If your group consists of couples, you have an opportunity to build stronger marriages and families. February is a good month to start with a small group Sweetheart Banquet. It could be a lavish affair held in a private room of a restaurant or a simple potluck depending on the makeup of your group. In any event, red balloons and streamers will make it a more festive occasion.
The newlywed game is a good way to start the fun following the meal.
Switching to a more sentimental mood, any of the following activities will serve as reminders of the blessings that come through marriage.
- Enlist a good reader to share a brief, tender story of romance.
- Provide heart-shaped paper (white with a red border would be ideal) for individuals to write love letters to their mates.
- On heart-shaped paper, ask individuals to write a prayer of thanksgiving to God for their mates.
- Ask each person to answer the question: What first attracted you to your mate?
- Ask each couple to stand facing each other. Lead the couples in repeating their wedding vows. Don't forget to say, "You may kiss the bride."
- Have couples hold hands and bow their heads in prayer. Lead in prayer, asking God to melt away any bitterness between husbands and wives. Seek God's help to forgive any hurts and heal any break in the relationships so that only love flows between husbands and wives. After the prayer, couples may want to embrace and whisper whatever is in their hearts to each other.
During a regular session, one of these or a similar activity may be appropriate when marriage is under discussion.
In addition to strengthening marriages, you can minister to the entire family when an opportunity arises. Keep the following suggestions in mind as good ways to bring generations together.
- If you meet on Sunday morning, invite children or grandchildren of your members for refreshments before returning to their Sunday school class.
- If you meet in a home, have an occasional session with young children. Have the children relate with the adults through "show and tell" like they do at school. You will want to arrange for someone to baby-sit and entertain the children while the meeting is in progress.
- Invite teen children or grandchildren to a party or dinner. Spaghetti or pizza is usually a big hit.
- Invite a teenager from among children or grandchildren to attend a meeting and report on a short-term mission trip, a school event, or any experience that would make a good testimony.
As you keep ministry to families in mind, other ideas will come to you that will help your group members maintain healthy relationships.