Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Focus on Marriage Silmulcast.

Today (Saturday) we attended the Focus on Marriage Simulcast Seminar. One word...


It's almost too much to process. But, I learned so much and God definitely pointed out a lot of areas in my life and marriage that I really need to work on in order to be the wife that I made a covenant with Todd nearly 18 years ago to be.

The conference was chock full of great speakers to whom God has given great insight. In order to not get too long winded I'm going to list the speakers and give a quote or brief word about their main point. Here goes:

Mitch Temple:
Told us that when we focus on the urgent in our lives instead of the important, we become short sighted. Focusing on the little daily irritants leaves no sight for the bigger picture. He also challenged us to Champion the marriages of others, by mentoring a younger couple! And he is responsible for what I think is both Todd's and my favorite quote of the day,
"The grass isn't greener on the other side of the fence,
the grass is greener where you water it the most."

Francis Chan:
ROCKED. MY. WORLD. I'm not sure I can even begin to describe how much his words effected me. He challenged us to get along in our marriages so that we could focus on God's higher purpose for our lives, eternity. Wach spouse should have undivided devotion to the Lord. And if there's a conflict in your marriage it's because there is conflict in your relationship with God. ROCKED. MY. WORLD.

Drs. Les and Leslie Parrott:
Taught us about the three parts of love; Passion, Intimacy and Commitment. They gave us this tool to use with our spouses to take our relationship temperature: Ask, "How is your love life?" and then have your spouse answer by rating those 3 areas on a scale of 1-10.

Dr. Gary Chapman:
I've read his books on the 5 Love Languages, and they have helped us over the years. Today he spoke about the 5 languages of apology. It was very insightful, but important to realize the way in which I need to apologize to Todd (and he to me) and the importance of being able to do so when you have done something that hurt your spouse.

Gary Thomas:
He told us that marriage is a long journey that 2 people take together. It takes 10 to 15 years for a couple to go from being "me" to "we". He talked about the seasons of marriage and why it's SO important to stay together for the long haul. But he also painted a picture that our relationship to Christ is the same as a marriage, and everything we need to grow as a couple is the same thing we need to grow as Christians.

Dr. Julianna Slattery:
She was Todd's favorite speaker because she told me how much my husband needs to be my hero. The person with the most power in my life is the one who can meet my deepest need. My husband's deepest need is to be my hero, to know that I believe in him and that I will be there for him. I can make or break him by meeting that need or not. And the same goes for his power in my life. I need to know that I am safe in his love and that he loves me. Loads to think about.

Kirk and Chelsea Cameron:
Shared from their hearts about their own marriage and how little the external has to do with the success of a marriage. Keeping your heart true to you spouse by not letting other things become more important. My favorite Chelsea quote, "You can't be a better mother than you are a wife." Reminding me to put Todd at the head of the family. And Kirk talked about letting his ministry be his mistress. Very real. Raw. Open. My favorite Kirk quote, "Never look down on your spouse. Instead look up to the cross, which is your salvation."

And last, but not least
Stephen Kendrick:
Stephen talked about forgiveness (yes, it seemed to be the God-inspired theme of the day) and dealing with evil as it comes. The Lords prayer is a daily prayer. Jesus said that each day has it's own evil in it, don't worry about tomorrow. We have to forgive everyday and let the past stay in the past, to let go of bitterness. Again, my favorite quote, "Holding on to bitterness is like saying, 'You hurt me, so I'm going to hurt me too.'"

There is SO much more I learned from these speakers, it's overwhelming. But really, the timing of this conference in my life was divinely appointed. And, I will use what I have learned to better my marriage, but also to move my focus off my marriage and set the mission of our family to be able to focus on that.