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Why Did My Dad Leave Me?

While you may never know the reason that your father left you, there is one thing you can be absolutely sure of: You have a Heavenly Father who loves you and will never leave you or forsake you.

Doesn’t My Dad Love Me?

If your dad is no longer a presence in your life, you are undoubtedly asking these questions: Why did my dad leave me? Doesn’t my dad love me? No matter the reason that your dad left you and your family, the pain you feel is raw and real. The void that his absence left in your life seems too deep and wide to ever be filled. Yet you still wonder what made him choose to walk out of your life.

How can you ever move on from this, and hope to heal from such a loss? Let’s start by taking a look at some of the reasons that dads might choose to leave and the importance of their role in a child’s life.

Reasons Dads Leave

There are no clear cut answers for why some dads choose to leave their families. Each circumstance is different, and the reasons dads leave are numerous. But most fathers who choose to leave their families do not leave out of a desire to hurt their kids. Instead, fathers may leave out of a misguided perspective of wanting to protect their children from themselves.

Whatever the reason that your father had for leaving, know this: There is nothing that you did to cause your father to leave. There is nothing that you could have done to make him love you more, or anything that you did to make him love you less. You are not responsible for your father’s actions.

Romans 3:23 states, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” No human father is perfect. Many fathers harbor deep-rooted fears that can cause them to make poor decisions where their families are involved. The following are some general reasons that dads choose to leave their families.

Past Harm and Hurt

Many fathers who choose to leave their families have experienced significant harm or hurt in their own lives. A father might have grown up without a father himself. If his dad left, then he knew all too well the hurt and void left behind from that loss. He may not have had another man in his life to teach him how to be a good father. Perhaps he experienced abuse or trauma in his childhood and is afraid that he would hurt you in the same way. These circumstances may have played a role in the fear your father felt when faced with the challenges of parenting.

Overwhelming Fear

Every parent faces fear when they discover they’re about to have a child. However, for some fathers, the fear can be crushing. Fear itself is often complex and unpredictable. It can cause people to do things they think they would never do. Fear can distort a person’s thinking so that they believe they are taking the right actions.

Fathers who struggle with anger or who have been abused in their past might be terrified that they’ll abuse or traumatize their child in the same manner. They might be thinking, “I’ll just mess up my kid the same way my dad messed me up.” Fathers might be afraid of letting their kids down; that there’s nothing they can do to live up to the world’s expectations. Fear of failure or harm can drive fathers to leave out of a misguided sense of protecting their child.

Strained Relationships

Many marriages end each year in divorce. Some studies give a staggering estimate that half of all marriages will end in divorce. While the number of actual divorces is constantly in flux, one thing is sure: divorce has a tremendous impact on the kids. Children of parents who are not married can also be significantly impacted if their parents decide to end the relationship.

Sometimes these marriages and relationships end amicably, but all too often hostilities arise. A father may leave his child’s life in an attempt to reduce tensions in the home. In some cases, reports of actual or perceived instances of abuse or addiction occur and affect the outcome of legal custody rulings. A custody dispute may end in a way that limits or ends a father’s contact. The bottom line is that strained relationships between parents and limited skills or desire in either party to reconcile have costs and consequences to children.

Safety

There are times when a father leaves their child’s life for safety reasons. If the father has a mental illness, for example, he may not be able to properly care for the child. Or, when struggling with symptoms, may cause unintentional harm to the child. In some cases, fathers with mental illness are still present in their child’s life but may be emotionally unavailable.

If a father is struggling with addictions, it can create an unsafe environment for their children. Fathers may choose to leave to protect their children from their actions. The court may also order separation from his family if the addictions are severe. The absence of the father while he struggles with addictions can be critical to the safety of the children in the family, but it still leaves a deep hurt and void.

Selfishness

Sometimes dads choose their wants over the needs of their kids. They might not have wanted children at that point in their life, or were unprepared for an unexpected pregnancy. Sometimes dads will choose drugs or alcohol over their families. Dads may choose to leave their wife and kids for another relationship. Or they may leave to pursue their own dreams and desires, rather than pouring out their love for their families.

Whatever the reason a dad leaves, it creates scars on the children he leaves behind. Absent fathers were not part of God’s original plan for the family. Instead, God intended for dads to have a vital role in the lives of their children. He created a space in every child’s heart that can only be filled by his or her dad. But how does a father’s presence or absence impact a child’s life? Here are some reasons why kids need their dads to be present.

Why Kids Need Their Dads

A father’s presence in a son or daughter’s life is a contributing factor to their sense of worth and to their growth as a person. Kids can see this modeled by other individuals — such as substitute family members or role models — but the ideal and first source is from their dad. The impact of a father may be different in a son’s life than in a daughter’s life, but the influence is equally as important. Dads fill a space in each child’s heart that a mother just can’t fill — no matter how wonderful she is as a parent. Here are some ways that a father’s presence impacts the life of his son or daughter.

Fathers and Sons

Sons need a father in their life to teach them how to go from being a boy to a man in training. They need godly men who can demonstrate integrity, character, and honor. Having a father in their life will teach them resilience and will train them to be strong men and fathers in the future. Only another man can teach a son how to become a man. Mothers cannot teach this to her sons in the same manner, man-to-man, as a father can.

Fathers and Daughters

Daughters also need their dads to be present in their lives. They need a father to demonstrate what a good and godly man looks like. She can potentially see this demonstrated by others, but the ideal source is from dad. Observing these traits will help her to choose a husband that exhibits those traits. If she doesn’t have this good example, she is more likely to settle for damaged men who will not treat her as she deserves. Daughters need fathers to show them that they are loved, cherished, heard, and are valuable. They need their father’s affirmation. While a father may not be a man of many words, when he does speak, daughters take his words to heart.

The Effects of Absent Fathers on Kids

A father’s absence creates a void in a child’s life. Fortunately, there are many great ways God provides substitute role models and care to children who do not have a father present in their lives. Being without a biological father does not “doom” anyone, yourself included, to a life of struggle. However, it is true that statistically, children are more likely to struggle with behavioral problems as they try to understand the reasons why dad left. They may seek approval and attention in dramatic ways. And the heavy burden of anger and hurt may impact them as they develop or even into their adult years.

Perhaps you were one of these kids. You struggled with the absence of your father and to this day continue to feel burdened by the hurt and anger that was caused when he left. How has that heavy burden impacted you after all these years? Let’s take a look at some of the things that anger and hurt can do if we continue to carry it.

A Boat Anchor Named Anger

Thinking about your father leaving probably causes a heavy feeling in your chest; a sinking feeling. It’s not uncommon to feel angry and hurt when you think of the void that his absence has caused in your life. That would be a normal and understandable response. Imagine that anger and hurt as a boat anchor. The heaviness of that burden is what you carry around with you each and every day. It’s a difficult burden to bear and an exhausting one.

Anger Drains Our Bodies

If you’ve ever carried a heavy backpack on a long hike, you’ll know what it’s like to be depleted at the end of the day. Your body is just tired. Muscles ache, joints throb, and you just want to sit and take a load off. Carrying the heavy weight of anger and hurt impacts our bodies in a similar way. Anger can manifest as extreme stress, ulcers, digestive issues, headaches, repeated illness, or even contribute to mental illness. It can cause mental and emotional exhaustion and can hinder how we approach challenges and achieve successes in our own lives. It can have a negative impact on how we think about ourselves and how we approach our relationships with others.

Anger Sinks Our Relationships

Holding on to the heavy anchor not only hurts and hinders us, but it can sink our relationships. Anger can be especially damaging to our relationship with God.

If we harbor traits that are contrary to God’s character — such as anger, hate, or holding grudges for past hurts — we place a wedge between ourselves and God. If we are to have a good relationship with God, we must let go of those attitudes.

Every relationship in our lives flows down from the relationship that we have with God. If we aren’t in a good relationship with God, our relationships with others cannot be healthy. It’s like watering a tree. If the roots of the tree aren’t receiving water, all the branches and leaves will wilt. Without the Living Water that God provides, our relationships will produce wilted fruit.

The way we react to the world around us depends on what we are storing in our hearts. If we store hate and anger in our hearts, it will percolate to the surface and will manifest in how we interact with others. If we carry the burden of anger in our hearts, it will appear in the things we speak and how we act (Luke 6:45). This can be so damaging to many areas of our lives and will prevent us from growing and moving forward.

Toss That Anchor Overboard and Cut The Chain

I’m sure you want to get rid of that heavy boat anchor that you’ve been carrying around. The anger that you’ve been carrying does nothing to change your dad’s actions. It can’t change the past. All that burden is doing is hurting you instead. It’s impossible to carry it with you and have complete freedom in your life. If you continue to cling to it, it will always weigh you down. So what can you do to toss that anchor overboard, cut the chain, and sail forward?

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The Journey of Forgiveness

Forgiveness is an important step in letting go of that heavy anchor. But it’s not cheap, quick, or easy. Forgiveness is not something that happens overnight. It takes time and can be a long process. You may not be ready to forgive your father right now for his absence. At some point, you’ll want to start taking steps in that direction. You will want to get to a place where you can begin to address that topic. When you are ready, you may want to talk to a trusted spiritual advisor or counselor to walk with you through the steps of forgiveness.

Steps In The Right Direction

First, engage with God. Talk to Him about your father, his absence, and how it left you reeling. You don’t have to hold anything back. God knows you better than you know yourself, so lay it all down on the table. Talk about this with Him consistently and ask Him for help. He will soften your heart and will enable you to forgive your dad for leaving. We can’t do it of our own strength. But if we allow Jesus to carry the burden, He will.

Next, consider talking with a counselor about your father. Counselors have amazing insight and can encourage and help guide you on your journey to healing and forgiveness. Remember that seeking the wisdom of a counselor is not a weakness; it can be life giving.

Another step that many people find helpful is to write a letter to their dad. This isn’t a letter that you’ll be dropping in the mail, so feel free to lay all your thoughts and hurts down on the page. Often people feel better having it off their chest.

If you know your father and he is a safe individual to approach emotionally or physically, you might also choose to do something good for him. If not in person, at least in prayer and in your heart. Human nature wants to repay hurt for hurt. It takes real courage and grace to repay hurt with kindness. Of course, any specific contact you make may require special discernment based on the history and relationship patterns. Always seek wise counsel, and if merited, even consider professional counseling before making major plans or decisions.

The Bible instructs us to forgive others, just as Christ has forgiven us (Ephesians 4:32). Showing forgiveness and grace to a father who hurt you might be one of the hardest things you’ll ever do. But if you are intentional in trying to forgive your dad, God will do an amazing work in your heart and can help you to break the cycle of absent fathers in your own life and in the lives of others.

Breaking the Cycle

For centuries, kids have been asking “why did my dad leave me?” However, the number of fathers who have left their kids has seen an increase in recent decades. How can we stop this trend and the cycle of devastation it leaves in its wake?

Choose To Break The Cycle In Your Family

If your own father has left you, then you know that repeating that pattern is not the best choice. Without intentionality, some fatherless children may tend to repeat the same pattern later in life. This does not have to be anyone’s story. You can use your life story as a springboard to another path. You can make the choice for the cycle of absent fathers to end with you.

What do you do once you’ve made this choice? Start by making a commitment to love and be present with your kids. You don’t have to be perfect. Your kids don’t need your perfection, they need your presence. They need you to be a part of their lives. Next, seek out another godly man in your life to be a mentor to you. Reach out to someone who can keep you accountable, encourage you, and walk with you along your journey of being a dad. Over time, he can teach you what it means to be a dad.

Be sure to cling to God for guidance and help. Read the Word, spend time in prayer, and find a men’s discipleship group through the church if you can. The journey won’t always be easy, but God will honor it. He will teach you and bless you in amazing ways. He will be the Heavenly Father that you look to for hope and help if only you’ll let Him.

Make an Impact in Another Child’s Life

For men who want to make an impact in a fatherless child’s life, you don’t have to stand idly by. You don’t have to be a father to invest in kids. Whether you are a grandparent, foster parent, or friend, you can be a wonderful mentor to kids who don’t have a father. Remember, you don’t have to be perfect. You just need to be a man who loves Jesus and has the courage to step up and help fill that void.

Make a commitment to them to be present. Something as simple as showing up for a baseball game or taking them fishing can make an impact. Talking through the challenges and questions that these kids have about life can encourage them and help them grow as people, and in their walks with Christ. Mentoring a child and showing that you are present can be a game changer for them.

Mentor A Dad

You can also step up and help mentor another dad. There are many men out there who have not had a father in their lives to teach them what it means to be a dad. This is your opportunity to step in and show them. Make a commitment to consistently be present, talk through it, and walk life with them. Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there. God can take your willingness and make an impact for generations to come.

You can mentor another dad one-on-one or through a men’s discipleship group in your church. If a group like this doesn’t exist, why not start one? It can be a chance for you to bond in deeper ways, lift each other up in prayer, and support each other through the challenges of fatherhood and encourage each other in your walk with God.

God is Not Like Your Father

We tend to see our Heavenly Father through the lens of our experience with our earthly fathers. We often project our dad’s character and traits onto God and imagine that He behaves in the same manner. However, God is perfect, whereas we are all imperfect. He is reliable, He is love, and He will never leave you. God knew your name and who you would become before you were even born (Psalm 139). And He loved you so much that He sent His only son — Jesus — to die on a cross to save you. All you have to do is accept His gift of salvation — of freedom in Christ.

If you have never accepted Jesus into your life and want to accept His love, forgiveness, peace, and healing, you can pray something like this:

Heavenly Father, I come to you in the name of Jesus and lay my life before you. I’ve pushed you away for too long and have rejected your love and peace in my life until now. Thank you for your gift of salvation and I choose to receive it today. I believe you sent your Son to die on the cross for my sins, and that He rose again. I believe that my sins are forgiven and that you have given me the gift of eternal life through Jesus. Your words are true and I know that you love me beyond measure.

Come into my heart, Lord Jesus, and be my Savior. Show me your love and your peace. Help me to forgive those who have hurt me as you have forgiven me for my sins. Help me to show them your love as you have shown it to me. Amen.

Now that you have made the decision to accept Christ, where do you go from here? Coming Home is an excellent resource on how to know God in a deeper way. Find a local church, if you don’t already have a church home. Become a part of a Bible study or discipleship group there and find a mentor who can help guide you on your walk with Christ.

Final Thoughts

You may never know the answer to the question, “Why did my dad leave me?” However, there is one thing you can be absolutely sure of: You have a Heavenly Father who loves you and knows you. God has never left you or forsaken you (Deuteronomy 31:6). If you let Him, God can fill the void and heal the hurt that your father’s absence has created. There is nothing He cannot restore.

If you would like to have a one-time consult with a licensed or pastoral counselor at Focus on the Family or you would like receive a referral for ongoing professional counseling in your area, we invite you to reach out to us at Focus on the Family through our free Counseling Consultation and Referral Service at 1-855-771-HELP.

© 2020 by Focus on the Family. All rights reserved. 

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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.

Loving Your Spouse Through the Seasons of Marriage - Part 1

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.

How a Former Abortion Doctor Became Pro-Life

As an abortion doctor at Planned Parenthood, Dr. Patti Giebink believed she was helping women. Later, she began reading scripture and God gradually changed her heart on the abortion issue. Patti tells the story of her long journey from abortion doctor to pro-life and encourages listeners to share the message of life with compassion.

Headshot image of Focus on the Family broadcast guest Dr. Patti Giebink

Mrs. Patti Giebink

Dr. Patti Giebink is an OB-GYN who serves on the board of the Alpha Center, a well-known pregnancy center located in Sioux Falls, S.D. She also travels intermittently to work in mission hospitals in Pakistan and other countries. After completing her medical training, Dr. Giebink worked for Planned Parenthood from 1995-1997, during which she was the only abortion-provider in the state of South Dakota. She eventually experienced a radical change of heart on the issue of abortion after receiving God’s grace, forgiveness, and love, and she is now a passionate advocate for the pro-life movement.

Cover image of the book "Unexpected Choice: An Abortion Doctor’s Journey to Pro-Life"

Unexpected Choice: An Abortion Doctor’s Journey to Pro-Life

Unexpected Choice is told from the perspective of a doctor who actually performed abortions through Planned Parenthood. The book chronicles her journey from being a pro-choice physician to someone speaking on behalf of the pro-life movement.

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 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.

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!

Thank you for committing to pray for the pre-born!

Sign up below for your free seven-day prayer guide. This daily guide will help give direction to your prayers for the pro-life movement. We will be praying with you! 

Focus on the Family

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