A Marriage Conference

I’ve been thinking about marriage a lot. Probably because my daughter is going to tie the knot on Mother’s Day in Tallahassee. Maybe because after 30 years of what most consider a good marriage, Tom and I had to work through a few issues that have been problems in our marriage and we didn’t see them until recently.

Kind of like the crack on the big mirror in our bathroom. It’s been there since we moved in, but after a while, I got used to it and don’t notice it anymore.

So when there was a one-day marriage conference at Lakeside Community Chapel and Tom had the day off–we went.

The conference was an answer to prayer.

Steve Kreloff began with Ephesians 5:18, “And do not be drunk with wine, but be filled with the Spirit.”

Strange way to start a conference on marriage.

He went on to explain being filled with the Spirit as feeding on God’s Word and willing to obey it. It’s being focused on others. Like our spouses.


I don’t think I’ve ever been more proud ( if I can use that word) to be part of my church. So Christ-centered. So practical. So necessary.

I left during the next session on husbands loving their wives. I heard bits of it and marveled at how God uses His Word to change lives.

Next session was the role of women by Bruce Mills. A cop. And not a warm and fuzzy one, although I count him as a friend. Another winner. Bruce was so gracious and kind. Not only a succinct definition of what submission is, but also what it’s not. I needed to hear all of it.

Our assistant pastor, Joe Trofemuk ended the conference with a message about communication.

“Debbie and I have a secret to our marriage. If I have time at the end, I’ll tell share with you what that is.” Then he went on to describe 5 characteristics of gospel-centered communication. It’s designed to please God, preceded by thought, motivated by love, done with openness and honesty, and intended for good. Wow.

At the end, he remembered to share the secret of their happy marriage. “When we have a conflict, we both think we’re the worst sinner in our marriage.”

Simple but profound.

That thought has crossed my mind over these last several days. If I realized the magnificence of God and my sinfulness, I’d fall on my face and say, “Woe is me.”

We’ve been taught that in  Sunday School. But believing it, living like it, and especially seeing ourselves as the worst sinner in our marriages is life-changing.

I think I’ll have Tom order a new mirror.


2 Comments on "A Marriage Conference"

  1. Melinda S says:

    wonderful! just because we’ve been married for a while, marriages don’t last on cruise control. as in all efforts, even a life well lived, we need to be purposeful and work toward the desired end.

    hope you’re having a great day, Pauline.

  2. Pauline, thanks for sharing these insights that you gained about marriage. Loving our spouses the way God loves us is a life-long learning process. I liked the five points about communication and dealing with conflict by seeing myself as the worst sinner in the marriage. Too often I have a different view.

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