This weekend is our church’s annual men’s retreat.
My husband is away at a bible camp, thoroughly enjoying some guy time, doing all kinds of things (and I’m not entirely sure what).
I’m home here, enjoying a visit with my mom, and absolutely thrilled for this weekend that he’s getting to have. Honestly completely thrilled!
I know sometimes the logistics of the idea of having your husband go away for a weekend can be daunting, particularly if you have young kiddos. The idea of him being gone for two or three days when he’s likely already gone for a work week seems overwhelming. But I have some reasons why I think it is such a good idea, and why I can truthfully say that I am glad when this time of year rolls around again.
Here’s a few reasons why I think it’s good to send him off…
1) He needs guy time with good guys who love Jesus.
I don’t know about your husband, but mine works out in the world, where things aren’t always positive and cheery, unicorns and rainbows. It’s hard and stressful, and sometimes there are people and situations that make for hard days. A weekend away like this allows for him to be surrounded by guys who are like-minded, and who are enjoying time together as men, free to be the men God has called them to be. They are free to relax and enjoy themselves, to learn alongside each other, to worship alongside each other, and to just be guys together.
2) He needs to be fed God’s word in a setting away from home.
As a mother, I’m sure you know how hard it is to focus or get any real quiet time to spend in your Bible. For our men, they experience challenges too that sometimes look a lot like ours, and sometimes very different. In the middle of life with work stresses, family stresses, financial burdens, etc, it can be hard for them to find a quiet space to draw near to Jesus.
But in a space like a men’s retreat, they are being fed God’s word while away from the chaos back home. There is margin made for quiet time, for learning, for reflection. Away from distractions, he can hear and draw close to the Lord in unique ways.
3) He needs time to recharge and relax.
I had a hard time writing that. Because my brain kind-of screamed, ‘BUT I NEED TO RECHARGE AND RELAX TOO!!’
But, really. He does.
Most likely, your husband works pretty hard to support your family. Even if that means that you are the one working and he’s home with the kids. Or you’re both working. Whatever your family situation looks like, your husband is likely an invested part of it and he probably stresses over the hard things. Money, work, parenting, marriage… it’s hard stuff, as you know. This time to get away and recharge is so vital to his ability to love and live well in whatever calling God has placed on him, particularly in his role as your husband. Free to rest and refresh his soul, he is opened up to all sorts of working that God can do.
4) He will return home happy and refueled.
There is really no better day for me than the day my husband returns home from a men’s retreat. He walks through the door with a delighted smile on his face. He is anxious to see and play with our boys. He cannot wait to sit with me and tell me all about everything he learned and how much fun he had. He is so, so happy.
And you know why? Because he’s been able to decompress, learn, laugh, and enjoy life with a bunch of other guys all weekend.
And nothing makes me happier than being his ‘one and only’, the one he’s so anxious to share all the highlights with.
I’ll bet your hubby will return much the same.
5) He will get a chance at growth he likely couldn’t get at home.
My husband is an early riser. Growing up doing farm/work, it’s been engrained in him to wake early and be going when the sun rises. But with me (a night owl) and our two boys at home, he’s often trying to be quiet and/or attempting to keep sleeping for the sake of those of us still in bed.
But when he goes on a retreat, he’ll wake up early and meander outside to enjoy the early morning sunshine or have a cup of coffee and read his Bible. Away from home, he can enjoy the mornings as he chooses.
This is just a small example. As you probably know, it’s amazing what we can learn and hear from God if we are in a quiet enough space to really listen. Not at all to say that He doesn’t reach our hearts when we are in the thick of our home life, but away from the noise we can really make our hearts available to Him. I know that this is what my husband, and many other men, experience when they go away to a retreat like this. Whether in the quiet study times or the group learning times, the discussions as a group or the personal devotions, they are able to receive in such a unique way. I want this for my husband. I want him to be able to experience a new opportunity for growth and learning.
Maybe your husband has gone on many retreats before, or maybe he’s never been in his life. One way or another, I hope the two of you will think, pray, and discuss the idea of him going. It can do wonders for his personal growth, but also for the growth of your marriage and family. If he’s nervous or unsure, encourage him lovingly. And if he’s ready to go but you’re on the fence, I hope you will see the great benefit of his going. You never know what good it could do!