I was cradling my 5-month-old miracle baby in my arms when I heard our pastor mention an upcoming marriage conference as part of the weekly announcements. I didn’t think much of it as we hopped into the van on the way home. Once we got the kids buckled in and started down the road, my husband looked over at me and said, “I think we should go to that marriage conference.”
Hurt flooded my heart. Clearly, he thought we needed this marriage conference. Hurt then quickly turned to anger. What was wrong with our marriage? What did he think I needed to fix? The conversation quickly ended, we decided to both think about it.
We had just walked through some of the most difficult years of our marriage. We had spent over a year walking through miscarriage and struggling to get pregnant. When we finally did get pregnant, I was so sick home healthcare had to come to our home daily. I had a full-time IV as well as daily shots for a variety of medical conditions.
For two years, we survived. So, when our daughter was finally born, we both breathed a sigh of relief that the hardest part was over. We could handle the newborn sleepless nights and hormones, but if I am being honest our marriage had taken a toll.
We loved each other but we were like two ships sailing by each other in sleepless oblivion. We needed to invest some time into our marriage. Would a marriage retreat help us find our way back to each other?
After I let my emotions subside, I agreed we could benefit from the marriage conference. We were all set to go until they told me I could not bring my baby in with me. I left her and her siblings in the provided daycare and huffed my way into the auditorium. I was there but I didn’t want to be.
Then, wouldn’t you know the sweetest, happiest newlywed couple sat right in front of us and could not keep their hands off each other. He caressed her hair, she rubbed his back. Meanwhile, my husband and I were sitting worlds apart physically and in spirit.
Over the course, of the weekend my attitude started to change as I listened to the words of wisdom being shared. My heart started to soften as I knew the truth, I needed this. Our marriage needed this reset. A chance to focus on us. Dedicated, uninterrupted time to return to what really matters. By the end of the weekend, we were sitting closer together on the pew and we left feeling rejuvenated.
Over the years we have attended other marriage conferences, each unique but beneficial. I don’t flinch in anger or hurt when my husband mentions attending another one. I know it will be good for us and that like any relationship, we need to invest time and energy into it.
It’s hard to dig into a deep conversation in the normal day to day with young children. If you have never attended a marriage conference, I recommend the opportunity. It might just be the thing you didn’t know you needed.
It’s February, the unofficial month of love. However, if you have been married long enough you might have experienced hard seasons in your marriage, like us, where you feel more like roommates than lovebirds.
This year, instead of gifting chocolates and candy consider investing in a marriage conference.
I know it’s hard to leave the kids behind and make the logistics work, but the investment will reap dividends for your marriage and your family! I know a marriage conference is not the cure-all to fix a marriage, but it has been a good investment for us.
Here are some upcoming local marriage conferences you can attend –