As a church community, we want to help strengthen and encourage married couples by talking about the joys and challenges of marriage. So we got together a panel from across our services to share their experiences.
Our hope is that this film will spark conversations, so we suggest you watch it with a group of friends or with your Connect Group over dinner!
Our goal is to build connection and community across our church, and in all our different life stages. We believe that the more we understand one another, the more we can love and support each other, and reflect God’s love as we grow closer together in unity.
Below you’ll find a list of discussion questions and some guidelines on praying together. We’ve designed the questions to work for a mixed group of people from all different life stages – so this is for everyone.
We also want to recognise that there are many different experiences of marriage, for example: some of us may be divorced, separated, or widowed, and some of us may long to be married but aren’t. We encourage you to bear this in mind and be sensitive to everyone’s experiences as you talk together.
Note for the host: As marriage and relationships can be sensitive topics, you might want to start the evening by sharing that the purpose of the discussion is to learn from each other, and letting people know that they don’t have to share anything personal if they don’t want to.
Feel free to use some or all of the questions, and encourage people to bring other questions or thoughts to the table if they’d like to.
- Was there anything that stood out to you from the film?
- How do you think we as the church can support married couples?
- What are some of the differences in the way marriage is viewed in our culture and in the church?
If you are married:
- What obstacles have you faced with regard to communication in your relationship, and what have you learnt?
- Can you identify different seasons and roles you have been in during your marriage? For example there could be seasons of one partner being the breadwinner, periods of being at home or unemployment. Talk about how your changing roles have impacted you.
- What were your expectations of sex going into marriage?
- Why do you think porn has such a detrimental effect on the health of a marriage?
- What practices have you or could you and your partner put in place to remain faithful to each other within marriage?
- What are some of the ways you build intimacy together? (e.g. date nights, hobbies).
Do you have any experiences of mental health challenges, and how do you support each other’s mental health?
Do you have a community around you that supports you in your marriage? How has this strengthened your marriage?
- How do you think friendships between married and single people can be a healthy norm in church?
- For those who have been married a while, what are you grateful you put in place early on? What do you wish you’d put in place, or would recommend to others?
- What are some of the values that you have built your marriage on? Did you talk about and decide these together How have they shaped your marriage?
- What do you think are the most common things married couples clash over? How did/are you finding ways to talk about those things?
- What has surprised you most about marriage?
If you are single:
As a single person watching this, has anything challenged your perception of marriage?
How could single people in the church support married couples?
To what extent do you agree with the idea that there is “the one”? How does this impact the way you date?
How has this discussion provoked or inspired you as you think about emotional and sexual intimacy?
You may want to end your discussion time by praying for one another. You could do this in pairs or small groups, and provide an opportunity for people to share anything they would like prayer for.
You could end your time of prayer by praying the below:
Thank You for Your unconditional love that surrounds each one of us.
Thank You for the gift of marriage and way it reflects Your love and intimacy with us.
Holy Spirit, would You strengthen our marriages, and help us be the kind of community who share in each other’s burdens and joys, and talk honestly about how we’re doing.
Would You heal us in our disappointments, help us celebrate in our joy, and fill our hearts with hope in every season.
In Jesus’ name,
Check out our previous video and discussion guide, 'A conversation on singleness.'Watch
Coming soon - our next discussion guide will be called 'A conversation on parenting.'
Find out more about The Marriage Course starting Friday 6th MayFind out more