I asked my husband if he would take the time, on our last evening together in North Carolina, to write some thoughts about his experience. I know he did so as a gift to me, and I am very appreciative. But I think his words will be a blessing to others as well. -Stephanie
I am not a writer. I don't even like blogs. However, there are times when my wife really wants me to put some thoughts down on the blog, kind of the man perspective. So for any guys out there who may read this blog, this is for you. My top three reasons why you need to do what we did, plan a getaway.
#1 Long-Term Investment - Steph and I had planned, as one of our furlough goals, to attend a marriage conference. As we kicked around different ideas while simultaneously trying to plan our anniversary getaway, it dawned on us: why not try to combine the two into one trip. Result? The best money we ever spent. We went to Lifeway's Festival of Marriage conference and I was reminded again about the blessing of a healthy marriage. This conference was filled with excellent speakers, resources, and good wholesome fun. I was challenged time and time again about the awesome responsibility of being the leader in the home, loving my wife, and continuing to develop my relationship with Stephanie. Honestly if we had to choose to do it all over again and we could only choose marriage conference or a romantic getaway, I would choose the marriage conference! It was just that good (and of course after attending I would learn how important it is to plan getaways.) It's a win-win men!
#2 A Unified Front - During our time away, I couldn't remember the last time Steph and I had talked so much about the deeper, weightier, and goal-oriented things of our marriage. The press of life really has a way of keeping us short-sighted. This time away has allowed us to look long term, to evaluate where we are, and to reflect on what we have accomplished. Through this process I again have been struck by the fact that My Heavenly Father, who is wiser than I, has given to me exactly the woman I needed to accomplish His good works He has planned for us. I have found myself thanking the Lord time and again for giving me my wife, who is my perfect complement. We go back to children, ministry, and tasks, but we do so having a clearer picture of what we would like to accomplish together. This time away has allowed us to make sure we are pointed in the same direction, and to reflect on how we can help one another in our daily routines.
#3 The Pearl of Great Price - In one of our sessions our presenter had us repeat out loud in relation to marriage, "God's way works." The goal was to reinforce to us that if we want to be successful in our marriages we need to make sure we follow the guidelines of the One Who designed marriage! And here is the real beauty... it's not complicated. It's really quite simple. I was reminded that the apostle Paul when he wanted to communicate the highest quality of love in describing how Christ loves His church, chose to illustrate that through marriage. It shows the high regard God the Father has for marriage. Men, may we regard our marriages in such a way. Maybe we could also take a lesson from the man in Christ's parable who found a great pearl, and we see all that he did to preserve it. May we be so zealous for our marriage, for our families, for our God. Spending time apart with Steph for this past week - we laughed, we talked, we enjoyed those things that we like to do together, and I think we were reminded again how much we love each other. Men, your wife is worth it. Take time to plan a getaway with her. It could be an evening, an overnight or a few days together. The reward is eternal, and quite frankly it was a lot of fun! -Pedro