Jaime and I returned home this afternoon from "Weekend to Remember" held in Montgomery. This is our second. We attended in Atlanta in 2010. George and LeeAnne attended Atlanta in 2011. Jay and Jessica, Orlando in 2011.
If you are not familiar with "Weekend to Remember", it is a marriage ministry of FamilyLife. It is designed for couples interested in growing stronger marriages by incorporating God's truth into our relationship.
We joined 250 couples seeking to experience renewal and growth in our marital relationship.
I'm not going to try to outline or condense the weekend, but I'll mention a few points that were important to me.
Marriage is designed by God and is defined by God. It is about more than just our happiness. Marriage is at the center of God's purpose for mankind.
God purpose for marriage contains three concepts.
First, marriage is intended to mirror God's image.
"So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them." Genesis 1:27
Jesus spoke of the oneness of marriage, created by God in Matthew:
"…Have you not read that from the beginning the Creator made them male and female, and said 'For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and will be united with his wife, and the two will become one flesh'? So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore, what God has joined together, let no one separate." Matthew 19:4-6
Jesus also prayed for us that believers who are of one flesh may also become one with the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
"The glory you have me, I have given to them, that they may be one just as we are one -- I in them, you in me -- that they may be completely one, so that the world will know that you sent me, and you have loved them just as you have loved me." John 17:22-23
Second, marriage is intended to mutually complete one another -- to experience companionship.Companionship in marriage is God's provision to replace isolation and meet our deep longing for a close intimate relationship. This relationship comes ahead of our relationship with our children. It is also important that children see their parents' marriage as the priority relationship.
Oneness in marriage is only possible when we consider our spouse before ourselves.
In Philippians, Paul says:
"Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others." Philippians 2:3-4
Finally, marriage is designed to multiply a godly legacy. Marriage provides the divine context for having children. Neither women nor men are made emotionally, spiritually or physically to raise children by themselves. Child rearing requires a united effort.
And God blessed them. And God said to them, "Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth." Genesis 1:28a
Lead us down the path that brings oneness to our relationship with our spouse and with You. Keep us reminded that if we fail to draw closer to each other and to You, we can only be drawn apart and into isolation. We pray in the name of Your Son, Jesus Christ. Amen.