[We recently celebrated our 8th wedding anniversary. Thinking back, attending a marriage conference was one of the memories that stood out to us. This is a guest post by our dear friend, Monica Garibay, who incidentally attended the same marriage conference we did.]
A few years ago, I had the opportunity to attend a Christian marriage conference. My husband and I decided to go not because we had a particular problem to solve, or because we were on the edge of divorce. Rather, we saw it as an opportunity to get away and work more on our relationship. I believe that human beings are social beings. However, interpersonal relations are the hardest to keep healthy and strong on a continuous basis unless we make a conscious effort of doing so. When my friends ask my opinion about whether or not attending a marriage conference is worth it, I tell them about my experience.
Here are my 11 reasons why attending a marriage conference was good for us:
1. Unity: Simply by taking the time off for the conference and making time for just the two of us was an amazing start. We needed time away from all that goes on in our lives.
2. Revitalization: The conference gave us new practical tools that helped us continue to build an intentional marriage. For some people, I imagine those tools may help save the marriage.
3. Focus: Get back on track. A successful marriage needs constant effort. We needed to be intentional about making our marriage work. It was important for me to stop focusing on the bills or our children and focus on the heart of my spouse.
4. Communication: A good marriage must have great communication, especially when conflict occurs. At the conference, we had a neutral environment to communicate with each other, and to address areas or feelings that we usually didn’t talk about.
5. Reflection: Being away gave me a chance to take a good look at myself and think about the ways I could improve. I asked myself, how have I been lately in my marriage? What are the problems in our marriage and how am I contributing to them?
6. Purpose: The conference reminded me that the title “husband” and “wife” means “perseverance.” Knowing the purpose of our marriage and why we are together will keep us strong when we go through hard times.
7. Intimacy: There were some sessions of praise and worship together; and there is nothing more intimate than worshiping God with your spouse. When we love God, He draws us to become a better spouse to one another. And by the way, improving sexual intimacy was also covered in the workshops.
8. Growth: When we went to a marriage conference, we realized the ways our marriage could be improved. And there were more ways than we had originally thought! Because we never went to a marriage school, we needed to learn from someone who’s been there.
9. Mentorship: At the conference, we met some couples further down the road than us who could share their experience and advice. We benefit from being accountable to someone about our marriage.
10. Fellowship: Meeting other like-minded couples striving for better marriages in similar or different stages was encouraging and inspiring.
11. Love: The ultimate reason for attending a marriage conference is to strengthen your love for your spouse.
FamilyLife Canada is currently offering a $100 off coupon for our blog readers who sign up for their marriage conference. Also, because we (Tim and Olive) believe in investing in marriage, we’ll sweeten the experience with a $20 Starbucks gift card when you register for a FamilyLife conference. Read more details here.