Cultivating Connections 2019

Our third regional marriage conference was held on Friday, October 18 & Saturday, October 19 in Morton, IL. Over 90 couples of all ages from 28 churches gathered to strengthen their marriage relationships together.

Marriage is often a mystery – communication, transitions, sex, parenting, conflict. Couples can spend their entire life trying to solve this mystery. The apostle Paul describes marriage as only part of a greater mystery- that is, Christ and the Church. This greater mystery involves loving as Christ loved, serving as Christ served, submitting as Christ submitted, and giving as Christ gave. Reflecting on this mystery can change our marriages.
-Ephesians 5:31-32-

Main Sessions

The Mystery of Forgiveness:  Handout  Audio
The closer our relationship, the closer we grow to reality and the reality of who we truly are…imperfections and all. Yet only this reality can lead to the true intimacy of a forgiving relationship. In this first main session, we began to unlock this mystery of forgiveness.

The Mystery of Emotions: Handout  Audio
This main session focused on understanding the territory of emotions. It walked through factors impacting the emotional climate within a couple’s relationship and consider strategies to move toward deeper emotional connection.

The Mystery of Legacy: Audio
What legacy do we want our marriage to leave? In the final main session, a panel of seasoned marriages walked through how they have navigated this question in their lives, ultimately attempting to build their marriages to reflect God’s mysterious relationship with us.

Breakout Topics

Unlocking the Mystery of Communication: PPT Handout   Audio   Communication Card
Healthy dialogue through differences is critical to deepening a marriage relationship. This session focused on applying simple yet profound communication principles to your marriage and gave participants an opportunity to learn and practice skills which help navigate difficult conversations.

Marriage and Mission: Handout  Audio
How do you define “Missions”? Is your marriage a mission? How might marriage hinder or enhance privilege participation in God’s mission? All of these are key questions to consider. This breakout session asked HarvestCall leaders, John and Bev Huber, to offer Biblical insights and perspectives regarding your marriage and missions.

Boundaries to Save your Marriage: Handout   Audio  The Balancing Act of Marriage
Our spiritual walk, job expectations, kids, in-laws, family, friends, homes, etc. all demand a difficult juggling act. This husband-wife team of 30 years will share the principles of boundaries needed for survival as we keep that which is good in while keeping the harmful out.

Two Become One: Husbands vs. Wives: Handout  Audio
The challenge is real. How do we as spouses live up to the seemingly impossible expectations of our marriage? To love. To respect. To cherish. To submit. This husband/wife team looked at turning these challenges into opportunities.

Date Nights and Intentionality: Handout  Audio
Has your marriage become routine? Schedules dictating every interaction? Has the newness of engagement and first-love become ho-hum? Learn interactively from this wife on how intentionality can put the fun back in your marriage and the spark back in your relationship!

Enhancing Emotional and Physical Intimacy in Marriage: Handout  Audio
God’s design for marital sexuality includes both emotional connection and physical responsiveness. However, busy lives, stress, and skewed messages from the world can get in the way of experiencing the full blessing He desires for us in this area. This counselor’s presentation focused on four practical ways couples can deepen their emotional intimacy while enhancing sexual fulfillment.

What in the World is Forbearance?: Handout  Audio
Marriage is a relationship that flourishes when there is patient endurance. We are called into receiving our spouse at times when we would rather correct. This session looked at the challenges, opportunities and blessings of nurturing a forbearing spirit.

Parenting Styles: Working Together as a Couple: Handout  Audio
As we seek to steward our children, we likely lean toward being more truth or more grace oriented. This husband/wife team focused on moving couples toward parenting that is full of both grace AND truth. Learning how to work towards balance and better reflect Christ while supporting each other.

Thriving Through Transitions: Handout  Audio
Throughout our lives, we will face many transitions. Our marriages have the potential to thrive in the midst of these times. Yet transitions can also be just plain hard. This breakout discussion talks through common transitions in our marriages and consider lessons learned from the experience of others.

Companionship in Marriage: Handout  Audio  Activities
Jesus calls us friends. Not only does He love us, but He likes us. Marriage reveals this mystery of God’s affection towards us. Come rediscover one of the earliest impetuses for marriage – companionship.





A big thank you to the Morton Church for hosting and partnering with ACCFS!