Returning from a short hike, Pete found his wife, Jenny, relaxing on a bench. He came up behind her and gently massaged her neck.
After awhile Jenny flicked a pile of acorns off the bench and motioned for Pete to join her.
"How's it going?" asked Jenny. Pete and Jenny were on their fourth personal retreat as a couple.
"I'm wrestling," he admitted. "I keep praying for Dad, but I feel like a broken record." Pete's dad was recently diagnosed with cancer, and it didn't look good. The couple talked for a while then walked down to the lake. Over the last few years it had become a favorite place to pray. After a picnic lunch, they each went their own way, but agreed to meet again at 5:00.
Pete and Jenny have discovered the rest, renewal, and strength that comes from taking a couple's spiritual retreat.
As couples, we share bank accounts, bedrooms, and Saturday morning breakfast, but the momentum of everyday life often short circuits our attention to God's presence. There's a natural drift from intimacy to isolation within marriage. Unless attended to, this drift invades all areas of our relationship, including our spiritual lives.
Just getting away from our everyday responsibilities is a great first step to connecting more powerfully with God and our spouse. But once we're away, it's important to enjoy activities that are restful and refreshing, not as an end to themselves, but as a means of quieting ourselves before God.