Law Enforcement Couples Fight for Their Marriages

By Paul Sherar   •   October 26, 2022

This week, more than 150 law enforcement officers and their spouses focused on reconnecting with each other and God at the Law Enforcement Appreciation Retreat, hosted by the Billy Graham Rapid Response Team in Asheville, North Carolina.
Officers and their spouses came from across the nation—Louisiana, Texas, California, and more—to be refreshed and enjoy fellowship with one another at the Billy Graham Training Center at The Cove.
One of the event's main speakers, Allison Uribe, is married to a Texas police officer. "So many of us in this room, in our marriages, we want so badly to change our spouse but we refuse to change ourselves," Uribe said. "We have turned our spouse into an enemy and not an ally. We must want to change ourselves. We have to be willing to get on our knees and ask the Lord to change our hearts and our minds. Because marriage is hard. Marriage is a battle."
In between sessions, attendees enjoyed the vibrant colors of fall leaves, cool weather, and good conversation.
Heartfelt worship was led by Alanna Story, an Indianapolis-based band that includes two sisters, one of whom gave birth just three weeks ago. Ally West knew it would be tough to cover the event with a newborn, but said she felt it was an assignment straight from God. "I don't know where your feelings are at today, but I'm just going to invite you again with us to declare who God is, that He's a Waymaker," West encouraged the crowd.
Speaker Danny Alday knows what it's like to be a law enforcement officer with a struggling marriage. He was one himself until he recommitted his life to Christ—and renewed his marriage vows—at the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association's (BGEA's) Marriage Resiliency Retreat in Alaska. Read his testimony.
Evenings at the retreat consisted of camaraderie and laughter around fire pits.
Edward Graham, Franklin Graham's youngest son, was the event's opening speaker. He said the key to changing any marriage is by studying God's Word, which offers direction and strength for daily life.
Moments of worship helped open attendees' hearts to the Lord.
Some couples took time to review their session notes together—and talk about how to apply what they were learning. "I think the main thing [we learned] is something we talked about outside here today: making God first, and making Him the center of our relationship," said one attendee (not pictured). "I want to say [our marriage] can survive."
After one session, couples were invited to pray with one another at the altar, and surrender anything on their hearts to Him. Many came down front, shedding tears and clinging to one another while bowing before their Heavenly Father.
A former event attendee, Stephen Parker, said his marriage used to be "a disaster." Sharing from Psalm 144, the detective said, "Whether you feel it or not, whether you like it or not, your daily existence is a battle. … It’s a hard battle for the soul of your family."
While this conference has come to an end, please pray for the law enforcement couples who attended the conference—and for countless more across the nation—that God will heal marriages and give them strength for the daily battles as they serve and protect our communities. See how you can get involved in BGEA's National Law Enforcement Ministry. If you're an officer, plan to attend the next retreat.