05 October, 2011

Marriage Retreat

Yeah... I'm a little late in posting this one. You know, considering it was almost a week ago. =P Oh well.

Wednesday afternoon we dropped Jasper off at Annie's house and headed downtown! Thankfully there wasn't much traffic and we were able to get there in plenty of time for our scheduled check-in. We stayed in the Ala Moana Hotel downtown which is somewhat attached to the Ala Moana mall. Thanks to the Army, we stayed there for 2 nights (for free) and had all our meals paid for. Hooah! ;-)

When we checked in, we were able to chill out for a couple hours before dinner was "served." This was a good and bad thing. Good because we were able to relax, but bad because I need snacks and hotels are kinda short on the free versions of those. =P There was a little convenient store way past the lobby, so I was able to feed my hungry belly before I got cranky and passed out. Haha!

The first night was pretty laid back. We had dinner in one of the conference rooms and then were moved to another room for some fun. 4 couples were selected to play the Newlywed Game. Sadly we weren't one of those couples. =( I was really looking forward to beating all the other couples too! After that, we watched part one of the Laugh Your Way to a Better Marriage seminar. The seminar is done by a pastor out of Phoenix...and it's seriously awesome.

Thursday was chocked full of "training." The first two sessions after breakfast were led by one of the chaplains on post. This is where things got a little...interesting for me. Don't get me wrong, the things that he said totally made sense and were even helpful at times. I enjoyed his sessions for the most part, but you could tell that he was avoiding certain topics. Important topics. For being a chaplain, I was pretty surprised that he left out the importance of faith and what God/the Bible has to say about marriage. Then we got into the problems in marriage and how to diffuse arguments, forgiving when one person is hurt, etc. At one point, he mentioned cheating which we can all agree is far too common - not just in military marriages. But the one thing he wouldn't talk about that is rampant in the Army/military? Pornography. I could literally see him trying to find ways to not even say the word. As if he'd get chaptered out of the Army just for saying pornography can kill/harm marriages. Honestly, I don't understand the point in having a chaplain lead marriage retreats if the man can't say a single stinkin' word about God, the Bible, sin and what real forgiveness is.

Fortunately, we were able to get some of what God says about marriage - even sex and the way pornography can kill marriages - from the other portions we watched of Laugh Your Way to a Better Marriage. {And, yes, the Bible talks about sex. I dare you to go read Song of Solomon. Go on, do it.} The name of the pastor who does this seminar is Mark Grungo. It's fabulous. He's funny and darn it if he doesn't know what he's talking about. He talks about the different ways men and women think about just about everything. He teaches men how to romance their wives in order to have an incredible sex life {his words, not mine}. We only watched a portion of the seminar, so I'm sure there's much more to it than what we heard. We also were able to get his book (of the same title) for free thanks to the Army.

Click here to view on Amazon

I'm sure you can purchase the DVDs of the seminar from Amazon too. I just didn't look it up. =P

After a grueling day of training, we got the evening off to talk and just hang out. Seriously guys? It was the best part of the retreat. We got to relax, chat and just be ourselves. Plus, since the hotel was attached to the mall I got to do a little bit of shopping. ;-) Don't worry, all I bought was a pair of maternity pants.

If you're ever able to do one of these retreats, I highly suggest you do it. I think it was really beneficial. Not to mention we didn't have to worry about anything the entire time we were there. It was definitely a nice little break from the real world. And if you have kiddos, they have free childcare so you don't have to worry about them all day. Just so you know. =)


Kaylee said...

Cool! Thanks for sharing your experience - I've wanted to do a marriage retreat, so am glad to hear that you had a good time and got something out of it! That's kinda strange about the chaplain, but I suppose to each their own - I would have been a bit peeved by it, I think.

Lydia said...

I completely understand your frustration for the chaplain not mentioning pornography. Like you said, it's rampant in the military, not too much rampant in society as a whole! Sometimes I think pastors, chaplains, ministers, etc. don't even want to touch on the subject, because of how many people struggle with it and how many (even Christians) don't quite see what's wrong with it. They're too afraid to push buttons, which is ludicrous, because that's the whole point of their calling . . . to push buttons! You don't read about Paul holding back when adressing the various churches who had major issues, and his forwardness gained him all that much more respect. So many pastors will touch on cheating but won't touch on pornography. Um, hello, pornography IS cheating too! Matthew 5:28 says, “But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” According to God, if you even look or think lustful thoughts towards someone else (picture or tangible), you've actually committed the act.

Sorry for my little rampage, but this touches on a very passionate view of mine. I'm so disgusted by all the pornography out there and equally frustrated with wives who are "okay" with their husbands looking at it. Let's face it, no matter how "okay" a woman says she is with her husband looking at porn, you know how she really feels deep down. She feels betrayed, hurt, and as though she'll never be enough. People who struggle with pornography almost view it as a way of life, but it's not; it's an addiction, just like smoking, drugs, etc. It is possible to pull away from pornography.

Phew! Anyway, I'm done. Off my soapbox. My husband and I went to a sunday school class that did the dvd series of "Laugh Your Way through Marriage". It's excellent! And he does touch on pornography and several issues that most pastors don't. You can find it on Amazon. My husband and I were looking at buying it for ourselves in the near future. The cheapest I found was $80, but anything is worth the price for the benefit of your marriage.

JG said...

First off, whoo-hoo Lydia! :) Keep that soapbox handy!

I've been wanting to do a major post (or post series) about the dangers of allowing porn in a marriage because I've heard so many justifications for it in military marriages. Just keep getting distracted.

I SO want to do one of the marriage conferences, if only to have a free weekend getaway. SoldierMan's dad gave us one of the "Laugh your way" DVDs a long time ago, but we've never gotten around to watching it. Now that I have your endorsement, though, I think I'm going to dig it out. :)

chambanachik said...

I totally agree about the pornography and how devastating it can be. Definitely should have been brought up!

~The Buzuleciu's~ said...

Isn't Mark Gungor a HOOT???? We loved that video, start to finish!! Glad you were able to go on a retreat :)

❈ Annie - Blonde Glambition ❈ said...

I'm glad you were able to have a mini staycation. You and Joe deserved the relaxing time :) Plus I got to love on Jasper a bit, so that totally made my week!!

Crazy Shenanigans-JMO said...

That's great that it went so well!!!