When I was first invited to speak at a marriage conference, my first thought was, “Well, this really isn’t my thing,” but I had the date open on my calendar. My second thought was, “What if I actually like it…” If I liked it then maybe I would say yes to speaking at another one, if I was ever invited. I just didn’t want anything taking away from my heart for teenagers. I didn’t want anything getting in the way of doing what I love: caring for students. After I finished that first marriage conference, I was filled up with the sensation that by spending time with their parents, I had just invested in future teenagers. It felt very proactive. I liked that.
A huge number of the broken teenagers I speak to come from homes with broken marriages. In some cases the marriage may exist, it is just very sick and broken. The result often times is broken kids. For years I wanted the chance to talk to these kids’ parents.
Carol and I have been speaking for Campus Crusade for Christ’s Family Life ministry for seven years now. I just got off the phone today with a popular songwriter from Los Angeles who I met at a marriage conference in California. I have to admit, in my heart I wanted to talk about all the famous musicians he knows that I love to listen to. Instead, Carol and I talked about what was on his and his wife’s heart: parenting. During every marriage conference I talk to scores of parents who want to talk about their teenagers and their children who are quickly approaching the teen years. It’s a great place to be, talking to these parents and investing in their children by investing in their marriages. And then there are all the youth pastors I talk to during every conference who are excited that their conference speaker happens to love teenagers as much as they do. It’s great.
Carol and I feel so honored to have been invited to speak for Family Life. For the first time, now that I’m a part of the Family Life team, I feel like I’m ministering to the “whole family” by pouring my heart into these marriage conferences. And the best part is seeing God work again and again. We hear the same kinds of things from literally hundreds of couples:
“We came to the conference living in separate worlds. Friday night we laughed together for the first time in ages. Saturday morning we heard about God’s purposes and plans for our marriage and we did our assignment and wrote a love letter to each other. Saturday night we were holding hands. By Sunday morning we had prayed together and by Sunday afternoon we knew there was hope for our marriage and by God’s power, we’re going to make it. We found hope for our broken family.”
Hope for broken teenagers. When I was first asked to speak at a marriage conference I almost said no. Now I’m so grateful I get to love on students by loving on their parents.
Thanks for all your love and support,
P.S.— For more information visit familylife.com