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What Is Sexual Abuse in Marriage?

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Darby Strickland, a counselor and teacher at the Christian Counseling & Educational Foundation, defines sexual abuse in marriage and explains how wives are oppressed in this way.

[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.]

One day on our honeymoon I just wanted to go out for a nice dinner. When we got back, I wanted to talk and cuddle. My new husband kept advancing physically, and I put him off in a playful way. I don’t understand what happened next. All of a sudden, he got this odd look in his eye and said, “You cannot disrespect and reject me. Our marriage will not start off like this.” The next thing I knew, he had pinned me down and was physically forcing himself on me. I could tell he was angry, and I was terrified, so I didn’t resist. I had never seen him like that before. To this day, I can’t understand how he could do that to me while I was crying. Didn’t he care that he was scaring and hurting me? — Janet*

As a counselor, I’ve heard many stories of Christian women like Janet who were raped on their honeymoons. They were conditioned early on in their marriages to be compliant or else be terrorized. 

Men may be victims of domestic abuse, and Darby Strickland’s advice can be applied to them. Strickland addresses wives specifically in her advice since 85 percent of domestic abuse victims are women and Strickland’s counseling experience is with women.

When I began counseling, I didn’t realize that I needed to be alert for sexual abuse in marriage — which includes much more than physical force and rape. Now that I see its prevalence, I’m deeply concerned about the fact that many in the church remain unaware that sexual abuse even occurs in Christian marriages. 

Wives often seek counsel for anxiety, depression or sometimes even guilt that they feel about their lack of sexual desire for their husbands. These women are often unaware of what’s at the root of their suffering because they’re confused and can’t see that what’s happening to them is wrong. 

Let’s first define what sexual abuse in marriage is and is not.

What is sexual abuse in marriage? 

God designed a married couple’s physical relationship to express their emotional and spiritual intimacy. And more deeply than that, a couple’s love for each other is meant to be a picture of how Jesus loves us, His church. Jesus’s love is patient, kind, faithful, self-sacrificing, accepting, honoring, honest and caring. By God’s design, this type of love should characterize a marriage relationship — including a couple’s sexual intimacy. 

Sadly, as we look at marriages that involve sexual abuse, we encounter something very different. We see sex being corrupted by those who lust to fulfill their own desires at any cost. In too many marriages, sex is not a picture of loving mutuality and intimacy but is tainted by domination and manipulation. 

Marital sexual abuse is a broad term that can encompass many heinous and exploitive acts. The worst violations occur when sex is demanded, required or taken by force, as in instances of rape or forced sex acts. Other abusive acts include the unwanted intrusion of pornography or implements into sex, undesired sexual activities, peeking or spying. Sexual abuse in marriage can be manipulative and coercive. In such cases, an oppressor uses unrelenting pressure or threats to leverage a sexual encounter even after a victim expresses discomfort or refusal. 

It’s essential for us to also clarify what marital sexual abuse is not. Many couples struggle with differences in their sexual appetites and comfort levels. In a healthy relationship, couples can discuss, and even debate, their differing physical desires without pressure, fear or rejection. Spouses should be able to express different preferences without either of them imposing their desires on the other in the form of a demand. 

Also, not all usage of pornography is abusive. Both the use and the creation of pornography is always sinful, but it’s not abusive unless it’s undesired. Mutually agreed upon evil behaviors are simply wrong — not abusive. Abuse requires coercion. 

Abusers love themselves above all else

Abuse is fueled by entitlement. Entitlement says, “My needs and desires are the priority; it is your job to make me happy.” Abusive entitlement says, “If you fail to fulfill my desires, I will hurt you.” Sexually abusive oppressors believe that they are entitled to sex. They love themselves and their own pleasure to such an extent that they’re willing to harm another person to be satisfied. 

Years ago, I came across a study in a book called Real Rape, Real Pain: Help for women sexually assaulted by male partners. The study helped me to better understand what goes on inside an oppressor’s heart. The study asked rapists — of both partners and strangers — why they raped. It found that whether a man rapes a stranger, his wife or his partner, he does so for the same reasons: power, anger, retaliation, sexual arousal from causing pain and fear, a preference for coercive over consensual sex and a deep sense of entitlement.

Husbands do not sexually abuse their wives because sex is a biological need for them that their wives are failing to provide. They don’t do it, as many have claimed, to keep from sinning — from straying from the marriage bed. Husbands who sexually abuse their wives do it because they love themselves and their own pleasure to such an extent that they have no self-control (Consider 2 Timothy 3:2–5). They are willing to be reckless, treacherous, brutal and heartless. Their love for themselves knows no bounds. 

Examples of sexual abuse in marriage

As is the case with any sinful behavior, there tend to be patterns within sexual abuse that can be observed over time. Common characteristics of sexual abuse include unrelenting pressure, callous disregard, unwanted acts, coercion, degradation, accusations of adultery, using sex as a bargaining chip and technological abuses. The following examples of sexual abuse in marriage are just a few stories from Christian women who are married to professing Christian men. 

Karen

A few weeks ago, my husband started showing me porn clips and asked me to reenact things in them with him. I try to do it, but it makes me feel dirty — and some of them are painful. I try to tell him that this stuff is not God-honoring, but he says, “You are a prude. God gave me the most frigid, unloving wife on the planet. And if you’re not careful, I will leave you for someone who knows how to love me and fulfill her duty with joy.”

Jen 

One time, after my gallbladder surgery, we hadn’t had sex for two weeks. When I went to check out at the grocery store, there was no money on our bank card. Later my husband told me that I’d been neglecting him and that I needed to know what it was like to not get what I needed. 

Anne

Bob wants lots of sex. If I refuse to be intimate with him, he’s rotten to the kids the next day. He becomes so irritable and loud that even our dog cowers. I try to interject and tell him not to be so harsh and punishing. He just barks at me, “If you want me to be in a good mood, it’s your job to put me in one.” Many nights I’ll provide him sex just to spare the children from being hurt. 

Cindy

When I was out with my church friends, Peter would call me every 20 minutes. Sometimes he would find reasons for me to put one of them on the phone to make sure that I was where I said I was. He was convinced I was keeping a lover. When I would get home, he would insist on oral sex, saying that I needed to prove my devotion to him and help him to handle the “stress of doubt” I was putting him through. 

Dee

I would be nursing, and suddenly Chris would inundate my phone with sexting messages. I told him that they disturbed me. He said that he just wanted to help get me in the mood, since after the baby I wasn’t as interested in sex. One time he convinced me to send him some pictures. Now he threatens me with them, saying that he’ll show my sister what a tramp I am if I can’t keep him happy. 

Source: Is It Abuse? A Biblical Guide to Identifying Domestic Abuse and Helping Victims.

The impact of sexual abuse in marriage

Sexual abuse has devastating impacts on a person, and those impacts are compounded when the abuse occurs in a marriage. Two of those impacts — faith struggles and shame — leave a victim confused and often silent.

Statistics reveal that sexual assault or forced sex occurs in approximately 40 to 45 percent of marriage relationships that have involved verbal or physical violence. Marital rape occurs in 10 to 14 percent of all marriages. These numbers should alarm us. And they should also cause us to ask why we don’t hear more about it. 

We don’t hear more about it because many of its victims remain silent. Women often don’t reveal sexual abuse in marriage — not even in counseling. Shame is a contributing factor to this, but victims often also experience confusion about what’s happening to them. Over the years, I’ve had hundreds of conversations with women who are being sexually abused by their husbands but don’t realize it. They know something is wrong but don’t know what it is. 

Sources of confusion

In my experience, there are two primary sources of this confusion. 

1. Unbiblical teaching 

The first source of confusion is the pervasiveness of unbiblical teaching about sex in marriage. Such teaching places the responsibility for a man’s purity on his wife and her ability to provide unlimited sex. But it’s not a wife’s job to keep her husband from sin; each person is responsible for his or her own sin (see Luke 6:45). Yet church leaders have promoted false beliefs related to this, such as the following: 

  • Men need sex.
  • Withholding sex is always a sin.
  • Your spouse has rights to your body, anytime and in anyway. 

God’s call for a healthy, willing mutuality is ignored, and sex on demand is made to sound like God’s will. These teachings wrongly portray a God who not only is indifferent to a victim’s suffering but also sanctions it. This creates a wedge in a wife’s relationship with God when she needs him the most. Christians need to be clear about God’s design for sex so that we do not add to the chaos that is already occurring in a victim’s heart and mind.

Oftentimes, bad teaching sets wives up to believe their husbands’ lies that the sexual abuse in marriage is their fault. The misuse of passages such as 1 Corinthians 7:2–5 (which people interpret as saying that sex is women’s “wifely duty”) has compounded these wives’ guilt and suffering. This passage is misused or misunderstood so often that it’s crucial for us to understand what it actually says.

First Corinthians 7:4 combats the idea that since a wife’s body is her husband’s, he is therefore entitled to sex however and whenever he wants it: “For the wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. Likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does.” 

If we read that verse to the end, we learn that it’s not only the case that the wife does not have authority over her own body but that the husband likewise does not have authority over his own body — rather, his wife does. 

This means that she can tell his body not to do things to her body. Paul is saying here that each spouse has equal and reciprocal authority over the other’s body. So neither spouse can force the other to do anything that they don’t want to do. 

Sex should involve both spouses loving and giving pleasure to each other. If one party doesn’t feel comfortable with something, then that thing shouldn’t be done. Sex is never about forcing one person’s will on another or making them feel uncomfortable. It’s about spouses willfully gifting their bodies to each other and committing to use their bodies only in ways that are in accordance with God’s design (see 1 Corinthians 6:16–20). 

2. Manipulative tactics 

The second contributor to a wife’s confusion is the husband’s manipulative tactics. Abusive men want their wives to believe that they’re responsible for the marriage distress, since a wife’s shame makes her easier to dominate. 

Abusers often use coercion to gain consent to their demands. Though coercion itself is obviously abusive, it still contributes to confusion regarding abuse. For example, if a husband asks for sex repeatedly and his wife knows that he will punish her and her children in some way if she doesn’t comply, she may give in to his demand to avoid an escalating outcome. 

What’s confusing about coercion is that if the wife acquiesces, she believes that she’s agreed to have sex. It’s then challenging for her to be clear about what’s happened to her. She may feel defiled but think that it’s unreasonable for her to feel this way. 

Why aren’t more wives able to clearly state, “My husband sexually abuses me”? Because abusers are also adept at finding excuses to avoid taking responsibility for their demanding ways. They blame alcohol, a stressful job, the temptation of pornography, their jealousy — and especially their spouses. As a wife begins to feel sorry for her husband, this adds to her confusion. 

By claiming to be a tortured sufferer in need of relief, a sexually abusive husband preys upon his wife’s kind heart, hoping that she’ll feel sorry for him and then do what he wants. If that doesn’t work, he may escalate to using threats … while still blaming her. 

Common threats

  • “If you don’t provide sex, I’ll turn to porn to meet my needs.” 
  • “I can’t go on like this! So many other women want me. You leave me no choice but to get my needs met elsewhere.”
  • “Your constant rejection of me is torturous. I’m better off killing myself than living in this loveless marriage.” 

Finally, a husband may even use his own abuse to make his wife feel like she is to blame for his sexual violation of her by making comments such as: 

  • “I did that because I know you like it dirty.” 
  • “I’m just jealous of all the other guys you’ve been with. I want what they had.” 
  • “I’m helping you not to be so frigid.”
  • “You act like a whore in bed. I can’t help myself.” 

These two tactics — coercion and blame-shifting — make such men very convincing. They leave their victims paralyzed with shame. Is it any wonder, then, that wives who suffer sexual abuse in marriage are vulnerable to confusion about their situation and keep it hidden? 

Careful help

To help these women lift their confusion, we must carefully dispel and dismantle the myths that ensnare them. We can help them identify coercive tactics and make sense of the emotions they’re feeling. We need to refute wrong teaching, expose manipulation, correctly assign blame and reconnect them to a rescuing God who grieves with them and desires to protect them. 

To learn more about sexual abuse and other types of abuse in marriage, and to access abuse assessments and tools to help victims of oppression, see Is It Abuse? by Darby A. Strickland.

* Names have been changed.

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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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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!