Do you feel your marriage is stuck in neutral? Or for every step forward, you take 2-3 backwards? You are not alone. My wife and I have been there many times. One thing that always helps is a weekend away to attend a marriage retreat.
This past weekend, we were fortunate to get away for the weekend. No kids, no work, no cooking and cleaning. Imagine that! I have to tell you, it was AMAZING! We were so caught up in the daily grind, we had no idea how much it was needed.
I am 100% convinced every married couple needs to attend a marriage retreat. And not just one marriage retreat, but one every year. If you don’t your marriage may never be all that it can be. In fact, a marriage retreat may actually save your marriage.
Preparing for the marriage retreat
While there, the first thing we noticed was how long it had been since we had a weekend alone together. My wife confessed to me, that she wasn’t sure if being alone for so long would be awkward. That is sad, she wasn’t sure if she could spend time alone with her husband of almost 12 years without having weird feelings.
I wasn’t sure what to expect, and truthfully had no expectations. I most looked forward to just not having to do anything. It didn’t even matter if had sex, or not. Yes, I thought that. As long as we ate, as long as I didn’t have to concern myself with work, and could sleep without kids waking us up, I was cool.
The marriage retreat experience
Once we got there, way late, things changed in a hurry. We were greeted warmly, by the retreat committee, who graciously and patiently waited on us in our tardiness. We saw other couples milling about, we checked out the weekend agenda (seeing what we already missed), and were excited not only about the time away, but to do something to bring us closer.
The first session we attended, and the breakout sessions went to work on us immediately. Through the speakers stories and marriage principles they shared we began to talk like we never did before. Even sharing things we had never been able to share before. Instantly, we were free, our guard was down, and there was no awkwardness. From then, the weekend and our marriage kept getting better.
The same can happen for your marriage
I recently wrote about having a plan to improve your marriage. Discussing how we plan everything in life, with the exception of our marriage. Just the same, we do things to improve our careers like continuing education.
Taking the same approach in your marriage is vital. I encourage you to find a marriage retreat to attend this year. Your marriage will benefit in so many ways. Below I’ve listed 5 reasons you have to attend a marriage retreat.
- Time away from “regular” life. We all need time alone, and time away from all that goes on in our lives. You do not want to get away so infrequently that you aren’t sure if you’ll feel weird doing so.
- Learn from someone who’s been there. We attended Committed for Life’s Marriage Retreat, and the couple brought in to speak, Dr. Clarence and Brenda Shuler, was amazing. At times I felt they were telling my story, yet they were providing sound principles on how to get through it, and improve my marriage while doing so.
- Fellowship with other couples striving for better marriages. One of the greatest things was meeting other couples working to improve their marriages. Couples in the same season. Some in earlier or later seasons. It was encouraging and refreshing.
- Your marriage needs it more than you think. Like us, you may realize your marriage isn’t perfect, but think it’s okay. But when you go, you will realize your marriage can be so much greater. Plus you’ll get help to get it there.
- Because you love your spouse. The ultimate reason is you love your spouse and are willing to do anything to show your love, grow closer, and have a better marriage.
No matter where you think your marriage is today, attending a marriage retreat should be a part of your marriage plan.
Question: What are the reasons you have, or have not, attended a marriage retreat before?
photo credit: Ryan Smith Photography via photopin cc