First Year Ministry

Session One: Know Myself. Know My Spouse.

Activity 1. In our marriages, love and humility is the key posture we want to grow in. After expounding the gospel, Paul exhorted the believers to ‘walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love‘. Read Les & Leslie Parrott’s post ‘Why Self-Awareness Leads to Better Love‘ ( Consider together how self-awareness can help us live out Ephesians 4:2 in our marriages. Reflect on and share with the group how your current lack of self-awareness plays out in your marriage.

Session Two: Know in order to Rejoice & Build-up, Not Change.

Gary Chapman’s Five Love Languages suggests that different people with different personalities give and receive love in different ways: A: Words of Affirmation, B: Quality Time, C: Receiving Gifts, D: Acts of Service, E: Physical Touch

Session Three: Know in order to Change Myself, Not My Spouse.

Activity 1. Identifying & putting to death the different ways we’ve dethrone God in our marriage is a spirit-filled community project, not a solo flight. Read together the testimony of a couple’s experience of community. How do you find the experience described? Attractive, Intimidating, idealistic? Share with the group your tendencies as identified in Q3.

Session Four: Know in order to Love, Not Hurt.

Q1. Identifying Your Conflict Style. The slippery slope of conflict illustrates several key dynamics of conflict and helps us to evaluate our personal inclinations and habits for responding to conflict. Our good desires can evolve into controlling demands or idols that can lead us to judge others and then avoid or punish them until we get what we want. This progression often starts with minor differences, but before we know it we’re sliding down a slippery slope of conflict that can drop off in two directions. What’s your tendency? (From Ken Sande’s ‘The Peacemaker’)

Activity 2. In MPW, we talked about some unloving ways we relate to our spouse. This includes harsh start-ups, emotional flooding, and hint dropping. Four particular destructive ways are Criticism, Contempt, Defensiveness, and Stonewalling. Watch ‘The Four Horsemen‘ video together to revise these four ways. Revise MPW Session 5 with Horsemen Antidotes given

Session Five: Know in order to Serve

Below is a true and false questionnaire adopted from Les & Leslie Parrott’s SYMBIS.Don’t worry about the right answer. First complete it on your own. Then take turn in your group to read out the right answer from the sheet provided by your Marriage Builders.

Recommended Books

(1) Closer: A Realistic Book About Intimacy for Christian Marriages by Adrian & Celia Reynolds

(2) The Best Sex for Life by Patricia Weerakoon

(3) One Flesh by Amelia & Greg Clarke