Real FamilyLife®

Dave and Ann Wilson

Nobody's Fault

September 22, 2017

Although my wife and I technically had six children growing up in our home, occasionally we were visited by a seventh child named "Nobody." 

"Nobody" would do things like spill apple juice and peanut butter on the floor and then walk off and leave it.  When games and toys were strewn all over the floor, all six children would give Nobody the blame.  Of course, he never received credit for made beds or clean rooms.

I think our invisible child, "Nobody," is a reflection of the irresponsibility that we all can show from time to time.

One final thought.  Have you noticed a tendency in your own life to deny your faults?  When you have a disagreement, take responsibility for resolving it.  And when you make a mistake, admit it quickly.  Make sure there's not a "Nobody" living in your home.

I'm Dennis Rainey and that's Real FamilyLife.

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Here are some signs of isolation that you may notice in your marriage: First, a feeling that your spouse isn't hearing you and doesn't want to understand.  Perhaps there's an attitude of, "Who cares?" "Why try?"  "Tomorrow we'll talk about it--let's just get some sleep."  Or maybe it's a feeling of being unable to meet the expectations of your spouse, to really please them.  Another sign of isolation in marriage is a refusal to cope with what's really wrong: "That's your problem, not mine."  And finally, there's a feeling that keeping the peace by avoiding conflict is better than the pain of dealing with reality. If those sound are familiar to you, don't despair.  God loves to bring dead things to life, to reconcile relationships.  One final thought.  Fighting isolation takes a lot of hard work.  It starts with humility and admitting, "I'm a art of the problem," and recognizing that you're also a part of the solution.  Don't give up! I'm Dennis Rainey, and that's Real FamilyLife.
September 21, 2017
Just a few days before our second anniversary, Barbara went into labor with our first child.  After 24 hours of watching the agony, I nearly passed out.  I had to take a short walk, and when I returned, I was just in time to put on my scrubs.  When the doctor delivered our daughter, it was a magnificent moment.  We were both lost in the wonder and miracle of birth. At that point, the doctor could have said, "Well, do you want her?"  I could have pulled Barbara aside and said, "What do you think?  Her head is a little pointed."  Of course we didn't do that!  Through tears, we received our daughter as God's gift. One final thought.  If you have been given the gift of a child, why don't you thank God for your son or your daughter tonight.  Pull him or pull her aside, and give 'em a big hug, and him or her how thankful you are for God's gift. I'm Dennis Rainey, and that's Real Family Life.
September 20, 2017
Okay, guys, when your kids leave home, that's NOT time for unplugging from life, kicking back, and just relaxing.  Far from it!  But even if your children are young, I want to cast a vision for how you can become a patriarch. First, a patriarch is an influencer.  He builds relationships and leads others through those relationships.  Secondly, he's a protector.  He protects future generations using Biblical truth.  He protects them from the world's lies.  Which means you and I need to better know God's Word and stay "in it."  And third, he's a connector.  He builds relationships with succeeding generations and he connects them to the past. One final thought.  Your family responsibilities are far from over when the last child leaves home.  Just think of it as a transition to a new and exciting role God has for you: a patriarch. I'm Dennis Rainey, I'm trying to become a patriarch, and that's Real FamilyLife.
September 19, 2017
That is encouraging.  We as parents have a responsibility to teach our children to consistently tell the truth.  That can be difficult to do, because children are born with a natural tendency to lie. The prophet Jeremiah said, "The heart is more deceitful than all else and is desperately sick.  Who can understand it?"  Unfortunately, it's not just children who tend to be deceitful.  As adults, we're tempted to give phony reasons for not taking phone calls.  We can stretch the truth and make up excuses for getting out of commitments.  What kind of example is that setting for the next generation? One final thought.  All of us have deceitful hearts and need to guard that heart against telling lies.  If we as parents model integrity, we can then teach our children the importance of telling the truth. I'm Dennis Rainey, and that's Real FamilyLife.
September 18, 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. 
September 15, 2017
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
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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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