Like most guys, I don’t like asking for directions. But when it comes to my marriage, I don’t mind getting pointers.
If I’m going to invest the time and money in a marriage retreat, I want the relaxing and transforming weekend I posted about here.
Photo via http://stjohns-savage.org/612841.ihtml
Many friends have asked about the details of the schedule. How exactly do you schedule your time on a weekend marriage retreat? I suppose there are a lot of ways you could do it, but, for what it’s worth, here’s the schedule my wife and I followed from our most recent weekend retreat. We stayed at a cabin with full kitchen facilities and hiking trails, hence the references to food and exercise.
- Friday 7 – 8:30 PM: Romantic — and quiet — dinner. Potentially pricey but worth it to set the tone for the marriage weekend.
- Friday 8:30 – 9:30 PM: A quick run to the local Wal-Mart for food, snacks, etc. Planning meals and snacks can actually be pretty fun without the kids clamoring for Twinkies. And making your own meals can keep the cost down.
- Friday 9:30 – 10 PM: Quiet swim in the indoor heated pool. Parents, need I say more?
- Friday 10 – 11 PM: Curl up in front of the fireplace and read a bit. Chat. You know, like you used to do before.
- Saturday morning: Sleep in until we’re ready to wake up. It is rare indeed that we get to do that! Perhaps you would want to rise early and take a walk or work-out. Suit yourself.
- Saturday 8 – 9 AM: Coffee. Quiet reading and meditation. Focus on your own spiritual realignment. Share your thoughts with a little discussion.
- Saturday 9 – 10 AM: Make breakfast together. Shower and dress for the day.
- Saturday 10 – Noon: Time for talking about the family. We begin by reviewing our family mission statement. We talk candidly about how we are doing, where we are falling short, and why? We focus on how we can better accomplish our shared goals.
- Saturday Noon – 2:00: Take a walk in nature. No weekend would be complete without a vigorous hike. The exercise wakes us up and gets our minds stirring again in the natural setting.
- Saturday 2 – 3: Make lunch. Together again. Handcrafted based on our personal tastes thanks to our shopping the day before.
- Saturday 3 – 4: Nap. Yep. That’s right. Naps are cool. Flexibility is key. It’s also something that never happens when the kids are around.
- Saturday 5 – 7: Second discussion of our hopes, dreams, and strategies of how to get there.
- Saturday evening: Another quiet swim. Dinner together again. Then it’s hanging out together, watching some shows (again something we almost never do), and enjoying a good night’s sleep.
- Sunday morning: Breakfast cooked by me for her (pay attention here, guys) and then its back to the real world to apply the revisited plan with a reinvigorated relationship.
I guess there are a lot of ways you could easily schedule your weekend marriage retreat. Feel free to use ours, adjust it, and make it your own. Don’t let fear of the how stop you from scheduling the retreat your marriage needs.
What would you do differently? What have you done for your own marriage retreats? Leave a comment below to help us all live with more abundant faith.