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Establishing Good Communication in Your Marriage (Part 2 of 2)

Original Air Date 07/07/2017

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Based on his book Honey, We Need to Talk, Dr. David Clarke explains how couples can strengthen their marriage by improving their communication skills. Discussion topics include typical communication styles of men and women, how men can be more intentional in initiating conversations, how to better navigate conflict, and more. (Part 2 of 2)

Episode Transcript



Dr. David Clarke: Can you imagine I come back to our second talk time of the week, I gots things [sic] written on a pad that she’s mentioned that I’m interested in and I say, “Honey, I thought about some of the things that you said, here’s some of my responses.” She goes crazy with love and respect! And “You thought about me?!” Women love to be thought about! Rather than, “I got nothin’. I don’t know what I’m talking about. I forgot what you said.” So, we’ve gotta be intentional.

End of Excerpt

John Fuller: Well some great advice from Dr. David Clarke about becoming a better communicator with your spouse. And he’s back again today as we return to one of our Best of 2017 broadcasts on Focus on the Family. Your host is Focus president and author Jim Daly and I’m John Fuller. Thanks for joining us.

Jim Daly: John, last time we started a great conversation about how men particularly um … are often clams. You know, we don’t really respond. We uh … just clam up, which I think is a great description of us-- not always. We know there’s the exception.

And then women who are often the crowbars, they’re tryin’ to open the clam (Chuckling) up. “Listen to what I’m saying” and, even if it’s darting all over the place. And it’s interesting and let me confess this to women. Um … for men because we’re so compartmentalized, we can get fatigued really quickly when we’re talking about more than one subject matter. And I … that happens to me. I just kinda go, “Wow! This is overwhelming” and I could feel my brain actually shutting down and I go to this other place in my head, which is usually football. (Laughter) You know, you just start thinking about other things and that’s terrible.

John: And does Jean stop you at some point—

Jim: No, I mean—

John: --and say, “Hey.”

Jim: --half the time I’m sure she doesn’t know I’ve kinda tuned out, ‘cause I can keep the game face on but it’s true. And today we want to talk about not the recrimination of the way we’re wired, but how do we use our wiring in such a way that is productive in our marriages. And that’s the way I like to look at this and we have a wonderful guest today.

We started this conversation last time with Dr. David Clarke. If you missed it, get it. Get the download. Download the Smartphone app, whatever you need to do. Call us; if we need to send you a CD, we’ll do that, but um … that first part of that conversation was loaded with great wisdom and we even had questions from our gallery, which there’re probably 20, 30 women in there to make sure the feminine side is represented here at the table today.

John: Yeah it was a good discussion and you can find the first part of it on CD or as a download at And Dr. Clarke is a psychologist, speaker and author. One of the books he wrote is calledHoney, We Need to Talk: Get Honest and Intimate in 10 Essential Areas. Let’s go ahead and hear now the second part of this Best of 2017 conversation on today’s Focus on the Family.


Jim: Dr. Clarke, welcome back to Focus.

David: Thank you.

Jim: Hey, one thing we want everyone listening to do is go home tonight and give their spouse what you call a “big wet kiss.” (Laughing)

David: Yes!

Jim: Which for some reason you’ve … you’ve put a lot of confidence in that type of intimacy, that heartfelt kiss. Now people that have married, 20, 30 years, maybe 50 years maybe they don’t see kissing as quite the thing it used to be.

David: Which is a shame.

Jim: Why?

David: Every kiss is a romantic event. It is sharing how much I love you and there should be some excitement. People lose that. “Goodbye, honey, have a nice day,” in the morning, “But come over, yeah, real quick, real quick.” Two sets of completely dry Sahara dry lips, nubs actually, touching for a millisecond. They don’t make movies about that, my friends. (Laughter) Unless it’s depressing. No, you grab your woman and you put a smacker on herface, right on the lips.

Research has shown—my own personal research with the blonde—and we continue to research every day! Anyway, if you hold … open … you gotta have open mouth, arms around, body parts touching. You’re married. It’s legal in most states.

Jim: I love it. That is great, but it—

John: Oh, man.

Jim: --that is a spark. It does something emotionally for you and that’s what you’re talkin’ about. Let me move on to the more serious things. Besides kissing, what are some other ways a couple can boost their romance.

David: [They] gotta date. You hear this a lot. People don’t do it. Solomon and Shulamith in the Song of Songs, they … he’s the king, pretty busy guy. He took Shulamith away a number of times in the book, middle of nowhere, nobody around, just the two of them. It wasn’t “king and her;” it was … it was a man and a woman in love.

So have creative fun dates. Don’t just see the movie and go out to dinner.Bo-ring. You’ll fall asleep at the table. Do some fun stuff.

Jim: What does fun stuff look like?

David: It could be roller blading. Now wear the knee pads, ‘cause you’re gonna crash.

Jim: You know, that’s dangerous.

David: I’ve heard that, but you know what? (Laughter) It’s fun. It could be … it could be … now we have beaches where we are, but any body of water, walking by any body of water is spectacular. I … I’m here in Colorado Springs. Oh, hiking, you can hike anywhere you are. Hiking, going out somewhere, drivin’ the car, hiking, you know, take your bear spray, who knows. But anything like whatever you did when you were dating is usually a good place to start. Remember those days. Boy, it didn’t take much.

Jim: What about that … that woman who wants that type of kissing and romance, but she doesn’t feel pursued by her husband. We tend to fold up the … the camp site once we get married and say, well, the … the hunt is over. We’ve done it. What can we do for her heart when she’s longing for that? How can she say that to her husband? Listen,I want to keep in the game here.

David: --she’s gotta … she’s gotta find a way to say it, exactly and it’s not easy to say, ‘cause you fear rejection. How’s he gonna respond? I am pretty confident that he wants to get back in the saddle, too and he’s probably thinkin’ the same thing. The couples I see in my office, almost to a person, they’re both thinkin’ the same things. They’re not talking.

Of course, he wants to kiss her face. He loves her. So, two things. She’s gonna have the conversation and she’s gonna say, “I’m gonna start kissing you that way every day. And when you come in the evening,” or if I come later, we both work whatever, that’s what … that’s what you should do the first thing in the evening, smackers, not one, two or three smackers.

The pets … research shows the pets are happy, because mom and dad, you’re doing well. The kids will see it and they need to see it. If you’ve got teens and they’re bugging you, this is a great way to get rid of them. (Laughter) They’ll leave the room. They’ll leave the country. (Laughter) “I can’t believe!” You can say this is how you came along, Bobby. Oh, they’ve got to leave. (Laughter)

Jim: I love it.

David: It’s good stuff.

Jim: That’s exactly the point. You want couples to get to a point in their communication where they can openly talk about past pain. That seems to countermand the kind of wisdom to say, you know, don’t … don’t go in that direction. There’s not a lot of good that can be gained from past pain. You’re saying the exact opposite. Why?

David: I sure am. I … I’m a clinical psychologist, of course a Christian first. I should know better. I see every day in my office the effects of past pain and every bit of your unresolved past pain. Everybody has a past pain list. Mom and dad mistreated me. Dad was critical. Mom wasn’t affectionate. I wasn’t taught about money. I’ve been married before and I really got burned in that marriage. Boy, that hurt. I’m about to get married again-- what’s gonna happen I don’t know. All … all that unresolved [pain]. A friend betrayed me; a boss fired me. It could be a boyfriend really hurt me or girlfriend. We have this list. Someone abused me, sexually abused me in my neighborhood. I’ve never forgotten that, of course and I live with that wound. Every single piece of that unresolved pain will transfer to your marriage partner. You don’t want it to, but it does.

Jim: In what ways does it transfer? Give us an example or two.

David: Here’s what happens. I … let’s say that I had a mom who was very critical of me. I’m a man, of course and … and throughout growing up my brother was the favorite. I was criticized. That’s my … I didn’t resolve … I didn’t resolve it. You don’t see therapy when you’re 10-years-old; you just survive. [You don’t] see a therapist.

So, I get married to Sandy and now when she’s … even though she’s not critical all the time, when she’s critical of me (Sound of snap of fingers), boom! That wound is touched. It’s hit pretty hard as a matter of fact and I respond with anger, with resentment and … and a huge push-back. It becomes a big thing, because it’s about mom; it’s not about Sandy.

If Sandy had a dad who neglected her, didn’t take time with her, didn’t really spend the time and really connect with her and I’m … I’m, [the one] who tend[s] to be a workaholic, neglect her, again, that transferred. Her dad stuff transfers to that and she has a huge reaction.

So, when we sit down and talk about it, it’s not just, “Dave, you’re being … you’re late a few times this week. I’m upset. Let’s talk.” It’s “I can’t believe I’m really upset. I’m …” See, she’s wounded [and] doesn’t even know why. Well, I’ll tell her why. It’s because of the dad stuff. So, all that stuff transfers.

The good news is, you can work it through together in such a way, the book guides you through and it has to be together. If you don’t do it together, you don’t get the marriage benefit. So, when you work it through together, it dissipates. You get rid of it and now it’s just about you and I.

Jim: David, as you’re mentioning the background that we all have, we all have a background whatever it might be and our awareness and our ability to be in touch with that, I mean, comedians make fun of it, but it is so true. It’s the baggage you bring into a relationship. And particularly for Christians, we’ve gotta recognize what it is. We’ve got to deal with it.

Um … short of a couple getting into counseling, which is always a good place to have these discussions, you’re in the profession, we have counselors here at Focus on the Family who are waiting for your phone call typically and we’re there to … to be that initial step for you. We can talk with you and give you some input and some additional guidance on what next steps could be and feel free to call us in that regard. If the phones are busy, we’ll call you back. But what are a couple of steps that person can take in their relationship now to help move their marriage in that direction?

David: The book will guide them through. You sit down and you talk about your past pain list. It’s vulnerable, very intimate, but it’s in-house. The deal is, no one else is gonna know about this. This is just the two of us. The guy especially has to have that guarantee, because this is very personal.

And so, we start talking about, you know, mom, dad. Couples usually know some of that stuff, but maybe not the deeper stuff. Uh …here’s the people and we have our list and now we start a series of talking through--it’s verbal first--talking through our pain together. And … and the other person isn’t fixing, but they’re listening; they’re understanding. You’re praying about it. This will take several weeks to a month or more, talking through, talking through. You’re really getting a lot of the transfer out of the way at that point.

And then I have … I have them write letters. I’m a big letter writer. You’re gonna write every person on your past pain list. You’re not gonna send the letter. This is just for your spouse. Um … and it’s gonna be very honest. When you write something out, it becomes very real. The emotions are triggered. You’re … I’m making them relive the event. That’s the painful part, but you’re doing it with God’s help, of course, through prayer support, encouragement and you’ve got your spouse helping you every step of the way.

I will read a letter to my mom to Sandy, let’s say. I cover the pain, what happened. I go through that. I … I work to forgive her and then I talk about the transfer. Now if it’s a serious deeper wound, okay, it will require a therapist, Focus’s help potentially and really getting through it, but you’ve gotta do it together.

And … and very … many cases, people aren’t … don’t have access to a therapist other than Focus on the phone, which is great. And um … you will just have to go through the steps, but God will guide you through. So, it’s verbal and it’s the letters and you can heal together. And it’s … and you … you can imagine. If you … couples that will do this together, it’s so extraordinary and so deep. You’re gonna be so much closer afterwards anyway. It’s a great avenue to intimacy, plus you’re eliminating the transfer which is gummin’ you up.

Jim: Yeah. David, let’s punch the point right here though. Some people need a spiritual, I don’t know, coating on this to be able to um … swallow it better. We’ve talked a lot about the psychology of humanity, but connect those two quickly, that idea that God’s in all of this, that part of science, whether it’s brain science or psychology, how our brains work, God is in that, ‘cause He wired us. And I want to make sure we hit that point, that people aren’t just saying, we’re relying on steps and procedures to be able to, you know, focus your attention and make you whole. God’s in it.

David: Oh, yeah. You’re not gonna heal even an inch without God’s help. Christ and God and the Holy Spirit are everything in this process, always bathed with prayer. Before each conversation you pray. During the conversation you’ll pray. After the conversation you’ll pray, after the letter. Prayer, encouragement, God’s power and guidance will get you through. Nothing else will, so it’s a “both and.” Do the work, but you gotta have God’s help.

John: And if you’ve been praying about a matter in your relationship and you’re just not getting traction or what David’s been sharing about deep past wounds is resonating, do call us. We do have great Christian counselors here that can talk through with you some starting points, as Jim said. And refer you to somebody in your area for some ongoing conversations. Our number is 800, the letterAand the word FAMILY; 800-232-6459.

And when you get in touch, you can also use that number for David’s book,Honey, We Need to Talk, which has, as we’ve said, some great principles in it.

Jim: David, let’s go there. To have that kind of intimate relationship that you’re describing, you encourage couples to confess their sins and areas of weakness in their lives. Um … phew! Some people just pulled back on that, because that’s very tender. I mean, that can be, if overdone maybe, that can be even dangerous perhaps. Go ahead as the therapist. Make your case as to why that kind of openness, that kind of honesty actually will make your relationship stronger.

David: This is, of course, later in the book, because you wouldn’t start this [at] Chapter One.

Jim: Right. (Laughter)

David: This is really, really tough. So, as your intimacy build[s] and you’re getting closer, it’s kind of a progressive operation, now we can begin to look at this area. Every single person has an emotional problem, except for Dr. Clarke, of course. (Laughter) Kidding. I’m a … I’m a workaholic; that’s my issue, among other things. I’ll just share that one.

And this is … this is an area of weakness or potential serious sin that if not controlled, if not healed from, will destroy you and everything close to you and everybody close to you in terms of the relationship, so that everybody knows what theirs is.

So, as a couple, now the Bible talks about “one flesh.” What that means is, we talk about everything. We share everything. We are one. So, part of that is, let’s start talking about the … our weaknesses. Now they may be obvious. I may … Sandy knows I’m a workaholic. I wouldn’t say, “What! I’m a workaholic? I can’t believe it!” Well, she knows it, so …

Jim: And you know it.

David: And I know it, oh, yeah. I’ve known it for the last 20 years anyway. (Laughing) I wasn’t aware at first. So, we start talking. If you don’t know where your area is, just ask your spouse. They will know, unless it’s a secret area. If there’s a man, if there’s a woman and more women are involved in this increasingly, the whole sexual addiction area, the whole area of romance and … and fantasy. Oh, my goodness, Satan’s having a field day. That could be a secret.

I’m telling you right now, easy to say, but important to do, have a conversation saying, “Here’s what I’m struggling with,” ‘cause if you don’t, No. 1, you’ll keep doing the sin. You don’t stop. Unless your partner knows and that hasn’t … you don’t know the pain you’re causing, you’ll keep doing it. But once you share, it’s out. Now we’re gonna work through it together, help her heal if it’s a … it’s a lady that you’re … you’re hurting with this. Pornography is at epidemic levels; pastors, Christian leaders, the numbers are the same.

Jim: Well, I want to restate what you said at the beginning of the question which is, this isn’t Chapter One.

David: Uh-uh.

Jim: This is later on when that intimacy—

David: Yeah.

Jim: --is developing emotionally, spiritually in your relationship, but the need to go there is important, because greater intimacy will be found. How do you go about opening up in your three, as we talked about last time-- and if you missed that program, get it-- where you spend 30 minutes three times a week developing intimate discussion and dialogue. So, as you’re moving down that continuum and now you’re at this place where you can have this kind of openness, how do you do that in a healthy way that’s God-honoring, that doesn’t put expectations on your spouse, but you do your homework.

David: I like to have a … a community of support. Now they don’t know exactly what you’re sharing, but they’re aware that you’re gonna share something significant. Um … this is … this is an accountability partner of the same sex. This is possibly a pastor.

So, the lead up, you’re gonna have people. You may actually have thought of a question. If you know what you’re sharing is earth-shattering and it’s gonna devastate your partner, you don’t do that without a net. Okay, I … honey, I’m sharing something that’s gonna really … you … you prologue it with, “Honey, oh, my goodness, this is really gonna be hurtful, but we have … we have some things in place.”

‘Cause you might want to go to the therapist the next day, the next two days, this … within this week if it’s like, aah! My husband has just told me he has been using pornography for 20 years. Oh, my goodness! Good that he shared it, but we’re gonna have to work this through with some help now, a pastor or whatever.

So, you’re very careful about the net and then when you share it, we know this is gonna take time to heal Again, it’s not (Sound of snap of fingers) the spiritual ceremony. Let’s pray about this. Thanks for sharing. We’re done. This is, I have to now heal from what you’ve told me and we have to work it through. There are steps that the book will help you. Work it through with help, with support, people you know you can trust. So, it’s … it’s a campaign. It’s … it’s gonna be months in the making, but I’m tellin’ you right now, I’ve seen it over 30 years, the intimacy that will result is amazing, the teamwork as a couple, the one-flesh experienceandthe sin stops. You control it. It is at bay.

Jim: That’s good. Let’s go ahead and take some questions at the end of today’s program like you did last time. Let’s start with the first question.

Nancy: Hi, my name is Nancy and my question is for the couples who um … one is a believer and one is not and how you work through that?

David: A great question.

Jim: Yeah, it’s really good.

David: There is a … there … you … as you might imagine, there’s a chapter, Nancy. By the way, my third daughter is Nancy. I love that name, I’m just saying. (Laughter) I’m sure she’s a wonderful person. This is very common, um … whether you married someone hoping he’d come to Christ or she would come to Christ and they haven’t or that people come to Christ after marriage—

Jim: Sure.

David: --which is wonderful and the other person’s not ready yet. So, there’s a chapter on that and this is … again, it’s a campaign. You can’t use any direct approach. You’d love to just say, “Please come to Jesus. I’m on my knees here,” ‘cause you know how important it is. Your very eternity’s at stake; our marriage needs the spiritual component.

But we go through the back door and we do a lot of things that will be helpful to bring that person to Christ and one thing I’ll … make mention … recommend a few things, Nancy and that is, you … with … with a … with a good decent man—let’s say it’s a man that’s not the Christian; it could be the woman; keep saying that, but it could be reversed—you say, “Look, I want to have a … a few prayer times a week. I know you don’t pray and you don’t believe in God yet.” I would always use the word “yet,” subtle psychological tool. (Laughter)

Anyway, but no pressure, ‘cause I … “Would you listen to me pray for just two or three minutes?” Um … you know, letting him and most decent men will listen. “Of course you don’t have to pray. Would you just listen to me pray?” That’s spiritual impact.

When something happens in your life that … that you know is from God, which happens every day, you … you say, “Honey, could I share something with you, just a couple of minutes about something how God led me?” It won’t be every day. If he listens to that, he starts to see how God works, okay.

Jim: Yeah.

David: These are little ways to impact the guy. You will certainly, low key, invite him to church. Um … he’ll hear the gospel. He doesn’t have to go, but it’s up to him. You know that many men will go because it will please the woman, but they’ll be affected by the gospel; we know that and the worship.

You have friends that are Christians and you … you do this kinda subtly, but you … you have time with them and … and you’d like to have him hook up with some other godly man. If you could … if you have a guy come alongside; they build a relationship. These are some ideas that in time could lead him to Christ.

Jim: That’s good.

Carol: Hi, my name is Carol and my husband and I have been married for over 40 years and for over 20 years of that he was in the military and it was because of his absence so often, it was very easy for him to turn over the reins to me. I did all the discipline. I took care of all the household things. He came and went so often, it was just easier not to move that role back and forth.

Now that he’s retired, our children are grown. We have grandchildren. How do I encourage him to, um … take over that role again, not only as a spiritual leader, but to help make a decision, do we want hardwood floors or carpet? (Laughter) He just … what do you want for dinner? Uh … he just seems re … very reluctant to make a decision, so how can I encourage him and support those decisions?

David:Boy, great question, Carol. Here’s the good news for Carol. You get whatever you want. (Laughter)

Jim: Yeah, right.

David: Hardwood floors, no, you want … you want engagement. You want a relationship and input. Yeah, great question. I see this in a lot of military families, Oh, my goodness, exactly what Carol has said. The woman has to lead. There is no question. He’s gone. You can Skype. You can in … you can have the phone thing, but they’re gone and sometimes they’re gone, gone. You can’t even contact them.

The re-entry is always tough and the vast majority of the guy coming back in is just what Carol says. Wonderful guy, but he’s used to not leading and that system actually worked and God blessed that system. But now she wants a change and she’s right.

Now, because it’s not what God’s … His ultimate design is. He allowed this um … because of your husband serving his country. So, now we’re … now we’re transitioning into this new area where he will, in fact, be the biblical leader in the home. That’s gonna be a campaign. You’re gonna make your … your wishes very clear.

“Honey, I love you. We can keep living this way and I want hardwood floors, but I want to tell you (Laughter) … but I want input. I want you to lead.” And be very specific. He’ll need to know what that looks like. He has really no idea. And so, give him ideas. It will look like this. Build scenarios. Men need scenarios. It’ll mean this. It’ll mean that. “It’ll mean when I ask about hardwood floors. I want some input. And I want color and I want shape and I want to go to the store.” “Do I have to do that? You’ve always made …” “I know, but this is the new.”

See, the new thing is doing it together when it’s fun. We di … we did some remodeling of our home, which just about broke us up. We … we made 35 …

Jim: Oh, that sounds like fun.

David: Oh! Sandy wanted input, too. I would rather her just do it. She … women don’t want that. They want the input. They want the togetherness. So, I think the transition. He’ll be open. It might take, uh … a year or more, but he’ll be able to transition, but give him the scenarios, what it looks like and he’ll come through.

Carolina: Hi, my name is Carolina and I would like to know what really motivates a man not to only talk about an issue, but try hard to solve it after he has agreed to do it with his wife?

Jim: Hm.

David: Yeah, how to keep the man motivated, that … Carolee … is that Carolina? Carolina? Oh, that’s a great name. Who wouldn’t do something for Carolina? Please! (Laughter) You have to keep the man motivated by staying engaged in the dialogue. Men will drop off awfully quick.

So, you make it clear, “Here’s what I’d like you to do.” And you’re involved from the very get-go, Carolina on … on how this is gonna work and the resistance he’s gonna share … he’s gonna get into. So, “Honey, what’s gonna …” after you share here’s what I want, “what’s gonna make this hard for you to do?” That is a great dialogue to have.

He’ll say, “Yeah, I’ll do it.” Or “No, I won’t.” Or “Yes, I will” and I won’t, whatever, ends up not doing it. So, if we can get the resistance out first, that is actually highly motivational. Well, if he’s honest, “It’s gonna be hard. I don’t think I can do it. Here’s why.” If we can attack those things, that’s the block. We get through the block. It should go more smoothly.

Jim: How does a woman avoid that … that label of being “nagging?” I mean, ‘cause that sounds like you’re engaged. Those are all positive words. Husbands can hear, “You’re just on top of this. I mean, give me some oxygen.”

David: Yeah.

Jim: I mean, they … they feel “nagged.”

David: True, two things. The woman can say and you’re being very open and honest, “If you don’t want me to repeat myself and nag, get the stinkin’ job done.” (Laughter) What … what can I say? Sandy’s told me that. “Gosh, Dave, let’s think about this. If you just did it two days ago, I wouldn’t be bringing it up!”

Jim: That was a good point.

David: The deal … but the deal we have is this and it’s worked for us for 35 years. She … when she asks me to do something and we talk about the resistance and I have to be … if it’s a no, I have to tell her no. The worst thing for a woman is yes and then not do it.

Jim: Right.

David: If I really don’t want to do it, I’m not gonna do it, that’s gonna be not a nice conversation, but at least we get it over with. When … when she thinks I’m gonna do it and I don’t do it, now we have two problems. So, I would say, you know, you … one reminder is appropriate and that’s how we operate. If it’s something important to her, she … you know, I say yes and I’m not doing it and there’s a timeframe up front, too. Like a military operation, I’m giving you a week, Dave. I’m giving you two weeks, ‘cause I might forget. Within that week, if you do it, you know, the stars are shining and the sun is out and everybody’s happy. But if you don’t, I’m gonna remind you one time, two adults. That’s not nagging. We’d already redefined that. This is an adult-to-adult reminder, you know and she’s not even mad. That’s built into the system. If you don’t respond to that reminder, now I’m mad and I have a right to be mad and I’m going into nag mode and it’s your dumb fault. (Laughter)And … and I know that … that’s fair.

Jim: Pretty straightforward.

David: I’m tellin’ you.


John: And what a practical conversation with all sorts of great takeaways that we’ve had for the past couple of days here on Focus on the Family with Dr. David Clarke, who wrote the book Honey, We Need to Talk.

Jim: Man, I hope that you, the listener, have been empowered today to strengthen your relationship with your spouse and that you feel hope, if your marriage is struggling. Ad you’ve listened along, if you’re in a tough spot in your marriage, we have caring Christian counselors here at Focus on the Family. Call us! We can give you some first steps you can take to strengthen the intimacy and the communication in your relationship.

John: And to speak with one of our counselors, our number is 800-A-FAMILY. 800-232-6459. And we need to tell you that right now we get a lot of phone calls. The holiday season brings up so much and that counseling team may need to take your name and number and give you a call back-- they’ll do it as soon as they can. But we do want to hear from you, so again that number is 800, the letter A and the word FAMILY.

Jim: And you know, today’s program highlights what we’ve been striving for for forty years, to help struggling marriages. We received a comment from Mrs. Larry that I’d love to share with you. She said, “In 1977, my marriage was in serious trouble. We were on the steps of the divorce court. When taking my children to school one day, I discovered the Focus on the Family radio broadcast. Each day seemed to speak to me personally. I started reading the Bible and applying it to my life. God turned our life and marriage around and I’m happy to report that today we’re celebrating 47 years of marriage! Thank you from the bottom of my heart for saving my marriage!” And what a great story!

And I want to thank you, because you share in that, those that have prayed for us, that have supported the ministry. God sees that bigger economy that He knows you’ve worked hard and you’ve sent some of those resources to Focus on the Family and you share, not only in that marriage saved, but the many, many marriages saved over these past 40 years.

Today, when you partner in ministry with us, your gift will be doubled and we’ll send you a copy of David Clarke’s bookHoney, We Need to Talkas our way of saying thank you.

John: And you can make your donation when you call 800-A-FAMILY or stop by And while you’re there, check out additional audio that we have with David Clarke and be sure to order a copy of our entire Best of 2017 collection on CD or as a download.

And next time, we’ll be sharing an inspiring conversation with Eric Metaxas about the importance of heroes.


Eric Metaxas: When you encounter a noble life, a life given over to a higher purpose, to God’s purpose, something inside you, because you’re made in God’s image, responds. You can’t even help it.

End of Teaser

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Dr. David Clarke

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Dr. David Clarke is a licensed psychologist with a full-time practice in Florida, where he does extensive counseling with individuals and families. He earned his Ph.D. in clinical psychology from Western Conservative Baptist Theological Seminary in Portland, Ore. Dr. Clarke has authored nearly a dozen books including Cinderella Meets the Cave Man, The Six Steps to Emotional Freedom and A Marriage After God's Own Heart. He and his wife, Sandy, have four children. Learn more about Dr. Clarke by visiting his website: