Monday, March 1

Interview with Barbara Rainey and GIVEAWAY!

I love free things and I'll hope you'll really enjoy the copy of Dennis and Barbara Rainey's book, Starting Your Marriage Right.
I wish this book had been around when Sean and I were first married! I've written before about what a difficult adjustment we had when we were newlyweds, not knowing where to go for advice or godly counsel with so many changes of life going on.

We were the first of our friends to get married and on week nights while Sean was in college, I'd flip on the radio and listen to Family Life Today. I still tune in to Family Life Today, so full of godly wisdom and sound counsel as it is. A few years ago Sean and I attended one of Family Life's Weekends to Remember and had an absolutely fantastic time learning and growing together. It was definitely a marriage strengthening event! We've also hosted Home Builders small groups and use their premarital curriculum in counseling.
Barbara Rainey was kind enough to recently grant me an interview and I hope you'll enjoy reading what she's shared.

1. One of the hardest things my husband, Sean, and I had to work through in our first years of marriage was not having a Biblical example of marriage or parenting to emulate. What advice would you give a young couple who is starting out just as we did?

The best step a young couple can take, even if they have good models in their own parents, is to find a couple who is ahead of them in the journey and ask for a regular meeting time to ask questions. They do not have to be empty nesters, although an older couple would have more time, but this couple can be just 5 years into their marriage and have plenty of life lessons to share. Obviously they need to be believers in Christ who are committed to growing in their marriage, but they don’t have to have it “all figured out.” Secondly I’d recommend attending one of our Weekend to Remember marriage conferences. Dennis and I just finished leading one in Washington DC and I was reminded how good these are for couples just starting out to get it right from the start. And they are good refresher courses for those married several years and beyond.

2. Speaking of marriage and parenting, you've talked frankly about how the empty nest affected you. To be honest, this is one season of life that the thought of terrifies me! I tell my husband that I am daily working myself out of a job. For a mother like me, with young children, or to a woman with older children who is more quickly approaching the empty nest years, is there any advice you can give as to how we can more gently transfer into this new season of life?

Just acknowledging that it is a reality is healthy. I remember being terrified too at the thought of my children leaving me behind. But as we got closer and closer, it became so clear that it was right, that it eased my anxiety. And I must say it was not easy still. My husband and I sobbed as we left our first born standing in the parking lot of her new home in a high rise dormitory. I hated it. But it was right and I knew she would be OK, even though I was not OK at the time. Interestingly, by the time the last one left it had gotten easier. I’m not sure if it was because we had six and when the last one left I was exhausted and ready for the end or if I had gradually gotten used to the changes the departure of each one brought. Now that we are just the two of us again we are loving it in so many ways. Yes, I still miss my kids being under my roof, and yes, I feel twinges of sadness when I see photos of all of them when they were cute and cuddly and all mine, but we did our best as unto the Lord and we are resting in and relishing this new season of our lives.

3. You raised a large family, Barbara. What is one thing, in your role of wife and help-meet to your husband Dennis, that you wish you had done a bit (or entirely!) different in those busy years of parenting?

I wish in the early years that I had made more of an effort to be in serious bible study. I was too dependent on Sunday morning sermons for my spiritual food. It was too easy to give in to my overwhelmed life and stay home rather than fight the battles of child care and diaper bags and less time to get my home tasks done. As a result I am passionate about young moms feeding their souls with the truth of Scripture. My daughter who has five boys has made this a priority in her life and she is much more directed by the truth of Scripture and the power of the Holy Spirit than I was.

I did not have a strong Christian background and I needed the feeding more than I realized. I began attending Bible Study Fellowship when my youngest was two and my oldest was 12. It was the beginning of life change for me. Since then I have been committed to being in serious bible study in some kind of class (not just a book study, a pet peeve of mine) and I will be for the rest of my life.

Many kind thanks to Barbara, for sharing some of her wisdom with me. There are four ways to enter the giveaway this time. Please let me know in the comments which way(s) you have entered.

1. Leave a comment.
2. Blog about it.
3. Share it on FB or Twitter.
4. Visit the new Mom Life Today , leaving a comment on any of the posts.

Winner will be drawn and announced on Friday.

P.S. even if you're not a newlywed, you can enter. Give the book as a wedding gift, use it to strengthen your not-so-newlywed marriage with a case of the doldrums, or save it for your someday marriage!


Clara S said...

Great interview. I agree wholeheartedly. Marriage and child-rearing will flourish as God's ways are sought and followed. This is my heart-cry in my new marriage.Thank you for the encouragement and examples, both of you! (Posting to Facebook and Twitter)

Tracey said...

Bless you for encouraging other moms and speaking into their lives! Hope to hear from you over at MomLife or on our facebook fan page!

Katie G said...

I would love to check out this book! My husband and I are celebrating our 1 year anniversary next month. God has very clearly called us to minister in the military and my husband has been in Afghanistan since July. I'm in a funny married-but-living-alone stage that I'm trying to use to serve God and my husband as best I can.

Lydia said...

I'd love to be entered to win a book- I'm sure I can use it for something! Thank you!

Lydia said...

I left a comment on Mom Life Today!

Karen G. said...

At the end of this month Glen and I will have been married for 25 years and we are mostly empty nesters with both "kids" away at college and only home on breaks and during the summer. In the early years of our marriage, we won
registration at the "Weekend to Remember" marriage conference in Syracuse. We could not afford to stay at the hotel there, so we commuted from Utica each day. Our car was old and broke down several times but the conversations during the ride and the conference itself did so much to bolster our young marriage. I can't recommend the conferences enough! Both Raineys have so much wisdom to deposit into hearts - and I am sure that the other presenters do as well.
Communication is key in any marriage and we learned a lot about that especially...

Anonymous said...

Great interview, and it sounds like a great book!

Bess said...

Family life is such a great resource. We had a great time at a weekend to remember some time ago. I would love to read the book.

Jaime @ Like a Bubbling Brook said...

I have someone I'd love to give this book to... please enter me in the drawing!

Kelly said...

Great interview! I would love to be entered in the drawing. :)

Unknown said...

Thank you for sharing this interview. I especially liked the question and response about serious bible study even with little ones. A good encouragement.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the interview I would like to be entered in the contest. Thanks. Shannon Miller

threelilcs said...

Like you, we have found we have lacked the cousel of older, more mature ladies in the church and married couples in the church during our 24 year marriage. I subscribe to FamilyLifes' 'Moments with You' - a daily devotional from Dennis and Barbara's books for couples. It's delivered directly to my inbox everyday where it's "in my face" for those days I take on the world without first putting on the whole armor of God. Their God-given wisdom has been an encourgaement and a blessing to me for over two years. It's funny how the Lord knew where they wrote this book what I would need to hear on any certain day! I'll also be posting a promote for the book and email devotional on my FB page. Thank you for sharing your chat with Barbara.

Tiffany said...

Wonderful interview. I always like being introduced to new books. I'm 33 and my husband and I have been together 14 years and married 9 this May. (We have two beautiful children 16 months apart. Our son just turned 4 and our daughter is 2.) Like you, we were not both raised with strong biblical examples of marriage. But, thankfully, we were both strong Christians. And we took a nearly wed/newly wed class at our church as soon as we got married, which helped broaden our discussion and goals we started with in pre marriage counseling. A couple books that have helped me are Created to be his Help Meet by Debi Pearl and The Excellent Wife by Martha Peace. I think I'm really going to like this one as well, so thank you for featuring it. I teach a ladies Bible study every week, so it sounds like we have alot in common. That's not always easy to find, and it's a blessing. So, sign me up. I'd love a chance to win.

Amy M said...

I am very much a newly wed. :) Saturday will be 2 weeks! What a great interview. :)

Mary Ann said...

I'd love to win! We have a friend who is getting married in June and this would make a wonderful gift for her and her husband-to-be.