When Dawn’s husband lost his job two years ago, she was embarrassed and scared. “Not realizing it at the time, I started to separate myself from him,” she writes. When she attended a recent Weekend to Remember® marriage getaway with her husband, it “opened up windows of opportunity to freely talk about anything without fear.”
Deborah and her husband separated after 22 years of marriage. They had tried counselors, pastors, doctors, and seminars in an attempt to build a solid relationship, but nothing worked. When she heard about the Weekend to Remember, she invited her estranged husband to attend with her. Their lives were so transformed that he moved back home at the end of the weekend. “ … God gave us a miracle through this ministry,” she wrote.
We often hear from people like Dawn and Deborah during our conference season, as thousands of couples attend the Weekend to Remember and learn together about God’s blueprints for marriage. I love reading these stories because they show the power of God to change lives.
In Ephesians 1:18-20, the apostle Paul writes,
I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe. These are in accordance with the working of the strength of His might which He brought about in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places …
I think that’s what happens at these conferences. While the speakers present a lot of helpful strategies for communication and resolving conflict and improving intimacy, the most important connection couples make is with God. The eyes of their hearts are enlightened, and they know the hope of His calling. They understand the “surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe”—the same power that raised Christ from the dead. They realize that their relationship with Christ is the key to building a oneness relationship, and that without His power they will fail.
One of my favorite e-mails recently came from Tony, who said their marriage was “forever changed” at the conference. “As we go on in our marriages, it so easy to forget the fact that God was in our presence when we committed our lives in vows to one another,” he wrote. “Through the conference, I was awakened.”
Tony said a revelation for him was, “As a husband I was always trying fix my wife. I didn’t get it. Only God can do that.”
He also said the conference helped him learn to “Do as God tells you.” For him as a husband, he now understands that, “He loves you, so therefore turn around and show your love for Him by honoring, trusting, and loving that beautiful gift of a wife that God has brought to you.”
It’s good for us to remember the surpassing greatness of God’s power. It is available to all of us who know Him, and it is the key to building the type of marriage and family that we long for.
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