"This has been the best thing that ever happened to me on Facebook," wrote one man who was deeply impacted by the Promise Keepers Virtual Marriage Summit, which debuted to a worldwide audience on January 23. The summit focused on providing insight and inspiration to inspire men to build strong marriages in tough times. Tens of thousands of men from a dozen nations participated in the summit, whether individually or through watch parties, and thousands more are watching every day on YouTube.
Pastor and author Sam Rodriguez surfaced the massive surge of divorce and pornography addiction during the 2020 global pandemic and challenged men to focus on building marriages "committed to Jesus" so their kids "will inherit our blessings, not our sins."
Marriages have been saved by the thousands with the help of marriage expert Jimmy Evans. During the summit, Evans called on husbands to help their wives achieve their full potentials. "One of the reasons for marriage," he said, "is that we both release the potential in our spouse." He confessed that when he got married, he didn't consider his wife's purpose and goals. Evans confronted the responsibility that a husband has to bring his wife to her full potential, pointing out that "in order for that to happen, you first have to believe she has potential."
The summit didn't place responsibility for marital troubles exclusively on men yet revealed the power for change that happens when Christian husbands accept responsibility to find marital solutions. One woman participant wrote, "I pray that many men hear this message and bloom a new generation for marriage!"
Al Robertson of Duck Dynasty fame candidly shared how to walk down the road to forgiveness after an extramarital affair. Radio personality and blogger Rick Burgess drew a lesson from the death of his child on how a husband's personal relationship with God will undergird a marriage in any crisis. One participant admitted publicly, "My wife needed me during painful times. I wasn't there for her. I didn't realize until today how lonely and scared she must have been."
Many men echoed what one wrote, "Thank you God for bringing these speakers." One favorite was Pastor Tim Ross who used his story of decades-long porn addiction and childhood molestation to show how healing can occur when both spouses embrace the power of forgiveness.
Well-known relationship expert and author, Gary Chapman, identified men's failure to apologize as a major source of problems. "Ten percent of the population never apologizes for anything, and most of them are men," Chapman said. "Most of them learned from their fathers who taught them 'real men don't apologize.' But you will not have a long-term healthy marriage if you don't learn how to apologize."
The response to speaker and author John Bevere appearing side by side with his wife Lisa was strong. One viewer said, "Thank you, Jesus for men of God with the wisdom, knowledge, and understanding that we can apply to our daily life."
Bevere compelled men to grow into a closer relationship with God not just for their marriages, but through their marriages. "Marriage is one of the best refining tools to bring out God's nature in you," Bevere said. God created the institution of marriage to help men, he explained, but men must accept that fact for it to happen. Bevere stated, "Marriage can be the demise of some men and the character builder of others."
Humorous marriage myths were busted by various guest speakers throughout the summit. One example was the myth that when a female coworker "gets" you, then it's okay to get her perspective on your marriage. Movie producer Victor Marx ended the myth-busting segment with a pointed, "Stupid is as stupid does."
Ken Harrison, CEO of Promise Keepers got to the heart of a major source of marriage conflict with his talk, "Sex is precious to God." Harrison said men and women are different and described the need for husbands to minister to their wives. "We all have a powerful sex drive, but only after other needs are met," Harrison said. "If you were starving to death, you wouldn't have a sex drive. Once those other needs are met, you have a sex drive. Women have a sex drive, but only after a couple other needs are met. When those needs are met, that's where the beauty of marriage happens."
Following the Marriage Summit, Harrison said,
"With divorce courts overloaded following the national shutdown, and financial pressures on families soaring, men need to pay attention to what's right in front of them. That is, our wife, our children, our marriage, and our family. When we get our marriages right, we feel less pressure in the rest of our lives, too. Many men search for a way to escape the pressures we feel in marriage, maybe through sports, work, entertainment, drugs, or porn. But each of those outlets can put additional pressure on the marriage, instead of relieving it. The best way to deal with the pressures of this pandemic era is to work hand in hand with a partner, and that partner is your wife. To do that requires building a marriage on the Lord Jesus Christ."
To watch the marriage summit, go to YouTube.com and search for "Promise Keepers Virtual Men's Marriage Summit," or type in https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PhJOMlmUXY4&t=6s
To learn more about Marriage Summit, the 3-Week Marriage Challenge, and the upcoming Couple's Session, visit https://promisekeepers.org/marriage/.