(Haven't tried posting from flickr before...we'll see how it goes)
Aaron & I went to a marriage retreat last weekend. It was wonderful! First of all, it was nice to just get away without the kids, and stay in a really nice hotel with KING sized bed (and super soft bedding!). And it was fun to hang out with a bunch of fun couples from church...without kids (are you noticing a theme here??). Not to mention, the mouth-watering, delicious PRIME RIB BUFFET! ha
The speaker (Jack Hughes) was awesome. He was completely down-to-earth, very funny, and at the same time, knew when to be serious. Aaron really liked him (I did too). I think the biggest thing we both learned was from the first evening...He asked "Why did you get married?" Of course, we all thought of the obvious answers--we love each other, we want to start a family, etc. He said the problem with those reasons is that they can change. When things get difficult, it's easy to "leave" those reasons behind. In his years of counseling, he's never had a couple get the answer right. Do you know what it is? (Mom and Dad, you can't answer!). He said the foundation of your marriage (after Christ, of course) should be to bring glory to God. You are married to bring glory to God. I Corinthians 10:31 tells us to do everything to the glory of God. So how do we build our marriage to glorify God?
1. We love God directly (with all our hearts, minds, and souls)
2. We love God indirectly (love your neighbor as yourself). II John 1:5-6 talks about fulfilling the law by loving others.
He also gave several reasons for glorifying God with your marriage.
1. When you do, you're not sinning against God.
2. You will have God's blessing on your marriage
3. Unmet expectations won't undermine my marriage (I don't love Aaron for what I can get out of it but for what God can get out of it.)
4. Your marriage will grow & become an awesome blessing.
5. You will be a blessing and witness for Christ to society.
6. You will be a blessing to your children.
I had never heard that before. But when he said it and explained it, I was like "well DUH". The Bible commands us to glorify God in everything we do.
The next day he "picked" on the guys and then the girls. All of that was what we re-learned. He told the guys that they need to be students of the wives. They need to learn and learn again, what their wives love, what makes their wives happy...whether that's a big bouquet of flowers or a walk and a talk (or both!), etc. Husbands need to honor their wives and by doing so, honor God. He told the gals they need to submit to their husbands...as to the Lord. This kind of submission isn't a "cower in the corner, answer his beck and call, downtrodden wife" submission. Did you read how the husbands are supposed to treat their wives? It's a circle--basically I'm nice to him, he's nice to me. ha! That's a really simplified take. But the base of all this is that you're not "being nice" to him so he'll be nice to you. You're doing it because 1) God commanded you to do it; 2) You love him don't you?! :)
Anyway, I better get finished here before my house is torn apart by the tonornado known as Jacob! I hope this makes sense (and it sure better work posting from flickr!!). We learned a lot and had a good time just relaxing and getting refreshed. And THANK YOU, Papa & Binga for coming down in the middle of your stuff to take care of our kids!