Several years ago Barbara and I went to a Weekend to Remember® marriage getaway in Portland, Maine. As we visited with some of the couples who helped organize the conference they said, “Dennis, we love these live conferences, but you’ll never be able to take this conference to Presque Isle or Bar Harbor.”
Their point was that hundreds of communities all over Maine were too small to host a full-scale Weekend to Remember getaway, but could host a video conference for marriage. They wanted the same biblical messages in a transferable, high-quality package.
When I got back to Arkansas, I asked Bob Lepine, co-host of FamilyLife Today, if he would be willing to go to work on their idea. Now, three years later, we are about to launch The Art of Marriage, a six-hour video event. This fresh material is fun, entertaining, and profoundly biblical. It includes engaging stories, real-life testimonies, man-on-the-street interviews, and humorous vignettes.
The Art of Marriage is designed to be used by churches, small groups, or as a community-wide event. It explains what the Bible says about the purpose of marriage, and it helps couples learn how Scripture relates to practical issues like conflict, sex, communication, and roles. We believe God can use this creative look at marriage to transform countless homes all across America.
We’ve held a few special pilot showings of The Art of Marriage and received some great feedback. One of the couples who watched it here in Little Rock had been married for about 25 years. There were some very serious issues in their marriage and the wife was contemplating a divorce. In fact, she had already picked out the apartment she would move into. But attending the video conference, she and her husband wrote, saved their marriage.
A man who had worked at Disney came up to me after a preview event. “Dennis,” he said, “this is Disney quality.” I took that as a pretty stout compliment. Then he said that he wanted to talk with some of his friends who still work at Disney and possibly host an Art of Marriage event at its headquarters.
And then there’s Michael Castrodale, a police officer who works some long, stressful days in Southwest Missouri. To make matters worse, he works different shifts and is often involved in dangerous situations. His wife, Barbara, doesn’t want him to see her worry, but he knows she does. Issues in marriage “can so easily get confused,” he says. “Jumbled. Blown out of proportion.”
Michael says that attending an Art of Marriage preview event had a profound effect on his marriage. “It just took so much of the garbage away and explained it in simple, understandable ways. After going through The Art of Marriage, I felt relieved.” (Click here for more of Michael's story.)
The Big Launch
We are excited about this resource because it will help thousands of couples apply the Bible to their relationship. Not in a stale, dry way. They’ll laugh. They’ll cry. They’ll identify with others.
Couples will get a manual that has projects to help them apply the principles taught during each session. It also has articles, date night ideas, and useful tips that will help them continue to strengthen their marriages after they go home.
The big launch date for The Art of Marriage is February 11, 2011, which is Valentine’s weekend. Our desire is to see 1,000 churches or individuals using this new resource. We are praying that more than 1,000 churches or individuals will host an Art of Marriage event that weekend.
This is a great opportunity for you to make a difference in marriage in your community. For more information about The Art of Marriage, and about the 2-11-11 launch, visit www.theartofmarriage.com. This website offers numerous videos that will give you a taste of this new video event.
Register your Art of Marriage event by December 25, and receive a FamilyLife Gift Pack free . The pack, a $400 value, includes a registration to a Weekend to Remember marriage getaway for you and your spouse.
Click here to read about a couple who went through a pilot showing of The Art of Marriage.