This past weekend over one hundred and fifty couples had the opportunity to attend a marriage seminar presented by Gary Thomas, author of the book “Sacred Marriage”. Mr. Thomas posed that this seminar would not include instruction on the “how to”, as much as, it would give instruction on the “heart to” persevere in our marriages. He encouraged us to become God-centered spouses who love out of reverence for God. He suggested with this as our focus we will find the desire to be more loving, forgiving and respectful of our spouse.
Mr. Thomas presented the thought that marriage is not something you find but rather something you make. And, as you make this life-long journey together there will be tiring, difficult and challenging times throughout the journey. He encouraged us to take time to, “understand the seasons of marriage, the importance of perseverance, and learn to appreciate the sacred aspect of building a lifelong journey together”. We were reminded by Mr. Thomas, that although God created marriage, we shape our marriages.
One of the many challenges he gave throughout the seminar was to intentionally work at defining our spouse by what he/she is rather than by what he/she is not. He compared how an engaged couple responds to the question, tell me about your fiancé, versus when you ask a married couple to tell you about their spouse. Often because of our disappointment in each other or our resentment that our spouse has not met our expectations we tend to focus on what our spouse is not rather than what he/she is.
Mr. Thomas closed the day by encouraging us to pray daily for God to show us how to love our spouse more today than he/she has ever been loved before. What an encouraging weekend it was, inspiring each of us to love our spouses as God loves us.