I don’t know about you but I don’t know anyone who gets married planning to get divorced. In fact, I don’t know anyone who plans to have a ho-hum marriage. However, I do know a lot of people who had big fantasies and over- the- top expectations about their marriages that didn’t come to pass (at least not the way they thought it should). Our own marriage didn’t start so great. It seems we spent four years going in opposite directions, harboring unspoken hurts and moving from one argument to the next. Our world was a mess but it looked good on the outside.  We lived in the same house but each of us felt very alone. We are glad to say that 16 years later our marriage is dramatically different. Now, though we still have our arguments and rough days, we spend more time working on strengthening our marriage than we once did fighting.

It’s amazing how a changed life can open doors to help others.  As we turned our marriage around, we began to help others work to turn theirs around.  A growing passion and vision was born in us to see marriages and relationships flourish and grow; to see couples on the edge (like we were) come back and to see good relationships grow stronger.  It is that passion and desire that has brought us to the place we are today.

Statistics tell the story of a once strong and central part of our communities now eroding like an old neglected building.  For some, marriage is no longer attractive. In fact, the very definition of marriage is now blurred in our society.  Affairs, divorce and abuse fill the headlines, news tickers and magazine covers daily but there is hope; hope for marriages, hope for families, hope for our community.

With the help of local churches, community organizations, businesses and individuals who share our heartbeat for marriage, we have launched One Heartbeat, a community initiative with the mission of strengthening marriages in West Georgia.

We believe that strong marriages are the core of a strong community. We envision a flourishing, vibrant, strong community of healthy marriages and families that are engaged, supportive and involved in the community.

We carry out this mission by providing couples, like you, the opportunity to come together for fun, education, encouragement and inspiration for their marriages and relationships. It all starts on August 19th with The Jazz experience, our first Date Night for the community!

This night is all about reconnecting with your story:  how you met, your first date or the moment you just knew it was right. Through humor, the live entertainment of saxophonist extraordinaire Jeff Sparks and the personal reflections of our friend and guest speaker Jamal Baker, Executive Director of the Life Development Center at The Church at Chapel Hill we hope to inspire you and your spouse to reconnect, refocus and grow together as God originally designed.

Over the weeks to come, we will begin to let you know about more events, small groups and learning opportunities all over the community. Our goal is to give you the opportunities and tools to strengthen your marriage. It’s up to you to get connected and use them. We hope you will. After all, aren’t you ready for a positive change in your relationship? Why wait? We would love to share the journey with you. You can connect with us or register for Date Night at www.oneheartbeatga.com or you can reach us at (678) 971-3123. If you are on facebook join us at www.facebook.com/oneheartbeatga or join us on twitter at www.twitter.com/oneheartbeatga .

David & Lorrie McIntyre

One Heartbeat