This past weekend, Jon and I packed our bags full of winter clothing and headed to Yosemite National Park for our final pre-baby getaway. We left town on a Thursday morning so that we’d have all day Friday to explore Yosemite before the conference started Friday night. We saw some wildlife, waterfalls, giant Sequoias and of course, the famous rock formations that border Yosemite. We also got to enjoy some overpriced cafeteria food and hot chocolate when we stopped to grab lunch in the park.
The Weekend To Remember marriage conference is something that Family Life, a ministry of Campus Crusade For Christ, puts on at different locations around the world for couples ranging from young to old, newly married or even pre-married to seasoned marriage veterans. People go to strengthen their already good marriages and others go as a last resort when their marriage relationship is crumbling and they’ve lost hope.
For us, the weekend was everything I guess you’d expect a marriage conference to be: fun, difficult, refining…It’s amazing what God will do when you set aside time specifically to hear from him and grow. When we showed up to the first session on Friday night I was thinking to myself, “Well, our marriage definitely isn’t on the rocks, in fact I think it’s pretty good, so I’m not sure what exactly I’m going to get out of this thing.” But by mid morning Saturday I was extremely grateful that we were there, that God was working in our marriage and helping us understand each other’s needs better now versus months or even years down the road. Because even though sometimes things are good and they “work”, it doesn’t mean that they are as good as they could be and the best that God has to offer.
So our time there was amusing. You’d see couples around the hotel campus on romantic walks or smooching in the elevator and a few hours later you’d see the same couples walking three feet apart with scowls on their faces probably because they were working through some difficult issues in their lives. Same went for us. It was a weekend of ups and downs, but ultimately, by the time we were in the car to drive home we had a renewed oneness and excitement about our relationship and future together.
I met a really cute old couple one time – they came into the radio station where I work to drop something off – and they started talking about their marriage because at the time I was engaged and the woman noticed the ring on my finger and asked me about it. They said that every year they do something to invest in their marriage. Whether it’s a conference, a vacation, or something else special, they said the important thing is to do something every year that strengthens your relationship. John Piper says the same thing. Each year on his anniversary, him and his wife go away somewhere together and along with just enjoying each other’s company, they spend time talking and praying about how their marriage is going.
Probably more than anything else from this weekend, I took away a renewed sense of joy about my marriage. It’s so important. Even though marriage is very much just part of the day to day routine and like anything else it can grow tiresome just doing doing doing things because you’re supposed to be doing them, it really is such an amazing gift that God has given us to allow us to experience all that He is, all the more.
If anyone is interested in attending a Weekend To Remember,you can sign up through my group KidwellFriends and get half off your registration fee.
It’s worth it.