Most of us don’t wait until the transmission of our car blows up before we take it to the shop, so why do so many of us wait until our marriage looks like a rust-bucket spewing smelly gray clouds into the atmosphere as we try just to make it from here to there?
While I wouldn’t say my marriage to Dave is lookin’ like a broke-a** hoopde, we certainly aren’t crusing thorugh life in a shiny new rolls either. I don’t think we would have considered going to the Family LIfe Weekend To Remember conference had it not been for some of our kind donors who bought vouchers for each of the missionary couples they support. Though we didn’t have to pay to attend the conference, could choose anywhere in the country to go, I was still a little hesitant. Would this be some weird touchy-feely thing where we had to share our deep, dark marriage sins in small groups? Would it be some uber-conservative “men go kill meat to bring it to your wife while she stays home making sure your cave is spotless and your spawn are fed?” Would there be things that made me realize that things were a lot worse in our relationship than I had thought?
Despite these fears, we decided to go and with a little help from friends, the kindness of grandparents to watch Reuben we were able to get away for the weekend. I figured, if it was lame at least we would still have space to be together & we could just make fun of the things we didn’t like about the conference.
I am so glad we went. Weekend to Remember exceeded my expectations, challenged me and surprised me with how thoughtful, funny and moving the content was. No weird small groups, just time for you & your spouse to talk, pray and work through the “projects” you’re assigned for the weekend to discuss how your relationship is going mentally, emotionally, physically & spiritually. Life is so full that to have space to reflect individually and one another was one of the most valuable parts of the conference, in addition to it being hosted in the beautiful, historic Renaissance Marriott in Cleveland.
While I won’t go into detail about all of the content of the weekend, I will say we felt affirmed in areas in our marriage that we’re doing pretty good at. Though it was scary to bring up some areas that aren’t doing so great, we were able to do so while enjoying coffee from Erie Island Coffee, over a hearty breakfast at the Brownstone Inn in Cleveland, or while walking through Little Italy on our way to dinner at La Dolce Vita- without interruptions from our 4-year old, scooting out to send a late email, or getting wrapped up in folding just one more basket of clothes.