FamilyLife Today® Podcast

New Tools for the Homebuilder

with Bob Lepine, Dennis Rainey | September 24, 2010
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FamilyLife has been hard at work developing a host of great new tools for a new generation. Dennis and Bob give our listeners a sneak-peak of exciting new initiatives and products coming out of FamilyLife this fall. Exciting new tools include LifeReady and Art of Marriage, as well as a host of other tools. Don’t miss it!

  • Show Notes

  • About the Host

  • About the Guest

  • FamilyLife has been hard at work developing a host of great new tools for a new generation. Dennis and Bob give our listeners a sneak-peak of exciting new initiatives and products coming out of FamilyLife this fall. Exciting new tools include LifeReady and Art of Marriage, as well as a host of other tools. Don’t miss it!

  • Dave and Ann Wilson

    Dave and Ann Wilson are hosts of FamilyLife Today®, FamilyLife’s nationally-syndicated radio program. Dave and Ann have been married for more than 38 years and have spent the last 33 teaching and mentoring couples and parents across the country. They have been featured speakers at FamilyLife’s Weekend to Remember® marriage getaway since 1993 and have also hosted their own marriage conferences across the country. Cofounders of Kensington Church—a national, multicampus church that hosts more than 14,000 visitors every weekend—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 book Vertical Marriage (Zondervan, 2019). 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 33 years. Ann attended the University of Kentucky. She has been active alongside Dave in ministry as a speaker, writer, small-group leader, and mentor to countless wives of professional athletes. 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.

FamilyLife has been hard at work developing a host of great new tools for a new generation.

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New Tools for the Homebuilder

With Bob Lepine, Dennis Rainey
September 24, 2010
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Bob:  You are saying “Hey, let me tell you what’s going on with FamilyLife!” “Let me tell you about some of the things that we’ve been working on.”  You are pretty fired up!

Dennis:  Bob, here is the deal.  I was looking at our Christmas card picture of last year. At that point…

 Bob:  One hundred and seventy three…

Dennis: …Grandchildren or whatever it was but I was looking at it and I was thinking about what kind of world are we passing on to our grandchildren?  I started thinking about what’s happening in the family nationwide.  I have got to tell you, I believe what is happening in the family today in western civilization is nothing short of an all out crisis. The reason you are seeing me walk around here with an impassion fervor is because I

think the time has come for individual Christians where they live to step up and make a difference. 

Maybe for the first time ever we have a full toolbox of resources to offer men and women, whether it be singles who want to make a difference in marriages and families; married couples who have been married two weeks, two months, two years, twenty years, fifty years, we’ve got some tools that I believe will address this crisis front and center. 

So, you know what? I believe its game time.  I believe it is time we stepped up and began to make an all out assault back against evil and what’s happening in the family. Make an assault for righteousness.  An assault for good.  An assault for the kingdom of God and Jesus Christ ruling in Christian marriages and families.

Bob:  Okay, let me just say it back.  You just said we’ve got an all out crisis going on in terms of marriage and family.  A couple that has been married for two weeks can pick up a tool and…

Dennis:  No doubt about it!

Bob: … but an all out crisis and some couple that has been married for two weeks can grab a tool and do…

Dennis:  Hey!  I was talking to a young lady just 24 hours ago, alright!  I was having lunch with her and two other guys were talking to her on how we can break the nation down into either precincts or counties and put someone in charge of every county; every    state across the United States and organize so that the whole nation is covered.  I found out in the process of the conversation she has been married for two months!

I said “You know what?  You can take one of these resources we got and you can lead this in your church and with your friends in the apartment complex that you live. You can make a difference in your friends’ lives with these resources.” 

These are turnkey resources.  Some of them as you know Bob are video resources.  All they need is a winsome couple who can host them and put them on.  You know what? It will pull people in to them and it will transform their lives.

Bob:  We are talking to a lot of people everyday who are already challenged enough just trying to make their own marriage all that it’s suppose to be.  The thought of somehow getting together to do battle against the crisis that’s going on with the family, they’re going “I am having a hard enough time just being a good husband; good wife!”


Dennis:  I’ll tell you what, there was a couple seated in one of our conference in 1993 and they had just gotten married.  I think she had a child out of wedlock.  He had never been married.  They came to our conference because they knew they didn’t have it together.  They knew they needed the blueprints fast because they would get in trouble because they’re both very strong willed people.

They sat in the conference and they heard the blueprints at the Weekend to Remember® and they said “You know what?  We can take this back. We can take this back to our church and maybe a couple of others.”

So they grabbed the HomeBuilders Bible Study and they took it back to their church and now 17 years later I had them stand up and share a little bit about what’s happened not only in their marriage and their lives and what Gods done there but…

Bob:  They shared this withour staff team recently.

Dennis:  That's right, that’s right!  They’ve taken 1,608 engaged people through Preparing for Marriage.  Our HomeBuilders Couples Bible study that prepares a single person, an engaged couple for marriage—1,608!  I said “How many total have you taken through HomeBuilders?”  They kind of smiled bashfully and the lady’s name who is Benita turned to Tazwell her husband and said, “I think it’s a little over 5,000.” 

Now let me tell you something.  When Tazwell and Benita started getting engaged with other peoples’ lives if you could go back and have asked them at that point in their marriage and in their lives how much they had it together they would break out laughing because they didn’t!  You know what?  You don’t have to have it together!  Somebody asked me who could be a HomeBuilder.

 Who really is going to be a HomeBuilder across the nation? That’s what we are calling this movement of men and women who want to make a difference in marriages and families across the nation. 

When I was asked that question I thought, turn to John 4. Look at the woman who came to the well and who met Jesus.  She was a half breed.  She was a Samaritan and in the process of talking to Jesus he told that her she had five husbands and that she was currently living with a man who was not her husband. 

She stood astounded and Jesus said to her, “If you knew who was talking to you, you would ask me for the living water because I have the water that gives eternal life, meaning, purpose and refreshment at the deepest level. “  Of course that woman was astounded what Jesus told her. 

You know what she did? This broken woman who had five husbands and who was cohabiting with somebody else, she went back to her town of Sychar and brought the entire city out to meet Jesus.  The cool thing in John chapter 4 is it says and many of them decided to believe on their own.  Not just because of the woman’s testimony. 

So, who is a HomeBuilder?  Who is going to make a difference in these marriages and families across the country?  It’s broken people who have been forgiven much and who love much.  People who have come to the foot of the cross and said, “You know what?  I have found forgiveness in Christ.  He has forgiven me for so much.  I would love to be of service to him.”

Not to earn that love, it’s not a matter of earning that love.  If He loved me this much shouldn’t I be his ambassador?  Shouldn’t I try and tell others about what he’s done for me just like the woman at the well?

Bob, I think if you wait to get it all together you’re going to wait until heaven because that’s the only time in life you’re going to have it all together.  This is for people who are in all kinds of marriages and families!   One other thing I’ve got to tell you is your seeing me on my soapbox.


Bob:  That’s right.

Dennis:  I am going to tell you something, it really is game time!  This is a time when we have to make a difference. 

Somebody recently said to me “How’s your family?”  I said “Well, that’s an interesting question.”  I’ll just tell it to you like I said it to the person. “You can airbrush a Christmas photo to send out to your friends, but there ain’t no airbrushing a family.”  Now I know that’s terrible grammar but frankly that’s good theology.  We are a family for goodness sake. 

Yes, you can get a good looking picture but you know what?  We are all in process, every last one of us in our family and yet, little by little God’s at work in our lives.  I think He is using some of our family in fact He is using all of our family in various ways to accomplish what He wants to do. 

I think the question for the listener is what does God want to get done through you? Who do you know?  Who could you reach out to?  Who as you look around within your sphere of relationship at work, in your neighborhood, maybe the families of the kids that your kids go to school with?  Who do you know that needs help and hope for their marriage and family? 

Let me give you a clue. It’s everybody!  It’s everyone!  These really are urgent days!  Bob, what’s happening is I feel like evil is assaulting the family.  Christians haven’t known how to push back and we’ve wanted to do something but we haven’t because we haven’t had the weapons or the tools to know what to do.

I think we’ve been paralyzed and now what FamilyLife has done is we’ve taken the past three and a half years and we’ve been producing tools that are transferable that we can put in your hands and you can make a difference in couple’s lives.


Bob:  You talk about people being HomeBuilders.  What you’re saying is that somebody who picks up a tool they are a HomeBuilder?  Is that all it takes to be a HomeBuilder?

Dennis:  We have a little saying that we’ve kind have adopted here at FamilyLife.  “Grab a tool.  Change a home.  Change the world.”

So, yes to be a HomeBuilder you don’t have to graduate from seminary.  You don’t have to be commissioned with any kind of service at church.  All you have to be is available and want to make a difference in somebody’s life.

We’ve got various ways to do that using videos that we created, using material online that we’ve created, and using this broadcast to pass on the messages of FamilyLife Today that’s been on the air now for close to 18years. In over 3,000 different broadcasts that you can use the truth of what has been shared here and pass it on to your friends.

Bob:  People will hear you say “Do you know anybody who could use help?”  They go “Well, yes I do know folks who could use help but I’m not sure what to tell them because…” 


Dennis:  I understand that.

Bob:  …because I don’t know the right answers.

Dennis:  I am afraid they’ll ask me a question I don’t know the answer to.

Bob:  Not only that.  We are just one step in front of the hounds ourselves.  I mean we are still in process.  And number three I don’t have a whole lot of time!  Life is kind of coming at me fast and there is just not much margin left.   So, you’re saying “pick up a tool” and I’m going, boy, I am busy and I’m overwhelmed.”

Dennis:  I am not asking you to rebuild every family in town.  I am just asking you to pick up a tool and reach out to a person.  It may be a thirty minute commitment.  It may be a one hour a week commitment.  It may be that you host a video experience, a video event using the new video material that you just created, called The Art of Marriage.

A six hour experience, high quality that can be used with five couples at a lake house over a weekend or it could be used in your church basement with twenty couples.

Bob:  I would like to move it up into the sanctuary if we could. 


Dennis:  There is going to be a better sound system and a better projector up there.

Bob:  I hope so.

(more laughter)

Dennis:  I was moving to the sanctuary upstairs.  Let’s have a couple hundred couples upstairs or maybe some folks who are listening to this go to some mega churches and you just need to work to get it on out on the calendar. 

We’ve got a brand new transformational video package. Bob, I think this is going to go all across the nation. Can I share a story with our listeners here about how we came up with this idea?

 Bob:  I can’t stop you, can I?


Dennis:  You can’t!



Dennis:  I don’t know why I asked. Barbara and I went to Portland, Maine with another couple, Chairman of the board of FamilyLife. Scott and Teresa Beck.   As we are sitting at the Weekend to Remember® marriage getaway on Sunday over lunch we sat down with a team the lay men and women from Maine and New Hampshire and Vermont. 

Bob:  With some of the Homebuilders we have up there?

Dennis:  Yes, with some of the couples who helped put the conference on and who marketed it and got the word out about it.  They said, “You know, Dennis we love these live conferences but we know you’ll never be able to take this conference to Presque Isle, Maine or Bar Harbor.”


Bob:   I couldn’t even find Presque Isle, Maine.


Dennis:  Go to the end of the Earth…

Bob:  Then you can see it from there?!

Dennis:  You can see it from right there!


Their point was there are hundreds of cities all over Maine—little communities that have churches and that could host The Art of Marriage video experience if they had a person who said, “Give me that video conference.  Give it to me and I’ll bring it back to my community.”

So, basically they said, “Why don’t you give us this material in a transferable high quality package?  Something that will really wow the audience and let us take it all over the state.”

That occurred about three years ago.  I came back and we talked about it.  I asked you, “Would you be willing to head up a project where we would invest a sizable amount of money to be able produce the finest video event on marriage and family that has ever been created.”  That may sound braggadocios but that was our goal.

Bob:  We weren’t going to go out to one of our Weekend to Remember® marriage getaways and set up cameras and just come back with that kind of conference on video.  Not that there is anything wrong with that but we wanted to do something that would be different than that.

Dennis:  Especially for our sons and daughters.  You have a couple of daughters who are married and five of our six adult children are married.  They’re watching T.V.  They are on the internet.  It’s got to be fresh.  It’s got to communicate in their language.  So you went to work on it and in an eighteen month period created The Art of Marriage

It’s a six hour video experience that is profoundly biblical but fun and entertaining and you’re never quite sure what’s coming at you.  It’s just a fresh look at marriage but it’s a powerful package that if you invite a couple—well, there was a couple who had been married twenty four-twenty five years who attended The Art of Marriage we just had here locally.

Bob:  This was a special sneak preview because we should tell folks The Art of Marriage is not ready for release yet but we did get together with some folks and did a sneak preview and got some feedback.  

Dennis:  Had about 800 people in one room.

Bob:  One of the couples that were there as you had said had been married for about twenty-five years and we didn’t know that there were some very serious issues in their marriage and the wife was really wondering if there was hope left.  She was contemplating a divorce.  In fact she already picked out the apartment she was going to move to.

Dennis:   Right!

Bob:  But as they sat through the event there was a fresh wind of hope and there was some practical help.  They shared with us on the evaluations that this had saved their marriage.

Dennis:  As you know Bob there were 800 people in the room.  There were a lot of just really good marriages there who came and said, “You know what we want to do?  I want that video package to take back to my church, to my community, to my business and I want to show it.” 

In fact I had a guy come up to me after this event.  I haven’t told you this.  He said “Dennis, I worked at Disney.” And he said “In Disney they have 22,000 employees there in Southern California. There is a room, a theater that seats quite a few people. I don’t think that seats all 22,000.

He said, “What I’d like to do is talk to some of my friends who still work at Disney and I’d like to see us do The Art of Marriage at the Disney headquarters. 

Bob:  Wow.

Dennis:  Now here is what he said. He said, “Dennis, this is Disney quality material.  Now, Bob that is a pretty stout compliment. 

Bob:  Yes.

Dennis:  You are not going to hear very many Disney movies that are biblically anchored with guys quoting scripture and explaining how scripture relates to how conflict, sex, communication, roles, legacy and the purpose of marriage.  The Art of Marriage does.  The Art of Marriage has that message clearly imbedded in it and throughout all of it.

The thing I’m excited about is that it does everything that the Weekend to Remember® does but it does it in a different venue.   I think it is going to be hosted all over the country and in all kinds of locations.  It is going to be really fun to hear what some folks have done with it. 

Everybody is going to get a manual that goes through this and there will be projects for couples to do just like the Weekend to Remember®.  As a result they are going to leave there having applied the same biblical blueprints people have been getting at the Weekend to Remember since 1976.  They can have the same kind of transformational experience of seeing Jesus Christ strengthen good marriages and make them better take marriages that are in trouble and rescue them and take marriages that may be over and raise them from the dead.  

Bob:  As you’ve been talking about tools in the tool kit this is just one of the new tools that we have been working on.

Dennis:  And we have about half a dozen new tools.

Bob:  But this particular tool is still being built.  In fact, if folks are saying that sounds great.  I’d love to host one of those events in our church or in our community or out at our lake house.  Where do we get it?  The answer is you can’t yet because we have targeted Valentine’s weekend 2011 as the worldwide premiere.  That worldwide premiere is going to happen hopefully thousands of locations all across the country and all around the world.

Dennis:  Right.  This morning I sent a friend in Fiji to the website  It talks about The Art of Marriage.  Go look at this.  People can do if they want to host one of these events where do they go?

Bob:  If they come to there is a link there to the tool kit, The Art of Marriage.  They can find out more about the event and what is available.  They can use some clips from it online.  They can say we’d like to host this. 

Part of the reason we are talking about it now is if you say you are going to host one of these somewhere on February 11, 2011 you have to get it on the calendar now. 

We are hoping folks will talk it over with our pastor or we need to talk with the folks at this location to see if we can use this location.  We think it would exciting if that weekend hundreds if not thousands of locations there were couples getting together saying let’s go through this material.  It’s folks who have a good marriage coming for a tune up.  It’s folks who have a marriage who may be struggling and they are looking for some hope. 

The Art of Marriage video event is really an event.  It’s not like other videos you sit down and watch.  It really is an event that you go through together.

Dennis:  It’s a transformational event really because it is talking about the application of the Bible to your marriage.  Not in a stale, dry way.  You’ll laugh.  You’ll cry.  You will identify with the people who are on there.  We were talking to some of the speakers at our Weekend to Remember® who have been speaking with us for a decade who share some of the most intimate stories from their lives from when their marriages came to a fork in the road a decade ago.  They share how they made choices that set their marriage on the right path.

Bob:  Well, in fact we have some clips up on our website  If you go there and click on the art of marriage link some of those stories are available so you can get a little glimpse of what is included in The Art of Marriage video event. 

You can also find out how you can bring one of these events to your church or your community.  This is something that any couple can decide to host.  You’ll want to talk to the pastor or the elders or the leadership of your church first.  You can be the host couple for an art of marriage event and we’ll walk you through the process so that you can be the world premiere of this on 2-11-2011.  

Again, more information online  Click the link that says art of marriage.  And find out about some of the other tools that are in the FamilyLife Today tool chest.  That’s the point we are making here.  You can be involved in helping to strengthen marriage and families in your community.  If we are going to see them strengthened we’ve all got to pitch in and lend a hand.  That is what we are asking listeners to do.

Or, call for more information at 1-800-FL TODAY, 1-800-358-6329, that's 1-800 “F” as in Family, “L” as in Life, and then the word “Today.” 

With that we have to wrap things up today.  I hope you and your family have a great weekend.  I hope you and your family are able to worship together this weekend. 

I hope you can join us back on Monday when Tedd and Margy Tripp are going to join us to talk about how we can press the truth of God’s word into the pliable hearts of our children starting at an early age.  We’ll talk about that Monday. 

I want to thank our engineer today, Keith Lynch, and our entire broadcast production team.  On behalf of our host, Dennis Rainey, I'm Bob Lepine.  We will see you back tomorrow for another addition of FamilyLife Today

FamilyLife Today is a production of FamilyLife of Little Rock, Arkansas. 

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