This weekend, Leanne and I spent the weekend at the Hershey Lodge in Hershey, PA. We enjoyed Cocoa Massages at the Hershey Spa. We enjoyed chocolate butter and chocolate mocha creme brulee at the Hershey Grill. We enjoyed a quick ride at Chocolate World. And we enjoyed plenty of Hershey’s Kisses and candy bars. But we weren’t there for the chocolate.
We were in Hershey, PA to attend the FamilyLife Weekend To Remember event which ran from Friday night through Sunday morning. Before you get too nervous, Leanne and I aren’t having any major marriage problems. But we’re always looking for opportunities to improve our marriage relationship. This year’s event was focused on creating oneness in our marriage, and the sessions are taught from a Biblical perspective.
As we were driving home yesterday, we thought it would be fun to share reasons for attending an event like this. Perhaps, you’ll consider attending with us next year! So here’s our top 10 (in no particular order) reasons to attend the FamilyLife Weekend To Remember:
1. One Big Date: This is a great opportunity to spend time together for the entire weekend (without the kids).
2. Cocoa Scented Everything: From the shampoo, conditioner, and hand lotion to the baked goods and chocolate steamers, you could smell chocolate everywhere. You could even smell chocolate in the air when you walked outside the lodge thanks to the nearby Hershey factories.
3. Speakers: Trent and Andrea Griffith and Bob Maddox did an excellent job transparently relating stories from their own marriages and life experiences to help illustrate the main points of the teaching. All three of the presenters were down to earth and approachable. We actually ran into Bob on Saturday night, and he was so easy to talk with.
4. Great Resources: Besides the speakers, there are tons of books and other resources available to help your marriage and your parenting. We picked up a handful of books that we’re looking forward to exploring together.
5. Foundational Teaching: We’ve heard many (if not most) of these things before, but it was great to be encouraged through the speakers.
6. Date Night: Although this was one big date for us (see number one), it was wonderful to have an evening designated as our night out.
7. We’re Not Alone: There were over 1500 others in attendance at this event. It was a blessing to see that there were so many couples who have decided to make their marriage a priority. On Sunday, there was an opportunity for people to share how they were changed by the conference and how they were going to apply what they had learned. We both resonated with many of the things shared.
8. Inspiring: We both left with renewed ideas and enthusiasm for our roles as spouses and parents. We were encouraged to list 2 or 3 action steps to take with us as we returned to the real world. We’ll be sharing those in the coming days through our blogs.
9. Dynamic Breakouts: On Sunday, we attended breakout sessions for men and for women. When we met together after these sessions, we both commented that these times were highlights for us. These breakouts provided specific teaching directed towards husbands and dads and wives and moms.
10. Renewing Our Vows: At the conclusion of the weekend, we had the privilege of renewing our marriage vows. These vows mean so much more now that we’ve experienced life together for over 15 years.
Have you ever been to a marriage conference? Which one? What were the highlights or biggest take-aways for you? How did it change your marriage?