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Is Divorce the Right Answer? 15 Questions Couples Should Ask

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Marriage struggles are normal. But often, couples ask, "Is divorce the right answer?" These 15 questions will help you evaluate your marriage.

Mike and Sandy* came to see me for marriage therapy. They struggled with one of the most challenging questions a married couple can ask: Is divorce the right answer? It’s a high-stakes question — on par with the first question a couple must answer: Should we get married? Both issues require life-changing solutions. Like the decision to marry, couples need to realize that others’ lives — especially their children – will be affected. So, before saying yes to a divorce, a couple should always take a serious look at critical questions that can guide them in making sound emotional, psychological and spiritual decisions.

The first time I meet couples for a therapy session, I ask them to tell me the story of their relationship and ask questions like, “Where did you meet?” “What attracted you to each other?” and “When did you decide to get married?” Couples usually lean into the questions about their story, relax a little and take a stroll down memory lane.

Hearing their story gives the three of us a reference point and a context for their current situation. I also want the couple to remember that at one time, the relationship was good. Marriage was good. Life was full of hope.

Mike and Sandy never thought they would divorce. Now, they found themselves wondering if a divorce would make things better. But Mike couldn’t get away from the question that haunted him: “What does God desire?”

Few life experiences are as heart-wrenching as a divorce. So, if you’re wondering if divorce is the right answer, consider these 15 questions.

Question 1: Do you and your spouse communicate in a respectful, affirming way?

If you answered “no,” then it’s time to change how you communicate with your spouse. Many people have difficulty sharing their feelings and needs. Suppose couples “go through the motions” without honest communications. In that case, they turn away from each other, disconnect emotionally, and let negative thoughts and feelings override positive ones.

It can be challenging to move from poor to healthy communication — especially if you’ve never learned how to talk to your spouse. A skilled relationship expert can help you and your spouse learn how to turn toward each other, empathize and understand the others’ feelings and needs.

Question 2: Do you try to resolve every conflict in your marriage?

If you answered “yes,” you have set yourself up to fail.

Dr. John Gottman is one of America’s top researchers on relationships. One of his fundamental discoveries is that nearly 70% of relationship problems are perpetual. They keep coming up! In fact, fighting couples may be looking for a solution that does not exist.

If you and your spouse have the same argument over and over, you may find yourself asking, Is divorce the right answer? Maybe there is a better way to address your struggles. Instead of defaulting to divorce questions, I challenge you to make this statement the new goal of your discussions: I want us to learn to manage this respectfully. Such a simple declaration can make a profound difference. Couples can learn to talk about conflicts with compassion, acceptance and an understanding that it’s OK to disagree.

Couples should also remember there is usually a significant reason for the disagreement. One spouse (or both) may be dealing with a deeply held position, a dream (ideal) or other background issues. Uncovering this issue may help a couple reach a healthy compromise.

Question 3: Do you believe your marriage is all that it can become … or are you just tired of trying?

Six years. That’s how long most couples struggle before finally making an appointment with a counselor to ask if divorce is the right answer to their situation? Many suffer for decades — drowning in poor communication patterns, unhealthy behaviors, and emotional or physical disconnect before seeking help or filing for divorce. They arrive at the counselor’s or attorney’s office exhausted and think they’ve tried everything but feel nothing has worked.

It’s time to take an honest look at your marriage. Do you and your spouse struggle in one (or more) of these areas:

  • Communication.
  • Infidelity — emotional or physical.
  • Addiction.
  • Disconnect — emotional or physical.
  • Managing conflict.
  • Thinking negatively about your spouse.
  • Growing in different directions.
  • Resentment or bitterness.
  • Loneliness.

If you answered “yes” to any of these issues, consider marriage therapy with a Christian counselor.

Question 4: How have you contributed to the problem and the solution?

Many couples fall into the blame game: pointing fingers at their spouse instead of taking an honest self-inventory. We all have blind spots. And we can only find them if we take time to reflect on the things we’ve done that contribute to our marriage’s unhappiness. In other words, put the blame game in a timeout and do some self-reflection:

  • Am I struggling with sinful behavior that affects my marriage?
  • How do I talk to my spouse? Am I critical? Defensive?
  • How do I handle conflict? Do I attack, avoid or blame?
  • What does my spouse need from me? How do I know? Is it based on my own opinion or has my spouse told me about his or her needs?
  • Am I regularly meeting my spouse’s needs? If not, why not?
  • Am I checking with my spouse regularly to make sure I’m meeting his or her needs?
  • Am I working on my friendship with my spouse?
  • How am I showing my spouse love and appreciation?
Marriage counselor Glenn Lutjens shares hope with struggling couples.

Question 5: Are issues outside your marriage making you unhappy?

Mike and Sandy’s marriage changed for the better when medical tests showed Sandy had a thyroid condition. Her condition caused irritability, weight gain, frustration and fatigue. Once she started taking thyroid medication, her health improved, and so did her marriage. If you of your spouse are wondering whether divorce is the right answer, it may help to first seek medical or psychological assistance. Consider medical aid for:

  • Mental health issues.
  • Physical health issues.
  • Stresses of life.
  • Overwork.
  • Sleep deprivation.

Question 6: Do you know what makes a healthy marriage?

For the last 40 years, Gottman has conducted scientific studies of couples to answer the question, “Do healthy marriages share similar characteristics?”

We’ve already discussed one similarity: Healthy marriages learn to manage conflict successfully.

But according to Gottman, a second — and equally important characteristic — is that friendship and trust are at the heart of healthy marriages.

Gottman’s findings echo another key source of relationship knowledge: The Bible. Theologian Timothy Keller states that the Bible begins with the premise that marriage is friendship.

In his book The Meaning of Marriage, Keller explains that when God brought Eve to Adam, He brought him not just a lover, but “the friend his heart had been seeking.” The Bible takes the concept of a husband-wife friendship even deeper. Genesis 2:18 shows God’s design for a woman: “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him. It’s important to take an in-depth look at the word “helper.”

In the English language, “helper” often implies someone with a lack of skill or strength. In the Hebrew language (the original text), the word “helper” means just the opposite. The Hebrew text says God made an ezer kenegdo — a helpmeet. The term ezer is used roughly 20 times in the Bible. It often refers to God as our “helper.” Psalm 121:1-2 says this: “I lift up my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come? My help comes from the Lord who made heaven and earth.” Seen in this context, the word “helper,” takes on a new meaning. God is not unskilled, nor is He weak. God did not make the woman as a “helper” in the English sense of the word. He made her an ally. Someone with equal strength manifested in different ways than in the man.

A healthy marriage then is one in which the husband and wife are allies — two individuals working toward a common goal. If you and your spouse are constantly asking if divorce is the right answer, then it becomes essential to stop viewing each other as the enemy and start seeing each other as allies. Often, the realization that you are both working toward a common goal — a relationship, a family — helps renew the friendship that is desperately needed to weather life’s storms.

Question 7: Do you know that the divorce rate isn’t as high as you’ve been told?

Social researcher Shaunti Feldhahn challenges the conventional wisdom that 50% of American marriages will end in divorce. Through a rigorous, eight-year study, Feldhahn found “72% of those who have ever been married are still married to their first spouse.” Based on her research, Feldhahn believes the U.S. divorce rate may be as low as 20 to 25%!

Much like Feldhahn, Philip Cohen, a sociology professor at the University of Maryland, analyzed U.S. divorce trends and discovered divorce rates dropped 21% between 2008 and 2017. The decline may be the result of adults choosing to live together rather than marry; however, Cohen suggests that the evidence points toward a continued decline in divorce and a progression toward more stable marriages. So if you’re wondering if divorce is the right answer, social science suggests that it’s possible to save your marriage.

Question 8: Do you and your spouse regularly attend church together?

In their publication “Religious Influences on the Risk of Marital Dissolution,” researchers from the University of Texas found church attendance lowers the risk of divorce. Margaret Vaaler, Christopher Ellison and Daniel Powers examined characteristics of nearly 3,000 first-time married couples. Their findings showed the risk of divorce is substantially lower for couples who regularly attend church together. The study also finds that “persons who hold conservative theological beliefs about the Bible may be less likely to separate or divorce over time.” The survey results are consistent with the adage, “The family who prays together stays together.”

Question 9: Do you know what the Scriptures say about marriage and divorce?

The Bible is clear that God designed marriage to be a lifelong commitment between one man and one woman. A spiritual union takes place in a marriage. The Apostle Paul describes it as a “profound mystery” (Ephesians 5:31-32). Timothy Keller explains it as an example of God’s relationship with His people and Christ’s love for the church.

Are there grounds for leaving a marriage, for divorce? In the Bible, it’s clear God hates divorce (Malachi 2:16). It’s important to note that this verse does not say that God hates divorced people. But His heart breaks when He sees the pain caused by divorced. It was never a part of His plan.

So, what is God’s plan for marriage? In Matthew 19:1-9, Jesus talks to religious leaders about marriage and divorce.

The Pharisees came up to him and tested him by asking, “Is it lawful to divorce one’s wife for any cause?” He [Jesus] answered, “Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh?’ So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together let not man separate.” They [the Pharisees] said to him, “Why then did Moses command one to give a certificate of divorce and to send her away?” He said to them, “Because of your hardness of heart Moses allowed you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so. And I say to you: whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery.”

1 Corinthians 7:15 gives one additional reason for divorce. The apostle Paul cites willful desertion or abandonment. In such a case, the wronged spouse “is not enslaved.” However, Paul’s exception applies only to an unbeliever leaving or abandoning a believing spouse, not to a believer’s actions.

Choosing to divorce should never be easy or considered without input from wise counsel and a spiritual community. If an unfaithful spouse shows no prospect of repentance or refuses offers of help and restoration, divorce is permissible. However, God never intended divorce to be the answer.

Question 10: Are you safe in your marriage?

The Bible releases a spouse from the marriage bond under limited circumstances: sexual immorality and abandonment. But what about spouses who suffer abuse? What does the Bible say to a woman married to a physically abusive man? Or the husband of an out-of-control substance abuser? Or worse, a spouse married to someone with violent or criminal intentions? Does the Bible say that spouses must stay in an abusive marriage?

Physical abuse is unacceptable. If you — or your children — suffer physical abuse, get to safety.

God intended marriage to be a blessing. His design never included abuse, violence or physical pain. Even emotional abuse — while it does not leave external marks — can bruise a person’s heart, mind and soul. Victims often feel helpless, hopeless, depressed or suicidal. If you’re in an abusive relationship, get help right away. Proverbs 22:3 tells us that “the prudent sees danger and hides himself.” In such a case, the purpose of separation is for safety. The intent should be that the wayward spouse seeks help and repents so that the relationship is healed and the marriage made pleasing to God. But if the abusive spouse is unrepentant and the other spouse remains in danger, reconciliation may never be possible.

An illustration of a married couple next to the verse Mathew 19:5

Question 11: Do you understand the impact divorce will make on your children and grandchildren?

Anyone who has experienced a divorce knows that its effects continue for decades. Divorce hits like a tornado and leaves a trail of devastation and heartache. Among the victims are innocent children who must deal with the destruction for years to come.

Jane Anderson is a retired clinical professor of pediatrics at the University of California, San Francisco. Anderson spent nearly 30 years studying the connection between family structure and children’s health. Her findings show that “with the exception of parents faced with unresolvable marital violence, children fare better when parents work at maintaining the marriage.”

The late psychologist Mavis Hetherington also studied the effect of divorce on children. While divorce is painful for adults, it affects children more, especially in the post-divorce years. Children may be at risk of displaying emotional, psychological and behavioral problems. Children of divorce may also suffer attachment issues. Resiliency and protective factors can influence outcomes following the divorce. Still, we cannot predict which children will fare better than others. Because a child’s future is at stake, spouses must ask — and answer — the question: Are you willing to take the chance with your child? No matter how parents attempt to “spin” the issue, divorce is devastating for many children and leaves life-long emotional, psychological and spiritual scars.

In addition to the findings by Anderson and Hetherington, researcher Judith Wallerstein also studied the long-term effects of divorce. Wallerstein studied families over 25 years and determined that divorce may leave lasting effects from which children may never fully recover.

Spouses asking if divorce is the answer should consider: Do we fully understand — and take responsibility for — the lasting damage divorce causes our children and grandchildren?

Marriage counselor Glenn Lutjens explains that divorce is not a “quick fix” to a difficult relationship.

Question 12: Are you ready for the long-term financial challenges caused by divorce?

Linda Waite, a sociology professor at the University of Chicago, has studied the financial consequences of divorce. In her book, The Case for Marriage, Waite shows that couples can work together to build wealth, but after a divorce, there is no mutual support. For example, two households cost more to run. Even if finances are distributed evenly, the standard of living almost always drops.

The challenge becomes even more complicated when children are involved. Child support orders are often not enough to cover all expenses. The result is a new set of challenges. Stay-at-home mothers may need to find work outside the home. Parents in the workforce may need to increase their hours — or take on second jobs — to make ends meet. More hours of work mean less time for childcare, teaching and activities.

Question 13: Have you tried marriage therapy?

If you and your spouse are struggling, seek help. Connect with a trusted group of mature Christians or a pastor who can provide wise counsel. You can also seek advice from a marriage therapist. When looking for a marriage counselor, consider the following qualifications: If you want to talk to a therapist, look for someone who is licensed and has advanced training in the areas of marriage and relationships. Consider these points when searching for a qualified marriage therapist:

  • Is the therapist licensed?
  • Does the therapist have advanced training in marriage and relationships?
  • What is the therapist’s stance on marriage?
  • Does the therapist believe in God’s design for marriage?

Interview at least two therapists who specialize in marriage and, if possible, consider attending a marriage intensive, retreat or seminar.

Question 14: Are you prepared for the mental and physical stress of a divorce?

Many marriages fall apart for one heartbreaking reason: Spouses forget the value of the relationship. Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 is a reminder that relationships are worth the struggle. “Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up!”

The late UCLA professor Dr. Robert H. Coombs reviewed more than 130 studies of married couples. He concluded that “it is in each person’s own best interest to establish and maintain a durable relationship with an emotionally supportive spouse. The lack of this resource is a mental health deficit.”

Additional research cited by Harvard Health Publishing suggests married people are:

  • Less likely to have a heart attack or stroke.
  • Less likely to suffer from depression.
  • More likely to have a longer life than an unmarried person.
  • More likely to survive a major operation.

It should come as no surprise that sound scientific research confirms God’s original plan for marriage — that a spouse provides companionship and psychological support.

Question 15: Will a divorce really make you happy?

In addition to her book The Case for Marriage, professor Waite researched whether divorce makes unhappily married people happy. Surprisingly, the answer, according to this research, is no. Waite’s study found that divorce did not offer an unhappy spouse relief from depression, nor was it associated with increases in psychological well-being or personal happiness. The only exception to the rule involved spouses who had experienced a violent marriage.

Is divorce the right answer? Will it make you happy? Waite’s research debunks the myth of the happy divorcee. It shows that divorce led to a reduction in happiness and an increase in depression.

Is divorce the right answer? Or is there hope?

Is divorce the right answer? In her book, The Case for Marriage, Waite followed couples for five years to check in on their marriages. She found that those who faced their challenges and managed conflicts reported a healthy marriage and a happy spouse. The social sciences indicate that change is possible.

But you have more — much more — than science on your side. The One who created marriage is on your side. “God is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think” (Ephesians 3:20).

God can change hearts. He can bring healing even when there has been an emotional or sexual betrayal. He offers hope. So, before you ask if divorce is the right answer, ask God to work in your heart and in your spouse’s heart. Invite Him to guide you as you seek answers. He is able to do far more abundantly than all we ask or think.

*Names have been changed.

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There Is Still Hope for Your Marriage

You may feel that there is no hope for your marriage and the hurt is too deep to restore the relationship and love that you once had. The truth is, your life and marriage can be better and stronger than it was before. In fact, thousands of marriages, situations as complex and painful as yours, have been transformed with the help of professionals who understand where you are right now and care deeply about you and your spouse’s future. You can restore and rebuild your marriage through a personalized, faith-based, intimate program called, Hope Restored.

There Is Still Hope for Your Marriage

You may feel that there is no hope for your marriage and the hurt is too deep to restore the relationship and love that you once had. The truth is, your life and marriage can be better and stronger than it was before. In fact, thousands of marriages, situations as complex and painful as yours, have been transformed with the help of professionals who understand where you are right now and care deeply about you and your spouse’s future. You can restore and rebuild your marriage through a personalized, faith-based, intimate program called, Hope Restored.
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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!