Present a devotional, Scripture, or theme that leads into prayer. For example, if you were teaching on what love is, you could share the scripture in 1 Corinthians 13, showing a video clip or have someone read the scripture, or share some specific points from that scripture. Options: You can also change the format, having attendees pray in a large group, then in small groups, then all males and all females, etc.
When praying in groups, it is not required that everyone pray out loud, however, you do need to make sure at least one person in each group can. See our leaders page for more information.
Optional: Assign homework, select prayer partners, or plan additional get-togethers, bring in married couples to share testimonies or help prayer, Q&A with married, former married/widowed, engaged, dating couples, for example.
Ideas for Monthly Themes
1. What Does God Say about Marriage?
Biblical definition of marriage
Our roles as men and women in marriage
The importance of being equally yoked—what does this mean?
What is marriage supposed to look like based on the Bible?
How to prepare myself to be married; what are my priorities?
2. What’s Keeping You from Getting Married? Fear of change:
What if she/he changes?
What if I have to move to their home city or vice versa?
What if they expect me to change?
What if I can’t change?
What if they want me to quit my job?
What if I am set too much in my ways?
What if they want me to get rid of my stuff?
What if they want to control the TV? Music? Car? Side of the bed?
Fear of Failure:
What if it doesn’t work out?
What if we can’t communicate?
What if we don’t get a long?
What if they aren’t willing to put in the effort to make it work?
Fear of Rejection:
What if after we are married, the real person comes out and they don't like me?
What if the reason they originally fell in love with me eventually turns them away?
What if they reject my family? Friends?
What if they reject my job/ministry/hobbies?
Fear of Taking Care of Them (or their kids):
What if God has me marry someone older and I have to take care of him/her?
What if I marry someone who is handicapped?
What if he/she gets sick?
What if he/she has chronic health issues?
What if he/she has a sick parent who moves in with us?
What if their ex doesn't pay child support?
3. The Enemy
Attacks and how to handle them
Discerning if it is the enemy
Where and how to bind the enemy
Protection for the future
4. What about Family/Extended Family?
Expectations of family
Accountability of family
Blending in kids/extended family
Family moving back in (boomerang kids and the sandwich generation)
Spending holidays/vacations with relatives or on our own
What are our new family rituals going to be?
Having kids and/or raising grandkids
How often children should visit if they don't live with you?
Dating with kids/marrying with kids/discipline/roles/in-laws
5. What about Our Career/School?
What if they want me to give up my career?
What about staying home to raise children?
What about going to school while married?
Deciding about debt and education (hers, his and kids)
6. How Do I Pick a Mate?
How do I know who to choose?
What qualities have I been looking for?
What qualities does God say I should look for?
Should I pursue as woman or is pursuit a man's job?
How long should we be friends first before dating?
How long should we date before either breaking it off or making marriage commitment?
When should I let my/our kids know we are dating or getting married?
When is it proper to kiss or hold hands?
Whom should we/I be accountable to?
How long should we be engaged?
How involved should my family be?
Should I go on vacations with my boyfriend/girlfriend?
Is it OK to spend the night together?
How much touch is too much touch?
7. What about Budgeting?
How to set up a budget
Paying off past bills or debts before you say I do
How much money do I need to get married?
What if we spend money differently?
Should we have a combined checking account?
What if one of us loses our job?
What about a savings account?
What about credit cards?
Who should pay for the wedding and what part? Who should buy the ring?
What if I own property or have other assets?
Should I set up a pre-nuptial agreement?
Should we stay in one of our current homes or move to a new one?
What about family land/property/jewelry?
Inheritance, if there are kids from previous relationship?
9. The Past
What about prior relationships (no pyscho-ex please?
What about past sin/struggles?
What about past abuse and the need for counseling?
What about unresolved relationships or relationships that need reconciliation?
What about unresolved hurts/issues?
What if I’m dating someone who’s been arrested or even spent time in jail?
What if their family’s past affects our present?
10. Online Dating
Is it okay for a Christian?
When and how to online date
Who should be involved in the search?
What is the right way to date online?
What are the right questions to ask?
What areas of concerns should I have?
When should I quit online dating?
What if one of us struggles with some kind of addiction?
What addictions are deal breakers?
What about getting help?
12. Church Membership/Serving God
What about different beliefs?
What about the same beliefs but different church denominations?
What about the same denomination but variation in maturity?
Who leads the marriage? What does that look like?
How much serving are they doing and what kind?
Their testimony/how they came to know the Lord
How often do they attend church?
Expectations of the future/children
Tithing—how much, how often and whose money?
13. Community Service/Hobbies
What areas do we serve in and why?
How much time volunteering is enough?
How much money and resources should be used?
What are some projects we can do together?
What are some hobbies that could affect our relationship in a bad way?
The importance of waiting to have sex
What does God say about sex/intimacy?
When to touch; where to touch; appropriateness
What if he/she rejects me
Overcoming past sexual relationships
Overcoming past sexual sin; abortion; abuse, STDs
Is masturbation ok before marriage and after?
The perils of cohabitation
Proper relationships with friends of the opposite sex when you’re dating
How do I really feel about myself?
Do I understand who God says I am?
What are the truths about my identity?
What areas of my self-esteem do I struggle with?
When should I get help?
What type of counseling is good before marriage?
How do I know if I need to get counseling before marriage, before dating?
When should I get counseling in marriage? Should/Could my counselor be a member of the opposite sex?
How much should I involve family and friends in my counseling?
How do I know which areas I need help in?
What should dating/courtship look like?
How to ask someone out
When I do ask someone out, what is the next step?
What does a dating couple look like?
How often should we have a Determine The Relationship (DTR) talk?
How long should we date before we discuss marriage?
How long should we date before we say, “I love you”?
Who should we involve in our relationships?
How do I know he/she is “the one you should marry”?
How important is it to have another couple to mentor us?
18. Trust Issues
Dealing with previous betrayal
How to handle seeing the end of my parents’ or close friends’ marriages
Acceptances of current issues—health, disease, job/income, debt, home
How much should I share about my past, my family history and other issues?
How and when to communicate
Setting aside time to resolve/discuss
Fighting—what is healthy?
20. Praying for Each Other
When and how often to pray
What kinds of prayers to focus on
Praying together—when and where
Who should be praying for us and/or with us?
21. Chores/Household Responsibilities
Who does what? Define house responsibilities?
How often to clean; how to clean
His versus hers ways of doing things ie Toilet seats up or down
What to do when we have different ways of doing things
Cooking styles; when and how often to eat
Handling diverse shopping styles and/or living styles
Taking care of myself
Exercise; how often
What does a friendship look like?
Same sex and opposite sex friends
Character traits of a great friend
When friendships change in regards to future marriage
How much time should we spend with friends?
Can an ex be a friend?
24. Becoming the Right Person to Marry the Right Person
What does this look like?
What are some areas we should work on now?
When should we get some counseling to help in this area?
25. Marriage 101
What does Christian marriage look like?
Reality vs. fairy tale
Past marriage—what did you learn?
What we can learn from the perspective of existing couples
What do I wish I had known?
Ways to pray once we’re engaged and during the first year of marriage
26. What Are Your Deal Breakers?
They have kids
They don't have a college degree; enough education