Tuesday, February 14, 2012

The Art of Marriage and other thoughts on love...

This past weekend, Chris and I had the opportunity to attend a day and a half marriage conference at our church. "The Art of Marriage" conference is put on by Family Life ministries, who also puts on "A Weekend To Remember" conference.

We celebrated our 15 year anniversary this past January and we both agree that we love each other more now than before and are surprised that is even possible! We've always had a deep, abiding love for one another but 15 years does bring its share of difficulties, strains, hurts and stressors. This weekend was a great way to let go of hurts, build healthy boundaries from outside influences and celebrate 21 years, in total, of being together!

We got the kids off with Nana and headed over for our first night's set of workshops. We did not leave there disappointed. At all. This conference gets you thinking about your marital relationship right from the start. Afterwards, we stopped off for frozen yogurt and talked about the conference and what we had learned on Friday night. We even had homework to complete!

The next morning, we arrived bright and early and our church, Lifepointe Christian Church, had thought of every last detail - breakfast foods, hot drinks, bite-sized pieces of chocolate for a pick-me-up during breaks! We were spoiled! Today's sessions, though, cut right to the chase and got to the heart of struggles that are common in marriages. There were good tears and sad tears, laughter and deep-thoughts, forgiveness and love renewed. It was an EXCELLENT conference! We walked away from it renewed in our commitment to one another. They encouraged all participants, if able, to go on a date afterwards, so we did! We headed over to the local movie theater and saw "The Vow" and then grabbed dinner together before picking up the kids.
"The Art of Marriage" conference revolutionized and refreshed our relationship and is well worth attending if you get the chance! Here's a video and more information about The Art of Marriage.

LOVE on Valentine's Day
As we grow together as a couple and weather life's storms, we recognize a few things. In God's continual act of maturing us, we see that our marriage isn't about US nor is about ME or making ME happy and fulfilled. It is about glorifying God. It is about being the visible example of God's love for us. Tim Challies wrote this series of blogs last week and I highly recommend you read them. His point, and what we are learning, the Bible says that Christian marriages should LOOK LIKE Christ's relationship to the church. The church is Christ's bride. Our marriage should, more and more, reflect the relationship He had to His own bride. And so, Challies' post leaves us asking ourselves this one question... "Does my marriage reflect Christ's relationship to the church, His bride?". Something to ponder today as you celebrate your love for those in your life!

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