Jennie and I just got back from Southern California late last night. We were there for a married couples retreat put on by Harvest Christian Fellowship. Pastor James MacDonald, from Harvest Bible Chapel in Chicago, and I did two sessions each and then there was a panel discussion where Jennie and I joined James and his wife, Kathy, and Greg and Cathe Laurie on the stage to answer questions that people had submitted. It was out of control at times, as you can imagine, but was especially great to hear from the wives, and Jennie did a killer job.
Even though I started to feel my voice going out 1/2 way through the conference (a public speaker’s worst nightmare) and was hoarse by the end of my second message, the whole weekend was a lot of fun, especially hanging with the MacDonald’s and the Laurie’s. Jennie and I went into the weekend not just wanting to give out but to take in as well and we could really feel the Lord strengthening our relationship. Retreat’s like this are the marital equivalent of an oil change, important every few thousand miles and even more necessary the longer you go without making the investment! I hope to put one on at fresh life soon.
Here is one soundbite that I wrote down during James’ second message, it is very practical but so true:
A great marriage is not like a disease, it’s not something you can catch. You don’t get a great marriage by riding in the same car, eating at the same table, sleeping in the same bedroom. It takes time. I can hear you now, “How much time is it gonna take?” 15 minutes a day, one evening per week, one day per month, and one weekend per year. That’s how much time a great marriage takes. And that’s time where you are not on phone, or emailing—but time devoted to your marriage. Have fun, see movies, develop interests, go out, stay in. Spend time together.
If you have never heard James MacDonald speak, he is an awesome and passionate communicator–google him. Also, and I am super excited about this, James’ radio show, Walk in the Word, is going to be joining the Monday-Friday teaching block on fresh life radio very soon!
I love Jennie more than ever! And as a result of the conference, I am even more committed to treating her as the queen she is. (1 Peter 3:7) And perhaps even more amazingly–she still loves me! One thing is for sure, we have fun together and it is a blast serving the Lord side by side.
(this is my I’m ready to stop being on this airplane face)