Editor’s note: We want to thank Tami Mosser of The Daily Record for a wonderful story about our event. The event was successful. The ministry team is preparing to offer a couples Bible study beginning March 25. You can learn more about it here.
WOOSTER — John and Jackie Drake met while both were students at Penn State University.
And while they had dated others, it took just one trip in a shared canoe for them to know there was a spark there that neither had experienced with others.
“We knew,” John Drake said, “that this was very special and we were going to do it right.”
So the two went to their campus minister and asked for guidance, which put into motion a weekly lunch date where the three would gather and chat. And, eventually, the two decided to marry.
Next month, the Drakes will mark their 40th anniversary. And in spite of the fact they really prepared for their marriage, both admit it’s not been a perfect union.
And that’s OK.
“The marriage myth is if you just find the right person, you’ll have the happily ever after,” John Drake said. “But you have to be the right person.”
And any marriage — whether four months long or 40 years long — can be better. The thought, John Drake said, is “I can love you better than this. Everyone in their marriage can make forward progress in our relationship.”
That is the point of “The Art of Marriage,” a day-long conference that will be presented on Saturday, Feb. 25, at Parkview Christian Church. The event is a project of Parkview’s marriage mission team, Press On Marriage Ministries, of which the Drakes are team leaders.
Parkview has a number of ministry teams, Jackie Drake said, and the marriage mission team started last summer. “Right now,” John Drake said, “we have a vision to have a ministry team for marriages in our church and in our community.”
The Feb. 25 event begins at 8:30 a.m. with pastries and coffee at the church, 1912 Burbank Road. At 9 a.m., the first of six sessions will begin, using materials from Family Life Ministries. The discussions, with workbook and video included, will address the purpose of marriage, drifting to isolation, roles, communication, romance and sex and legacy. The conference, which costs $30 per couple, is expected to conclude by 5 p.m.
“It’s really well done material,” Jackie Drake said. “It’s different than anything I’ve ever seen.” There is plenty of time for discussion as well.
On the evening prior to the conference, participants are invited to enjoy a candlelight dinner beginning at 6:30 p.m. and followed by light entertainment. Participants are not required to attend the dinner, though Jackie Drake said it is designed to set the tone for the following day’s activities. Childcare will be provided Friday, but not on Saturday.
After the conference, the Drakes said they expect to have some follow-up with participants, who will be asked to complete lists of potential areas for follow-up. In addition, the team’s website, www.pressonmarriageministry.com will have articles and possibly a blog.
Couples at “any age or stage, this is appropriate,” Jackie Drake said. Pre-registration is required by Feb. 12 and can be made online via the website or by calling the church at 330-262-7756.
“Oftentimes, we settle for a marriage that is not as good as it could be, or it’s pretty good,” John Drake said, noting that his wife tends to be the more intentional and pro-active of the two when it comes to working through tough spots. Still, he said, “it’s very rewarding to come home at night and have this relationship.”
Reporter Tami Mosser can be reached at 330-287-1655 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
This story was written by Tami Mosser, and it originally appeared in The Daily Record. You can read it here.