Dennis Rainey

Dennis Rainey cofounded FamilyLife®, a ministry of Cru®. Since the organization began in 1976 through 2017, Dennis’ leadership enabled FamilyLife to grow into a dynamic and vital ministry in more than 109 countries around the world helping families discover the joy God intended for their relationships with God, spouse, and kids.

Dennis has authored or co-authored more than 35 books, including best-selling Moments Together for Couples and Staying Close and has received two Golden Medallion Awards from the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association. In addition, he served as the senior editor of the HomeBuilders Couples Series®, which has sold over 3 million copies and has been translated into 47 languages.

A powerful and effective communicator, Dennis hosted the nationally-syndicated radio program FamilyLife Today® through early 2019 on more than 1,300 radio outlets in all 50 states. During his tenure on the program, FamilyLife Today was recipient of the National Religious Broadcasters Radio Program of the Year Award three times. Dennis serves on the Board of Directors of Dallas Theological Seminary.

Dennis and Barbara have been married since 1972 and love laughing with their six children and growing number of grandchildren. In his spare time, Dennis enjoys helping Barbara in their garden, reading great books, and pursuing his passions for hunting and fishing. They live near Little Rock, Arkansas and continue to serve with Cru, FamilyLife’s parent organization.

Episodes appearing in

My husband and I were trying to pick out colors for our bedroom. And we had picked out originally a green color. But then we thought that a coral color might be more romantic. So we went with the coral color. View Show Notes →
(RTR) Well, before we got married, my fiance and I would dig around in the cushions of the couch in my apartment, and we'd scrape together enough change to go to the 99-cent cinema around the corner. Then we'd probably have enough money to split an order View Show Notes →
When I was a teenager, my favorite place to hang out was church. Unbelievable for most teenagers, but church for me. The favorite place I hung out was the golf course… We had like a drag everyone would go down, and everyone would hang out at Sonic. View Show Notes →
One of the best ways that our family stuck together was our scheduled family reading time. And my dad, who was never an excellent reader, would read aloud to us. But he was so courageous and read aloud to us from some really wonderful, great Christian a View Show Notes →
After two years of marriage, we've really...I really think it's almost been like learning to ride a tandem bicycle. It's really what we've struggled with, is just becoming a team and doing our different roles together. View Show Notes →
I believe the last time I shared my faith was on an airplane trip and my seatmate and I were discussing things of the world, and we talked about faith and [I] shared a testimony. View Show Notes →
I was given the opportunity to move to Europe, and so I picked up my sweet wife and four boys and moved 'em to Europe. I guess that was one of the biggest decisions we ever had to make. And we made it rather quickly and went before we could change our m View Show Notes →
We never went in the attic. It was a little bit scary. It was dark, because we had to take a flashlight with us. It was hot, dirty. Just didn't want to deal with the junk that was up there. View Show Notes →
One thing that all parents should know is you don't tell your children, "No, you can't do that. No, you can't do that. No, you can't do that." Because the only they're going to get from that is, "Wow! I wonder if I can get away with this! View Show Notes →
BL: What does pressure sound like in your life Telephone, Mom!!, scream, View Show Notes →
Uh, It's cause I, umm…'cause I needed to get married - I was 30 years old. (Laughs) I was getting to be an old man!! View Show Notes →
BL: ...this is one woman’s advice to surviving a stepfamily. To laugh, to be silly, because there are rough times. There are struggles and obstacles and tears, but if you can laugh as a family I think you’re way ahead. View Show Notes →
What my dad taught me about debt was that it's not something that we should have. As far as credit cards go, he rarely used them. That was a great lesson that I've carried into my own marriage and family today. View Show Notes →
I tell her she looks good. I mean, she wears clothes, I say "hey babe, you look pretty good." You know, I tell her that, make her feel better about herself. I try to complement her when I can. She's pretty good at what she does. View Show Notes →
My wife and I had good friends. The husband came down with cancer. And the wife just showed Christ's unconditional love in serving him and their marriage, through that last year, continued to shine. View Show Notes →
For my wife, just like every so often, I plan a special little trip for her and usually some of her friends. She definitely enjoys the camaraderie. They come back, they're very giddy. It's frightening. View Show Notes →
The things that teenagers wear today that I think are strange are some of the piercings. I've been okay with some earrings, but when they start to wear tongue rings, that's just a little odd for me. View Show Notes →
I was a building contractor for fifteen years. If a builder didn't have blueprints, he wouldn't be able to follow the directions to construct whatever he was constructing properly. Generally, what happens is you end up rebuilding. View Show Notes →
I've run twenty marathons. Sometimes you have a good race and sometimes you have a bad race. But you always have to cross the finish line. The alternative of quitting is not there. So it's just a sense of completion. It builds perseverance in my life View Show Notes →
My wife will sacrifice her time for me. She will allow me to have time to do the things that I want to do, and will stay at home with the kids or whatever it takes for that to happen. That makes me feel very important. View Show Notes →
BL: This gentleman told us he fasts each year during the season of Lent. Sometimes I'll just fast one day a week, sometimes I'll do an extended fast, sometimes it might just be from coffee or from sweets. Obviously, it's to prepare my heart for Easter View Show Notes →
When something needs to be done, I just go ahead and get it done, 'cause I don't like things hanging over my head. But my husband, he values planning and he makes lists. And if it doesn't get done, it doesn't bother him. View Show Notes →
…We asked this gentleman if he agreed with the statement "what's true for me may not be true for you." Yeah. I'd say that, yeah. I mean, different people have got their own opinions of different things, so… View Show Notes →
I saw two bumper stickers on a truck. One said, 'I love my truck,' and the other one said, 'I love my wife,' and I think they were in that order." "If you can read this, I've lost my trailer" "Have you hugged your kid today? View Show Notes →
You know, back when Day Timers were popular, I tried using a Day Timer, I'd lose it. It sometimes feels hopeless! But I have found that it helps me to email myself or leave myself a voice mail at work. That's one way I remember things. View Show Notes →
I usually get up at like 7:30 when school starts. Then I have basketball practice, then I eat dinner. So it's like, 7:30 I start my homework, and then guitar lessons every Monday night. And then I have church Wednesday night. I go to bed at, like, 11 View Show Notes →
I think it's not as much "is there a right person?" as that there's a right person for right then. Marriage is something that should be made to last. But sometimes, you can still care for that person, but you know that they're not what you need. I mean, View Show Notes →
It's a lot harder to cleave than to leave, know what I mean? 'Cause leavin' is just movin' out, but cleavin' is a lot more than just movin' in!! View Show Notes →
My wife and I moved to a new city three months ago. And we wanted to find a church and get connected as quickly as possible. I think it just comes down to accountability. If we don't get connected quickly, then we start to get lazy spiritually. View Show Notes →
It's easy to have the wrong perspective of small, annoying circumstances. View Show Notes →
No matter how good your marriage is, I'll bet you could use a little more romance. View Show Notes →
Sometimes, thinking about death can give us the right perspective about life. View Show Notes →
Here's how you play "Hide and Go Seek." First there's a person who counts. And during that time you have to go hide up in a tree possibly. Behind a big rock, bushes, a tree. View Show Notes →
I wrote a letter to my mother-in-law on Mother's Day, and thanked her for raising her son, who is now my husband. And I just praised God for her Godly influence and for raising him to become the man he is today. View Show Notes →
Dalcie Rainey: I am really…I'm a proud mother. Very proud of him! He's turned out to be a mighty fine young man, I can tell you. View Show Notes →
Well, one of the ways that pressures change in life has to do with children. When your kids are at home, you have a lot more control over them, tell 'em where to go, and who to meet with…But when kids get older and they leave the house, all you can do is pray for them. View Show Notes →
When I was a teenager, my favorite place to hang out was church. Unbelievable for most teenagers, but church for me. . . .The favorite place I hung out was the golf course…We had like a drag everyone would go down, and everyone would hang out at Sonic. View Show Notes →
Our class had a lot of, I guess, bad seeds. Teachers, if they knew our class was next, were just dreading it. I knew what was right, and sometimes I would do it, and other times I would just do what wrong because it didn't seem like it was that big a deal. View Show Notes →
My daughter is nine months old and it's just so fun to hold her and squeeze her. She just smiles and giggles and enjoys it and it's just wonderful. View Show Notes →
When I became a teenager, I was taller than everyone in the class, so that was a big physical change for me - a little awkward and gawky. I fought a lot with my mom at that point. It was a hard transition. View Show Notes →
I thought I was in love because I couldn't stand not to be with this person. I wanted to be with him and I wanted to have his children. But you really don't know what true love is until you've been married for a while. View Show Notes →
Probably I complain about my children - they don't act the way I want them to. Maybe I don't just verbally complain but in my heart I complain - maybe the actions of my wife or other people's actions or something like that. View Show Notes →
I wish I would've had more godly input about remarriage, submission to husband, how to encourage my husband, it'd been nice to have had some help about stepparenting. View Show Notes →
When my son first started driving, he asked me, when we were going through the insurance process, could he be listed as a secondary driver, and I would be the primary, which would make the insurance much cheaper. And I said "Son, that's just not the right thing to do. He didn't like that, because it was money that was coming out of his pocket. But I think later on he did realize that was the right thing to do. View Show Notes →
I remember a time when I had to tell my fiancee - soon to be wife - about something from my past that I knew I had to tell her. But I knew it wasn't going to be fun, but I did it. It set the stage for where we communicate today, now fourteen years into marriage. View Show Notes →
Some things I appreciate about my wife are: she's kind, extremely supportive. Her hard labor is an asset to what I do. She's a hard worker. She hustles all day long. View Show Notes →
Well, the kitchen is a mess, because my children cleared the table so I doubt that they're even stacked up. The living room has toys and scraps of paper. I know of at least one dirty diaper sitting around in the bedroom. The toilets probably haven't even been flushed! View Show Notes →
31 years ago, when I married my wife, I told her I loved her, that day. And if I ever change my mind, I'll be sure and tell her that, too. View Show Notes →
I love my wife because of how much respect I have for her and all that she does for me. I love my wife because I think she's cute. View Show Notes →
Always gives me what I want, as long as it doesn't cost too much… He told me the other night how he loves that he comes home and the house is in order…When you're feeling down and blue and big and pregnant he tells me that he thinks I am the most beautiful woman in the world. View Show Notes →
I did not have family devotions growing up. I went to a Christian school and had a Christian home, but that was just something that we never did together. I think that it made it harder for me to be committed and do a daily devotion on my own. It made that harder. View Show Notes →
But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today, in the town of David, a Savior has been born to you. He is Christ, the Lord! This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger. Suddenly, a great company of the heavenly hosts appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom His favor rests! View Show Notes →
I remember when I was 29 years old. My dad was dying with cancer, and I had just made a major career change, my wife was unexpectedly pregnant with our first child. That all happened within a three-month period. It was hard. View Show Notes →
Mother just instilled in the family a sense of humor. And it's a release to be able to laugh and have your children enjoy it and grow up that way. View Show Notes →
As I sew a dress, picking out the material is really important. I take my measurements and adjust the pattern accordingly. And also make sure that I match up the patterns in the fabric so that my plaids match and my flowers match… View Show Notes →
My wife and I were both mentored by her cousin and his wife. And this ministry has went on now for over 30 years, and it's just been a wonderful thing to have someone to minister to you in that way. View Show Notes →
I don't know where we got it, but someone gave my wife and me a picture that says, "God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble," and my wife doesn't like, she wants to get rid of it because it's ugly. But I like the verse, so it's still in our house. View Show Notes →
It does hit on holidays, how you interact with extended family, even just food and grocery shopping. We've had to learn to figure out what are the best pieces that we need to really hang on to, and what are the pieces that it really doesn't matter and we can do without. View Show Notes →
I promised in sickness and in health, til death do us part, and I'm a man of my word. It's not that I have to, it's that I get to. View Show Notes →
As I'm raising my daughter, one of my favorite verses that I always cling to is Proverbs 22:6. "Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he will not depart from it. View Show Notes →
I don't look forward to growing old, but I do look forward to the time when the kids are out of the house, and we can spend more dedicated time together, and be more spontaneous. View Show Notes →
I'm a basketball player and it's a big deal to see how high you can jump. So my New Year's resolution is always to jump higher and increase that. And it seems like those first couple weeks, you're really dedicated and then it just kind of dies out. View Show Notes →
My daughter is about to turn two and we have a routine at night. We'll put her to bed and my wife and I will pray with her. We all join hands, kind of like a huddle. If we ever forget, she reminds us. She says, "Pray?" It's one of the words that she has learned. View Show Notes →
Some children at recess had signaled with the third middle finger. She was asking me what that meant, and why was it mean or not nice. View Show Notes →
He has seen me through cancer. You know, my hope is in the Lord. I truly cling to that, knowing that every day that I live is a gift from God. View Show Notes →
We just pray that our legacy as Christians will go forth into another generation, like lightning streaks going out, and just reaching into the hearts of other people. Just like our legacy is falling out in little streaks. View Show Notes →
I tell her she looks good. I mean, she wears clothes, I say "hey babe, you look pretty good." You know, I tell her that, make her feel better about herself. I try to complement her when I can. She's pretty good at what she does. View Show Notes →
My parents traveled to Israel. And we had been hearing about all the fighting there, so that kind of edged on us kids and we were a little bit worried. We realized that God was in control, and just prayed that they'd get back safely and have a fun time. View Show Notes →
Yesterday I observed my son changing his daughter's diaper. And I said, "Boy, Son, you've learned a lot since having kids. And I know he's learned a lot of other things about life other than changing diapers. View Show Notes →
I expect everybody does to a certain extent. You know, there's probably some things that you withold and you keep in your mind and you never talk about. But so many times it's better left unsaid. View Show Notes →
A parent's relationship with their teenagers is really important, especially in that junior high - high school period of time. And I just remember them setting some pretty strict rules that I needed to follow. And when I didn't - when I was in my rebellious stage - it got pretty bad. But they were constantly loving me and constantly encouraging me. View Show Notes →
After Thanksgiving, we use leftover turkey for sandwiches, a special turkey casserole, I have no idea what's in it. We make turkey croquettes, and then we throw the rest of the turkey away. View Show Notes →
I believe it's hardest to take criticism and be thankful for it, 'cause you can continue to grow, but it's hard to be thankful for it at first. View Show Notes →
We always went to my aunt and uncle's outside of Milwaukee. And we ate and watched football games and went on walks and just had a good time talking. We did that at least twenty years. I look back on that now and it's a priceless memory. View Show Notes →
(Brittish accent) I don't know what Thanksgiving's all about. Giving thanks for the birth of Christ? Isn't it? Is it nothing to do with the fact that it's before Christmas? We don't have Thanksgiving. I don't know what it is. View Show Notes →
It's a frustration of a parent not being able to get into the shoes of their teenager. The only way to get around that is to just thank God in everything they do, and God will bring you through it. View Show Notes →
My ex-husband has not had any contact with our daughter in almost two years now. And just doesn't show any sign of any interest… Has no idea what it's like to really be a man and take care of his family. View Show Notes →
My ex-husband has not had any contact with our daughter in almost two years now. And just doesn't show any sign of any interest… Has no idea what it's like to really be a man and take care of his family. View Show Notes →
Do you love your spouse for what they do for you, or for who they are? View Show Notes →
Men, are you communicating love to your wives? View Show Notes →
Whether it's alcohol, drugs, food, or sex, any addiction is first and foremost a spiritual problem. View Show Notes →
As a parent, do you have any goals? View Show Notes →
Now tell the truth. Why did you get married? Seriously. Was it for sex? Romance? Security? To have children? Why did you get married? View Show Notes →
Besides making New Year's resolutions, what are some other ways you can look ahead and be purposeful about your life this coming year? View Show Notes →
Let me ask you a question. Do your children know they're travelers? View Show Notes →
Raising mission-minded children is not easy in today's self-absorbed culture. But it IS possible. View Show Notes →
As a Christian, you believe in the power of prayer, right?But how often do you pray for your child's future spouse? View Show Notes →
We all need someone to help us see danger before we stumble into it. View Show Notes →
In the midst of all your family's Christmas activities, whatever you do, don't forget Christ. View Show Notes →
In your family, do traditions serve people?Or do people serve traditions? View Show Notes →
When is the last time you had a good laugh with your family? View Show Notes →
Imagine what it might have been like that day by the lake almost 2000 years ago. What if Jesus had asked YOU to be one of His twelve disciples? View Show Notes →
If you could trade your child for another one ... would you? View Show Notes →
What do you enjoy most about being a parent? View Show Notes →
What keeps you from having deep, meaningful communication with your spouse? View Show Notes →
Being a parent should cause you to stop thinking about yourself. View Show Notes →
Why do you think more married couples don't pray together? View Show Notes →
How was conflict and anger dealt with in your home? Did you get it out in the open or did you stuff it? View Show Notes →
The greatest way I can build our country is to help my family grow in faith. View Show Notes →
You don't keep score against your own teamates. View Show Notes →
Have you ever compared your marriage to a business partnership? View Show Notes →
What do you want your child to accomplish in life? View Show Notes →
God inclines His ear to those who pray. Dennis and Barbara Rainey swap stories of answered prayer with Ed and Wendy Bjurstrom. Hear what God is doing in the lives of these couples. View Show Notes →
What is keeping you from praying with your spouse? Dennis and Barbara Rainey talk about the challenges they've faced when trying to pray together on a regular basis. View Show Notes →
Dennis and Barbara Rainey talk about the joys of praying together as a couple. Mitchell and Beth Dean are their special guests. View Show Notes →