Recently, the priests in our Diocese went away on “convocation” for a week. Was this a vacation or was it a retreat? it was probably both. Does the Bishop send the priests on convocation every year because he understands their vocation of Holy Orders will be renewed? Of course. Are the priests refreshed and rested? Yes indeed. And do Religious sisters in their communities take a yearly retreat? Yes, they do. What a great tradition!
So why don’t married couples nourish their Sacrament, their vocation with a retreat? Well, Marriage Encounter offers one. The Weekend together renews our vocation to each other. And what about attending a retreat annually? Why not?
All marriages could benefit from a yearly reminder of the important aspects of respect, love, forgiveness, and better communication. Why not attend a Marriage Encounter weekend every year or two? We call this an “anniversary weekend.” Make yours today. There is a retreat made just for YOU this November 10-12. Find a petsitter, call a grandparent, make it happen to make your marriage…your vocation a priority.
I’m a Certified Holistic Health Counselor, which is basically a nutritionist who gets to talk about more than food. While a nutritionist gives their clients lists of foods to eat and not eat, I get to coach clients on lifestyle, relationship and spiritual growth to be naturally healthy. I think it will come as no surprise that everyone knows to drink water, eat fruits and veggies and exercise. So then why are some people overweight and unhealthy? People do not lack the knowledge. Rather, the answer is that they lack the tools and support to maintain a healthy weight and lifestyle. That’s where I come in as a health coach- I give people the tools and support that they need. For instance, if you set a health goal for yourself, wouldn’t it be helpful if someone checked in with you every two weeks, gave you concrete tasks and listened to you as a means of support? We could all use a Health Coach, right?
In much the same way, we need a “Coach” to maintain healthy marriages today. Marriage Encounter provides the tools and support we need to thrive as a ” healthy couple.” Most couples have the knowledge to make it….we should love our spouse through good and bad times, we should spend quality time together, go on the occasional date and talk about things other than taking out the garbage. What we lack, again like the healthy lifestyle, are the tools and support to maintain it.
When Kris and I were encountered in 2008, we looked like a very healthy, married couple. We had two small children and a strong bond. We went out on dates every other Monday. However, we knew that our communication was often strained and that when we waited too long to discuss a topic, it could grow into a potential argument or fight.
Marriage Encounter immediately acted as the “health coach” for our relationship. So what tools and support did we need? Marriage Encounter provided a tool for daily communication and the support of a faith zone or prayer community that is vital to the maintenance of a healthy marriage. After making the weekend, we learned exactly how to continue on our own at home to maintain healthy communication, loving touch, relationship building and our couple power. These tools and support counteract the damaging messages that our pop culture disciminates, such as materialism and sex without intimacy. We use what we learned on our weekend and practice it daily. Marriage Encounter allows Kris and me to live our best married life.