Focus on the Family
Search

Focus on the Family with Jim Daly

When Your Son or Daughter is Deconstructing Faith (Part 1 of 2)

When Your Son or Daughter is Deconstructing Faith (Part 1 of 2)

As a young man, John Marriott was questioning his Christian beliefs. He began analyzing and “deconstructing” his faith. Then, he RE-constructed his faith, built on the strong foundation of Jesus Christ. In an age where young people are seeking truth and authenticity, Marriott shares why many are leaving the Christian faith and how you can pray for and encourage others to rest in the truth of God’s Word. (Part 1 of 2)
Original Air Date: June 19, 2024

Dr. John Marriott: It’s not that they have a one-time point where they say, “Oh, I don’t believe any of this. This is all just absurd.” But usually, it’s over a period of time where they realize that their beliefs have just evaporated or eroded away. They haven’t rejected them necessarily, they’ve kind of just lost them.

John Fuller: That’s Dr. John Marriott, and he joins us today on Focus on the Family with Jim Daly. He’ll be sharing encouragement for you if you’ve got a child or, perhaps, a grandchild who’s wandering away from the faith. I’m John Fuller, and thanks for joining us.

Jim Daly: John, this is gonna be a really interesting discussion. Uh, John Marriott is a terrific expert and has studied the faith. And, uh, I am looking forward to this program. If you’re a parent, like you said, or a grandparent who, and you’re worried about the kids, now who isn’t? I mean, I’ve got two boys in their 20s, and Jean and I pray for them often.

John: Hm.

Jim: Uh, you know, they’ve got to live their life, and they’ve got to make the faith their own.

John: Hm.

Jim: And that’s a journey. And we hear from a lot of you parents and grandparents here at Focus on the Family who are concerned for your teen and your 20-something, maybe 30-something, about them being distant or far from faith. This program is really directed at you to equip you to, um, pray for them and to equip yourselves to engage with them.

John: Yeah, Jim. And you had a chance to talk to John, uh, on ReFOCUS with Jim Daly, your podcast. I know that went very well. It was really informative. And if you, as a listener, haven’t gotten a chance to hear that interview, check it out. You’ll find it at refocuswithjimdaly.com. John Marriott works at Whittier Christian High School and teaches part-time in the department of philosophy at Talbot School of Theology. Uh, he’s also a faculty, uh, affiliate of the Human Flourishing Program at Harvard University’s Institute for Quantitative Social Science. Wow.

Jim: (laughs)

John: All that to say he’s a busy man, and he owns a PhD in intercultural studies. He’s written a book and a number of books. This, uh, one that forms the foundation for our conversation today is called Before You Go: Uncovering Hidden Factors in Faith Loss. And stop by focusonthefamily.com/broadcast or give us a call.

Jim: John, welcome back.

Dr. Marriott: Good to be here. Thanks for having me.

Jim: (laughs) It is so much fun to talk with you. And I’m looking forward to this ’cause, uh, I think both John and I, along with Dena and Jean, we’re living it just like so many millions of, uh, parents and grandparents who have kids in their 20s or grandkids in their 20s and 30s, whatever it might be. And, uh, this is a real issue today. Uh, this whole idea of deconstruction of your faith, I mean, it’s a fancy word. I, I’m kind of rephrasing it to just losing what you were taught and not embracing it for whatever reason. So let’s go there. What does it mean to deconstruct your faith?

Dr. Marriott: I think what it means is that you’ve inherited a faith, you’ve gotten to a point in your life where you’re, you’re become maybe intellectually mature, self-reflective, and you say, “Hey, I’ve, I’ve accepted all this, I’ve believed all of this my entire life, but I’m not really sure if it’s really true.” For some people who are deconstructing, they’re taking apart, they’re evaluating, and then they’re putting their faith back together in a new way. Uh, for some, they’re asking the question whether or not Jesus is the way, and they’re saying, “Is Christianity even true? I’ve believed the whole thing, but I’ve never really thought much about it. And so now, I need to step back, make this faith my own, or reject it. I’m gonna look at the evidence, and I’m going to, um, either continue to follow, or I’m going to turn away.”

Then there are others who would say, “I think that, uh, Jesus actually is the way. I’m not wondering whether or not Jesus is the way. I’m just now asking what does the way of Jesus supposed to look like. I’ve inherited a faith, and, um, now I’m looking at it and thinking, ‘Is this really reflective of what the Bible has to say about what Christianity’s supposed to look like, because I’m becoming skeptical that the faith that I’ve inherited really reflects that.’”

And so you have these two folks. One’s asking, “What’s the way of Jesus,” the other’s asking if Jesus is the way. Taking in the part, analyzing it, and hopefully putting it back together in a way that’s reflective of what the Bible teaches. However, oftentimes, some people will come to the conclusion who are asking whether or not Jesus is the way, they’ll say, “You know what? I came to the conclusion he’s not the way, and so now I’ve de-converted. My deconstruction has led to a de-conversion.” Other times, people say, “Well, I’m still a Christian, but my deconstruction has led to a different understanding of Christianity.” And sometimes, that understanding of Christianity isn’t very reflective of the historic understanding of Christianity.

Jim: Yeah.

John: Mm-hmm.

Jim: John, let me ask you this, you went through a time of deconstruction yourself, which makes it more powerful when you write about it and talk about it. Speak to what the questions were in your own heart, and what kind of, uh, you know, what kind of journey you went through to get back to faith.

Dr. Marriott: Yes. No one called it deconstruction when I-

Jim: (laughs) Right, exactly.

John: (laughs)

Dr. Marriott: … when I… When I went through it, it was, uh, you know, it was just questioning, and, and rethinking, and what happened from either was a, an intellectual and emotional experience. Uh, I, I came across and had to deal with if God is completely sovereign and he’s completely good and he knows the future, then, uh, what does that entail for salvation. You know, how much free will do people really have? And for the first time, I was exposed to a, a reformed or a five-point Calvinist view of theology. And that really caused me a lot of internal mental struggles because I thought, “Oh, is God… You know, he’s electing people, but h- n- does not everyone seems like they’re gonna go to heaven. So did he not elect those people? And is God even really good? And what is this character that I’ve been telling people about and living for?” And I had no idea that there was sort of maybe this side to him. And so I had to really wrestle through and think through that.

And then an… And the other piece was, was, uh, an exper- experiencing the problem of evil f- really for the first time, uh, despite the fact that you see things on the news, and you know that evil goes on in the world. But when I encountered someone who, um, seemed like they were really seeking God and searching for God and, and, uh, that got derailed through, uh, just an act of violence. And, um, and this person was seriously suffering and, and, uh, as far as I know, never came to know the Lord.

John: Hm.

Dr. Marriott: I thought, “I don’t understand how God can be good and loving and allow this to happen to this person who’s in my life.” And so the experience of evil and the problems of, you know, some theological issues really caused me to go into bit of a tailspin and start to rethink and analyze, pull things apart, look at them, and try and put my faith back together in a way that was a bit more informed, that wasn’t so naïve, and that reflected what I thought that the Bible said.

Jim: Well, I’m sure in so many ways, uh, proof is in the pudding. I mean, look what has happened to you. You came back stronger, you came back better informed, and working at an academic level when it comes to, uh, faith and teaching kids at Whittier there, uh, you know, what it means to have faith. That’s a good outcome.

John: Hm.

Jim: Um, let’s speak specifically to parents. Uh, that process that you’re describing is really scary.

John: Hm.

Jim: We think the world is falling in if our kids aren’t grasping it and embracing it in a way that demonstrates zeal, uh, when they’re 18, 19, 21, whatever it might be. And parents, you know, there’s probably several forks in that road that parents could go down. I mean, the obviously is you overreact and become a bit legalistic. Probably you’re gonna push that child away. Um, or you become too easygoing maybe, and the child then senses that maybe this isn’t that critical to you. So what is a good response and the pitfalls for parenting in this moment of challenge that your teenager, 20-something might go through?

Dr. Marriott: Um, I think one thing that we can do is thinking of maybe, um, uh… Let me give you a farming analogy, is, uh, the first thing I think we want to do is I think we want to plant a good seed. And I think that good seed, it has a solid center, it has soft edges. And when it comes to my own kids… So let’s make it really practical. One of the things that my wife and I are intentional about doing is really trying to make sure they understand what is essential and what really is important when it comes down to what they believe as a follower of Jesus.

Jim: Mm-hmm.

Dr. Marriott: And we would narrow that to something, say, like the Apostle’s Creed. This is what is a non-negotiable. If you’re going to be a follower of Jesus, at least this is what you need to hold to. But they need to understand what the Gospel is. Kara Powell who is at, uh, Fuller, uh, the youth institute there, uh, in their book, Sticky Faith, they talk about how, uh, one of the biggest problems that, uh, they see when they’re interviewing high school students is when you ask them what the Gospel is, only about 35% of them mention Jesus in-

John: Hm.

Dr. Marriott: … their explanation of what the Gospel is.

John: Wow.

Jim: Yeah.

Dr. Marriott: Uh, so the seed that’s getting planted needs to be a good, clear Gospel message, and then it, there needs to be some… That’s the solid core. And then around that, there are these sort of softer edges. Do I want my kids to believe everything that I do? In a way, I do because I think what I believe is right even though I know I got to believe some wrong things, but those are important things to me. But I have to recognize that not everything I believe is a non-negotiable, and not everything I believe is an essential. And when I elevate those things to those levels and I make my kids buy into all of them, that, uh, sets them up for disaster.

John: This is Focus on the Family with Jim Daly, and our guest today is Dr. John Marriott. We’re talking about a book he’s written that really, uh, covers this matter of faith and our kids, and really in depth. It’s called Before You Go: Uncovering Hidden Factors in Faith Loss. Call us today for a copy, 800-A-FAMILY. Or stop by focusonthefamily.com/broadcast. We’ve got all the details there.

Jim: John, let me, let me paint a picture for you that I think drives this all home for me. Uh, not long ago, I was able to play golf with Alice Cooper. He’s a big golfer. Accepted Christ probably 40 years ago. A pastor actually encouraged him to stay in the Rock and Roll business to be a witness to others.

Dr. Marriott: Hm.

Jim: And I’m not saying anything that isn’t out there publicly, but he was… As we were golfing, we were talking about that and the uniqueness of that, and how many people within the industry he has talked with. And I’m not gonna use the person’s name that he shared with me, but he said he was talking to one, um, person in the Rock and Roll business. I think most people would know his name. And his dad was a pastor. And so Alice was talking to him about that and said, “What’s keeping you from embracing Christ,” which is an awesome thing, right?

John: Mm-hmm.

Dr. Marriott: Mm-hmm.

Jim: And, uh, this individual said, “Well, my parents, they were good parents, they were Christians, but they kind of shoved it down my throat until I gagged.” You don’t want your son or daughter to ever say that-

John: Hm.

Jim: … that it’s something you’re gagging on. But it’s such a delicate dance that we do with our kids not to be overbearing or too much, or shove it down their throat until they gag. How do we create a meal-

Dr. Marriott: Hm.

Jim: … that they enjoy eating about faith and Christ, and how do we put that on display in a way that, uh, represents the Lord well?

Dr. Marriott: I think w- one of the most important things is that we really live out the Christian faith well, because-

Jim: That’s the bottom line, isn’t it?

Dr. Marriott: It is. Uh, and I mean, there’s research out there that will say that credibility-enhancing display, sometimes called creds, right, it’s sort of the short form for it in the academic literature, uh, are significant in helping people believe and maintain their faith. When the… What that means is when kids see their parents living out a faith that they speak about and that they say is deeply meaningful them, to them, when they see them living it out, it really reinforces it, especially when it costs them something.

Jim: Hm.

Dr. Marriott: Right? I love football, but I will go to church on Sunday morning even though I’d rather stay home and watch the NFL, right? These credibility-enhancing displays are really significant, because I think that it, young people, um, recognize what a beautiful life looks like, right? Young people recognize when someone’s living consistently. If we really believe that we live in God’s world and that he’s designed us a particular way, then there’s got to be this intuitive realization when someone is living according to the fabric of reality and living according to it well. And so there’s a beauty there.

Jim: Let me ask you this, and this is a convicting question. And I don’t mean it to be that way, but I want it to be instructive for us. Um, you don’t get anything out of a dry well. And as parents, we’ve got to be putting into that well something that the kids will see and be nourished by. So part of it is our own personal disciplines of devotion and talking about the Lord, not in a way that’s shoving it down their throat just to go back to that for a minute, but in a way that’s natural and easy to digest for them. Um, would you agree with that? I mean, we’ve got to be able to live it, and demonstrate it, and be real with it.

Dr. Marriott: Yes. Yeah, Christian Smith who did the national study on teenage religion and spirituality, 3,000 teenagers he, he interviewed. At the end, one of his conclusions at the end of it was that you will get from your kids what you are before them. And you can only be what you are before them in a deeply Christ-like way-

Jim: Hm.

Dr. Marriott: … if you’re connected to the source, if you are in his word, and if you’re spending time in prayer. If you’re tapped into the vine, his life will live through you, and your kids will recognize and see that. But if you aren’t, then oftentimes, what you will get is sort of a gospel of sin management, or behaviorism, or living-

Jim: Hm.

Dr. Marriott: … according to a set of rules rather than living according to the life that Jesus gives us. And so I think that’s really important, your point, that we need to be connected to the source.

Jim: Your daughter went through a little example of this, which again, I think is helpful for people to hear. But Shopkins, which I don’t know, I think I g- have a, a little bit more understanding about that, but she lost her Shopkins. Maybe describe what (laughs) those are, and what were the environment.

Dr. Marriott: Yeah. Sh- Shopkins are these tiny little rubber, uh, toys.

Jim: Kind of a bracelet.

Dr. Marriott: Yeah.

Jim: Yeah.

Dr. Marriott: So she had a bracelet, and, and the bracelet allowed the Shopkins to be connected to it. They just sort of click onto it. And the Shopkins, they come in, uh, fruit, vegetables, home appliances, you name it.

Jim: (laughs)

Dr. Marriott: The Shopkins company has developed these little tiny figurines. And, uh, my daughter used to collect them. And w- when she was six years old, we went, uh, out for the day, and we went apple picking. And she wore her bracelet with all her little Shopkin friends connected to it. And by the time we got back in the car at the end of the day, she looked down at her bracelet, and all of the Shopkins had fallen off the bracelet. And so she was just devastated, and our fun day of ackle- apple picking just sort of ended on this really-

Jim: (laughs) Right.

Dr. Marriott: … really sour note.

Jim: They were scattered all over the field. Yeah.

Dr. Marriott: Oh, yeah. And we had no idea where they were.

Jim: Yeah.

Dr. Marriott: And, and in the book, we say that that’s often a good analogy for, uh, how people e- walk out of the faith. It’s not that they have a one-time point where they say, “Oh, I don’t believe any of this. This is all just absurd.” But usually, it’s over a period of time where they realize that their beliefs have just evaporated or eroded away. They haven’t rejected them necessarily, they’ve kind of just lost them.

John: Hm.

Dr. Marriott: In the same way that we would say, uh, none of us in here believe in Santa Claus, but we probably can’t te- s- point to a time when, when we said, “Hey, this whole thing, uh, the Santa Claus thing is just a made up story.” Uh, but at some point as we were growing up, we just went, “Eh, th-… I don’t believe that anymore.” “Well, why not?” “Well, it j-…” And it’s a bunch of reasons that are hard to articulate. That’s the same process that a lot of young people go through who lose their faith. It is this-

Jim: Yeah.

Dr. Marriott: … slow loss of belief over time. And then one day, they look down, and just like the Shopkins are gone-

John: Hm.

Dr. Marriott: … their faith is gone.

Jim: I want to drill on control a little bit, because I think as parents, boy, when the children are young, yeah, you’re in control for their safety, for their c- food consumption, making sure they have enough water. I mean, you’re in high control just to help them survive, right? Keep them away from electrical outlets, all that-

Dr. Marriott: Yeah (laughs).

Jim: … kind of stuff. I mean, it’s amazing-

Dr. Marriott: Mm-hmm.

Jim: … what we go to. And then, then we have to learn to lessen that control as they become 13, 14, 15, and it’s hard. It’s hard for a lot of parents to disengage and allow them to fail at home, those kinds of things. So the question is speak to the issue of control and how can we, again, come to that fork in the road, and make an error in terms of over-controlling or controlling in a biblical context. I mean, even the Lord himself said, “Hey, I give you a choice: life or death. Choose.” And how do we apply that as parents?

Dr. Marriott: Right. Yeah. Uh, that’s a hard question. I think it’s relative to the kids that you have, right? I think not all of our kids are the same. Some of them mature at different rates.

Jim: Mm-hmm.

Dr. Marriott: Some of them mature at different ages. Some of them are different temperaments, different personalities. So there’s no one-size-fits-all on any of this, I think. But I do think it is important, as you pointed out, that as kids get older, that they need to start to recognize that, that they need to make the faith their own. They’re going to go through this process anyway. And I think guiding them and speaking with them and talking with them about this is helpful. So for example, my son who’s 15 now, I will ask him regularly, “So how are you doing? Where are you with your faith? You know, what are some of the struggles? What are some of the questions that you might be having?” And if he’s open to talking about those, then we dialogue about those. I’ll say, you know, “Do you want to hear what I have to say on it,” and, you know, he might be interested as long as I’m not gonna give him a long lecture on it or some long answer.

But I think another really helpful piece in all of this is finding what sometimes are called secondary authority figures, which are people outside of the family that our young people or our children really gravitate towards, are really alike and appreciate, and who can also fulfill a role of being an authoritative figure that can speak into their life and that they can share things with that they wouldn’t with us. And s- youth pastors are, are great resources for this. Our youth pastor at our church is, his name is Peter. He will go and watch my son’s volleyball games, he takes them out for meals, he hangs out with him, and he never really divulges anything that they talk about. But I will say, “So h- you know, how is he doing?” And he’ll say, “Oh, I’m really encouraged,” you know? And, and so I think that we have to sort of l- let them go, and let them think, and let them, um… They’re gonna do what they’re gonna do anyway. Um, and the harder we hold on, the more of the sort of, um, the rebound effect will take place. Once, you know, they get out there-

Jim: Yeah.

Dr. Marriott: … it will just… The rebellion will come. And I think having secondary authority figures in, in their life is really key to that.

Jim: I agree to that.

John: Hm.

Jim: I agree.

John: Uh, John, for the parents who doesn’t have that, I’m thinking back to the Shopkins analogy, um, help the parent respond well who has this conversation with their child who has been kind of secretive about the faith, you know, going to church, doing the youth group, and, and they reveal that, “I’m not sure I believe this”. I can imagine just a r- a range of responses. What are those responses, and, and what’s, uh-

Dr. Marriott: Sure.

John: … a preferred response?

Dr. Marriott: Right. Well, I, I had a bit of a experience with this. My daughter, when she was 11 years old, she said to me one night, “I want to tell you something, but I think it’s gonna make you sad.”

John: Aw.

Dr. Marriott: And I said, “That’s okay. You can tell me.” And she said, “No, I really think it’s gonna bother you.” And I said, “Well, then, yeah, I think you really need to tell me.” And she said, “All right, but I’m sorry, but I just don’t think that I believe in Heaven.”

John: Hm.

Jim: (laughs) I’m sorry.

Dr. Marriott: Yeah. (laughs) And I thought, “Wow. Like, this…” I felt the adrenaline welling up within me. I felt the anxiety kind of taking over, and I immediately wanted to start arguing with her and, and trying to give her answers-

Jim: Give her the right answers, yes.

Dr. Marriott: … and tell her what-

Jim: Yeah.

Dr. Marriott: Right. And then I could project in my mind, there was sort of like an instant in time I could just see where her life was gonna go, because, well, if you don’t believe in Heaven, then you start, the next domino that falls is, “Well then, where do you go after you die? Well, I don’t know, and that’s… Maybe there’s no God. And well what did Jesus die for?” So that we could have a relationship with God and someday be with him. And, and I could just see this is the start.

Jim: Hm.

Dr. Marriott: And, uh, I, I felt he panic, but I have, uh, I actually had a set of steps already put in place for when this kind of conversation would come up with either one of my kids. And the first thing on my list was don’t panic.

John: Mm-hmm.

Jim: (laughs)

Dr. Marriott: Because that’s the first thing that I wanna do-

Jim: Easier said than done.

John: (laughs) Yeah.

Dr. Marriott: Oh, very much easier said than done. The second thing I think that we need to do is say, “Hey, thanks. Thanks for telling me that, because I know that’s got to be really hard for you.” And when k- young people come and say, “I’m not sure I believe this anymore,” th- we’re talking about maybe their identity, their group of friends, uh, who they are, what their world view is. This is a v- can be really traumatic. And for them to be willing to share this with you means that you have a good relationship with them, I think, which is something-

John: Hm.

Dr. Marriott: … to be grateful for. But also to be able to say, “Thanks, I really appreciate that you’re willing to share that with me, because I know that that can’t be easy.” Uh, then I think that the next thing to do is to listen really well and ask some very basic questions, seeking understanding, but nothing more.

John: Hm.

Dr. Marriott: How long have you been feeling this way? Uh, are you at a settled position, or are you still in process? What are some of the issues that have been challenging for you? Are you interested in inviting me into this conversation? I think those are helpful questions to ask, and I think that we listened far more than we talk-

John: Hm.

Dr. Marriott: … as they share what’s brought them to this place.

John: Hm.

Dr. Marriott: Then I think maybe the most important step of all is to say to them, “You know, regardless of where you end up in this, whether you end up as someone who is a committed follower of Jesus like your mother and I are, or you say, ‘I don’t believe in any of this anymore’, we will still always love you, we’ll still be committed to your wellbeing, we’re still be your biggest champion, we’ll always be for you, we will never reject you.” You would be surprised at the number of people who have spoken to who, when they went in, told their parents that they no longer believed anymore, it ended up in yelling and screaming. Uh, some of them don’t talk to their parents anymore. Some parents refuse to talk to their children anymore because they have left the faith, or they have betrayed what they believe. I think it’s really important, because you want to stay in the conversation, you want to keep lines of communication open. And it’s not just a tactic to do that, but it’s what Jesus us calls us to.

John: Mm-hmm.

Dr. Marriott: He calls us to love people.

John: Mm-hmm.

Dr. Marriott: And we should certainly love our own children, even if they don’t believe the same things that we do.

Jim: Amen.

Dr. Marriott: I think the next thing that you want to do is I think you want to say, “Okay. So w- how do we relate to one another going forward, because my temptation will be every time we get together will be to talk to you about this, and your temptation will be to want to avoid talking about it at all, because you’ll see it as me just trying to pull you back-

Jim: Mm-hmm.

Dr. Marriott: … and I’ll see it as you just trying to avoid. So let’s set some ground rules. I’ll let you set the ground rules. When can we have conversations about this? Once every six months? Can you give me some time to process this so I can come back and ask you some questions? And then from there, we will, uh, make sure that every time we get together as a family, that this is not always front and center.” I think also, you need to remember that you need to be in this for the long run. Play the long game, because as sad as it is, I can think of a number of young people who were on fire for Jesus as teenagers and how have denied the faith, and young people who walked away from the faith as teenagers and who have come back and who are solid believers. Play the long game, because you’re going to be with them, I hope, for the rest of their lives, your natural lives. And so you want to make sure that you recognize that at this moment right now is not the moment to try and, and win them back.

Jim: That’s such an important, uh, statement. I think the other observation there, John, is the fact that so much of what we, as parents, project with our kids, it’s internally to us disappointing to see them not choose the Lord. It’s the guilt we feel about that. It’s where did we fall short. It’s how did we mess up. And, um, that’s why we want to see a different outcome, and it becomes emotional for us, right, ’cause it’s a big F in the grade of spiritual development.

John: Hm.

Dr. Marriott: Mm-hmm.

Jim: And that’s how it feels. And then we begin to react either with that anger or that hostility. And man, that is the worst thing you can do because you are gonna push that child away.

John: Mm-hmm.

Jim: And oftentimes, not every time, but oftentimes, I’ve seen it where when you relax and back down and just have a loving conversation, they begin to turn. And maybe not the first time or the second, but over time, their hearts will reopen so often. And that’s what you need to hold out for.

Dr. Marriott: It is. And I think that, um, you know, if they recognize that you truly love them, right, and that it’s not a-

Jim: It’s key.

Dr. Marriott: … “I’m choosing between following Jesus and you,” but you can actually do both. You can follow Jesus and love your children who have, uh, walked away from the faith. Then they don’t see it as that you have, yeah, chosen something else over them, which I think can be v- very, um, uh, very disheartening and very discouraging-

Jim: Yeah.

Dr. Marriott: … for them.

Jim: Well, this has been terrific. I think, uh, folks can understand why we wanted John to come onto the daily broadcast. Course, you can listen to the ReFOCUS program. That dealt with more spiritual issues and, uh, culture. But I did want to bring you back and talk specifically to parents and grandparents to help equip them, ’cause this is so relevant today. Uh, there’s so much coming at children. Uh, let’s come back next time, uh, and continue the discussion.

Dr. Marriott: Sounds great.

Jim: All right. And to our listeners, I hope this has encouraged and equipped you to help the young people in your life who were going through deconstruction. Uh, it’s everywhere. God is faithful, and he is working so we can have a lot of hope for the next generation, and we should. Uh, to hear more from John Marriott, or if you’re looking for more conversations about the culture and how Christians should respond, check out my podcast at refocuswithjimdaly.com. One of my colleagues, uh, heard the ReFOCUS discussion with John and said it was one of the best he’s heard on the topic of deconstruction. So be sure to check it out. I hope that is true. Also, uh, John Marriott’s book, Before You Go, is such a valuable resource. Uh, it has so much insight and helps you to navigate this topic of deconstruction. When you make a monthly pledge of any amount to the ministry of Focus on the Family to help us do the ministry, uh, we’ll send you a copy of that book as our way of saying thank you for being part of it. Uh, if you can’t do it on a monthly basis, a one-time gift will certainly help, and we’ll send you a copy of the book to say thank you for that, as well.

John: And you can donate and get that book, uh, when you call 800-232-6459, 800, the letter A, and the word FAMILY, or you can, uh, donate online at focusonthefamily.com/broadcast. And on behalf of the entire team, thanks for joining us today for Focus on the Family with Jim Daly. I’m John Fuller inviting you back next time as we continue the conversation with Dr. John Marriott, and once again, help you and your family thrive in Christ.

Today's Guests

Before You Go: Uncovering Hidden Factors in Faith Loss

Receive the book Before You Go and an audio download of "When Your Son or Daughter is Deconstructing Faith" for your donation of any amount! Plus, receive member-exclusive benefits when you make a recurring gift today. Your monthly support helps families thrive.

Recent Episodes

Focus on the Family Broadcast logo

Practical Ways to Celebrate Your Marriage

Jay and Laura Laffoon laugh their way through a conversation on practical ways to celebrate your marriage. This couple of over thirty-nine years talks about how to enjoy your spouse by improving your day-to-day habits and attitudes. Work, parenting, and the realities of life can keep couples from taking the time to invest in each other, so Jay and Laura advise couples about how to be intentional and connect more deeply.

Focus on the Family Broadcast logo

Moms and Anger: Understanding Your Triggers (Part 2 of 2)

Amber Lia and Wendy Speake discuss common external and internal triggers that can make mothers angry. They share their journeys overcoming their own triggers, like when their children disobey and complain, and when they have to deal with exhaustion. Our guests offer encouragement to moms and explain how they can prepare to handle their triggers in a healthier way. (Part 2 of 2)

Focus on the Family Broadcast logo

Moms and Anger: Understanding Your Triggers (Part 1 of 2)

Amber Lia and Wendy Speake discuss common external and internal triggers that can make mothers angry. They share their journeys overcoming their own triggers, like when their children disobey and complain, and when they have to deal with exhaustion. Our guests offer encouragement to moms and explain how they can prepare to handle their triggers in a healthier way. (Part 1 of 2)

You May Also Like

Focus on the Family Broadcast logo

A Legacy of Music and Trusting the Lord

Larnelle Harris shares stories about how God redeemed the dysfunctional past of his parents, the many African-American teachers who sacrificed their time and energy to give young men like himself a better future, and how his faithfulness to godly principles gave him greater opportunities and career success than anything else.

Focus on the Family Broadcast logo

Accepting Your Imperfect Life

Amy Carroll shares how her perfectionism led to her being discontent in her marriage for over a decade, how she learned to find value in who Christ is, not in what she does, and practical ways everyone can accept the messiness of marriage and of life.