Marianne and Rawad Daou are doing something truly extraordinary. On From Heart to Heart, their live relationship counseling program, the couple shows radical vulnerability, empathy, and love. And it is working. Viewers who are hurting terribly – and who often have nowhere else to turn – are sharing life-changing breakthroughs.
For Rawad Daou, the moment he cried on live television was a defining one.
Reflecting on his personal struggles and his wife Marianne’s support, the presenter broke down on SAT-7 ARABIC. And this vulnerability, it turns out, is what viewers needed.
“I saw that viewers want to see true, genuine people,” Rawad says. “When we love God, we cannot be different on TV [than] how we are in private. We must be transparent and share all our weaknesses.”
This is the core of From Heart to Heart’s impact. As the presenters share their own struggles – from financial issues to Rawad’s repentance from an addiction to pornography – they help those watching to do the same.
“I FEEL SO ENCOURAGED”
In a region where emotional suffering is often met with stigma, this space to breathe is life-changing. Over the show’s two seasons, many viewers have shared their own breakthroughs.
“The purity that shines through you encourages me to be transparent,” one viewer says. “God has been healing my heart from all its wounds… I feel so encouraged, watching this show, to overcome my fear.”
“My husband and I got married this summer,” says another. “We both come from broken families, but now we believe that God can break every chain.”
YOUTH NEED LOVE
Rawad especially empathizes deeply with viewers’ hardest struggles.
“I have been on a long journey in my life,” he says. “I experienced many things before I knew Jesus, and through this, He gave me empathy, a loving heart. I don’t judge.”
This compassionate approach was particularly important in the show’s recent second season, which focused on youth. For young Middle Easterners growing up with the pressures of social media and Internet pornography, building healthy relationships can feel impossible.
But even when tackling taboo issues, such as sexual sin, Rawad and Marianne avoid condemnation.
“Youth need love,” Rawad says. “They need love. They need a big brother or sister to talk with them, to give them time. Today, even parents don’t have time for their children. In Lebanon, many work double shifts to make ends meet.”
“I SAW THE LOVE OF GOD”
In one episode, young guests on the show watched some testimonies of healed relationships. “Suddenly, one girl started crying live on air,” Rawad remembers. “We asked her why she was crying, and she said, ‘Because I saw the love of God.’
She meant through her parents, who had shown her the same kind of love as in the testimonies. She added, ‘I’ve made so many mistakes in my life, but they love me so much.'”
HOPE FOR YOUNG PEOPLE
As these words show, Marianne and Rawad are ultimately pointing viewers to Jesus.
“We want to show that even though we pass through very hard times sometimes, with the strength of God, you show [your spouse] unconditional love,” says Marianne. “And we want to show people that with God – only with God – is this possible.”
During the season, a young viewer wrote, “Thank you for your perseverance and for fighting continuously for Christ. Thank you for your love for Christ, which gives hope to us youth.”
A third season of From Heart to Heart is due to air in 2020.
You can help strengthen relationships in the Middle East by supporting programs like From Heart to Heart. Give a special gift this Valentine’s Day to heal hearts that are broken and in need of Christ’s love. Thank you for your generosity in helping to air Christ-centered programs like these.