Real FamilyLife®

Dave and Ann Wilson

A Blessing

September 4, 2017

She understands something that I've come to learn by experience.  A lot of joy can come from being in a large family.

Solomon has been called the wisest man who ever lived.  Listen to what he had to say about a large family.  "Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, so are the children of one's youth.  How blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them." 

My wife, Barbara, and I have six children - a pretty large quiver by today's standards.  But do you know what?  Very few people act like we've been blessed.  They seem to think children are a problem to be handled, rather than a blessing to be enjoyed.

One final thought.  Have you and your mate prayed about the size of your family?  If God wants to bless you with many children, will you be willing to accept this wonderful gift?

I’m Dennis Rainey, and that’s Real FamilyLife.

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It sounds to me like you two have some communicating to do.  First of all, I'd encourage you to focus on your wife.  I think you need to take the initiative here to establish a regular time of prayer and Bible study, where you grow together spiritually and work through those adjustments.  You need to ask your wife, "What can I do to communicate love to you, and how can I lead you spiritually?" Seek to get on her agenda, and love her sacrificially with the love of Christ. Then, after you've talked about meeting her needs, it might be a good idea just to help her understand what your own needs are, as well. You need to examine your relationship with your stepson, too.  For example, if you are becoming resentful of this him, your wife's going to sense this and seek to protect him. One final thought.  It could be that your stepson feels like the odd man out in this family—just the way you feel right now. So pray about it, talk to your wife about it, and seek to build a better relationship with her son. I'm Dennis Rainey, and that's Real FamilyLife.
September 1, 2017
I heard a story of a man who died and went to heaven to find two signs above two different lines.  One sign read: ALL THOSE MEN WHO HAVE BEEN DOMINATED BY THEIR WIVES, STAND HERE.  And that line of men seemed to stretch off through the clouds into infinity, it was so long. The second sign read: ALL THOSE WHO HAVE NEVER BEEN DOMINATED BY THEIR WIVES, STAND HERE.  There was only one man standing there.  When questioned what his secret was, he seemed puzzled.  "My secret?  I'm not sure I know.  My wife just told me to stand here." One final thought.  Guys, if you're married to a strong woman, it can be tempting to just let her lead.  But God has a better way.  He has called you and me to be the servant/leaders of our wives.  If we do it right, we'll be able to combat the natural drift toward isolation and conflict in our marriages. I'm Dennis Rainey (which line are you standing in?), and that's Real FamilyLife.
August 31, 2017
It was just last night I ran across this little plaque that my son Benjamin gave me.  The words were fading, but I could make out a few of them.  They all spoke of his love for me. It reads, “To a Vary special Dad.  Happy Father’s Day."  And on the inside it says, "To Dad, This man takes me on fishing trips and dats.  Dos special things with me.  He is more than some bod’s dad.  He’s my Dab.  I love you very mouch.  Love, Benjamin."  At the corner, it says "over" with a little arrow on it and on the back at the top it says, “I will never quit loving you no matter what you do.” One final thought.  You know, the Psalmist says, “Indeed, my heritage is beautiful to me.”  And you know what?  I know what he means. I'm Dennis Rainey, and it doesn't get any better than that.  That's Real FamilyLife.
August 30, 2017
Alex was three years old when his mother's divorce became final.  Even at the age of three, Alex had picked up the bad habits of his dad.  He was assaulting his mother with fists, teeth, nails -- even knives.  But his mother loved him, and didn't give up.  Now, as a teenager, Alex loves Jesus Christ, and is preparing to be a missionary in Mexico.    Being a single parent is tough, but it is not impossible. If you're a single parent, consider three ways to stay focused.  First, keep your hope in God through prayer.  Second, pursue a relationship with someone who can support you emotionally and spiritually as you raise your child.  Third, teach your child the scriptures. One final thought.  Commit yourself and your child to God in prayer tonight.  Remember that God has said He would be a "father of the fatherless and a judge for the widows."  I'm Dennis Rainey, and that's Real Family Life.
August 29, 2017
Yeah, chores were a big part of our family's life, too.  You know, chores represent opportunities for a child to learn even the most basic fundamentals. First, I believe chores are character builders.  "You have responsibility, and you need to fulfill it."   Secondly, chores teach children that they are needed.  One of the big problems in a lot of families these days is that children feel unnecessary.  Unneeded.  Third, I believe chores result in work getting done.  I can still remember a wall that my boys helped me build.  I miss them now, especially when I carry out the trash. One final thought.  When God told the Israelites that they needed to teach their children at all times, He said, "Do it when you rise up, and when you sit down, and when you walk by the way."  Why don't you look for some "teachable moments" around chores in the life of your children today?  Remember, it can be around something very simple and basic. I'm Dennis Rainey, and that's Real FamilyLife.
August 28, 2017
A friend of mine was on a plane, flying home, when he started weeping.  You see, he had just attended our "I Still Do" event, and realized that his attitude about his own divorce was all wrong.  He told me that he had never repented for divorcing his wife.  But he did so on that plane.  Some in the church need to repent from wrong attitudes about divorce as well.  There are people who advise their friends and family members to get a divorce. That stuns me.  You know, many Christians have become complacent about an act that God was very clear about.  God said in the book of Malachi, "I hate divorce."  One final thought.  If God hates divorce, what should we do about it?  I believe we need to begin by changing our minds about divorce.  Then we might need to change our counsel that we give others.  Our opinion needs to match God's opinion. I'm Dennis Rainey, and that's Real Family Life.
August 25, 2017
I believe that one of our main jobs as parents is to teach our children that this world isn't our home, and that we really are on a journey.  We need to teach our children to travel lightly, and to jetison anything that weighs us down. Here's what I mean.  All of us as Christians are traveling through life, with Heaven as our final destination.  But as the songwriter Rich Mullins put it years ago, "The stuff of earth competes for the allegiance I owe only to the Giver of all good things."  That's right, you know.  We can become distracted and weighed down by sin and the worries of this world.  Instead, let's train our children that life has a purpose beyond the here and now. One final thought.  Why don't you set aside some time tonight to talk to your children about traveling lightly?  And if they're old enough, you might even consider sending them on an overseas missions trip to a third world country.  Talk about gaining a better perspective on life! I'm Dennis Rainey, and that's Real FamilyLife.
August 24, 2017
If we're going to raise mission-minded children, then we need to make sure they understand the same three things that Jesus understood in John chapter 13.  The passage reads, "Now before the feast of the Passover, Jesus, knowing that His hour had come that He should depart out of this world to the Father, having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end."  First of all in this passage, Jesus knew He had come from God.  He knew who He was.  Secondly, He knew where He was going.  He was going back to God.  He knew that even death couldn't rob Him of His ultimate purpose.  Third, what did He do?  He rose and He served and ended up washing the disciples' feet. One final thought.  Our job as parents is to give our children a context of who they are and where they're going.  The rest is up to their heavenly Father. I'm Dennis Rainey, and that's Real FamilyLife.
August 23, 2017
Hmm.  You know, I'll never forget hearing Elisabeth Elliot speak one time at a singles conference.  And I don't remember how it came up, but she shared how her Dad prayed for all five of their children, and the people they would marry.  Know what?  All five of their children married the people he prayed for.   For example, when Elisabeth was only a child, her father spotted a young man who loved Jesus Christ and her dad began to pray for him.  His name? Jim Elliot.  Sure enough, in time Elisabeth married him.  And, of course, Jim Elliot's journals, even though he was only 25 years of age, are some of the deepest thoughts that came out of the church in the 20th century.  One final thought.  Maybe you as a parent can keep up your antennae, and spot someone to pray for that your child will marry.  Remember, God loves to answer prayer! I'm Dennis Rainey, don't stop praying, because that's Real FamilyLife.
August 22, 2017
I once was preparing to speak on the topic of accountability, when I came across a magazine article.  It described a practice gaining popularity among mountain climbers called, "Free Soloing."  The magazine showed a picture of a man on the face of a mountain hanging only by his fingertips.  The article went on to say that relying on ropes is out.  Depending on people is passé.  Climbers want the danger and thrill that comes from being on their own. You know, I've observed a number of Christian leaders who have fallen into sin and I've noticed something about all of them.  They had all been "free soloing."  They had refused to accept the safety and perspective that accountability provides. One final thought.  Is there anyone who holds you accountable for your actions?  Why don't you ask a good friend to help you in this area.  None of us were created for free soloing. I'm Dennis Rainey, and that's Real FamilyLife.
August 21, 2017
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500 Hours Together: A Family Time Challenge
There are 8,760 hours in a year. You’ll spend roughly 2,080 of those hours at work. On average, almost 900 hours swiping on social media. How much family time are you getting in? 

About Real FamilyLife®

Real FamilyLife® is conversational in nature and provides practical, biblical tools to address the issues affecting your family. You'll receive motivation, encouragement, and help.

About Dave and Ann Wilson

Dave and Ann Wilson are co-hosts of FamilyLife Today©, FamilyLife’s nationally-syndicated radio program.

Dave and Ann have been married for more than 40 years and have spent the last 35 teaching and mentoring couples and parents across the country. They have been featured speakers at FamilyLife’s Weekend to Remember® since 1993, and have also hosted their own marriage conferences across the country.

Dave and Ann helped plant Kensington Community Church in Detroit, Michigan where they served together in ministry for more than three decades, wrapping up their time at Kensington in 2020.

The Wilsons are the creative force behind DVD teaching series Rock Your Marriage and The Survival Guide To Parenting, as well as authors of the recently released books Vertical Marriage (Zondervan, 2019) and No Perfect Parents (Zondervan, 2021).

Dave is a graduate of the International School of Theology, where he received a Master of Divinity degree. A Ball State University Hall of Fame Quarterback, Dave served the Detroit Lions as Chaplain for thirty-three years. Ann attended the University of Kentucky. She has been active with Dave in ministry as a speaker, writer, small group leader, and mentor to countless women.

The Wilsons live in the Detroit area. They have three grown sons, CJ, Austin, and Cody, three daughters-in-law, and a growing number of grandchildren.

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