At first, marriage retreats may not sound like the most exciting way to spend a couple days of the week. Many have a preconceived notion that marriage retreats are only for touchy-feely newlyweds or for people whose marriages are falling apart. But that is just not the truth, and what skeptics fail to address are the many benefits that marriage retreats can have on their relationships and spiritual lives. Here are 3 of numerous reasons why you should attend a marriage retreat:
1. To increase intimacy and communication with your spouse
How many married couples could honestly say that they’re always as passionate for each other as they were on their wedding day? While this is a noble thing to strive for, it is simply not possible for our flawed human selves to maintain the same steadfast love as the God who created us.
Over time, the stress of the world can wear down our marriages and drive us apart. Marriage retreats allow us to go back to the start and rekindle that fire that we once held for our spouses. They encourage us to open up to each other, to desire to know one another the way that God knows us.
2. To learn from other Godly relationships
Whether you’ve been married for many decades or just a few days, you can always learn something new about marriage. Why? Because we’re imperfect, and no matter how good we think our marriages are, there is always room for improvement.
The great thing about the Christian community is that we can learn from one another. Consider Proverbs 27:17: “Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.” We each have different experiences to share, different lessons that we have learned, and different mistakes that we can warn others against. Marriage retreats are the perfect opportunity both to give advice and to receive advice from fellow believers.
3. To become unified in your passion for God
The ultimate goal of marriage is to glorify God; anything else is deception. If you’re not basing your marriage on Christ, then how do you define marriage? Marriage is, essentially, a picture of God’s love for His people – Christ as the groom and the Church as His bride. So we are meant to reflect that beautiful picture of love and unity in our own relationships with our spouses.
Often, we forget that purpose. We see marriage as something simply meant to fulfill us. While God does intend for marriage to bring us fulfillment and joy, He desires even more that it would bring us closer to Him. Marriage retreats are meant to point us back to God’s will for our marriages and rediscover Him as our foundation. And when we fix our eyes on Him, everything else in our lives will fall into place.
Special thanks to Sunstream Retreat Center for sponsoring this article.