When a good portion of your life is spent serving other people in the public eye it’s important to take time out to invest your energy in your marriage too. Although coaches, pastors, parachurch ministers, and military members serve their communities in different capacities there are several similarities which makes the list I’m highlighting below relevant for everyone to consider.
While it’s important for everyone to spend time nurturing their marriage relationship, there are additional elements to consider when you spend a considerable amount of time apart due to work travel and when your weekends are shaped by your spouse’s job because when you learn to operate without each other it takes intentional effort to continue to commit to your partnership.
Here are 8 Ways to Invest in Your Marriage
Every Day Investments
Make the effort to really understand yourself. Your likes, dislikes, and the experiences that inform your views. There are hundreds of personality tests available. I have found the most informative test for us is the Enneagram.
Additionally, the Five Love Languages has developed an app to help you remember to love your spouse within the content they prefer. Check out Love Nudge to not only help to remember your spouse’s love languages, but you can add prompts to act. Knowledge is great, but investing in relationships requires active participation.
A Weekend to Remember
Couples attend Weekend to Remember when they’re interested in investing in their marriage and intentionally moving towards oneness. Weekend to Remember states they “help you understand God’s blueprint for marriage so you can create a legacy of greatness.”
They also report “Our attendees say their relationships improved on average from a 4/10 to an 8/10 after one weekend.”
ONE Marriage Conference
This conference is sold out for 2019, but they are selling online passes meaning you can view this conference from the comfort of your home for $25. This year’s speakers are Craig & Amy Groeschel and Jentezen and Charise Franklin is the Senior Pastor of Free Chapel (the conference hosts).
It’s likely that there are churches in your area offering marriage focused events. Whether it’s a day, weekend, or small group it’s worth checking out what is happening locally. Many churches also offer ongoing marriage mentoring.
Coaching Specific Conferences
Coaches Time Out
“CTO exists to serve coaches and spouses through annual weekend conferences in multiple cities across the nation. Our hope is to change the culture of sports by ministering to the hearts of Coaches so that they can minister to the hearts of their athletes.” Check their website for this year’s conferences. You can also follow them on Facebook.
Fellowship of Christian Athletes
I’ve written about our local Marriage Getaway before. If you are looking for support from people who understand the unique challenges of the coaching life you need to look no further than your local FCA Chapter. Their Marriage Getaway events are designed to create opportunities to reconnect after the craziness of the season.
Military Specific Conferences
Operation We Are Here lists several conferences for military families. They also suggest that active-duty members ask their chaplain for upcoming opportunities. This list also includes scholarship information!
Weekend to Remember – Military Focused
A wife watches in anticipation for her uniformed husband to walk from the jet-bridge through the gate. She waits eagerly to be in his arms again. It’s been a long year. She wonders what it will be like to be together again in-person. Will it be like starting over?
Marriage has both ups and downs, joys and struggles. But for military families, we understand that your marriage looks different. Deployment, uncertainty, and constant transition add strain and stress to your relationship.
This is why Cru Military and FamilyLife have teamed up to plan special military-friendly Weekend to Remember getaways. The unique military culture requires a unique ministry.
Ed Seltzer created an extensive list of spaces for ministry families to rest and retreat to help avoid burnout. You can check it out here.
Pastors Wives Thriving has also created an extensive resource list.
Don’t Forget Date Night!
I’ll be honest, when I’m feeling the crunch in my weekly schedule or our budget (or both!) it’s tempting to cancel date night altogether and plow through the weeks. But we’ve learned the hard way that when we don’t prioritize dates it becomes too easy too quickly to fall into the routine of living life in our own lanes.
Scheduling a block of time on the calendar for each other weekly is important. Whether you head out for a walk or dinner isn’t the point. The best way to invest in your marriage is to take time to intentionally focus on your spouse on a regular basis. Quality over quantity time is key to healthy communication in your marriage.
Looking for more options? Check out this great list from TheologyDegrees.org