Focus on the Family Broadcast   >>   All Episodes

Avoiding the Chore War

Original Air Date 08/04/2014

Get Social and Listen

Our guests explain how couples can avoid conflict by learning to work together as a team to tackle household responsibilities.

Listen here, watch recent episodes on our YouTube channel, or download our app.

Episode Transcript



Jim Daly: Uh, Greg, let me ask you, what are some things you do around the house to help out?

Greg Smalley: Oh boy.


It’s funny you should ask that.

Jim: Right here in front of millions.

Greg: You know, my - the thing that I really have been focused on lately is - mine is the dishwasher - loading and unloading the dishwasher is now my responsibility. I’ve taken that over.

End of Excerpt 

John Fuller: Well, there you go. It’s one thing you can do to help out at the home and - and it’s the season of the dishwasher for our guest there, Dr. Greg Smalley. Uh, this is Focus on the Family and we’re gonna be talking about household chores and how to navigate the assignment and the - the working out of the household chores. Our host is Focus president Jim Daly. And uh, Jim, we have Greg and his wife, Erin here and you’re a little bit on the hot seat ‘cause I think that kind of question you asked Greg is gonna be coming your way as your wife, Jean, is here at the table as well.

Jim: No, it’s not.


Greg: Yes, it is.

Jim: There’s no way. Yeah, this is not fair. Where’s Dena? How come Dena’s not at the table?

John: Well, I did not want to shame anybody here at the table, because I’m so good at this at home.

Jim: Oh, thank you, John. I appreciate you inviting Erin and Jean to the table.

Jean Daly: I’m gonna call Dena this afternoon.



Jim: It is good to have you with us, Jean.

Jean: Thank you. It’s fun being here.

Jim: And it’s great to have you here too, Erin...

Erin Smalley: Thank you so much.

Jim: ...Even though you’re gonna hold us accountable to things that we don’t want to be held accountable to.

Greg: I’m goin’ on record saying it’s not good to be here...

Jim: You know...

Greg: ...after that opening question.

Jim: Let me ask you this uh, some recent Pew research showed that sharing household chores is the third highest ranked key to a successful marriage. That’s unbelievable. You would think, communication, that’s probably one or two. But when it comes down to chores, really, the third highest ranked item in a marriage is “Help me?” That’s incredible.

Greg: Yeah, you know, I think it has so much to do with just this fact of - that we are sharing all these responsibilities. I mean, you think about it, to manage a home, children, work, I mean, all the things that we have to do, if we’ve developed a system that where we’re really sharing that, what it’s doing is communicating that you matter. We matter. Our home matters. You know, for - as a guy, I think it’s easy for me to think about, “Well, hey, I’m out there providing, you know. I’m protecting my family. I mean, those are my responsibilities.”

Jim: Shhhh. These are all the things that I’ve said.


What - what are you doin’?


Greg: Jean...

John: You’re blowin’ our cover, Greg.

Greg: ...Jean gave me a list, by the way. But, uh...

Jim: Oh, great. This is good. Well let - let’s jump in. How did you discover the household chores issue in your own home? And of course, I know this is gonna boomerang, so I ask it very cautiously. How did you discover your need to chip in?

Greg: Well because...

Jim: Erin?


Erin: Yeah, it didn’t take long. I think that was pretty quickly into our marriage relationship.

Greg: These have been some of the nastiest conflicts that we have ever had.

Jim: Well, and I think most people...

Greg: Oh, boy.

Jim: ...will identify. That’s why it’s the third highest ranked important item in a marriage, which again, just is amazing. But tell me about it. How did you guys, early in your marriage, how did you come to this conclusion that we are not workin’ well here?

Erin: Well I think what we have to look at first is that you know, we’re talking about the chores that are at the surface level, but there’s so much, especially as a woman, that’s tied to the chores. You know, that you’re dumping on me, I feel like I’m responsible for everything. You’re not, you know, sharing your weight. There’s so many - and then the feelings that go with that. I feel invalidated that, you know, that what I need in this home isn’t important. So I mean, it came up pretty quickly because really we walked into marriage with some of these feelings and wounds, possibly from growing up.

Greg: You know, and I was so aware of all the things that I was doing in my mind to contribute in many ways. So when Erin would say, “Hey, you’re not helpin’ out around - you’re not pullin’ your weight,” that would be very offensive to me. I’d been very invalidate, very minimized, marginalized in terms of all the things that I was doing. So in my mind, you know, I’m very aware of all the things that are going on. But I tell you what, there was a moment though that this all changed. And I wish I could say that this happened, you know, 10 years ago.

Jim: Go ahead, just say that.


Greg: Oh, man.

Jim: Okay, so it’s less than 10 years ago.

Greg: Okay, this was like a year ago.

Jim: Okay.

Greg: We’ve been married 22 years.

Erin: And I think as we’ve added kids, the chaos has increased, so...

Jim: Okay.

Erin: Go ahead, Greg.

Greg: I mean, it was what - I’m tellin’ you, it is the most obvious thing, yet it completely transformed this whole shared responsibility, household stuff for me. I walked in - here working at Focus on the Family - so I drive home. I walk into - through the garage and into the kitchen. And I just notice - there’s just chaos. Man, Erin is makin’ dinner and the kids are on the - the island area and they’re doin’ homework. And our youngest daughter, Annie, is just spillin’ somethin’. It was just total chaos, you know. I know that you have to go through that a lot of times. So, I - out of the absolute goodness of my heart, walk up to my wife and go, “Wow, man, there’s a lot goin’ on here. How can I help?”

Jim: Oh, it sounds reasonable.

Greg: I mean, I thought - I thought this is awesome, you know. I mean, now I’m tellin’ ya, I wasn’t doin’ it to score points. I genuinely was goin’, “Wow! There’s a lot goin’ on here; how can I help?”

Jim: Erin didn’t take it quite that way?

Greg: I was stunned at what she said. I was hurt. She literally goes, “You know, what?” She goes, “You’re a big boy. You’re a grownup. Why don’t you look around, notice what needs to be done, just jump in and do it.”

Jim: Okay, are - tell us...


All the women just - “That’s right.”

John: And guys are turning us off here.

Jim: Thataway to go girl!

Erin: I’m hearing that’s how he heard it. I’m not sure that’s how I said it, but - but I mean, really...

Greg: I journaled it, all right, that night, so...

Erin: He hit record on his cell phone right then and there.

Jim: So, what were you communicating?

Erin: Well, when he said, “How can I help you?” in essence, it was like, “This is your disaster that’s going on here, your chaos. How can I help you with your chaos?”

Jim: Ah.

Erin: But in essence, this is our children, our family, our home and I - he - I mean, he sees exactly what I see. It was chaos. And so, really, offering to help implied that it was mine to take care of...

Jim: But it’s interesting...

Erin: ...and that he was just helping me.

Jim: Yeah, Jean is nodding her head yes, very solidly, so I mean...

Greg: I heard her neck popping a few times.

Jim: Why - why are you uh, identifying with what Erin is saying?

Jean: Well, it’s...

Jim: Please, tell me.

Jean: Yes, especially, I can remember when the - the boys were young, you do, as the mom who is staying home with the kids at that time, you’re not happy that it’s chaotic. We don’t want it to be chaotic. And I know that I would feel guilty about that. I didn’t want it that way when you would walk through the door. And so, feeling anything that had the slightest bit of...

Jim: “Oh, my goodness what’s going on?”

Jean: ...maybe condescension, yes, yes.


Jim: Like you did, Greg.

Jean: Yes, it was hurtful.

Greg: And I’m tellin’ you, and that’s - I promise, on no level did I mean that to come across as condescending. I - it - literally, I just - I noticed that there was a lot goin’ on. And I wanted to jump in.

Erin: Well, I think...

Jim: How do we start the conversation to say, “I know there’s a lot going on here; what can I do?” I mean, what - coach us. What would be a good way to do it?

Erin: And I think like Jean said that that’s not the scene that we wish to create. We wish that the children were sitting quietly and doing exactly what we were hoping for and dinner was ready and everything was perfect. But it’s not. Real life can get messy.

And so what I appreciate so much is when Greg comes in and simply takes initiative and initiates jumpin’ in wherever he sees that help is needed. I trusted his heart that night. I probably snapped at him because I was irritated and stressed out and whatever. But really, taking initiative and jumping into our partnership, our team, our home shows me that he also cares about our team and our family and just taking that initiative means the world.

Greg: And I’m tellin’ you, for me, I’m just sayin’ that what changed in me that day is I realized that there were - there were elements and aspects of our family that I had - I had almost literally gone, “That’s more her responsibility. My responsibility is this. Her responsibility is that. You get your stuff done. I’ll get my stuff done.” I know there’s crossover and overlap, but I mean, I think it just - I heard that differently into where I realized, no, no, no, no. I told her, I said, “You know, from this day forward, this is - I am equally responsible for all of it and so let’s just then figure out how are we gonna divide this up.” But it’s no longer, “Hey, how can I help when I’m at home?”

Jim: Okay, now you did this after 22 years of being married. This was about a year ago.

Greg: Yes.

Jim: I appreciate that.

Greg: Just being honest.

Jim: Um, you know, one of our things early on - Jean, if you remember and I’m sure you do, it was uh, just the pace you know, with the 2 small kids, particularly, when Trent and Troy were young. And it was chaos. And I’d come through the door, and I remember one night particularly - it was, you know, 5:30, 6, whatever time. And I walked through the door and the kids were runnin’ around and she was like, “You take ‘em.” And I don’t think my second foot had actually entered the door yet. It was like my left foot was in, my right foot was just about to land and it was already, “Take the kids. They’re drivin’ me crazy.” And I was like, “Ooh, could I change my clothes first?” Uh, that can be a problem.

Jean: That can be a problem and we had to sit down and talk about that. And Jim describes that as the Gordian Knot. I had been home all day with very young children and any mother that has gone through that, you are - you’re just done by the end of the day. And you are counting the seconds before your...

Jim: Help arrives.

Jean: ...husband walks through the door, yes, before help arrives, just to give you a mental break. Now, Jim was coming home from a very busy day at work. He needed a mental break. And we did discuss it and I’ve heard some great advice about this since then. I think Jim just said to me, “I just need to come in, 10 or 15 minutes even, just to come in, change my clothes, just have a short period of time to even just get your thoughts together, transition...

Jim: Gear up.

Jean: ...into the home and that was really important for us. And I could survive 15 more minutes with...


Jim: Well it was, you know, the kids were just runnin’ around; they’re doin’ what they’re doin’. But it was - it was good.

Greg: But I mean, that’s where a lot of the conflict though and the disagreement comes in, because I think that’s been a part of the power struggle so that we don’t always really truly understand what the other’s going through. So we get into this “Who’s done more? Whose job is harder? Who really deserves the break?” And that’s the part that gets people stuck.

Jim: And the selfishness shows up at that point. Let’s listen to an audio clip of someone who’s dealing with this right now.

Man: My wife and I each have jobs. Actually, I’m workin’ two jobs and she’s only workin’ part time. And she doesn’t do a thing around the house and it looks like a wreck. I can’t stand living like this anymore. Now when I complain, nothing changes and all we do is argue about it. What can we do?

Jim: Well there you go, a classic situation, kinda what we’re talkin’ about - overstressed and uh, everybody thinks, “That’s your job, not my job.”

Greg: You know, I - I think for me, a couple things hit: that one, I think if both people are posturing that to run our entire life, that we both have to be equally responsible, that we are on the same team, there’s this attitude that - that we’re in this together. You’re not my enemy. You know, that we’ll figure this out together. Then I think part of what’s goin’ on for this guy is that he also needs to be aware of some of his expectations and his preferences. I mean, there’s a lot to get done. It sounds to me like he’s expecting the house is gonna work a certain way, look a certain way. And so, it would be one of those, to where he needs to sit down and they need to have a conversation about his expectations for what needs to get done. Because all it seems like he’s doing is trying to manipulate her into keeping the house clean according to his standards.

Jim: Well and again, we’re talkin’ about something that the Pew research, right behind faithfulness and intimacy, physical intimacy in marriage, um, why, especially in the Christian community, why do we not understand how to do this better? Why is there so much energy around this topic? And we’ve all got it. You guys have been very open. Jean and I, the same thing. I think my expectations of comin’ home and uh, what the environment should be like, she felt kinda guilty. Is that fair, Jean?

Jean: That is and for us, I would say, today we have worked that out really well. It’s just fallen very naturally into roles. I tend to do the chores for the inside of the house for the most part and you do the outside of the house. When the kids were younger though, I think what I was feeling was that I was working just as hard as you were. And I think that’s what a young mother feels. It’s different type of work, but we’re working just as hard and then we are expected at night or whenever we - our children have gone to bed or whenever we can fit it in, then we do all the rest of the chores for the house. And that’s really overwhelming and I think that it just feels like it’s discounting the job that we’re doing in the home during the day.

Greg: And I think - I’m tellin’ you, I think that that’s at the heart of most of what goes on.

Jim: That feeling of being discounted?

Greg: Well I think it - because any time you venture down this path and you have this discussion, this is honestly, one of the conversations that Erin and I so struggle with is at the moment we get into this kind of, “Well, I’m doing this,” “But I’m doin’ this,” it just - it goes south so fast. And I think at the heart of it, it’s that the moment I start to pick up any hint or whiff of - even if I’m reading into what she’s saying, if it appears to me she’s saying, “You’re not doin’ enough. You’re not pullin’ your weight.” It feels so marginalizing to what I do and bring to the table, that I just - I shut down. I get so upset. And I know vice versa. You know, and that’s what makes this conversation so difficult.

Erin: Well, and I think in this day and age, women and I know for me, I work part time and then manage four kids and you know, the house and you know, the chores and that - I’d say the average woman today is feeling pretty overwhelmed.

Jim: Pulled in every direction.

Erin: Yes. And as women, too, we’re multitaskers and so it’s hard for us to really truly take a break and relax. Even when we’re relaxing, we’re multitasking.

Jim: ‘Cause you’re thinking of the next things you have to do.

Erin: Yes, there’s another load of laundry to turn over. I gotta put that away. I gotta wipe the counters down. I mean, there’s - there’s always something to be done. And so, I think just the pressure that when, you know, Greg appears, I see him as, you know, my help - he can come in and help me and - and take some of the pressure off. So I think it’s - there’s the two sides of this coin, that women today, we are feeling enormous pressure and a lot of um, pulled in many directions. So I think it’s exactly - you - there’s a side of the coin that you experience and then I think as women, we experience something different.

Greg: Well, and I’ve - Erin and I have had this conversation as of late and I’m - I’m sayin’ to her that we both are working a ton outside the home and inside the home. There’s just more that has to get done than is humanly possible to get done. And what I’ve told her was frustrating is to me then it comes down a lot of the times to preferences. She wants the house to look a certain way or certain things to get done. Whereas I’m goin’, “Hey, I could literally work 24/7 to get everything done. I don’t want to live my life that way. What has to give? Something’s gotta give. That’s then were we battle...

Jim: Yeah.

Greg: on, “Well, I think that can give. I don’t know why we have to do that chore. I’d rather go and - and watch TV for the next hour than to do that thing.”

Jim: Well, and here’s the bottom line. I mean, there’s - I would think there’s roughly a third of the folks who are identifying with what we’re talking about. They’re living in that space. A third have probably managed this pretty well and it was never a big issue, so they’re thinking, “Why are you even talkin’ about this? What’s the spiritual application to all this?” And the other third, they’re desperate because they’re dying. This is an area that it - it’s the oxygen hose of their marriage and it’s being crushed, because they’re not relating well. They haven’t found a way to relate in this area. They’re hurting each other emotionally because they haven’t found a way to do it. And so, no matter which third that you’re in, I hope you can appreciate what we’re talking about is communication in your marriage and being able to find the tools and the - the resources you need to be able to communicate in such a way that it doesn’t create uh, you know, a discussion that goes like this: “I’m tired of him.” In fact, let’s listen to this audio tape.

Woman: So my husband’s job is very physical and when he comes home, he’s super tired and he goes straight to the recliner. Well, I work too and I don’t have any time for myself, because I have to fix the meals, help the kids with the homework, get them ready for bed, et cetera, et cera. I’ve asked him to help me, but he just ignores me. I don’t want him to do a lot, but a little bit of help would be nice. How can I get him to help me in the evenings?

Jim: Uh, let’s - Erin and Jean, talk about that, what that woman is expressing and what she’s feeling. Do you agree with me that over time, that will erode her respect and love for her husband?

Erin: Mmhmm, absolutely and actually uh, it’s - the research has shown that it’s these irreconcilable differences that people are filing for divorce - it seems so small.

Jim: It’s not big stuff.

Erin: No, it is the day-to-day feeling like it’s unfair, feeling disrespected, feeling alone and isolated in this chaos, that people really are ending up divorcing...

Jim: Is that...

Erin: ...because of it.

Jim: ...would you - would you say - do you think that may be the reason for Christian divorce more than anything else? I don’t know what the research would suggest there. But to me, that would um, make more sense of what’s happening with Christians who file for divorce. Certainly, it’s gonna be the big things like you talked about, infidelity and those things. But it might just be the accumulation of little things.

Erin: I think you’re on to something, that really it’s these little small things that go on day after day after day, year after year after year. Often couples who, you know, in the first year of their marriage are doin’ the same thing in the 20th year and nothing changes. It’s these patterns that get laid early on and then it - it causes hearts to close and eventually, they harden and then they’re walking two individual parallel paths instead of being unified and experiencing unity, which marriage was designed for.

Jim: Right.

Jean: And isn’t the core of all these problems, it really gets down to communication?

Greg: Absolutely, they have to develop a way to - to really talk this through in a way that works for them, that leads to some sort of success, to resolution or something. You know, for me, one of the things that I realized as we talked about it earlier, that a core value that maybe I was missing in some way was that, you know what? Now, to get everything done, to manage all of our life together that we’ve built, both of us have to be 100 percent responsible. That has to be out belief. There really can’t be - “Well, this is yours. No, this is mine.”

Jim: What does that mean though? That can be so - it sounds good; how does it play out practically?

Greg: So when I come home, I am 100 percent responsible for everything that goes on, therefore, I’m not asking Erin, “How can I help?” I’m lookin’ around. I see kids doin’ homework. I’m jumpin’ in there. I’ve told her that no longer will you do the dishes. That’s mine. I own that. So, but this is how I want it done. We even began to argue. She - she wanted it - it done right after dinner. I said, “No, no, no, no, no. Everybody does - uses more dishes into the evening. Stack ‘em in the sink. Before I go to bed, I’ll load it up, turn the dishwasher on and I’ll unload it before I go to work.” And she had to...

Jim: Jean, Jean...

Greg: ...let go of some of that.

Jim: ...wipe that smile off your face.


Jean: Well, no, I - I do want to jump in and say that is really important...

Jim: What part?

Jean: ...for the women to accept the way that their husbands are helping them, because it’s not going to be the way you want it done.

Jim: Did you learn this through experience?

Jean: Yes, I have learned this through experience and we just really need to keep our mouths closed and to be thankful for their help.

Jim: Okay, so let me ask you that question, because a lot of husbands feel their wives are overbearing or controlling at home. You know, they’re demanding things. Is that the essence of it? They’re trying to maintain control in order to maintain calm, in order to maintain a less chaotic environment? And...

Greg: We just have ways of - of doing things. I mean, you know, at work, I have the way that I want stuff done and I have people who are gonna help do that. I think it’s the same way at home. But I think that’s where this comes in. I’m responsible for this. I own this. I need to be freed to do it the way that I best see that or then it’s gonna continue to be a power struggle.

Erin: And I think - you said this, you referred to this earlier, that we both have to matter. We both are - a marriage is two people and two differences, two preferences and different ways of doing things. I have gotten to where I - I think my issue was he would say, “Oh, I’m gonna do it before I go to bed” and leave the dishes there. I’d think, “Mmhmm. Yes, those dishes...”

Jim: Trust.

Erin: “...are gonna be there in the morning.” But he has consistently shown me that yes, I can - the dishes can stay there and when I wake up in the morning, they’re gone. They’re done. And I cannot tell you how much the simple act of being responsible for the dishes has meant to me.

Greg: The difference for me - I’m not doin’ that stuff to score points, set up maybe later on that evening, I’m not doin’ that. I’m just saying, you know what? I want to show up equally responsible for all of - of what it takes to manage our home. So I think that’s one. I think another big one is the attitude has to be uh, sacrifice and bein’ a servant. You know, for like - because otherwise, this is not gonna work.

I mean, if I have to show up also realizing that the Son of God, my Lord and Savior, Christ said that the Son of God did not come here to be served. He came here to serve. And that needs to be my attitude. What if Erin and I got up every morning with our goal to out-serve the other, to sacrifice for one another? When I come home and I’m tired and there’s plenty of times where I’m like, “I don’t - yeah, I can see there’s an area that - that probably needs to be vacuumed. I just - I’d rather watch TV. I’m just tired.”

But if my attitude is, “No, you know what? I want to - I want to out-serve her. I want to sacrifice for her,” you see, I mean, that - that can motivate then towards doing some of these things that - that need to get done. So I think if I’m responsible, if I’m sayin’, “Hey, I want to - I want to serve, who was it that - that said - I think it was the author, George Eliot, said that, “What do we live for, if it’s not to make life less difficult for each other?”

Jim: Well, but you’re...

Greg: You know, I mean, that’s being a servant.

Jim: Yeah and you’re putting your finger on probably the biggest issue and the biggest collapse or the reason for the collapse in marriage today is that we as Christians...

Greg: Selfishness.

Jim: ...are also selfish...

Greg: Yeah.

Jim: ...because the culture is so selfish and it’s hard to refrain from that behavior. But that at its core is I think, the biggest problem that we face.

Erin: But I think when the attitude is, “We’re on the same team. We’re teammates” - that there’s times that I am gonna pick up and do whatever Greg was supposed to do because of whatever’s goin’ on for him. Maybe he had a late meeting and you know what? I had to do...

Greg: A very demanding boss.

Erin: ...the dishes, you know.


And so, I think when you keep your heart in the place of being a servant, then when you jump in for your teammate, it’s okay. There’s no resentment or bitterness because of that. But we’re - you know, I’m doin’ what I need to do for our team.

Jim: But you’re describing something that’s critical, I think. It’s an attitude. You said it...

Erin: Yes.

Jim: ...right at the beginning. It’s an attitude that you wake up with every day, hopefully, that you can um, get through the day with an attitude that shows that graciousness so - shows a desire to help. And again, I don’t know why in the marital relationship, the enemy of our souls seems to attack at that very point because it can divide you. He can separate you and conquer you emotionally if you’re on each other’s back about what the other is expecting and what you’re not doing for them.

Greg: I’m telling you, Satan knows that when we work together, when we’re unified, when we are headin’ the same direction, pulling in the same direction as teammates, trying to out-serve one another, he knows the power of our marriage and he’s afraid of that. 


John: What a great conversation we had with Dr. Greg and Erin Smalley and Jean Daly on this episode of Focus on the Family. And balancing those household chores - it’s easy, but it’s hard and it’s critical to having a successful marriage.

Jim: It absolutely is. Both spouses have to own it 100 percent of the way. And you have to be intentional in your communication with your spouse to nail down your expectations and talk them through.

Let me simply say to Christian married couples: if we want to be a witness to the world, this is an area where we need to challenge ourselves and do a better job. If you’re the husband who’s coming home with an attitude like, “I’ve done my part. I’m done, and now the rest is up to her,” I hope you’re really listening today, and you’re willing to shake that loose a bit. Rethink it. Think about owning it 100 percent. Think about how to serve your wife in a way that, at the end of the day, she can say, “Wow, thank you Lord, for this husband who is helping me in such a great way.” And same for the women. Thank your husband for working hard all day and affirm him in his role. Imagine what more effective communication and this kind of servant attitude would do for your marriage.

John: And we are here - Focus on the Family is here to help you understand these day-to-day struggles and conflicts and to learn how to work through those and improve on your marriage in a positive way.

Jim: It’s our mission, John, to minister to couples in need - marriages that need strengthening, or even those in crisis. If you are looking for those kinds of answers, get in touch with us. We offer resources like this daily broadcast and terrific Bible-based books and DVDs. We also have caring Christian counselors that you can speak with, as well as our Hope Restored marriage intensive program. Those intensives are changing marriages and changing lives in the name of Jesus. Over an 80 percent post-2-year success rate.

John: That’s awesome.

Jim: I’m really proud about that. And the only way we can continue to offer that kind of help is with you. This is your ministry too. Your gifts and donations allow us to help couples before they reach the breaking point and to work toward restoration if they do. Together, we can make a difference in the life of a family.

And when you give today - a gift of any amount - we’ll send you a copy of Greg and Erin’s book, Fight Your Way to a Better Marriage, as our way of saying thank you for being there for these families. 

John: Find out more about Hope Restored and donate and get your copy of Fight Your Way to a Better Marriage at or call 800-232-6459 - 800, the letter A and the word FAMILY.

On behalf of Jim Daly and the entire team, thanks for listening today to Focus on the Family. I’m John Fuller inviting you back as we once again help you and your family thrive in Christ.


  • Featured PDF

    Free Resource: Avoiding Chore Wars

    Focus on the Family

    Help your family develop healthy habits in dealing with chores and other daily responsibilities. Download our free kit filled with clear advice and practical resources.

    Read More
  • Featured Initiative

    Have You Lost Hope in Your Marriage?

    Focus on the Family

    For couples in crisis – you can still put the pieces of your marriage back together with Hope Restored.

    Read more
  • Featured Article

    Chores and Your Marriage

    Greg Smalley

    When you share the chores with a teammate mentality and when your goal is to out-serve each other, you can bring an end to the chore wars in your home.

    Read more
  • Featured Article

    Negotiating Chores With Your Spouse

    Sheila Gregoire

    Chores need to be done, but they don't need to be a wedge between a husband and wife. How you approach your tasks can build your marriage team.

    Read more
More Episode Resources


Erin Smalley

View Bio

Erin Smalley serves as the Marriage Strategic Spokesperson for Focus on the Family's marriage ministry and develops content for the marriage department. In addition to her work at Focus, Smalley is a conference speaker. She presents with her husband, Dr. Greg Smalley, at marriage enrichment seminars where they guide husbands and wives in taking steps toward enjoying deeply satisfying marriages. She also speaks to women on faith, family and the importance of healthy friendships.


Greg Smalley

View Bio

Dr. Greg Smalley serves as the vice president of Marriage at Focus on the Family. In this role, he develops and oversees initiatives that prepare individuals for marriage, strengthen and nurture existing marriages and help couples in marital crises. Prior to joining Focus, Smalley worked for the Center for Relationship Enrichment at John Brown University and as President of the National Institute of Marriage. He is the author of 12 books including Crazy Little Thing Called Marriage, Fight Your Way to a Better Marriage and The DNA of Relationships.


Jean Daly

View Bio

Jean Daly became a Christian in 2nd grade and rededicated her life to Christ at 17. She attended the University of California at Davis and earned her degree in Biology from the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs. Jean has been married to her husband, Jim, since 1986; they have two boys.