This weekend, Justin and I had the opportunity to attend the Ignite Marriage Conference at Church of the Highlands in Birmingham. COH has several campuses, and our tickets were for the Grant’s Mill location.
We went down early on Friday to look at a few house things and then we all met up for dinner at the Cheesecake Factory. (I loved the conference, but the Cheesecake Factory alone was worth the trip to Birmingham!)
I am almost embarrassed to say this, but this little trip was the first thing Justin and I have done without kids since before I was pregnant with Jase. That is zero date nights in a year and a half. I know, I know; shame on us.
The conference speaker was Dr. Jimmy Evans and he definitely exceeded my expectations! He was real and raw and oh-so-funny. The entire conference was based on healing, and how we have to have peace in ourselves before we can expect peace in our marriage.
I think Justin and I have a great marriage. We get angry and we fight and one of us is horrible at saving money, but we are committed. And that’s what counts. Hear this: if you are married to an addict who refuses to get help or if you are a partner in an abusive relationship, get out now. And I don’t, for one single second, judge any decisions you make in your life–your marriage, your call. But I do feel like too many marriages today end in divorce because there is a lack of commitment.
Justin and I were ahead of the game when we got married. We both come from a long line of committed, Christian marriages. We both knew going in that divorce was not an option for us. There have been good times and there have been times where I haven’t even wanted to look at him, but I know, for better or worse, we are in it for the long haul.
One thing Dr. Evans said that really stuck with me this weekend was about anger. He stressed the importance of never going to bed angry. Yes, I’ve heard this advice my entire life, but Dr. Evans brought it to light in a new way. He said the devil counsels you during your sleep–if you go to bed angry, the devil can convince you to stay angry. I’ve never thought about it that way, but it makes so much sense now.
If I let something little eat at me, I just get madder and that little something grows into a big something. I’ve learned (over several years of marriage–I’m a slow learner!) that if something bothers me, I need to talk to Justin about it. I’m not helping either of us if I bite my tongue and let my anger grow. I need to talk about it or just let it go, already.
Another quote I triple-starred in my notes was this:
“Your friends are your future.”
I have heard that time and time again but it is so very true. I am so thankful for a tribe of families that keep me grounded and give me a good kick in the behind when I need it.
You guys, marriage takes work. It is not easy and it doesn’t just happen. We have to be intentional about loving on our spouses and building our relationship. A good marriage is worth the fight!
Love to you!