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julie portrait3BW[From Julie] We had a great start to our first Real Marriage small group this past Sunday.  Our small group is actually much larger than we were anticipating which is encouraging.  We are hopefully that despite the large size, communication within the group will not suffer.  Many of the couples that were there last Sunday have participated in the Peasant Princess small groups in the past and are comfortable discussing their marriages.

Our first class together was very good with several different people contributing to the conversation.  We have young couples who have been married just a few years, an engaged couple looking forward to their summer wedding, couples with young families and couples with an (almost) empty nest and a couple who have been married for about forty years.  It’s an interesting mix and I’m praying that the class will be a blessing to many marriages.  We’ve got a lot to learn from each other and Real Marriage is providing a great spring-board into some important marital work for our couples to get busy with.

As stated in the leader’s guide, “the hope for real marriage is rooted in the renewal of our spirit and minds.  We need to be renewed by Christ if we are going to be able to see lasting change in our marriages.  This means we must receive the gospel rather than do more.”

The main task this week was to identify our expectations and assumptions going into our marriages.  This could be difficult if you’ve been married for a number of years and have trouble remembering what the challenges were early on in your relationship.  Being able to put words to the assumptions and expectations often reveals the root of many conflicts and disappointments.  Each couple was asked to start thinking and talking about these assumptions in light of the reality of their marriages.  God often uses the most challenging things in our lives to teach us significant lessons.  Lessons that can ultimately make us better partners if we let God shape us into the spouses he wants us to be.

Hopefully many of you reading this have been able to start reading the book.  As you may have noticed the Driscolls spent the first chapter of their book sharing their story.  The struggles they had in their first decade of marriage and how their past influenced their marriage.  Take a good look at your past as a couple and ask God to reveal to you what he desires for your future together.  Read Ephesians 5 and ask God for continual renewal of your mind and spirit as you work on your marriage.  Every healthy marriage proclaims the gospel.  The goal is to have your marriage proclaim the truth.

Next week we will be looking at chapter two so go ahead and read that as a couple.  We won’t be sharing personal comments from the members of the Sunday morning group unless we specifically ask the couple before posting however if any of the members of the group want to share, feel free to comment here on the blog as well as in class.  We really appreciate your involvement and willingness to share.