Can we have a marriage that is “alive and kicking” – even amidst the stress and busyness of life? How do we make a good marriage great?
Together is a nine-session small group resource that tackles just these questions. Marriage, as the Bible makes clear, was God’s idea. Authors Mark and Christine Daniel invite couples to look at God’s plan for marriage and to address “real life” issues, such as improving communication, resolving conflict and expressing love. Their unique message, reinforced by scriptures, humorous quotes and cartoons, practical wisdom and interactive sections, will help couples to look at their marriage in a new way and invest in their relationship, whatever their stage of life.
Together is not a typical small group series on marriage. Rather it helps couples to get closer to each other and to God, in practical ways. The resource is available as individual workbooks and a supporting Leader’s Guide.
What do you do?
You could complete this study alone with your partner, but it is designed to be used in a small group of four or five couples for maximum learning benefit, including accountability (if desired). Together is not ‘group therapy’ or embarrassing revelations! Each session covers a separate topic and includes discussion questions appropriate for a group setting (click here for sample pages from session 1). Private issues are kept for couples to discuss at a seperate ‘couple time’ between the session.
There is an introductory session which allows couples to give it a try and decide if it's for them. Each group will have a leader couple to organise meetings and facilitate the discussions.
Who is it for?
Together is suitable for couples who have been married for one year or many, or they may be remarried following the death of or divorce from a partner. It’s also suitable for engaged couples. This resource works for those within the church and those in the community.
Together is structured as follows:
You will begin each evening with an informal supper. It’s a great time for people to get to know each other.
Following on is the Group Session of 1 hour, 40 minutes which is designed to stimulate discussion on the topic and Scripture (click here to see sample pages for a Group Session). From time to time there is a chance for everyone to prepare for ‘Couple Time’. This is an opportunity for people to capture personal insights from the discussion which are the basis for a private Couple Time.
A Couple Time of 60 minutes is completed privately at a time between the group meetings to discuss and apply what is relevant to your marriage with specific ‘action points’ (click here to see an example).
There is no written preparation for group meetings but you are asked to complete the Introductory Reading (5-10 minutes) to set up the topic before you come (click here to see an example).
The time and place you meet is up to you but we recommend that you meet every fortnight with flexibility for holidays.
The Bible and Together
Together uses the Bible as its basis. The sessions will help you discover what the Bible has to say about marriage and relationships. You will be able to experience for yourself the application and value of it for your own marriage.
Why use the Bible? The Bible is special because it is ‘God-breathed’. The word for God-breathed is literally translated as ‘inspired by God’. The authors from Moses to John are human but the consistent source and inspiration is God’s Holy Spirit.
When buying a car we refer to the manufacturer’s handbook to help maintain it in good working order. Although as humans we aren’t put together on a factory assembly line, we are designed and given life by God. What better manual for dealing with issues of life and relationships than instructions from our creator? Furthermore, the Bible isn’t just a manual for life or a rule-book, but words from a loving God, who wants to have a relationship with us. To read and learn from it can be life-changing.
Together is designed for married couples but is suitable for engaged couples and will help you learn about marriage God’s way and lay a lasting spiritual foundation for your relationship.
The phrases in the workbook refer to those who are already married and so you will need to make allowances for that. We do not propose to give you a completely rewritten study but there are certain sessions where some adaptation is helpful.