This weekend past, Amy and I attended FamilyLife's Weekend to Remember. The Weekend to Remember is a weekend conference for husbands and wives looking to strengthen their marriages. Amy and I went to a Weekend to Remember a number of years ago, around 2000, having only been married for about 4 years. As a young couple, the weekend was a wonderful opportunity to learns some new tools for our marriage. That first weekend was a great experience.
This weekend was another wonderful reminder of the importance of working on our marriage.
First let me say, we have a pretty good marriage. We have been blessed with some great training and care. From our pre-marital counseling to conferences and seminars to a number of great books and awesome mentors and couples who cared for us, God has blessed our marriage in some amazing ways. But good marriage or not, I believe that every couple should work at their marriage, and the Weekend to Remember was an opportunity to grow and strengthen our relationship.
I'm not going to break down the entire event by session. Nor am I going to pick apart the material. Instead, I want to share why I think you should attend a Weekend to Remember.
1. A Good Marriage Takes Work.
A good marriage doesn't simply happen. If you want a strong, healthy, passion relationship, you need to work at it. The Weekend to Remember offers couples a chance to work on their marriage. The conference is set up to take you from start to finish; from the purpose and design of marriage through all the aspects of the marriage. Along with great material, which the FamilyLife team provides, there are two more things you, [that is you the husband and you the wife] must have. The first is the openness to honestly evaluate and consider your role and part in the relationship. The second is the vulnerability to admit your mistakes, seek forgiveness, and make the commitment to do your part to work at strengthening your marriage. If both of you are willing to work at your marriage, both of you will benefit from the time and effort invested in your marriage.
2. The Weekend Getaway.
One of the great things about the Weekend to Remember is that it's a weekend to get away. So normally, if you attend a Weekend to Remember conference, you go and stay in the hosting hotel. It's a weekend to literally get away. Now for the couples with kids, getting aways difficult. It's never easy to just get away, especially for a full weekend. We have 5 kids. Finding someone willing and able to take all 5 kids is huge. This weekend we did have a very dear couple take 4 of our 5, while the 5th went away on a youth retreat.
Getting away is super important. Staying at a hotel creates a escape for you and your spouse. We love staying at a hotel, especially if it's "fancy" hotel. This weekend, we opted to stay at our house. The conference was local enough that we could commute. And with all 5 kids out of the house, we had the whole place to ourselves. But if you can stay at the hotel, it's totally worth it. (If you can commute and the house is empty, go for it. Getting away is just that; GETTING AWAY. It's amazing how getting away can help to set a special tone for the weekend.
3. Let Romance Happen.
One of my most favorite aspects of the Weekend to Remember conference, is the date night. For many couples, the date night is the highlight of the weekend. The date night gives the husband and wife a chance to go out and have some fun. Dinner. A movie. A fun activity. And maybe a little romance. Dating your spouse is one of the best things about being married. I love when Amy and I get a date night. But like "getting away," with 5 kids, the date nights are not as frequent as we'd like. So to have a night where we can go out and do something is awesome.
But don't be fooled, while it's not mandatory or required (because that would be weird) intimacy is the hoped result of the night. Romance and intimacy is crucial for the married couple. (I will be blogging about intimacy in marriage in some upcoming posts, so I am not going to say too much here.) If you are married and you are not being intimate, you might want to register for a Weekend to Remember. The date night is your opportunity to let the romance happen.
Bottom line; if you are married and you want a stronger, healthier marriage, FamilyLife's Weekend to Remember is an event that is worth your time. I hope that Amy and I will be able to attend again next year.
In the meantime, I am looking to book FamilyLife's The Art of Marriage, a video based conference for couples. The Art of Marriage is a shorter event without the expense and commitment of a full weekend. I will post more info as I line things up. Till then, check out the Weekend to Remember website and prayerfully consider joining us next fall!
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