Weekend to Remember–Wonderful!
About the Guest
Does your marriage need a tune-up?! Or perhaps you're just beginning as husband and wife and want to start your married life on the right foot? Either way, FamilyLife's Weekend to Remember is for YOU! Today, tune in to hear Dennis Rainey and Bob Lepine share stories and letters from couples who've attended the Weekend to Remember and now cite the conference as being a big key in the positive changes they now see in their marriages.
Hear Dennis Rainey and Bob Lepine share stories and letters from couples who’ve attended the Weekend to Remember.
Weekend to Remember–Wonderful!
Bob: Have you ever wondered why someone would take a whole weekend and get away to hear about building a stronger marriage? Well, frankly, so have we.
Man: Why did you come today?
Man: I just want my wife to know that I still love her, and that I'm committed to her, and I always will be.
Woman: But I want to know, too, what God expects out of our relationship, especially what are good ways to keep the communication lines open.
Man: I hope to learn some things that I can take home. My wife and I are working on our marriage all the time, and we're just looking for more tools.
Woman: Just closer intimacy – some fun and just to hear what God has to say about marriages.
Man: Why did you come today?
Man: Because my wife asked me to.
Man: See? Ask the wives.
Man: What is your hope for the day?
Man: That's a good question. I don't know what to expect, so …
Bob: And welcome to FamilyLife Today, thanks for joining us. This is the season of the year that you look forward to – this particular season, and it's because of what's happening pretty much every Saturday and every Sunday during the fall.
Dennis: And we're not talking about football.
Bob: That's what I was – that's not what you're talking about? That's what I thought …
Dennis: No, it's …
Bob: College games are on Saturday …
Dennis: Well, sure, that's fine.
Bob: Pro games are on Sunday …
Dennis: That's fine, but …
Bob: And then you've got Sunday Night Football, you've got Monday night Football.
Dennis: No, no, no, no. You have to consider what's occurring on Friday night, all day Saturday, and all day Sunday that is so impacting people's lives that not only is their individual life changed but marriages and families and legacies, I believe, for generations to come are being forever altered because of the decisions made at a Weekend to Remember.
Bob: We are kicking off – and I use that expression given the season we're in – we're kicking off the fall season …
Dennis: … is this an addiction?
Bob: … of the Weekend to Remember conferences. They are held in cities all across the country, and we wanted to make sure our listeners knew it so they can go to our website, FamilyLife.com, get more information about when the conference is coming to a city near where you live, and you can make plans now. If you're not already registered, get registered and be at one of these upcoming conferences.
Dennis: You know, if you end up going to a Weekend to Remember conference, which I hope you'll do, you could compare it to taking a drink from a fire hydrant, holding a little tin cup trying to catch is as it just barrels out of there. And that's kind of what I feel like has happened today here at FamilyLife.
So before we talk about the Weekend to Remember and specifically what our listeners can expect there, I have to tell you what happened to me here today before I came in the studio. A couple was waiting on me in my office as I started my day, from St. Petersburg in the former Soviet Union. They were from Russia.
I sat down with them and began to hear their vision for families in Russia, and they shared what was going on there – that the divorce rate in the former Soviet Union is somewhere between 80 to 90 percent. The home is just in a terrible condition, and this young couple who have two little girls of their own, sat in my office sharing the story of how they have a vision to see that every Russian family uses the materials and the hope that FamilyLife teaches from the Scripture to not only build their own home but touch other homes as well – so much so that every home in Russia would know someone who had a godly home; that had a home that was built upon the biblical foundation.
Bob: Is this a pastor from a church in Russia?
Dennis: No, this young couple were on FamilyLife staff who are Russians, and they raise their own support. I promise you, it's not a lot, but they are making a difference. They are training a speaker team, they are translating Homebuilders, and they are holding Weekend to Remember Marriage Conferences using family to reach other families with the truth about Jesus Christ.
And so I've kind of had a drink from a fire hydrant here, and I kind of wanted to just share with our Legacy Partners who are monthly donors to us here on FamilyLife Today. This is a part of what you're investing in – not only our outreach through this broadcast, FamilyLife Today, which touches millions of people, but you're also helping to touch the nations of the world, because family is an international language.
Bob: These conferences that take place in Africa and in Oceana and in Asia and in the former Soviet Union and Europe and South America, Central America, they're often happening without us even knowing they're happening, because the couples who get trained go back to their cities or their villages, and they get together with other couples and start to have a ministry in their lives.
Dennis: It may not look like the ministry we have here in America, but there are Homebuilders meetings occurring all around the world. In fact, the sun doesn't set on the ministry of FamilyLife as it reaches out and touches the nations of the world.
Bob, one of the things that every country has asked for, and it's just a staple in terms of the training we provide for nationals, is we equip couples to become speakers at our Weekend to Remember Marriage Conference, and the reason is, because when couples get away, whether they get away in the Congo of the continent of Africa or St. Petersburg – if they get away, and they can hear the Scriptures and what it teaches about life's choices as it relates to marriage and family, their lives are changed forever, and I'm just thrilled that the Weekend to Remember continues to be hosted here in America in more than 150 locations, and that we're making this training available to our own American families which, frankly, need it desperately today.
Bob: We have hundreds of couples around the country who volunteer to help make the Weekend to Remember conference a reality in the cities where these conferences are held. You and I had the opportunity to speak together at one of these conferences in Dallas back in the spring. Your wife Barbara was there as well. And it turn out it was the largest Weekend to Remember conference that FamilyLife has ever been a part of.
Dennis: It was. In 30 years we have hosted – well, I don't know how many – but thousands of Weekend to Remember Marriage Conferences, and the record, interestingly enough, was about a year ago in Dallas/Fort Worth at the Gaylord Texan, and you and I decided, along with Barbara, we'd go back and see if we couldn't set a new record this year, and we had 3,877 people attend.
Now, I want you to picture a football field; in fact, a ballroom that's bigger than a football field with six video screens, with seats almost farther than the eye can see – certainly, from a stage that's well lit, with eyes that are my age eyes, all right? But picture 3,877 people all sitting there from Friday night through Saturday into Sunday hearing God's blueprints for how you go about building a godly marriage and family.
Bob: That's not a typical conference – we don't typically fill a football field, but at a normal Weekend to Remember conference, like the ones that are being held in cities all across the country this fall, there will be 600 or 700 or 800 couples in attendance. There might be some where it's over 1,000 or close to 1,500, and it winds up being a great weekend where a husband and wife can get away and, as you said, spend the entire weekend listening, learning, growing, laughing, enjoying time with one another, working on projects, relaxing – just the opportunity to be away and to focus on your marriage is significant.
I know I'm looking forward – I'm going to be speaking at one of the conferences this fall in Estes Park, Colorado – a great opportunity to get off into the Front Range of the mountains and just enjoy a fall weekend up there with a couple hundred couples as we crack open the Scriptures and look at what they have to say about how you build a stronger marriage.
Dennis: Probably that conference will be attended by my son, Ben, and his wife, Marsha Kay. They usually take a group and attend the Weekend to Remember in the Estes Park conference, because it's such a great location and a great getaway.
Bob: You know, as we talk to couples at the Weekend to Remember conference, I was surprised to hear how many of them were alumni. They were back for a second or a third or a fourth weekend with us at one of our conferences, but then I was also very encouraged to hear the number of couples who were attending for the first time who said, "We'll be back. We need this. We need this every year. We need this kind of refreshment for our marriage on an ongoing basis," and I think we forget that. I think we get involved in the dailiness of life, and we just lose sight of the fact that to keep a marriage running smoothly, you have to take it off the track for a pit stop and rotate the wheels, you know, and align the front end if you want it to run right.
Dennis: One of the privileges we have at these Weekend to Remember Marriage Conferences and, again, those of you who are donors to FamilyLife help make this possible, is we scholarship pastors and their spouses to the Weekend to Remember. Now, we don't pay the hotel. The church needs to take care of that, but we'll pick up the registration rate for any full-time vocational pastor who wants to attend with his spouse and, in Dallas, we had over 300 pastors and their spouses attend who were scholarshiped by us.
You know, one of the great moments in the weekend occurs when we get those men, and we get the women separate, and in Dallas you spoke to the men about being a husband, and I spoke to them about being a dad, and Barbara spoke to the women about their role and responsibility as wives and mothers. But I wanted to ask you, Bob, because I noticed, as you spoke about the weekend, you highlighted the issue of pornography in the men's session, when you spoke to the husbands about their responsibility of being a servant leader and lover of their wives.
Bob: Well, on Saturday afternoon, we talk about the issue of sexual intimacy and having a healthy relationship in the sexual dimension of marriage, and that's always one of the things that couples are anxious to hear about. I think there's a lot of challenge in that area for a lot of couples today, and one of the reasons why I think that area is challenged is because there is an increase in our culture in the number of men …
Dennis: … no doubt about it …
Bob: … even the number of Christian men who find themselves ensnared by this sin of pornography. Some of them don't think it's a problem; some of them realize it's a problem, they just don't know how to deal with it, but all of them need to be reminded that Jesus said that a man who looks on a woman to lust is committing adultery. And that's what pornography is at its core. It's an emotional adultery; it's a visual adultery. It's unfaithfulness to your spouse.
And so we address that with the couples on Saturday afternoon and then again when we have the men alone on Sunday morning, we make it a point to speak to this issue because we want to see men who are ensnared by this sin get free from the trap. We're not saying it so that they feel condemned. We're saying it so that they can find a way out. Many of them want to be free, they just don't know how to get there.
Dennis: That's right, and we don't beat the men up. You didn't hammer the guys about it, you just invited them to step away from it. I received an e-mail from a woman whose husband had confessed to her that he had a problem with this, and she had no idea. But she wrote and said, "You know, even though this is devastating, I am now hopeful because I know he's truly going to come clean, and he's going to give his heart and soul to me as my husband."
And, Bob, that's really what we try to do throughout the entire weekend, is help people apply what they're hearing in their own marriage and family.
Bob: I'm convinced, as it relates to pornography, and many hidden sins, that as long as they stay hidden, they continue to have power over you. But when they come out in the light, when a husband comes clean with his wife, when a wife steps up with her husband and says, "This is an issue, this is what's been going on with me. I've found myself emotionally drawn to another person, or I've been looking at pornography," when those kinds of things come to light, I'm convinced that that's the beginning of the breaking of the bondage, the power in that situation.
So we spend some time in the session coaching wives. I said, you know, "Some of you ladies are going to hear from your husband. He's going to come clean with you in the next few weeks about this issue," and I said, "I want to encourage you to – it's going to hurt, it's going to be devastating, but I want to encourage you to come alongside and help him get out of this trap that he is in."
And as we got that e-mail from the couple who had attended, she was saying, "It does hurt, but I want to help him get out of that trap," and I think they'll look back on that weekend as a turning point in their marriage.
Dennis: You know, when people come to the conference, we have no idea how they got there and who invited them, but I received an e-mail from one of our speaker couples, who speaks at the Weekend to Remember Marriage Conference, and this particular speaker happens to be a medical doctor. And he'd been in a conversation with one of his patients, and happened to have our Weekend to Remember Marriage Conference brochures out on his table, and one of his patients asked about that and said, "Could I take that?" And he said, "Why?" And he said, "Well, my son and daughter-in-law are in trouble in their marriage, and I'd like to send them a brochure and see if there's a possibility of them going. Is it any good?"
Well, he's a speaker, and he doubled back with me to tell me the rest of the story. He writes, he said, "The mom came by to see me yesterday for a routine follow-up, and when I walked into the exam room she said, "Before we get started, I want you to know that my son called me Sunday night to tell me about them attending the Dallas conference. He said it was beyond their greatest expectations; that their marriage was changed, and that they were going to make it. They realized they still had a lot of work to do but, for the first time, now they have the tools to do it."
And my friend, Jim, who is the speaker wrote, in closing, he said, "As we learn, time and time again, God, indeed, is in the miracle of restoring families and uses something as simple as a brochure lying on a table in a doctor's exam room to do it."
You know, there are individuals listening right now who know of marriages who need to get to one of these conferences. And maybe you need to get brochures – one for you and your spouse to go, but the other one to take another couple to the conference so that they'll be encouraged to go, first of all, but, secondly, so that you can see a miracle of a restored family occur right before your eyes.
Bob: You know, we've had the experience where we'll hear about a couple, and we'll think, you know, it would be good for them to go to the conference. I hope they will consider going, and a lot of couples will but, I'll tell you, when you come to a friend, and you say, "Would you join my wife and me? Would you go together with us?" Oftentimes, those who might be reluctant to go otherwise will come along with you.
Bob: So if you really do have a friend, a relative, a family member, somebody you know who could benefit from being at one of these weekend conferences, and you'd love to see them go, probably the best way to make that happen is invite them to join you. Some of their hesitation, or their resistance, will lower when they hear you're going, too. They'll feel, it must be okay, it must be safe. You wouldn't be going if it weren't, and they'll be willing to go along with you.
And we are hoping, we're going to have conferences in cities all across the country this fall. You go to our website, FamilyLife.com, and on the Web you can find the listing of cities where the conferences are being held, which weekends they're going to be, in which location, and you can make plans to go on your own, go with another couple, invite someone to go with you, and be at one of these upcoming Weekend to Remember conferences when it comes to a city near where you live.
Dennis: I have to read you this e-mail that came to me last spring right after the Dallas/Fort Worth Weekend to Remember Marriage Conference – this person writes, "We were at the conference this past weekend. On the way home, our oneness covenant had an accident." Now, I don't know how a oneness covenant has an accident.
Bob: They're talking about the piece of paper that each conferee receives. It's a certificate …
Dennis: It's not just a piece of paper …
Bob: … that's true …
Dennis: … it's a magnificent embossed document that couples get upon completing the conference that they can sign in front of their kids and then hang it on the wall.
Bob: Frame it and put it up in their home.
Dennis: There you go, and evidently their oneness covenant had an accident, all right? She said, "It would be greatly appreciated if you would mail me another one. We are looking forward to signing it. I've already purchased a frame for it today
After the conference we were outside the hotel waiting for our car to be brought around. A young lady approached us and said the following, she said, "I want to know how long you two have been married." I told her it would be 11 years the 27th of this month. I am 53, my husband is 73. She said, "We couldn't help but notice when you all were saying your vows how much you all looked so in love." Remember, this was in Texas, so that's the you-all.
Bob: And then you talk about them saying their vows.
Dennis: That's how we ended the event.
Bob: Right, they had a chance to renew their vows by restating them to one another.
Dennis: That's right. This woman goes on to say, "I couldn't tell you how we looked, because I couldn't see through all the tears. But I wanted you to know that the look was the result of the weekend. It was the most wonderful experience we have ever had since being married. I thank you all so much, and I know now that our marriage is on the upswing, and it's due to this conference. I now see my husband in a new light. I cannot thank you all enough for what you all have brought into our lives."
Bob: A lot of "you alls" there.
Dennis: Yeah. "See you all next year. P.S. This was our first conference."
That's what you're talking about, Bob. It's people who come, good marriages but just need some freshening, some housecleaning, and some fresh winds to blow through, and that occurs throughout the weekend. I remember coming to you after this event was over, and I said, "You know, Bob, it's like you and I had the privilege of opening up a box in that ballroom in front of 3,877 people – a box of uranium. We opened that box, and then we spent Friday night, all day Saturday, all day Sunday until about 4:00 on Sunday afternoon, and what happened as a result of all those people, 3,877, there were a bunch of radioactive people who left that weekend."
And what's the uranium? It's the truth of the Scriptures. If you sit in the weekend that long, and you're exposed to the Scriptures, and you think about it, and you talk about it, and you apply it, and you experience it, you embrace it, many begin to think about, "How could we proclaim it? How could we make a difference in our neighborhood?" I'm telling you, you need to come to a Weekend to Remember and get radioactive.
Bob: Of course, we've got these conferences going on now in cities all across the country, as we said, and we want to encourage our listeners – there is still time this fall to attend a Weekend to Remember conference, and there is likely a conference in a city near where you live, either this month or next month or even into the first weekend in December.
Go to our website, FamilyLife.com, and if you click the red button in the middle of the home page that says "Go," that will take you right to a page where you can get all the information you need about locations, dates, pricing, all of that related to the Weekend to Remember conference.
Again, our website is FamilyLife.com, click the red "Go" button, and you'll be right there at a place where you can sign up to attend one of these upcoming conferences and have your own Weekend to Remember. And if, for some reason, you can't get to a conference this fall or you can't make it out next spring, but you'd still like to hear what we talk about at the conference, we have the messages from the Weekend to Remember available in a CD album, and you can get more information about that on our website as well.
Now, I need to just make sure you understand – listening to the CDs is not the same as attending the weekend and working through the projects and just having that time away together as a couple. But even couples who have been to the Weekend to Remember still like reviewing the messages they've heard, and all of them are available in a special CD album.
You can get more information about that or order it online at our website, FamilyLife.com, or if you prefer, you can call 1-800-FLTODAY – that's 1-800-F-as-in-family, L-as-in-life, and then the word TODAY, and whether you want more information about the Weekend to Remember, if you want to register over the phone, or you're interested in getting the CD album from the Weekend to Remember, someone on our staff can make the arrangements and get you all fixed up.
You know, what we talk about at the Weekend to Remember conference when we talk about communication and intimacy and resolving conflict and a wife's role and a husband's role – it really ties together with a message your wife Barbara gave not long ago to a group of women where she encouraged these wives on what they can do to help their husbands be all that God wants him to be.
We have that message available on CD and this month we are making it available to listeners who call to make a donation of any amount for the ministry of FamilyLife Today. We are listener-supported, and so we depend on those donations to be able to provide this program each day on this station and on stations all across the country to make our website available, other resources that we produce here at FamilyLife, and we appreciate those of you who, in the past, have been able to help with a donation to keep the ministry going, and this month if you can help with a donation, we'd like to send you as our gift to you the CD from Barbara Rainey about what a wife can do to help her husband be the man God wants him to be.
Now, if you're making a donation online, as you fill out the form, you'll come to a keycode box – type the two letters, "CD," in that keycode box, and we'll know to have this CD sent out to you. Or if you're making your donation over the phone, just mention that you'd like the CD from Barbara Rainey. We'll know what you're talking about, and we'll be happy to get it out to you. Again, we want to send this to you as a way of saying thanks for your financial support of the ministry of FamilyLife Today.
Now, tomorrow, Dr. Paul David Tripp is going to join us, and we're going to talk about the middle of life and what makes it so weird. I hope you can be with us for that conversation.
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'll see you next time for another edition of FamilyLife Today.
FamilyLife Today is a production of FamilyLife of Little Rock, Arkansas, a ministry of Campus Crusade for Christ.
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