Custom CSS of Section contains Conditional Preview for See Life Campaign Elements

Focus on the Family Broadcast

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on email
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on email

Finding God’s Purpose in Adversity

Finding God’s Purpose in Adversity

Daniel Ritchie has faced remarkable adversity, yet he claims being born without arms was a gift. He shares how he overcame despair and discovered how to glorify God through his pain.
Original Air Date: March 2, 2022

Preview:

Daniel Ritchie: From me to, at that point, to see the gospel in that lens, and, and for me to not keep score of God’s grace towards me on my terms, but on His.

Jim: Hmm. Yeah.

Daniel: Man, that, that changed everything.

End of Preview:

John Fuller: That’s Daniel Ritchie, and he’s our guest today on Focus on the Family, uh, sharing how he’s found hope in the midst of intense physical challenges. I do hope you’ll stay with us for, uh, this conversation as we hear powerful truths to ground you in difficult circumstances. This is Focus on the Family with Jim Daly. Thanks for joining us, I’m John Fuller.

Jim Daly: John, one of the most famous versus, uh, in the bible, in the New Testament book of Philippians is, “I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” And it’s right there in Philippians 4:13. It’s often used as that motivational mantra-

John: Mm-hmm.

Jim: … to, uh, you know, make you climb the mountain or do better, whatever it might be. Uh, but when the Apostle Paul wrote that, “I can do all things,” he was really, uh, meaning it for the difficult things. Uh, you know, the content, if you look at it, is about suffering. So even in suffering, as Paul was expressing, uh, was his singular goal to honor the Lord in that suffering-

John: Mm-hmm.

Jim: … and to glorify God.

John: Yeah.

Jim: And I don’t know about you, but that’s not always my initial reaction (laughs).

John: (laughs)

Jim: I’d rather say, “Yeah, Lord, help me to attain this mountain-

John: Mm-hmm.

Jim: … or to do better on Friday night football.” Right? I can remember in high school praying that. Uh, but I wonder, uh, what each of you listeners and viewers on YouTube, what you would respond to that. How does that passage speak to your heart? Is it one to attain a higher level, or to get through a really difficult situation? And our guest today has dealt with adversity. I’m so looking forward to this discussion with Daniel Ritchie and, uh, his expression. And he has lived an amazing life, and you’ll learn more in a moment.

John: Yeah, as I mentioned earlier, Daniel Ritchie is with us. He’s a speaker and author, and lives in North Carolina with his wife, Heather, and their two children. Daniel’s book is titled My Affliction for His Glory: Living Out Your Identity in Christ. And that’s, uh, the foundation for our conversation today. Get your copy at focusonthefamily.com/broadcast.

Jim: Daniel, welcome to Focus on the Family.

Daniel: Hey, guys. Thanks so much for having me.

Jim: I’m so looking for to it, really. Uh, just reading through the book, and, uh, the prep that was done, uh, man, what a life story you have. And, you know, you’re used to sharing it as a speaker. I’m gonna try to help the listener and just lead through this amazing story. And I know our listens are going to resonate with your heart. Um, first, I guess, tell us what it’s like to navigate every day with no arms.

Daniel: Yeah, I mean, it, it, it’s certainly complicated. You know, the, the world we live in is may by people with arms, for people with arms.

Jim: Yeah.

Daniel: And so, there’s, there’s a lot of things. I mean, opening a door is, like, a multi-step process for me, you know, using a cell phone, dri-… You know, it’s like there, there’s ways around it, but it’s just, it’s a little bit, bit more complicated.

Jim: Right, but you know what’s amazing just watching you, uh, as we started getting going here, y- you use your feet amazingly well, almost as a person would use their hands.

Daniel: Yeah, yeah.

Jim: And that is, uh… I mean, right there is a triumph-

Daniel: Yeah.

Jim: … for you, right?

Daniel: Oh, yeah. I mean, at, at this point, for it to, I mean, literally be second nature.

Jim: Yeah.

Daniel: And it’s like even, even for me to get up some mornings, and it’s like I’ll look in the mirror when I’m waking up and be like, “Oh, yeah. I don’t have arms.” You know? It’s like, I, I think one of the most apparent things about me. Sometimes I just forget, because this is just, this is all I’ve ever known.

Jim: Let’s take everybody back to your birthday, Literally, your birth day-

Daniel: Yeah.

Jim: … and what took place in the delivery room. Your mom, dad, doctors there, the nurses, they’re expecting a, you know, a fully healthy child, right?

Daniel: Yeah.

Jim: There was no diag- pre-diagnosis.

Daniel: No, no. I, I mean and the, my disability wasn’t on their radar at all, even though, you know, mom had two ultrasounds, healthy pregnancy.

Jim: They just didn’t catch it.

Daniel: No, not at all. And, and so no, nobody knew until the doctor’s holding me in the delivery room. And then in that moment, not only am I born without arms, but I was born not breathing or moving. And so the, the doctor just very quickly showed me to my dad so dad could see I didn’t have arms. And then he asked my dad, “Do you just want us to let him go?” And so I think it’s like the, the double, the double-edge shock of the moment, that it’s like, “Okay, we, we have a boy that, that is literally born dead, and he’s born without arms.” A- and so I me- I mean, I’m sure for my parents, it’s such an overwhelming moment.

Jim: Yeah, before we get to your dad’s response, which is awesome-

Daniel: Yeah.

Jim: … and I wanna make sure people hear that, that’s not an uncommon story. I have many friends that have had, uh, children born with spina bifida, down syndrome, whatever it might be. And these doctors do exactly that.

Daniel: Yup.

Jim: It’s kind of like what they’re learning to say in med school.

Daniel: Mm-hmm.

Jim: “Would you like to let your child die?”

Daniel: 100 percent.

Jim: And I mean, it, not every parent is saying, “No.”

Daniel: Yeah, yeah.

Jim: But what did your dad say?

Daniel: No, my, my dad just looked at the doctor and said, “That’s my son, and you need to do whatever it is that you can do to try to bring him back.”

John: Hm.

Jim: That’s awesome.

Daniel: I know, man. I mean, and it, and it’s like without pause, without hesitation. I mean, it was just, it was just the response that I think just came out of his core.

Jim: Um, you faced some frustrating moments, uh, learning how to do the everyday task that we’re watching it right here in the studio do with your feet. Uh, what was that like as a child growing up-

Daniel: Yeah.

Jim: … uh, just to function as best as possible without arms?

Daniel: Yeah, I think, I think the hardest part for me is, you know, just, just for us as humans, we’re visual learners. And so I didn’t have, I didn’t have a model. You know, I di- I didn’t have someone like I could see and repeat. Um, and, uh, and, and so a lot of, a lot of my formative years just learning how to either write or eat or, you know, just do daily tasks, it was like I would watch my parents and see the end result, and then I would try just through trial and error to find my, my path toward that final destination. And so there was a lot of failures.

Jim: Yeah, I can, uh… Moving forward through childhood where the innocence is there, and you’re trying to learn how to do things, and you got the protective covering of your parents, I’m sure there were some things in elementary school that made it tough. But like everybody, you get to junior high.

Daniel: Shew

Jim: I mean, I can’t-

Daniel: Yeah.

Jim: … imagine what you went through. Describe some of that for us.

Daniel: Yeah, I, I mean, it ran the range from, uh, uh, you know, I think what would think of as, as stereotypical middle school bullying, you know, name calling, you know, rough housing, stuff like that. But then I, I think, too, is I got into, to middle school, I started to become aware, I think, of just the, the greater public. ‘Cause it was like, for me everywhere I go, like, my two empty sleeves, it j- it just draws attention.

Jim: Sure.

Daniel: An so, so going out in public, it’s lots of stares, its rude comments, it’s, you know, ev- even as a kid, I mean, there were multiple times we were, we were, like, tossed out of restaurants because I’m sitting there eating with my feet, you know, that-

Jim: Seriously?

Daniel: Yeah. Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah.

Jim: What do they… I mean, my goodness.

Daniel: I, I think it’s just ’cause, you know, other people are complaining like, “Oh, that’s gross. You know, can you, you know, get rid of that, get rid of that kid?” And, I mean, that, that was just-

Jim: And they would, do it?

Daniel: Yeah. Oh, 100 percent.

Jim: I wish I were in that restaurant.

Daniel: I mean, there was… I think in, in middle school, that was the realization for me that it was like I was different, but it was like a, a bad different, for sure.

Jim: Hm. Man, how did you process that? I mean, I, again, just, the, the way people treated you. The evil nature of it.

Daniel: Yeah.

Jim: I mean, it’s really the sin nature of our flesh-

Daniel: Mm-hmm.

Jim: … for people to do that, to be ugly towards you because you have this handicap.

Daniel: Yeah.

Jim: I mean, my goodness, it’s totally out of your control. It’s not like you choose this.

Daniel: I, I mean, it, especially in, in my teens, early teens, uh, uh, it really, I mean, it was a downward spiral, uh, for sure. Um, I think just insecurity with myself, I started to hate other people, you know, ’cause n- meeting new people for me was just, “All right, another person who’s gonna judge me,”-

Jim: Yeah.

Daniel: … or, or, you know, um-

Jim: I can’t imagine how bad.

Daniel: Yeah. And, and then, two, it’s like, I think very comparatively. Even, even though I was raised in church, I was, I was keeping score of God’s love and grace towards me on my terms. And so what I started to do, I think, was, “All right. God, God loves you guys. Like, you know, he, he gave you 10 fingers, two arms, but-”

Jim: ‘Cause you’re normal.

Daniel: Right, right.

Jim: Wow.

Daniel: And “So why d- why doesn’t God love me like he loves you?”

Jim: Right.

Daniel: And, and so even in that, like, I r- I really started to question, like, the love and grace of God towards me just because of my circumstances.

Jim: Hey, what a journey.

Daniel: Mm-hmm.

Jim: I mean, when we talk about that Philippians verse, um, you know, “I, I can do all things,” w- except tie my shoe.

Daniel: Yeah, yeah.

Jim: I mean, how did you process that?

Daniel: Yeah. I, I mean, before I trusted in Christ… Like, I came to Christ at 15. Before I trusted in Christ, it was just kind of like there wasn’t any sort of foundation of hope or strength or anything, but I, but I think in those days and months, you know, after trusting in Christ as my everything-

Jim: Yeah.

Daniel: … I, I mean that, that verse took a full, I think, just full-colored life in, in, in-

Jim: Yeah.

Daniel: … what I was doing.

John: Well, this is Focus on the Family with Jim Daly. Thanks for joining us today. Our guest is Daniel Ritchie. He, uh, is, as you can tell, an incredible human being. He’s written this book, My Affliction for His Glory: Living Out Your Identity in Christ, and we’ll encourage you to request your copy when you call 800, the letter A, and the word FAMILY, or stop by focusonthetamily.com/broadcast.

Jim: I, I, I’ve got to get off the soap box here, ’cause that sermonizing’s coming through.

Daniel: (laughs)

Jim: So I apologize to the people. Don’t write, don’t send us an email. I get it.

John: This is a passion.

Jim: I’m gonna, I’m gonna lower the flame now, but-

Daniel: No, bring it. Bring it on, man. Bring it on.

Jim: … let’s get to that point where, okay, now you’re going, “Okay, Lord. I’m gonna give you a chance. Help me to,” what? Fill in the blank. Help me to love people more? What was the trigger for you to say, “All right, I’m gonna trust God?”

Daniel: Yeah, yeah. I think it was, um… So a buddy of mine in school, he invites me to a, a youth group dodge ball lock-in.

Jim: It’s always those buddies.

Daniel: Oh, man. Yeah, yeah.

Jim: (laughs)

Daniel: And, and, and so, uh, at this-

John: Is this, this is the overnight lock in kind of thing, right?

Daniel: Oh, man. Yeah, and a- armless people are garbage at dodge ball. And so it’s like I get, uh, you know, I get beaten to death, uh, for, for the first four hours of the night.

Jim: (laughs) Oh, my gosh.

Daniel: And, um, and then the youth pastor gets up, talks about God’s love, quick little devotion, night, night keeps going, guys keep playing dodge ball, and I sit out. I’m, I’m done. And this youth pastor comes over, and, and he starts to talk to me. And I think he very quickly picked up, I think, just on my insecurity, my hurt.

Jim: Oh, my goodness. Yeah.

Daniel: And, um, and, and as he starts to talk to me, I’m sitting here going, “You know, man, you just talked to me about the love of God, and I don’t see any of that love and grace in my life at all.” And then he just very faithfully for probably the next hour, like, walks me through just the biblical picture of God’s grace towards me, not only in, like, that he very purposefully made me in my mother’s womb like I am. I w- I wasn’t a mutation, I wasn’t an accident. But then for him to walk me through the Gospel, too, that, like, what, what God does is that even though I questioned his love for me, that he sends his son to live the perfect life I couldn’t live, to die the death that I should die, God raises him to life to show his power over both sin and death, and to those who trust in him, he adopts you into the family of God, and he sends you out on the mission of God. And I think for me to, at that point, to see the Gospel in that lens, and, and for me to not keep score of God’s grace towards me on my terms, but on his-

Jim: Hmm. Yeah.

Daniel: … man, that, that changed everything. That, that was the night I, yeah, trusted and rested in Christ as my King, and-

Jim: Daniel, I, uh, that’s a, an amazing statement that you’re making, and I don’t want to go past it too quickly. When you talk about that obstacle in front of you to say, “Okay, I believe God made me exactly how he wanted to make me.”

Daniel: Hmm, yeah.

Jim: And again, I’m, I’m sitting, thinking of people that hold on to resentment-

Daniel: Yeah.

Jim: … for something they blame God for-

Daniel: Yeah.

Jim: … for that bad marriage, for that prodigal son-

Daniel: Yup.

Jim: … who has walked away. Ha- I mean, how do you do that? How do you go, “Okay, Lord. I see this mountain in front of me, but I’m gonna knock it down now and just walk over it, ’cause-

Daniel: Yeah.

Jim: … I know your purposes are bigger than my understanding.”

Daniel: And I think that was the, you know, that was the path moving forward, you know, from that point. It’s like even though I had the foundation of, “Okay, Jesus is my everything,” at age 15, well, there’s still the big honking question of, “Okay, God. Why? Why, why no arms of all the things on the planet?” And I, and I really, I struggles in- underneath the weight of that, I think, for the next probably four, five years.

Jim: Yeah, which is normal.

Daniel: Yeah, yeah.

Jim: Yeah.

Daniel: But, but I, I think as, as I got into my late teens, early 20s, the Apostle Paul in II Corinthians one, he, he says, “God comforts us in our affliction so we can grant that same comfort to others in their time of need.” And, and what I started to realize for me is like, I have this very visible affliction, this very visible trial, but I also have a, a, a very clear opportunity to talk about this is how God, in the midst of my brokenness, gave me comfort, and this is how He can grant it to you.

Jim: Yeah.

Daniel: So it’s like God, God, in my armless-ness by his design has given me, I think, one of, my, my single greatest, I think, Gospel opportunity just, just in everyday life to share.

Jim: Well, that’s the clarity I was talking about.

Daniel: Yeah.

Jim: Lining up those dots-

Daniel: Yeah.

Jim: … ’cause it’s very obvious.

Daniel: Yeah.

Jim: I mean, and we all go, “Oh, wow.”

Daniel: Hmm.

Jim: And then when you start sharing what God has done for you, we’re scratching our head thinking-

Daniel: Right.

Jim: … “How does this guy smile? –

Daniel: Yeah.

Jim: … How does he have joy-

Daniel: Yeah.

Jim: … born with no arms? Yeah, John chapter nine was another big verse. I think we can all see how that, y- how you would feel relatable to that.

Daniel: Yeah.

Jim: Describe John 9. What is it talking about, and how did it speak to your heart?

Daniel: So Jesus and the disciples, they’re, you know, they’re doing their ministry thing. They’re going town to town, and as they pass by, they see a guy that was born blind. And the disciples ask Jesus, “Rabbi, who sinned?” Like, who messed up? He walks over to this man, and he says, “Listen, nobody sinned. I made him this way, so that the works of God can be displayed in his life,” and then he goes on to, he, he spits on the ground, he, he makes mud, wipes it in the man’s eyes. He goes and washes in the pool, and he can see. But I think, I think very clearly to see, it’s like Jesus didn’t misspeak when he said, “Not that I’m gonna heal him to show the works of God,” but he said, “I made him blind. Like, I, I formed and fashioned him with-

Jim: For his glory.

Daniel: … with a disability to show the world more of me.” And I, and I think just that singularity to see, I, I mean, a- across the whole of scripture to know that in his situation and my situation, God didn’t error. He, he fashioned me to show the world more of him.

Jim: Yeah.

Daniel: And that it’s just like for, for me to faithfully walk in that, ev- even if it’s difficult.

Jim: Wow. This is so rich and so good. I’m gonna get to some of the stories in the book, ’cause again, they, they illustrate your life and what you have stood for-

Daniel: Yeah.

Jim: … and how God has worked in your life. There’s a story in there about being at, at McDonald’s, which I love.

Daniel: (laughs)

Jim: Describe what was going on, what were you there to do other than get a, a meal? (laughs)

Daniel: Yeah, yeah.

Jim: But, and then how did people respond to you?

Daniel: Yeah, I mean, it was, it was one of those deals. Uh, I, I was a student pastor at the time, so I, I was prepping a, a sermon to preach at a friend’s church ab- about being on mission. And, um, and so I’m walking in, and I walk beside a, uh, there’s a Greensboro of… I’m, I’m, at the time, I was in Greensboro, North Carolina, and so there’s a Greensboro city cop walking in with me. And I actually, I open the door for him and held it open for him.

Jim: Oh, my.

Daniel: He’s like, “What’s this armless guy doing?”

John: That’s amazing.

Daniel: And so, you know, we, so we both go up, we order. And, um, and I, and as I was getting ready to pay, I keep my debit card in my shoe, and so I whipped my debit card out kinda quick out of my shoe and swiped it through the credit card reader, and he literally, he, he put his hand on, on his side arm, just, I think, out of reflex like, “What’s going on?” And, uh, and he looks over at me, and I was like, “I’m unarmed. Don’t shoot.” You know?

Jim: (laughs)

Daniel: And he’s like, “Ha, ha, ha, ha.” You know, it’s like we kind of, we kind of had this, like, awkward moment, like, “Hey, you almost killed me, but I’m okay with that.” You know, uh-

Jim: (laughs) Yeah, right. I’m unarmed.

Daniel: And, uh, and, uh, and so I, I go outside, and I st- I start eating my biscuit and my hash browns, and he comes out to me. And so we start to talk. And then come to find out, he, he had a son with autism.

Jim: Ah.

Daniel: And, and so he, he wanted to know. He’s like, “How did you get to where you are with this sort of joy, with this sort of hope?” And I get to share the, the Gospel with this man, you know, right on the, the patio of McDonald’s. But then it was wild. Like, over the next two hours, it was like I go back in to refill my iced coffee, I get talking to a mother and a daughter, um, who’s same deal. They’re watching me do stuff with my feet, and they’re like, “Why are you so happy?” And I get to share the Gospel with them. And there’s, you know, landscapers, like, wo- working on the flower beds out, out there at McDonald’s, and much the same. They’re watching me eat a biscuit with my toes, um, and, and they want to know the story, they want to know the hope. There’s, there’s three friends that end up, like, sitting gout on the patio. They want to know the sa-… You know, and it’s just like in, in the next few hours, it’s like as I’m prepping for a sermon to be on mission, God’s letting me know, like, for us as believers, our mission doesn’t necessarily have to, have to happen under the roof of a church. Our, our mission happens in a McDonald’s, it happens on our community ball fields, it, it, it happens when we just, when we interact with so many people in our lives. And I, and I think for, for me to realize in that moment my opportunity to speak to hope, more often than not, it comes away from a stage. It, it c- it comes when I just get to look a person in the eyes and, and tell people about how, how Jesus has taken what the world thinks is a broken life, and he’s using it for His glory.

Jim: Oh, without a doubt. When you said that, I mean, I’m thinking most of the mission efforts should be outside the walls of the church, right?

Daniel: Yeah, yeah. Yeah.

Jim: We go there to be filled up so we can take him to the community-

Daniel: Hmm. Amen.

Jim: … ideally.

Daniel: Yeah.

Jim: You know? Um, let me ask you, uh, because you sound and, and really are buoyant in the spirit. And I can see it. We both are seeing your smile-

John: Mm-hmm. Yeah, it comes right through.

Jim: … and all, but I’ve got to think at times, there’s still some discouragement.

Daniel: Oh, man.

Jim: That would make you normal and human.

Daniel: Yeah, yeah.

Jim: (laughs) And I think people that are going, “Wow, I just don’t know that I could live like Daniel, even with my little thing,” whatever it might be, fill in the blank.

Daniel: Yeah.

Jim: How do you, how do you face discouragement maybe with Heather, your wife? How do you get through those moments where, you know, it, you are pulled down a little bit?

Daniel: Yeah. I, I mean, you know, ’cause again, it’s like even though I have my identity and purpose in Christ, like you’re saying, I mean, there’s still some days where it’s like I wish it was different. You know, I, I wish my, my kids didn’t have to have a, an armless dad with a, with a fishbowl life. Like, I, you know… But I think, too, it’s just like, you know, you, you, you see Paul over and over, like, he, he just preaches grace, I think, both to himself and, and to the church. You know, it, it’s like, was it I Corinthians 15, he says, “It’s the Gospel in which we’re saved, but it’s the Gospel in which we stand.” And, you know, Paul even goes on to say, “It’s, it’s by the grace of God that I am what I am.” And so I, I think as much as our hurts and our afflictions and our insecurities become the most apparent part of our life at times when, when we’re walking through that, I think it’s to be faithful to preach the grace of God, like, even, even if it’s like in the picture of the Gospel, in the picture of how he’s made us, but even in, in, like, that James 1 picture that every good and perfect gift comes from him. And, and I think to preach that grace to ourselves, that it’s the, you know what, by God’s grace, I’ve, I’ve woken up this morning. By God’s grace, like, I, i get to enjoy, uh, you know, whatever relationships that I have, or, or just I, I get to enjoy a pretty sunrise, sunset. I mean, just, just for us to, as, as tangibly as we can, to look at the grace of God in our life and to celebrate it.

Jim: I so appreciate that, because I think we do complicate our lives, and we don’t notice-

John: Mm-hmm. Yeah.

Jim: … those little blessings every day.

Daniel: Hmm, yeah.

Jim: And if you’re in a place of depression or anxiety, just start with small steps, thanking the Lord for those things you can hang onto.

Daniel: Yeah.

Jim: Uh, there was a story that you had about being at a Starbucks, and a business guy, again, I think, retails your action, man. (laughs)

Daniel: Uh, appa- appa- apparently, I need, I need a, I need a sermon prep of with, with coffee more, I think. So-

Jim: No kidding. So here you are at the Starbucks. What is, what happened with this business guy?

Daniel: Yeah, so, I mean, same deal. I’m sermon prepping, got my headphones on, ’cause you know, Starbucks can be a little noisy. And, um, and I’m always aware people stare at me a lot in public, and so I clea-… This guy right beside me, he’s staring at me a lot. Like, he, his eyes keep cutting over, and, um, and-

Jim: He’s intrigued.

Daniel: Yeah. And, and so, uh, you know, for me, it’s like I understand. You’re doing exactly s-… Armless people don’t grow on trees, you know?

Jim: Mm-hmm.

Daniel: Like, and, and so I, I understand. Um, and, uh, and as he gets ready to leave, like, he gets up, and it’s like he sits down. It was like a Starbucks, like, cardboard coffee sleeve. He just put it on my table, and he walked out. And at first, I was like, “What a jerk. I don’t want to throw away your trash.

Jim: (laughs)

John: (laughs)

Daniel: Like, man. Like, what are you doing?”

Jim: Good, I’m glad for that normal response.

Daniel: Yeah, yeah.

Jim: That’s what I would have thought.

Daniel: I had, um, and so, I’m like, I’m kinda in a huff, and I, and I go to pick it up, and he had, like, split the coffee sleeve open, and he wrote a note on the inside of the coffee sleeve. And he’s just like, “Brother, I’m, I’m having a really hard time, um, in my life.” Uh, he was in a, a bad family situation with his brother, but he was like, “Just watching you today encouraged me. And thank you for being willing to just be you.”

John: Hmm.

Daniel: And, and I mean, it’s like I didn’t even talk to this dude, but, you know, just to be, just to be present in, in some way, God used, I think, to encourage this guy.

Jim: You know, again, and what’s so profound about that, and I don’t want us to miss it is the Lord using you in a profound way without words-

Daniel: Mm-hmm.

Jim: … ’cause it’s so obvious.

Daniel: Yeah, yeah.

Jim: You have overcome this, and it ministers to people’s hearts, because we’re in a pity party about something that is so much less significant.

Daniel: Yeah, yeah.

Jim: But when we see you and what you’ve got to overcome, that’s powerful. Um, you mentioned in the book that God had, and obviously is, uh, laying out this amazing plan for your life. And he has a plan for every person. I think that’s the point.

Daniel: Yeah.

Jim: You don’t have to be armless to serve the Lord (laughs).

Daniel: Right, right.

Jim: Sounds funny even saying that.

Daniel: Yeah.

Jim: But what does the bible reveal about God’s plan for every believer?

Daniel: I mean, again, you know, for us to realize, it’s like God’s made us to display him and his glory, you know, and, and that God did not make a mistake in how He made us, God did not make a mistake in, in redeeming us.

Jim: Yeah.

Daniel: And, and so I think in view of that, it’s like we can leverage what we have to show the world more of Him. And it might not be, you’re not, you, you might not preach a sermon, you might not lead on the worship team in your church, you might not even be a small group leader, but it’s like, I mean, Jesus said, “It’s like the, the mark of following me is, is that you love one another.

Jim: Yeah.

Daniel: That’s how people know you are my disciples.” And, and so I think it’s, it’s incumbent on us to, to very openly in this bombastic culture that we live in, w-… I think one of the most world-altering things that we can do is to love people well, even if they don’t love us well. And that’s e- even in small steps, like that, that’s how we change the world, and that as we love others, it affords us the opportunity to speak of the one-

Jim: Yeah.

Daniel: … of why we love. And, and so I, I, I th- I think for us to just allow our lives to open the door to, to scatter the seeds of the Gospel into people’s lives.

Jim: Yeah. And I th-… You know, for me, when I look at you and, and the little time that we’ve gotten to know each other here, I’m looking forward to hanging out more together.

Daniel: Oh, no doubt.

Jim: But the, the, the scripture that comes to my mind for you is in Nehemiah where it says, “The joy of the Lord is your strength,” and it is what ministers to people around you. I can see it. It’s infectious, and it’s actually quite an admonition to the rest of us. Hey, if I can be joyful with what I’m carrying-

Daniel: Yeah.

Jim: … why can’t you?

Daniel: Yeah.

Jim: And I, man, I would turn to the listeners and say that. Let that be a good challenge to all of us. You know, if Daniel can do this, if he can minister in a McDonald’s and a, let’s go through all the retail, Starbucks and everything else, what can we do?

Daniel: Right.

Jim: How can we show the joy of the Lord, so people are attracted to what we have? Isn’t that the way it should be?

Daniel: Oh, absolutely. Y-

Jim: Can I ask you right at the end here, can you pray for us to have that?

Daniel: Yes. Yes, and-

Jim: And and pray for us in general to be less worldly and more spiritual, and more embedded in God’s truth.

Daniel: Absolutely.

Jim: Yeah.

Daniel: Absolutely. Let’s pray. God, um, we do thank you so incredibly much. I, I think both for your kindness, in, in how you formed and fashioned us both in your grace, uh, in sending your son, uh, to be our, our redeeming sacrifice. And God, I, I pray in view of all of that, that, that, Father, as, as we live out our days, um, that, Father, we would be as, as Jesus implores us in John 15, that we would just simply abide, that we would just simply trust our lives into your hands knowing that, that by that, our joy, our hope, our strength, our everything, God, flows from you. And a- and a- and apart from you, we, we can do nothing. And, and so God, I pray that maybe for some of us today, the most faithful thing we can do is to realize that God, I don’t have this, but you do. God, help us to trust when it hurts, help us to trust when we don’t know what’s next. God, help us to trust and celebrate you in, in, in times of grace and goodness. Father, I pray that whatever the case is, that we would find out everything in you, that we would be content, um, that we would live, that we would trust all in view of just your kingship, of your grace, of your call on our lives. Father, we love you and we thank you. It’s in Jesus’s name we pray. Amen

Jim: Amen.

John: Amen.

Jim: Amen, and for those that don’t know it, amen means I’m in agreement. (laughs)

Daniel: (laughs) Yeah, yeah. That’s right.

Jim: So, that’s important. Daniel, this has been so good.

Daniel: Yes, sir.

Jim: Thank you for being with us-

Daniel: Yes, sir. Thank you.

Jim: … and for showing us what it means to have the joy of the Lord. This is awesome. And I would just say to the listeners and to those watching on YouTube, man, if this speaks to your heart, or you know somebody who’s not doing well, especially for the believers who are struggling, man, get a copy of this. Uh, we can get you the download, uh, get the app for the smartphone, uh, whatever you need to do, and share it with someone in your life, or more than one person that might need it. That’s a good way to do ministry. You can also get a copy of Daniel’s great book here at Focus on the Family, My Affliction for His Glory. Uh, wow. That’s a statement. And you’ve heard why, and, uh, I would encourage you to get ahold of us, and get a copy. And if you can make a gift of any amount, especially if you can become a monthly pledger to Focus, be part of the ministry with us. Do ministry with us. Uh, we’ll send you a copy of Daniel’s book as our way of saying thank you for participating.

John: Give us a call to find out more about Daniel’s book, and if you can donate, that’d be wonderful. Our number is 800, the letter A, and the word FAMILY, or stop by focusonthefamily.com/broadcast. And let me remind you that Focus on the Family is here for you. If you’re struggling in your marriage, or you’re facing a challenge in your parenting and you feel stuck, contact us. Our team of Christian counselors will listen to you, they’ll pray with you, and they’ll point you on the path toward healing. Again, we’re just a phone call away, and it’s 800-232-6459, or visit focusonthefamly.com/broadcast. Next time on Focus on the Family, the secret to feeling in love with your spouse again.

Preview:

Rhonda Stoppe: Just do it. Just wake up every day and think on whatever’s good, right, honorable, and praiseworthy about your spouse. And then asking your s- your, the Lord, “Give me the love for him, rekindle those things. Remind me of those things.”

End of Preview

Today's Guests

book cover for my affliction for his glory by daniel ritche

My Affliction for His Glory: Living Out Your Identity in Christ

Receive Daniel's book My Affliction for His Glory for your donation of any amount!

Recent Episodes

Focus on the Family Broadcast logo

Helping Kids Navigate Worry in Healthy Ways

You may think your child is acting out when, in fact, they are struggling with worry. Dr. Josh and Christi Straub describe how to help your young child identify their emotions and navigate fear in a healthy way.

Focus on the Family Broadcast logo

Understanding the Hot Buttons in Your Marriage

Dr. Bob Paul and his wife Jenni explain how seemingly innocent disagreements can spiral into a major argument because of unidentified personal hot buttons that trigger primal reactions that are out of proportion to the issue at hand.

Focus on the Family Broadcast logo

The Importance of Showing Love to Others

Pastor Phil Waldrep shares heart-warming stories of his godly grandmother and the important principle that she helped him find in Romans 16: People love people who love people.

You May Also Like

Being a Champion to Your Grandkids

Being a Champion to Your Grandkids

Pastor Carey Casey explains how grandfathers can utilize their unique role to have a positive and lasting influence on their grandchildren in a discussion based on his book Championship Grandfathering: How to Build a Winning Legacy.

Sara Hagerty, author of Every Bitter Thing is Sweet

Being Seen by God

Offering encouragement found in her book Unseen: The Gift of Being Hidden in a World That Loves to be Noticed, Sara Hagerty describes how we can experience God in ordinary, everyday moments, and how we can find our identity in Him apart from what we do.

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.

Navigating a Toxic Culture with Your Daughter - Part 2

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.

Cherishing Your Spouse Every Day

Do you love your spouse, or do you truly cherish them? Gary Thomas encourages couples to make a daily effort to go beyond the ‘duty’ of love, and combat the natural inclination to drift apart, by choosing to see the best in their spouse.

Mr. Gary Thomas

Gary Thomas is an international speaker and best-selling, award-winning author whose books include Married SexSacred Marriage and Sacred Parenting. He has also written numerous articles for several prominent national magazines. Gary and his wife, Lisa, reside in Texas and have three children. You can learn more about Gary by visiting his website, www.garythomas.com.

cherish front cover

Friends, Partners, and Lovers: What It Takes to Make Your Marriage Work

“Most marriages survive by gritting teeth and holding on. But marriages can and will not only survive but thrive when husbands and wives learn to cherish one another.” Those are the powerful words of bestselling author Gary Thomas in his newest book–Cherish. And in a world desperate for marriage redemption, it is needed now more than ever. Thomas shows that although there are a countless number of marriages consisting of two people just going through the motions, there are real ways this pattern can be reversed: when husbands and wives learn to cherish one another in proven, loving, and everyday actions and words.

Play Video

Newest Release - Episode 2: Heroes Providing Hope

Discover the amazing work our PRC’s Directors, Nurses, and Volunteers are making in their communities! You’ll see firsthand testimonies of a PRC in action, and that there are other options outside of abortions! You’ll also discover how your family can support your local PRC!

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!

Play Video

Newest Release - Episode 4: Sometimes the Choice is Hard

Hear real life stories of parents who have made the decision to choose life even though the circumstances were overwhelming. You’ll see why “ALL” life is precious to God and why choosing life is always the right decision!

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!

Play Video

Newest Release - Episode 3: The Power of a Picture

Have you ever wondered what a baby looked like in the womb? With today’s technology, Moms and Dads can see the baby’s heartbeat, facial expressions, and movements! You’ll find out why more women choose life once they hear their baby’s heartbeat and realize it’s a real living human!

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!

Play Video

Newest Release - Episode 5: It’s Going to be Amazing!

After a couple has chosen life, hear the heartwarming stories of children that culture would have cast aside, yet are making tremendous impacts in their communities. Whether the diagnosis was adverse or the circumstances were difficult, these stories will inspire you to come along side of families who have chosen life!

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!

Play Video

Newest Release - Episode 6: Families Helping Families!

So, after all you’ve seen through the SeeLife ‘21 Episodic journey; what can you do now? We’ll share how you can partner with some amazing organizations that are making significant impacts in the pro-life movement! You want to Celebrate Life!

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!

Praying Scripture Over Your Child’s Life - Part 2

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.

Effective Habits to Embrace in Parenting

To be an effective parent, you must be a leader in your child’s life, guiding with a gentle hand and setting a solid example. Dr. Randy Schroeder provides the insight you need to be a leader-parent. As he explores the foundational Rs—relationship, routines, responsibilities, and rules—you’ll better understand the role you play in your child’s life. You’ll learn great phrases to employ such as “Either/Or/You Decide” and “When You/Then You”. While there is no perfect parent, this nuts-and-bolts material will equip you to lead your child in a loving, confident manner.

Headshot of Focus on the Family broadcast guest Dr. Randy Schroeder

Dr. Randy Schroeder

Dr. Randy Schroeder has spent more than four decades writing, counseling, speaking, and teaching. For nearly 25 years, he was Vice President of Student Personnel Services, Dean of Students, and a professor of pastoral counseling at Concordia Theological Seminary in Fort Wayne, Ind. He’s also led a successful counseling practice helping individuals, couples, and families to thrive in their lives and relationships.

Cover image of Dr. Randall Schroeder's book "Simple Habits for Effective Parenting"

Simple Habits for Effective Parenting

Effective parenting is now within your grasp! With this inspiring how-to comprehensive book, achieve extraordinary results in raising a child to be self-assured, self-reliant, and responsible! You will be able to successfully lead and lovingly encourage your child toward a Godly life!

The Spiritual Battle for Your Marriage

God designed marriage to reflect His love to the world; and because of this, the enemy wants to destroy God’s beautiful design. Based on his book, Defending Your Marriage, Dr. Tim and Noreen Muehlhoff share about the reality of spiritual warfare against marriages, and how to combat the enemy’s lies with the truth of God. Couples will be encouraged that they’re not alone in the fight for a godly marriage and better equipped to be a shining example for the world around them.

Tim and Noreen Muehlhoff Cropped

Dr. Tim and Mrs. Noreen Muehlhoff

Dr. Tim Muehlhoff is a professor of communication at Biola University in La Mirada, California where he teaches classes in family communication, interpersonal communication, apologetics, gender, and conflict resolution.  Tim and his wife, Noreen, are both on staff with Biola’s Center for Marriage and Relationships  where he is a co-host of The Art of Relationship podcast. 

Defending Your Marriage

Is your marriage under attack? Sometimes it can feel like the world is trying to tear your marriage apart. Internal conflicts or external pressures might make you wonder if something sinister is going on. How can you tell if you’re facing spiritual opposition? And what can you do about it? Tim Muehlhoff provides a straightforward resource for protecting your marriage from the threats of the evil one. He looks at what Scripture says about spiritual warfare and how our everyday struggles have deeper spiritual realities. And he provides practical steps for guarding our marriages with the whole armor of God.

Reigniting Your Passion for Jesus - Part 1

For those of faith whose passion has waned over time, Kim Meeder will reinspire you in your relationship with Jesus Christ as she tells powerful, true stories about God that will spark renewed joy in your heart and encourage you to share the Gospel with others.

Headshot photo of author Kim Meeder

Kim Meeder

Kim Meeder and her husband, Troy, are the co-founders of Crystal Peaks Youth Ranch, a non-profit organization in Bend, Oregon, that rescues abused horses and pairs them with hurting kids for mutual healing. Kim is a popular motivational speaker and the author of a half dozen books including Hope Rising and Bridge Called Hope, which feature inspirational stories from her ranch.

Revival Rising

With enthusiasm that will set ablaze your passion to reach the hurting, Kim Meeder encourages you to let the holy fire of God’s presence fill your heart, soul, mind and strength. As your fear and pride melt away, those around you who are losing their battle for hope will be transformed by encountering His redeeming love in you. This–this is revival rising.

Reigniting Your Passion for Jesus - Part 2

For those of faith whose passion has waned over time, Kim Meeder will reinspire you in your relationship with Jesus Christ as she tells powerful, true stories about God that will spark renewed joy in your heart and encourage you to share the Gospel with others.

Headshot photo of author Kim Meeder

Kim Meeder

Kim Meeder and her husband, Troy, are the co-founders of Crystal Peaks Youth Ranch, a non-profit organization in Bend, Oregon, that rescues abused horses and pairs them with hurting kids for mutual healing. Kim is a popular motivational speaker and the author of a half dozen books including Hope Rising and Bridge Called Hope, which feature inspirational stories from her ranch.

Revival Rising

With enthusiasm that will set ablaze your passion to reach the hurting, Kim Meeder encourages you to let the holy fire of God’s presence fill your heart, soul, mind and strength. As your fear and pride melt away, those around you who are losing their battle for hope will be transformed by encountering His redeeming love in you. This–this is revival rising.

Mothers and Sons: Being a Godly Influence - Part 2

Rhonda Stoppe describes her early motherhood challenges of raising a son, which was intimidating to her. She found help through group of older women mentors. She urges moms to see their role as ministry in shaping sons to be good and godly men. Rhonda outlines several practical suggestions to moms about spiritual training, how to communicate with boys, and supporting the father-son relationship as a wife.

Headshot of Rhonda Stoppe

Rhonda Stoppe

Drawing upon 35 years of experience as a mentor, pastor’s wife, and homeschool mom, Rhonda Stoppe offers encouragement and guidance to women as an author and public speaker. She is popularly known as the “No Regrets Woman,” as she is especially passionate about helping women live life without regrets. Rhonda’s books include Moms Raising Sons to Be MenReal Life Romance, and The Marriage Mentor, which she co-authored with her husband, Steve.

Cover image of Rhonda Stoppe's book "Moms Raising Sons to be Men"

Moms Raising Sons to Be Men

Mothers of boys have the special calling to shape future men of God. Popular speaker Rhonda Stoppe, mom to two sons, knows this opportunity is a challenge, a joy, and probably the most important work of a woman’s life. Drawing from years of experience, this inspirational resource will revive the faithfulness and fortitude a woman needs to partner with God as they shape the character and heart of a future godly man.

Identifying Triggers in Your Marriage - Part 2

They were both convinced they had married the wrong person. From almost the very beginning of their marriage, Amber and Guy Lia experienced various tensions and personality clashes related to house cleaning, backseat driving, workaholism, and intimacy. In this two-day Focus on the Family broadcast, Amber and Guy discuss how they bravely faced the triggers head-on, and committed to working on their own relationships with Jesus. As you listen to the Lia’s story, you’ll feel hope that you, too, can see real marriage transformation!

Headshot of Guy and Amber Lia

Mr. and Mrs. Guy and Amber Lia and Mrs. Jean Daly

Amber Lia is a work-at-home mom, blogger, public speaker, and co-author of two best-selling books. Her husband, Guy, is a former TV, feature film, and VFX development and production executive who has worked on popular TV shows and films. Guy and Amber own Storehouse Media Group, a faith- and family-friendly TV and film production company based in Los Angeles,

Cover image of the book "Marriage Triggers" by Guy and Amber Lia

Marriage Triggers: How You and Your Spouse Can Exchange Angry Reactions for Gentle Biblical Responses

A husband-wife team offers practical advice for married couples to end the cycle of reactionary arguments by examining the most common issues that trigger disagreements and apply God’s Word to radically transform relationships.

What to Do When You're Not Okay - Part 2

Life can be pretty stressful. Between work, relationships, and other obligations, the pressure builds, and we lose sight of who we are. Counselor Debra Fileta helps you better understand your emotions, assess your mental, physical, and spiritual health, and intentionally pursue a path to wellbeing. In dealing with anxiety, depression, and panic attacks, Debra understands the importance of self-examination as well as the benefits of seeking professional help. She offers biblically-based advice, tools, and encouragement to help you get on a path toward healing and wholeness.

Author Debra Fileta in the Focus on the Family broadcast studio

Mrs. Debra Fileta

Debra Fileta is a licensed professional counselor specializing in relationship and marital issues. She is also a public speaker and the author of multiple books, including Married SexChoosing Marriage: Why It Has to Start With We > Me, Love in Every Season, and Are You Really OK: Getting Real About Who You Are, How You’re Doing, and Why It Matters. Debra’s popular relationship advice blog, TrueLoveDates.com, and her Love + Relationships podcast reach millions of people each year offering guidance on topics including love, sex, and marriage. Debra resides in Pennsylvania with her husband, John, and their four children.

Are You Really Okay?

Are You Really OK: Getting Real About Who You Are

In Are You Really OK? author and licensed counselor Debra Fileta challenges you to get real with who you are and how you’re doing spiritually, emotionally, mentally, and physically so you can recognize where you need growth and healing.

Embracing Your Role as a Spouse

As a spouse, you have three roles to play—a friend, a partner, and a lover. On this one-day Focus on the Family broadcast, Pastor Kevin A. Thompson explores those different roles and challenges you to live them out by investing emotionally, physically, and mentally in your relationship. As friends, he suggests we learn to play and laugh together. As partners, he equips us with solid ways to handle conflict and communication. As lovers, he offers some thoughts on how to bring back the sizzle. He shares five keys to saving your marriage: humility, respect, mercy, communication, and resilience. You’ll be encouraged to intentionally invest in your marriage.

Headshot of Kevin Thompson

Pastor Kevin Thompson

Kevin A. Thompson (MDiv, Beeson Divinity School) is lead pastor at Community Bible Church, a growing multi-site church with four locations in western Arkansas. Every year he meets with nearly one hundred couples with a range of needs, from pre-marital counseling to navigating the most serious betrayals. A marriage and parenting conference speaker, he and his wife, Jenny, have two children and live in Fort Smith, Arkansas. He blogs at kevinathompson.com.

Cover image of Kevin Thompson's book "Friends, Partners & Lovers"

Friends, Partners, and Lovers: What It Takes to Make Your Marriage Work

With engaging stories and clear, simple language, pastor Kevin Thompson shows how to live out three distinct roles in marraige. Using solid biblical principles, he helps you and your spouse grow your friendship, be supportive partners through the good times and the bad, and develop a healthy and satisfying sex life.

Sharing Your Faith with Grace and Purpose

You can confidently and lovingly share your faith—you just need to learn some new tactics to do so! In this Focus on the Family Daily Broadcast, apologist Greg Koukl outlines the “Columbo” tactic of asking questions, the “self-defeating argument” tactic to find holes in your opponent’s arguments, and other specific methods for engaging in faith-building conversations with others. Greg pulls from his over 30 years of experience debating atheists and agnostics to help you share your faith with grace and truth.

Mr. Greg Koukl

Greg Koukl is a writer, public speaker and talk show host who’s spent 30 years advocating for and defending the Christian worldview. Greg has written or contributed to 15 books, including The Story of RealityTactics, and Precious Unborn Human Persons. Greg has published nearly 230 articles and has spoken on 80 college and university campuses in the U.S. and abroad.

Tactics front cover

Tactics, 10th Anniversary Edition: A Game Plan for Discussing Your Christian Convictions

In a world increasingly indifferent to Christian truth, followers of Christ need to be equipped to communicate with those who do not speak their language or accept their source of authority. In Tactics, 10th Anniversary Edition, Gregory Koukl demonstrates how to artfully regain control of conversations, keeping them moving forward in constructive ways through thoughtful diplomacy. You’ll learn how to stop challengers in their tracks and how to turn the tables on questions or provocative statements. Most important, you’ll learn how to get people thinking about Jesus.

Understanding the Root of Your Child's Misbehavior - Part 1

Often, children act out because they are used to getting attention through bad behavior. Dr. Kevin Leman offers advice to help parents transform their child’s behavior. He discusses the benefits of allowing your kids to learn from real-life consequences and describes the importance of understanding your child’s temperament based on his birth order.

Dr. Kevin Leman

Dr. Kevin Leman

Dr. Kevin Leman is an internationally known family psychologist and an award-winning, New York Times best-selling author. He is also a popular public speaker and media personality who has made countless guest appearances on numerous radio and TV programs. Dr. Leman has written more than 50 books including The Birth Order BookHave a New Kid by Friday and Making Children Mind Without Losing Yours.

Bundle of Why Your Kids Misbehave

Why Your Kids Misbehave and What to Do about It

Tantrums. Talking back. Throwing toys or food. Meltdowns. Slamming doors. Kids know just how to push your buttons. You’ve tried all sorts of methods, but nothing seems to work. In this book, Dr. Kevin Leman reveals exactly why kids misbehave and how you can turn that behavior around with practical, no-nonsense strategies that really work . . . and are a long-term win for both of you.

Giving up Sugar, Tasting God's Goodness

As a latchkey kid, Wendy Speake turned to sugar for comfort. Every Friday, she would pedal to the candy show and use her allowance to fill her bag with candy. And one day, when she was older and a mom of three young boys, she came to realize that she was still “pedaling” away from her stress and using sugar as comfort, instead of turning to Jesus. She was joyless, worn out, tired, and in need of a change. In this interview, Wendy will challenge Christians to take 40 days to focus on fasting from something they turn to instead of Jesus for comfort. She invited people to break free from a dependence on sugar and taste the goodness of God.

Author Wendy Speake smiling as she holds up her book "The 40-Day Social Media Fast"

Mrs. Wendy Speake

With a background in Hollywood as a trained actress, Wendy Speake ministers to women as a bible teacher by applying the power of drama, poetry and comedy to the study of Scripture and real-life application of biblical truths. She has co-authored two books with Amber Lia titled Triggers: Exchanging Parents’ Angry Reactions for Gentle Biblical Responses and their latest, Parenting Scripts: When What You’re Saying Isn’t Working, Say Something New. Wendy is also the co-author (with Kelli Stuart) of Life Creative: Inspiration for Today’s Renaissance Mom.

Cover image of the book "The 40-Day Sugar Fast"

The 40-Day Sugar Fast: Where Physical Detox Meets Spiritual Transformation

Welcome to the 40-Day Sugar Fast, a fast that begins with us giving Jesus our sugar and ends with Jesus giving us himself–the only thing that can ever truly satisfy our soul’s deep hunger. On this 40-day journey you’ll learn how to stop fixating on food and other things you use to fill the voids in life and instead fix your eyes on Christ. Anyone who runs to sugar for comfort or a reward, who eats mindlessly or out of boredom, who feels physically and spiritually lethargic, or who struggles with self-control will discover here not only freedom from their cravings but an entirely new appetite for the good things God has for us.

Understanding the Root of Your Child's Misbehavior - Part 2

Often, children act out because they are used to getting attention through bad behavior. Dr. Kevin Leman offers advice to help parents transform their child’s behavior. He discusses the benefits of allowing your kids to learn from real-life consequences and describes the importance of understanding your child’s temperament based on his birth order.

Dr. Kevin Leman

Dr. Kevin Leman

Dr. Kevin Leman is an internationally known family psychologist and an award-winning, New York Times best-selling author. He is also a popular public speaker and media personality who has made countless guest appearances on numerous radio and TV programs. Dr. Leman has written more than 50 books including The Birth Order BookHave a New Kid by Friday and Making Children Mind Without Losing Yours.

Bundle of Why Your Kids Misbehave

Why Your Kids Misbehave and What to Do about It

Tantrums. Talking back. Throwing toys or food. Meltdowns. Slamming doors. Kids know just how to push your buttons. You’ve tried all sorts of methods, but nothing seems to work. In this book, Dr. Kevin Leman reveals exactly why kids misbehave and how you can turn that behavior around with practical, no-nonsense strategies that really work . . . and are a long-term win for both of you.

Loving Your Spouse Through the Seasons of Marriage - Part 2

Debra Fileta has identified the four seasons of marriage that correspond with our natural seasons – spring (new life and new love), summer (things get hot!), fall (showing our true colors), and winter (long days ahead). In this interview, she will help couples better understand the four seasons of healthy relationships, what to expect during each one, and how to carefully navigate them for a stronger marriage.

Author Debra Fileta in the Focus on the Family broadcast studio

Debra Fileta

Debra Fileta is a licensed professional counselor specializing in relationship and marital issues. She is also a public speaker and the author of multiple books, including Married SexChoosing Marriage: Why It Has to Start With We > Me, Love in Every Season, and Are You Really OK: Getting Real About Who You Are, How You’re Doing, and Why It Matters. Debra’s popular relationship advice blog, TrueLoveDates.com, and her Love + Relationships podcast reach millions of people each year offering guidance on topics including love, sex, and marriage.

Love in Every Season: Understanding the Four Stages of a Healthy Relationship

Every relationship goes through four life-changing seasons: Spring. Summer. Fall. Winter. Each season plays an important role in taking your relationship to the next level. And depending on how you navigate each season, your relationship will either flourish and grow, or it will slowly die. Whether you’re single, dating, engaged or married, join licensed professional counselor and relationship expert, Debra Fileta as she takes you on an eye-opening psychological and spiritual journey through the four seasons that she has observed in every healthy relationship.

Reconciling Faith and Science in a Medical Crisis

Dr. Lee Warren is a neurosurgeon who has faced many heavy challenges in his life – from serving in the Iraq War to removing deadly brain tumors to experiencing the loss of a teenage son. He’ll share about his difficult quest to find answers to some of life’s toughest questions, while holding onto his faith in God and the sure hope of heaven

Headshot of Focus on the Family broadcast guest Dr. W. Lee Warren

Dr. Lee Warren

W. Lee Warren, M.D., is a brain surgeon , inventor, Iraq War veteran, and author of I’ve Seen the End of You: A Neurosurgeon’s Look at Faith, Doubt, and the Things We Think We Know, winner of the Christian Book Award®. His previous book, No Place to Hide, was included on the 2015 U.S. Air Force Chief of Staff’s Recommended Reading List. Dr. Warren has appeared on The 700 Club and the CBS Evening News, and his writings have been featured in Guideposts magazine. His Dr. Lee Warren Podcast, which is heard in more than 60 countries, helps listeners use the power of neuroscience, faith, and common sense to change their lives.

Cover image of Dr. Lee Warren's book "I've Seen the End of You"

I've Seen the End of You: A Neurosurgeon's Look at Faith, Doubt, and the Things We Think We Know

This gripping inspirational memoir grapples with the tension between faith and science—and between death and hope—as a seasoned neurosurgeon faces insurmountable odds and grief both in the office and at home.

Praying Scripture Over Your Child’s Life - Part 1

Jodie Berndt loves to pray for her children. She’s been doing that for the past thirty years. Now she helps other parents to talk to God, asking for the salvation of their kids, and for wisdom, self-discipline, purpose, a future and much more. She offers fun and practical encouragement that moms and dads can put to work immediately in their daily lives as they prepare their children for a life in Christ.

Headshot of Focus on the Family broadcast guest Jodie Berndt

Jodie Berndt

Jodie Berndt is a public speaker, a Bible teacher, and the the author of 10 books. Find out more about Jodie and get some free resources (including printable prayer cards and calendars) at her website, jodieberndt.com.

Cover image of Jodie Berndt's book "Praying the Scriptures for Your Children"

Praying the Scriptures Over Your Children

You will discover how using the Bible to shape your desires and requests opens the door to God’s provision—and frees us from things like worry and fear in our parenting! This expanded edition of the bestseller features updated content on issues like technology and identity, and comes with new material designed to invite children into the family prayer circle. Purchase now and receive 10% off your product.

Mothers and Sons: Being a Godly Influence - Part 1

Rhonda Stoppe describes her early motherhood challenges of raising a son, which was intimidating to her. She found help through group of older women mentors. She urges moms to see their role as ministry in shaping sons to be good and godly men. Rhonda outlines several practical suggestions to moms about spiritual training, how to communicate with boys, and supporting the father-son relationship as a wife.

Headshot of Rhonda Stoppe

Rhonda Stoppe

Drawing upon 35 years of experience as a mentor, pastor’s wife, and homeschool mom, Rhonda Stoppe offers encouragement and guidance to women as an author and public speaker. She is popularly known as the “No Regrets Woman,” as she is especially passionate about helping women live life without regrets. Rhonda’s books include Moms Raising Sons to Be MenReal Life Romance, and The Marriage Mentor, which she co-authored with her husband, Steve.

Cover image of Rhonda Stoppe's book "Moms Raising Sons to be Men"

Moms Raising Sons to Be Men

Mothers of boys have the special calling to shape future men of God. Popular speaker Rhonda Stoppe, mom to two sons, knows this opportunity is a challenge, a joy, and probably the most important work of a woman’s life. Drawing from years of experience, this inspirational resource will revive the faithfulness and fortitude a woman needs to partner with God as they shape the character and heart of a future godly man.

Identifying Triggers in Your Marriage Part 1

They were both convinced they had married the wrong person. From almost the very beginning of their marriage, Amber and Guy Lia experienced various tensions and personality clashes related to house cleaning, backseat driving, workaholism, and intimacy. In this two-day Focus on the Family broadcast, Amber and Guy discuss how they bravely faced the triggers head-on, and committed to working on their own relationships with Jesus. As you listen to the Lia’s story, you’ll feel hope that you, too, can see real marriage transformation!

Headshot of Guy and Amber Lia

Mr. and Mrs. Guy and Amber Lia and Mrs. Jean Daly

Amber Lia is a work-at-home mom, blogger, public speaker, and co-author of two best-selling books. Her husband, Guy, is a former TV, feature film, and VFX development and production executive who has worked on popular TV shows and films. Guy and Amber own Storehouse Media Group, a faith- and family-friendly TV and film production company based in Los Angeles,

Cover image of the book "Marriage Triggers" by Guy and Amber Lia

Marriage Triggers: How You and Your Spouse Can Exchange Angry Reactions for Gentle Biblical Responses

A husband-wife team offers practical advice for married couples to end the cycle of reactionary arguments by examining the most common issues that trigger disagreements and apply God’s Word to radically transform relationships.

What to Do When You're Not Okay - Part 1

Life can be pretty stressful. Between work, relationships, and other obligations, the pressure builds, and we lose sight of who we are. Counselor Debra Fileta helps you better understand your emotions, assess your mental, physical, and spiritual health, and intentionally pursue a path to wellbeing. In dealing with anxiety, depression, and panic attacks, Debra understands the importance of self-examination as well as the benefits of seeking professional help. She offers biblically-based advice, tools, and encouragement to help you get on a path toward healing and wholeness.

Author Debra Fileta in the Focus on the Family broadcast studio

Mrs. Debra Fileta

Debra Fileta is a licensed professional counselor specializing in relationship and marital issues. She is also a public speaker and the author of multiple books, including Married SexChoosing Marriage: Why It Has to Start With We > Me, Love in Every Season, and Are You Really OK: Getting Real About Who You Are, How You’re Doing, and Why It Matters. Debra’s popular relationship advice blog, TrueLoveDates.com, and her Love + Relationships podcast reach millions of people each year offering guidance on topics including love, sex, and marriage. Debra resides in Pennsylvania with her husband, John, and their four children.

Are You Really Okay?

Are You Really OK: Getting Real About Who You Are

In Are You Really OK? author and licensed counselor Debra Fileta challenges you to get real with who you are and how you’re doing spiritually, emotionally, mentally, and physically so you can recognize where you need growth and healing.

Navigating a Toxic Culture with Your Daughter - Part 1

As a pediatrician, Dr. Meg Meeker has seen thousands of girls come through her office through the years. They struggle with eating issues, sexual identity, social media…and many other challenges in this toxic culture. Dr. Meeker will encourage parents to invest love and time in their daughters and develop their character to give them the best opportunity for a bright future, all rooted in a spiritual foundation. The discussion also includes healthy feminism vs. toxic feminism

Mrs. Meg Meeker

Dr. Meg Meeker is a pediatrician who is widely recognized as one of the country’s leading authorities on parenting, teens and children’s health. With appearances on numerous nationally syndicated radio and TV programs, her popularity as a an expert on key issues confronting families has created a strong following across America. Her work with countless families over the years served as the inspiration behind her best-selling books which include Strong Fathers, Strong DaughtersStrong Mothers, Strong Sons and The Ten Habits of Happy Mothers

Cover image of Dr. Meg Meeker's book "Raising a Strong Daughter in a Toxic Culture"

Raising a Strong Daughter in a Toxic Culture: 11 Steps to Keep Her Happy, Healthy, and Safe

Meg Meeker has been a pediatrician for more than thirty years, is a mother and a grandmother, and has seen it all. She knows what makes for strong, happy, healthy young women–and what puts our daughters at risk. Combining that experience with her famous common sense, she explains the eleven steps that will help your daughter–whether she’s a toddler or a troubled teen–to achieve her full human potential.

Play Video

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!