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Marriage Conference Helps Refresh Marriages

by Brianne Martin '13

Azusa Pacific’s HomeWord Center for Youth and Family presented married couples with the opportunity to strengthen their marriages February 17–18 during the Refreshing Your Marriage conference. Speakers included Jim Burns, Ph.D., president of HomeWord, executive director of the Center for Youth and Family, and renowned author and speaker; and Doug Fields, senior director for the center, writer, speaker, pastor, and leadership mentor.

“My husband and I had never been to a marriage building seminar before, but were interested in attending one that had a biblical foundation and hearing about how to better a marriage with Christ,” said Cindy Olson, one of the conference’s attendees. “The biggest thing the conference provided us with was a reminder of the value of communication. We benefited from hearing Jim and Doug speak about simple tools that can be used to produce healthy communication within marriage. It is absolutely an event that I would recommend to other couples and one that we look forward to attending again next year.”

The two-day event brought together about 300 couples to focus on topics including marriage priorities, communication and conflict resolution, creative romance, intimacy, and growing spiritually together.

“I knew this conference was worth going to when I learned about the collaboration between Jim and Doug, both leading voices in ministry,” said Anthony Prince who attended the conference. “It was a great thing for my wife and I to be able to do together. Doug did an illustration where he put one balloon inside of another and showed that it was impossible to pop the outside balloon without also popping the one inside. He used this to show that in a marriage, one person cannot be harmed without harming the other and that the individuals are in it together.”

“Doug Fields brought fantastic humor and some of the strongest content I have ever seen in a marriage conference,” said Burns. “My favorite part was watching most of the couples renew their vows at the very end. Watching people hold each other while smiling, laughing, and crying was incredible. I loved the event and look forward to more at APU in the future.”

The HomeWord Center for Youth and Family is also hosting a family ministry conference in May to help church leaders be more effective in reaching families in the church. The FAM Conference will take place at APU May 10–12, 2012. For more information, visit www.famconference.com.