Helpful Ways to Cope with Family Holiday Stress

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This time of year is supposed to be the most joyous, but it’s often the most stressful.

A big reason for that is the amount of expectation we pour into the holidays.

Think about it.

We put expectations on ourselves and our family members, and they have expectations for how they want things to go as well. It’s a special time of year, and we want the house to be perfect, the gifts to be perfect, the meals to be perfect.

Five Tips for Making This Thanksgiving One of the Best Ones Ever


Thanksgiving is one of the great American holidays, a time dedicated to the deliberate expression of gratitude to the Lord for this country and our many blessings.

If you’re like my wife, Jean, you’ve been shopping and preparing the last few days. Perhaps you’ve cleared your house of extra clutter, wiped the fingerprints off the fridge and aired out the stuffy guest room. The serving platters are out of storage and your overnight guests might even be on their way.

The Elderly Have Answers – If We Ask the Right Questions


One of the guiding philosophies at Focus on the Family that’s woven into the very fabric of our organization is the sanctity of human life.

In part, our statement of faith in this area reads:

“We believe that human life is created by God in His image. It is of inestimable worth and significance in all its dimensions … from the single cell stage of development to natural death.”

By and large, Christians do well in recognizing the value of the preborn.

Two Ways to Instill Virtue in Your Children

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When you think about it, instilling virtue in our children can be pretty serious business. After all, the adult world is a competitive place, and we want our kids to be prepared. And that leads some parents to bury their children under some pretty harsh standards.

At report card time, a parent wanting their child to learn responsibility may question why their nearly straight A student didn’t get that one grade just a little higher. Or maybe they snap at their teenager if he or she shows the slightest sign of irresponsibility.

Do Nice People Go to Hell?

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Is it really possible that some nice people go to Hell?

Well, according to the Bible, the somber answer to that question is yes. But, let’s admit it, that can be a tough concept to wrap our heads and hearts around.

Speaker Jay Carty says that’s because we minimize God’s holiness and act as if He “grades on a curve.”

He describes it like this: Picture a scale of holiness numbered from one to 10. The Hitlers of the world would be at the bottom, while people like Mother Teresa might be a nine or 10.

How to Forgive When It Seems Impossible

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Forgiveness may be one of the hardest things God asks us to do.

Not so sure? Well, think about Jonah.

Jonah was a prophet of God. His life was devoted to serving the Lord and following His will. But then God said, “Forgive the Ninevites.”

Now, remember who the Ninevites were. They weren’t the innocent-looking people so often portrayed in Sunday school lessons. They were cruel and wicked and enemies of God’s people. It would be the equivalent of God saying to us, “I want you to go to the Middle East to forgive ISIS.”

I’m sure you remember Jonah’s initial response.

How to Talk with Your Kids about Paris & the Threat of Terrorism

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By now you’ve likely heard that earlier today, French police raided the home of additional terror suspects, killing two. Two Air France jets were diverted yesterday on account of bomb threats. A German soccer game was cancelled last evening following “concrete” evidence of a bomb plot.

The ISIS terrorists responsible for the Paris massacre have pledged to attack other cities, including some in the United States. The FBI and counterterrorism officials are on high alert and expressing deep concerns.

WATCH: God Saves a Marriage from Addiction

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Everyone knows that alcohol addiction can destroy a marriage. In fact, my own father could never break free from the battle with the bottle.

But it doesn’t have to be so.

Today, I want to share with you a story about an Indiana couple who reached out to us for help. Their story might be yours or someone you love and care about. If so, please share it with them.

Focus on the Family’s National Institute of Marriage can help couples get back on the path towards a healthy, stable relationship.

How to Improve the Intimacy in Your Marriage


A few times a year, our radio program highlights what for many can be a very sensitive topic: sexual intimacy within marriage.

I agree that it’s a conversation that should be handled with respect and a certain measure of discreteness, but it needs to take place.

Confusion about sex and sexuality is rampant in our culture, and the negative influence on the Christian community is pervasive. God’s design for sexual intimacy is too important an issue for the Church to politely ignore.

Do You Believe in these Christian “Superstitions”?

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Today is Friday the 13th, a day some associate with bad luck. Just saying the phrase brings to mind other (imagined) connections with misfortune, like black cats, broken mirrors and an open umbrella indoors.

While as Christians we should steer clear of these “silly myths,” (1 Tim 4:7) the reality is we have a few “superstitions” we believe, too. Ours might not be rooted in magic or chance, but in a misunderstanding of what Scripture truly teaches.