In effort to have a yearly INTENTIONAL marriage retreat, yet not wanting to break the bank, my husband and I made our own little marriage retreat with the help of Mark Driscoll’s book, “Real Marriage”.
With kids in the safe and capable hands of grandparents we set out on our little homemade retreat. We decide to stay away from home free of distractions, but with some good quality uninterrupted conversation time with your spouse, these questions can be discussed anywhere. There are A LOT of questions so I would suggest breaking it up a little.
Driscoll states, “Too many couples put their best energies into the first day [of marriage]. The cake, flowers, clothing and photos have to be perfect.” [But what about the last day of your marriage?] “Will it end prematurely through divorce? Will the last day of your marriage be filled with regrets as you stand over the coffin of your spouse? Or by God’s grace will the last day be a day to rejoice in a life lived together and remember the gift your spouse was to you while on earth?
To finish well on the last day of your marriage it is not enough to simply have passion and principles, YOU ALSO NEED A PLAN. ” Pg. 207
It is so wild how we can just “do” life with no plan. You wouldn’t build a house without a blueprint, how crazy am I to think we can build a home without a plan!??
I am so thankful for the series of questions that come next. The “homework assignment” in his book lists amazing questions to develop a PLAN for our marriage, faith, parenting, relationships and life as a whole. This is not to say we are in control of our future but it helps us take logical steps to be the people and family God wants us to be. As they saying goes, if you aim at nothing, you hit it every time.
He asks us to picture a date in the future, whether it be in 2, 5 or 10 years (we choose 2 yrs). With that date in mind, you and your spouse go though a series of questions creating a “bullseye” for life.
1)What type of ministry will we be doing?
2)Who will know Jesus because of me?
3)How will we be connected in a community?
1) How much will we exercise weekly?
2)How much sleep will we get?
3) What will we eat?
1)How often will we pray together?
2) When is our date night?
3)What bring us together?
1)How old will our children be?
2) What special attention which each child need regarding his or her maturation up to that day?
3) What activities will you allow your children to participate in, and how will you manage all the time required for them?
There are many more questions in each category and additional categories such as financial, housing, friends, extended family, technology, and “ah hem”…sex.
As we went through the questions we would discuss and (eventually) agree on where we would like to see our family in 2 years (in our example). We took lots of notes and PLAN to review them quarterly. I am pretty excited about our new word…PLAN.
I am all about being intentional but my “go with the flow” personality sure does need a little lot of help sometimes. As we live life, we don’t always talk about it…taking a little intentional time do discuss a PLAN for your life can go a LONG way! One thing I have learned for sure is you don’t just gradually drift to where you want to be in life. You must have a plan, vision and direction. You must be proactive instead of reactive.
I highly recommend this book for any married or soon to be married couple.
What are your thoughts on a PLAN and intentional living? How do you make it work? ￼￼