Two hundred families came together at the Baptist church in Braila, in southern Romania, for a FamilyLife conference. The entrance ticket for every person was his or her spouse. All of them were attending this kind of conference for the first time. They came from the villages and towns around Braila with a strong desire to learn more about God’s design for the family. At every break between sessions, the people gathered around us to share their life stories.
The saddest story told was one of a poor family from a village on the Danube side. The couple sat next to each other like two strangers. The tears of the woman came often, and you could read on her face what kind of relationship she had with her spouse. During the break, she approached the FamilyLife speaker with shyness and asked her to listen to her story. The conferee was dressed very modestly. Her shoes were falling apart and her palms had some deeper cracks, which showed how hard she worked.
She’d had a difficult time convincing her husband to come to this conference. He had recently come home from jail where he spent ten years for killing a man. During the time he was away, it was difficult for the family. She had to raise their children alone and work every day for other people. During this time, she met Jesus. She became a good Christian and forgave her husband. When her husband got out of jail, it did not change the situation. He brought a lot of bad habits with him and was a worse man than when he entered the jail.
She expected this conference to be the solution for her situation. During the conference, the plan and purpose of God for the family was given, as well as biblical advice on how to resolve conflicts and honor your spouse. There were more than ten lectures about the family.
At the end of the first day, her husband came and confessed to the man conference speaker that he was a bad man, a bad spouse, and a bad father. He asked the speaker to help him change his life. The FamilyLife speaker spent a lot of time with him talking about the Lord Jesus—His death for his sins, His desire to forgive him and to give him eternal life. Then the man prayed and received Jesus in his heart.
From the point of his salvation, his face became bright and his attitude for his wife changed. A few months later he was baptized and he became a good spouse and a good father. He and his wife are now happy together.