Our church was the host to the I Promise marriage seminar this past weekend. Dr. Gary Smalley and his son, Dr. Greg Smalley, conduct these two-day meetings all over the country.
I was amazed by how humble these men were despite the many books they’ve authored and the many degrees they have attained. Not only did they utilize biblical principles to enhance marital relationships, they also drew from experiences in their own marriages. In doing so, they were willing to cite their own failings as husbands. I don’t think I could get up in front of 1,500 married couples and confess my failings as a spouse. However, because the Smalleys were willing to do so, I would be willing to bet there are a lot of happier marriages as a result.
If there is one main point I took away from this seminar, it’s that I need to focus on changing myself as opposed to my spouse. That may seem overly obvious, but it’s amazing what happens when there are inevitable challenges in a marital relationship. One often places the onus of change on the other member of the marriage. I know I will continue to pray for the ability to be more introspective.
The best part of attending these gatherings is it allows my wife and I to “take inventory” of where we are in our relationship. Having been married 7 ½ years, we both admit that we have much to learn. But we’re also encouraged by the fact that we’re on the right path. And we also know that we’ve been blessed exceedingly, abundantly above what we could ever think or ask.