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I. Introduction (10 Minutes)
- Lead prayer for all of the couples.
II. Sharing Session (90 Minutes)
- Ask for comments about the three stages in marriage (3 minutes).
- How would you define intimacy (p. 11)?
- How would you define conflict (p. 11)?
- How would you define withdrawal (p. 12)?
- Remind the class to complete the Prayer Notes page during sharing session.
- Explain that the three sharing chairs have been moved to the side (5 minutes).
- Introduce the person from the first chair, others slide down, someone fills the last chair.
- Allow them to come as volunteers—volunteer them if you must.
- Have them answer questions on page 14 in the handbook.
- Encourage them not to take their handbooks to the front.
- Have questions written on the board where all can see them.
- Explain again how applause gives affirmation and support.
- Remind them to use page 15 in the handbook for notes on any insight they get into their mate as their mate does his/her sharing.
- Tell them they can also use that page to make notes on how they can help other class members.
- Start the group sharing (77 minutes).
- You and your assistant go first—be open and answer each properly, not using notes.
- Fill your sharing chairs.
- Introduce the first sharer.
- Applaud after each sharer.
- Affirm each sharer in turn.
- Introduce each new sharer in turn.
- Do this until everyone has shared and been affirmed.
- Recap and vote for the person showing the most desire to remove love busters from their marriage (3 minutes).
- No one votes until the recap concludes.
- The assistant collects the votes.
- No one ever hears there was a tie.
- The assistant breaks ties for first or third place and fills in the book.
- Dismiss the group to their break.
III. Break (15 Minutes)
- The assistant counts the ballots during the break.
- Determine the names of the three honorees.
- Fill in the award with the recipient’s name.
- As time allows, pay special attention to those who need affirmation.
IV. Final Session (30 Minutes)
- Present the award to the recipient (2 minutes).
- Have the top three honorees stand one at a time and applaud for each.
- Make sure all three sit down together before presenting the award.
- Have the award recipient thank the group and share the award for class member notes.
- Explain next week’s homework (3 minutes)—refer to page 16 in handbook.
- Group affirmation (12 minutes)
- Give everyone 30 seconds to select one person who touched him or her, and thank the person for his or her message, attitude, example, or encouragement.
- Remind everyone to confer with his or her Prayer Notes.
- Keep time on each person to avoid going over time.
- If your time runs out before the entire group has an opportunity to affirm another, stop the activity anyway.
- This is your way of motivating them to complete their homework!
- Closing Activity: Group encouragement (15 minutes)
- Tell each row to circle their chairs.
- Give each small group three seconds to select a small group leader. (The only responsibility is to keep the group on task; there are no group reports.)
- The small group leader selects one person and asks the rest of the group to respond to the first question in relation to the person selected.
- Ask the group the same question regarding each group member, including the small group leader.
- The small group leader repeats the same process with the second question.
The two questions:
- “What strengths do you see in _____ that will enable him/her to strengthen their marriage?” (7minutes)
- “What attributes do you see in ______ that will enable him/her to keep working through the material even when the material brings discomfort or disagreement into his or her home?” (7 minutes)
V. Conclusion (5 Minutes)
- “What did you learn tonight?”
- “Tell me something good you learned about yourself, your spouse, or your marriage.”
- Give a brief, encouraging pep talk.
- Lead or call on someone to lead a closing prayer.
Class Preparation Checklist:
- Listen to “Facilitator Skills” and “Session 2” messages on the Facilitator audio message.
- Pray for each couple by name; pray for God to use you.
- Prepare the name tags.
- Bring an award to class.
- Bring extra pens.
- Bring a box of facial tissue.
- Bring ballots to class.
- Make sure the refreshments are coming.
Classroom Set-up Checklist
- Arrange room furniture for classroom set-up.
- Eliminate outside viewing of the classroom.
- Put “Do Not Enter” signs on all doors to the classroom.
- Write the sharing session questions on the board (see page 14 in the student handbook).