Ron Deal

Ron Deal is President of Smart Stepfamilies™ and Director of FamilyLife Blended® for FamilyLife®. He is a family ministry consultant and conducts marriage and family seminars around the country; he specializes in marriage education and stepfamily enrichment. He is one of the most widely read authors on stepfamily living in the country.

Ron is author of the bestselling book The Smart Stepfamily (and DVD series), The Smart Stepdad, Dating and the Single Parent, The Smart Stepmom (with Laura Petherbridge), The Smart Stepfamily Marriage (with David Olson), Daily Encouragement for the Smart Stepfamily, The Smart Stepfamily Guide to Financial Planning (with Greg Pettys and David Edwards), and most recently Building Love Together in Blended Families (with Dr. Gary Chapman).

He is a member of the Stepfamily Expert Council for the National Stepfamily Resource Center and is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and Licensed Professional Counselor.

Ron Deal is husband to Nan (since 1986) and proud father of Braden, Connor, and Brennan.

Episodes appearing in

Can you imagine-being deployed in a foreign country and losing your children back home? View Show Notes →
Love languages are not set in stone. View Show Notes →
Daddy, aren't I your number one girl? View Show Notes →
Have you ever made a decision and discovered it wasn't everything you hoped? View Show Notes →
Gary Chapman joins Ron Deal to talk about loving your blended family members through the five love languages: touch, quality time, gifts, words of affirmation, and acts of service. View Show Notes →
What do you do when your love associations differ? View Show Notes →
Gary Chapman and Ron Deal team up to talk about applying the love languages to a second marriage. Both spouses need to be intentional about protecting their marriage and reassuring their children. View Show Notes →
You know, life can be complicated. So, sometimes, we just need to dumb it down a little. View Show Notes →
What says love to you? A tender touch? A surprise gift? Time with your honey? Gary Chapman joins blended-family expert Ron Deal, to talk about the love languages and the blended family. View Show Notes →
Sometimes grandparents have a lot of wisdom. View Show Notes →
Relationship choices can be life or death. View Show Notes →
How do you form a loving relationship with someone who isn't motivated to love you? View Show Notes →
Just imagine...being away from your children for 6 months? View Show Notes →
When others cut down, you lift up. View Show Notes →
Believe it or not, sometimes it's best not to love best. View Show Notes →
How do you prepare your family for military deployment? View Show Notes →
We love our kids. But we don't always like them. View Show Notes →
Now there's no war zone. Not even a cold war! View Show Notes →
Can you turn to your church for help? View Show Notes →
Ron, I really want to get married again someday, but before I do, I want to learn as much as I can so I don't repeat the past. View Show Notes →
Never let your parenting be held hostage. View Show Notes →
Are you standing up...for the kid right next to you? View Show Notes →
If you're a single parent or dating one, here's a dating myth to avoid. View Show Notes →
I'm wondering, should you pray for God to change your spouse? View Show Notes →
Hey Ron, can stepparents discipline their stepchildren? View Show Notes →
Michelle Hill tosses tricky dating scenarios to Ron Deal who offers insight into whether the single-parent situation in question is a red light, a caution light, or a green light. View Show Notes →
I feel like the church's dirty little problem. View Show Notes →
When it comes to bonding with a stepchild their age matters. View Show Notes →
Corporations have business meetings all the time. Shouldn't families do that? View Show Notes →
Watch out! It's a trap! View Show Notes →
Different kid, different parenting. View Show Notes →
Single Parent Dating 101: How to do it successfully and what to avoid. Ron Deal offers a biblical perspective on this minefield of complex relationships. How to date wisely as a single parent. View Show Notes →
Have you ever been caught in a loyalty tug-of-war? View Show Notes →
So which comes first in your household your marriage or the kids? View Show Notes →
Ron, I so want my kids to love the Lord. So what do I do when their other home is not a good influence? View Show Notes →
She's showing her true colors, Ron, and they're not very pretty. View Show Notes →
What sort of term of endearment do you give a spouse who has the soul of a pterodactyl? View Show Notes →
One of the most common points of contention in marriage is the issue of money. Crystal Paine, Tom Nelson, and Ron Deal offer some strategies to help keep money from being a source of conflict. View Show Notes →
Have you ever thought that one reason kids don't like their stepparent is because they like their stepparent? View Show Notes →
Just how far would you go to care for one of your children? View Show Notes →
Ron, I thought I was going crazy, but now I know I'm not alone. View Show Notes →
Okay, kids, we just gave some money to the homeless man at the last street corner. Do you give some more to the guy at this corner?" View Show Notes →
Benjamin Franklin said, "If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail." View Show Notes →
When kids live between two homes, you can't win every parenting battle, but some issues are a hill worth dying on. View Show Notes →
You know that last argument you had-it was definitely the other person's fault. View Show Notes →
Now here's a resolution for you. Colossians 3 says, "Set your mind on things above." View Show Notes →
Hey stepparents, did you know you're the competition? View Show Notes →
When it comes to disagreements, a prideful person just makes things worse. View Show Notes →
Do you remember record albums? How many grooves are there in a 12-inch record? View Show Notes →
Have you ever gotten the feeling that your relationships are doing a number on you? View Show Notes →
Ahhh, can you feel that? It's the magic of Christmas! View Show Notes →
Ron, I just don't think I was cut out to be part of a stepfamily. View Show Notes →
We all have a God-shaped hole in our heart. And a dad-shaped hole. View Show Notes →
Do you know what goes well together? Grandparents and Christmas! View Show Notes →
Is your family walking the path of righteousness? View Show Notes →
So what's your level of love? View Show Notes →
Parenting a troubled child always begins with managing ourselves first. View Show Notes →
When our kids are troubled, it troubles us. View Show Notes →
When someone you care about becomes unavailable to you, what do you do? View Show Notes →
When someone is beating you down, how do you stand up? View Show Notes →
Do you have a plan for your work day or future goals? How about a parenting plan? View Show Notes →
Less than half of engaged couples with kids discuss how they're going to parent those kids after the wedding. Hey, that's not a good idea. View Show Notes →
Here's a holiday inspired tip for parents and stepparents: when you make Christmas cookies this year, remember, there's no cookie cutter kids. View Show Notes →
Holiday pictures should have everyone in the frame, right? But sometimes they don't. View Show Notes →
Does your childhood, or previous relationships, ever creep into your current ones? Ron Deal is talking with USA Today best-selling author Tricia Goyer on this topic. View Show Notes →
Well, the old adage is true: Rules without relationship leads to rebellion. View Show Notes →
Co-Parents: If you really want to bless your children, here's a quality to strive for. View Show Notes →
Are you dancing the dance of want? View Show Notes →
Mom...Dad...are you holding your kids hostage? View Show Notes →
I don't know. It just doesn't feel like home anymore. View Show Notes →
Thanksgiving! No, I mean, thanks for giving. View Show Notes →
Hey Ron, what's the best way to tell my kids I'm getting married? View Show Notes →
Have you wondered what's going on inside a child of divorce? Ron Deal and Lauren Reitsema address common questions parents and stepparents ask about kids. View Show Notes →
You know, sometimes members of a stepfamily are confused about what to call each other. View Show Notes →
The Bible says, "He who has ears to hear, let him hear." What? Speak up! I can't hear you! View Show Notes →
Yeah, kids are sometimes hesitant to warm up to their stepparent. But what do you do when it's the stepparent who won't warm up? View Show Notes →
Have you ever noticed that worry can spoil an otherwise happy day? View Show Notes →
You know that scene in Forrest Gump when he runs back and forth across the country for three years? Hey, stop running! View Show Notes →
Well, he didn't get to walk his daughter down the aisle, but he did get the daddy-daughter dance. View Show Notes →
So, what do you call a stepfamily? View Show Notes →
Licensed counselor Ron Deal talks about the physical and emotional effects of traumatic stress, and Tracy Lane shares her experience regarding her daughter's heart surgeries. View Show Notes →
One way to develop faith in your children is to think out loud. View Show Notes →
Good parenting is in part about managing your children. But often more about managing yourself. View Show Notes →
Parents are lying to their kids...for personal gain. And, it's got to stop. View Show Notes →
A stepmom, Linda, sent me an e-mail. I could see her smile in her words. View Show Notes →
Thank you for your service. View Show Notes →
If you want to feel close in your marriage, do things that make you close. View Show Notes →
I'm not sure you want to do this, but if you want to push a friend or family member away, just lie to them. View Show Notes →
Parenting over the long haul is tough. Stepparenting is really tough. View Show Notes →
Ron, I'm an adult and my mom is dating a guy and I'm having a rough time with it. View Show Notes →
Parents, what's your role when it comes to your kids and the other parent? View Show Notes →
For a woman with no biological children, stepping into the role of stepmom can be a bewildering labyrinth of complexities. Ron Deal and Laura Petherbridge discuss how to navigate this winding path. View Show Notes →
Okay, let's face it some people are just easier to forgive than others. View Show Notes →
How do you maintain parental unity when you disagree? View Show Notes →
Parents really must work together. So, here's another tip for maintaining your parental unity. View Show Notes →
Now here's another no-brainer about blended families: adding a stepparent to the parenting team is bound to change something. View Show Notes →
Your strength in parenting comes in part from your unity as a team. View Show Notes →
Fighting barriers in your marriage? Well, here's another tip for reducing the cholesterol in your marital heart: Adapt to life, as needed. View Show Notes →
Ron Deal says there's no need to carry around the baggage of your past sins and we should let God deal with it. He talks us through the story of the woman at the well. View Show Notes →
How can I share the gospel if my family is a mess? Ron Deal reminds us that most of the families featured in Jesus' lineage were dysfunctional, so you're in good company. View Show Notes →
It's a devastating loss when a loved one dies, especially when it is unexpected. Al Hsu talks about the complex grief he experienced when his father took his own life. Ron and Nan Deal talk about the sudden loss of their son, Connor. View Show Notes →
Most grief is not processed in a neat little package of five steps. Ron Deal and Abigail Dodds each talk about processing different kinds of grief. They maintain that all grief should be processed--not avoided--in order to heal properly. View Show Notes →
Stepmoms bear a unique burden, and they often neglect their own care. Melanie Anthony offers hope for balance in the midst of the burden. View Show Notes →
Ron Deal and Michelle Hill talk about the grieving process and how to care for yourself and others you know who may be grieving. We'll also hear from Matthew Arbo and Jonathan Edwards on FamilyLife This Week. View Show Notes →
Rodney and Lisa Webb share their difficult blended journey, as counselor and therapist Helen Wheeler and blended family expert Ron Deal speak wisdom. View Show Notes →
Parenting is difficult, but when you add divorce, the challenge multiplies. Navigating even the most routine parental responsibilities can become difficult. Linda Ranson Jacobs talks to Ron Deal, offering help and hope to parents who may be struggling. View Show Notes →
Ronnie Tyler may have been in love with her husband, Lamar, but she wasn't that interested in his help with raising her two children. Ron Deal explores the complex nuances of blended relationships. View Show Notes →
Pastor and theologian John Ortberg talks with Ron Deal, providing a fresh perspective on the nature of eternity and our own connection to an eternal Creator. View Show Notes →
In this encouraging exploration of the real state of marriage, researcher and author Shaunti Feldhahn teams up with Ron Deal for a deep look at the facts behind the statistics. View Show Notes →
Growing up, Dave Bondeson's father told him, "Remember, you're a Bondeson and a Christian." Dave finds it challenging to translate that into a blended family with a stepdaughter whose last name is not Bondeson. View Show Notes →
Authors Dave and Ann Wilson talk to Ron Deal about the impact divorce can have on a person's life. The Wilsons share how the divorce impacted Dave's ability to resolve conflict in a healthy way. View Show Notes →
Dave and Ann Wilson talk to Ron Deal about the hard realities of his parents' divorce when he was seven years old. Hear firsthand how divorce impacts a child. View Show Notes →
A panel of experts answers your questions about forgiveness in marriage. Voddie Baucham, Juli Slattery, DA and Elicia Horton, and Ron Deal address difficult situations with truth from Scripture. View Show Notes →
A panel of experts answers some of your toughest questions about marital intimacy. Voddie Baucham, Juli Slattery, DA and Elicia Horton, and Ron Deal address difficult situations with truth from Scripture. View Show Notes →
There are many people, single AND married, who feel isolated and alone on Valentine's Day. Director of FamilyLife Blended and licensed counselor Ron Deal talks about healthy ways of coping with loneliness. View Show Notes →
Ron Deal tackles the delicate topic of sexual intimacy. As Deal explains, to be intimate with someone is to know them at a deep level. But what does a person do with their sexual past, especially as they enter into a new marriage? View Show Notes →
If you're in a stepfamily, the holidays can get complicated pretty fast. Ron Deal offers some perspective, and gives counsel for how to navigate Christmas in a stepfamily. View Show Notes →
Ron Deal explains the benefits of "cooking" your stepfamily with a crock pot and not a blender. He stresses the value of being patient as your blended family blends at its own pace. View Show Notes →
Ron Deal talks about struggles that take place in a blended family between the biological children and the new spouse. While it's tempting to want to put the children first, Deal cautions against it. View Show Notes →
Ron Deal, director of FamilyLife Blended, talks about the vital role step-grandparents provide as they help create connection in their families. View Show Notes →
What is the difference between giving grace and giving in? Paul David Tripp, Tim Kimmel, Ron Deal, and Caleb Kaltenbach explain what grace is: in parenting, marriage, or relationships with a watching world. View Show Notes →
Ron and Nan Deal lost their 12-year-old son Connor in 2009. The Deals discuss how they regained their footing, especially in their marriage, after experiencing such a tragic loss. View Show Notes →
Ron and Nan Deal share how losing their middle son, Connor, in 2009 at the age of 12 still has them reeling. The Deals share what has helped them, and hurt them, as they've grieved the loss of their son. View Show Notes →
Ron and Nan Deal walk us through the events in 2009 that took the life of their 12-year old son, Connor. The Deals tells how their family got through this tremendous loss. View Show Notes →
Robbie and Sabrina McDonald, both widowed before they met and now married to each other for three years, talk about the challenges of blending a family. View Show Notes →
Ron Deal joins Robbie and Sabrina McDonald to talk about their blended family three years after saying "I Do." View Show Notes →
Elizabeth Oates reminds us that the family we grew up in marks us, but it doesn't have to define us. Oates and Ron Deal talk about establishing new relational patterns in marriage. View Show Notes →
Elizabeth Oates shares how growing up in a single-parent home, and then in a home with a stepfather, shaped her views on dating and marriage. View Show Notes →
Elizabeth Oates recalls her troubled childhood marked by abuse and loneliness and tells how that emptiness eventually led her to a deep and abiding relationship with Christ. View Show Notes →
How does it feel when one of your divorced parents remarries? Shannon Simmons and Lauren Reitsema share the stories of their blended family experiences. View Show Notes →
As parents, our job is to make sure our children grow into responsible adults. Dru Joyce II and Ron Deal share different character traits to instill in your children and some helpful ways to teach them. View Show Notes →
Parents need to help their kids process difficult things in healthy ways. Meg Robbins talks about walking with her kids through a cross-country move. Sabrina McDonald tells how she coached her kids through the process of becoming a blended family. View Show Notes →
Emerson Eggerichs, along with author Ron Deal, share practical ways for moms to relate to and honor their sons. Even when upset, moms need to continue to speak respectfully. View Show Notes →
Emerson Eggerichs explains that one compelling desire of a mother is to connect to her son, and she can do that by what she says and how she says it. View Show Notes →
Steve and Misty Arterburn talk about the unique way blended families function. Steve and Misty recall bringing three children into the early years of their marriage and what they did to build a firm foundation for their family. View Show Notes →
Ron Deal joins Steve and Misty Arterburn to talk about the complexities of a second marriage. Steve and Misty both experienced divorce in their first marriages. The Arterburns share what they have done to make their marriage work. View Show Notes →
Shaunti Feldhahn and Ron Deal team up to talk about kindness and the stepfamily. Feldhahn helps us pinpoint our patterns of negativity, and Deal reminds us that kindness can melt the hardest of hearts. View Show Notes →
Robert Wolgemuth, along with his wife, Nancy, and Ron Deal, talk to husbands about how to lead their wives as loving shepherds. View Show Notes →
Within the heart of a woman is a desire to be protected. Robert and Nancy Wolgemuth, along with Ron Deal, talk about the challenges of shepherding a wife in a blended family. View Show Notes →
Robert and Nancy Wolgemuth fondly remember the days of their courtship when they discussed becoming a blended family. Robert gives his best advice for husbands seeking to shepherd well. Ron Deal joins them. View Show Notes →
Licensed counselor Ron Deal talks about the physical and emotional effects of traumatic stress, and Tracy Lane shares her experience regarding her daughter's heart surgeries. View Show Notes →
Ron Deal answers some of your most perplexing questions about being a stepfather. View Show Notes →
Ron Deal gives insight into the stepdad's role in the family. Hear him tell stepdads positive ways to impact their new families and how to avoid causing division. View Show Notes →
Ron Deal, director of FamilyLife Blended, talks to men about the realities of being a stepdad and encourages men to step out in faith, relying on God's wisdom, if they're ready to take the risk. View Show Notes →
Pushing through and doing hard things can make the biggest impact on your kids. "That's what Dads do." Find out more from Steve Farrar, Roland Warren, Ron Deal, R.V. Brown and Ben Rainey. View Show Notes →
Barbara Rainey and Tracy Lane encourage families to read more this summer. Ron Deal shares strategies for dealing with the unique challenges a stepfamily faces. View Show Notes →
Dennis and Barbara Rainey, Bob Lepine, and Ron Deal provide solid biblical answers on questions concerning different ministry opportunities for lay-people within the church. View Show Notes →
Lisa Anderson reveals what it's like being a Christian single woman trying to date in this culture. Ron Deal gives advice to those who have been previously married and are ready to date again. View Show Notes →
One of the most common points of contention in marriage is the issue of money. Crystal Paine, Tom Nelson, and Ron Deal offer some strategies to help keep money from being a source of conflict. View Show Notes →
Whether it's family you know and love, or strangers that need to feel welcome, Barbara Rainey and Rosaria Butterfield share about opportunities to express hospitality. View Show Notes →
How does fear affect our walk with God? It depends on how we handle it. Trillia Newbell, Donovan Campbell, Ron Deal, and Ed Harrell share accounts of facing fear with faith. View Show Notes →
Counselor Ron Deal breaks down the most common and vexing issues facing remarried couples, as he provides real solutions and keen insights into the complexities of remarriage. View Show Notes →
When it comes to the issues of marriage, according to blended family expert Ron Deal, remarried couples sail in a completely different ocean. View Show Notes →
Jay and Tammy Daughtry and Ron Deal talk about co-parenting children of divorce in a way that leaves them happier and healthier. View Show Notes →
Jay and Tammy Daughtry and Ron Deal talk about what's required to raise emotionally healthy children after a divorce. View Show Notes →
Stepparenting has its challenges. That's what Jerry and Kate Angelo found out when they married and became a blended family of six. View Show Notes →
Jerry and Kate Angelo reflect on the issues that thwarted their first marriages, and remember with gratitude the circumstances that brought them back to God and to each other. View Show Notes →
When there is a root of pride present in one or both spouses, peace cannot flourish. Ron Deal explains that when you face your own fear and pride first, that opens the door to love and peace in your marriage. View Show Notes →
Fear is one of the core things that gets families "stuck." Ron Deal tells couples how to break out of the fear cycle, and rest in the sovereignty and power of God. View Show Notes →
Blending family Christmas traditions is very challenging. Bob and Vicki Maday's respective daughters describe the uncomfortable but inevitable tension that exists in a new blended family's Christmas traditions. View Show Notes →
Bob and Vicki Maday each had adult children when they got married. Bob and Vicki's adult daughters share the complicated emotions they had to wade through when their parents married and created a new blended family. View Show Notes →
How would you grade your kissing? Ron Deal shares more about kissing, passion, and romance in marriage. Add spice to your relationship by taking the 30-second kiss challenge. View Show Notes →
Want to improve the intimacy in your marriage? Ron Deal explains that while sex isn't everything in a marriage, it's also not nothing. Hear Ron explain a biblical perspective on sexual intimacy. View Show Notes →
Are you wondering what is going on in your stepchild's mind? Some stepchildren are here to tell you about their blended experience. Josh and Emily Gangl and Jenifer Thigpen tell their stories. View Show Notes →
Robbie and Sabrina McDonald join Ron Deal and talk about the good and bad surprises they experienced as they were establishing their blended family. View Show Notes →
Sabrina and Robbie McDonald married quickly but didn't take into account the grief her young son was still experiencing since his father's death. Ron Deal explains how children grieve. View Show Notes →
It was difficult for Sabrina to keep the promise to her late husband, to remarry after his death. But today she is Sabrina McDonald. Her new husband, Robbie, joins her to tell their story. View Show Notes →
Pastor Dave Wilson recalls one of his Sunday sermons when he publicly apologized to the broken and blended families in his congregation for the church's weak attempts to reach out to them. View Show Notes →
Bill and Evelyn Thompson join Ron Deal to talk about their surprising courtship and remarriage, as well as the adjustments blending families has required of them. View Show Notes →
Bill and Evelyn Thompson talk about their first phone call and the launch of their budding romance. View Show Notes →
Bill and Evelyn Thompson join us to share more about their losses, and their second chance at love View Show Notes →
In some step families, parents try to force their kids into a relationship with their stepparent. Ron Deal suggests letting the kids set the pace for the relationship with their stepparent. View Show Notes →
Blending a family is easy, right? Ron Deal says "not so fast". Blending two families is a lot slower, more complicated and more fraught with challenges than anyone expects. View Show Notes →
At the memorial service for Cheryl Spangler, Mathew Spangler shares a moving tribute to his stepmom. View Show Notes →
A father's loyalty and support toward their wives can make a world of difference in a blended family. View Show Notes →
Laura tells you how to avoid making some of the most wicked step parenting mistakes. View Show Notes →
If being a mother is hard work, then being a stepmother is twice as difficult. View Show Notes →
In the midst of deepest suffering, where is God and why doesn't He deliver us and answer our prayers? View Show Notes →
Dating again has its pluses and minuses. When do you know to take caution? View Show Notes →
Are you ready to date again? View Show Notes →
Dating is hard, and dating again after divorce or loss can be even more complex. View Show Notes →
What should you consider before getting remarried? View Show Notes →
Parenting is difficult enough when it's your own kids, but throw someone else's into the mix and you may have problems. View Show Notes →
We vowed to love our spouse forever, but the marriage ended in divorce. View Show Notes →
Marriage and family therapist Ron Deal will tell you how to blend a stepfamily so that it comes out just right! View Show Notes →
Blending two families in remarriage can be a daunting task. View Show Notes →
Stepmothers have gotten a bad rap every since the days of Cinderella, but today’s guest, Laura Petherbridge, tells why they often deserve it. View Show Notes →
Ron Deal talks about the covenant of marriage and how that applies to remarried men and women. View Show Notes →