Thursday, March 8, 2012

Every Womans Marriage

I recently finished leading a women's group on the book Every Woman's Marriage.  While I've mentioned this book on my blog before (see post here), I thought I'd share with you how it worked when used in a group...

I, along with 7 other women, decided to go through this book together in order to strengthen our marriages and learn from/support each other through the discussions.  We all agreed that Shannon Ethridge's transparency and honesty made this book unique and kept our interest.  I especially like the way the book focuses on our role as women. She writes "The bottom line is this: Even if you firmly believe that 95 percent of the issues in your marriage are your husband's fault, are you willing to focus on the 5 percent that you do have control over?"  My goal for this group was to talk about what we can do and how we can change our perspective, not to sit and whine over what we wish our husbands did differently.  This book contains questions for personal reflection, and questions for group discussion that helped us do that.

The workbook is split into 8 chapters, going over 2-3 chapters of reading in each one.  We met every other week so as not to burden our schedules.  But I found that women were so into the book that they couldn't help but read ahead!  This could easily be done as a weekly study since the chapters are relatively short and interesting.  The one caution I will give is that the last 2 workbook chapters are largely focused on sex.  While the information is absolutely beneficial for a woman to read, many of the discussion questions are sensitive in nature and may be hard to discuss with anyone other than your closest girlfriends.  I found myself picking and choosing carefully so that I wasn't met with empty stares and shifty eyes :)  Overall, I think we benefited from the material presented and the discussions that followed.  This is a great resource!

I also wanted to share how I conducted "prayer time" at the end since it seemed to work well.  I don't like the awkward silences that can occur when praying as a group.  As a leader you want to allow people plenty of time to pray if they choose to, but how much silence should be allowed before jumping in to close it up?  What we did is stand/sit in a circle and hold hands.  Someone starts and squeezes the hand of the next person when she is done.  The next person can either pray out loud or in silence and then sqeezes the next hand.  You know everyone has had opportunity when the sqeeze gets back to the person who began. 

Does anyone have any other women's group studies to recommend?

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