This past weekend my wife and I went on our annual marriage retreat. We have attended the same retreat for three of the past four years, and each year it has impacted our marriage in a major way. If you have never gone on a marriage retreat or taken part in any type of marriage enrichment events then I strongly encourage you to. It seems like each year we have gone, the timing couldn’t be more perfect. The past month or so has been taxing on our family. We have realized we over-committed ourselves and our family, and it has worn us down.
As the retreat was approaching last week, both of us realized we had so much to do prior to leaving that it would take two or three of each of us to get it done. So, we had to relent and leave some stuff undone.
Your calendar reveals your priorities
In doing so, what we said was our relationship is a priority. That if all else falls apart around us there will be one thing remaining, and that is our commitment to one another and to our marriage. Recently, through saying “yes” to any and every opportunity that came up for our family and kids, we were saying no to our marriage.
The retreat stopped all that if only for a weekend, and gave us a chance to catch our breath. In addition we were given the chance to talk. Yes, we got the chance to talk. When you reach the point we have reached, you will be able to relate just how huge being able to talk alone really is. During our talks some things were revealed, and we began to get clarity on some questions in our relationship, as well as the direction we are going. And we got the chance to really focus on each other and not stuff, activities, or our kids.
Clear your calendar and refresh your marriage
Your marriage may be in a similar season as ours. It could be self-inflicted or something external. Regardless, a great way to refresh your marriage is to get way, but don’t just get away without a purpose. Get away with a purpose and a plan. A weekend marriage retreat is a great way to do that. Here are 3 ways a marriage retreat will refresh your marriage:
- You get to date all weekend. Date night has been rough for us because of so many things going on. Even our “sacred” Friday night, reserved for Date Night, now has an activity. While we were away there was nothing stopping us from dating. In fact, it was encouraged to spend as much time alone with your spouse as possible. We dated all weekend!
- You don’t have any responsibilities other than yourself. Imagine taking away all the responsibilities and distractions from your relationship. How would your love be different. It would be amazingly different because you could be more attentive to meeting your spouse’s needs. When you truly focus on the needs of your spouse and your spouse does the same to you, a freshness comes back in your marriage.
- You get practice tools to help you when you leave. What good is going away, having fun, and coming back to the same old same old. Many vacations end like this. You get away, but you come back without anything really different. This is where a marriage retreat differs. While there you are taught, encouraged, and equipped to refresh your marriage there and going forward.
Have you attended a weekend marriage retreat before? Please share your experience.