Welcome to TheRaineys.org!
It was the summer of 1971 and a good friend of mine came to me seeking counsel. She was in a dating relationship with a man who was hot and cold about their relationship, and she needed some counsel and encouragement. I asked my friend two questions that, as she answered them in the weeks that followed, gave her the courage to break off the relationship.
I asked her if she believed if God was big enough to provide her with a man that she could love more than the man she’d been dating? She replied, “Of course.”
And I told her a story of a young boy, Johnny, who was playing in his front yard when his uncle Jim pulled into the driveway. His uncle walked over to him, bent down on one knee and reached into his pocket and pulled out a shiny dime and crisp dollar bill. Holding the dime in one hand and the dollar in the other looked Johnny in the eyes and asked him a question. “Johnny boy, would you like a dime today or a dollar next week?”
Johnny’s eyes brightened with glee as they bounced back and forth from the dime to the dollar. Johnny pondered what he could buy with each … he could snag a rubber ball with the dollar or a package of potato chips with the dime. (This was when a dime could buy a package of chips.) Johnny was hit with a hunger pang, so he reached up with his hand and grabbed the dime, said thanks to his uncle, and went to the store for some chips. He ate then all—they were so tasty.
Well, next week rolled around and Johnny noticed that every boy in his neighborhood was playing with a rubber ball. So he jumped on his bike and made his way to his uncle’s house and knocked on the door. The door creaked open and his uncle looked down at Johnny and asked him what he needed. Johnny replied, “Hey Uncle Jim, I came for that dollar you promised me!”
Shaking his head, his uncle bent down and said, “No, Johnny boy. Don’t you remember? I promised you a dime today or a dollar next week … and you took the dime, so you can’t have the dollar.”
As I finished the story with my friend, I asked her a second question, “Do you believe that perhaps the guy you are dating is God’s dime and that He has a dollar for you later on?” She nodded.
I didn’t realize it at that time, but that good friend, Barbara Ann Peterson, would one year later become Barbara Ann Rainey, my bride! And when sharing this story I grin and love saying, “And you are looking at Barbara’s DOLLAR!”
Two became eight
After we dated for a couple of months, I, Dennis, was convinced I’d found my dollar and asked Barbara to marry me via a long distance call at 2 a.m. her time. She said yes. And the next morning I had a dozen roses delivered to her. Six weeks later we were married. That time of dating and engagement is that’s a much longer story that I won’t expand on here.
God’s favor also rested on us from the very beginning. Two became one and over the next dozen years he blessed us with six children. First came a little girl, Ashley … then Benjamin, Samuel, Rebecca, Deborah, and Laura. We experienced Psalm 127:3-5 that children are a heritage, a reward, a blessing, and generational messengers.
We like to say that early on, we mistakenly thought that God gave us six children to help them grow up. But in the process of fulfilling our duties as parents we discovered that these six were designed by Him to help us grow up!
Our four daughters and two sons would all marry, and God has indeed blessed them too … God willing, two more grandchildren will be born by the end of the summer of 2020 and we’ll have 26 grandchildren! As Psalm 16:6 says, “Indeed, my (our) heritage is beautiful to me (us).”
Origins of a vision
In 1976 we joined Don and Sally Meredith and Mick and Helen Yoder and started FamilyLife. We were very young and had only been married four years. We were inexperienced in marriage and family issues, including the leadership needed to start an organization. We said “yes” to God’s call on our lives because for five years we’d seen the breakdown of the family and its impact as we’d worked with teens and college students. We also knew that there were three relationships in life that we were not naturally gifted in achieving success:
· Our relationship with God
· Our marriage relationship and our responsibilities as husband and wife
· Our relationship with our children and what God expects of a mom and dad.
Yes, we wanted to serve God and His agenda. But selfishly it sounded quite enticing that we could be paid to work in a job where we studied and learned God’s blueprints for knowing Him and His design for our marriage and family.
So our parent organization, Cru, asked us to be a part of a small team to launch what was then called the “Marriage Preparation and Family Emphasis.” Cru gave us the platform to begin training all the engaged couples who were on Cru staff at a conference that ultimately became “The Weekend to Remember.”
We had no idea that as we grew in wisdom in each of those relationships we would have the privilege of leading an organization that God would use to touch millions of lives, marriages and families in more than 110 countries globally. We even tried to quit a couple times, but He wouldn’t let us leave. We like to say that FamilyLife grew into a worldwide ministry in spite of us … certainly not because of us!
Over the years we learned that family is the DNA of every person and is a language that is spoken in every country around the world. What a wonderful conduit to open up a conversation with people about Jesus and their relationship with God.
As Barbara and I remember the last four decades we both marvel at how God took us, a pair of selfish, broken human beings, and used us to bring the gospel of Jesus Christ and His blueprints to help people in life’s most important relationships … God, marriage, and parenting. Our response to this journey of a lifetime is found in the apostle Paul’s words in Ephesians 3:20-21: “Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.”
Succession and transition to a new season
At our initiative we transitioned out of being President and CEO of FamilyLife because we knew that this ministry would need a next-generation leader to effectively multiply its impact to the generations that followed. In December 2017 we made a successful handoff to David and Meg Robbins, a couple who we predict will have a great impact in marriages and families globally.
As the process of succession and our transition began, we asked the leadership of our parent organization, Cru, if we could help steward the resources and content that we had created. As we looked to the future we clearly saw a huge opportunity and a unique passion to utilize the biblically based material in our next season of ministry. They generously agreed, helping Barbara establish an organization, Ever Thine Home, International, and giving us stewardship of the resources and content we had created.
Because we didn’t believe in “retirement,” Barbara and I had prayed for years about what our next season might look like after stepping out of leadership of FamilyLife. We didn’t want to kick into neutral and “rust out.” Instead we wanted to purposefully “wear out” and join God in what He is doing in this generation (Acts 13:36).
We wanted to continue to love on, invest in and cheer on our children, their spouses, and a growing number of incredible grandchildren. We also wanted to continue equipping men and women, husbands and wives, fathers and mothers, and grandparents to fulfill God’s generational assignment for them in the Great Commission. We desire to continue helping the staff of Cru, the church and the generations that follow in living out a courageous faith and passing our love for Jesus Christ to future generations.
Our prayers ultimately narrowed down to one word and two questions. The word? Leverage, because it was just the two of us … we had to find ways of helping people without building a big organization.
That led us to the two questions:
· How could we leverage the content we’ve created?
· How can we leverage who we are—our experience, wisdom, gifts, and dreams?
Birth of a new strategic direction and a new channel for executing it
Our journey resulted in two years of praying, dreaming, getting counsel from trusted friends, planning and carefully taking an inventory of all that we’ve created over the past 40+ years. And it’s a lot—we estimate close to 50 million words or spoken and written content all based upon the timeless truth of Scripture. The following is a high level look:
· Two 365-day devotionals for couples from two books that sold over a million copies … a daily devo for couples available free if you wish to subscribe. And after you finish that one, we’ll give you another one to finish in the following year.
· Over 6,250 radio programs, that biblically address hundreds of subjects around life, marriage and family.
· Barbara has created a website called EverThineHome.com where she offers help to parents and grandparents of some of the 100+ resources she has created. She also writes a blog post each week to over 30,000 subscribers and has over 500 blog posts that you can access when you subscribe at: www.everthinehome.com
· More than 300 articles on marriage and family issues that we have written individually and as a couple.
· 35 books and Bible studies that we authored or co-authored.
· A number of videos and video series on marriage, parenting and manhood issues.
· And we want to continue writing, podcasting, and doing videos on line.
Over the past decade one of those friends who spoke into our lives and ministry is Pat Gelsinger, CEO of VMWare. Pat has repeatedly challenged us to “think from digital” (source your strategy and design your content/ministry from a digital platform) rather than “thinking to digital.”
We’ve finally been able to execute his exhortation. Since most of the content listed above is in a digital format, we explored what our options were for utilizing and leveraging new content we’re working on and proven legacy content that has already helped millions and can help millions more globally.
After exploring all kinds of options, TheRaineys.org was birthed. This is a biblically based, resource-rich platform that will digitally deliver and leverage the content you need in the way you wish to receive it … mobile, text, audio, video, and perhaps someday an app. It’s all designed to grow your courage and your faith to face the issues that this culture is throwing at you, your marriage and your children and grandchildren.
Welcome to TheRaineys.org. We want to be your “go to” trusted website for your life and your most important relationships. We’ve loaded this website with some of the very best, nutritious morsels for your spiritual pallet to enjoy … with more to follow. As you explore our modest website, we wanted you to be aware that less than 25 percent of what’s been created and will be created is currently loaded on to our digital platform.
Stay tuned and keep in touch … you will find that we have several innovative surprises for you!
Lace up your hiking boots, and enjoy the great adventure that God has custom-designed for you, your spouse and your children and grandchildren,
Dennis and Barbara
Dennis & Barbara Rainey are co-founders of FamilyLife, a subsidiary of Cru. Since the organization began in 1976, for more than 41 years the Raineys’ leadership enabled FamilyLife to grow into a dynamic and vital ministry that offers families blueprints for living godly lives, marriages, and families in more than 110 countries around the world.
The Raineys have authored or co-authored 35 books, including the best-selling Moments Together for Couples and The Art of Parenting. They served as the senior editors of the HomeBuilders Couples Series® which has sold over three million copies and has been translated into 47 languages. Barbara has authored a number of books including Letters to My Daughters: The Art of being a Wife, Thanksgiving: A Time to Remember, and the Growing Together Family Series. Books written by Dennis include Interviewing Your Daughter’s Dates, Stepping Up: A Call for Courageous Manhood and Choosing a Life that Matters.
From 1992 until 2019, Dennis and Barbara were heard on the nationally syndicated radio program FamilyLife Today® on more than 1300 radio stations in nearly all 50 states. FamilyLife Today received the National Religious Broadcasters Radio Program of the Year Award three times. Dennis serves on the board of directors of Dallas Theological Seminary and Barbara serves on the Christian Alliance for Orphans board.
Together they have spoken at over 150 Weekend to Remember® marriage getaways across the United States and internationally. Dennis has also spoken for Promise Keepers stadium events, YPO University Fellowship Forum, FamilyLife’s I Still Do™ arena events, and has testified on family issues before Congress.
In 2011 Barbara launched a blog and product line called Ever Thine Home®. This new line of home décor and teaching tools for families makes it easy for women to express faith at home in a way that is both biblical and beautiful. Her blog touches nearly 20,000 women each week with practical advice on being a woman, wife and mother. You can read more about Barbara’s work at EverThineHome.com.
Both Dennis and Barbara graduated from the University of Arkansas. Dennis holds a master’s degree in biblical studies from Dallas Theological Seminary and was awarded an honorary doctorate from Trinity Evangelical University and Divinity School.
Dennis and Barbara have been married since 1972 and love laughing and doing life with one another, their six children and their spouses, and 24 grandchildren. In their spare time, Dennis enjoys helping Barbara in their garden, they both love reading great books, and going on adventures together … a recent fave was viewing a total eclipse in Provident, Kentucky. They live near Little Rock, Arkansas, on a ridge that witnesses spectacular sunsets and overlooks 13 ridges of the Ouachita National Forest.