A year ago on Valentine’s weekend we attended the LifeWay Marriage Getaway and before we left had signed up to come again this year. As the date got closer I wasn’t really excited about it. It wasn’t that I didn’t want a getaway with my spouse. I just had a spirit of rebellion about attending another training and another class.
I do a lot of training for business and personal development. I get monthly marriage counseling and am very happy and satisfied in my marriage so a part of me wasn’t thrilled about another training.
The weekend started with a free gift LifeWay gave us, The Love Dare book journal.
The Love Dare comes from the movie Fireproof, where the main character was challenged to 40 days of loving his wife unconditionally with scripture readings and actions he had to do. This book is recommended for those with marriages falling apart or those who have healthy and strong marriages.
There is also a marriage evaluation that you can take online. It evaluates how you are doing in the following areas of your marriage: Attention, Acceptance, Affirmation, Abiding, Apology, Affection and Allowing. I took the quiz on the first day of the retreat and it made me realize how much more I needed to improve in my part of the marriage.
I think it can be a gentle wake up call for good marriages and a reality check for not so good marriages in areas they need to improve. Definitely take the test yourself. Don’t care so much about your spouse’s score as your own. Marriage success starts on the inside not the outside.
Here are 6 NUGGETS I picked up from the marriage retreat that I want to share with you:
Marriage should look like God’s love for us
Think about this one… how does God love us? UNCONDITIONALLY… not dependent on if we take the garbage out or gain 50 pounds. He still loves us fully and UNCONDITIONALLY. This is true intimacy.
You are the key to your spouse’s connection with God
By loving your wife or husband like God loves us, you allow and open the door for a more intimate relationship with Christ. And like a TRIANGLE, the closer each spouse becomes in their relationship with Christ the closer they become to each other.
Your spouse is wondering if you are safe to handle their heart?
I don’t think there’s a person in the world who hasn’t experienced deep hurt. Hurt can leave us fragile and vulnerable and even cause us to put up walls in our most intimate relationships or even avoid relationships to protect ourselves.
If we are to give ourselves fully to our spouse, we give them our heart and the other spouse’s job to protect it must be at their highest priority.
One of the greatest joys we have in our marriage is the opportunity to help heal wounds we never caused.
You wouldn’t talk to your Momma that way… why is it we can give respect and honor to our grandparents or parents but our spouse we can speak to ugly, disrespectful, or even hurtful?
If we really took our job to PROTECT the love and heart of our spouse then we would choose our words carefully, honor and respect our spouse in words, actions and behaviors. Sadly many women and men have not been taught how to do this so that is where counseling, coaching, personal development and communication skills training would be very valuable.
I always refer friends, family and co-workers to training my husband and I did over a dozen times www.firststepstosuccess.com. We went to improve our businesses but found the skills we learned radically changed our marriage too.
When you become a better person and understand and have compassion for your spouse’s past hurts and possible hangups, you can open up a door for healing for them and Godly deliverance.
Intimacy comes from Connection versus Affection.
Our culture is defining what intimacy is through TV, music, and reality TV. It defines it as mostly sex and many times not in the confines of marriage.
Intimacy involves our Emotional Connection, our Mental Connection, our Spiritual Connection and our Physical Connection.
Mark 12:30 is our Biblical Reference to Intimacy with God and God says for us to love each other in the same way.
The physical relationship and sex in marriage is just not addressed in church or the body of believers. Most people don’t even know what the Bible says about sex. We may hear don’t have it until you’re married but nothing else.
The Bible tells us sex is for the following four purposes within marriage:
1. Procreation – to have children
2. Consummation – to seal our union
3. Recreation – for our enjoyment within our marriage
4. Protection – to protect our marriage
On a side note we learned about teaching our sons and daughters the value of their virginity. A virgin daughter was as valuable as 5-7 years of wages just 2000 years ago. Sons were taught to value and protect the virginity of a girl. Interesting… I think we would see some serious cultural shift if we started grooming our children this way, huh?
Listening can be a key to intimacy with your spouse.
Really LISTEN to your Spouse: Ask questions like tell me more about that? What can I do to help you? Again I will have to refer everyone to the www.firststepstosuccess.com trainings and danijohnson.com programs like GEMS. These trainings helped me and continue to help me improve my listening and communication skills.
All in all I was very blessed by the marriage retreat this year. It was a wonderful wake up call to the things I need to improve in my marriage, educated me on some things I didn’t know, and lastly was a sweet and memorable time away with my spouse.
Here is a picture of us taking a nap overlooking the beach during one of our breaks. Hey when you have little kids, an uninterrupted nap is a DREAM COME TRUE!
We pray for your marriages and that you will take some of the information and apply it in your marriage. Let us know if it helps!
Disclaimer: This information is not meant to diagnose, prescribe, treat or cure any illness or disease. It’s strictly for informational, educational, or entertainment purposes ONLY. The products I talk about are not meant to diagnose, prescribe, treat or cure any illness or disease. Any information I give you about them is for informational or entertainment purposes only. They have not been evaluated or approved by the FDA. Please seek the qualified health professional of your choice when making health decisions for yourself, your family and your pets.