Real FamilyLife®

Dave and Ann Wilson

I Love It When …

September 15, 2017

Those ARE pretty special times.  Having children is one of the highest callings God has ever given Barbara and me.  There's no sweeter refrain than being called "Daddy" or "Mommy."  There's no more noble mission in all of life than wholeheartedly embracing the privilege of shaping the soul of a little boy or a little girl for the rest of their lives.  I doubt that at the end of your life, you could name a single thing that surpasses or even approaches the grand calling of being a parent.  It is indeed one of the highest and most holy callings of life.

One final thought.  If you're not already doing so, begin praying about your family together as a couple.  Ask God to enlarge your heart for children.  Ask Him to bless your marriage with children, and to give you wisdom in raising them.

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

at's Real FamilyLife. 

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There was a time parents chose between public, private, and home schooling.  Now there are also charter schools, and according to this young man, schools on the internet. I think we as parents need to look at three things in deciding where to send our children to school: First, our values.  Second, the needs of our individual children.  And third, our circumstances. My wife Barbara and I want our children to learn to share their faith with others that don't know Christ.  That value has had an influence on our decision to send them to public school.  When our children were younger, we home schooled because we felt that better served their needs at that time. One final thought.  People will have a lot of opinions about the best type of school for your children.  But the most important person to consider is your child.  Make sure you understand his needs, and you will make a good decision. I'm Dennis Rainey, and that's Real FamilyLife.
September 14, 2017
While that's a funny song from the Veggie Tales characters, the subject of the song is no laughing matter.  Sometimes, in our families, we get too busy for our own good.  The husband, in an effort to be a better provider, often plunges wholeheartedly into his work.  His wife, in an effort to be a great mother, often gives more focus to the children.  The husband and the wife can both be very busy. Now these may seem to be noble endeavors -- and they CAN be.  The problem is too often these busy people increasingly lead  SEPARATE lives.  We should never neglect our children, and we shouldn't neglect our marriage either. One final thought.  Sometimes, couples need time alone to recharge their relationship.  Let me encourage you to consider a regular date night.  A time for a husband and a wife to reconnect -- away from children, and away from the busyness. I'm Dennis Rainey, and that's Real, relaxed Family Life.
September 13, 2017
Life is full of decisions.  Even at a young age, this little girl is faced with a choice:  television or sleep?  Do you realize that every time you turn on the TV, you're choosing to not do something else?  It's important to choose wisely, especially if the time you have to spend with your family is limited. We can sit right next to our spouses or children while watching TV and end up calling it quality family time.  But normally, this is just what I call "communal couch potatoing."  Not much relating occurs while the tube does most of the talking. One final thought.  Tonight, turn off the TV.  You could pull out some games, read a book or even take a walk.  It could be one of the most enjoyable evenings you've had in a long time. I'm Dennis Rainey, and that's Real FamilyLife.
September 12, 2017
It's great to hear from a dad who values time with his son.  I once heard a story about the former pro athlete Bo Jackson and the way he learned to value the time he had with his children. After retiring from professional sports and spending more time at home, Bo began to notice that his children always went to their mother when times were tough.  He finally asked his wife, “Why do they go to you whenever they have a problem?”  His wife responded, “Because I get up with them every morning.”  That dad had been featured in popular shoe commercials that said, "Bo knows baseball.  Bo knows football."  But he realized he didn't know his children as well as he'd like.  He determined to start waking up with them and getting more involved in their lives. One final thought.  Men, how well are you getting to know your children -- truly know them?  Every moment you can spend with them is a precious opportunity. I'm Dennis Rainey, and that's Real FamilyLife.
September 11, 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.
September 8, 2017
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
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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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