Would you rather spend a weekend on the beach or in the mountains? For many that’s a tough decision to make.
But what if I invited you to carve out just one weekend to learn about your marriage? What would you say?
You may be shaking your head right now thinking, Why would anyone want to do that?
Meet Destiny. She and her husband went to a FamilyLife Weekend to Remember® after being married for seven years. “We had fallen into a routine,” she says, “just living life.”
And Destiny wanted more. Can you identify?
Here are 11 of the countless reasons that couples have come to a marriage getaway, and what they said after investing just a few days in their marriage.
1. To say “I tried” before divorcing.
“I agreed to attend a Weekend to Remember [five years ago] so I could say, ‘I tried,’ when we finally got a divorce. What I soon learned is God had a different plan for me and my marriage. God started to change my heart.
“… [Now, at our second Weekend to Remember,] God has brought me from hate to forgiveness. To realizing my husband is a God-given blessing. To finally loving him again. … God has clearly been with us during our time here, deepening our love and commitment to each other.” (married 12 years)
2. To decide if we should get married.
“My boyfriend and I had broken up and I had no hopes of getting back together. But I wanted him to realize we weren’t right and to move on, so I invited him to the marriage conference and he jumped on board.
“I found out that my boyfriend and I did not have to be perfect in order to be married. … That weekend we decided ‘yes,’ we would get married. … This weekend [at our second Weekend to Remember] we were able to bring three other couples.” (married 9 months)
3. Someone paid for us to go to the Weekend to Remember.
“This conference was paid for by my mother. … The real testament of this conference isn’t how it helped us resolve major conflicts, it is how it has helped us avoid them altogether.” (married 1 year) …
“Our small group paid our way to come to this weekend after my wife told me she was unhappy with me. … This conference has shown us more things we need to understand and work on. … I want oneness in our marriage.” (married 1 year)
“Our joy had disappeared. … My grown daughters saw the change in us and invited us to join them for this Weekend to Remember. … Thank you for the wonderful, refreshing weekend. It is so nice to get back to the basics.” (married 11 years)
4. As the last hope for marriage.
“We were ready to divorce. This was our last hope. … The materials were just what we needed. The speakers’ honesty and transparency were powerful and life-changing. We made love for the first time in six months and left with a God-centered map to design our marriage to be better than the past 16 years.” (married 16 years)
5. As a marriage check-up.
“We have attended multiple events. … Every time … we have come away refreshed. We always learn something new about our spouses and ourselves.” (married 10+ years)
“We were here last year and it saved our marriage. This year we came to strengthen our bond. … We will be back next year!” (married 5 years)
6. A friend recommended it.
“My husband and I were invited to this weekend by his long-term mentor … We’ve been equipped with tools to manage conflict, to respect and love one another, and most importantly to place God and each other as a priority. The most impactful session was learning how to communicate—even with our different styles/personalities.” (married 1 year)
This has been such a wonderful experience; I would love to come again, and we will definitely be telling people about this.” (married 3 years)
7. To learn about marriage.
“We were just married. Jokingly we called this coming to marriage school.” (married 3 weeks)
“My husband and I are newlyweds. Very happy. … We feel as though we are better prepared for the fallouts and bumps in the future.” (married 1 year)
8. It was promoted at church.
“At first I thought this event was just another church function. I didn’t really want to come. … I am really glad I came. There is so much material that applies to my life. … I thought … my wife needed to change, but in fact it was ME that needs to change.” (married 10 months)
“Our church promoted this conference … If it had not been for this we would be divorced. … So less than a year [after going to our first Weekend to Remember] we are going strong but we felt we needed to return.” (married 5 years)
9. Parenting had overshadowed our marriage.
“We combined families. … It has been very hard … Until we came here, my husband and I were thinking about divorcing. Because of being at the Weekend to Remember, my husband and I started praying together and are on the way to becoming one with God and each other. I have learned a lot.” (married 11 years)
“Parenting had consumed our energy, but we are thankful to put ‘us’ back into the picture.” (married 25 years)
10. My spouse wanted to go.
“Honestly, it was not something I was looking forward to or even very interested in, but after 20 years of marriage this was the first time my wife asked me to do something like this so I agreed.
“I was wrong in my misgivings. … We both believe we came away from the weekend with a much better understanding of each other and how to improve our relationship with each other and Jesus. … We, as a couple, got more out of it than I ever expected and look forward to future weekends.” (married 20 years)
11. To break the cycle of divorce.
“I come from a family that every person/couple has been divorced. Every single person. My husband’s parents were married five times each. [After the Weekend to Remember] we have committed to not only break that cycle, we will have a great marriage!” (married 25 years)
There are untold reasons why husbands and wives carve out a weekend to focus on their relationship. After attending a Weekend to Remember, one couple said, “We have been married almost 24 years, and have never done anything like this before. We really need this.”
And what about Destiny and her husband, the couple who went to the getaway because their marriage was stuck in a routine? “I feel as if we are renewed and refreshed in our relationship!” she said. “The getaway has been amazing!”
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