Pilot Marriage Class
Fall 2013, we met with the community to hear about their dreams and goals for their community and the future generations. It was inspiring to see them fill a white board with all their ideas: on it was marriage & family classes. January, 2015, the CTC (Community Transformation Committee) made an action plan for the year – and of all the things they need, one of the 4 priorities for the year was marriage & family classes. Despite feeling out of our league, we went for it!
After researching many options of books and studies regarding marriage – we chose a video class through the Alpha program – with the hope that it would allow the class to see that we were learning alongside them, not over them (I mean really, we’re the babies – only being married 9 years, while they’ve all been together much longer than that).
Each Thursday we started out with a shared meal, talking about what we learned the previous week and getting to know each other on a deeper level. I didn’t know that until the last 3 years, one of the couples almost never lived near each other in the 23 years of marriage due to having to find work in other parts of the country. Another couple had a volatile first 10 years of marriage due to alcohol abuse – until they encountered Jesus. Needless to say, we grew close during these 8 weeks of sharing a meal.
The sessions covered a variety of topics that you typically see in a marriage class – communication, values, conflict resolution, forgiveness, sex, creating solid foundations, etc. One of the most powerful times was when the speaker stressed the importance of praying as a couple – DAILY. We stopped right then for each couple to pray together for each other. There’s wasn’t a dry eye in the room, because for many, it was a first. Another surprise was the impact of the session on communication – active listening and trust. What a game changer in a marriage when you have the tools needed.
After finishing the 7 sessions, we shared one last meal as we debriefed. I do believe that we all learned new things, were challenged to be better spouses, and put some new practices into our marriages. Jesus really shined through.
Please be praying for those 4 couples to continue to put into practice the new principles into their marriage and that they would model a marriage pleasing to God and inspiring to their community. I’m sure this is the first of many marriage classes to come.