“A Weekend to Remember”… marriage retreat
“A Weekend to Remember” Marriage Retreat (http://www.familylife.com/) – An update after my second retreat!
This is a marriage, life, and family changing terrific Christian marriage retreat. My husband Bruce and I so learned, discovered, enjoyed, and were renewed by attending this conference – now a second time. It is great and needed to take the time to focus on each other in a marriage retreat. We have done this again 2 years later, and plan to continue this or some marriage retreat seminar about every 2 years.
I strongly encourage you to spend the time and effort on each your marriage and family legacy to attend this or a similar marriage enrichment conference. It is an excellent conference for marriages that are currently great, for engaged couples, AND for marriages that are in horrible trouble.
Remember always – your spouse is your gift and treasure from God!
The topics covered were :
Why Marriages Fail – due to difficult adjustments (differing backgrounds, motivations, expectations), culture’s pattern of 50/50 (vs God’s encouraging oneness, giving 100%, looking at self), inevitable difficulties (need plan so will not drive apart), extramarital “affairs” (work, kids, activities/business, materialism, fantasy/porn, infidelity, isolation), selfishness, and the failure to anticipate the certainty of difficulties and problems
“Life is so hard because we expect it to be so easy!”
Can We Talk – how can we understand our spouse (and NOT how we can get them to do what we want), LISTEN/repeat back/ask more questions, and if you don’t have anything good to say, don’t say it!
Unlocking the Mystery of Marriage – Our spouse is our gift from God
God’s purpose for oneness/unlocking the mystery of marriage — to mirror God’s image, mutually complete one another, multiply a Godly legacy with your children, keep away Satan (no secrets, work on yourself /struggles and be willing to hear feedback about yourself, be more dependent upon God)
“Oneness in marriage is only possible when we consider our spouse BEFORE we consider ourselves.”
From How to Wow – God’s plan for oneness and a project (writing each other a love letter) — Leave (establish independence from parents), Cleave (establish commitment to one another), Become one flesh (establish intimacy with one another) – this can be very difficult due to our differences, weaknesses, and self-centeredness
- we need to celebrate differences and help in each other’s weaknesses, and daily work to put our spouses needs ahead of our own – ask, “Is there anything I can help you with today?”
“We must choose to receive our spouse as God’s perfect provision for us – receiving our spouse is NOT based on our spouse’s performance (because performance WILL fall away).” So my husband Bruce and all of our spouses essentially have on their foreheads – “Gift from God” – do I/we trust the sender???
What Every Marriage Needs – God’s power for oneness — establish a relationship with God, experience an ongoing relationship with God together (read bible, pray together and individually, church home, time w other Christians/small group)
“As we grow, we don’t get more of God…He gets more of us!”
We Fight Too – Conflict (and opportunity to know each other better) and to avoid conflict is to avoid reality
- resolving conflict requires loving confrontation (slow down and check your role, motives and heart, and choose your words carefully)
- resolving conflict requires choosing forgiveness (admit you are wrong, humbly seek forgiveness, release your spouse free from seeking revenge, build trust by consistent behavior over time)
- we minimize conflict when we choose to actively bless one another in marriage – refrain your tongue from speaking evil, turn away for evil, do good, bee a peacemaker (anger shows that I care more about how we look than God) – I love you/I respect you and your are not my enemy!
“Have you gone to the throne (God) before you pick up the phone (or open your mouth)?”
Marriage After Dark – sex was created by God and designed for our good (the freedom to enjoy each other’s body), sex is a thermometer that can measure your individual well-being, sex can be enhanced by understanding the differences between man and woman, and a great sex life is built on – Companionship (communication, tenderness, spending time together), Commitment (faithfulness, respect, forgiveness), Passion (planning and creativity), and Spiritual Intimacy (prayer and the Bible)
“Sexiness does NOT equal great sex. The biggest sex organ is your mind, so protect it well (keep it from porn or other wrong wordly images) and train it well with God’s plans and guidance. The best sex simmers all day and is slow cooked with relationship and is the real foreplay (the male speakers advice to men – always please her first).”
***Read my, Dr. Lisa’s, last several articles about marital passion and libido.***
Woman to Woman – Priorities (#1 grow in her relationship w God, #2 respect and support her husband, #3 teach/train her children w wisdom from the Bible, #4 everything else ordered after the 1st 3!), God’s design (equals w different roles/responsibilities/purposes – husband as leader and each other complete through marriage and mutual submission/selflessness), Respect and support her husband (unconditional respect which empowers her husband, thankfulness, praise, listening, sexuality, encouraging words/attitude/actions, never criticize husband in public or in front of children), Depend on God
Man to Man – Follow and obey Christ and his leader, Role as leader in marriage – sacrificially loving his wife (cherishes, trustworthy, listening, helping, praying, putting her needs ahead of his own, nourishes her gifts/dreams/love/romance), courageously leading his wife (finances, 1st taking care if wife and children, protecting his family emotionally/spiritually/physically), Responsibility as father (each child a unique gift from God, loves and cares willingly/eagerly/consistently/not domineering, spends time listening/hugging/things they enjoy/praying, leads by example and with God/loves their mother/teaches biblical wisdom)
How Marriages Thrive – essential elements for oneness in marriage & a revolutionary relationship
- the habit of extravagant love is a choice and leads to genuine intimacy (Exclusive– one person having your heart for a lifetime, Expressed by repeating often through words and actions, Extraordinary-placing spouse’s needs above your own)
- the habit of generous forgiveness leads to true security (with humility and without bitterness)
- the habit of enthusiastic encouragement leads to unity and team together for life (believe in and motivate your spouse, openly affirm/praise, maintain positive attitude, avoid critical words)
Leaving a Legacy – for our the next generations
- by doing the constant work of strengthening our marriage and family and relationship with God, and always looking to serve God and others
Lisa’s things to remember from the conference
-work hard to love God and Bruce – to mirror God and complete each other
-work hard to avoid “extramarital affairs” such as work or business or selfishness
-celebrate each other’s differences and help each other in our weaknesses
-work each day to make certain God is my priority & take the time to read, pray, journal, and work to raise Godly children – model, teach, talk
Lisa’s top 3 priorities from the conference experience
-be my husband Bruce’s cheerleader
-work daily to consider Bruce before myself, and remember “Gift from God” is always on his forehead
-listen, repeat back, ask more questions
-work together to avoid “extramarital affairs” for each other and our family
What will be YOUR things to rememember and top priorities from your marriage retreat???…