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Male Abuse in Marriage? Why an Abusive Wife Is No Laughing Matter

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Can men experience abuse in marriage? Why is it so hard to see a man as a victim of abuse?

For professional golfer Lucas Glover, abuse included being verbally attacked by his wife, Krista, for not proceeding to the next round of a golf tournament. Following a 2018 altercation involving Glover and his mother, Krista was arrested and charged with domestic battery. Glover admitted in the police report that this wasn’t a rare occurrence and that his wife would often say things like “You’re such a loser” or “You better win or the kids and I will leave you and you will never see us again.”

College professor Dr. Timothy Golden shares in a 2016 TEDx talk that his ex-wife repeatedly criticized and degraded him because of his body weight. He says she would constantly remark on how attractive other men were compared with him and eventually declared celibacy until he “made himself more attractive.”

Ron Mattocks, a former army officer and senior business executive, revealed that his now ex-wife tried to convince him that his anger was the problem in their marriage even though he had no history of anger issues. As he writes in “When Men Are Victims of Abuse,” she convinced him that his parents were abusive and to cut ties with them. She often called him a “14-year-old boy trying to get laid” and asked him when he’d ever be a man. She regularly made him endure “several hours of passive-aggressive silence before being forced to talk things out.” His offenses? Hanging pictures up too high, making the bed the wrong way or folding T-shirts poorly. This constant barrage on his person and isolation from everyone else led him to the brink of suicide.

The National Domestic Violence Hotline defines abuse as “a pattern of behaviors used by one partner to maintain power and control over another partner in an intimate relationship.” By this definition, abuse knows no gender and is a weapon effectively wielded by women as well as men. Nonetheless, society often expects men to endure torment without so much as batting an eye. “Be a man” is shorthand for, “Toughen up. Don’t be a wimp or a loser.” This means army officers, business executives, professional athletes, college professors and many other men often silently endure abuse at the hands of their wives — because to speak up would show weakness.

Living with an abusive wife

Men can experience abuse in all its forms — even physical abuse. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “One in seven men report having experienced severe physical violence from an intimate partner in their lifetime.” The National Domestic Violence Hotline reports that 13% of their documented contact comes from male victims. One meta-analysis concluded that abusive “women are slightly more likely than men to use one or more acts of physical aggression and to use such acts more frequently,” while men are more likely to cause injury. Although “intimate partner” statistics are broader than the context of the Biblical definition of marriage, these studies indicate that men experience abuse too.

Men can also experience sexual abuse from their wives. A sexually abusive wife may push her husband into sexual situations against his will, such as being recorded or including other partners in their sex life. Sometimes sexual abuse comes in the form of unwanted touch.

Another type of sexual abuse husbands may experience is called Made to Penetrate, defined by the CDC as sexual violence when a victim is “made to, or there was an attempt to make them, sexually penetrate someone without consent as a result of physical force or when the victim is unable to consent due to being too drunk, high, or drugged, (e.g., incapacitation, lack of consciousness, or lack of awareness) from their voluntary or involuntary use of alcohol or drugs.”

Psychological (emotional) abuse is cited by one study as likely to be “the most pervasive form of relationship maltreatment.” According to the research in this study, 8.3% of men report experiencing emotional abuse in their relationships. The researchers define emotional abuse as abuse that can include “verbal assault, dominance, control, isolation, ridicule or the use of intimate knowledge for degradation.” Verbal assault can manifest as intimidation (“You better win or I’ll leave you”), aggression (cursing, etc.), humiliation (“When will you ever be a man?”) or even silent treatment. Other characteristics of verbal abuse are blaming, criticism, gaslighting and judging.

Tim Sanford, Clinical Director for Counseling Services at Focus on the Family, agrees that the research matches his counseling experience. “With [abusive] women, I don’t think you see as much of that huge explosiveness,” he says. “It’s more of this purposeful pick, pick, pick.” He compares the difference between a single abusive event and constant abuse as the difference between being chomped once by a T. rex or a million times by piranhas. Sanford’s conclusion? “Either way you end up dead. So, either way, it’s abusive.”

Why men stay with an abusive wife

Why would a husband put up with this kind of treatment? Counselors who work with abused men say there are multiple reasons.

Fear of losing status

If a man’s wife is abusive, he may hide it because he doesn’t want to deal with the social fallout of admitting he’s been hurt — especially by a woman. Speaking up about the abuse can cost him the respect of his coworkers or church community. Admitting abuse might feel like admitting to being a victim. In many men’s minds, victims are weak and weakness is not considered a characteristic of manhood. To avoid the loss of “manly” status in society, many husbands choose to continue to suffer.

Fear of not being believed

As many women in abusive relationships do, men may wonder who will believe them if they speak up. Societal images of abuse usually portray men as the aggressor. It’s difficult for many to see a man as a victim in his relationship — especially if he’s physically bigger than his spouse. Golden, the professor who shares his emotional abuse story on the TEDx stage, shared in a separate interview that he recalls calling more than eight different sources for help and none of them had any resources for men. He said one therapist, while laughing, told him that men don’t get abused.

This perspective is only amplified by the media. Men are fair game for slaps, punches and crotch-kicks. Sanford points out that violence against men in the media is played for laughs. “It’s laughable if the woman hits the guy; it’s a joke. But if a guy hits the wife … call 911. And so, there is a double standard there.”

Husbands in media are also fair game for ridicule. Many TV shows portray making fun of the husband or calling him names as normal behavior. Wendy Brown, licensed marriage and family therapist, says she sees this in her office, as well. “I get couples who come in and the husband will say, ‘She calls me all of these horribly demeaning names. She curses at me.’” Yet Brown says that this behavior is not normal or healthy. “To me that’s kind of crossing that line. Then it’s not just nagging you about ‘let’s work on the relationship or clean out the garage’ or whatever it is, it becomes an attack on your [the husband’s] character, your identity.”

Fear of being named the aggressor

Brown points out that husbands in abusive relationships fear being accused of being the abusers if they protect themselves from their wife’s attacks. “There’s that fear of, if I grab her and hold her, then I’m accused of hurting her.”

It’s not unheard of for an abusive wife to call or threaten to call the authorities and report her husband as the abuser. Lucas Glover’s wife called 911 and reported that he and his mother had attacked her, but the police were able to assess the situation and arrested her instead.

Desire to remain married

Brown says that many husbands in abusive relationships love their wives and want to maintain their relationship. They want her to be seen as the wonderful person that people think she is, so they don’t report the abuse or tell anyone.  Sanford adds that in some cases where there is a history of previous trauma, husbands may hold on to the relationship because it’s less painful than being alone.

Fear of losing access to children

Statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau show that fathers make up only 19.6% of parents with full custody of their children. There is an upward trend, but historically it’s been more difficult for men to gain full custody of their children. Licensed marriage and family therapist Glenn Lutjens points out that many husbands with an abusive wife stay because they believe their children will be safer or they fear they will lose access to them. Abusive wives may use the threat of cutting off the father’s contact with his children as leverage to keep their victim silent.

Misapplication of Scripture

Among Christians, the Bible can be misused to excuse abusive behavior. Lutjens some people have a “spiritualizing tendency to misunderstand or misinterpret Scripture.” For example, in Matthew 5:39 Jesus advises his listeners, “Do not resist the one who is evil. But if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also.” Lutjens explains that this passage can be misinterpreted to mean accepting abusive behavior from your spouse but he emphasizes that, in context, that is not what Jesus is talking about.

Because of false Bible teaching, Sanford says some husbands can feel pressure to have a perfect household. He says husbands may be told, “If the marriage falls or breaks or makes it it’s on him because he’s the head of the house.” This can lead to a desire to tough it out even when a situation turns abusive. “All that teaching, he can just take that as ‘I guess that’s what I have to do. This is just my cross to bear,” says Sanford. But abuse is not God’s design for marriage. While every marriage has its trials, counselors advise husbands in an abusive relationship to seek help.

Disconnection from emotions

Golden speaks about his socialization as a man to “ignore how you feel, even when it hurts.” He cites this as a useful tool on the football field but a much more harmful mentality in real life.

The National Domestic Violence Hotline corroborates his experience by reporting that many men do not report or seek help for their abuse because, “Men are socialized not to express their feelings or see themselves as victims.” Brown adds that this suppression of emotions can lead men to have an internal disconnect between the things that are said or done to them and the emotional impact of those words and actions. Men who experience this disconnection between actions and their emotional impact may be unable to name the harm inflicted on them by their abusive wife. Coupled with the societal expectations of men to be strong, this makes it almost impossible for a man to see himself as a victim of abuse.

Effects of abuse

Domestic abuse has a life-draining effect on the victim, both physically and mentally.

Common effects of abuse on the victim are:

  • Depression.
  • Harmful coping strategies such as workaholism or substance abuse.
  • High blood pressure.
  • Loss of confidence.
  • Insomnia.
  • Physical injuries, e.g., broken bones.
  • Low self-worth.
  • PTSD.
  • Suicidal thoughts.

How to get help

While marriage remains the best and safest context in which men, women and children thrive, it’s important to recognize when things go awry and abuse of anyone, including men, occurs. Maybe you’re wondering if you’re in an abusive relationship and aren’t sure what to do. Consider taking these simple steps to help gain clarity on your situation.

Name what’s happening

Sanford recommends writing down “what is really happening to you in the course of a week or a month.” He also suggests keeping track of the frequency. Is this happening twice a month, twice in 10 minutes or every 10 minutes?

For example,

  • She threw her cell phone at my head.
  • She cussed me out for not loading the dishwasher correctly.
  • She read my text messages to make sure I didn’t say anything that would make her look bad.

Name the emotional impact of your wife’s actions

How are your wife’s actions affecting your internal state? Do you feel powerless? Ashamed? Scared? Isolated? Rejected? Lutjens says that understanding the emotional impact of your wife’s actions is a crucial step in determining if you’re experiencing abuse. “If it’s just about what’s taking place and you’re not exploring, ‘OK, what’s my emotion in this?’ it’s just a factual account,” he says. It’s easy to brush off a list of offenses as “not a big deal” or “not anything to whine about,” but Lutjens stresses the importance of exploring the emotional impact of those actions. Remind yourself that your feelings matter in your marriage. Ask yourself without judgment or condemnation, How does this make me feel? or What am I feeling in this moment?

A feelings wheel is an effective tool to help you name your emotions. Remember that while we all hurt our spouses sometimes, abuse is a pattern of harmful behavior used to control and manipulate. If your wife is purposefully and habitually causing you physical or emotional harm, you need to address the issue.

Speak up

Lutjens advises that the only way to experience a change in your relationship is to speak up about what’s not working. “There are so many things that stay as secrets,” he says. “That’s when they fester. They just stay the same. They don’t change.”

Find a safe space to give voice to what you’re experiencing. A trusted friend, family member or church leader may be a good place to start. Lutjens suggests speaking to a good Christian counselor: “Counseling is the opportunity to give voice to what your experiences are and to know what you feel.” Focus on the Family offers a free counseling consultation which is a first step toward that process. It may seem difficult to find the right person to share with, but pray that God will guide you to someone who is empathetic and wise.

Plan

Formulate a strategy to bring you and your children to safety. Healing for you and your spouse may require a time of separation. A healing separation is time to evaluate and change dysfunctional patterns and behaviors in your marriage. (If you feel you’re in imminent danger, call 911 or the National Domestic Violence Hotline as soon as possible.) You may need to seek support from family, friends or your church community.

While many domestic abuse resources cater to women, there are a growing number of organizations with resources for men in abusive relationships. Here are some places that can help:

Focus on the Family

The Hotline

SAFE

RAINN

Lean on God

In Psalm 27:1 David clings to God as his “light and salvation.” He asks, “Whom shall I fear?” Sometimes fear can keep us from experiencing God’s salvation and deliverance, but the Bible says God is our refuge and “very present help” in times of trouble. If you’re in an abusive relationship, draw from the Lord’s strength. Seek godly counsel to help bring you out of the darkness of an abusive relationship and into the light of health and wholeness

How to help an abuse victim

If a man talks to you about his abusive wife, affirm his openness and courage in speaking up about the abuse. Counselors say it’s important to validate the fact that harmful behavior is taking place and acknowledge its impact. One of the key reasons men don’t speak up is a fear that they won’t be believed or that they will be ridiculed. Provide a safe and non-judgmental space for them to share and process their experience.

Use statements such as, “It makes perfect sense that you feel devalued by that” or “It’s not OK for her to hit you.”

You may also ask clarifying questions to help the victim connect the harmful behavior to their emotions. Ask questions such as, “What was that like for you when … ?” or “How did that make you feel when … ?”

As the professor who shared his story of abuse in a TEDx talk says, it’s important for men and the people around them to be aware of abuse against men. Golden was able to start his journey to healing when he finally found a men’s group at a small church where he could share his feelings. He discovered he “was far from being the only one who experienced what he had been experiencing for so long.” He ends his talk with this call to action, “I hope that as a result of something I’ve said tonight someone, some man, somewhere, somehow, some way will cease to suffer in silence because someone has listened in a way that has allowed them to be touched by the story… the story of the men, or man in your life.”

[Focus on the Family is dedicated to bringing healing and restoration to couples who are struggling in their marriage. But God’s design for marriage never included abuse, violence or coercive control. Even emotional abuse can bruise or severely harm a person’s heart, mind and soul. If you are in an abusive relationship, go to a safe place and call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 or visit them online at thehotline.org.]

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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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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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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!