BY ELISABETH ANDREWS
As president of Bill C. Brown Associates, Ron Remak’s career is devoted to helping people and companies secure their futures through insurance services and wealth management.
For the past two years, though, he has added a new dimension to his focus on stability. Three Sundays each month, Remak and his wife Carol host get-togethers designed to help young couples strengthen their marriages.
“There’s so much being thrown at young couples now — the pressures of the world, finances, the journey of marriage early on, raising kids,” explains Remak. “No one takes a class in what it’s like to be married. When our children moved away and started families, they were fortunate to find mentors in their new cities. So we wanted to do the same for young couples here.”
Beginning with Bryce and Tabitha Bow (both 27), who were newcomers to Bloomington in 2012, the Remaks assembled a group that has now grown to 12 couples. All are Christian, reflecting the faith-based nature of the gatherings, but the members vary in church affiliation. Some are newlyweds and others are a few years in and have young children.
The Sunday-evening events take place at the Remaks’ home in Sterling Woods and feature social time, prayer, and discussion of a video or book, such as The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman. On occasion, a long-married couple will join in to share their advice and experience. The Remaks generally participate at the beginning and end of the evening and provide babysitting upstairs while the Bows lead the focused discussion downstairs.
“This is an opportunity to give back in a way that relates to what I’m most thankful for,” says Remak. “Carol and I have been together thirty-four years now. I’ve really been blessed.”
Here are Remak’s top guidelines for a successful marriage:
1. “You have to decide, ‘We are going to be a team.’ The effort won’t always be fifty-fifty, but you’re working for the same goal.”
2. “Learn to say no [to additional outside commitments], even to good things. If you say yes to one more thing, what are you saying no to? That time is coming from your family life.”
3. “Start your day together in prayer. It helps set your hearts together for whatever the day has in store.”
4. “Keep the fun going as a couple, even after kids. If you don’t have a date night you wind up just being reactive to all the stresses.”