Nearly three years have passed since my husband and I last went on a couple's getaway without a newborn baby along, so this last weekend was refreshing! FCA (Fellowship of Christian Athletes) invited former major league baseball player José and Michelle Alvarez to speak to more than a hundred of us coaches & spouses. Located at the Skamania Lodge in Washington, the weekend included impressive meals and some free time to enjoy the pool and spa. An honest look at one's marriage is so crucial for couples! Here are the thoughts this weekend stirred up in me:
Focus & Appreciation: How is it that we lose sight of our life priorities so easily? Our relationship with our spouse is the most important relationship in our lives after our relationship with God. When we keep our priorities in place, we can give each other so much joy!
Natural Drift: In marriage, our tendency is to slip into familiar rhythms and take each other for granted as time passes. However, tte natural drift in marriage is towards separation. Oneness must be a consistent and ongoing focus in marriage for it to reflect joy.
Leaving a Legacy: In our shortsightedness, we sometimes believe our own happiness takes priority over the effort needed to maintain a marriage. Instead, we can leave a family legacy, modeling to our children and friends what a marriage can and should be.
Extending Forgiveness and Mercy: Our hearts tell us to treat our spouses as we think they deserve to be treated, but honestly, who really deserves forgiveness? Forgiveness is never earned. We ought to offer grace and unconditional love to our spouse regardless of whether they seem deserving of it.
Coaching as a Family: Coaches invest so much into their athletes during the coaching season, often at the expense of time with their family. As a coach's wife, I know that those long days and nights alone can be draining as a parent, and it can be hard on a marriage. This last weekend, some of the more experienced coaches and their wives shared with us how coaching can become a family ministry, even for coaches with young children at home. Spouses and children can support the team by attending games, bringing snacks or meals, and forging relationships with the athletes. At the end of the season, athletes often say that observing their coach's marriage and family life was even more impactful than any of the athletic training they received.
Here's a short video of my friends Garet and Jenny sharing about the impact this getaway had on their life last year:
What would you like to focus on in your marriage this year?
If you know of a coaching couple who could benefit from FCA's annual marriage getaway, or if you have any young athletes who would enjoy an FCA sports camp, you can find more information here.