MARRIAGE RESOURCES

These are specific resources geared to enhance and build marriages specific for our Partnership Group


Leaders; Justin & Katie Jacobs


Meet: Every Other week


Day: Sunday evenings from 4pm-6:30pm


Babysitting: 2 Babysitters will be provided every group


Date Night:  Every 4th time we meet will be a group date night.  Each couple is required to set up their own sitters for their children and the group will meet up together and do a group date night.


Details: 

-One family will host the group at their home

-One family will be responsible to provide the main meal for the entire group and each other family will supplement the meal by bringing a side dish, drinks, and or dessert to share with the group as a whole (this will rotate as needed)

-Babysitting cost will be provided and covered (no charge to group members)


SESSIONS

Below are the questions and discussions from each week of our Partnership Group so you can stay up to date and caught up with our group.  


RULES FOR SHARING DURING OUR GROUP


1) When one person is talking, everyone really listens without interrupting.


2) When asked to give feedback to the person sharing:


-Always start with what you can affirm and agree with; then share other opinions or questions


-In all your responses, be thinking of how to build this person up and encourage them towards what God has for them.


-This is not a time for giving advice!


3) Confidentiality for group sharing:


-Our commitment to each other is to respect the vulnerability and the trust given to us by the open and honest sharing within the group.


-It is not appropriate to share information from your group with people outside the group as a matter of interest or gossip. 


-If you need advice as to how to help someone in your group who has shared a confidence with you, please reach out to both Katie or Myself who will be happy to pray with you and help you develop a plan of action to help.


COMMITMENT AGREEMENT


I commit myself to fully participate in this partnership group to learn all that I can, for the further growth and maturing of our marriage.  

I am willing to be stretched, to risk, and to step out into areas that are not normally comfortable for me.

I promise to make every effort to willingly and freely open up to you.  I will not require you to "pull things out of me." 

I purpose to move towards living with you in a truthful and vulnerable way, withholding nothing of importance for the health of our marriage.

I will honor you by pursuing relationship with you and by taking the initiative to share things with you that would be important to you, to God, and the well-being of our family.

I invite the Lord to "expand my tent pegs" in the area of transparency and vulnerability, to increase my expectation for His highest in our marriage, and to teach me new ways of loving you.

I ask Jesus to ignite a new passion in me for you and to give me a new desire to see you and love you as He does. 



WEEKLY HOMEWORK:


1) Walk and Pray Together 3 times /week (if you can't walk, come up with other options that work for you as a couple and share them with each other and our group.) The Point is to pray together. 


2) Purchase notebooks or journals and keep them with your Bible by your bed, and begin writing down any dreams or words the Lord may give you.  


3) Be ALERT (be prepared) for your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion seeking someone to devour, but resist him firm in your faith." 

-1 Peter 5:8-9

As you take this step of intentionally strengthening your marriage, the devil will work very hard at making your spouse the enemy so you can't join together in destroying his works in your lives.  Be aware of this especially the day preceding the night of each partnership group.  Pray over your hearts to fully engage and receive during each time together.  

  • prior to beginning

    Spend some time connecting with Jesus.  Get a journal and keep that and your Bible next to your bed so that you can write in it when you need to.  


    Entry 1: "Jesus, what do you want to say to me and show me about my marriage." 


    NOTHING HIDDEN


    The foundation of marriage and the point of this partnership group is Openness, transparency, truthfulness and vulnerability. 


    1) As far as relationships are concerned, there is nothing as freeing as having nothing hidden and nothing concealed.


    2) Truthfulness is a foundation for trust in any relationship but even more so in a marriage.


    3) Hidden important negative information about myself (past or present) creates a breeding ground for the enemy to bring shame, guilt, confusion, and separation in a marriage.


    4) Having openness, truthfulness and vulnerability is the only way to create real security in a relationship.


    5) Truthfulness is an act of faith

  • WEEK 1

    Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to you what you need to share this week so that the other couples within your group will really know you.


    DISCUSSION QUESTIONS FOR THE WEEK


    (BEFORE MARRIAGE)


    1) What has been one of the greatest hardships or challenges in your life from childhood up until you got married?


    2) What has been one of the greatest blessings in your life from childhood up until you got married?


    (DURING MARRIAGE)


    1) What is the greatest strength in your marriage?


    2) What is the greatest struggle in your marriage?


    3) What do you want the Lord to do for your marriage in and through this next season of your life while in this group? 


    (WEEKLY DEVOTIONAL)


    "For where your treasure is there your heart will be also." -Matthew 6:21


    Jesus said, "Where your treasure is there your heart will be also."  He spoke this in the context of money and material possessions, but I believe that the principle applies equally in other matters of the heart as well.  The following story could represent the marriages of many couples we have counseled.  The husband of a couple who came to me for counseling had grown cold and uncaring in his affection towards his wife.  The wife had her issues as well but she was still soft enough in her heart to make very good efforts at reconciling, repenting, and risking love.  The husband however, continually spoke of his wife not being able to meet his needs and the hurt and rejection he had felt when he had risked in the past.  He had built up a long, convincing list of reasons why his wife couldn't be trusted with his love. 

            After listening and working for several weeks, I concluded that the husband was stuck not because of his wife; rather he was stuck because he was unwilling to forgive and to trust love.  He spent his time and energy protecting himself rather than risking love.  As a result, he was not open enough to see or receive the love from his wife that he claimed to be starving for.  He was avoiding taking the risks of giving, caring, serving, being affectionate, and being attentive.  He was unwilling to do the work of "treasuring" his wife so that his heart would follow.  He had to begin treasuring BEFORE he felt like treasuring, but once he did, his heart followed.  

            I have seen it occur many times in marriages.  It is much easier and safer to wait until the risk feels so low that it requires little personal investment; however that will result in little love also.  I have witnessed marriages where one person is never able to risk and make the investment of treasuring his or her spouse.  Those marriages usually remain stagnant or end in divorce.  

            God has given us a wonderful key to open up our hearts to His love for our spouse, even if our hearts have grown cold.  Are you willing to trust in God's good way of loving and bring it to your spouse even if you don't feel love?  Are you willing to invest in treasuring your spouse above the things in life that capture hear heart so that your heart will be fully turned towards your spouse?


    ASK & LISTEN

     

    Pray and ask God to reveal ways that you can put forth effort, energy, thought, attention, etc... to your spouse and thereby treasure him/her.  God may show you something that is good but is very difficult to do.  It may be a good thing but require loving confrontation.


    DISCUSS WITH YOUR SPOUSE


    Tell your spouse about the ideas you have come up with on how to treasure them.  Get feedback from your spouse.  Try to be realistic so that this can become a lifestyle and not just a one-time "push" to treasure each other.  



  • WEEK 2


    “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” So they are no longer two, but one flesh.  What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate.”-Matthew 19:5-6


    DISCUSSION QUESTIONS FOR THIS WEEK


    1) How well do I do at placing God first in your life?


    2) What are some things that God wants from me in the area of keeping Him first that I’m not now doing?


    3) How well do I keep my spouse as the most important relationship in my life?

    -Above my family?

    -Above our kids?

    -Above my job?

    -Above my/our friends?

    -Above my hobbies?



    (WEEKLY DEVOTIONAL) KEEPING GOD NUMBER ONE IN OUR MARRIAGES


    If anyone comes to Me, and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be My disciple. -Luke 14:26



    In our marriages we must learn the secret of becoming one while keeping God number one.  Remember that the oneness between a husband and wife has the potential to more closely imitate the oneness of the Trinity here on Earth than any other relationship.  


    In this passage, Jesus is saying that in order to be His disciple (that is, a learner, student, pupil) we must love Him above anyone, especially those closest to us.  Even though God jealously desires our complete affection, the Scripture verse above is not a threat that if we don’t put Him first, He won’t let us into His elite club of disciples.  Jesus is not saying if we don’t hate other people, He will be hurt and not like us as much.  Jesus doesn’t have ego needs like we do.  The verse is a simple statement of fact: if we put anyone before God, then we will be “learning” from them, making us their disciple.  If the person we are “learning” from is leading us to trust in God and be loyal to Him first rather than to the person first, then that is okay.  Of course it is fine to learn from teachers and books about a multitude of things because Jesus is not talking about learning information but rather the learning that comes from our loyalties in relationships.  Notice the relationships mentioned in the passage above; they all consist of our closest family relationships.  Yes, the very relationships that have the most potential to bring us joy and love, also competes the most with our affection and loyalty to God.  


    While I was dating my wife and our relationship became serious to consider marriage, I told the Lord that I wanted to completely give the relationship to Him and I would be willing to give it up if He asked me to.  I never told my wife about this commitment; it was strictly between me and God.  On the morning of our wedding day I told the Lord again, “You know how much I love Lori and want to live the rest of my life with her but if You make it clear to me today that You do not want me to marry her, I will call off the wedding today.”  I was at peace.  I did not expect the Lord to ask me to end the relationship because He had had plenty of opportunity already, but I wanted to completely surrender my marriage relationship to Him.  This was my way of beginning my marriage by putting the Lord first before my desires or the desires of my wife.  I went through our marriage ceremony with complete peace.  


    Individually as a couple, we need to find our own way of putting God first so that we can learn from Him on how to love our spouse with godly love.  Only as we learn first from Him is He able to fully give us His love for our marriage.


    ASK & LISTEN


    Spend some time asking the Lord “I have learned how to keep YOU number one in my heart while remaining one with my spouse.  


    DISCUSS WITH YOUR SPOUSE


    Discuss ways that you can improve on bringing God into your marriage as the number one source of direction for your life and your relationship.  



    (HOMEWORK THIS WEEK)


    1) Walk and pray together or whatever works best for you. ( Do this three times or more this week; remember you can bring the kids on your walk if needed) The point is to spend time together praying. *this isn’t going to be easy but nothing worth while is free or easy.  Make time and be intentional*


    2) Together, read through and discuss the devotional for the week “Keeping God Number One in your Oneness”


    3) Ask the Lord to speak to you this week even as you sleep and record any dreams you may have had; share them with each other (Pray and ask the Lord for the interpretation and then talk about it)


    4) The evening before our next meeting make sure and spend some time to individually pray as well as to pray together.


    5) Be intentional to go to bed together or spend quality time connecting before the first one of you goes to bed, three times or more per week.  



ADDITIONAL RESOURCE VIDEOS

These videos are additional resources geared to enhance and build marriages within our group.