Friday and Saturday of last week, Matt and I went to the Marriage and Parenting Conference that our church hosted. While our marriage is far from being on the rocks, there is always room for improvement and better communication! We were really excited to be able to learn from older couples at the church.
We gathered in the gorgeous St. George's Church in Union Square. The building is so ornately crafted (I believe in the 1800s), and was such an experience to get to gather in there. The pews were full of couples and singles who were ready to grow/prepare themselves for marriage and parenthood. We saw a handful of people that we knew from the Brooklyn campus we go to, but since this was a church-wide event, there were people from the other 3 campuses as well. We got to meet some new people, and be encouraged by them.
It means a lot to me that our church intentionally equips families to understand practical day-to-day things, to work as a team, and to live joy-filled, Christ-centered lives.
We learned quite a bit about both topics, and I just wanted to share my notes with you guys.
- Be your spouses #1 support. Make them feel awesome about themselves. Be a cheerleader for them.
- Submitting to your husband doesn't make you a doormat. It empowers your family to work as a team.
- Don't let your husband's trustworthiness determine whether or not you obey God.
- Your submission to your husband will actually expose you to more joy.
- Husbands love your wives and give yourself up for her.
- "I don't know one sacrificial husband who isn't full of joy." - John Stark
- Forgive endlessly.
- And repent -- not just for the one fight, but for small, everyday things.
- "All of life is repentance." - Martin Luther
- Ephesians 4 - be kind, loving, forgiving imitators of Christ.
- Pray for your marriage, and pray for you spouse's relationship with the Lord.
- What your marriage needs most is both partners being in communion with God.
- Jesus is the ultimate example of what sacrificial love looks like.
- 1 Peter 2-3
- Jesus knew, loved, and trusted the Father. While he poured his heart out to the Father, he did not have anxiety or fear.
- How to become more sacrificial in you love:
- Assume you're a narcissist and repent.
- Humble yourself and be willing to give up your preferences to bring your spouse joy.
- Time is more important to childhood than space.
- If being a stay-at-home parent is important to your family, you can make it work.
- Work as a united front (as a team) with your spouse.
- Have a vision for your family.
- If your family is focused on God, your kids will feel loved by God.
- Give yourself grace, because no one is a perfect parent.
- John 15:4-5 - Abide in Christ
- Seek first the kingdom and the rest will fall in place.
- Take advantage of your child-free phase of life -- help out and learn from those who are at that next stage. They could use a babysitter.