Every Memorial Day weekend David and I travel to St. Augustine with our church for an annual marriage retreat. It is such an amazing time for us to grow closer together as a couple. We have been the past 3 years now and as soon as we get home, we are excited about the next one. It's not that new found information is taught every year, but it's a time to learn a little more about each other than we knew before and spend time with one another away from the stresses of life, which is so necessary!
God meant for marriage to be such an important part of life. God loves us so much that he knew we would be lonely if we had to spend this life alone so he gave us someone special to share it with. Someone to cherish as long as we both shall live, not until we get tired of them. Something really cool about Jeff & Debbie McElory (the speakers at the retreat) was their ability to teach using drama. They did this incredible skit showing the changes in a couple from the wedding day until the kids are grown and gone. I have to tell you that it scared David and I. The couple was so in love on their wedding day as all couples are. Then, kids came and they seemed to hit the pause button on their relationship and just focus on raising the kids. When they finally got all the kids out of the house 25 years later their love for one another had faded. They didn't know who they were anymore because instead of focusing on each other, they focused on the kids. They both felt alone and as if they had nothing in common. They had 2 choices - to start over with one another or leave and start over with someone else. Of course the skit ended with them starting over with one another, but I was already balling by then. It was so sad to me to see a couple so in love on their wedding day grow to not even know who the other was anymore. This can't happen. God meant marriage for life. God gave each of us a life long partner to share this life with. He made us a team and together we are so much better than apart. David and I sat there looking at each other after the skit was over and just vowed to put our relationship first, always! Yes, we are excited to have kids. But, we can't raise kids in a loving home if our relationship with one another isn't filled with love first. Our kids will suffer if we choose not to put our spouse first. Deep down I have always believed this, but to see it pan out in front of my eyes really made me realize the importance of my relationship with David. David is here before the children come and he will be here after they leave the house. God meant for me to love him with my whole heart, as I most certainly do. God meant for our love for one another to overflow into the lives of our children so we can be an example of what a Godly marriage looks like. It is how we treat each other that teaches a child how to treat their spouse one day. It's up to us. What kind of legacy will we leave?
"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11-12 ... God has amazing plans for our marriage and I can't wait to see what he has in store if we rely and trust in him.