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Kids & Family

The Family First Podcast

Updated 3 days ago

Kids & Family
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The Family First Podcast is the podcast dedicated to providing truth-filled marriage and parenting advice that helps you love your family and others well.

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The Family First Podcast is the podcast dedicated to providing truth-filled marriage and parenting advice that helps you love your family and others well.

iTunes Ratings

63 Ratings
Average Ratings
52
6
2
3
0

Great Podcast!

By Don in Carolina - Feb 25 2014
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Excellent podcast with valuable strategies and Biblical truth for husbands and wives.

jeffrey shears phd

By dadsknow - Feb 12 2014
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Great and practical information on family matters that fathers need to hear. I am tuned in Mark.

iTunes Ratings

63 Ratings
Average Ratings
52
6
2
3
0

Great Podcast!

By Don in Carolina - Feb 25 2014
Read more
Excellent podcast with valuable strategies and Biblical truth for husbands and wives.

jeffrey shears phd

By dadsknow - Feb 12 2014
Read more
Great and practical information on family matters that fathers need to hear. I am tuned in Mark.

Listen to:

Cover image of The Family First Podcast

The Family First Podcast

Updated 3 days ago

Read more

The Family First Podcast is the podcast dedicated to providing truth-filled marriage and parenting advice that helps you love your family and others well.

#137: 10 Questions to Ask Your Spouse Every Year

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Good conversations lead to connection and intimacy. The best way to facilitate a good conversation is to ask great questions. Whether you feel like you know your spouse well or not, there are questions that will be helpful. The spouse who becomes an expert in the art of asking questions is the spouse who will win their spouse’s heart. Susan and I will be going through ten questions to ask your spouse every year (or more often if you’d like).

The spouse who becomes an expert in the art of asking questions is the spouse who will win their spouse’s heart.

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Discussion Recap

Here are 10 Questions to Ask Your Spouse Every Year:

1. What are you enjoying most about our relationship right now?

2. What has been your biggest surprise in the last year?

3. Where would you like our relationship to be this time next year?

4. How are you feeling about life in general?

5. What are your dreams for the future?

6. If you could go anywhere, where would you go?

7. How do you think we’re doing financially?

8. What do you want to do this year to improve our health?

9. What is one thing you would change about how our family relates to one another?

10. What is the one thing I give my time to that you think would be better spent somewhere else?

Episode Resources

Subscribe to this Podcast

If you enjoyed this podcast, please subscribe:

Feedback

If you’d like to ask me a question for future episodes, head to my podcast question page.

If you enjoy the Family First podcast, please rate it on iTunes with a short review. It would help spread the show so more people can practice putting their families first. Thank you!

The post #137: 10 Questions to Ask Your Spouse Every Year appeared first on Mark Merrill's Blog.

Jul 25 2017

17mins

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#069: Every Man’s Battle with Steve Arterburn (Podcast)

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Do you need to win the war on sexual temptation? What do you say to a man who thinks calling it a battle is taking it a bit too far? In reality, pornography is the short-sighted process of self-gratification. And, unbeknownst to the pornography user, they are also funding the sex industry. Therefore, pornography is the […]

The post #069: Every Man’s Battle with Steve Arterburn (Podcast) appeared first on Mark Merrill's Blog.

May 19 2015

26mins

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#075: Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters with Meg Meeker (Podcast – Part 1)

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A man will face many challenges in his lifetime. But one of his biggest challenges will be building a strong relationship with his daughter. With more and more research revealing the incredible influence a dad has over his little girl, the time to build that relationship is now.

The post #075: Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters with Meg Meeker (Podcast – Part 1) appeared first on Mark Merrill's Blog.

Jul 21 2015

22mins

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#93: How to Break Your Child’s Sense of Entitlement (Podcast)

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Does your child believe they deserve certain things? That they are entitled? An entitlement is something that is granted to someone without them having to earn it. It is given without any effort. It is a right. And unfortunately, our culture is encouraging our children to pursue this sense of entitlement.

But with Thanksgiving right around the corner, it seems fitting to discuss how to replace our children's sense of entitlement with a spirit of thankfulness. Well, on today's podcast, my wife, Susan, and I will be sharing how to break your child's sense of entitlement.

The post #93: How to Break Your Child’s Sense of Entitlement (Podcast) appeared first on Mark Merrill's Blog.

Nov 24 2015

24mins

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#91: Needs of Women Vs Needs of Men (Podcast)

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We've all heard the common phrase: Men are from Mars and women are from Venus. So how can we create successful marriages between two opposite people? Well, it's all about recognizing and understanding the needs of women versus the needs of men.

So on today’s podcast, we’ll be talking with keynote speaker and best-selling author Rick Johnson about the needs of women versus the needs of men based on his most recent book, Romancing Your Better Half.

The post #91: Needs of Women Vs Needs of Men (Podcast) appeared first on Mark Merrill's Blog.

Nov 10 2015

23mins

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#076: Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters with Meg Meeker (Podcast – Part 2)

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Recently, I had Dr. Meg Meeker in to discuss her book Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters: 10 Secrets Every Father Should Know. We discussed 3 secrets, and we had such a great time. So I invited her back to go through three more! A man will face many challenges in his lifetime. But one of his […]

The post #076: Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters with Meg Meeker (Podcast – Part 2) appeared first on Mark Merrill's Blog.

Jul 28 2015

28mins

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#97 How to Find Joy in the Daily Grind (Podcast)

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Joy: We all want it, but few of us have it. Why? Because every day, people and circumstances overwhelm our lives and steal our joy. Things like fear, anxiety, jealousy, death, loneliness, and illness sneak in. These difficulties consume our thoughts and drain our energy until we're left feeling incapable of joy. But in spite of these setbacks, I believe joy is still possible. And I believe you deserve to find that joy!

So on today’s podcast, my wife, Susan, and I will be sharing 3 ways to find joy in the daily grind.

The post #97 How to Find Joy in the Daily Grind (Podcast) appeared first on Mark Merrill's Blog.

Dec 22 2015

15mins

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#116: How to Raise Your Child to be a Leader (Podcast)

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A leader is simply someone who has followers-followers they influence. Susan and I have tried to raise all 5 of our children to be leaders. We’ve taught them it’s not just what you do, it’s who you are at the core.

The post #116: How to Raise Your Child to be a Leader (Podcast) appeared first on Mark Merrill's Blog.

Sep 06 2016

22mins

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#129 Unfair Expectations You May Have of Your Spouse (Podcast)

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Expectations: It's a huge word in marriage and something that many couples, ourselves included, struggle over. We oftentimes have unfair and unrealistic expectations when we go into marriage or even throughout our marriage. When we were writing our two new books Lists to Love By for Busy Husbands and Lists to Love By for Busy Wives, we found that this was a common denominator that was present in many of the historic blogs as well as current blog posts. People were looking for what should I expect from my husband, what should I expect from my wife, and what should I expect from our marriage. Expectations in marriage could be the biggest threat to your relationship

The post #129 Unfair Expectations You May Have of Your Spouse (Podcast) appeared first on Mark Merrill's Blog.

Apr 04 2017

20mins

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#120: 5 Manners You Must Teach Your Children (Podcast)

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One of the hallmarks of this year's presidential campaign has been plain rudeness on both sides, from the primaries to the conventions. We also see that lack of basic courtesies and manners on television, online, social media, and in life. Manners really have taken a back seat.

The post #120: 5 Manners You Must Teach Your Children (Podcast) appeared first on Mark Merrill's Blog.

Oct 04 2016

16mins

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#130: Why You Need a Relationship Bucket List (Podcast)

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Busyness is a thief that steals meaningful time and lasting memories. Creating a relationship bucket list will be helpful; it will work in all phases of your life and all relationships. Being INTENTIONAL is the key to having a strong relationship bucket list.

The post #130: Why You Need a Relationship Bucket List (Podcast) appeared first on Mark Merrill's Blog.

May 02 2017

15mins

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#114: 4 Secrets You Must Know About Your Spouse (Podcast)

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For many years, our family went to the lake house of our close friends. We always did a lot of water skiing there. My parents were part of a water ski show when they were young and I inherited their love for the sport. When it was my turn to ski, I always wanted Susan to go.

The post #114: 4 Secrets You Must Know About Your Spouse (Podcast) appeared first on Mark Merrill's Blog.

Aug 09 2016

14mins

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#138: Every Man’s Bible with Tony Dungy

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“The great thing about integrity is that it is truly no respecter of position or wealth or race or gender. It is not determined by shifting circumstances, cultural dynamics, or what you’ve previously achieved. From the moment you are born, you –and you alone-determine whether you will be a person of integrity. Integrity does not come in degrees-low, medium, or high. You either have integrity or you don’t.” This was the commentary given in Every Man’s Bible by the co-founder of All Pro Dad and our dear friend Coach Tony Dungy. 

Click to Play

Discussion Recap

You either have integrity or you don’t.

  1. You have to make decisions before something difficult in your life happens. Look to the Bible.
  2. Control your emotions, or they will control you. Emotions are real. God has created us so we CAN control our emotions.
  3. Be a good example to your kids. Pray for them.
  4. Be quick to listen, slow to speak, and even slower to anger.

Episode Resources

Subscribe to this Podcast

If you enjoyed this podcast, please subscribe:

Feedback

If you’d like to ask me a question for future episodes, head to my podcast question page.

If you enjoy the Family First podcast, please rate it on iTunes with a short review. It would help spread the show so more people can practice putting their families first. Thank you!Share Your Comments Below.

The post #138: Every Man’s Bible with Tony Dungy appeared first on Mark Merrill's Blog.

Oct 03 2017

19mins

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#085: 8 Challenges Every Marriage Will Face (Podcast)

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All marriages go through good seasons and not-so-good seasons. Good seasons mean easy communication, stable finances, and obedient kids. On the other hand, not-so-good seasons mean hairpulling, name-calling, and plenty of misunderstandings. So how can we persevere through life’s most challenging times? Well, it all begins with recognizing the challenges in marriage and creating a […]

The post #085: 8 Challenges Every Marriage Will Face (Podcast) appeared first on Mark Merrill's Blog.

Sep 29 2015

25mins

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#107: 7 Things to Avoid When Fighting with Your Spouse (Podcast)

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On today’s podcast, Susan and I are going to be talking about a topic that affects each and every one of us.

Many couples we’ve talked to through the years, especially newlyweds, assume that arguing in marriage is bad, counterproductive, and to be avoided at all costs. In reality, conflict is unavoidable, and how a couple fights during their arguments is actually more important than if a couple fights. We want to discuss some "sucker punches" you must stop throwing when fighting with your spouse. And, don't hit below the belt.

The post #107: 7 Things to Avoid When Fighting with Your Spouse (Podcast) appeared first on Mark Merrill's Blog.

Apr 19 2016

16mins

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#106: 4 Ways Parents Discourage Their Kids (Podcast)

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Over the years, Susan and I have learned that all 5 of our children , now all in their 20s, all need one thing and that’s encouragement. We have good intentions and try to help; and, as parents, we may think we’re encouraging our children, but it can actually feel like criticism to them. Sometimes their every desire is to please us and we, in turn, crush their spirit. Susan and I both have made these mistakes so we want to share those with you.

As you try to help your kids be their best, be sure you’re not actually implementing one of these 4 ways of discouraging your kids.

The post #106: 4 Ways Parents Discourage Their Kids (Podcast) appeared first on Mark Merrill's Blog.

Apr 12 2016

16mins

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#123: What Not to Say to Your Spouse During a Fight (Podcast)

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Toxic words poison, and sometimes even kill relationships. I confess there have been too many times when harsh, harmful words have come out of my mouth toward my wife, Susan. It grieves me. I’m continually working hard to choose my words wisely.

The post #123: What Not to Say to Your Spouse During a Fight (Podcast) appeared first on Mark Merrill's Blog.

Nov 22 2016

15mins

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#112: 4 Strategies to Help Solve Your Marriage Problems (Podcast)

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Think back to when you first started to pursue your spouse. It required commitment, hard work, and imagination. If winning them over required that back then, why does it surprise us when neglect hurts our relationship after we walk down the aisle? They wouldn’t have married you if you took them for granted. Why risk everything now?

The post #112: 4 Strategies to Help Solve Your Marriage Problems (Podcast) appeared first on Mark Merrill's Blog.

Jul 26 2016

12mins

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#078: What Every Husband and Wife Must Agree On (Podcast)

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We’ve all heard this saying: Let’s agree to disagree. It’s an easy way for people to keep their own opinions. But when it comes to a healthy marriage, there are certain things couples MUST agree on: children, money, and life goals. Agreeing on such crucial things doesn’t require compromising your morals…it simply means adjusting your mindset and working together with your spouse because, at the end of the day, you and your spouse should be on the same team!

The post #078: What Every Husband and Wife Must Agree On (Podcast) appeared first on Mark Merrill's Blog.

Aug 11 2015

22mins

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#084: 4 Seasons of Marriage with Dennis Rainey (Podcast – Part 2)

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Every year the earth goes through four seasons: spring, summer, fall, and winter. In the same way, our marriages go through different seasons. Some are warm and easy like an April afternoon. Others are as cold and difficult as a December night. So how do we make the most of whatever season of marriage we’re […]

The post #084: 4 Seasons of Marriage with Dennis Rainey (Podcast – Part 2) appeared first on Mark Merrill's Blog.

Sep 22 2015

27mins

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#143: How to Overcome Obstacles in Life with Faith

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Scars. We all have them, whether they are the time we fell off our bike when we were young or the emotional ones we carry with us as an adult. Every scar has a story! On today’s show, we will hear from former NFL player Devon Still, and how his life has been a journey from one scar to the next.

We will discuss his story of pushing through pain and overcoming obstacles of all shapes and sizes – of choosing to fight for the sake of his family, his community and his faith.

Devon is a professional athlete, entrepreneur, speaker, and advocate for childhood cancer awareness. Perhaps most importantly, Devon is Leah’s dad, helping her publicly “beat up cancer” and embarking on a pediatric cancer-fighting journey.

We will be discussing it all, including his new book – Still in The Game.

Click to Play

Discussion Recap

Still in the Game is Devon’s declaration that our challenges reveal our purpose, that our scars make us stronger, and that no loss is too great to stop our comeback!

Episode Resources

Book Website: Stillinthegamebook.com

Follow Devon on Twitter: @Dev_Still71
Follow Devon on Instagram—@stillinthegame

About Devon Still

Devon Still is a professional athlete, life coach, motivational speaker, and childhood cancer advocate. Now known as “the Comeback Coach,” Devon launched his company, Still in the Game, to teach people all over the globe his winning playbook to come back from life’s biggest challenges.

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If you enjoyed this podcast, please subscribe:

Feedback

If you’d like to ask me a question for future episodes, head to my podcast question page.

If you enjoy the Family First podcast, please rate it on iTunes with a short review. It would help spread the show so more people can practice putting their families first. Thank you!

The post #143: How to Overcome Obstacles in Life with Faith appeared first on Mark Merrill's Blog.

Jan 17 2019

13mins

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#142: What I Learned about Perseverance and Trust from Case Keenum

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How many of us struggle with trust? I know I do. Sometimes you just have to persevere. But it can still be hard to believe what you cannot see. Trust is something I have to work on daily. I am always up for a conversation that is going to inspire me to trust and persevere even when I don’t know the outcome. That is why I was excited to have this discussion with NFL quarterback Case Keenum.

On today’s show, we will hear from Case about what it means to trust and how important it is to know who to put our trust in. We will be discussing it all, including his new book – Playing for More: Trust Beyond What You Can See.

Click to Play

Discussion Recap

“Playing football is my passion, but it’s not who I am. I’m playing for my King. I’m playing for more.” – Case Keenum

Throughout his story, Case will explain how being a Christian helped him navigate the windy path to success. No matter what obstacle has been placed in front of him, Case believes God has a plan for him. That’s why he plays football and that’s why he’s writing this book: To glorify God and to help others who face adversity in their everyday life.

“Am I a football player who happens to be a Christian?” Case writes, “No, I’m a Christian who happens to be a football player. That’s my calling. That’s my defining characteristic. Once I realized that everything else fell into place. I became a better football player and, more importantly, a better person.”

Episode Resources

Book Website: Playingformore.com 

Follow Case on Twitter: @casekeenum7
Follow Case on Instagram—@casekeenum7

About Case Keenum

NFL quarterback Case Keenum shares stories from every stage of his life, starting out as a ball boy for his father’s college team in West Texas, going on to win a state title in high school, and rewriting the NCAA record book at the University of Houston and what makes him part of NFL history.

Subscribe to this Podcast

If you enjoyed this podcast, please subscribe:

Feedback

If you’d like to ask me a question for future episodes, head to my podcast question page.

If you enjoy the Family First podcast, please rate it on iTunes with a short review. It would help spread the show so more people can practice putting their families first. Thank you!

The post #142: What I Learned about Perseverance and Trust from Case Keenum appeared first on Mark Merrill's Blog.

Nov 06 2018

11mins

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#141: 4 Things to Do When You’ve Failed

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What is your lifelong dream? Is it to be the parent of a star athlete or have your own business? Whatever it is, having a dream energizes you (even on Monday mornings) as you passionately drive closer and closer to reaching it. Unfortunately, not all dreams happen. When a dream dies, it can be devastating. What can you do to get over the slump when you fail and find a new goal to pursue?

Twin brothers David and Jason Benham had a dream of playing major league baseball together. It was a dream they shared with their father and grandfather. After many years of working, praying and hoping, they got into the minor leagues, but realized their biggest dream-playing in the major leagues -was never going to happen. In today’s podcast, I discuss with them what they did to get over that disappointment. Their new book, Miracle in Shreveport, describes their journey of pushing toward their dream. In today’s podcast, they discuss how they got over the feelings of failure and how they found new dreams to pursue.

Click to Play

Discussion Recap

The events that led the Benham Brothers to play professional baseball together at Fair Grounds Field in Shreveport can be described only as a miracle—a reminder of God’s presence in our lives and His faithfulness to work behind the scenes for us, even when we can’t see Him.

“We aren’t human doings, we are human beings—who we are in Christ is what matters most.”

4 Things to Do When You’ve Failed:

  1. Remember God is sovereign
  2. Keep an eternal perspective
  3. Know God is working behind the scenes and will use your weaknesses
  4. Being faithful in the little things is important as you discover God’s dream. Do one-step after the next until it becomes clearer.

“There is power in prayer.”

Episode Resources

You can follow David and Jason on Twitter: @DavidDBenham and @JasonBBenham
Visit their website
Like them on Facebook—BenhamBrothers
Follow them on Instagram—BenhamBrothers

3 Things to Do When Your Dream Dies

Subscribe to this Podcast

If you enjoyed this podcast, please subscribe:

Feedback

If you’d like to ask me a question for future episodes, head to my podcast question page.

If you enjoy the Family First podcast, please rate it on iTunes with a short review. It would help spread the show so more people can practice putting their families first. Thank you!

The post #141: 4 Things to Do When You’ve Failed appeared first on Mark Merrill's Blog.

Mar 27 2018

18mins

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#140: There’s More to the Song, “I Can Only Imagine”

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Have you ever had a song that stuck with you? A song that resonated with you so much that you wanted to listen to it over and over again? “I Can Only Imagine” is that kind of song for millions of people, including myself. Whenever I have trials in life, whenever Susan has another heart surgery, whenever work overwhelms me, whenever my back pain becomes unbearable, it gives me great peace to reflect on the lyrics:

I can only imagine what my eyes will see
When your face is before me…
Surrounded by Your glory
What will my heart feel?

The song, written by Bart Millard, the lead singer of MercyMe, reminds me that the suffering in this life is temporary and one day my heart will be free of strife and filled with infinite joy in His presence. What I didn’t know was the real, not so beautiful, story behind the song, a story about something I have a great deal of passion for—fatherhood.

Bart had a difficult childhood because his father was abusive. His mother loved him but could not continue in the relationship with his father and so she left when Bart was still a boy. Bart stayed only as long as he had to; he finished high school and set out on his own as a musician. He never wanted to see his father again.

God had other plans. The story is one of redemption and the song is one of joy. Bart wrote the song pondering what his father saw as The Father welcomed him home. In this podcast, I have the opportunity to discuss Bart’s story, now a movie, with him. The I Can Only Imagine movie is a great inspiration to me of how it is never too late to love God and our children well.

Click to Play

Discussion Recap

I Can Only Imagine, coming out in theaters March 16th.

I Can Only Imagine Trailer

Growing up in Texas, Bart Millard suffers physical and emotional abuse at the hands of his father. His childhood and relationship with his dad inspired him to write the hit song “I Can Only Imagine” as a singer of the Christian band MercyMe.

Episode Resources

I Can Only Imagine Website

Check out the I Can Only Imagine Facebook

I Can Only Imagine Twitter

Subscribe to this Podcast

If you enjoyed this podcast, please subscribe:

Feedback

If you’d like to ask me a question for future episodes, head to my podcast question page.

If you enjoy the Family First podcast, please rate it on iTunes with a short review. It would help spread the show so more people can practice putting their families first. Thank you!

The post #140: There’s More to the Song, “I Can Only Imagine” appeared first on Mark Merrill's Blog.

Mar 06 2018

18mins

Play

#139: The Star with DeVon Franklin (Podcast)

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For centuries one story has touched the lives of people across the world. This holiday season you’re invited to discover the story of the first Christmas from an entirely new perspective, and today on our show we have DeVon Franklin, one of the executive producers of the new movie The Star in theaters November 17th.

Click to Play

Discussion Recap

The Star, coming out in theaters November 17th.

The Star Trailer

The Christmas story through the eyes of animals.

Impressive list of voice talent: Oprah Winfrey, Christopher Plummer, Tyler Perry, Patricia Heaton, Kelly Clarkson, Zachary Levi, Kristin Chenoweth, Steven Yeun, Gina Rodriguez, Keegan-Michael Key, Anthony Anderson, Aidy Bryant, Ving Rhames, Gabriel Iglesias,  Tracy Morgan.

Episode Resources

Subscribe to this Podcast

If you enjoyed this podcast, please subscribe:

Feedback

If you’d like to ask me a question for future episodes, head to my podcast question page.

If you enjoy the Family First podcast, please rate it on iTunes with a short review. It would help spread the show so more people can practice putting their families first. Thank you!

The post #139: The Star with DeVon Franklin (Podcast) appeared first on Mark Merrill's Blog.

Oct 24 2017

19mins

Play

#138: Every Man’s Bible with Tony Dungy

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“The great thing about integrity is that it is truly no respecter of position or wealth or race or gender. It is not determined by shifting circumstances, cultural dynamics, or what you’ve previously achieved. From the moment you are born, you –and you alone-determine whether you will be a person of integrity. Integrity does not come in degrees-low, medium, or high. You either have integrity or you don’t.” This was the commentary given in Every Man’s Bible by the co-founder of All Pro Dad and our dear friend Coach Tony Dungy. 

Click to Play

Discussion Recap

You either have integrity or you don’t.

  1. You have to make decisions before something difficult in your life happens. Look to the Bible.
  2. Control your emotions, or they will control you. Emotions are real. God has created us so we CAN control our emotions.
  3. Be a good example to your kids. Pray for them.
  4. Be quick to listen, slow to speak, and even slower to anger.

Episode Resources

Subscribe to this Podcast

If you enjoyed this podcast, please subscribe:

Feedback

If you’d like to ask me a question for future episodes, head to my podcast question page.

If you enjoy the Family First podcast, please rate it on iTunes with a short review. It would help spread the show so more people can practice putting their families first. Thank you!Share Your Comments Below.

The post #138: Every Man’s Bible with Tony Dungy appeared first on Mark Merrill's Blog.

Oct 03 2017

19mins

Play

#048: 5 Ways to Be Your Daughter’s Hero (Podcast)

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When my daughters were young, it was easy to be their hero. All I had to do was carry them around the house on my shoulders, read them their favorite story, or play with them in the yard. But as my daughters have grown up, I’ve found that my relationships with them aren’t so simple. Between school and friends and boys, things have become way more complicated. I don’t know about you, but I’m ready to get back on track in my relationships with my daughters. So join me on today’s show as we share 5 ways to be a hero to your daughter.

Click to Play

Discussion Recap

Here are 5 ways to be your daughter’s hero:

1.  Tell her she is beautiful
2.  Show an interest in her life
3.  Walk in integrity
4.  Treat her mom well
5.  Love her unconditionally 

Episode Resources

5 Things Every Daughter Needs to Hear from Her Dad

How to Help Your Daughter Believe She’s Beautiful

The Best Conversation Starters for Teenagers

4 Reasons Why You Should Dance with Your Daughter

4 C’s for Communicating with Your Teen

7 Love Actions for Spouses (Podcast)

10 Perfect Daddy-Daughter Date Ideas

Subscribe to this Podcast

If you enjoyed this podcast, please subscribe:

iTunes RSS Zune

Feedback

If you’d like to ask me a question for future episodes, head to my podcast question page.

If you enjoy the Family First podcast, please rate it on iTunes with a short review. It would help spread the show so more people can practice putting their families first. Thank you!

The post #048: 5 Ways to Be Your Daughter’s Hero (Podcast) appeared first on Mark Merrill's Blog.

Aug 22 2017

14mins

Play

#137: 10 Questions to Ask Your Spouse Every Year

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Good conversations lead to connection and intimacy. The best way to facilitate a good conversation is to ask great questions. Whether you feel like you know your spouse well or not, there are questions that will be helpful. The spouse who becomes an expert in the art of asking questions is the spouse who will win their spouse’s heart. Susan and I will be going through ten questions to ask your spouse every year (or more often if you’d like).

The spouse who becomes an expert in the art of asking questions is the spouse who will win their spouse’s heart.

Click To Tweet

Click to Play

Discussion Recap

Here are 10 Questions to Ask Your Spouse Every Year:

1. What are you enjoying most about our relationship right now?

2. What has been your biggest surprise in the last year?

3. Where would you like our relationship to be this time next year?

4. How are you feeling about life in general?

5. What are your dreams for the future?

6. If you could go anywhere, where would you go?

7. How do you think we’re doing financially?

8. What do you want to do this year to improve our health?

9. What is one thing you would change about how our family relates to one another?

10. What is the one thing I give my time to that you think would be better spent somewhere else?

Episode Resources

Subscribe to this Podcast

If you enjoyed this podcast, please subscribe:

Feedback

If you’d like to ask me a question for future episodes, head to my podcast question page.

If you enjoy the Family First podcast, please rate it on iTunes with a short review. It would help spread the show so more people can practice putting their families first. Thank you!

The post #137: 10 Questions to Ask Your Spouse Every Year appeared first on Mark Merrill's Blog.

Jul 25 2017

17mins

Play

#136: 5 Ways to Break Free from the Pornography Trap

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Pornography is a beast that kills – kills the soul and ravages relationships. No one is immune to pornography. Everywhere you turn, it’s becoming more and more available. At the same time, men are becoming less and less aware of its harmful nature and its lasting impacts. It’s an addiction that squelches intimacy. Intimacy takes an investment of time and energy, while pornography is a way to manufacture cheap, fleeting thrills instantaneously. Those manufactured feelings begin to replace actual intimacy with a spouse, even when a couple watches it together. Meanwhile it makes a wife feel insecure and betrayed.

On today’s show, Susan and I will talk about a few ways to escape the pornography trap.

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Discussion Recap

Here are 5 ways to escape the pornography trap:

1. Face it and own it

2. Take action

3. Break the cycle

4. Get support

5. Make the choice for more

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If you’d like to ask me a question for future episodes, head to my podcast question page.

If you enjoy the Family First podcast, please rate it on iTunes with a short review. It would help spread the show so more people can practice putting their families first. Thank you!

The post #136: 5 Ways to Break Free from the Pornography Trap appeared first on Mark Merrill's Blog.

Jul 18 2017

17mins

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#135: Trust: The Key to Unlock Intimacy in Marriage

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If someone were to ask you the question: What is the key to intimacy in marriage? What answers do you think you’ll receive? I can imagine a lot of words that might be racing through your mind. Sexual compatibility. Time. Romance. Open Communication. Compromise. Forgiveness. Kindness. All of those are good answers, but on today’s show, Susan and I would like to suggest that there’s a strong case to be made that TRUST is an important key that unlocks the door to emotional and physical intimacy in marriage. Trust is an essential ingredient in the two of you becoming one flesh. In List 5 of our new books, Lists to Love By for Busy Husbands and Lists to Love By for Busy Wives, we mention “If trust is the door to intimacy, then there are three keys to opening that door.”

In order to trust your spouse, you must have complete confidence in the following from this day forward.

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Discussion Recap

Consider these keys to unlock the door to intimacy:

1. You are who you say you are.

2. You will always speak the truth.

3. You will always do what you say you’ll do.

Episode Resources

Subscribe to this Podcast

If you enjoyed this podcast, please subscribe:

Feedback

If you’d like to ask me a question for future episodes, head to my podcast question page.

If you enjoy the Family First podcast, please rate it on iTunes with a short review. It would help spread the show so more people can practice putting their families first. Thank you!

The post #135: Trust: The Key to Unlock Intimacy in Marriage appeared first on Mark Merrill's Blog.

Jul 11 2017

18mins

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#134: The New Dad’s Playbook with Benjamin Watson (Podcast)

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NFL athlete and Super Bowl champion Benjamin Watson knows a thing or two about big games. But he says the biggest game in life—parenting, specifically fatherhood—is one for which there is no playbook. Watson shares, "I could find clearer direction for putting together a baby swing than for taking care of a newborn child,”. His new book, The New Dad’s Playbook: Gearing Up for the Biggest Game of Your Life solves this problem by sharing parenting tips, wisdom and practical advice for new dads.

The post #134: The New Dad’s Playbook with Benjamin Watson (Podcast) appeared first on Mark Merrill's Blog.

Jun 06 2017

21mins

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#133: Is This the Root Cause of Your Marriage Problems? (Podcast)

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What is the opposite of love? If you said hate, well, I hate to disagree with you, but I’m convinced that the opposite of love is really selfishness. And in marriage, selfishness often makes you the worst threat to your marriage and can become the root cause of your marriage problems.

The post #133: Is This the Root Cause of Your Marriage Problems? (Podcast) appeared first on Mark Merrill's Blog.

May 30 2017

15mins

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#132: 4 Ways to Fight for Your Marriage (Podcast)

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You and your spouse are allies, not enemies. We must fight for our marriage because we love. We must fight for who we love. We must make war to make love last in marriage. Make war against those things that could divide our union. Fight for those things that will protect and preserve our union. Make love our highest priority as we pursue a selfless, sacrificial, and more perfect union. Here are 4 ways to fight for your marriage

The post #132: 4 Ways to Fight for Your Marriage (Podcast) appeared first on Mark Merrill's Blog.

May 23 2017

18mins

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#131: You Married for Better, but What about for Worse? (Podcast)

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When I got married…I didn’t expect conflict, financial pressures, or challenges with children. I always thought the tough part about marriage was finding the right girl. I thought that once I found her, being married was the easy part. When I said my vows I EXPECTED it would always be better. I never EXPECTED that there would be a worse. And there was…

The post #131: You Married for Better, but What about for Worse? (Podcast) appeared first on Mark Merrill's Blog.

May 16 2017

15mins

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#130: Why You Need a Relationship Bucket List (Podcast)

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Busyness is a thief that steals meaningful time and lasting memories. Creating a relationship bucket list will be helpful; it will work in all phases of your life and all relationships. Being INTENTIONAL is the key to having a strong relationship bucket list.

The post #130: Why You Need a Relationship Bucket List (Podcast) appeared first on Mark Merrill's Blog.

May 02 2017

15mins

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#129 Unfair Expectations You May Have of Your Spouse (Podcast)

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Expectations: It's a huge word in marriage and something that many couples, ourselves included, struggle over. We oftentimes have unfair and unrealistic expectations when we go into marriage or even throughout our marriage. When we were writing our two new books Lists to Love By for Busy Husbands and Lists to Love By for Busy Wives, we found that this was a common denominator that was present in many of the historic blogs as well as current blog posts. People were looking for what should I expect from my husband, what should I expect from my wife, and what should I expect from our marriage. Expectations in marriage could be the biggest threat to your relationship

The post #129 Unfair Expectations You May Have of Your Spouse (Podcast) appeared first on Mark Merrill's Blog.

Apr 04 2017

20mins

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#128: 7 Must Do’s and Don’ts for Your Marriage (Podcast)

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It's been said that we should never say never in our marriage and we should never use the word always, because, usually, they are unhelpful in navigating through issues or through conflict, but today we are going to talk about things you should always do in your marriage or that you should never do in your marriage. This is a list from our Lists to Love By for Busy Husbands and Lists to Love By for Busy Wives books, and it talks about 7 Must Do's and Don'ts for Your Marriage.

The post #128: 7 Must Do’s and Don’ts for Your Marriage (Podcast) appeared first on Mark Merrill's Blog.

Mar 28 2017

17mins

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#127: 5 Things Husbands and Wives Wish the Other Knew (Podcast)

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Today we have an exciting show because we are going to be talking about things that spouses wish the other knew. In List #8 of our newly released books, Lists to Love By for Busy Husbands and Lists to Love By for Busy Wives we have things wives wish husbands knew and husbands wish wives knew. We wish for our spouses to know our heart. We both learned that knowing what your spouse desires is key to investing your time wisely and getting the greatest return for your marriage. We will share a few of those today.

The post #127: 5 Things Husbands and Wives Wish the Other Knew (Podcast) appeared first on Mark Merrill's Blog.

Mar 21 2017

14mins

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#126: 7 Truths About Marriage (Podcast)

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Susan and I recently released our new books, Lists to Love By for Busy Husbands and Lists to Love By for Busy Wives and we both felt it very necessary to have our first list in both of our books be about truths. For today’s podcast, we will share with you 7 truths about marriage that we have come to know to keep us grounded and have become particularly important when we experience rough patches in our relationship.

The post #126: 7 Truths About Marriage (Podcast) appeared first on Mark Merrill's Blog.

Mar 14 2017

20mins

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#125: 8 Things Parents Should Do for their Kids Every Day (Podcast)

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When we initially think about what we should do for our kids every day, we think of things like help with homework, make their lunches, take them to school, but really it’s the relational things that they will remember. For today’s podcast, we will go much deeper with the things we should be doing for our kids!

The post #125: 8 Things Parents Should Do for their Kids Every Day (Podcast) appeared first on Mark Merrill's Blog.

Jan 10 2017

17mins

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