Group Study Guide for

Monday Marriage:

[Cover of Kaufmans' Monday Marriage]

Celebrating the Ordinary

by Gerald W. and L. Marlene Kaufman

Arranged for 9 Sessions

This Study Guide is also available for download as a Word document or in PDF Acrobat format.

See also Monday Marriage in the MennoMedia online catalog.

Sessions One to Four Sessions Five to Nine

Chapter 5: Communicating Imperfectly

Main Ideas:
There is no perfect way to communicate. Spouses often communicate quite differently from each other. Some people are more skillful with words, while others are skillful at communicating with touch or with acts of kindness. We need to be good stewards of our words. Too many can inhibit communication. Harsh words can be hurtful. Most of the ways we communicate have little to do with words. Listening with both ears is helpful. Accepting each other’s style of communicating is important.

Discussion:

  1. Shouldn’t talking things over thoroughly make things better?
  2. Aren’t words the best way to get your point across?
  3. Should the spouse who talks too much learn to talk less and the quiet one learn to speak up?
  4. Are you stuck with your communication styles? If so, then what?
  5. Shouldn’t every couple be required to take classes on how to talk better?
  6. What works well for you and what doesn’t?

Chapter 6: Honoring the Marital Covenant

Main Ideas:
We live in a culture that no longer takes the marital covenant seriously. Because more people see marriage as just a legal contract, divorce has become an option to them. The idea of marital permanence seems outdated. Some spouses feel that it restricts the freedom to pursue personal happiness. The church needs to encourage personal, spiritual, and marital maturity especially in upholding the marital covenant. It invites couples to an attitude of humility and service.

Discussion:

  1. Are there some marriages that can’t/shouldn’t be kept together?
  2. What does breaking their covenant mean?
  3. What if both spouses aren’t equally committed to the covenant?
  4. What can the church/family/friends do when they see harmful patterns in a marriage?
  5. What can you do to increase the levels of maturity in your lifestyles?
  6. Does sacrifice/service/submission to a spouse mean giving up personal identity/rights?

Chapter 7: Keeping Work in Its Place

Main Ideas:
While work is important for financial and emotional reasons it can also be hazardous to marriage. The long hours demanded from work make us tired, frustrated, and leave little energy for our spouse. It is even more significant in dual income marriages. Additional risks now come from gender-integrated workplaces, especially when workers travel together or are in tasks that require workers to be in close contact. Some jobs create identities that influence the way spouses relate to each other at home. Spouses need to limit the ways their work influences their marriage.

Discussion:

  1. Is it ever right to change jobs/careers for the sake of the marriage?
  2. Especially if it means downsizing lifestyle?
  3. Is it realistic to place marriage above career?
  4. Is career success more important than anything else?
  5. Are there times that both spouses shouldn’t work full-time?
  6. What should spouses do when their job requires mixed-gender travel?
  7. How can spouses who are, say, teachers not be teachers at home?

Chapter 8: Taking Control of Free Time

Main Ideas:
We live in a world that fills every free moment with activity. That may be scheduled events for us and/or our children. Events like competitive sports, music, committee meetings, bowling leagues, and many other things. We also fill our free time with TV, reading, hobbies, or the computer. All of these activities steal time and focus from the marriage. Spouses have to reclaim their free time. Some may need accountability partners to help them recover from their busyness addiction.

Discussion:

  1. Is it good for you and your children to be involved in activities because they stretch your minds and bodies, make friends, and do good things for your church and community?
  2. Is it okay to watch a little TV to relax? Especially if it is a good program?
  3. Isn’t it true that you can get useful information when you surf the net?
  4. Do you really need somebody else to tell you how to spend your free time?
  5. How can you know if your activities are harmful?
  6. If activities make you happy personally will that make you a better spouse?

Epilogue: Monday Morning

Main Ideas:
This is a summary of the entire book presented with many symbols and metaphors. It is subtitled “a homily” as a way of inviting the reader to a higher view of marriage. Our culture consistently devalues marriage leaving behind a trail of brokenness—much of it avoidable. The book reassures couples that it is good to have an “ordinary marriage.” And that marriage doesn’t need continuous critiquing or “work.”

Discussion:

  1. Have group members reflect on what they have learned from the book and from each other.
  2. Has accepting the reality of marriage made you more comfortable with your spouse?
  3. Have you become excited about your “ordinary” relationship? Why?
  4. Have you increased your desire to become servants to each other?
  5. To what extent are you able to reject the hype and individualism of pop culture?
  6. We hope you will join us in saying that Monday Marriage is good.
MennoMedia Herald Press Job Openings Donate Contact Us Staff Directory