Real FamilyLife®

Dave and Ann Wilson

Here's The Strategy

September 8, 2017

You know, the Bible gives an outline for a godly approach to discipline.  There are four aspects that apply to disciplining children, regardless of their age.  First, you teach them.  From the very beginning a child needs to learn right and wrong, obedience, and respect for authority.  Second, reproof.  This is the process of pointing out what is wrong with a particular behavior.  Third, correction.  Bringing the child back to the right way.  Fourth, training in righteousness.  This includes ongoing coaching, positive re-enforcement, and day-to-day encouragement that every person needs.

One final thought.  We all want children that are well-behaved and possess good manners.  If you can apply these four aspects of parenting, and if you can be consistent with them, it's likely that you'll be pleased with the result when your child grows up.

I'm Dennis Rainey, and that's Real Family Life.

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Good for that dad.  He used the opportunity to model character for his son. Character says, "You can count on me to do what's right at any cost."  I think we should all periodically ask some tough questions of ourselves to determine whether we're truly modeling character.  Questions like: Am I honest, even in the small things? Do people constantly have to remind me to get things done? When I make my children promises, do they believe me? Do I habitually forget to follow through? One final thought.  Your children know whether your life is marked by compromise or by dependability.  Through your example, teach them what it means to have character. I'm Dennis Rainey, and that's Real FamilyLife.
September 7, 2017
There are certain things that should never be hidden between a husband and wife.  Marriages need to be safe places where difficult issues can be shared without fear. My wife, Barbara, has an inscription on the inside of her wedding band that reads, "I John 4:18."  It's there to remind both of us the importance of transparency in our relationship.  That verse reads, "There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out all fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love."  From the beginning of our marriage, we knew our love required us to be open and honest with no fear. One final thought.  Are you and your mate being perfected in love?  It involves letting your guard down and being honest about your deepest thoughts, feelings and needs.  Take some time tonight to open up to your spouse.  Show love with no fear. I'm Dennis Rainey, and that's Real FamilyLife.
September 6, 2017
Men, what do you appreciate about your wife?  Here’s a list of some qualities you could praise her for.  I hope it kind of jump starts your thinking.   First of all, praise her for her charm, femininity, and beauty. Her faithfulness to God, to you, and to your children. Maybe it's her personality you appreciate.  Her character and hard work. What about her advice and counsel that she gives you? Her love and friendship. We as husbands need to consistently praise our wives for qualities like these.   One final thought.  If you're a husband why don't you take five minutes right now and jot down some of the qualities you appreciate most about your wife?  Then, I want to encourage you to share them with her tonight over dinner.  She's most likely longing to hear those words of affirmation from you. I’m Dennis Rainey, and that’s Real FamilyLife
September 5, 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.
September 4, 2017
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
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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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