Mark and I have the opportunity to host marriage intensives in our home, and it is truly one of our favorite aspects of the ministry we do.

Today I want to share with you why that is.

Our marriage intensives are a 3-day marriage retreat spent at our home here in Normal, IL where we dig deep, provide space for honest conversations, and offer 16+ hours of marriage coaching. A wide range of couples tap into our Hope Renewed Intensive–we host hurting couples who are hanging on by a thread, healthy couples who want to be intentional in growing their marriage, and not-yet-married couples who use our intensives as pre-marital counseling that will truly lay a healthy foundation for their marriage.

And the most incredible part, without fail, is the before-and-afters we see.

The turnarounds.

The forgiveness offered.

The hope renewed.

The joy returned.

The healing.

Let me share an example. We always ask couples to fill out an evaluation before the retreat and then to fill out the same evaluation after the retreat. Here is one couple’s answers to the evaluation before:

You can see that they came into this weekend with some differing perspectives of where their marriage was at. If you especially look at her responses, you’ll see lots of 1’s and 2’s circled.

As we spent time with this couple, we saw God do incredible things. We saw conversations happen that have needed to happen for years. We saw them reconnect as a safe space for honesty was provided. And we saw a complete u-turn on where their marriage was at in just 3 days.

Here are their answers to the same evaluation at the end of the 3-day retreat:

Do you see that!? Nearly all 10’s!! Isn’t it amazing?

They simply needed the space away to rekindle their love, discover how to communicate more intentionally, and share honestly about what they both hoped for and desired from the marriage.

The amazing thing is this isn’t a one-time occurrence. We see evaluations like this nearly every time. People who circle 1’s-5’s before the retreat and 8’s-10’s afterwards.

It’s truly incredible.

Here are a few other favorite responses I’ve received:

Here, you can see:

  • A wife who, for the first time in many many years, joined her husband on a business trip. They weren’t wanting a break from each other.
  • You see a couple who simply found the time life-changing.
  • And a spouse who has found so much empowerment through having practical tools to intentionally utilize in her marriage.

This is why we do what we do. It never gets old to see God work in relationships, bring healing, and for couples to feel hope again about the future of their marriage.

By the way, our intensives don’t just last three days. When you do an intensive you also get a five month after-care program that includes two months of coaching via text, another 90 minute coaching session via Zoom, and 3 months of membership in our No More Perfect Marriages Date Night Toolbox.  It’s a five month program that sets you up for success!

So today, I simply want to ask you how your marriage is doing. What numbers would you circle on that evaluation?

If your marriage is “hanging on by a thread” (or you want to make sure it doesn’t get there), I want to personally invite you to join us for a Hope Renewed Marriage Retreat. We would love to spend the time with you and to see how God uses the time to strengthen and renew your marriage.

Because marriage matters,

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