Ordinary and Remarkable Marriage Night
By Alex Flecky | September 24, 2020
We recently held “Marriage Night,” our first in-person marriage event since COVID. It was both remarkable and “ordinary.”
We met in a way we would ordinarily hold a marriage event: Each couple sat at their own table to experience some privacy. After being unable to meet for so long, couples were excited to experience the event together, even while following protocols (temperature-checked, masks, etc.).
We admit that there were some “ordinary” snacks. Because of COVID, we placed a bunch of pre-packaged snacks (Doritos, Oreos, etc.) on each couple’s table. (One man said his table looked like a “snack explosion”; at least it didn’t look “ordinary!”)
The online speakers (through RightNow Media) described common stresses and foibles in marriage. Foibles can be fun, and we laughed as we related to one couple’s story of how unmet expectations regarding meal preparation set them up for dinner-time misunderstandings as young marrieds.
It was so much fun to experience “ordinary” with other couples. But we also experienced “remarkable.”
Most remarkable was the openness with which the final speakers shared their story. Matt Chandler described looking like a caring, “emotionally sensitive” successful pastor to others – while at the same time privately treating his wife with disdain and childish selfishness. He said he acted like a 10-year-old towards her. His wife, Lauren, talked about feeling like she could never measure up as a result of his private disparagement.
They each described their deep disappointment in the other and how this led to the discovery that only God could fill in their gaps and truly heal their childhood wounds.
They also expressed gratefulness to God for bringing wise therapists into their lives. They destigmatized the idea of getting help from counselors with problems like theirs.
The Chandlers didn’t have to publicly reveal the deep strain that had happened in their marriage. They didn’t have to publicly confess their own sins. But their choice to be transparent gave hope to many who were struggling – including some in our room, and some who watched the event from home. More than one person told us afterwards about things they had realized about themselves and shared with us their new resolve to get help. One man saw himself in the “tantrums of a 10-year-old” that Matt Chandler had shared about. It was a sweet night of reconnecting and allowing God to work in our hearts and our marriages.
If you could use some help in your relationships or your marriage, we are a confidential resource for you. We can help direct you to the resources you need.
And we’d love to have you join us via Zoom at our upcoming THRIVE classes, October 2 – 30. There are three classes to choose from:
- Managing Anger – Before Your Anger Manages You! (individuals or couples)
- Vertical Marriage (couples)
- CoupleTalk (couples)