Wow…what a week I had last week!
Monday hubby and I sailed off into the sunset (literally) from the port of Miami on the FamilyLife Love Like You Mean It Marriage Cruise and spent the next four days enjoying what can best be described as the decades ago memorable…dare I say it…Love Boat!
It really is encouraging to see a boat full of couples being intentional in pouring into their marriage. We met many couples who liked the idea of combining the ease of a preplanned vacation with meaningful time together exploring all things marriage.
Cruise ships may conjure up all sorts of questionable goings on…but not on this ship. The casinos and bars were pretty much empty, the performances were all by Christian singers/groups, the comedy was clean and even the sculptures on board were wearing bathing suit tops…I kid you not! There was amazing fun and silliness going on, but it was all good clean fun! One of the big highlights was instructional ballroom dancing under the stars!
Hubby and I were blessed to be concert emcee’s the night Steven Curtis Chapman performed and he was amazingly vulnerable and real with us all – it was a tender moment. There was an artist there, Jared Emerson, who painted a picture of Christ while Steven sang and that left me breathless!
I also got to meet Sara Groves (sweet, sweet mom!) and Anthony Evans – both awesome, I met lotsa people and every daggum one of them was awesome! The love was flowin…we were lovin like we meant it!
Next year Nicole Mullen is going to be one of the musical guests and there is a chance I might just blow a gasket…because she is my all time favorite!!!
There was also amazing connecting and down time for couples that was infused with Biblical teaching by Voddie Baucham, Priscilla Shirer, Ron Deal, Dennis and Barbara Rainey and Bob Lepine, among others.
Each evening the couples had special gifts waiting for them in their rooms designed to bring intentional time to their relationship and each day there were a myriad of choices for alone time or gathering with other couples time.
I cannot begin to describe how fantastical it is to see all around you couples growing in relationship and being intentional about their most important earthly relationship!
For me, the real blessing was the effect we were having on the crew of over 900 who come from around the world. They could sense we were different and the atmosphere on the boat was electric – they experienced the love of Christ from 2,000 atypical guests. They would “sneak” into the worship sessions and worship alongside us, they would tell us their stories, I know of one woman who asked if we were all in the same family or something. “Why yes we are, in a way,” was the reply and the guest on board led her to Christ because this precious girl from Ireland wanted to be a part of our family.
If you are married, I don’t know how long it has been since you and your hubby took some time away, for just the two of you…but I can tell you, if you are looking for options – you should consider the FamilyLife Love Like You Mean It Cruise – it is not the “typical” Love Boat…it is God’s Love Boat!