I think it has been since our honeymoon that we had the chance as a couple to be alone and just enjoy being together with no distractions, problems, kids, worries, jobs, or stresses. As one of the speakers said it is very important for married couples to have a "daily delay"-take 15-20 minutes out of your day just to talk and visit as a couple. A "weekly withdrawal" meaning make time for a date night and then a "annual abandon" meaning take one weekend a year and go somewhere for the weekend just the two of you alone and enjoy each other and time together.
So I guess this was our "annual abandon". The conference was great, Tim Clinton Spoke(founder of AACC), Ted Cunningham, Pastor of Woodland Hills church in Branson, MO, Jim Bob & Michelle Duggar (of 19 kids and counting) and a guy named Joe White. (Duggars to the right and Ted Cunningham below) they were my two favorite speakers. The Duggars shared their story and how they kept God at the center of their marriage and family. And Ted shared 3 journeys we are on, our own spiritual journey, our spouses spiritual journey, and our marriage journey. He was very funny too.
All and all, all 4 speakers did a good job sharing with all us married folks. We had a little contemporary worship with was nice and we also were able to pick up a couple books to read. I think Cheryl and I both got alot out of the conference and we needed it. Sometimes people need that help, and though some couples go to a marriage conference on the brink of divorce, others might go to get recharged, and I think you'll agree no matter how strong or weak your marriage relationship we always can learn, grow, and become a better spouse.
I think we enjoyed just taking our time driving there and stopping for lunch and a little shopping. We ate at some good restaurants during the weekend, found a place called Nancy's chocolates which had truffles from heaven, they were awesome! We also enjoyed just lounging around our hotel and not having to be or go anywhere in particular. We visited Lynchburg Church of Christ(christian) on Sunday morning before heading home.
It was a great great time. I love my wife so much and realize we need to be proactive in making time for each other, that I have lots of things I need to be working on to improve myself as a husband, father, man, minister, and christian. That my wife and I need time away and to enjoy being together and make time for it more often. We also need to better communicate, it's so easy to fall into ruts, or miscommunicate, or blame your spouse, or let outside distractions come between you.
I want to encourage all my married friends to work on your marriage every day. Go to an marriage conference every year. Take a few minutes each day to visit, make a weekly date night, and take a weekend a year to get away together. But always work on yourself and strive to put God first in your marriage and in your own life. Marriage is a journey and a commitment and it takes lots of work and it's worth it! I love my wife and thankful even though we have been faced with some tough times in our short marriage that we've not given up on each other and our love for God and one another!