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I. Introduction (10 Minutes)
  1. Lead prayer for all of the couples.
II. Sharing Session (90 Minutes)
  1. Ask for comments about the three stages in marriage (3 minutes).
    1. How would you define intimacy (p. 11)?
    2. How would you define conflict (p. 11)?
    3. How would you define withdrawal (p. 12)?
  2. Remind the class to complete the Prayer Notes page during sharing session.
  3. Explain that the three sharing chairs have been moved to the side (5 minutes).
    1. Introduce the person from the first chair, others slide down, someone fills the last chair.
    2. Allow them to come as volunteers—volunteer them if you must.
    3. Have them answer questions on page 14 in the handbook.
      1. Encourage them not to take their handbooks to the front.
      2. Have questions written on the board where all can see them.
    4. Explain again how applause gives affirmation and support.
    5. 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.
    6. Tell them they can also use that page to make notes on how they can help other class members.
  4. Start the group sharing (77 minutes).
    1. You and your assistant go first—be open and answer each properly, not using notes.
    2. Fill your sharing chairs.
    3. Introduce the first sharer.
    4. Applaud after each sharer.
    5. Affirm each sharer in turn.
    6. Introduce each new sharer in turn.
    7. Do this until everyone has shared and been affirmed.
  5. Recap and vote for the person showing the most desire to remove love busters from their marriage (3 minutes).
    1. No one votes until the recap concludes.
    2. The assistant collects the votes.
      1. No one ever hears there was a tie.
      2. The assistant breaks ties for first or third place and fills in the book.
    3. Dismiss the group to their break.
III. Break (15 Minutes)
  1. The assistant counts the ballots during the break.
    1. Determine the names of the three honorees.
    2. Fill in the award with the recipient’s name.
  2. As time allows, pay special attention to those who need affirmation.
IV. Final Session (30 Minutes)
  1. Present the award to the recipient (2 minutes).
    1. Have the top three honorees stand one at a time and applaud for each.
    2. Make sure all three sit down together before presenting the award.
    3. Have the award recipient thank the group and share the award for class member notes.
  2. Explain next week’s homework (3 minutes)—refer to page 16 in handbook.
  3. Group affirmation (12 minutes)
    1. 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.
    2. Remind everyone to confer with his or her Prayer Notes.
    3. Keep time on each person to avoid going over time.
    4. If your time runs out before the entire group has an opportunity to affirm another, stop the activity anyway.
    5. This is your way of motivating them to complete their homework!
  4. Closing Activity: Group encouragement (15 minutes)
    1. Tell each row to circle their chairs.
    2. 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.)
    3. 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.
    4. Ask the group the same question regarding each group member, including the small group leader.
    5. The small group leader repeats the same process with the second question.

The two questions:

  1. “What strengths do you see in _____ that will enable him/her to strengthen their marriage?” (7minutes)
  2. “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)
  1. “What did you learn tonight?”
  2. “Tell me something good you learned about yourself, your spouse, or your marriage.”
  3. Give a brief, encouraging pep talk.
  4. Lead or call on someone to lead a closing prayer.
Class Preparation Checklist:
  1. Listen to “Facilitator Skills” and “Session 2” messages on the Facilitator audio message.
  2. Pray for each couple by name; pray for God to use you.
  3. Prepare the name tags.
  4. Bring an award to class.
  5. Bring extra pens.
  6. Bring a box of facial tissue.
  7. Bring ballots to class.
  8. Make sure the refreshments are coming.
Classroom Set-up Checklist
  1. Arrange room furniture for classroom set-up.
  2. Eliminate outside viewing of the classroom.
  3. Put “Do Not Enter” signs on all doors to the classroom.
  4. Write the sharing session questions on the board (see page 14 in the student handbook).