About 3 years ago when the kids were quite small my husband and I started a ritual. A ritual I thought might not last, but three years later we are still committed to it.
This small commitment changed our marriage, changed how we parent…changed us as individuals. It makes us stop and plan and breathe. Makes us connect and commit to what’s to come.
Each year my husband and I go away alone for several days to seek God’s vision for our family and marriage. We call it our vision retreat. It has become a non-negotiable component of our marriage.
To be honest, we did not make it up, we learned it at one of the many marriage conferences we have been to.
During our time away, we seek God’s wisdom for the upcoming school year. We talk and pray about the kids, our life goals, and anything else that might be going on.
We all know how very important it is to have vision for your ministry or career but did you know it’s just as important to have vision for your marriage and family?
“Where there is no vision, the people perish.” Proverbs 29:18
I am so thankful we did this because after fourteen years of marriage and four kids you can feel pretty breathless and need of a break. There are days when the only moment my husband I meet is when we are in bed at night.
This year we went to the mountains to hike and stayed in a one room cabin. When there is nothing to do but hike or sleep you are forced to talk, even talk about the subjects you avoid all year-long. We faced head on in prayer the snares in our lives. When you pray as a couple in a blood covenant the enemy doesn’t stand a chance.
The Lord took me to the mountains to take a deep breath of His spirit and to remind me that He provides above and beyond all I could ask or imagine. His Spirit whispered the beautiful truth in the still small voice of the wind, “My daughter, embrace the journey. Know you are right where you need to be.”
“Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord…He will teach us His ways.” Micah 4:2
He took us up on the mountain to remind us that our marriage is a covenant that can never be broken. He took us up to the mountain for us to know there is peace when we are in the valley.
The valley is sometimes all we see, but when He takes you up to the mountain our perspective changes. Life sometimes feels as if it is one big valley of dust and death. Imagine gazing at a valley full of it and hearing the Lord ask you as he did Ezekiel, “Can these bones live?”
Ezekiel didn’t know how to make the bones live, but he knew who could. “O Lord God, you know,” Ezekiel says (Ezekiel 37:3). God brings Ezekiel into what looks like a helpless situation and tells him to . . . speak life.
“Prophesy over these bones, and say to them, O dry bones, hear the word of the Lord. Thus says the Lord God to these bones: Behold, I will cause breath to enter you, and you shall live. And I will lay sinews upon you, and will cause flesh to come upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and you shall live, and you shall know that I am the Lord.” Ezekiel 37:4–6
When all you see is a bunch of dry bones speak life until life begins to spring forth.
We stepped off the mountain, after this vision retreat, committed to speaking life into each other and speaking life over our children.
If you are married commit to a vision retreat. It will become one of the most effective tools for helping your marriage.
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