Moved to Worship at a Marriage Conference
Who would have thought that expository teaching on the topic of marriage would move a heart to worship? But it did!
“They came from New York, Pennsylvania, Indiana, the Carolinas, and “way down south” in Texas.”
As a first-time attendee of Word of Messiah’s Marriage Conference, I was ready to take notes to share with my husband (an RN, who had to work both days.) On the one hand, I was prepared to hear the “same old, same old” about marriage.
On the other hand, I’ve been around Sam Nadler’s teaching enough to anticipate that this would not be a run-of-the-mill rehash. His characteristic dig-deep-expository study, love for the God of the Word, and love for God’s people, always yield messages that are clear, memorable, and heart-moving practical.
Six couples, a single man, a single woman, and a married woman attending singly, participated in our online “Restored to Our Original Design” conference on January 15-16. They came from New York, Pennsylvania, Indiana, the Carolinas, and “way down south” in Texas.
“They all finished strong!”
I especially admired the determination of two families who battled against obstacles that could have prevented them from starting or finishing. One couple’s modem crashed right before the weekend event. Instead of postponing, they camped out at the Mother-in-Law’s place for the weekend to use her internet.
Another family had their power go out during a snow and ice storm…so they switched their Zoom connection from a laptop to a phone that ran on battery power. They all finished strong!
“I LOVED the questions…”
The seminar structure included Sam teaching for 50 minutes, about 10 minutes of group Q&A, and then 30 minutes of private discussion with one’s spouse or a mentor. Greg Leekley met with the single man, and Miriam Nadler met with the two women. We even had a “working lunch” where “all men” and “all women” met for 30 minutes with Sam and Miriam, respectively.
At the end of each chapter in Sam’s book, Messianic Marriage Matters: Restored to Our Original Design, there are FAR MORE discussion questions than anybody could address in 30 minutes. But those questions provided couples with a springboard for positive evaluation and conversation.
AND all of those unaddressed questions give attendees MORE to talk about on their own in the weeks and months ahead. One man’s conference feedback was this: “I LOVED the questions. They’re good, chewy questions. They foster communication.”
“I’m amazed at how intricate and caring God is”
A concept, taught early on the first day, particularly challenged another man: “I had never seen my wife as the image of God.”
The single-but-married woman gratefully reported, “I’m new to this walk. The conference helped me see I was flipping roles with my husband. HE is to be the head of the home….” Then she confessed, “I have to be careful with my body language. I tend to roll my eyes at my husband.” (Miriam’s teaching helped her recognize that as a silent sign of disrespect.)
A few more comments during the wrap up were:
“We learned to be intentional by asking ourselves how well are we reflecting the image of Messiah toward one another and applying His Word in our marriage? Not just hoping it will eventually happen.”
“I liked the personal interaction. I’m amazed at how intricate and caring God is.”
“In this conference, it wasn’t like ‘Sam has some ideas, and let’s find some verses to support what he says.’”
“In the Scriptures, there are basic instructions, guidance, direction—the wisdom of God. So I appreciate that someone—Sam—can pull it out and share it with us. It’s life-changing!”
“I find the teaching to be sobering. Sam puts it into perspective.”
Although I served as the Zoom host, my heart was touched as a participant, too. With tears in my eyes and a warble in my voice, I shared:
“This made me want to worship God. He loves us so much that He gave us Yeshua. He gave us His written Word. God’s Word addresses EVERYTHING. In this conference, it wasn’t like ‘Sam has some ideas, and let’s find some verses to support what he says.’
“Lord, change ME”
The messages were expository, out of God’s Word—but it shows God’s HEART. It makes me love the Lord more. It makes me want to follow Him more.” (Sam then quipped, “Thank you, Julie. If you weren’t on staff, I would take all of that seriously.” Then he said he knew I was sincere.)
One woman remembered a three-word prayer she often quotes. It is the heart of this conference and of anyone’s growth as a disciple: “Lord, change ME.”
“NOW is the time to invest in your marriage”
We often pray for a miraculous transformation in others. But, by the power of the Spirit of God, WE can be that miracle as we apply God’s values, commands, promises, and roles to OURSELVES.
Our next online Messianic Marriage Conference is May 21-22. It is for ALL who want to live out God’s Original Design in their marriages, Jew, and Gentile alike. Registration is already open. NOW is the time to invest in your marriage. (And if you’re not married, you’re invited to prepare yourself to become that godly spouse you want to be!)