Hiking up to the summit of one of the Blue Ridge Mountains through a canopy of red, yellow, and orange leaves intermingled among the pine trees, my husband and I reconnected. We attended a marriage retreat last weekend based on the new movie Courageous. The Festival of Marriage retreat took place in North Carolina among the Blue Ridge Mountains at Ridgecrest Conference Center. We enjoyed our getaway. Years ago, we had read several books written by the Keynote speaker, Gary Chapman: Five Love Languages, Five Love Languages for Children, and Five Love Languages for Teenagers. This was the first time we had the privilege of hearing him speak. Mark Merrill of Family First was an additional keynote speaker.
We had various small group breakout session leaders; our favorites were Steve and Debbie Wilson of Marriage Matters Now from Shreveport, Louisiana. Their share time made us laugh and cry and inspired us. They will be the Keynote speaker at this coming weekend’s Festival of Marriage.
Contemporary Christian musician, founder of Holy Homes Ministries, and father of four Clay Crosse led us in worship and entertained us during our cheesecake date night. He sang one of his hits (my favorite) “I Surrender All” and shared on a personal and friendly level with us.
It had been seven or eight years since we had attended any kind of marriage conference and this was our first FOM. Six hundred people attended this event, some who had only been married a few months and some who had been married 50-58 years! Like us, some attended this event for the first time, while for others this was their 9th, 14th, and even 19th times.
Re-connect. Re-fresh. Re-new. Re-sweet your marriage by attending a marriage conference with your spouse!