Marriage Retreat in Whistler
Last weekend I went to Whistler Canada with my honey for a marriage retreat. My mom, the superhero, came up to watch the kids for us. The marriage material was a video of a speaker who wrote the book Love and Respect, which is based on the passage in Ephesians 5 about wives respecting their husbands and husbands loving their wives. Men tend to respect rather than love, and women tend to love rather than respect. Yet each gender needs what the other doesn’t naturally give. So that's why the Bible tells them to do what does not come naturally to them. We need to recognize that our needs are fundamentally different and that's ok. This is almost the exact same stuff our pastor taught us in our pre-marriage counseling, so I don't think we got anything out of the class part of our trip.
I guess the fact that my wife has different needs is just plain obvious to me. And really, the thing that most marriages seem to suffer from is ungodly expectations. (This is from an 11 year long lesson I had.) That is: they expect their spouse will make them happy, and when that doesn't happen they get resentful about it rather than looking to God for fulfillment. I told Heather the thing I love most about her is the fact that she does not expect me to fulfill her. And that she does not let unrealistic expectations rule her emotions. She would love to have a house, but we can't have one now, and that doesn’t make her upset. She didn't have the normal expectation most 'good Christian girls' have of marrying good, rich Christian doctor or lawyer with no baggage. She was open to being called into a marriage of ministering to a family with immediate needs. She is truly beautiful in this respect.
But the rest of the trip was really great. The mountains are of course very beautiful. On Saturday we went zip lining over some big valleys and trees. (That's where you are in a harness attached to a rig that is on a thousand foot long wire suspended from trees. You push off and 'fly' over the forest.) That was really fun. We also had dinner and a movie with a couple that we got along well with. She was Justin's 4th grade teacher, and they had just been married a month or so ago.
My favorite part of the trip was just having long conversations with Heather in the car about spiritual things. We are such good friends and I still can't believe how great our relationship is. My eyes still well up a bit when I watch her sleeping and think about how God has blessed me beyond my dreams with her.