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What Your Kids Need Most to Grow Up Well (Part 2 of 2)

What Your Kids Need Most to Grow Up Well (Part 2 of 2)

Danny Huerta, Vice President of Focus on the Family's Parenting and Youth department, offers insights from his counseling experience, research, and Biblical knowledge to outline the parenting strategies that have proven to be the most effective, including steadfast love and boundaries, respect, grace, adaptability, and more. (Part 2 of 2)
Original Air Date: August 19, 2020

Excerpt:

Mr. Danny Huerta: Respect is about self-awareness. It’s really a lot about that. And I’ll tell parents, “Take, uh – give yourself three, four, five time outs a day. Go mark it off if you need to…”

Jim Daly: (Laughter).

Danny: “…If you’re one of those screamers that loses control.” But this is about reflection and learning. We get new sunrises, new sunsets every day. It’s never too late to really become more aware of how you’re impacting your kids. And you can start today.

End of Excerpt

John Fuller: That’s Danny Huerta describing some really practical ways that you can be more effective as a parent and give your kids what they need the most. You’ll learn more today on Focus on the Family with your host Focus president and author, Jim Daly. And I’m John Fuller.

Jim: John, every parent I know wants to raise good, responsible kids who are healthy, happy, holy. Um, that’s what we’re aiming for. I don’t know a single parent that has ever said to me, “I just hope I raise horrible children.”

(LAUGHTER)

Jim: I mean, it’s just not in our heart.

John: Right.

Danny: No.

Jim: But how do we get our kids on that right path and is there more of a broad highway that we need to aim for then this narrow, you know, (laughter) direction? And, uh, you heard last time from Danny Huerta, our guest, it starts with us. I mean, we model this as parents. And if you’re not seeing what you like in your kids, then maybe it might be starting with you, right? That’s a great place to start. We went over seven traits of parenting and we’re going to cover some of those today. There’s a classic verse in the Old Testament book of Deuteronomy, 6:5-7 which tells us, “To diligently teach God’s commands to our children.” And when we’re sitting at home or walking together, just do it. When we go to bed and when we get up in the morning, it’s not much of a list of rules to impart to them, but a lifestyle that we model for them every day.
John: Mm-hmm.

Jim: And I’m telling you, I wake up with that attitude. I mean, I’ve been trying to train my youngest, Troy, to drive a clutch.

(LAUGHTER)

Jim: That’ll test your parenting. Let me tell you.

Danny: Yes. Yes.

Jim: I think we only dumped it three times yesterday and I was, like, (laughter) just trying to be so positive. “It’s okay if you break the clutch. I’ll just get it fixed. No problem.”

John: (Laughter).

Jim: I’m patting myself of the back.

John: Okay.

Jim: But it’s important. They can’t fear you. They want to love and emulate you. That’s what we’re aiming for.

John: Yeah. And what I so appreciate about Danny and this great book he’s written, 7 Traits of Effective Parenting, is that it’s not a formula…

Danny: No.

John: …For the output. It’s a matter of looking at yourself and modeling certain traits and approaching your kids with these traits. And, um, I think you’re going to find this really a great conversation. If you missed the conversation last time, make sure you contact us or go online to find it. It really was great. And Danny is a colleague. He’s our vice president of Parenting and Youth here at Focus and, uh, we do have that book available when you get in touch. Our number is 800, the letter A and the word FAMILY. Or stop by focucsonthefamily.com/broadcast.

Jim: Danny, welcome back to the program.

Danny: Hey, it’s an honor and privilege to be here with you, Jim.

Jim: Before we start, let’s give a quick recap of what we discussed last time. And it’s through your research and counseling experience with families, you’ve identified these seven – I would say core traits – that can help parents be more effective. Let’s share them again and then we’ll pick up where we left off last time.

Danny: Yeah. It’s adaptability, respect, intentionality, steadfast love. It’s boundaries, grace, forgiveness and then gratitude.

Jim: That all sounds so good…

Danny: Yeah,

Jim: …But if you’ve got to be a student of each of those, that could be – at least give the impression that it could be exhausting. But you’re not saying that. You’re saying just be aware of it in your everyday interaction with your children, right?

Danny: It’s natural that we have these traits if we’re really wanting the best for our kids. These are natural traits that can play out. And what’s interesting is the research scientifically backs all this up.

Jim: (Laughter).

Danny: This is from Diana Baumrind and…

Jim: Yeah, I’m laughing just because so often Christians are chided for not knowing research.

Danny: Right.

Jim: We do, folks. This is it. What’s really amazing is how often research backs up Scripture.

John: Mm-hmm.

Jim: So…

Danny: Yeah, there’s been so much research on parenting styles and a lot of parents probably know and have heard about the parenting styles – authoritarian, authoritative, permissive, neglectful parenting. And the goal is authoritative parenting. That’s over and over and over again. And what’s interesting is in culture, recently, research has been saying permissive parenting is the way to go, and that is so damaging. That’s a message out there that some parents are getting. Now, if you’ve done these seven traits and you’ve done the authoritative side where you have boundaries, limits, a warmth and care and sensitivity, then maybe towards the end there’s more permissiveness. And so, that’s a weakness within that research that they tested families that were kind of towards the end of their parenting and most likely they did really well up here…

Jim: Yeah. Your 17-year-old is treated different than your 7-year-old.

Danny: Right.

Jim: Yeah.

Danny: And so, it’s interesting how research kind of twists things around. So, this – these are all Biblical traits if we’re following Deuteronomy 6, but then also science backs it up. And in my counseling practice, if parents have done this, their relationship is good. Their kids aren’t perfect.

Jim: You know, it’s interesting, Danny, as I was setting that up a moment ago, I did make that statement – I don’t know of parents who get up saying, “I want to ruin my kids. I don’t want my kids to be healthy.” But our own family of origin, our own buttons, our own temperaments can work against us, even unconsciously at times. We don’t even know we’re doing damage.

Danny: Yeah, many times we’re allowing things to go thinking that that’s loving, to just let. They’re just kids. They’re just teens. And we let it go. And then all of sudden there’s an explosion and a frustration where a parent is completely stressed. That’s one of the most common patterns I see in parents, that they want their kids to – to do well, they want better for them later on down the road and their assumption is if I just let them kind of learn as they go, they’ll figure it out. But then they do certain things that they’re not supposed to and it’s not clear what they’re not (laughter) supposed to do. And all the sudden a parent explodes, and it damages the relationship and there’s not much relationship. It’s not very loving to just let your kid do whatever they want.

Jim: Well, and that takes us right into number four, steadfast love. I mean, what a great place to break in. And again, if you missed last time, get the smartphone app or go to the website, as John said. You can hear the discussion last time. But let’s pick up there – steadfast love. Parents need to love their children, obviously, but I tend to be more lenient. You know, it’s kind of interesting, Jean and I — Jean’s a little more toe-the-line, boundaries oriented. I tend to be, “You know what? They’re kids. They’ll figure it out.” And, uh, so, I confess. But speak to all of us in addressing steadfast love.

Danny: And that is so – that makeup is very common, right?

Jim: (Laughing) Yes, it is.

Danny: Jim, that’s – that’s the common home right there.

Jim: But not always in that direction. Dads could be the boundary people. I mean – but usually couples are attracted, and these are attributes of your marriage. One is a little more easygoing than the other sometimes.

Danny: Which means we have a workout plan.

Jim: (Laughter).

Danny: For both of us, right? So, moms, whoever is much more rules-focused needs to learn about the warmth and – and playfulness of the other. And the playful one that is more permissive learns from the rule person. We get to learn from one another and have…

Jim: Ideally.

Danny: …Kind of a workout – right ? – together in that.

Jim: Not irritate each other.

Danny: (Laughs) That’s right. And we will. Right? But I love this quote from Dallas Willard. He’s one of my favorite authors. And it’s “The strongest human will is always the one that is surrendered to God’s will and acts with it.” This is the ministry of Christ. To follow His will and His will is that we’re going to love one another. And what was the depth of His love? He died for sinners. He had compassion on those who hated Him. And so, in our homes, we need not just love that – that frufree love, the Hallmark love. This is steadfast, unwavering love that reaches into the dark moments and goes through seasons with our kids where they need somebody to bring some light, to bring prayer, to bring a listening ear, to bring guidance in places that are very confusing. The culture with our kids right now is very confusing. There’s so many micro influencers, influencers, so much that claims to be truth when it’s not. So many different pressures on their time and then demands on performance that it’s overwhelming for kids. Right now suicide is at such a high level. Depression, anxiety – mental health is really a concern right now with our kids. And as parents, if we enter with mercy to our kids and really take the time to invest in them, even if it’s 60 seconds. And that’s something I love to do with my daughter. She asked a few years back, she goes, “Dad, can we have 60 seconds?” And I said, “Of course, let’s do that.” And she said, “Can you just hold me?” And I said, “Yes, I can – I can hold you.” And that was powerful to me because it gave me a picture, an invitation from God to say, “I want to hold you. I want 60 seconds. Let’s have that together.” Do you want 60 seconds? So, I’ve had those moments with God. “Can I have 60 seconds? Can You just hold me for a moment?” And I’ve – with my daughter now, she’s extended that to, “Can we do 5 minutes?”

John: (Laughter).

Danny: “Can we do – can we do 180 seconds?” And we love having that time together. I – Jim, one of the amazing things for parents is when there are difficult times in the home and there’s a reconnection of that steadfast love, that is one of the most powerful relationships moving forward. We’re not going to have homes that are not going to be under attack. Since the beginning, Satan has been attacking the family. And it will continue. And that requires a steadfast, deep rooted love because the storms are gonna come, the winds are gonna come, and that’s where, as a parent, you stand. And you stand for your home. You’re a leader, as a mom and as a dad. And as you guys show that steadfast love towards one another, it creates a foundation that’s unshakable. And it gives you the opportunity to connect with your kids at a level that Christ has provided for your family. And this is not about the – the love; let’s hug; let’s be happy. These are sad moments and the happy moments. And its foundational to all the other traits. And that’s that steadfast love that God talks about all throughout Scripture to us.

Jim: Danny, in fact, you wear an unusual ring that wraps around two of your fingers and your family kind of created this maybe as the family ring. I don’t know. But tell us the story about the ring.

Danny: Yeah, my daughter came to me with a silicone bracelet that she’d gotten at school, and it was it was pink. It was small. She said, “Dad, I’m giving you this. You have to wear this forever.” And I looked at her with that – and she had intensity. And I said, “Well, it doesn’t fit.” So, I wrapped around two fingers. And something we had said in our home is, “You and me together forever.” And the idea of heaven, no matter what happens today, we’ll be together forever because you love Christ, I love Christ, we’re gonna be in heaven together. And then she said, “Dad, I wish parents and kids could have rings like that. And to be able to say they’re gonna be together forever.” And I said, “Yeah, me too.” She said, “Can we make them?” And I said, “Well, I don’t do that.”

(LAUGHTER)

Danny: “But let’s go on this – this journey.” And we ended up making the rings. It was quite an experience, taking these young kids 6 and 8 through this journey of inventing something and creating it and having a manufacturer. And then she said, “Dad, I think we need to say, ‘You and me together for definitely ever.’” And the idea that we can have reassurance that we will be in heaven forever. And a lot of people ask me about these rings. “Where did those come from? What do they mean?” And it’s my commitment to Christ and the idea that I have a hope that I will be in heaven forever with my family and with those – those I love. And this just gives me a good perspective on what my priorities are here on earth and that is my family, my kids, my relationship with Christ and what He has me to do.

Jim: Yeah, that’s a beautiful picture. And what a great thing to do for your daughter and your son. Um, let’s move to the next trait – boundaries. It’s insightful you didn’t start there, you know, boundaries and rules. I think a lot of parents want to start there.

Danny: Right.

Jim: Because it’s more easily controlled by us, right? That may be one of the key factors. We can control what the boundaries are. Do this.

Danny: (Laughter).

Jim: Don’t do that. And if you don’t do the right thing, here’s the consequence. It seems very controlling that we can do this. But, um, they’re important. They play a role, like you said, and the research shows that kids that have boundaries tend to do better, but they need that offsetting love and affirmation, too.

Danny: Yeah.

Jim: So, speak to boundaries and the importance of boundaries.

Danny: Yeah. And his is – the boundaries begin with yourself. I – I – really how do you manage you with your boundaries and model that with your kids? If you say it’s a value – and the phone one is the big one right now for a lot of parents and kids. I just had a counseling session with the teen and his mom, and he said, “Well, when my mom starts to put the phone down, I’ll put it down, too.”

John: Hmm.

Danny: And she – she was saying that he was on the phone too much in the car. He said,
“Well, my mom’s texting while she’s driving.”

Jim: Whoops!

Danny: And so…

Jim: That’s not good.

Danny: And so, really, the boundaries begin with us. This is the hardest one across the board. We have a parenting assessment at Focus on the Family. Uh, and, uh, you can take it for free at focusonthefamily.com/7traits. The number 7-traits. And most commonly parents score lower on boundaries and limits, including me. And I would say that it’s challenging because we want our kids to have some autonomy, some independence and really explore. And yet at the same time, put some – some limits. And so, as they’re growing older, we’re adjusting those. And in certain situations, you’re adjusting your limits and boundaries and with different personalities. If you have an impulsive child, you may have different boundaries and limits than a child that is very compliant.

Jim: But that’s not fair!

Danny: (Laughing) That’s right.

(LAUGHTER)

Danny: And that’s – that’s it.

Jim: I can hear that coming back right now!

Danny: Yes.

Jim: “Why you treat me different?” “Because you’re compulsive.” (laughing)

Danny: And this – this is what creates conflict between moms and dads, many times.

Jim: Oh, yeah.

Danny: Yes. Big ones.

Jim: Yeah.

Danny: And it lowers the respect towards one another because of this.

Jim: (Laughter).

Danny: So, we want to watch this. And this is really about being on a trajectory towards something really good for your kids.

Jim: I say this tongue in cheek, but I have said I – Jean and I, we’d have a perfect marriage if we didn’t have teenagers!

(LAUGHTER)

Jim: They do tend to put stress…

Danny: Yes.

Jim: …Right on the weak points in your relationship, and how you problem solve as mom and dad. But, um, you and your wife, actually, to give an example of that – your son, Alex. You’ve set up some dating boundaries. Just to give somebody a practical idea, what did that look like?

Danny: (Laughter) This is funny, Jim. We, uh – we came to our son with a contract and it was the outlining of being ready to be a contributor in a young woman’s life in the dating and taking this very seriously. We said you need to ask the dad for permission. You need to take this seriously. You’re contributing to her story. And I want you both to have a history you want to remember…

Jim: That’s a great way to say that that really is good.

Danny: Yes. Because if we enter dating as a consumer, it’s damaging.

Jim: Yeah. Correct.

Danny: If we entered as contributors, it is. It is a very powerful thing. So, he said, “Dad, I’m going to be a contributor.” And he filled out the contract and we talked about it and it’s still there. And sometimes that’s a great place to check in. So, how are you treating her? How are you being a contributor? Tell me some of the ways you’re being a contributor to her story, because someday she may be a wife to someone else and it’s going to be great if you help them out. By the way, you treat her…

Jim: “No way, Dad. We’re going to get married! We know it.

(LAUGHTER)

Danny: And they’ve been dating for a long time. What’s interesting is before that, some girls were wanting to date. And I said, “Tell them you’re on the bench. You’re not – you’re not coming in yet.”

(LAUGHTER)

John: Good one!

Jim: (laughing) On the bench!

Danny: …You’re not coming in yet!

Jim: I’m out of the game!

Danny: Yeah. That’s right, I’m out of the game. And he got to use that. And then the day of when he turned 16, they started to ask and I said, “You need to have mentors in place for you outside of our home and then hear the Scriptures of why it’s important to be a contributor in a young woman’s life. And this is the ownership as you’re honoring your own wife, down the road.” And on the whole physicality thing, I said, “This is an opportunity to learn intimacy to different levels – of emotional connection with someone else, conversational. So, that mental connection, relational, having experiences with another person. And you’ve been learning that already with your friends. And the final one is physical. And in dating, the physicality is about doing activities together and learning from one another, but learning all these other intimacies because someday you’re going to be able to give a gift to your wife. And she is, too. And you guys are taking care of that. And that’s what this contract is about.” And each, each family can develop their very own. There isn’t a magical formula to a dating contract. It’s what are you wanting for your child as they’re contributing within this opportunity to date? There’s so many temptations with it. Let’s set it up with vision and then it can go well.

John: This is Focus on the Family and you’re hearing from Danny Huerta, one of our colleagues here at the ministry, and he’s written a great book, 7 Traits of Effective Parenting. We’ve got that and the parenting assessment he mentioned all at focusonthefamily.com/broadcast. Or call 800, the letter A and the word FAMILY.

Jim: Danny, next would be grace and forgiveness. And parents, you know, we tend to think of our children needing these traits more than ourselves.

(LAUGHTER)

Jim: Isn’t that human?

Danny: Oh, that’s true!

Jim: Always pointing the finger at the other person.

Danny: Yeah.

Jim: In this case, it’s our kids. But grace and forgiveness starts with the Lord, but then we as parents need to extend that to our children. It can be one of the toughest things to do.

Danny: It’s hard.

Jim: Why is that? Then how do we reorient ourselves to extend grace and forgiveness in a genuine way?

Danny: Yes, Jim, it is. Our emotions come into parenting and emotions can take us places we weren’t intending to go.

Jim: Yes.

Danny: And, uh, most of the things that happen with our kids are at inconvenient times because our schedules, our lives, are so packed with so many things that it’s never convenient to have to repair or to have forgiveness towards a child that has done something that is damaging to himself or to the family. And so, you have to press pause. And I’ve told parents, “Hey, press pause and have pause buttons all over your house for a little while to remind you of the need to pause and repair where it’s needed.” Because I love to use the analogy of cities, Jim, and, uh, the idea that each of us are cities. We have rough areas in our lives that have been built over time. We’ve had multiple connections that are either maybe severed over time, but some that are big highways towards us. But over time, we’ve built this big city and now we married another big city. And we have highways there to maintain and then we have friendships and highways towards those other cities. But then we form little towns, little kids, and they had little cities. And over time there were dirt roads and those have expanded to highways, but they’re constantly under construction. And if we don’t pay attention to them over time, those roads will be impassable. You will not be able to go between each other and get to know each other’s city. And you can’t control the development of that city. Over time, they develop other connections and influences come into their city and it’s built over time and that’s healthy. You want to teach them how to form and discern healthy connections. And grace and forgiveness is about regaining emotional and spiritual safety. We’re so obsessed with physical safety. Yet God says that emotional and spiritual safety are key for our relationships and our development and for life to go the way it needs to go within God’s will.

Jim: Hmm.

Danny: We’re so focused on this need for physical safety that we miss out on those. And grace and forgiveness is a regaining of that spiritual safety far home so that Satan doesn’t have any room to play. And then it’s also the emotional safety that you’re safe enough to admit when you’ve done wrong and you’re safe enough to forgive me when I’ve done something wrong. And now our highways can have the bridge building that it needs instead of fence building.

John: Hmm.

Jim: So, we’d like to hold our guests to accountability. So, you have some story about a slow cooker…

John: (Laughter).

Jim: …That melted.

Danny: Oh, man. Oh, Jim.

Jim: So, did this like punch your button? Or what?

Danny: Oh, yeah. Well, I was – I was working on the – a big paper for the PhD program I’m in. And I was deep into it. And my daughter had her friend over, and they just decided on a whim to make some soap…

Jim: (Laughter).

Danny: …And, uh – and make some other things in the kitchen. And they put the – the slow cooker on top of the burner and forgot they turned the burner underneath…

Jim: The crock pot?

Danny: … A crock pot. Yes. (Laughing)

Jim: Oh my, that’s not how it works.

Danny: That’s not how it works. And, uh, they had forgotten they did that. All the sudden I smell burning and then in the other room I hear “Uh oh.” And then I said, “Hey, what…? Okay, what happened?” And the whole crock pot was just melted. It created a mess on the burner. It was just a disaster and it was the least convenient time for me to have (laughing) – this paper was due!

Jim: It typically happens then.

Danny: And – and I looked at her and I could see her really feeling bad. And I went over the sink and just stared out the window for a little bit…

Jim: (Laughter).

Danny: …And just got a drink of water. And I’m going…

(LAUGHTER)

Danny: And I’m just breathing and just looking out …

John: Was this, like, before the storm erupts?

Danny: And I felt it, I felt the emotion. And I said, “Okay. I need to regroup. What am I going to say? What’s can be helpful?” She could tell I was not happy. And I turned around and I said, “Hey, can we just take some pictures of that? That’s quite a work of art, you guys.”

(LAUGHTER)

John: Oh!

Jim: Oh, that’s nice. That must’ve been a long drink of water!

Danny: Oh, it was – yeah.

(LAUGHTER)

Danny: It was the whole glass. The whole glass…

Jim: The whole glass!

Danny: …Just staring out the window. Yeah. Yeah.

Jim: Breathe. You’re using every tool in your toolkit.

(LAUGHTER)

Danny: All the way to the toes!

Jim: Okay, let’s take a picture now.

Danny: Yeah.

John: Good response.

Jim: I think that sets up gratitude. (Laughs)

Danny: Hmm.

Jim: Which is the next and last trait that we’re gonna have time to cover. It’s probably a good one, right? Gratitude is a great thing if people have more gratitude, I think it reflects so beautifully God’s heart.

Danny: Oh, yes.

Jim: And so, get into gratitude. Explain how today’s social media, for example, is contributing, I think, to a lack of gratitude. It’s just eh-eh-eh-eh! It’s the opposite of gratitude.

Danny: And that’s that contributors in God’s kingdom being thankful to being in that. And as parents, we get to have that. It’s a reset of our mind. It’s an opportunity to find peace. In Colossians 3, which I love, “Putting on the new self” in 3:12. First he says all the things that could go wrong and which is reality in our humanity. He says, “Put on the new self.” And he ends it with and be – “And do these things with thankfulness.” It’s a good wrapping of everything where if we wake up and we’re thankful it makes a difference in how we see things. It opens up our eyes to what God is doing. And that’s what He wants from us. I remember recently when I saw my children sleeping, I just walked in the room, looked and I said, “Lord, thank You for these two kids you’ve given me.” Then I walked toward my wife and saw her sleeping. And I said, “Thank You for the wife you’ve given me.” And just in that thankfulness, going out for the day, God has given us so much opportunity in our relationships. I’m grateful for the invitations He gives me. I will be imperfect in some of those invitations. And again, this is a gratitude where God is giving us opportunities to grow. And if we tell our kids, “Hey, I’m grateful for you” and look into their eyes, that means a ton to our kids. Take that moment of just five seconds to say, “I’m thankful for you” and looking into their eyes and you’ll see the response you’ll get from them.

Jim: Yeah. Yeah. And it’s a good place to close. I want you to share a story because it’s so poignant and I think it makes all the points that you’re making. This was a story about a teen boy that you counseled. He had attempted suicide but failed. And the idea and the characteristic that gratitude played in his recovery. So many parents and so many teens need to hear this story.

Danny: Yes. In this – this family, this was a powerful moment for them. I remember getting the phone call that this young man needed to – to come in. They said, “He, uh, used to see you.” He, uh, many months later decided to attempt suicide. And this is when I got the call. They said, “He’s in the hospital and is recovering and needs to see you after. Can he come in?” And I said, “Absolutely.” And so, he came in and he said, “Mr. Huerta, I’m so thankful that I wasn’t successful at taking my life. My – my life is so different in just two weeks. Things have changed. Things have changed in my home.” The parents were showing tremendous gratitude for his life. It reset that home completely in this moment of crisis.

Jim: Hmm. Yeah.

Danny: And he has continued he fired me from counseling…

John: (Laughter).

Danny: …And that’s the goal in counseling. Fire me as soon as you can because you’ve reached the goal. It’s just can be a temporary road together. And that’s what happened to this young man. And that was a moment of gratitude for his own life. And I hope that continues into when he becomes a parent and with his parents, this changed their perspective as well towards their child’s life, that they’re thankful that he’s alive.

Jim: Yeah, I mean, and we don’t want your family to have to go to that tragic event to change where you’re at. And that’s why we’re here every day, Focus on the Family. Danny, it’s why you walk in the door every day…

Danny: Every day.

Jim: … As a vice president of Parenting. And you’ve done such a great job with this book, 7 Traits of Effective Parenting. I think you can hear Danny’s heart. This is a wonderful resource for you as a parent. And I want to encourage you to get a copy. If you can help support the ministry through a monthly pledge or through a single one-time gift, whatever you can do, I will send you a copy of Danny’s book to say thank you for partnering with us. And I know it’s going to be a treasure. A parenting resource for you to be able to, again, not do things perfectly, but do things better…

Danny: Yes.

Jim: … And that’s the goal. So, do that. Get a copy of the book today by giving a gift to Focus.

John: And we’ll really just ask for that gift to be monthly if you’re at all able to do that. If you can’t commit to a monthly pledge, a one-time gift will make a difference, of course. But that monthly commitment to support the ministry really helps us to balance out our budget throughout the year. Keep things even. And Jim and Jean, Dena and I, we – we contribute in that way. And I’ll encourage you to do that. When you make a contribution of any amount to Focus either monthly or one-time, we’ll say thanks, as Jim said, by sending 7 Traits of Effective Parenting. We want you to have this book. If for some reason you’re not in a position to support the ministry at all, let us know. And as Jim has said time and again, others will cover the cost for that we trust. Our number is 800, the letter A and the word FAMILY. 800-232-6459. Or stop by focusonthefamily.com/broadcast. We do have that parenting assessment that Danny mentioned earlier as well and a lot of great resources to help you in your role as a mom or a dad. So, stop by the website or give us a call today. On behalf of Jim Daly and the entire team, thanks for joining us today for Focus on the Family. I’m John Fuller inviting you back as we once again help you and your family thrive in Christ.

Today's Guests

7 Traits of Effective Parenting book cover

Seven Traits of Effective Parenting

Receive Danny Huerta's book Seven Traits of Effective Parenting for your donation of any amount!

Recent Episodes

Promotional image for Focus on the Family broadcast "Embracing Your Role as a Spouse"

Embracing Your Role as a Spouse

Pastor Kevin Thompson explores three primary roles in marriage – friend, partner, and lover – and explains how spouses can live out those roles optimally by investing in their relationship mentally, emotionally, and physically.

Promotional image for the Focus on the Family broadcast "Praying Scripture Over Your Child's Life"

Praying Scripture Over Your Child’s Life (Part 2 of 2)

Jodie Berndt, best-selling author of the Praying the Scriptures book series, offers parents guidance for how they can more frequently and effectively pray for their children’s faith, wisdom, self-discipline, character, life purpose, and more. (Part 2 of 2)

Promotional image for the Focus on the Family broadcast "Praying Scripture Over Your Child's Life"

Praying Scripture Over Your Child’s Life (Part 1 of 2)

Jodie Berndt, best-selling author of the Praying the Scriptures book series, offers parents guidance for how they can more frequently and effectively pray for their children’s faith, wisdom, self-discipline, character, life purpose, and more. (Part 1 of 2)

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Avoiding Shame-Based Parenting

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

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Becoming a Clutter-Free Family

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

Loving Your Spouse Through the Seasons of Marriage - Part 1

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

Author Debra Fileta in the Focus on the Family broadcast studio

Debra Fileta

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

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

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

How a Former Abortion Doctor Became Pro-Life

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

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

Mrs. Patti Giebink

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

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

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

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

Navigating a Toxic Culture with Your Daughter - Part 2

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

Mrs. Meg Meeker

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

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

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

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

Cherishing Your Spouse Every Day

Do you love your spouse, or do you truly cherish them? Gary Thomas encourages couples to make a daily effort to go beyond the ‘duty’ of love, and combat the natural inclination to drift apart, by choosing to see the best in their spouse.

Mr. Gary Thomas

Gary Thomas is an international speaker and best-selling, award-winning author whose books include Married SexSacred Marriage and Sacred Parenting. He has also written numerous articles for several prominent national magazines. Gary and his wife, Lisa, reside in Texas and have three children. You can learn more about Gary by visiting his website, www.garythomas.com.

cherish front cover

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

“Most marriages survive by gritting teeth and holding on. But marriages can and will not only survive but thrive when husbands and wives learn to cherish one another.” Those are the powerful words of bestselling author Gary Thomas in his newest book–Cherish. And in a world desperate for marriage redemption, it is needed now more than ever. Thomas shows that although there are a countless number of marriages consisting of two people just going through the motions, there are real ways this pattern can be reversed: when husbands and wives learn to cherish one another in proven, loving, and everyday actions and words.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Newest Release - Episode 6: Families Helping Families!

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

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

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

Praying Scripture Over Your Child’s Life - Part 2

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

Headshot of Focus on the Family broadcast guest Jodie Berndt

Jodie Berndt

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

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

Praying the Scriptures Over Your Children

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

Effective Habits to Embrace in Parenting

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

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

Dr. Randy Schroeder

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

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

Simple Habits for Effective Parenting

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

The Spiritual Battle for Your Marriage

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

Tim and Noreen Muehlhoff Cropped

Dr. Tim and Mrs. Noreen Muehlhoff

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

Defending Your Marriage

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

Reigniting Your Passion for Jesus - Part 1

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

Headshot photo of author Kim Meeder

Kim Meeder

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

Revival Rising

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

Reigniting Your Passion for Jesus - Part 2

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

Headshot photo of author Kim Meeder

Kim Meeder

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

Revival Rising

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

Mothers and Sons: Being a Godly Influence - Part 2

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

Headshot of Rhonda Stoppe

Rhonda Stoppe

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

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

Moms Raising Sons to Be Men

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

Identifying Triggers in Your Marriage - Part 2

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

Headshot of Guy and Amber Lia

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Author Debra Fileta in the Focus on the Family broadcast studio

Mrs. Debra Fileta

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

Are You Really Okay?

Are You Really OK: Getting Real About Who You Are

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

Embracing Your Role as a Spouse

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

Headshot of Kevin Thompson

Pastor Kevin Thompson

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

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

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

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

Sharing Your Faith with Grace and Purpose

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

Mr. Greg Koukl

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

Tactics front cover

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

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

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

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

Dr. Kevin Leman

Dr. Kevin Leman

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

Bundle of Why Your Kids Misbehave

Why Your Kids Misbehave and What to Do about It

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

Giving up Sugar, Tasting God's Goodness

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

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

Mrs. Wendy Speake

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dr. Kevin Leman

Dr. Kevin Leman

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

Bundle of Why Your Kids Misbehave

Why Your Kids Misbehave and What to Do about It

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

Loving Your Spouse Through the Seasons of Marriage - Part 2

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

Author Debra Fileta in the Focus on the Family broadcast studio

Debra Fileta

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

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

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

Reconciling Faith and Science in a Medical Crisis

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

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

Dr. Lee Warren

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

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

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

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

Praying Scripture Over Your Child’s Life - Part 1

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

Headshot of Focus on the Family broadcast guest Jodie Berndt

Jodie Berndt

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

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

Praying the Scriptures Over Your Children

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

Mothers and Sons: Being a Godly Influence - Part 1

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

Headshot of Rhonda Stoppe

Rhonda Stoppe

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

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

Moms Raising Sons to Be Men

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

Identifying Triggers in Your Marriage Part 1

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

Headshot of Guy and Amber Lia

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Author Debra Fileta in the Focus on the Family broadcast studio

Mrs. Debra Fileta

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

Are You Really Okay?

Are You Really OK: Getting Real About Who You Are

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

Navigating a Toxic Culture with Your Daughter - Part 1

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

Mrs. Meg Meeker

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

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

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

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

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Newest Release - Episode 1: The Truth About Life!

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

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

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