Married nearly three happy decades myself, I looked forward to attending my first Marriage Getaways (formerly Festivals of Marriage) in Ridgecrest, North Carolina earlier this month. But secretly, I wondered what I could take away from the experience. I didn’t have to wait any longer than my first breakout session to find out:

1. A happy and satisfying marriage is a journey. And none of us have it completely figured out. The shiny-eyed newlyweds just wanted to get started on the right foot. The at-it-a-while couples were still learning. And the senior saints even now wanted to improve their seasoned relationships. It was a precious sight to see hundreds of couples wanting God’s best for their marriage and willing to put in the time and effort to make it happen. The things we heard in the breakout sessions offered a fresh perspective—reminding us of some areas in our marriage that could benefit from a little tweaking.

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2. Marriage is a covenant relationship. Now, of course, I knew this already because the words from our marriage ceremony in 1984 continue to echo in my mind all these years later: “John and Debbie, you are entering into a covenant relationship with Almighty God.” We took those words seriously then, and we live by them now. But, all these many years later, I was challenged in our worship sessions to remember—every day—that God, my husband, and I are all in this together. Our marriage is a holy covenant between the three of us.

3. God is in the marriage-saving business. And He wants to change marriages by changing husbands and wives. Scores of men and women stood in one of our worship service and publically acknowledged that they had been changed by God—rescued from addictions, from fear, from hate, from attitude, and more. And their marriages had been dramatically changed in the process. What a beautiful testimony to the power of God. And later, dozens of couples flooded the altar—giving it up—whatever their “it” was—to the hands of God. It was a beautiful picture of recommitment and renewal.

So, like me now, are you a Marriage Getaways alum? What were your eye-opening takeaways? And how has God used what you learned to rock your marriage?

Register today for your Marriage Getaway in Destin, Florida or Branson, Missouri!

Debbie Whisenant is a Marketing Specialist for LifeWay Marriage & Family. She, her husband John, and their two adult sons Andy and Ben live in Nashville, Tenn. 

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