One of the best things a married Christian couple can do for their relationship is to attend a Christian marriage retreat. But for an organizer, coming up with fresh ideas to keep things both productive and fun can be tricky. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of the 10 best Christian marriage retreat themes to ensure your couples leave feeling more connected than ever before.
1. Affirmations: Speaking Well of Your Spouse to Others (Colossians 3:19) – It’s become commonplace these days for people to speak negatively of their spouse to others. By avoiding this behavior and positively affirming our spouse, we can strengthen our relationship, deter inappropriate advances, and set a good example for others.
2. True Love: Being Best Friends with Your Spouse (Ephesians 5:25) – Marriage can sometimes have its trying and frustrating moments. Throughout all of this, we must not forget that the person we married is our best friend. Husbands, love your wife as Christ loved the church.
3. Take a Stand: Protecting Your Relationship (Hebrews 13: 4-7, Matthew 5:28, Proverbs 20:6) – The lessons we get from society are that “it’s OK to look” and “it’s not really cheating if ________.” The lessons we get from scripture tell us a much different story. Participants examine daily threats to their marriage and steps that can be taken to combat them.
4. Respect: Coming to Know Our Marital Roles (Ephesians 5:33, 1 Peter 3:1-22, Colossians 3:18, Titus 2:4-5) – The topic of submission to the husband is a touchy one, and that’s why it needs to be understood as a joint effort. It is the husband’s role to be a servant leader. The wife can set the couple up for success by respecting her husband.
5. Unity: Setting Boundaries with Your Parents (Genesis 2:24, Genesis 2:24; Matthew 19: 4-6, Mark 10: 6-9) – Loving our parents is a good thing. But what happens when parents become overbearing and begin to intrude upon our marriage? “But from the beginning of creation, God made them male and female. For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother, and the two shall become one flesh; so they are no longer two, but one flesh.” –Mark 10: 6-9. Participants will learn to be unified and stand as one.
6. No Grudges: Fighting Fair and Forgiving Quickly (1 Corinthians 7:5, 1 Corinthians 13:4-7, Ephesians 4:31) – In any marriage, disagreements are bound to happen. This is perfectly normal and healthy. It’s how we choose to speak to one another and how we handle the aftermath that can make all the difference.
7. Perfect Union: Viewing Sex as a Sacred Gift from God (Proverbs 5: 18-19) – Despite what our culture has taught us, sex is not a dirty word. It is not something to be ashamed of or embarrassed about. When experienced within the confines of Christian marriage as God intended, it is a blessing to be enjoyed.
8. Unconditional: I Love You as Long as… (Proverbs 19:22) – Have you ever found yourself falling into this trap? Love is not based on good works by our spouse or adherence to our expectations. Love in a Christian marriage is unconditional, the way Jesus loves us.
9. Not the Same Person: Understanding Your Spouse (Proverbs 24:3) – The two of you are now one… so why doesn’t it feel that way? Many of the early problems in marriage stem from a lack of understanding. People don’t marry a carbon copy of themselves, so they need to learn to compromise and be sensitive to their spouse’s needs, even when those needs are very different from their own.
10. In Sync: Raising Children Together (Ephesians 6:4) – Raising children needs to be a team effort, but sometimes it seems that we’re not reading from the same playbook. Participants will learn to be on the same page regarding the raising of their children and learn to never undermine the other’s authority.