Thoughts on life, leadership and the movement called the church by Brian C. Hughes, Senior Pastor

by Brian C. Hughes, Senior Pastor

Monday, December 10, 2012

A Very Special Christmas Gift You Can Give...

What to buy for my wife???
What to buy for my grown kids???

I know this is not always an easy question to answer.  Sometimes, it's just downright hard.  But it doesn't have to be.  And this year, I can actually help make it easy.

Listen up.  I'm going to solve your shopping problem quicker than you can say Gift Card.

What your wife really wants...What your grown-up, married kids really want is...


Time together.

Time with each other.

The truth is that most marriages survive on leftover time. Tired time. Half-awake time.  Distracted time.  While we're 'together', we're also checking email, folding laundry, looking at Facebook, doing work we brought home from the office or helping kids do homework.

Fellas, what your wife would LOVE for you to give her this Christmas is the gift of time.  Parents, what your adult kids would love for you to give them this Christmas is the gift of a weekend away and to keep the kids while they go.  Here's how:

Join us for a weekend away at a the VERY Elegant Boar's Head Inn, just outside of Charlottesville, January 11-12.  That weekend, Susan and I will lead 
PCC's Marriage Retreat, which will include some fun conversation about some marriage related subjects and include lots of time for you and your spouse to spend together.

The cost $199 includes the room, a book, all the sessions and snacks, but does not include the cost of meals.  Registration is due by December 27.  You can email or FB me or call the church office for info or questions.

I have some tips for husbands below, but let me add a few more comments for everyone.

I ran into a friend not long ago who had been married for 30 years.  His youngest kid just left for college and he was telling me that he and his wife just went away for a week for the first time since they had children.  I looked at him and said, "You have lost your mind!" And I'm serious.  If you aren't investing serious time in your marriage, your marriage will never be great.  It never has a chance of being great.  'Good' is highest possible potential, and I don't think the odds are very high for your marriage to even reach that.  Time invested is the only way marriage becomes great.  There are no shortcuts.

There are all kinds of reasons for you to take advantage of this pre-packaged weekend experience.  Yea, it's a lot of money, but a great marriage is worth the investment! And we blow all kinds of money on all kinds of things - let's be honest!  How much money are you sowing into your marriage?

For the record, Susan and I are paying to go on this weekend experience...and we're leading the sessions!

(Special tips for Husbands are still hang in there with me.)

Over the years, we have had to make tough choices to invest in our marriage.  It's not always an easy decision.  But the best gift I can give to my kids is to show them what a great marriage looks like, because they're going to probably have a marriage just like ours, for better or for worse.  And besides, one day they'll pack up and take off, leaving us alone...together.  Do we want to be strangers?

What if there was a way for your marriage to be the kind of marriage where you could be in love - really?  Like you were when you got married?  Except deeper.  Better.  That's what God had in mind.  That's excellent marriage.  It's the kind of marriage that is no comparison.  And it can be yours.

So Susan and I cherish our time together.  We work hard, but along the way we also get away.

And you should too!

Now...TIPS FOR MY FELLOW HUSBANDS: (Ladies, you can log off now if you'd like)

Fellas, I'm on your side, and I've been married for almost a quarter of a century, so take my advice!  Follow these instructions carefully:

1) Make the arrangements for the kids.  Don't get your wife to do that.  Do it yourself.  And don't tell her.  Make it a surprise.  And don't leave them with Attila the Hun.  Leave them with someone nice...someone your wife would approve of, so she doesn't worry about them all weekend.

2) Get a sappy card.  The one with lots of words like "love" and "can't imagine life without you" and "if I had to do it over again, I'd still choose you" etc.  That should get you started.

3) If you haven't bought her a card in a while, get two of them.  See #2 above.  OK, this might be a little too much.  Skip this one and move on to #4.

4) Write your own note in the card.  No, this is NOT too much.  I'm serious.   Tell her that you have arranged for the most awesome weekend with her at a very fancy hotel and spa.  Say 'I know we can't afford it, but you're worth it...'  Something like that.  Tell her you can't wait to invest in your marriage, and that you've taken care of the arrangements for the kids.  Remind her how much you love her.

5) Don't spill the beans!  Make it a special gift for her on Christmas day, or whenever you normally exchange gifts!  Make it special - it's not silly or funny, it's serious!  So take it seriously!

6) When the weekend approaches (Jan 11), if it is at all possible, take Friday, Jan 10, off from work - don't work all day.  Buy her some flowers, get her another card.  Get her a special gift.  If you can afford it, buy a second night at the hotel - YES, you can skip church on Sunday (watch online!)

You won't regret this.  I'm serious.  Join us for this weekend.  Give her a special and most excellent gift this Christmas!  See you Jan 11-12 in Charlottesville!

No comments: