Reflections on a Marriages Restored Conference in Concordia, MO

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So a Baptist, a Pentacostal and a Reformed guy walk into a... Sure sounds like a joke doesn't it? It does, but it's actually the start of an amazing marriage conference where stories of deceit, addiction, infidelity, armed robbery and, oh by the way, profound Redemption are the order of the day. And this Redemption gives couples who may not be sure they still want to be married, or for most, how to work through significant betrayal and pain, this Redemption from 'Spiritual Leaders' gives them hope. The couples who attended gain hope that maybe their marriage isn't over and God isn't through growing them just yet. 

And so it was in Concordia, MO this past weekend. Friday night a couple of pastors shared about their worst moments as men and husbands. The beauty of this is that God's grace shines brightly in their darkness. God didn't give up on them, their marriages or them serving others in His name. Their wives were equally courageous, authentic, sinful and delightful. Ann and I shared our horrifically beautiful story too. 

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My favorite moment from such a weekend comes from many choices. Sometimes it is just knowing that what we do gives many struggling couples hope for their future together. We're nothing special in the sense that we were majorly screwed up and now are a little less screwed up.  Couples can say, "Wow, we have our stuff but so did they." This time, I could choose from reconnecting with John and Amber who went through a similar conference almost a decade ago and now were hosting their own, or the amazing lunch worth more than the conference fee, or Emily Russell's soulful music, or the hope on the curly redhead's face, or seeing hardened couples soften to one another. Any of those is great.  

But my favorite moment happened in the parking lot during the break on Saturday morning. He talked to me while studying the asphalt.

He said, "I don't know. I've hurt her too much. It's not like just one time. Drugs, booze, other women. Maybe I'm wasting my time."

We talked more about upcoming 4th steps (fearless moral inventory) and 5th steps (sharing that 4th step with another human being.) I mentioned how this conference is like doing 4th and 5th steps on specific topics. We talked about their years together, hope and hopelessness. 

And then I said, "Let's just say you've got a thousand steps to take. This weekend is taking four or five of those steps. Those are still steps in the right direction that need to be taken."  

He took enough hope from those words to stay. I laid my hand on his shoulder and prayed for him feeling the unseasonable warmth of this January day on my back and in my heart. His anxiousness subsided and they worked through what they could work through over the weekend. Their work is far from over, but I look forward to hearing about their journey.  

So thank you, John and Amber, for having us into your home and church. Your heart for the couples attending is inspiring. We are grateful for your trust and friendship.

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Healing in Concordia, MO

Join us this Friday and Saturday for some marriage healing and growth at Concordia Baptist Church. We are excited to share time with our friends, John and Amber Cox on Friday night!

Not sure if you should attend, the worst that can happen is you'll hear a few powerfully redemptive stories and have plenty of meaningful conversation with your spouse. 

Check out more at Concordia Baptist Church

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WEDx January 22nd at 7 at fpcboulder.org

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Friday, January 22nd I am one of the speakers for WEDx. This special night for couples is modeled after TEDx events. 

Speaker topics include: money matters, communication and gender, in-laws, countering busyness, sex and more. 

I'll be speaking on sex. Hubba hubba.

It's free with free child care. Please reserve child care in advance. If you are in the Denver/Boulder/Longmont area I hope to see you there. 

http://fpcboulder.org/WEDx/ or 303.402.6400 for more info and to reserve childcare


Marriages Restored Intensives

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The cabin above was built in 1924. With modifications and improvements (like heat) it is a wonderful place to spend time at any temperature. With that in mind we now rent this beautiful facility for most of our marriage intensives. 

We begin Wednesday evening at seven, spending over 25 hours with a courageous couple through Sunday at noon. Mixed in are teaching, tension, laughter, counseling, prayer, hope, anger, love, grace, food, dark coffee and soothing meditation by a mountain stream. 

While every intensive is unique, we generally cover:

Betrayal and Anger

Guilt and Shame

Grief

Rebuilding Trust

Gender

Emotional Intimacy

Spiritual Intimacy

Recreational Intimacy

Non-Sexual Intimacy

Sexual Intimacy

Grace and Forgiveness

Communication

An intensive allows any issue to be discussed in depth. While hourly counseling is helpful, couples in crisis need the hours of an intensive to navigate through hurt and tension to a place of connection and hope. 

In a difficult place in your marriage? Don't want to divorce but not sure if you can stay together? We were there. Today we are thrilled to celebrate a terrific marriage of almost 30 years. We look forward to the next 30. Perhaps God has the same idea for you. With honesty, humility and grace I am almost certain he does. 

 


Intensive June 21-24

An intensive can provide hope and a road map for a couple floundering in confusion post-affair. This event is designed for up to six couples. It is being held in the Warrensburg/Kansas City area. There will be teaching, much time for you to interact with just your spouse and time to interact with the group. Cost per couple is $2000. This includes conference materials, hotel and breakfast each day. Email me at ben (dot) wilson (at) marriagesrestored (dot) com for more info.


Marriages Restored Conference at FBC Warrensburg, MO this Friday

Only five more days until our next conference. Whether you are attending or not we value your prayers for us and the other couples speaking and for the couples attending. 

There is still time to register. Register here. 

Let me share with you some words from the wife of a couple who attended our last Marriages Restored Conference in Warrensburg. 

We attended the conference and didn’t know what to expect. Our marriage had been through so much, and I can remember entering in the church doors that weekend with a feeling of hopelessness. I wondered if I could ever feel “in love” again. I knew if I was ever going to feel that way again I had to move past the pain and resentment I felt with my spouse.

The first reassuring thing for us to see was the other couples that seemed to be in a similar situation or low valley as we were. We listened to the speaking couples telling their stories of betrayal, lies, pain and forgiveness; I knew then we could start our journey toward forgiveness and acceptance too.  It was at that time we both committed to working on repairing our marriage and forgiving each other.

I was so thankful that our journey was not expected to come to an end at the conclusion of the conference. We were fortunate enough to continue our efforts in a Sunday school class with some of the other couples we met at the conference. This Sunday school class proved to be more than the average class. We grew together as a group and encouraged each other as we shared about our painful times as well as times of happiness. It was amazing to see how similar we all were, even though we all had different stories. We will forever be connected to the facilitators and other couples in the group as they helped us get through the hard times so we could get to the happy times. 

It is a great privilege to be friends with many couples who have been helped by attending the conference, the follow up group on Sunday if logistically possible or a 3 or 4 day intensive. If your marriage is in a tough place I hope you'll join us this weekend.