Just Married Groups

Just Married Groups are designed to help couples set a firm foundation at the outset of marriage. The schedule below assumes you will be together for nine months, meeting every other week. Over the course of eighteen group sessions, you’ll explore a number of marriage-related topics like faith, expectations, and finances.


Recommended Resources

Meetings 1–4

Circle Up

A small group should be a community that supports the spiritual growth of every one of its members. But that's not automatic. To succeed, the leader and group members have to decide to build that kind of community together.

This 4-week study will give you practical approaches to building healthy relationships and pursuing spiritual growth so you can make the most of your new group.

Leader Goals: Cast vision, encourage connection, and communicate the purpose and goal of the group.
Group Task: Complete the Group Agreement.

 

Meeting 5

Empathy

Empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of another. We are not born empathetic. We cultivate empathy by interacting with people through the ups and downs of life. As we laugh and cry with our friends and family, we begin to empathize with them. We can also build empathy through stories as we engage with the thoughts, feelings, and perspectives of those we listen to or read about.

Leader Goals: Facilitate conversation about healthy communication. The first couple (one you think is ready and will do well) tells their story. 
Group Task: At least one couple will tell their story each week until everyone has shared.

MEETING 6

State of Your Marriage

Regularly talking about what’s going on between you and your spouse is one of the best things you can do for your marriage. Most married people operate under the assumption that no news is good news. They think that if their spouse were struggling in some area of the marriage, they’d know about it. But that’s not necessarily the case. What you’re experiencing in your marriage right now may differ significantly from what your spouse is experiencing. If that’s the case, you need to know about it.

Leader Goals: Begin talking about marriage, again being authentic.
Group Tasks: One couple tells their story each week until everyone has shared.

Meetings 7 & 8

The Gospel of Luke

Luke describes how Jesus launched his ministry of good news for the poor and how he brought people from very diverse backgrounds to live together in peace. Luke also documents Jesus' long trip to Jerusalem, mentioning increasing conflict with Israel’s religious leaders along the way. Toward the end of this book, we read that Jesus explains to his disciples that God's plan was always for a suffering Christ to conquer evil through his death and resurrection.

Leader Goals: Engage the group’s spiritual walk; introduce or deepen their time in the Bible and their relationship with God.
Group Task #1: One couple tells their story each week until everyone has shared.
Group Task #2: Encourage the group members to purchase (and even begin reading) The Meaning of Marriage (which you’ll begin discussing in Meeting 10).

Tip: On the off weeks, you can encourage couples to meet for double dates. These off weeks are also good opportunities as leaders to meet with couples one-on-one.

Meeting 9

Spiritual Pathways Assessment

God doesn’t create people in cookie-cutter fashion. Each of us is unique. As a result, different kinds of experiences make us feel closer to God. Spiritual pathways help us identify the ways we most naturally connect with God. There are a total of seven pathways. Most people gravitate toward one or two of them.

Leader Goals: Help each person move toward understanding how they are wired to best connect with God, which ultimately moves them towards greater self-awareness and knowing their spouse better.
Group Task #1: One couple tells their story each week until everyone has shared.
Group Task #2: Purchase The Meaning of Marriage. The author also has a sermon series based on this topic that the nonreaders in your group can purchase instead of reading the book.

Tip: The other assessments on this site are good additional one-week studies.

Meetings 10–15

The Meaning of Marriage

Using the Bible as his guide, coupled with insightful commentary from his wife of thirty-six years, Kathy, Timothy Keller shows that God created marriage to bring us closer to him and to bring us more joy in our lives. It is a glorious relationship that is also the most misunderstood and mysterious. With a clear-eyed understanding of the Bible and meaningful instruction on how to have a successful marriage, The Meaning of Marriage is essential reading for anyone who wants to know God and love more deeply in this life. 

Leader Goals: Dive deep into the theology, purpose, and practice of marriage. We recommend studying weeks 2–6 and 8. Discussion guides for each of these chapters can be located by clicking the button below.
Group Task: Be open, honest, and reflective as you learn more about marriage. 

Tip: If group members are having a hard time getting through the book, encourage them by sending your favorite pages or passages to read.

Meeting 16

Happy Money

If your goal is to find happiness, no amount of money will ever be enough. But this one principle can change the way you view money and help you find peace.

Leader Goal: Help your couples begin talking about and making a plan for their finances.
Group Task: Assign the Personal Growth Plan for homework (see Meeting 17 for PDF).

Tip: Finances can feel very personal and complex. If your group members feel overwhelmed, you may consider a longer study on finances if your group continues past the nine-month track.

Meeting 17

Personal Growth Plan

How will you continue growing afer this group ends? This growth plan helps you identify goals and next steps for personal growth.

Leader Goal: Help your group identify how they will continue growing after this group ends.
Group Task: Share openly about your goals with one another. Ask how you can help.

Meeting 18

Celebration Night

Leader Goals: End well! Celebrate what has happened together. Invite your group members to name their next steps.
Group Task: On your last night together as a Just Married group, spend some time celebrating. Have each person share one memory from the group or how God has grown them through the experience. Have each couple share their next steps for continued involvement in a group. 

Tip: For more information on this topic, check out the Celebrate Change leader training.