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Understanding Your Spouse’s Emotions (Part 1 of 2)

Understanding Your Spouse’s Emotions (Part 1 of 2)

Drs. David and Jan Stoop discuss the concept of emotional intelligence – the ability to understand your emotions, as well as your spouse's. The Stoops explain how bettering that understanding can help you improve and strengthen your marriage. (Part 1 of 2)
Original Air Date: November 27, 2017

Preview:

David Stoop: … and he said, “Well, I think…” I said. “Oh, tell you what you think. Tell me what you feel.” He couldn’t, he couldn’t say a word. And so I started to, through a list of feelings, “Do you feel this? Do you feel this?” And he could think a minute and say yes and say no. And his wife, all of a sudden stopped crying. She said, “You mean he has emotions?” And he just didn’t have the language for emotions.

End of Preview

John Fuller: Right, well, you’re going to learn how to put language to your emotions on today’s episode of Focus on the Family with the late Dr. David Stoop and his wife, Dr. Jan Stoop. Your host is Focus president and author Jim Daly, and I’m John Fuller.

Jim Daly: Uh, John today, we’re going to be sharing some ideas that may be pretty groundbreaking for many couples. And we’re going to hear about emotional intelligence in marriage. And this term is usually used in the business world, but the couple we’re talking to today has found that these concepts can greatly increase intimacy and improve communication in marriage. Uh, before we recorded this interview, John and I took the SMART love inventory that our guest created, to see how we scored in our own emotional intelligence. The highest score is 120. Uh, John lay it out there. What’d you get.

John: I’ve got room to improve, Jim. (laughs) I think-

Jim: We all do.

John: I think I was like an 86 or something.

Jim: That’s pretty good though. I had a 98, but still under 120. Uh, I wish it were 98 out of a hundred. I’d feel much better-

John: Whoever can score a perfect thing on that. I mean-

Jim: The emotionally intelligent, of course-

John: I guess so.

Jim: Uh, but today we’re going to learn exactly how to understand our emotions better and use them to grow closer to our wives like that, uh, story he just told.

John: Yeah. And that’s something that we’re working on in our own marriage Dena and me. And, uh, as I said, our guests are Dr. Jan Stoop and her husband, uh, the late Dr. David Stoop, Jan is a counselor and David was the founder and director of the Center for Family Therapy. And they wrote a book together called The Emotionally Healthy Marriage: Growing Closer by Understanding Each Other. And, uh, the former title of that book was SMART Love. Uh, you might hear that referenced in the program as we listen along. We do have that book and the SMART Love assessment that Jim and I have taken. Uh, that’s free and online. Uh, just look for that at focusonthefamily.com/broadcast. And here’s how we began the interview recorded a number of years ago, on today’s episode of Focus on the Family.

Jim: Hey, David and Jan, welcome to Focus on the Family.

Jan Stoop: Thank you.

David: Our privilege. It’s great-

Jim: I’m looking forward to this, uh, in so many ways. (laughs) How can it help me today be a better person? But I love this concept. Now, first of all, you’ve been married 60 years-

David: That’s right.

Jim: So when you’re talking to 20 something, 30 something married couples, do they just like drop their jaw and say, “You really did that? You married and stayed married for sixty-”

David: You really lived that long?

Jim: Years. (laughs) Even when I do it, we’ve been married 31 years and they’ll go, “Wow, how did you do that?” But 60 years, I’m in awe. And it’s wonderful.

David: Well, it’s interesting. The first 10 years of our marriage, we’ve named it, uh, the great tribulation (laughs). So we, we never read the tribulation books because we had already lived through the great tribulation. We, we got married very young and we didn’t know much about relationships and it was a tough time, but we stayed the course. And I have couples come in, married five years and they’re in difficulty. And I say, “Well, you got maybe five more years to go before you just kind of settle in.” And-

Jim: Five years?

David: Yeah. And th, th, I don’t know that… I mean, divorce wasn’t in our vocabulary. So it was like, we had to-

Jan: That’s one thing, we’ve never, we would never speak the word.

David: Yeah-

Jim: And that’s good.

John: I mean, foundational, a lot of young couples today need to have that same attitude.

David: ‘Cause it takes on a life of its own, if you start talking about it.

John: That’s so very true, let’s discuss emotional intelligence. Some people may not have heard of that term and not read literature about it. What is emotional intelligence? How does it differ from IQ and just, what is it?

David: Well, Daniel Goleman introduced the term in ’95 in a book called Emotional Intelligence. And he, he covered the whole spectrum. He covered family relationships and other relationships in the business world. But the business world and our business world, you kind of just grabbed hold of it and ran with it. So it’s only been applied primarily in the business world and it’s been probably the most important quality that a leader can have. Is to be strong on emotional intelligence in terms of their leadership. So it has its value been proven in the business world.

John: In fact, there was some study that showed the greater your EQ, your emotional quotient, the higher your pay, usually-

Jim: Yeah. 1300, 1300, dollars a year for one point on the, on the-

John: [crosstalk] Fascinating. Um, so that, I mean, there’s an empirical data driven relationship there between income and leadership positions and EQ-

Jim: And, and effectiveness.

John: And that’s, uh, different from what we want to talk about. Because where we’re going and your application of those learnings really applies to marriage and to God’s design of marriage, right?

Jim: That’s right.

David: I got involved in reading everything I could read on it. And every time I’d be reading it, I’d be thinking this applies to marriage, why doesn’t somebody do the, the application? And finally, we said, “Let’s do it.”

Jim: (laughs) Because nobody else did. And I appreciate that. That’s so often, what happens. Uh, but in your own marriage, what were those deficits? You referenced them and kind of made light of them, but for us to better understand how you began to say, “Okay, we aren’t doing things properly.” What were those things you were experiencing that lacked EQ?

Jan: W, well, we both grew up in Christian homes and, um, I mean, we had that great background and my folks were the ones who are on their knees every night. And you would think that we would come into a marriage well prepared. But when I said to Dave after the first few months, uh, “Could we pray together?” And he said, “Oh, oh.” And-

David: I, I was very creative with the reasons not to.

Jim: (laughs) Yeah. Oh.

David: And once our kids came along, I could pray with the family and I could pray with people. I was an associate pastor at the time. I could pray with people in my office, but to pray just with Jan. Oh, that was terrifying.

Jan: I think he was intimidated about, “What do I say? What…”

David: I thought I had to go down deep and reveal the dark side of my personality. If I was going to pray with her, it was my own problem. Nobody’s ever said that.

Jim: Right.

David: And I thought, “I can’t be that open with her because then she’ll reject me.”

John: Yeah.

David: And about 12, 14 years into our marriage, we, I said, I bit the bullet and said, “Okay, let’s pray together.” And we’ve been doing that ever since, every night and-

Jan: Never miss-

David: Got us through some terrible times within our family, with one of our kids. And got us through times where the difficulty within the marriage, it’s just been a stabilizing point.

Jim: But it was a flash point until you said, “Okay, I’ll do it.”

Jan: Uh huh. And often part of what we like to teach in the seminar, is how to get that going, to really understand that it’s not as easy for some. Others are, are very fluent in it because they came from it. Uh, but to really have a starting point. So we, we talked to them about how to start praying, uh, silently holding hands. We just we’d go through the whole thing to… and it’s usually the men who are holding back, but that’s, that’s not always true.

Jim: And you think it’s that intimidation. Huh?

David: I think so because, uh, women pray with each other at women’s Bible studies, men don’t pray too often at the men’s Bible studies. It’s comfortably-

Jim: Don’t tell the women that. (laughs)

David: (laughs) But it, it’s a comfort, but I’ve had men complain on the radio calls that we do, uh, saying, “My wife won’t pray out loud with me.” And he wants to do it. So there are exceptions, but, but you know, one of the things that we comment on in the book is our Basic Emotional Posture, or we call it the BEP. And that was what that’s, what was the problem in the beginning of our marriage, we didn’t understand our emotions. We didn’t understand, uh, my instant reaction to any kind of criticism or a conflict was to get angry. Because that was my basic emotional posture, it was anger. That’s what I’d learned from my father, and his anger and his outbursts. And I didn’t want to do it, but it was almost automatic, you know. And Jan’s was fear and they complement, the ang… If I got angry, she got afraid. She had rheumatic fever when she was a kid and stayed out of school for a year. Uh, her house was totally destroyed in an explosion one time when she was about nine. So those kinds of feed into a fear posture. And so I would get angry, she’d get afraid and back off, or she’d leave. She would often leave.

Jan: I’d actually walk out.

David: And, and go for a walk and, I mean, it’d be nighttime. And I’d be worried about her, you know and have to find her.

Jim: And that’s part of it, the SMART concept, that acronym. And we want to dive into that but give us a quick overview of SMART. And then we’ll start to dive a little deeper in each of those.

David: Well, the SMART is an acronym for, uh, five facets of what emotional intelligence in a marriage would look like. One, the S is, uh, self-aware of what I feel, and, and maybe, I start to become aware of it after I feel it. And after we’ve had the argument, “I was angry, I’m sorry.” Then I want to grow to the place where I can become aware of what I’m feeling at the time, so I can manage it in that. And the M stands for managing my emotions. Uh, the biblical concept from Timothy, there was self-control, one of the fruits of the Spirit is self-control. And so how do I do self-control? Well, I manage what I feel, especially the four negative emotions of anger, fear, shame, and sadness. And, uh, then the, A, we added the A. And we felt [crosstalk] yeah, the publisher, the publisher didn’t want to do SMRT.

Jim: Yeah, smert.

David: My son said, “Well, that’s kind of the way that people do things now.”

Jim: I’m pretty smert (laughs).

David: But they, uh, when Goleman first introduced it, he had five facets and, and motivation was the one that was eliminated eventually. So, so we added accountability, being accountable to myself. Uh, being accountable to my spouse and being accountable to other couples and how important that is. Uh, and then the R is reading my spouse’s emotions, which is a way of saying I have empathy. And I can read her emotions because I have developed my own self-awareness in managing my own emotions. And I’m comfortable now with my own feelings. And so I can be comfortable in reading and interpreting her feelings.

Jim: This might be one of the key areas, reading your spouse’s emotional feeling.

David: Oh, that, that makes all the difference.

Jim: It does make all the difference. It’s probably one of the most difficult of what you’ve mentioned so far to actually accomplish.

David: But [crosstalk] if, if I work on the S the S and the M and those facets, then I’m equipping myself to develop the skill at the empathy level.

Jim: Right. And we’re going to get into each of these more in just a minute, but let’s get T we got SMART.

David: T is together in the land of emotion. We talk, I talk about the land of emotions, uh, in the beginning of the book. And so T that means that we’re together. We’re comfortable to in with our emotional world now.

Jim: Boy, that’s a big one too.

David: Equally. And it’s a big one too.

Jim: And being comfortable-

David: Those are consequences. The R and the T are consequences of my developing the S and the M, and the A.

Jim: Let’s go back before we get into the SMART acronym, more deeply, the negative emotions you touched on anger, fear, sadness, shame.

David: Well, they, the… all of the emotional theorists agree that there are six basic emotions.

Jim: Yeah.

David: Uh, anger, fear are common. And then sometimes they use disgust, but disgust doesn’t fit what I’m doing. So I went with the others who use shame and sadness, and then there’s joy and there’s surprise. And joy and surprise-

Jan: So we concentrate on the first four, because that’s, that’s the issue. That’s where the problems come.

David: Yeah.

Jan: Yeah.

David: You don’t get in trouble with, because you’re too joyful. Or-

John: Oh, I don’t know. Sometimes I’ve surprised my wife and she’s didn’t really like it a whole lot. (laughs)

David: (laughs) Maybe it was the motivation behind the surprise.

Jim: That could be it.

John: Yeah.

Jim: Now, you’re finding and have found over the years that you’ve done this, that men are typically going to struggle a bit more with the concepts, more so than women. Why is that?

David: Well, it’s not that men don’t have emotions, although their wives are convinced they don’t have any emotions. You know, I had a couple in my office where she was extremely angry. I always said that the doorframe around my… the door in my office charged when she walked through it-

John: Oh my.

David: In the heat of her anger, you know. And then she sat there with her arms folded and just stared at me. And I said, “You’re, you’re very angry. Aren’t you?” And she says, “How astute.” (laughs) But I, he, she was talking, and she started crying, really crying heavily. And I turned to him, I said, “What are you feeling right now? As you watch your wife feel so pained.” And he said, “Well, I think…” I said, “Don’t tell me what you think. Tell me what you feel.” He couldn’t, he couldn’t say a word. And so I started to, through a list of feelings, “Do you feel this? Do you feel this?” And he could think a minute and say yes, and say no. And his wife, all of a sudden stopped crying. She said, “You mean he has emotions?” And he just didn’t have the language for emotions, but he, he could help. So we have a, we have a chart in the book of the four negative emotions, and I think there’s nine sub feelings that go under it-

Jim: Descriptions.

David: Descriptions of, of that emotion, how we might characterize it. And I suggest that you take it, and laminate it and carry it with you if you’re a man.

Jim: Well, that’s a great idea. And I was even thinking about that. I think we do not connect these dots very well as men. We will say we feel angry, but then what does that really mean? And in fact-

David: That’s the only emotion we are aware of.

Jim: Yeah. And let me just read some of those descriptors, because even as I was prepping for the show-

Jan: Well that, that’s important.

Jim: It helped, it helped me go, “Oh, that’s the label.” But under anger, it’s furious, enraged, irate, seething, upset, frustrated, annoyed, irritated, touchy. I mean, that, that gives some substance to that-

Jan: All under anger.

Jim: Yeah. And I found that to be really helpful because I… it’s, multi-dimensional-

David: Chart and say, “Well, this what I’m feeling.” That goes under the rubric of fear, or shame, or what or sadness, you know, unworthy is the sadness.

Jim: So I think women are far more adept at connecting to those descriptors than we are. It’s innate for them. They know how to do it-

David: But they don’t… They don’t know how to do it with their husband.

Jim: Yeah and so-

Jan: Well, yeah. Oftentimes, they feel like, “We’ll just make things worse. If we, if we talk about our emotion, what we’re feeling.” And it goes by, then the time goes by and they don’t really get to share with him because they, they’re afraid. And many women have deep emotions. Of course they do.

David: And they share them with them with their lady friends.

Jan: They might share them with her or my prayer partner-

Jim: ‘Cause they understand them.

David: They understand them, yeah.

Jim: My husband doesn’t understand me, which is pretty true-

David: She withdraws. And the, and there is a way to express it and to get him to understand the language is a big help.

John: Well today on Focus on the Family. We’re talking with Dr. David Stoop and his wife, Dr. Jan Stoop. And, uh, the concepts that we’re discussing are in their book, The Emotionally Healthy Marriage: Growing Closer by Understanding Each Other. And, uh, we do have that book and the link to the Stoops’ emotional intelligence assessment. You’ll find those and other resources at focusonthefamily.com/broadcast. And now let’s return to the second half of our conversation with David and Jan.

Jim: Let me ask you a more fundamental question. Why is it so scary or intimidating for us in our marriages to be vulnerable that way? You would think that, particularly with Christian marriages, that we would want to understand each other as best as we could. To learn about each other, to have a SMART love, but even in Christian marriages, we pull back, we hide, we don’t, uh, let the other person in, the spouse that we know and love so much.

David: Well, we can do it before we’re married to some degree.

Jim: Right. And it’s attractive.

Jan: Yeah.

David: Yeah. And then all of a sudden, the person who we were going to marry disappears, and the real person comes at the wedding, and now it all changes. It changed for us. Then as soon as the ceremony was over, it was like, I was a different person.

Jim: In what way? Just give us some descriptors.

David: I, I became more controlling and less understanding. ‘Cause I was, you know, I, I say I was young. I was immature. I didn’t understand. I think it has a lot to do with maturity, but it has to do with self-acceptance. Because there’s a sense in which my feelings are the closest part of me to my soul. And that’s the most vulnerable place that I have, is when I get emotional. So a guy will cry at a movie, but he’s got to be sure and clear up his eyes before the lights come back on.

Jim: (laughs) That’s for sure.

David: And it’s okay. He might allow himself to do that. But if, to talk about it with his wife afterwards, that’s weak. And we, we often define that as weak too, which makes it difficult.

Jim: Yeah. Jan, how about for you as the wife and you, I don’t know if you saw that right away, that change at the altar, so to speak. You move from SMART love to stupid love. And thankfully you got back to SMART love.

Jan: To me, it felt like, “Oh, I’ve got you now.”

Jim: Yeah, “I’ve got you now. So we’re done. Now, this is the real me.”

Jan: And so we’re, we’re, we’re in the real world now. But, um, but a lot of it was triggered by my changes too. After the marriage, I felt trapped. I felt like I was going to be, um, just overshadowed or I, it wasn’t important for me to get my degrees or all those things came about within the fact that-

David: I didn’t know you felt that.

Jim: Here we go, right here. Breaking news, will they make it to 61? (laughs)

Jan: Right. But I think that, um, it took a lot of years for me to feel comfortable. Like I was, um, my decisions were important and all those things that a woman wants, they were sort of shadowed. Because we were… but a lot of it was because we were, we were not on the same page a lot of the time. And both of us were working, we were busy. And then, uh, we had children really quick. And so I think that both of us had a, a big part in what we did those first 10 years.

David: It does. It’s an interplay between the wife’s fears and the husband’s fears. And we don’t know what to do with our fears at that stage. And so we, we give in to them and that just perpetuates the cycle.

Jim: When so many, again, you’ve been married 60 years, so many couples experience, 20, 30 years of hiding. And maybe they continued to just be there. And eventually one of them dies-

David: That’s a lonely feeling.

Jim: And that’s a lonely feeling. And this is the point. So many, particularly women feel lonely in their marriages.

David: That’s why the seven-year itch. The old seven-year itch has become the 37-year itch, because a lot of divorces are taking place in the late thirties. And they’re initiated by the wife.

Jim: Right.

David: Because she’s fed up with the loneliness.

Jim: And the kids are gone, usually it’s an empty nest and that’s what’s happening. Let’s dive into SMART again. And let’s go a little deeper with each of the acronyms. That’s the goal. And we’ll get to one or two today and then we’ll have to come back next time and cover the others. But, uh, let’s start with S uh, what does it mean again? And what does that self-awareness uh, how is that defined and why are so many of us just bad at it? (laughs) Is it the fall? Is it sin nature, is… what is it?

David: I think it’s sin.

Jan: I think as women we are, we’re, we are bad at it too. We, you know, I had never, ever thought about what kind of, um, category I was in, as far as my emotions until we started doing something like this. But I had no idea of all the fears that I was working with.

Jim: Women do make him to be bound by fear.

Jan: Yeah. And-

Jim: And it’s a general statement but-

Jan: And so, yeah, so for me, uh, that first part, what is so important under the S, is that we begin to find our basic emotional posture. And that’s so important that you start there because that’s going to overshadow everything else that you, you do with this SMART.

John: It’s that BEP that you mentioned earlier.

Jim: Basic emotional posture. So define that for us.

Jan: And we call it the BEP, B-E-P. (laughs)

Jim: And, and What does it actually mean, what is it to be in your basic posture?

David: That’s my default position. That’s the place that I go to automatically without even thinking.

Jim: What do those attributes look like?

David: Uh,

Jim: Anger?

David: For me, it would be anger. For Jan, it would be fear. I did a workshop last week and my guy came up to me afterwards, said, “When you started talking about that…” He said, “I knew immediately my basic emotional posture was shame.” Because of how he was raised. And then the sadness is the feeling of total unworthiness and the hopelessness-

Jan: So there’s four basic, it’s one, going to be one of those to start with-

Jim: Those emotions.

John: And those are just present. And it takes a little bit of stress maybe, or a circumstance and that-

Jan: And then it comes-

David: It gets, it gets triggered instantly. And it’s probably come from things that people that I’ve experienced it growing up or like events that I experienced growing up. And so there’s an action plan. The first action plan after the SMART-

Jan: Well, under each one of them-

David: Under each of those-

Jan: SMART that we have about five action plans

David: Action plans and the first one that you come to is to define your emotional posture. And it asks you questions to discuss with your spouse about who represented that emotion. And when you were growing up, how was it experienced and things like that to try to get at the root of it. So that you understand where it comes from, but it’s, it’s like a trigger point and boom, I’m there. I’m acting out that-

John: So it’s your buttons, what pushes your buttons. So it’s the buttons anger, or shame-

David: Yeah. It’s the emotion that’s attached to all of my buttons.

Jim: Right.

Jan: And then once you decide or not decide, because you don’t have to decide, but, but you realize that you are probably in that category, then I can see all the places that I use that. One of the things, the fears I got out of my childhood was I was not going to have enough, I wasn’t going to have the right things and all those things because of our losing everything as a child. And, um, I realized that I treat him like that. If I see him, uh, carrying something out of the house and I say, “Are you-”

David: Towards a trash can.

Jan: “Are you gonna put that in the trash?” And I think, “Oh, okay. All right. But I wanted to have some choice in that.” And so I can just feel even subtly the triggers of fear on things like that, even.

Jim: Yeah. You know, one of the difficulties, again, as Christians, I think we can, um, kind of play this down as just a bunch of psychology. But the Lord does encourage us to know our hearts as best we can. To know more accurately who we are, because that grounded-ness allows you to say, “Oh, I’m outside of his will. I’m sinning.” You have to have an awareness that you’re in the right spot, or you’re not in the right spot. And that’s really what we’re driving at overall. Right?

David: Paul says be angry, but don’t sin. So there’s a way to be angry that’s healthy. And there’s a way to be angry that’s sinful. And I think that would be true for any of the negative. And there’s a way to be fearful that that’s-

Jan: That’s appropriate.

David: Reasonable, it’s appropriate. There’s ways that not to. But that’d be the, the basic, the reason we want to identify that, that becomes the first emotion that we’re going to, we’re going to learn to manage. Because that’s the one that gets us in trouble in our marriage. And that’s the one that we’ve got to get a handle on and kind of release our buttons so that they’re not so easily triggered.

Jim: We’re going to come back next time and talk more about this. But, uh, you used an analogy in your book that puts a smile on my face right now. It’s the Eskimo culture and how young people enter into adulthood.

David: Yes.

Jim: Uh, it’s kind of unique. What was it?

David: Well, they had to touch a bear-

Jim: Not just a bear-

David: A polar bear. They had to touch a polar bear. And, and basically what they had to do was face the biggest fear that they would ever live with. And-

Jim: Hmm.

David: To successfully do that, launched you into adulthood. And to not successfully do it kept you from it that it’s like the old Testament blessing.

Jim: Yes.

David: Where the father would launch the, him into adulthood by blessing him.

Jim: Hmm. David, in that context, just for some of us who may not see it clearly, what does that do for me? What’s the emotion that it’s, uh, pulling out that’s positive? To go up and touch your biggest fear.

David: Well, if I can touch my, the thing I’m most afraid of then there’s nothing I need to be afraid of anymore.

Jim: Hmm.

David: And so I see myself as being competent-

Jim: So confidence, courage-

David: Courage-

Jim: All the brighter sides of emotion.

David: Yeah and fear grows when we don’t face it. And so we become more afraid if we don’t deal with the fear that we have. And, and I have a book called There’s a Nightmare in My Closet, where the little boy finally faces this fear that there is a nightmare in the closet, and he turns the light back on after going to bed. And sure enough, there’s this big monster at the bottom of his bed. And he shoots it and the monster starts crying. And then he tries to get him to stop crying. And finally, he puts him into bed with him and he says, “I’m sure there’s another monster in my closet, but there’s only room in my bed for one.” And it’s a book on fear and I have adults read it right in my office. It’s a children’s book, because if you face what you’re afraid of, it becomes a crying little baby, rather than a scary monster. And so in a sense, I have mastery over the polar bear because I could reach up and touch it and survived it.

John: And we’re going to press pause right there in our conversation with the late Dr. David Stoop and his wife, Dr. Jan Stoop. And we’ll be back next time to share at the conclusion of the conversation.

Jim: John, it’s true that treading into the territory of emotions can be really scary, especially for us guys. And I remember a time in our marriage when Jean said, “I love you. I just don’t like you right now.” And her saying that really brought so many emotions up in me. And I didn’t know, really what to do with those feelings. But as David and Jan have reminded us today, processing and sharing what we’re feeling, even when we’re hurt or angry is a fast track to greater intimacy in our marriages. It’s just like the Lord to set it up that way. When that vulnerability is there, then he moves through us. If you’re ready to work on your emotional intelligence in your marriage, the perfect place to start is the Stoops’ book, The Emotionally Healthy Marriage: Growing Closer by Understanding Each Other. It dives deeper into each part of the SMART acronym and also includes a detailed assessment for you and your spouse to do. And if you’d be willing to join our team of monthly sustainers and give to Focus on the Family each month, I’ll send you a copy of The Emotionally Healthy Marriage to say, thank you for joining us. Or if monthly support isn’t in the budget, I get that, a one-time gift is certainly helpful to the ministry.

John: And the number to donate and get that book is 800, the letter A, and the word FAMILY or stop by focusonthefamily.com/broadcast. And on behalf of Jim Daly and the entire team, thanks for joining us today for Focus on the Family. I’m John Fuller inviting you back next time as we hear more from Dr. David and Dr. Jan Stoop, to help you and your family thrive in Christ.

 

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Finding True Joy in Blessing Others

Becky Kopitzke encourages you to find small, simple ways to bless those around you. Through personal stories and practical tips, she explores the Four P’s of blessing others with your presence, your possessions, your perspective and your prayers.

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Fueling Great Relationships With Others

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

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Simple Habits to Embrace in Your Marriage

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

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Affair-Proof Your Marriage (Part 1 of 2)

Pastor Dave Carder offers couples practical advice for protecting their marriages from adultery in a discussion based on his book Anatomy of an Affair: How Affairs, Attractions, and Addictions Develop, and How to Guard Your Marriage Against Them. (Part 1 of 2)

Focus on the Family Broadcast logo

Affair-Proof Your Marriage (Part 2 of 2)

Pastor Dave Carder offers couples practical advice for protecting their marriages from adultery in a discussion based on his book Anatomy of an Affair: How Affairs, Attractions, and Addictions Develop, and How to Guard Your Marriage Against Them. (Part 2 of 2)

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!