A few months ago my husband and I found out about Family Life and their passion to help build healthy, God-centered marriages. We became huge supporters of this ministry immediately. A few weeks later, we went to FUSE, the marriage ministry at our church, and a couple, who use to attend our church, were guest speaking. Their names are Art and Jen Powell and they are missionaries in Arkansas, volunteering for Family Life. They shared a beautiful testimony with us, explaining how God led them to Family Life and how it has blessed them in many ways. We continued to find out more about Family Life, including their marriage getaway called Weekend To Remember!
Some of you reading this have already attended this event with your spouse, maybe even numerous times:) Please leave your testimony, explaining how Weekend To Remember has impacted your marriage in the comments below!
For those of you who have never heard of Weekend To Remember or may know about it, but have yet to attend, I want to recap what my husband and I experienced, hopefully encouraging you and your spouse to want to experience it together!
My husband and I have a pretty solid marriage. There are things that we struggle with and have struggled with from day 1, and we get in fights from time to time, but our motivation for attending the event was not because we are hanging on by a thread. However, we could sense that some marriages were there for that reason. The first thing I realized about the event was that it’s a place ANY couple is welcome! There were even engaged couples there, and Family Life had specific content to bless them with. So if you have a misconception about marriage retreats being for “troubled marriages” then you will need to wipe that clean… Weekend To Remember will bless every and any couple regardless of the condition of their relationship:)
The event was held in a banquet room at a nice hotel. There were about 350 attendees, plus volunteers who helped guide the event, and of course, the amazing speakers, who did a phenomenal job! We spent about 3 hours on Friday night in session, Saturday for about 6.5 hours and then it wrapped up on Sunday with another 3-hour session. Breaks were given throughout the event and Saturday night was left open for each couple to experience a “date-night!”
I assumed that at some point we would spend time talking with other couples in a small group format, but that wasn’t the case. The event is designed for you and your spouse to focus on building your marriage! So for those of you, or maybe spouses, that would hesitate to sign-up because you don’t feel comfortable talking to others, this conference IS for YOU! The only person you are encouraged to talk to is your spouse:)
The content that the speakers shared upon was amazing and applicable for any marriage; with topics including: Why Marriages Fail, Unlocking The Mystery of Marriage, We Fight Too, From How to WOW and Leaving A Legacy! The sessions were engaging and easy to pay attention to. They even showed movie clips that depicted certain things that marriages face, to put things into perspective. One of the first things expressed was that people will go throughout their lives going to business conferences/expos, attending their children’s pageants, recitals or sports games, leadership retreats and other events that take time to encourage personal interests. However, the most people do for their marriage is celebrate them on the wedding day. Some may go to marriage retreats, maybe see counselors or unfortunately attorneys, but the majority of couples don’t FOCUS on their marriage! Marriages need to be nurtured and cared for or they cannot thrive! Taking time to attend Weekend To Remember means you will dedicate an entire weekend to FOCUS on YOUR marriage! They do acknowledge though, that weekends like this doesn’t CHANGE marriage, rather people making good decisions DO! Events like this help you to evaluate your marriage and teach you how to apply positive principles to your marriage.
Our culture can put on a wedding! You see it with celebs all the time. But our culture fails to promote oneness! This is a sad realization. If you want to promote ONENESS in your marriage, you need to take time out to focus and replenish it!
In the lobby, Family Life volunteers had set-up a mini store full of great resources that I never knew existed! They had everything from prayer guides, books, and coffee mugs to games and small group resources. It was great to have the opportunity to search through all that they had. We grabbed the Love Dare, from the hit movie Fireproof, and will be starting it soon:)
Family Life is a Christian Organization, but I was surprised by their approach to the attending audience. They were not pushy about Christianity at all, in fact it seemed like they eased their way into it. However, they didn’t sugarcoat it either. They were very honest about the existence of God and the benefits of having a God-centered marriage. It dawned on me that not everyone there was Christian and about halfway through the conference, the speaker invited people who wanted to accept Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior to repeat a prayer. My heart was filled with an awe-inspiring joy as I heard murmurs and whispers of people praying that prayer. I knew those couples and the quality of their marriage would never be the same:)
The greatest things that I realized while there, was that my husband and I communicate very differently, our expectations differ, and that the same things make us angry. There are assignments in the handbook given to each person called “Make it personal” and it evaluates where you are individually. It was a huge eye-opener to me as I began to compare my answers to my husband’s. This gave us a platform to talk about certain issues in our marriage that were otherwise difficult to bring up.
I walked away with 26 pages of notes, a book, a few things I committed to work on and a beautiful understanding of where our marriage is. One thing I committed to working on is pursuing God and my husband passionately and daily! My husband committed to pursuing romance in our relationship! On the drive home my husband pointed out that we came away with different things to work on, so to be careful not to expect HIM to be changing what I am suppose to be working on and vise versa! We need to appreciate and accept what each other decide to improve upon!
Weekend To Remember is a great way to experience growth in your marriage! We need to be advocates for strong, Christ-centered relationships and supporting Family Life’s Weekend To Remember is one way to do that.
If you are interested in attending Weekend To Remember with your spouse the cost is regularly $318 per couple, however if you sign up with our Unveiled Wife group you can receive a 50% discount. You can attend any Weekend To Remember event nationwide at only $159 per couple! All you have to do is click HERE or go to www.familylife.com/groups/unveiledwife to register!
Please note that there is no childcare available during Weekend To Remember and no meals provided. They do encourage that you stay at the hotel where the event is being held, especially if you are attending from out of town, but they really just want to emphasize that its an opportunity to spend intimate time with your spouse! Family Life does provide a discount if you are interested in staying at the hotel. For any additional information you can check out their website at www.familylife.com/weekend
I personally want to encourage you to pray about the opportunity to attend this marriage getaway, pray that you and your husband will have a desire to attend and that God opens doors to get you there! It really is life changing and I want you to experience it:)