Last weekend, my church hosted a Marriage Retreat. I was the first one, I’m sure, to think… “My marriage is fine, probably don’t have to attend that.” Our pastor quickly answered, almost as if he heard my quick judgment, “Sure, maybe you’re thinking you don’t need to come, your marriage is good. Why not invest in your marriage and work on making it great?!” Well, the retreat didn’t disappoint. Marriage365 was invited to share with us. They created a safe space for us to connect and invite God into our marriages to heal, repair and build a stronger relationship. Through prayer, worship and practical tools, the Holy Spirit moved, softened and searched our hearts. As we sat on the Potter’s wheel, our Creator, the one who made us for one another, reconstructed the beautiful marriage we share. It was not easy. It wasn’t even fun. Just think, the heat that it takes to harden the glaze in the kiln…it’s not comfortable. But it’s needed. It seals. It protects. It makes everything shiny, new and polished. That’s exactly what we experienced over the weekend. Growing pains. There is no relationship (apart from our relationship with Jesus) that is more important than the relationship I have with my spouse. The beautiful connection made between a man and his wife through holy matrimony is the symbolic representation of Jesus (the bridegroom) and His people (that’s you and me, yall!) Of course, Satan hates anything that portrays this picture. He sets out to destroy it! Paul reminds us in 1 Corinthians 7:8, “So I say to those who aren’t married and to widows—it’s better to stay unmarried, just as I am.” Ya’ll, being married takes work. It takes making boundaries and KEEPING them. It’s an intricate dance that takes a lifetime to rehearse. I’m up for it! 21 years and counting….but for the first time ever, instead of working to stay married just to prove all the naysayers wrong and beat the odds, I want to work to keep our marriage healthy, shining for Christ, and successful as a beautiful picture of Jesus and his people. I’m willing to swallow my pride. I’m willing to admit that I (we) can’t do this on my (our) own. I’m willing to admit that we don’t have it all together as a married couple of over 2 decades. I will take steps with God so He can fireproof our marriage. I’m defining clear and definite boundaries with guardrails in place…ready to move forward. I would love to pray with you and for you if you would like to take further steps in your marriage. If you are local, we can work together with other couples. We are better together!! And to my dearest Brent, many decades ago, I wrote you love letters and poems. When did I stop? Today, here is a love poem for you:
Don’t ever lose sight of that first love. Don’t let the busyness of life get in the way. Maybe you feel like business partners and your love is “transactional.” Make the changes. Do the work. I’d love to hear from you. God be with you now, and always!