Posts tagged bob lepine

Truett Cathy: Patriarch of more than the chicken sandwich



Truett Cathy is the father of the chicken sandwich and a man who set the bar for other fast food empires. On Monday, September 8, he left this world, and the restaurant kingdom he built, to go home to a better kingdom and be with his Heavenly Father.

Cathy invested his life in others. Nowhere is that more evident than through the testimony of his sons, Dan and Bubba, who carried on his values at home and in the corporation they manage.

Watch this segment from the Stepping Up video series. It was created to be a representation of what it means to be a patriarch. With Truett Cathy’s passing, it is a testimony to a life well-lived.

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Truett Cathy was a patriarch. Not just of the chicken sandwich or Chick-fil-A, but in the more traditional sense of the wordin the best sense. He was married to Jeanette for 65 years. He passed on his business and family legacy to his two sons and one daughter. He taught adolescent boys’ Sunday School for 50 years because he knew the importance of older men investing in the lives of younger men.

Listen to a special broadcast of FamilyLife Today, “Truett Cathy: A Life Well-Lived,” which features an interview that Dennis Rainey and Bob Lepine did several years ago with this patriarch.

© 2014 by FamilyLife. All rights reserved.

STEPSeek - 10-point checklistYou just read the post, “Truett Cathy: Patriarch of more than the chicken sandwich” on the Stepping Up blog.

STEPThink - 10-point checklistWhat kind of legacy was left to you? What kind of legacy will you pass on to your children and to this world?

STEPEmbrace - 10-point checklistDennis Rainey wrote an article “Remembering Truett Cathy” which includes his personal reflections.

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Remembering and honoring a D-Day dad



“In all of the far-flung operations of our Armed Forces, the toughest job has been performed by the average, easy-going, hard-fighting young American who carries the weight of battle on his own young shoulders. It is to him that we and all future generations must pay grateful tribute.” –Franklin Delano Roosevelt

June was Dad’s month. If James Lepine were still alive this month, we would be celebrating his 95th birthday. He was 25 years old in June of 1944 when he boarded the transport for the Normandy invasion. And it was in June of 1988, just a few weeks before what would have been his 69th birthday, that a different battle ended his life — a battle with malignant melanoma. Three days after he died — just 14 hours following his memorial service — we welcomed the first son into our family. We named him Jimmy.

BobMedals2aI am reminded of my father daily. A picture of him hangs on the wall in my office, and underneath it are these dates: June 16, 1941-January 25, 1946. Just to the right are various medals and ribbons, including a Purple Heart for his war injuries. I wish I knew more about the stories behind the awards. But when my father died 16 years ago this month, most of the stories died with him.

Dad arrived at Normandy roughly 24 hours after the battle had been engaged. Did he wade onto a blood-soaked beach, populated by the freshly dead bodies of his fellow soldiers, the way it appears in Saving Private Ryan? I’ve asked my mom, and she says Dad didn’t talk much about the battlefield. He was fighting to protect his country, and even after the war was finished, he may have continued to protect his wife by not telling her all that he had seen.

So, I’ve had to learn about Dad’s service in World War II from what Mom remembers, from the collection of letters he sent home to his parents which have been passed down to me, and from what history records about F Company of the 359th Regiment, 90th Division. Here’s what I know:

Second Lieutenant James R. Lepine received his commission and his orders in June 1941, the same day he graduated from what was then Michigan State College. He completed his basic training in Fort Benning, GA, and was sent across the country to Camp Roberts, Calif., for an additional 17 weeks of infantry training.

Driving to town on a sunny California Sunday afternoon, he would always remember approaching the roadblock where he was told to turn around and report back to camp immediately. It was December 7, 1941 — the day Pearl Harbor was attacked. He was a soldier whose nation had just gone to war.

He had just become First Lieutenant Lepine. His next duty station was Camp Barkeley in Abilene, TX, where he joined the “Tough ‘Ombres,” the men of the 90th Infantry Division. He continued his correspondence with his college sweetheart, Eileen Cross from Flint, MI, and in September, she rode the train from Michigan to Texas to become Eileen Lepine … in Abilene.

Dad stayed in the States for training until early 1944, when it became clear that the men of the 359th Infantry were going to be sent overseas. At Fort Dix, NJ, they received their final physical checkups, new clothing and supplies, and waited for deployment. And on March 22, they headed across the Atlantic for Operation Overlord — the code name for the Normandy invasion.

Letters home

My father was a faithful letter writer, and my grandmother kept a scrapbook of her son’s letters from Europe, along with the “V-mail” — the microfilmed version of full-sized letters that the government created in an effort to speed the delivery time and allow for more room in overseas shipping.

The scrapbook is my link to the events my father lived through 60 years ago. The first letter is dated March 20, 1944 — a couple of days before he shipped out. “I’m so tired I can hardly stay awake,” he wrote. “That, coupled with the fact that there isn’t much that we’re allowed to say will make this a short letter. … This may be the last chance I’ll have to write for a while, but don’t worry.”

It was almost three weeks later before the next letter from “Somewhere in England” which was as specific as he was allowed to be:

“I’m fine and, while I can’t tell you much, I can say that I think I will like England on the whole and that the food is good so far. If you think that you are suffering from rationing I can tell you that you can’t imagine what rationing is until you’ve seen British rationing restrictions. The civilian population really realizes what it means to be at war.”

Dad’s next letter was sent by V-Mail: “I have just finished writing Criss [my mom’s nickname] and can’t find anything that they’ll allow us to tell you people. She’ll be disappointed and I know you are too. But the shroud of military secrecy overhangs everything.”

His letters throughout the spring of 1944 talked mostly about food and weather, along with regular assurances that he was fine. There wasn’t much he could say about the ongoing training to prepare for D-Day. There were occasional insights into army life before the invasion:

“Cigarettes are plentiful but Cokes could be sold for about $5 apiece. There’ll always be two classes: the “haves” and the “have nots.” I’m just in the wrong class” (April 15).

“Just a time tonight to let you know I am well and safe. We’re all getting pretty accustomed now to British scenery, British ways, and British money. You have no conception of the old-fashioned facilities that the British are in possession of. Plumbing and electricity and all are about 20 years behind our standards” (April 25).

“Don’t worry about my birthday because there isn’t anything I need or can carry with me. I changed the war bond allotment from a $25 bond a month to a $100 bond a month and they will be sent to Criss. As long as she’s at home she may as well keep them. … I feel fine and the food is still good. Have a ¼ inch haircut that I know you’d get a big laugh out of. But it’s very practical” (May 30).

Dad’s last letter home before the invasion was sent May 31. My family heard nothing for more than three weeks — only the news reports back in the States about the allied invasion. They could only hope and pray that if in fact he had been part of the attack on Normandy, he had survived.

D-Day

The 90th Division arrived on the beaches of Normandy in waves, beginning on the morning of June 6 and continuing for three days. In any conversation I ever had with my dad about D-Day, he would sum up the events of the day this way: “The ship I was on hit a mine as we landed. I made it ashore, passed out, and when I woke up, I was in a hospital bed back in England.”

The army sent the news of Dad’s injury in a telegram to my grandparents on June 21, 1944:

Regret to inform you Capt. James R. Lepine was on 7 June slightly injured in action in the European area. You will be advised as reports of condition are received.

There’s no way of knowing whether that telegram arrived before or after the letter my dad wrote home five days after being injured:

“In case the war dept. should send you or Criss some alarming telegram, I’m writing to let you know I’m OK. I’m back in England after a short tour of the coast of France. We went in early in the invasion. Our ship hit a mine and promptly sunk, leaving us to hitch hike the rest of the way. After riding in a couple of destroyers and landing craft we managed to land. My knee and back got kinda strained when the mine hit and I guess I must have passed out after walking 4 or 5 miles. I was probably a little punchy too. Next thing I can remember I was on a ship headed back here. Hope to get out and play war again if they’ll let me. My knee is still a little weak but I think it’ll be OK. Lot of people shooting guns over there and someone’s bound to get hurt. … Hope you’re all fine. Will write again” (June 12).

It was almost two weeks before Dad wrote home again. From his hospital bed in England, he reported he was being reassigned. In another, he wrote, “I feel good and, as all soldiers do, I’m living for the day when the Statue of Liberty again comes into view and we can start life over.”

He sensed victory in Europe was at hand. “I hope you aren’t becoming too optimistic about this war at home because I’m afraid everyone else is. Germany is whipped, I’m convinced, but intends to continue fighting a while longer. Sure will be glad when Hitler says quit, as will everyone else.”

In mid-August, the 90th Division fought the battle of Falaise Gap, where they destroyed the German 7th Army. By the time the smoke had cleared, more than 10,000 German soldiers had surrendered and been taken prisoner. Three days after the battle was over, Dad wrote home, saying, “If a man stays alive and in one piece for a couple of more months he should be able to make it ok.”

Dad was able to stay alive and in one piece, although a few weeks later he made a return trip to an Army hospital, this time with a concussion and with hearing loss in his left ear as a result of a nearby artillery blast. He wrote to tell his parents not to worry, but in a subsequent letter that he sent to his father at his office, Dad cracked the door open just a bit on the realities of war. “You have no conception of what hell the boys on the front lines go through,” he wrote. “I don’t think any of us will want to talk much about it afterwards, but rather will want to forget. There were some good days, but they didn’t make up for the bad ones.” On another occasion, he wrote, “The war for the most part is pretty awful and when these boys finally get back home they’re due every consideration that can be given them.”

From September 1944 until March 1945, Dad remained in England. And then the letters in the scrapbook come to an end. I have no idea how much longer Dad was overseas, or when he arrived back in the States. I do have the papers processing the end of his time in active duty, dated January 26, 1946 —almost nine months after Hitler had committed suicide and Germany surrendered.

The sacrifices of our fathers

Dad never initiated much conversation about the war, and I didn’t know enough to ask or care until he was gone. I grew up knowing that my Dad had been at Normandy, but without knowing much about the significance of that battle.

He died before Saving Private Ryan, before Band of Brothers, before Tom Brokaw proclaimed his The Greatest Generation, before we stopped as a nation and thought about the sacrifices of our fathers and honored them for their service. I’m sure if Dad were alive today, I would have lots of questions for him about the landing at Utah Beach, his injuries, whether he was scared, whether he ever had to watch a friend and fellow soldier die, or whether he ever watched an enemy soldier die from a wound he had inflicted. And I’m sure he would have done what many of his fellow soldiers have done — shrugged his shoulders and said, “We just did what we were supposed to do. It was just something we did.” Simple as that.

Thanks, Dad. I don’t know that I ever said it while you were alive, but I should have. Thanks to you and to all who stormed Omaha and Utah beaches 70 years ago. Thanks to those who fought the Battle of the Bulge. To those who waded ashore at Iwo Jima. To the prisoners of war who died in the Bataan Death March. To the men on board the USS Arizona at Pearl Harbor. To our fathers and grandfathers.

Many of us realize now that we should have expressed our gratitude years ago. We didn’t know. We didn’t understand. I’m not sure we do now, but maybe we’re beginning to, and we’re grateful.

Thank you.

Copyright © 2014 by FamilyLife. All rights reserved.

 

Courage and fear: are they always opposites?



The qualifications for being a husband are simple but not easy. A man has to be a man, not just physically but in the full sense of the word. And a man has to be godly.

In their book The Silence of Adam, Larry Crabb, Don Hudson, and Al Andrews point to the interconnectedness between godliness and masculinity. “The only way to be manly,” they write, “is first to be godly. In our day, men are looking for their manhood more than they are seeking God. Too many men make the mistake of studying masculinity and trying to practice what they learn without paying enough attention to their relationship with God.”

Understanding the unique way in which you were created doesn’t make you fully a man. Getting married and having a family doesn’t make you a man. Success in the marketplace, great wealth and power, the honor and praise of the culture — these are not the measure of real masculinity. To be fully a man, you must commit yourself to the pursuit of godliness.

It’s almost a paradox, the idea of a godly man. Not because a man is incapable of godliness, but because of what is at the root of the idea of godliness in the Scriptures. We are called to live out our masculinity with courage and in fear. Courage and fear are not always opposites.

The Fear of God

There is a difference, however, between fearing God and being afraid. In fact, Moses, after receiving the Ten Commandments from God, appeared before the Israelites, who were filled with fear. “And Moses said to the people, ‘Do not be afraid; for God has come in order to test you, and in order that the fear of Him may remain with you, so that you may not sin’” (Exodus 20:20).

“There is a fear that is slavish,” writes John Piper, “that drives us away from God, and there is a fear that is sweet and draws us to God. … God means for His power and holiness to kindle fear in us, not to drive us from Him, but to drive us to Him. His anger is against those who forsake Him and love other things more.”

In his book One Home At a Time, Dennis Rainey says, “God is not feared today. In fact, He is mocked by our immorality, our treatment of unborn human life, our broken commitments, and the selfish, ‘me-first’ attitude that characterizes so much of what we do. Even in the Christian community, we are strangely silent about the fear of God. There is little teaching on judgment for sin, and the place of eternal torment called hell. We haven’t rejected God. But we have conveniently recreated Him in our image. We have reduced the Almighty to our level.”

Today there is such an emphasis on God’s great love for us that we have forgotten what it means to fear him. We don’t see him as a consuming fire, but as a kindly grandfather who chides us when we are mischievous, but always with a twinkle in his eye and only a faint sternness in his voice. Don McCullough writes “We prefer to imagine a deity who happily lets bygones be bygones, who winks at failures and pats us on the back to build our self-esteem. But according to Scripture, ‘God is love.’ And love devoid of judgment is only watered down kindness.”

Act like men”

Paradoxically, that fear of God ought to be the basis of great courage in us. As men who fear God, we learn that we are not to fear other men. “Do not fear those who kill the body, but are unable to kill the soul,” Jesus taught, “but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell” (Matthew 10:28). Our fear of God should produce boldness in the face of opposition from men.

Tucked away at the end of his letter to the church at Corinth, the apostle Paul gives a solemn charge to those men who are leaders of the church. “Be on the alert,” he writes, “stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong. Let all that you do be done in love” (1 Corinthians 16:13-14). In those five simple statements, he calls the men who lead God’s church to a foundational quality of masculine godliness. He calls them to be men of courage.

In fact, some translations of the Bible take the clause “act like men” in I Corinthians 16:33 (andrizesthe in Greek) and translate it “be courageous.” Earlier, Paul had chastised the Corinthians for acting like babies. “I gave you milk to drink, not solid food,” he wrote, “for you were not yet able to receive it. Indeed, even now you are not yet able” (1 Corinthians 3:2). By the end of his epistle, Paul exhorts his readers to act like men. The expression “act like men” is a call to maturity, to conviction and to courage.

In our hearts, we know we ought to fear God, but our sin nature keeps us from doing so. In the same way as men, we know instinctively that we ought to be courageous, but again, we are caught in the conflict between flesh and spirit — between what we know we ought to do and what we often choose to do. Instead of acting with courage, men today too often choose not to act at all.

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What makes a distinctively Christian marriage?



(as first submitted via an article found at FamilyLife.com)

Years ago, when I was a single college student and a young follower of Christ, I traveled with some buddies to Southern California.  One of my friends knew a family in Pasadena who offered us a place to stay.

I will never forget walking into this home in Pasadena.  Almost immediately I noticed that there was just something different in the atmosphere.

I had never met these people before, but within 20 minutes I felt like I‘d known them all my life. They displayed genuine hospitality, care, love, and graciousness that I had never seen in a home before.

Steppin Up FamilyLife - Bob Lepine Christian Marriages

In 2 Corinthians 2:14-15 we read, “But thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumphal procession, and through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of him everywhere. For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing.”  That’s what I could smell in that house — the fragrance of Christ in the lives of these people who had been transformed by Him.  I’ve never forgotten what it was like to walk into that kind of environment.

Now the question for us is: What does it smell like in our homes?  If folks walked into our houses, would the fragrance of Christ be present?  Do people look at our marriages and see and smell the aroma of Christ?

I believe there are two factors that give a marriage the fragrance of Christ — that make it distinctively Christian.  And both are impossible without the transforming grace of God.

1.  A uniquely Christian marriage has a different kind of purpose.

When asked why they get married, most people will say something like, “Well, we’re just in love.”  But behind that statement are a number of other reasons for marriage:

  • They’ve dated long enough, and marriage is the next step.
  • There are economic benefits from combining incomes into one household.
  • They want sex without guilt.
  • They are adults, and marriage is what’s expected.  (They want to get their parents off their backs.)
  • They want someone to take care of them.
  • They are lonely and need the companionship.
  • They want to escape a bad situation — abusive parents, pregnancy, etc.
  • Their biological clock is ticking, and they figure it’s time to start a family.

At the heart of most of these reasons for marriage is the big me.  People are getting married for self-centered reasons, not God-centered purposes.  That describes me as well.

In fact, that‘s the universal human condition. We are self-centered; and so our self-centered tendency, carried into marriage, creates two self-centered people trying to negotiate enough good out of this deal so that they can co-exist.

But there’s another, higher purpose for marriage that is stated well in Psalm 34:3:  “Oh, magnify the Lord with me and let us exalt His name together!”  A friend of mine actually used that verse when he proposed.  I think he saw beyond his own natural selfishness to a greater goal for his life.

When you focus your marriage on exalting and glorifying God together, your relationship will become a vehicle through which people can smell the aroma of Christ.  It will be a demonstration of the gospel to the world — you will show God’s grace, His compassion, His forgiveness.

Now, is there companionship that comes along with it? Yes. Is there love and intimacy that comes into the deal? Yes, and I‘m glad for these things. But when you magnify the Lord together you will both say, “This isn‘t about us. This is about putting the gospel on display to a watching world.”

When you truly understand that purpose, it changes everything. I like how Paul Tripp puts it: 

“We were made to live upward and outward, but most of us live inward. When we can quit living inward and start living upward and outward, life changes.” When our marriage can be about upward and outward, things change.

2.  A uniquely Christian marriage has a different kind of love.

What does this distinctively different kind of love look like? Well, again, it starts with being God-centered instead of self-centered. It’s upward and outward instead of being inward.

To be more specific, Christian love is self-sacrificing, not self-serving love.  In Philippians 2:1-4, Paul writes:

So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.

That kind of love is different than what the world knows.  It is patient, kind, not envious, not boastful, not arrogant, not rude, not insisting on its own way, not irritable or resentful, not rejoicing in wrongdoing, but instead rejoicing in the truth, bearing all things, believing all things, hoping all things, enduring all things (1 Corinthians 13:4-7).

Another way that our love should be distinct is that it should be a forgiving love, not a hard-hearted love. Ephesians 4:26-27 tells us, “Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and give no opportunity to the devil.”

How many of you would say, “What I really want for my life is to be in a concerted partnership with the devil”? But that’s what you’re doing when you hang on to anger, resentment, and bitterness.

And then read verse 32 in Ephesians 4: “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.”

A third way our love should be different is that it should be controlled by the Spirit and not by the flesh.  You can’t do this in your own power.  Regard your spouse as more important than yourself?  Forgive your spouse just as God has forgiven you?  Love your spouse by showing patience, kindness, and not insisting on your own way?  Try doing this consistently in the flesh for more than a day or so.

The only way we can have a different kind of love — and purpose — in marriage is to experience a true transformation in our lives. Here are the words that always come back to me as I think about the gospel and what God has done for us in Christ: He took those of us who were weighed down by sin and took the weight off.  He forgave us and freed us.  As we walk in that forgiveness and freedom day by day, He is transforming us more and more into the image of His Son. And in the process He gives us a hope that we never knew before we were saved by Christ.

These two unique aspects of a Christian marriage — a different purpose and a different love — are something we cannot manufacture by ourselves.  They are impossible apart from the transforming grace of God in our lives.  And when we experience this transformation, the world will notice something very different in our relationships.

 

Copyright ©2013 by FamilyLife. All rights reserved.

 

 

5 romantic needs of a woman



Well, Valentine’s Day is tomorrow. If you haven’t made your plans yet, it’s likely not going to be a good night for you, Mr. Casanova. So, just to help you a little, here are 5 things that every woman needs when it comes to being romanced by her husband. But, before you read the rest of this post, take out a sheet of paper and take a pre-read quiz. No cheating. What do YOU think the 5 romantic needs of a woman are? … Got ’em? OK, now check your answers with what I’ve come up with below.

Men and Women are different. Duh

I’m sure it comes as no shock, but men and women think of romance differently.

When asked to describe the purpose of romance, a woman will use words such as friendship, relationship, endearment, and tenderness. Given the same question, a man will answer with one of the shortest words in the English language — sex. For him, physical oneness and affirmation of his manhood equal romance.

Can two people with such different perspectives have their expectations met? Absolutely! But creating adventurous romance requires planning and enthusiastic effort. The relationship has to be a top priority. One reason so many marriage beds are frozen over or boring is that couples just don’t have time for romance and sex. Too many husbands and wives try to work sex inbetween the evening news and the Top 10 list on the Late Show With David Letterman.  To them, love in marriage is spelled S  E  X.

Let’s face it. Many of our activities and other important things get the best of our resources and energy. Jobs get our best. Children get our best. Church work gets our best. But are we saving any of our best for romance in marriage?

When we had children at home, Barbara and I worked hard to save some of our best for each other. Our children learned over the years that Mom and Dad often like to have quiet evenings alone. When the children were younger, we occasionally turned the kitchen into a famous big-time restaurant called the Rainey Rainbow Room and let each child order a special meal from a special menu. Barbara and I served as chef and waiter, and the kids had a great time learning a little bit about how to eat out.

Later in the evening, they knew they were to go to their rooms and stay there, not coming out for anything except bathroom runs. At 8 p.m., Barbara and I turned our bedroom into our own romantic cafe, complete with a small table, candles, and flowers (when I remembered to pick them up). There we would eat, talk, and relax. As we communicated, we were reminded of what attracted us to each other, and romance had an opportunity to ignite. We didn’t have to worry about a babysitter and didn’t have to leave the house to get away alone.

To make anything like this work, you must schedule it and then take the time to follow through. If I have learned anything in marriage, it is that romance, our relationship, and sex take time. And they deserve our best.

I have spent the better part of my marriage learning and adjusting the following summary of a woman’s romantic needs. The list was developed through much observation and conversation with Barbara and other women. I also have learned a great amount from the best book ever written on romance, passion, and sex — the Song of Songs in the Old Testament. Obviously, a woman has more than five romantic needs, but I consider these to be the top five:

Romantic Need #1: To be spiritually ministered to by her man

Are you surprised that something to do with candy and flowers isn’t number one? A woman wants a man eager to be her protector, someone who cares not just about her security and physical needs but also (and even more importantly) about her spirituality, the well-being of her very soul.

A husband can be a spiritual protector and advocate for his wife by praying with and for her daily, putting his arms around her, and saying, “I want to ask God to bless you. I want to take any needs you have in your life right now to the Lord. And I’m going to pray for you throughout this day.” A wise husband takes the lead in sharing Scripture and eagerly initiating conversation on spiritual issues.

A husband can contribute to his wife’s spiritual well-being by giving her some time to pursue her spiritual growth. For example, he might watch their child while she attends an evening Bible study.  Marriage romance begins in the soul.

I suggest that every young husband who wants to better understand his wife and his job description should read The Christian Husband, a book by my friend and colleague Bob Lepine.

Romantic Need #2: To feel safe and secure with her husband

A woman needs to feel her husband’s covenantal commitment to stay married and to love her and accept her. Then she feels safe to give him the gift of who she is in the marriage relationship. The Shulammite woman, who was the object of Solomon’s passion, said, “I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine” (Song 6:3). She obviously had a strong sense of contentment and security.

A wife needs to know that romantic intimacy is just between her and her husband, that he will not share any personal details with his friends. She should not feel pressured or fearful, experiencing the love that casts out all fear (1 John 4:18).

Romantic Need #3: To share intimate conversation

According to something I read recently, the typical couple spends only four minutes a day in meaningful conversation with each other. A lot of us husbands don’t realize that for our wives to consider us romantic, we first of all have to be a great friend and a conversationalist.  Conversation is a large part of love in marriage.

Grunts and one-word answers to questions just don’t cut it! Too many women don’t feel that their husbands really need them, and bare-bones conversation confirms their sense of low personal value. Many men who were accomplished at romantic, deep conversation during courtship seem to lose this talent later. You can rediscover the groove! Make a commitment to learn to make intimate conversation a priority with your wife. You need to talk and fill her in on the details of your life — not just facts, but feelings.

When a husband sincerely shows his desire for conversation and a deepening relationship — emotional intimacy — he will find that his wife is much more interested in sexual intimacy. Her dreams, hopes, desires, and disappointments then are not divorced from the marriage bed but are a part of it.

Romantic Need #4: To receive a tender touch and hear gentle words

Before marriage, two people in love can hardly keep their hands off each other because they find the touch of their beloved thrilling. What happens after the wedding? Some couples married for a while would find a firm handshake a wildly intimate encounter. This should not be the case in a marriage. There is great power in tender touch, even if it’s just a long, full-body hug or a lingering kiss. Or the touch may be a gentle caress of her face that has no motive to make sexual demands but communicates, “I love you, Sweetheart, and I care for you tenderly.”

Gentle words have similar power. I have made a partial list of some things that I think any husband could use in complimenting and praising his wife: charm; femininity; faithfulness to God, you, your children; hard work; beauty; personality; her love, including her receptivity and responsiveness to you as a man; her advice and counsel; character; desirability; friendship — and that’s just a start. What wife won’t respond to a husband who praises her regularly with gentle words for all these qualities?

Romantic Need #5: To be pursued and set apart by her man

A wife wants a husband who will sweep her off her feet, carry her away to the castle, and say, “Let’s spend time together.” Focused attention is like precious gold in a relationship.

One time Barbara and I had a little unresolved argument over a weekend. A couple of days later we went on our customary weekly date. We finally had the time and environment to fully discuss and resolve our differences. What it took was several hours away from phones, papers and bills, and the needs of our children. Your wife craves this focused attention from you.

A great lover

One of my favorite stories is of an interview with one of Hollywood’s biggest male stars, a man known for his prowess with the opposite sex. At one point he was asked, “What makes a great lover?”

“Two things,” he replied. “First of all, it is a man who can satisfy one woman over a lifetime. And it is a man who can be satisfied with one woman for a lifetime.”

That was a great answer! To build a strong marriage where you and your wife are experiencing oneness, you must be committed to satisfying her physical, emotional, and spiritual needs. I hope you both enjoy a lifetime of satisfaction!  Here’s to keeping your marriage romance alive, and a lifetime of love in your marriage.



Taken from Starting Your Marriage Right © 2000 by Dennis and Barbara Rainey. Published by Thomas Nelson Publishers, Nashville, TN. Used by permission of the publisher. All rights reserved.

 

How women can help awake ‘the sleeping giant’



Following is the transcript from a recent FamilyLife Today radio program with guest, Kenny Luck, Men’s Pastor at Saddleback Church.  This is the 2nd of 2 programs that aired with Kenny Luck as the guest.  Bob=Bob Lepine, CoHost; Kenny=Kenny Luck; Dennis=Dennis Rainey, Host  (Note this is a transcript and has not been edited so it might read a little strangely in some areas)

Air date: January 8, 2013

Kenny Luck

Bob: Have you heard women around you bashing their man? What do you do when that happens? Here’s advice from Kenny Luck.

Kenny: Those of you who have a good, strong, godly man instead of when you’re at tennis club, or the coffee shop, or connecting with the toddlers—jumping on the band wagon of man-bashing, as the failed brand, you can step in and say, “You know what? I don’t know what you’re talking about. My guy — he prays with my kids. He loves and cherishes me. He honors me.” You know what your friends will say? “You know, I have a sister. Does he have a brother?”

Bob: This is FamilyLife Today for Tuesday, January 8th. Our host is the president of FamilyLife®, Dennis Rainey, and I’m Bob Lepine. We’re going to talk today about men being men and about how women can help them be the men God wants them to be. Stay tuned.

And welcome to FamilyLife Today. Thanks for joining us on the Tuesday edition. I’m thinking ahead. It’s about three weeks — three-and-a-half weeks — before the Super Bowl. You know, on Super Bowl Sunday, on the day of the game, you can pretty much count on the fact that most guys are going to want to kind of have that time blocked out and they’re going to want to watch the game. They are not going to be available to do a whole lot of “Honey, do” stuff around the house that afternoon; right?

Dennis: That’s correct. That’s correct.

Bob: So, I’m thinking of a wife who is planning for that weekend. She’s got the option of either her husband, on Saturday, doing all the projects around the house so that he can watch the game on Sunday; or she can send him to the Stepping Up® Super Saturday event, down at the church, that’s happening in their community. We’ve got hundreds of churches that are participating in this; but she’s not going to get any “Honey, do” lists done that day. What would your counsel to her be, Dennis?

Dennis: Give up the “Honey, do” list for a day.

Bob: How did I know that was what you would suggest?

Dennis: Give it up! I’m not trying to be a guy who is abdicating responsibility. I’m actually—I’m actually encouraging you, as a wife, to look beyond the “Honey, do” list and beyond to making an investment in your husband’s life—to encourage him, not discourage him— but encourage him to become the man God made him to be. If you send him down to the Stepping Up Super Saturday event—I can’t guarantee this because he’s got a choice—he’s got a real choice, and some guys don’t make it; but a lot will. I’d encourage you to send him down here and find out more information. They can go to FamilyLifeToday.com.

Bob: And by the way, as I said, there are hundreds of churches participating in the Super Saturday event; but there is still an opportunity for a guy to say, “Our church isn’t doing this, but I’d like for our church to do it.” You can still sign up.

Dennis: Exactly, Bob. Don’t wait for your pastor to sign your church up. Maybe, as a man, you grab the baton and take it to your pastor and say, “Let’s do this thing! Let’s make this happen in our community.”

I’m looking across the table, and there’s a guy asking for the microphone and the soapbox. Kenny Luck joins us. He’s the Men’s Pastor at Saddleback Church. He’s written a book called Sleeping Giant. He’s all over the issue of men stepping up. You believe women are important if men are going to step up; don’t you?

Kenny: Oh, my goodness, Dennis! When you guys were talking about —

Dennis: You were having a hard time being quiet.

Kenny: I was just saying — the hall pass — “Ladies, here’s the deal. When you do give permission for a desired activity — but more importantly, when you encourage your man to take ownership of his life — spiritually, relationally, maritally — in the context of other men, that’s when you get a solid result versus hinting, hoping, nagging. It’s just something where he feels that he needs to make that decision on his own — in consideration of you — but in the presence of other men, as an individual man. It’s that ownership-thing, where it is: “This is my decision, and I want to own it — apart from being in your presence — even though I love you — and apart from being connected to you as a husband and father, who has many shortcomings — I want to make this decision myself.”

So, when you were talking about “Hey, let him go. Ladies, let him go! It will be so encouraging to him,” — that’s the first point.

Second point was, I think, when we talk about waking the sleeping giant — when we talk about getting guys in and healthy, and what that means for the women and children — not just in our country, but worldwide — I think that women are going to be the accelerator of that. My feedback — thousands of emails from men — tells me that, many times, when they make a strong step toward health and God — that is met with cynicism, skepticism, or just ambivalence — maybe because of the past — maybe because of failed promises —

Dennis: Right.

Kenny: — in the past. I think, once men feel and hear from their bride — their sisters-in-Christ — encouragement — and also, women-to-women — where instead of — as you’re at tennis, or the coffee shop, or connecting with the toddlers — jumping on the band wagon of man-bashing, as the failed brand. Those of you who have a good, strong, godly man, you can step in and say, “You know what? I don’t know what you’re talking about. My guy — he prays with my kids. He loves and cherishes me. He honors me.” You know what your friends will say? “Does he — I have a sister. Does he have a brother?” You know? That’s what women are looking for. So, ladies, I just want to encourage you to, as we talk about this movement of men — healthy men — we need your voice because when we talk about it, it kind of falls flat.

Bob: You talk about the fact that the men’s culture in America is a broken culture. Do you think it’s always been that way? Do you think it’s true in other cultures? I’m just wondering — I mean we live in a broken world. So, at some level, everything is broken. But has there ever been a time when you’ve looked back and say, “They understood masculinity, back there, or over here, … you know?

To listen to the entire broadcast, click How women can help awake ‘the sleeping giant’

TO CONTINUE READING THE ENTIRE TRANSCRIPT, CLICK HERE

Men Stepping Up - Super Saturday Event
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A tribute to Daddy Fish



I believe the battle for the family today begins with how men behave.  As men step up and man up, they will have an incredible impact on their wives and on their children.  And that impact will be felt for many years to come.  We need a movement of men stepping up.

A number of years ago on FamilyLife Today, we interviewed RV Brown, who heads up an outreach to youth.  RV was one of 17 children, and at the end of our interview I asked him to give a tribute to his father — to honor him for what he had done well.

RV-Brown-Sunday

I’ll never forget what he said to his dad, Willie Fish:

“Daddy Fish, I just want to thank you, from the bottom of my heart, first of all, for loving my Mama, and then secondly, for loving me, and kissing me, and rubbing my little round head, and telling me to go to school, and everything was going to be okay.  And then, Dad, I want to thank you for taking me fishing — July the sixth, 1959, for the first time.  

“And Dad, I want to just tell you what an awesome leader you was.  With no education, Dad, you taught me.  You educated me how to love.  Dad, thank you!  I’m the kind of man I am today because of who you are.  Thank you for loving Mama.  Thank you for the leadership and authority in which you raised us.  Thank you for the discipline; and most of all, father, I want to thank you for that hug and that kiss, and that little rub on my little, round head, and you’d say, ‘You’re going to be okay, son.’  Dad, I love you.”

What a great illustration of a man who was courageous in stepping up to love and lead his family.

It doesn’t get much better than this.  This is the type of impact we long to have as men.  Men Stepping Up means a culture that will begin to change for the better.

Men Stepping Up

To listen to the FamilyLife Today program where RV Brown’s tribute is shared, click below:

What’s your favorite Christmas movie? Here are Bob Lepine’s top 7



Bob Lepine's favorite Christmas Movies

One of the traditions of Christmas in our modern era is to put out a list of favorites … favorite Christmas cookies, carols, etc.  Of all those, arguably our favorite list is that of Christmas movies.  Bob Lepine, cohost of FamilyLife Today’s radio program gives us his top seven favorite Christmas movies of all time.  And, in the spirit of David Letterman, we will count down … here goes …

At number 7… Christmas In Connecticut (1945).  Look for the 1945 original with Barbara Stanwyck, not the remake that shows up on TV with Kris Kristofferson. It’s a classic screwball comedy that’s more about romance than Christmas. But it’s still fun to watch by a roaring fire. Starring Barbara Stanwyck, Dennis Morgan, Sydney Greenstreet, Reginald Gardiner, S.Z. Sakall, and Robert Shayne. Directed by Peter Godfrey.

6. Meet John Doe (1941).  Another film from the legendary Frank Capra (It’s A Wonderful Life) that has its climax at Christmas time. Starring Gary Cooper, Barbara Stanwyck, Edward Arnold, Walter Brennan, James Gleason, and Spring Byington. Directed by Frank Capra.

5. Miracle on 34th Street (1947). See the original 1947 version in black and white. We love the scene where a woman who has had too much to drink says, “We would love to have Santy Claus come and stay with us!”  Starring Maureen O’Hara, John Payne, Edmund Gwenn, Gene Lockhart, Natalie Wood, and Porter Hall. Directed by George Seaton.

4. All I Want For Christmas (1991).  The Parent Trap meets Christmas.  It’s all about making a marriage and family work.  Starring Leslie Nielsen, Lauren Bacall, Harley Jane Kozak, Jamey Sheridan, Ethan Embry, Ethan Randall, and Kevin Nealon.  Directed by Robert Lieberman.

3. Holiday Inn (1942).  Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire in the movie that the song “White Christmas” came from first. Not technically a Christmas movie, but it’s still a seasonal favorite. Starring Bing Crosby, Fred Astaire, Marjorie Reynolds, Virginia Dale, Walter Abel, and Louise Beavers.  Directed by Mark Sandrich.

2. White Christmas (1954). Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye sing and dance to songs by Irving Berlin. It’s a “must see” every year.  Starring Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Rosemary Clooney, Vera-Ellen, Dean Jagger, and Mary Wickes.  Directed by Michael Curtiz.

And, Bob Lepine’s all time favorite Christmas movie (shocker alert):

1. It’s A Wonderful Life (1946).  It’s a wonderful movie.  My all-time favorite.  Starring James Stewart, Donna Reed, Lionel Barrymore, and Henry Travers. Directed by Frank Capra.

So, which ones did Bob miss?  What movie would you put at #1?  Help poor ol’ Bob out here.

BONUS:  The image in this post is from a movie NOT on Bob’s list. Who is he (actor AND character) and what movie is this from?  Extra credit:  What year did this movie come out?

 

12 things I teach the men I mentor



Here are some of the topics (not comprehensive) and related resources that I teach those I mentor:

1. The truth about who God is … to fear Him and know His character.  Read the book, The Knowledge of the Holy, by A.W. Tozer

2. The danger of pride, arrogance, a self-focused heart, and the importance of maintaining a teachable heart.  Read:  Humility: The Beauty of Holiness, by Andrew Murray.

3. The necessity of basing one’s life, convictions, and decisions on the Scriptures.  Read:  The Book of Proverbs (one a day for a month).

4. How to handle adversity and suffering.  Read:  Job and I Peter

5. The importance of embracing personal purpose and mission.  Read: The Purpose-Driven Life, by Rick Warren, and Matthew 28:19-20.

6. How to love your wife , lead her spiritually and help her develop as a woman.  Read: The Christian Husband, by Bob Lepine.

7. How to spiritually lead your family. Read: Growing a Spiritually Strong Family.

8. The importance of relationships in life.  God, wife, family and male friendships.    Read:  The Great Commandment in Matthew 22:36-40.

9. The importance of the fifth commandment in the 10 Commandments — honoring your father and mother.  Read: Exodus 20:12 and The Forgotten Commandment.

10. How to guard their hearts.  Read: Proverbs 4:23.

11. Life skills — dealing with debt, schedule and priorities, ethics at work, and other issues. Read: Building Your Mate’s Self Esteem.

12.  The importance of a legacy that honors and glorifies God.  Read: I Peter 4:11.

For more information on mentoring (either being mentored or being a mentor) check out FamilyLife’s eMentoring pages.

 

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