Strengthening Our Marriage Through Re|engage
When we think about our experience with Re|engage, we think about what a blessing from God the whole experience really was! We were practically newlyweds when we decided to join the group. Leading up to our marriage in October 2016, we recognized the importance of premarital counseling and sought to join the Merge group at GFC. However, with the timing of our engagement and choice of our wedding date, scheduling was not in our favor. Everything we had read about Re|engage seemed to be about improving marriages, so we decided to attend a preview night and see what the group was all about.
The 16 weeks we spent in the group turned out to be a fantastic way to begin a marriage, not just repair the cracks in an already established, crumbling one. Each week of Re|engage followed the same basic format. We would begin the evening with a large group lesson, often hearing encouraging messages of hope from couples whose marriages had been restored. Then, we would break into smaller groups of about 5-6 couples and discuss the previous week’s lesson. The lessons spoke on a variety of topics including: brokenness, forgiveness, communication, and conflict resolution.
This small group time was such a blessing. Not only were we able to share our own experiences as newlyweds, but we were among much more seasoned couples who were all so helpful. It was a place to be honest, authentic, and compassionate. The group really showed us that nobody’s perfect, but if we approach our married lives with humility and grace, our marriages can be much more fruitful, loving, and Christ-like.
Throughout the course of the following week, we would prepare individually for the upcoming session by reading, studying, and praying over the next lesson. Each lesson challenged us to a deeper understanding of ourselves that we had never realized. Our favorite part of Re|engage was the weekly intentional time we spent with each other communicating about the lesson and its engaging questions. When both husbands and wives are honest in answering the questions together, it truly allows you to see your mate’s views in a new light.
The intentional time brought us closer together and taught us how to deal with issues that arise in every marriage with a kind and Godly perspective. Every couple in our small group was there to improve and strengthen their marriage. The beauty of Re|engage is that, when you choose to become an active participant in the group, you will do just that. We are so grateful for the time we spent in Re|engage learning alongside other couples. What a blessed way to begin our lives together!
~ Julie Oakes