way to connect with them. Be with them physically. Now, if you’re just seeing ongoing deterioration, we really do need to step in and intervene. And I think there’s a place where we’ve got to get some help to our kids. We don’t wanna wait too long.

Jim: Yeah, and that’s a good point. I mean, again, in my little illustration, by the next day, I was fine. I was back to normal and having fun. It was just that one day, I really had a funky feeling about where I was at – kind of what you’re saying. As a parent, you have to be aware of, OK, this just a momentary thing. Don’t freak out.

Greg: Yes, right.

Jim: Don’t panic. Um, and then when it’s prolonged, that lack of resilience is an issue.

Greg: Right, it is. Lack of resilience, they’re not coming back. So let’s also not – I call it freak out. Your kid has a bad day and you’re goin’, oh, no, what’s going on? Um, no. They’re gonna have those. And they need to learn how to emotionally deal with tough days.

Jim: Yeah.

Greg: And they need to process – we need to allow them the space to do that. And part of this is growing up. But when we come to a place where they’re not responding, and the darkness – that cloud is growing darker, um – one thing I hear from parents is, I wish we wouldn’t have waited so long. I wish we would have done somethin’ sooner.

John: Yeah. This is Focus on the Family. Dr. Greg Jantz is our guest today. And as a parent, Dr. Jantz, you’ve got a couple of boys. Have you had those moments where you’ve had to say, OK, this is normal? Or I wonder if…

Greg: Yes, I have. These – I’ve walked this, and I’ve had these- transformational times and transitions. Some of these are just natural transitions. You know, they’re got one foot in adulthood, one foot in teenagehood and it’s like, they’re trying to figure out – where do I fit in? And sometimes growing up can seem a little scary, too. I have a boy entering college, and we’re talk – we’ve been talking all summer about, uh, just the transition.

Jim: Oh, going onto a campus alone and trying to figure out where I fit in.

Greg: Yeah. Where do I fit in?

Jim: What club do I go to?

Greg: So – and we can really help our kids walk through these transitions. But we need to also know, if we see issues, and they have disengaged – and disengaged from a social group, disengaged from church or youth group, and we continue to watch them disengage – something’s going on that needs attention.

Jim: Yeah, Dr. Jantz, I want to ask you about the technology issue…

Greg: Yes.

Jim: …Because you described that a moment ago.And, uh, just at church on Sunday, I said, you know, we take a two – three minutes to introduce ourselves to those around us. And there was a family – it appeared to me that is probably the first time they’d come to the church, and there are three or four teenagers in the family. And I said hello to each one of them…

Greg: Right, right.

Jim: …Made sure I got their name.

Greg: Yes.

Jim: And one had buds in her ears. And I remember I got to her, I extended my hand to her, and she kinda quickly took the buds out. And she was, you know, very good about greeting me. But the question for me is, are we, with technology use – it’s not the technology, it’s a neutral thing, but the over-use, the lack of boundaries on that, to be listening to buds in a church service, to me, seemed odd…

Greg: Yes.

Jim: But – but how do we, as parents, approach our kids, especially us Christians, to say, you know, you shouldn’t overindulge in this because it’s creating a framework that allows you to go into a hole that, I think, depression can feed on?

Greg: Oh, absolutely. And we need to talk about – there’s an underground world in, uh, the cyberworld for our youth. Now I say underground is – is things are happening that we are not aware of. It used to be worried about – a little bit about text messaging. Now, it’s all the different social media. Kids run – I call it in herds, you know? What’s – what’s popular today. There’s a new app, you know, that everybody’s running to. So they run in herds, and we need to understand that the kids are dealing with cyberbully behavior.

Jim: Right.

Greg: And some things that we need to know – it’s going on. There’s – there’s, you know, tragic issues of people being bullied – cyberbullying. Um, there’s a slang right now with kids, uh, in this arena. They’re saying, ah, just kill yourself. Ah, just kill yourself.

Jim: Right, like it’s a throwaway line.

Greg: Like it’s – it’s like a tag line, uh.

Jim: Yeah. Well, and there was that recent case where that girl was convicted for not…

Greg: Yes.

Jim: …You know, not doing something to help, her boy friend, not kill himself. And I thought that was chilling that she was egging him on, supposedly.

Greg: Right.

Jim: And then, you know, the courts found that that is playing a role in him making that decision to kill himself. Every teenager, every parent should talk about that with their teens to say, hey, never encourage somebody to take their own life. And never stand by. I mean, do what you can do to help. And we in the Christian community should be at the forefront of that, helping people hold on to life.

Greg: Yes, Jim. You’re right.

Jim: Let me, ask you – in the book, you encourage parents to pause, close their eyes and think about their teen.

Greg: Yeah, OK.

Jim: This one really caught my attention, because I thought it was kind of a very clarifying comment.

Greg: Yeah.

Jim: Why is that image so important? And what are the images that parents you counsel with, what do they say when you have them close their eyes and think of their teenager? What do they say?

Greg: Well, we need – this is a good test because if we’ve got an image of – that’s negative towards our kid, and our image in our mind is that he or she is so troubled, and you – you’ve got a lot of anxiety around this image, that’s not helping. I want you to go back to the positive places, the memories, the things that you know that your son and daughter are gifted in. I want you to have a positive image and, importantly, of their future. They may really be struggling now, but God has a future for ‘em, and we need to be a part of being a positive image for their future.

Jim: You know, you say that. I had never thought about it in this context, but when Jesus was walking the earth and encountering so many human beings that were broken…

Greg: Yes.

Jim: And I’m sure had depression, even back then, without modernity. But Jesus is the epitome of saying, there’s hope. I mean, he must have seen what the woman caught in adultery could be.

Greg: Yes.

Jim: He could see the woman at the well and what she could become. He could look at the Apostles – the fishermen, right? – and call out to Peter because he knew what he could become.

Greg: Yes.

Jim: That’s, in some way, what you’re saying as a parent.

John: It is.

Jim: You need to look and have hope for your child.

Greg:God has a plan. Even though the struggle is real, there is a plan. And many of these teenage struggles will be used for good. And you can, through this, deepen your relationship with your kids. Hang in there with him.

John: OK, so I – I just dropped my teen off…

Greg: Yes.

John: …At some event, and we had a big fight, and I can’t get to that positive image. What’s something practical I can do?

Jim: So you see the fist shaking.

Greg: Yes.

John: It just – it ended pretty poorly in that negative – it’s – it’s a stinky image, OK? How do I get to the positive, Dr. Jantz?

Greg: Well, and it’s easy when – when things aren’t going well and you have a negative event, then we’ll start thinking about it, you know, and – and he never does this, and he always argues, and you start focusing on the negative. OK, I want you to find a way, though. Maybe it was a little rough ending, but I want us to find a way to reconnect, with – and it maybe the next day, but you’re going to work on, OK, I’m going to find a way to reconnect and speak some positive words into my daughter or my son’s life because God has a plan for them. Yes, there’s some rough edges right now. I get that. And, remember, they’re testing. They’re testing boundaries. They’re going to be testing in words they use. They’re testing. They’re growing. They are expanding. And some of it’s gonna be a little messy sometimes. Don’t over-personalize it. One of the things that we do as a parent is, oh, I failed! What have I done wrong? You know, I failed. I’m not a good parent. And we start to get negative on ourselves. Keep equipping yourself. A lot of great resources to equip yourself. But let’s not get self-absorbed that, oh, this is all my problem, and if we would’ve only done this or that – it’s easy to go to the past, and we’re going to go to the future here.

Jim: Well, and for parents who are struggling, you’re speaking right to them, Dr. Jantz. And I would say call us here at Focus on the Family.

Greg: Yes.

Jim: Let our counselling team help you and give you some perspective. I think that’s one of the best resources available to people.

John: Yeah, our number is 800-A-FAMILY, 800-232-6459.

Jim: Dr. Jantz, the role for me, right now, with two teen boys, is trying to keep them buoyant in their environments. And that may be over-parenting, and I’m wide open to correction.

Greg: Yes, OK.

Jim: But – but, you know, there’s certain things I want them to feel good about, even though they may have issues. Uh, maybe their appearance isn’t quite what it could be. Uh, maybe they’re not washing their face or brushing their teeth (laughter) as often as they could be.

Greg: Exactly. And you go, hmm, you’re 17 now, how come you’re not doing these things?

Jim: So the – the point of all that, though, is how much undergirding can we do that’s realistic? And how much becomes that helicopter parent – that you’re actually enabling them in creating a reliant person, not a self-reliant person?

Greg: Right. And we do need to be careful about over-rescuing, but there are some fundamental expectations that are OK. Um, as we grow up, we do brush our teeth, and we do shampoo our hair, and there’s some fundamental self-care that we need to be sure that they are doing. By the way, a depressed teen will stop all that self-care.

Jim: Oh.

Greg: You’re going to see, again, they’re not taking care of themselves. It doesn’t matter anymore. They haven’t showered for three days. And you’re gonna begin to see some of those are signs. You can also see a lot happening in sleep. Either they want to sleep all the time, or they’re not sleeping at all.

Jim: OK, so for parents of teen boys – you just panicked all of us. Because many teen boys, especially 13, 14…

Greg: Right.

Jim: They’re exhibiting that behavior, but they’re still in the normal zone.

Greg: Oh, they are.

Jim: Can you differentiate for us? That…

Greg: OK, yeah. Yeah.

Jim: I mean, when they’re stuck there, and their hygiene isn’t that critical – so many parents are saying, that’s my son.

Greg: Right, right. Yes.

Jim: That doesn’t necessarily mean they’re on a depression streak.

Greg: No. It doesn’t.

Jim: It can mean that.

Greg: So particularly what we’re looking for, though, is a person that has had some sudden changes, and this may be one of them.

Jim: Right, OK. Dr. Jantz, we’re gonna continue to dive into this and, we’ll get into it more next time. But let’s tip now toward more of the depression and the suicide. In your book, warning signs – and you’ve touched on some of them, but I want to succinctly mention them here. Self-injury, smoking, shoplifting, anxiety, eating disorders, drinking, you know, alcoholic beverages, drugs as a teenager, or maybe even a preteen – these are certainly signs that you’ve got issues, and you’ve got trouble.

Greg: Right.

Jim: For those parents that are hearing that, and they don’t know what to do, what’s one of the first things they can do?

Greg: One of the first things I want you to do is just be with your son or daughter. When I say be with, um, that may mean, I’m gonna engage, probably, in an activity. We’re going to do something together, even if it means we’re going to go out. Have dinner together, a physical activity – I’m gonna go – we’re gonna go for a hike, but engage in something outside of the home, and give an opportunity for them to process. Now, they may struggle putting it really in words. There’s something called teenage shame. They may feel really shameful. They did something or something was said to them, and they were really injured by it and they feel a lot of shame, and they feel like, I’m not good enough or I’m defective. Kids don’t like me. They may feel that rejection. So I’m gonna suggest, without a lot of pushing, you do more – more listening, even though there may be some long silences, but do more listening than pushing. But engage them in an activity. Now, that’s the first thing. Be with them.

Jim: Right. Well and – and what’s beautiful about that is, again, I think that’s the Lord’s heart – what you’re expressing. I mean, he didn’t shame sinners.

Greg: Right.

Jim: He came alongside them, encouraged them, forgave them, and asked them to do better.

Greg: Yeah.

Jim: And I think with parenting, that’s another great example. Talk about, though, further, the power of shame. Because I think a lot of parents – I think we particularly, as Christian parents, we can root our parenting in shame. And we don’t know the damage that we’re doing. And, you know, personally, I just think shaming is perhaps the stick of dynamite…

Greg: Sure.

Jim: …In your relationship. There’s nothing more detrimental and more damaging than shaming your child because they’re not meeting perfection.

Greg: Yes. And we may not be aware that we’re doing it, too.

Jim: We think we’re doing the right thing.

Greg: Yes.

Jim: Straightening him out.

Greg: Sure.

Jim: And they’re feeling inadequate, unable.

Greg: Right. Now, Jim, they’re going to be hypersensitive to judgments, hypersensitive to what feels like being critical. And so you’re gonna easily offend a teenager sometimes.

Jim: What does that sound like? Before we get more definition, what does shaming sound like?

Greg: Well, why didn’t you – and whatever, fill in the blank.

Jim: Are you never?

Greg: Right. So – so there’s a tone, but also, there’s a judgment that comes across. Yeah, it’s kind of like, why don’t you just grow up, you know? Well – well, he is growing up. But those are not helpful comments – that really are judgments.

Jim: Yeah, and so much of your relationship with your children will be defined in that moment, you know? And, uh, you better be prepared ahead of time, especially, again, the Christian households where, you know, it may be your child looked at pornography, and how are you going to handle that? Think about it before you encounter it so that you can handle it well.

Greg: Yes. And we want to handle it well because we want to maintain a relationship with our kids. So maintain the relationship. They may have done something that you’re so embarrassed about, you may be concerned about, even in the community, or they embarrassed our family. You know, you can begin to be really concerned. And it’s easy to, um, say things that you’re gonna later regret.

Jim: Let’s look at, uh, depression very specifically. We’re going to come back next time and spend most of the time talking about depression/suicide. But in your book, you define three characteristics of depression. What are they?

Greg: So one of the characteristics of the depression is it doesn’t go away.

Jim: This is persistent.

Greg: It’s persistent. OK, so this is not just a mood. Uh, my kid is persisting in this mode, and it’s not going away. Another characteristic of depression is, my kid is not doing the normal, fundamental self-care and the basics. Now, I know that sometimes is challenging, but they have withdrawn from, really, reality, or they’re trying to create another reality online.

Jim: Escape.

Greg: An escape. So that you may see a lot of escapism behaviors. You may see some, um, drug experimentation. Obviously, there’s pornography issues to be addressed. You may see a social group changing, we may be at a place with depression and teens that they’re speaking – and one of the characteristics is they can feel a lot of despair. I feel…

Jim: Yes.

Greg: …Despair. They feel hopeless. And for you, it may – it’s like, you know, a friend – I felt rejected. For you that’s maybe not be a real big deal. For them it is a real big deal.

Jim: Wow. Greg, this is so good. And I know parents are being helped. I mean, hopefully, we’re being very practical here with all of our comments.

Greg: That’s our desire.

Jim: That is our goal. And again, if you need help, get in touch with Focus on the Family. In fact, we’d love to make this, uh, book by Dr. Jantz available to you,When Your Teenager Becomes The Stranger In Your House. And again, if you cannot afford it, call us. We will get it into your hands somehow because the power of the message is so strong and so good. And, if you can give us a donation for any amount, we’ll send that your way to say, thank you. If you’re in a position to help Focus provide that resource for others who can’t afford it, we would deeply, deeply appreciate it. So let’s do ministry together. Let’s become better parents in the Christian community. And if you’re not a Christian, I hope this makes sense to you. Why not stand up for your children and do the right thing, be active in your parenting, learn how to parent in a more, productive way. And, Dr. Jantz, when we come back next time, I’ve got a lot more questions for you.

Greg: Let’s do it.

Closing:

John: OK. And we should note, as well, Jim made mention of it earlier. We have counselors here at Focus on the Family. And it may be that we’ve touched on something that you’re saying, that’s me, but I have no clue where to turn. I can’t wait to get the book. I need to have an answer now. Give us a call, or use our online find a counselor tool. Uh, our number is 800-A-FAMILY, 800-232-6459. And our counselors can have a free consultation with you, an initial conversation to kind of point you in the right direction and get you started on the road to healing and, uh, some help for your family. Also, find Dr. Jantz’s book,When Your Teenager Becomes The Stranger In Your House. Make a donation, get a CD or download of this program at focusonthefamily.com/radio.

Jim: Dr. Jantz, as we close, I’m thinking of the parent listening who’s going, I have blown it. I have done all the shaming. I have, in order to correct the behavior, I’ve burst into the room. I’ve told them to take those buds out of their ears and get off their technology. And things are going to be different now, so go take out the trash and wash the car and get ready for church ‘cause we’re leaving in 30 minutes. And, speak hope into that parent. What should they do differently? And what can they do today – tonight that speaks life into their teenager?

Greg: One of the things you can do is say, I love you so much, and I am sorry. I really reacted, and I’m sorry about some things I said. Will you please forgive me? Build a bridge of forgiveness. Parents make mistakes, and we say some things – go, oh, why – how did I ever say that? So you can build a bridge with forgiveness.

Jim: Hmm. That’s well said.

John: And, uh, as Mom and Dad, you own that responsibility to pursue that relationship. I hope you’ve been encouraged by our conversation with Dr. Greg Jantz, and that you’ll join us again next time as we once again help you and your family thrive in Christ.

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The Stranger in Your House

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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.

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Newest Release - Episode 2: Heroes Providing Hope

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

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

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

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Newest Release - Episode 4: Sometimes the Choice is Hard

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

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

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

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Newest Release - Episode 3: The Power of a Picture

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

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Newest Release - Episode 1: The Truth About Life!

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

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

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