About Ron Deal
"I'm getting married on Saturday and we will be creating a blended family. We have read all of your books and have dated intentionally. We know that we will face obstacles and challenges, but we feel somewhat prepared! Thank you for your ministry and for what you do! ...Thank you and please, keep it up! Not sure where we would be without it." -- Mindy
Ron Deal is husband to Nan (since 1986) and proud father of Braden, Connor, and Brennan. Everything else is just details.
Ron L. Deal is a bestselling author, licensed marriage & family therapist, podcaster, and popular conference speaker who conducts “laugh and learn” marriage and family seminars and professional training around the country and online. He specializes in both marriage enrichment and stepfamily education.
Frequently featured in the national media, Ron has worked full-time in marriage and family ministry since 1988 serving in both local churches and with FamilyLife®. He is the most widely read and viewed author on blended families in the country. He serves as President of Smart Stepfamilies™ and Director of FamilyLife Blended®, a division of FamilyLife®.
Ron is author and Consulting Editor of the SMART STEPFAMILY SERIES of books including the bestselling books Building Love Together in Blended Families: The 5 Love Languages® and Becoming Stepfamily Smart with Dr. Gary Chapman (a "best marriage book"), The Smart Stepfamily: Seven Steps to a Healthy Family (and DVD series), The Smart Stepdad, Dating and the Single Parent, The Smart Stepmom (with Laura Petherbridge), The Smart Stepfamily Marriage: Keys to Success in the Blended Family (with Dr. David Olson, which is based on the largest survey of stepcouple strengths ever conducted), a one-year devotional Daily Encouragement for the Smart Stepfamily, and The Smart Stepfamily Guide to Financial Planning (with Greg Pettys and David Edwards) which topped BookAuthority's list of 100 best estate planning books of all time. His latest book Preparing to Blend: The Couple’s Guide to Becoming a Smart Stepfamily (2021) has been highly endorsed and is designed to prepare engaged couples for blended family living (and is the most significant upgrade to premarital counseling in the past 30 years). He is a featured contributor to Loveology.org, DivorceCare® (2020 edition) and GriefShare® (2022 edition), Through This Valley, Single and Parenting™, One Heart Two Homes, and FamilyLife’s Art of Parenting™ and Art of Marriage® video curricula. He is an invited Fellow of the Townsend Institute for Counseling and Leadership, a member of the Stepfamily Expert Council for the National Stepfamily Resource Center, and a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and Licensed Professional Counselor.
In addition to his books and video resources, Ron’s on-demand video teaching (through the Stepfamily Network), audio teaching (including the podcast FamilyLife Blended, his one-minute radio feature that is heard daily on over 1000 outlets nationwide, and regular appearances on the FamilyLife Today national radio broadcast), and numerous teaching videos, book chapters, and articles (for FamilyLife.com, FocusontheFamily.com, YouVersion Bible App, ParentLife, Christianity Today, HomeLife magazine, and CrossWalk.com) reach thousands every day with practical help for their family.
Ron's blended family enrichment principles and ministry strategies have been adopted, utilized, or referenced by leading marriage and family ministries including FamilyLife®, Focus on the Family®, New Life Ministries®, HomeWord®, American Association of Christian Counselors, National Association of Marriage Enhancement, SYMBIS (Les & Leslie Parrott), Prepare-Enrich, the grandparent Legacy Coalition, and the Center for the Family at Pepperdine University.
Ron has extensive experience with TV, radio, and online media having been interviewed on dozens of national and international broadcasts including Fox News, CNBC (see video below), ABC Nightline, WGN-TV News, FamilyLife Today, NewLife Live, Family Talk, Chris Fabry Live, DayStar TV (pictured), and Focus on the Family, and his work has been published/quoted by the Institute for Family Studies, New York Times, Good Morning America.com, The Wall Street Journal, Vox.com, CNBC.com, ABC News.com, Today.com, New York Daily News, USA Today, Chicago Tribune, U.S. News and World Report, Consumer Reports, Ladies Home Journal, Yahoo! Lifestyle, Newsweek.com, ChristianityToday.com, and newspapers/blogs throughout the world.
He and his wife, Nan, have been married since 1986 and have three boys. Their middle son Connor died unexpectedly in February, 2009 at the age of 12. In his memory, the Deal's built a therapeutic art center for the Touch a Life Foundation (touchalifekids.org) that rescues and rehabilitates children in Ghana, West Africa from trafficking and child exploitation.
Nan Deal has a degree in Early Childhood Education and taught in public and private schools for over 25 years. She is a leader with a local Re-Generation ministry and together she and Ron lead a While We're Waiting support group for parents who have lost a child. Nan speaks with Ron in the Empowered to Love Marriage Seminar in which they share the principles that have helped transform their relationship from pride, great grief, and alcohol abuse. They know firsthand what it means to say that the old has passed away and the new has come.
Ron's appearance on the Lifestyle Magazine TV program (Nov 2022) discussing blended families and his book Building Love Together in Blended Families (coauthored with Dr. Gary Chapman). Buy it here.
Ron's appearance on Focus on the Family (Sept 2022) discussing his bestselling book Preparing to Blend: The Couple's Guide to Becoming a Smart Stepfamily. This book doubles as a guide for seriously dating or engaged couples and premarital counselors/mentors. Virtual training is available for pastors/mentors/premarital counselors (learn more here). This is part 1 of a 2-part series. Watch part 2 here.
Ron featured on CNBC and NBC New York (Nov 2019) regarding his book with Greg Pettys and David Edwards The Smart Stepfamily Guide to Financial Planning. See the full CNBC article and video here
Ron's appearance on Focus on the Family (Sept 2020) with coauthor Dr. Gary Chapman regarding their bestselling book Building Love Together in Blended Families: The 5 Love Languages® and Becoming Stepfamily Smart. This is part 1 of a 2 part series. Watch part 2 here.
Help Older Kids Fit Well Into Your Blended Family, produced for Focus on the Family, Parenting (2022). Watch more videos like this at YouTube.com/FamilyLifeBlended
Do you know how to cook a stepfamily?
In this fun, educational sketch Nan and Ron Deal dramatize how some people try incorrectly to blend their blended family and show you a better approach.
Beneficial for pre-blended and married couples, and useful for blended family educational groups, this sketch will get the conversation started.
For more on cooking a blended family read Ron Deal's bestselling book The Smart Stepfamily
A sampling of organizations and churches Ron has spoken to or for include: numerous FamilyLife® events & cruises | Focus on the Family | Harvest Christian Fellowship, Orange County & Riverside campuses | Watermark Community Church (Dallas) | North Point Community Church, Atlanta | American Association of Christian Counselors | WinShape Retreat | Dallas Theological Seminary | Archdiocese of Chicago and New York | WedTalks Marriage Conference | Arkansas and Utah Governor’s Conferences on the Family | Christian Cultural Center, Brooklyn, NY | Wheaton Bible Church, Chicago, IL | Willow Creek Community Church, Chicago, IL | Pepperdine University, Boone Center for the Family, Malibu, CA | Bay Side Church, Sacramento | Lifest Christian music festival | Break Forth One, Edmonton, Alberta | Heartland Community Church, Rockland, IL | Second Baptist Church, Houston | Cornerstone Church, Phoenix | The Hills Church, Fort Worth | New Mexico Marriages First | Smart Marriages Conference | National Association for Relationship and Marriage Education (NARME) | Various state Marriage & Family Therapy conferences | National Association of Catholic Family Life Ministers | Prepare-Enrich | National Conference on Stepfamilies