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5 Reasons People Avoid Marriage Conferences


Image credit: istockphoto, Halfpoint

“Honey, let’s go to a marriage conference!”  

What’s your first reaction? Are you excited? Apprehensive? Reluctant? Although some spouses are thrilled with the idea of going to a marriage conference, others are unwilling. Why?   

We have spoken at over a hundred marriage conferences and heard from thousands of individuals about why they were eager or hesitant to attend. Here are the top five reasons why individuals avoid attending a marriage conference.  Do any of these sound like you or your spouse?

1. If I go, they’ll make me do something uncomfortable.

This falls in line with images of a small group of people at a “conference” sitting in a circle. They’re singing “Kumbaya”, holding hands, and saying their first name to each other. Then they tell their biggest marriage struggle to everybody else. A person may also conjure up a scenario where their spouse throws them under the bus and shames them in front of others. And who wants that? Certainly we don’t!!

At a Build Your Marriage conference the only one you have to talk to is your spouse. We do the teaching and then we provide some space at the end of almost every session for the two of you to talk for a few minutes around some guided questions on what you just learned. No one asks for your answers and the two of you can take steps confidentially to Build Your Marriage.

2. Only people with huge problems attend these things.

The thought of sitting in the midst of a lot of people in tears and in crisis can be really unattractive. It’s not due to a lack of care about others’ needs, it’s just not something most people identify with because their marriage is overall doing pretty well.

The reality is, most people at a Build Your Marriage conference are healthy and happy in their marriage. They just want to take their marriage to the next level by developing greater intimacy and connection.  

However, at any marriage conference there are a handful of people present who see the conference as their last ditch attempt to save their marriage. Generally this isn’t something they want others to know. One conferee said, “I had given up on my marriage. Now I’m all in to change and have a wonderful life together.”  Thankfully most couples do find help – and hope.

3. Husbands are blamed for everything wrong.

This belief comes not only from culture, but also from some people’s personal experience. Perhaps they sat through a sermon series, or attended a different conference where it felt like husbands were degraded and presented as the ones who had to do all the change to improve a marriage.

That certainly isn’t how a Build Your Marriage conference is conducted. This is an empowering conference, not a blaming one. A Build Your Marriage conference looks at what the Bible has to say for husbands and wives. We respectfully teach biblical principles and important skills to strengthen a marriage and help a couple grow closer to Jesus and each other.

4. It won’t really help us.

Sometimes the problems in marriage can seem so deeply rooted and multifaceted that any improvement in marriage can still seem hopeless. That’s exactly what the Enemy wants you to believe about your marriage.

We have over 2,000 people on our Prayer Team who are alerted to pray for all the attendees at a Build Your Marriage conference. We have seen incredible answers to prayer!  With the massive prayers being offered, the power of the Bible rightly applied, and a setting with other couples, we’ve seen God move in amazing and miraculous ways to bring growth, connection, healing, and hope.

5. It’s a Christian conference and I’m not a Christian.

Some people are deeply in love with their spouse, but they aren’t aligned spiritually, and that creates some personal discomfort in Christian settings. As a result, they may opt out of a conference and miss teaching that could greatly benefit their marriage.

At any Build Your Marriage conference we have people who have not made the decision to become a Christ-follower. We respect you in your spiritual journey as well as your desire to build your marriage. No one is shamed or embarrassed because of their current faith path. You can be assured that you won’t be called out or pressured in any way.

At the same time, we hope that you will one day decide to become a follower of Jesus and be aligned with your spouse in the most intimate spiritual way imaginable. We present Jesus, but we don’t pressure.

If you are a decision maker at your church or organization, we hope this gives you greater confidence in your choice to host a Build Your Marriage conference. You can click here to get more information.  

If you are a husband or wife who has been hesitant to participate, we hope you’ll attend a Build Your Marriage conference and experience the marriage-transformation that comes as you Build Your Marriage.