The pastors of the New England District of the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod gathered for three days of learning, support, worship, and time together around the theme of Healthy Marriages. Pastors and their wives struggle with marriage issues just like the rest of the population, and it’s high time that we spent some energy focusing on the health of our marriages.
Thanks to our great leadership, we were treated to three days that were lead by professional counselors from a Lutheran Counseling Center in Florida. Rick Armstrong and Mary Jo Hoard spent time leading us through a study on the issues we face as husband and wife. Nothing was off the table. Conversations were about communication, love, personalities, sex, raising kids, work related pressures, building healthy boundaries, fighting fair, forgiveness, romance, and other related topics. Pastors and their wives face the same issues that every husband and wife face. We all needed this time to get away and reflect on the health of our marriage relationships. We were reminded that marriage takes work.
Healthy marriages take work. You can’t make it as husband and wife in our society today if you don’t spend time and energy on your relationship. The biggest reason for this is that we’re all sinful by nature and that means selfish by nature. We’re wired to look out for ourselves, and marriage forces us to go beyond our sinful heart to unite with another. Healthy communication, boundaries, disagreements, romance, and other areas take work to bring about the necessary balance in marriages. Healthy marriages take work.
This theme came out time and time again during our conference. And, I completely agree! Marriage takes work. Healthy marriages take even more work. Do the work. It’s vital for your relationship, for your family, and for our communities. Do the work. It is necessary.
One thing that was not as clearly articulated is that while marriage takes work; it also takes play! Marriage takes PLAY! All work and no play makes…for a painful and boring marriage. Marriage takes PLAY! Don’t spend so much time working on your marriage that you forget about the FUN that can be found in sharing your life with your husband or wife. Don’t spend so much time working on communication that you forget to laugh with each other. Don’t spend so much time working on raising the kids well that you forget to spend an evening playing with the kids. Don’t spend so much time working that you begin to wonder when the payoff will come. Spend an equal amount of time playing at your marriage!
Marriage takes work, but marriage also takes play! Find that balance in your marriage. If you need help, please contact me and I’d love to visit with you about how we can help to make your marriage healthy. It will take work, but it will also take lots of PLAY!