This weekend I had the pleasure of attending and even co-hosting a marriage conference at our home Church. My wife and I were asked to assist a more "experienced" couple with the process a few months ago and we signed up. The conference was based on the material titled 'The Art of Marriage' from Family Life. It consisted of six sessions over a two day period; two sessions on Friday night and the remaining sessions during the day on Saturday.
Why would I go to a marriage conference?
Well, this is a great question. Early in my marriage and even up to a couple years ago, I would not have been a marriage conference 'type' man. I always thought they were a sign of weakness, like it was some kind of therapy session or counseling. I thought 'those things are for the couples in trouble, and we do not need it for our marriage'. Man, I can honestly say I was wrong, way wrong! A marriage conference or even a marriage class is not a sign of weakness, no; it is a sign of true strength and maturity in your marriage. These conferences are filled with great information, honest testimonies and challenging projects to make you really think about your marriage and what it means to you.
What does my wife think about me going?
She said the following 'It tells her that I CARE about our marriage and that I am willing to do whatever it takes to make sure I have as many tools in my box as possible. It shows her that I want our marriage to be great, strong and have a purpose. Overall, she loves spending the time together and applying the subjects to our marriage and situations.' In short men, even if you don't want to attend a conference, do it for you wife and you might actually come away with something you had not known or tried before. If you want to make here come alive, than this is a great way to show her that you, again, CARE!
How often do I do this conference thing?
My Church has a lot of great marriage programs and beliefs. One of the ideas we learned early on when we started attending was to attend a marriage conference EVERY year! Yes, every year! I don't know about you guys, but I have to attend monthly training meetings for my work. I have to study different books to make sure I am being as safe as possible and following the right codes at work. If I did not do this for my work, I would never move up in my company and never get a raise. These things that I want are INCENTIVES! Apply this same idea to your marriage. Attend a conference a once a year; join a marriage class like 'Love and Respect' or 'Love and War' with a small group. What are the incentives? Not a good marriage, but a great marriage. You will have been trained in forgiveness, in quality time, in conflict resolution and more importantly how to make up with your spouse and much more.
As my buddy would say 'Don't Slack Men'! Step up and be the Spiritual Leader you are called to be and attend a marriage conference with your spouse. Show your spouse that you really care and are willing to do whatever it takes to make your marriage great!
Are you willing to be a Marriage Conference Man?