There is a dire need for couples to build relationships with other spiritually like-minded couples. The culture is attacking family life and it is important to encourage each other in living marriage faithfully and fruitfully. To foster those relationships, consider hosting a couple group study in your home. You could study Scripture, Church documents on marriage and family, theology of the body or books on how to improve your marital relationship.
We invited three couples to encounter Jesus Christ in the Scriptures using the book Finding Christ in Your Marriage (hereafter referred to as the Couple Bible Study) by Kevin and Louise Perrotta. The Couple Bible Study introduced husbands and wives to the beauty, goodness and truth of God’s plan for marriage, with the goal of improving not only the health of their relationship with each other but also their relationship with God. The construct of the Bible study included:
- Bi-weekly meetings in our home
- Sharing of a meal
- Small group discussion
- Individual couple discussion
- Group prayer
The length of the sessions, including the meal and fellowship, was two and half hours. Couples shared session leadership and meal preparation on a rotating basis.
The book Finding Christ in Your Marriage is a “guided discovery” in “understanding Scripture and reflecting on what it means in our lives.” “If you want to explore marriage, the natural place to begin is the Bible,” say the Perrottas.
The topics for the six sessions were:
- To Love and to Honor Genesis 1-2, Ephesians 4-5
- To Have and to Hold Song of Solomon
- For Better, for Worse Ecclesiastes 3, Romans 8, 2 Corinthians 4, Colossians 3
- The Blessing of Children Psalms 127-128, Proverbs 1 and 3
- At Work in the World John 17, Matthew 25, Ephesians 4
- At Cana, Always John 2, 14-15
We surveyed the couples at the end of the study and here are some of their comments on their experience:
- “Loved the format!”
- “The study was helpful in getting us reading the Word of God together and seeing/hearing the experiences of other couples.”
- “I grew closer to my spouse. It gave us time to talk about things that are important to us with a God-focus and step away from our human-focus.”
- “I thought the prepared material and meetings were excellent!”
- “The study was invaluable to us in healing issues in our marriage.”
- “Please continue to offer studies! The group commitment is important is keeping your study habits going and maturing.”
- The couples were unanimous in wanting additional studies.
Fortify your marriage by gathering some couples into your home to study God’s plan for marriage. Put Christ at the center of your marriage and see the change it will make. You will not regret it!
It is with Christ that we journey, and we walk with our steps in His footprints. He it is who is our guide and the burning flame which illumines our paths…He it is who draws us towards Heaven, towards the Father, and promises success to those who seek in faith. We shall one day be that which He is in glory, if by faithful imitation of His example, we become true Christians, other Christs.[i]
[i] St. Cyprian, De idolorum vanitate, c. 15; cited in Columba Marmion, Christ the Life of the Soul, (St. Louis: B. Herder Book Co., 1925), 17.