Sunday, May 07, 2006

We're Back

Well I haven't posted in a while. This past weekend, my husband and I traveled to Portland for a marriage conference. Most people, when I told them we were going to a marriage conference, gave me sort of a funny look. Almost like - wow, they have those? Or, hmm, you guys must be having some problems....

Well, for Scott and I this wasn't the first time we'd been to a marriage retreat or conference. In fact, we had planned to go to one this past January - but those plans were cancelled due to my grandfather's death. I had no idea that just a few months later we'd have the opportunity to do something similar, but of course, God surprises us sometimes. The first blessing was that Scott and I were able to attend free due to the fact that he the youth pastor at our church. And once we got there, I knew we were there for a reason.

So to answer the first questions - no, you don't have to be having huge problems to attend a marriage conference, and yes, they do have them. This particular one was put on by Family Life, and it was definitely a wonderful weekend. I can't even begin to summarize all that I learned. But I will try a mention a few key points:

  • God's purpose for marriage is oneness, and Satan is our enemy. Your spouse is not your enemy!
  • We should not base our love or respect for our mate on their performance (how much or how little they meet our expectations), but rather on the fact that they are God's gift to us in this marriage.
  • Forgiveness is both an event and a process - reconciliation after deep hurts can take time and forgiveness may need to continue to happen over time.

In addition to all we learned, the speakers were also AMAZING. You can go to some conferences and feel like falling asleep. I especially enjoyed Brett Ray - he is a wonderful story teller and has an amazing testimony of God's grace. The other speaker was Gary Stanley, and he was good too. I bought his book What My Dog Has Taught Me About Life. I also bought the books When Life is Changed Forever and For Women Only (I began reading it on the way home - outloud - Scott thinks it's a great book). I am looking forward to reading all of these in the near future.

Well I have rambled on and on. One other great thing about the weekend was seeing our friends Becky and Andy. We stayed with them Saturday night, and they are so great. We talked, laughed, and even convinced them to maybe go on a marriage retreat sometime...