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Dennis Rainey’s Legacy

Family Life Today / Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine
The Truth Network Radio
May 27, 2021 2:00 am

Dennis Rainey’s Legacy

Family Life Today / Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine

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May 27, 2021 2:00 am

As part of his farewell week, and in honor of Dennis Rainey's friendship and influence, Bob Lepine remembers their history, things Dennis has taught, and the legacy he has passed on to so many.

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Truth for Life
Alistair Begg
Family Life Today
Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine
Connect with Skip Heitzig
Skip Heitzig
Truth for Life
Alistair Begg
Beacon Baptist
Gregory N. Barkman

And welcome to family life today. Thanks for joining us.

Her hosts are David and Wilson on Bob team.

You can find us you know you cannot spend the number of hours the number of years. I mean if you put them in hours, it would still be years I've been in this studio for 26 years with Dennis Rainey and then for the last 2+ years with you guys. You can't spend that much time together with people without influencing one another you yeah but rubbing off on you and were spending some time this week. Looking back at the last 28+ years because were ripened things up this week for me this is the last week. I'll be on family life today as a cohost with you guys.

You guys will take it from here. So were looking back at the last 28 years and the many lessons.

Honestly, I wish I could put a list of about 80 lessons over the high-handed say what are the things that have really marked me over the years, but I wanted to share with listeners.

Those of you who have been along with us for an extended period of time. I know you been marked by some of these things you just need to know I have two if you were tuned and going. Those guys have got it together and I need help with. You just need to know we need help to and is we have guests come in with how many days have you guys left the studio after we've had a guest gone boy I needed to hear that almost every day.

Every time were done recording me think I have grown and learned so much so inspired, and no one can be around you. Bob and Dennis without being marked and so it's fine to get looking over and now she is in your eyes, and Bob's feeling over there. You know I am just settled in the fact that this transition is this is God's timing. I've been confident in that from the beginning, and people of said so has its feel. How are you doing that and and asked me six months from now when I have been doing it if I'm sure will be a different rhythm of life, but I'm just confident this is God's purpose and God's timing and I'm grateful for how God has used this program over the last 28 years. I'm grateful for the way God is built into my life over the last 28 years and I'm also thrilled about the fact that the next 28 beers which will include you, but will go beyond you say what you hear for.

But my prayer is that when you step out takes. I was thinking about this like the today show, the today show's been on forever right yeah you go back into the 60s they were doing the today show and they woke up every morning. Whoever it was that was different people during the years but they brought to the news. They talked about your life. We have up a little bigger purpose. I think that the today show because were point people to Jesus every day, but at the end of the day it's not about us.

Now that it's about the mission and so and handing things off to you guys and then you guys handing it off to whoever's next. We just want to see the legacy continue yeah we do but same time, it's you know it's hard when you're the listener in your favor quarterback is you know right off into the sun and right.

Nothing inside here. Next thing in life doing pastoring of his church and a lot of things but it's it's a bittersweet week. That is a bittersweet week and I will. We can't let this week pass without thinking about the impact that all three of us have experienced from Dennis Rainey, the founder and and then president of family life and who sat here in this room with me for 26 years and both of us learned and grew, but he was Dennis was he's eight years older than me going and so his kids were always like six grades ahead of our kids step ahead, his marriage was always one season ahead of our marriage so I'm just soaking it in everyday here and what he's going through and go on. Oh yeah the empty nest will come for us. We better be ready for that all you teenagers there to be like this. I better get ready for that. All of these things I was learning from Dennis and the years. As we learned together so II thought today I go, what were the core things from Dennis that have marked me in the 28 years because that's been a big part of all of this and it all goes back to before we recorded our very first radio program will tell you the story okay telecare yeah Dennis called me in May 1992 I was living in San Antonio.

I had interviewed him twice on my call-in talk show in San Antonio. Risa Buckley crosscurrents. We got on the phone line with us to present from family life. Dennis Rainey hey Dennis how you doing I interviewed him I hung up from the interview, thinking he was pretty good guest. He hung up going. He was a better than average interviewer, so we have that. That's all we knew of each other.

He calls me one day and made any said or think about certain radio program.

We need some help.

I said you looking for consultant Lisa know somebody full-time. I said are you going to move the ministry of San Antonio. He said I said well I sent were happy here.

We like what were doing. I said you know I will be open one of the Lord has but I can't see us moving well.

Fast-forward five months God made it clear to Marianne and me. This is where we were supposed to be, but I remember sitting in a conference room with Dennis and Dennis, I got a question ask you but this is our first meeting. It's kind of a job interview, but I'm really thinking I'm not coming to Little Rock Hinsdale in San Antonio so I wasn't treating them like a job interview like I get the questions right. So he says mask.

It does marriage and family, does it make you weep and pound the table and I thought okay do I weep and pound the table about marriage and family. I said, here's what makes me weep and pound the table. Theology makes me weep and pound the faith and understanding God understanding the Bible getting that right.

That makes me that's what keeps me up at night. I said to the extent that marriage and family is on the heart of God. Then yeah I'm passionate about it and I don't know. Again, if that was the wrong answer. He hired me, so it couldn't.

Here's what I didn't realize when he asked that question.

I did not realize how much marriage and family is on the heart of God.

Dennis did. I don't know if he understood it instinctively or if he understood from reading the Scriptures, or some combination.

This is cough. She knew that marriage and family is central to God's purposes for humankind being lived out and for human flourishing.

I saw it as kind of an important thing, but not as essential as he sought. I remember years later, looking at the great commandment in Matthew 22 where it says the greatest commandment to love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength. I thought about Matt. That's answer number one for me.

But what makes me weep and on the table is theology knowing God, and the second is like unto it. Love your neighbor as yourself. And we always think about your neighbor as being the next-door person or the guy at church.

What I realized over the years is I'm married to my neighbor. My closest neighbors. My wife, my next closest neighbors down the hall. My kids everything that the Bible has to say about how we get along with one another in the horizontal plane is really about marriage. So when the Bible says be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another.

That's a marriage first when the Bible says encourage one another when the Bible says if if your brother is in need do that. Those are marriage passages, and I didn't see that as me and the centralism was so when I said yes were coming to family life in August 1992. Dennis sent me a cassette album of him and Barbara teaching through building your mates self-esteem.

The book could come out a few years before that and Marianne and I and the kids. We were headed on a family vacation to Colorado before I'd even come here to start my first day at work so I take the cassette album and were listening to Dennis Rainey types. This is my new boss. I got to do a radio show with this guy I better know what it's all about what was either tape three or tape four in that series on building your mates self-esteem where he takes this little excursus and talks about the power of honoring your parents, which I'm thing about is this have to do with your mates self-esteem while he explains that it has a lot to do with everything about your relationship, but I remember listening to this idea of honoring your parents and going. Nobody's talking about that for adult kids. Yeah we tell our little kids. Honor your mom and your dad, but Dennis, I remember him saying there's no expiration date on the fifth commandment. It's not like you turned 21 and then you don't have to do that one anymore. I thought that's right. We remember hearing that for the first time two and we can stop death yes Alyssa, listen to, here's him explaining how this became a life message for him. This is amazing. I want to venture back to the summer of 1966. I just graduated from high school and I stood on the white gravel chat driveway that had a basketball goal against the garage where I shot a billion shots and my mom and dad were standing there. My mom seemed awfully small that day as I loaded up my Bel Air Chevrolet four-door six-cylinder shift. My dad wouldn't trust me with a V-8 and I wouldn't have either and I was saying goodbye to my parents as I was leaving for college had to be God.

He prompted me to look my mom and dad in the and tell him I think for the first time in my life. I love you. I backed out of the driveway and headed out and looked over my shoulder at my mom and dad standing there. It was an incredible moment. So much so it took almost a decade later before I reflected on that and begin to realize that I had been a neglectful son. Assuming their love. Assuming their presence and as I had started in the high school ministry of campus Crusade for Christ. Some years later I spoke to high school students about honoring their parents get very quiet in the room. I then spoke to college students and young men and women come in on staff with crew and after I spoke about the forgotten commandment they would come and stand in line to tell the stories of abusive fathers of fathers that they had neglected to honor one person handed me this note. After the class was over dear Dennis, I appreciate your talk today. It brought back some memories I have about my dad that I would like to share with you every day that I can remember my dad took me hug me kiss me and said good night and every night he verbally told me that he loved me.

My dad died for 1/2 years ago when I was a freshman in college I was with him that night when he died that night.

He hugged me, kiss me, told me he loved me and I was too embarrassed to tell him that I loved him. He died of a sudden heart attack two half hours after I went to bed. I remember standing over his body saying dad I love you I love but it was a couple hours too late. I think God in his providence, put us in families to teach us a lot of lessons and when we are obedient to his word, we not only get to know him in the process because it says he discloses himself to those who obey him, but we also grow spiritually as we honor our parents reflecting back on that driveway experience, 1966. Some years later.

In fact, a decade to be exact. My dad died I had spent the previous 10 years in a very baby step way of attempting to honor my dad let him know that I left him appreciated him, and just sought him out to let him know how much I cared about him. Still, as they summarized his life in a 3035 minute ceremony, life didn't seem very fair.

How could you summarize such a great man's life in such a brief period of time and so I said about to write a tribute to my mom, I'd like to say that I finished in that year in 1976 I didn't.

It was 1982 before I finished my tribute to my mom. I sent that tribute to my mom instead of taking it to her and reading to her and when she got it on a cold February day, she called me on the phone and she said is this about your amino mom this about me and I said sure is mom she hung it right above where she had breakfast every day. She made the mailman reading the repair man. The plumber there is a lot of captive people who had ultimately read that tribute. Why is that why because parenting is hard work really hard work, then a lot of things in my life. Let a lot of different endeavors. Nothing was as challenging as raising four teenagers at one time and then raising all six of the teenage years pressing me to Jesus Christ.

I'm telling there's a lot of exhaustion about being a parent and in your later years he began to realize that parents don't get the appreciation and the praise that they deserve what you think God wants us to honor our parents well I think first of all, because honoring our parents is foundational to any nation versus the summer of 1992 and hearing Dennis for the first time. Talk about keeping the fifth commandment, even as an adult needs to be talked about. I needed to hear it.

We all do. I remember when when I got here. I said were put in that message on family life to it was weak. One that we shared that message really have to tuck you we thought okay if were to do this. People are gonna want some kind of a guide, a little booklet on how do I write a tribute and so I said will offer a booklet and then some is gonna write it, Bo hi, who worked here. Dave's capital booklet together.

Well we aired at the first week we were on family life to a David not yet written the booklet and I'm offering the book and people are calling and going Chi get that fed next to me. I needed now and were going but doesn't exist yet.

As soon as we can.

That's when we recognize that just really resonated with people such a powerful yeah I mean I ended up getting the book, yeah, when Dennis ended up right in the book called the tribute at the time, now called the forgotten commandment, but I Rhoda tribute to my mom and just like Dennis is mom she put it great that we had given her a lot of guess that was the most precious gift she ever got. Thank you Dennis for iron us to do it. I ended up writing tribute to Mike. Both my mom and my dad. I put it in a scrapbook for there may be their 60th wedding anniversary.

But I had my brothers and my sister writing to as well as all of their grandsons because they didn't have any granddaughters. I'm telling you, I became went through it hundreds of times and they left it out on your coffee table so everyone could look at it when he came in, I would say to a listers who warned around and 92 more in the years when we talked about this.

This idea of honoring your parents and you go but you don't know my parents you don't know my story, Dennis's book is still available. Get a copy of the forgotten commandment, read it, meditate on it figure out how you can speak words of honor to your parents about it and how do I do this. The thing that I saw over and over again about Dennis is that when it came to marriage and family. I was much more reactive. Dennis was much more intentional. He was purposeful about his marriage and family.

I was kinda like well adjust.

He came in with a game plan. I came in in the middle of the game and said okay. When we do what we do and yet what place should we call this time so his intentionality spoke volumes to me about the need, not just to be reactive, but as a husband as a father to have a game plan to know where you're going to be purposeful to be intentional and I don't know that II had that word assigned to it.

I don't know that intentionality was a word I put to it immediately, but I remember Dennis talking about the word that his kids would use to define him and that was the word. In fact, he shared the story.

At one point this is this is kind of fun to listen to listen to them tell this number of years ago had the privilege of walk watching my baseball team. The Cardinals play in the World Series. All right. Unfortunately we were doing too well this one game and I have my son there with me. Benjamin and the guy who had hosted us turned to me and he and that man and he turned to Benny's admin what word would you use to describe your dad and I thought this would be good to be love kind, generous, great dad. You know what, what's he going to say so I listened in and then said oh that's easy.

Intentional I look at my son I said son you come from better stock than that you can do a better word.

The map catcher that finds you that's that's who you are. You are intentional, as you've raised this kids as you love mom as we go about her family are very intentional about what you do when so next time our family got together. I got altogether nested now what you all think about this word that then used to describe me now start nodding their heads, so I decide I had to learn to like it. Actually it is a good word because being intentional for the right thing can make a huge difference. It's a fun story right to the point that it drives home is that intentionality matters how much different would marriages and families be if husbands and wives would said working to be intentional about this word and have a game plan. We know where were going. We know what the goal is we know what were trying to accomplish in all of this that's not how we started our marriage that's been an evolving process for me.

I wish I could go back to the beginning and have that sense of purpose in year one, but just to have it dawned on me and have it start to creep into what our marriage and families been one of the ways Dennis is marked my life by making me more intentional. Be interesting to know what your kids and say they will worry what word would be for you for us. I had never even heard that concept about family until Dennis Rainey. I had heard about our walks with God, but not about family, and I think Dennis and Barbara have probably shaped us more than almost anything besides Jesus letting you go back to what we talked about earlier marriage and family is huge in the plan of God right and I want to single listers to hear this to singleness is a gift from God to hear more about that this week but most people are to be called the marriage and this is central to God's design for humanity more central than we realized. And so, if it's that important. Be intentional about what's important which really goes to the last thing on this is something you guys have talked about recently in your book. No perfect parents you've talked about the significance. The importance the power of legacy that was a big word for Dennis. It's not a word that I came to family life focused on or thinking that much about. And yet, I began to realize as Dennis says everybody's leaving a legacy. It's not a question of whether you leave a legacy.

The only question is what legacy will you leave and that's when I started thinking I better think more about this.

I wonder at my game. Listen to what Dennis shares as he talks about the power the importance of our legacy. I believe the family is a legacy factory. It is the incubator where relationships are forged and where the truth from one generation are passed down to another. It is the most powerful place where a legacy can be shaped and given to the next generation. And that's why I'm afraid as we talk about legacy the word that we instantly go to is inheritance we think about how much money we want to leave the next generation and I don't think that's the right question now don't think it's wrong to leave an inheritance to the next generation that the proverb says a good man leaves an inheritance to his children, but I think the most important legacies that are left are those in the heart, character, fun memories, people who loved each other and there were relationships that were meaningful. A life that was lived on purpose that had a sense of mission was about what what God wanted. Also just the issue of identity passing on what it means to be a man to be a woman how a man and woman relate to each other in the marriage relationship. I think those are important parts of our legacies today that we don't talk enough about. That's a big word and Dennis helped me he really did call me up to say okay what's my legacy gonna be Michael Easley in the art of marriage video series.

He said you know most people are to remember you. 10 years from now people won't remember your name. He said, but your kids will your grandkids might. So the question is are you making the deposits there. You need to make. Are you investing where you need to invest are you leaving a godly legacy.

The psalmist says behold my heritage is beautiful, can look back and say I've been given a great gift I been given a heritage that is beautiful and we leave legacies we inherit heritage so I want my kids to be able look back and say my heritage is a beautiful heritage yeah you know is we've been talking Dennis inspired me us to think legacy and Bob Lapine has inspired us to think legacy so you guys have a legacy were part of it. And part of a family of today as we hope to carry on that legacy of literally life-changing legacies around the world that we could be spreading the word of God and the God's heart family and helping literally change you know maybe ungodly legacies together legacies. I think that were hoping to point people to Jesus, and I believe you really have done after 20 years alongside Dennis and Barbara and Mary and you guys have continually taken us back to the truth of God's word and importance of what a family on you guys need to know how thrilling it is to know that when you step away. Things don't get different than the same focus the same person is the same passion the same goals are still in place. I ran relay races and track in high school and to know when you hand off the baton that the person who's running the next leg is running just as fast and just as hard as they can to run the race just like you were doing before them like the person before was doing before them. So that's what I'm thrilled about as I think about the baton hand often and stepping out of the lane and let you guys run. I'm just thrilled it's going to go faster and better and farther than ever. I'm I'm thrilled to run as fast as we can. As scared as we are yeah exactly and I was thinking 15 that we all have in common. All of us were all very different. But the thing we all have in common is were all pointing people to the same place right and that is Jesus, and hope and help that he brings them well. I imagine there a lot of listers who, like me, are thinking today. You know Dennis Rainey had a significant impact in my life. It is well over the decades that we all listened to him, and I imagine some of those listers would like to have a copy of this conversation we had today. We've taken this week's conversations about the 28 lessons I've learned in 28 years of cohosting family life to put those conversations on a flash drive along with the original programs from which these lessons came what has been seminal in my life helping me develop as a husband and father.

As a follower of Christ were making that flash drive available this week to family life to a listers who can make a donation to help extend the reach of this ministry. Your donations help us take family life today to more people more often you make this program possible in your community and for listers all around the world. Hundreds of thousands of listeners every day who are being impacted with practical biblical help and hope on family life to the right. Now we would get some friends of the ministry who have agreed that they will match every donation we received during the month of May, up to a total of $350,000 there matching a dollar for dollar so you make a $25 donation today and we are able to withdraw $25 from the matching gift fund they've established whatever you do, we can withdraw an equal amount from that matching gift fund. So were asking you to be as generous as you can be so that we can take full advantage of this matching gift fund. It expires the last day of May, so it's important that we hear from you today if possible. And along with the flash drive would also like to send you a couple books from Aaron and Jamie IV. Books called complement. Aaron wrote a book to husbands. Jamie wrote a book to wives and these books have the same title in the same chapter headings just ones from M ones for women, so will send you the books and the flash drive. When you make a donation and then we say word to those of you are long time family like today listers your regular listener to this program. You've heard us talk about our monthly legacy partners, people who will donate 25 or $50 a month. Whatever the amount is to help provide the financial stability for this program on an ongoing basis. We could not do this without our legacy partners. If you're a longtime listener. We challenge you to become a legacy partner today make an ongoing investment in your family and in your community. When you do that in addition to the flash drive in the books. I just talked about where to send you a certificate to attend an upcoming weekend to remember marriage got away the getaways are back. We have still a few of those this spring and then we have getaways happening this fall.

The certificate is transferable. If you want to give that is a gift to somebody else you can do that. In addition, your donations month in and month out are to be matched dollar for dollar for the next year until the funds in the matching gift fund are gone. So you will help us take advantage of the matching gift opportunity. When you become a legacy partner. There's a lot I'm covered there.

Go to family life to All of the information about making a one time gift or becoming a monthly legacy partner. All that's available or you can call us at one 800 FL today and I would look forward to hearing from you and thanks in advance for your financial support of this ministry now. Tomorrow will will just kind of go through that little popery just a mixed bag of key principles, key ways that guests on this program have marked my life over the last 28 years will dive into some of those as we wrap things up tomorrow.

You can tune in for that I want to thank our engineer today.

Keith Lynch got some extra help from Bruce Goff and our entire broadcast production team on behalf of our hosts Dave and Wilson. I'm Bob Lapine will see you next time for another edition of family life today. Family life to a is a production of family life of Little Rock, Arkansas. Accrue ministry help for today hope for tomorrow

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