Thank you for leading a group of women through the Awaken-Love Video Class. You can lead a class as small as two women or as large as fifteen women through the study using the video series. Your main role as a facilitator is to create a safe environment for women to share. Take some time to review the tips below.
How to Create a Safe and Warm Environment
- Keep the discussion focused on the women in the class and the steps that they can take.
- Be sensitive to the fact that the topic of sex may be painful for some women in your class. They may have past sexual abuse, a husband that struggles with porn, a low drive husband, or some other challenging situation.
- Constantly remind women of God’s power, healing, forgiveness, and redemption.
- Don’t be afraid to interrupt class to pray over something or someone. You cannot change things, only God can.
- Always give husbands the benefit of the doubt – for example – a husband may say he “needs sex” because he actually misses his wife, feels disconnected, or wants to love his wife.
- Gracefully accept that we may all be in different places but God wants us to move toward His design.
- Share your own struggles and challenges when it is a benefit to someone else.
- Always look for opportunities to point back to our relationship with and dependence on God.
- No wine or alcohol during class – we need to keep our heads on straight.
- In order to be beyond reproach, Awaken-Love must not be linked to selling any products – including vibrators, marital aids and health supplements. No one should bring these items to class for demonstration or sale.
- Use nametags and learn each other’s first names.
- Be respectful of each other’s time by starting and ending class on time.
- Keep the class confidential; what is discussed in class goes nowhere else.
Just like leading any small group, it is important that you take time to shepherd the women in your class. Women should be sent a welcome email the week before the class begins. A sample email is provided. If they miss a class, then you should follow up and check in with them. Throughout the class, encourage them, and even offer to meet one-on-one if they would like to talk in private. Don’t expect that you will have the answers, simply listen to them, offer to help find additional resources and pray for them. What you are doing is real ministry in one of the most vulnerable areas of a woman’s life.
You may want to compile a list of local resources in advance of your class beginning. Check with your local crisis pregnancy center and/or the care ministry at your church for recommendations for Bible studies (e.g. Path to Sexual Healing, Shelter from the Storm: Hope for Survivors of Sexual Abuse), support groups, ministries (e.g. Celebrate Recovery, ReEngage, etc.) and/or counselors for women who may need additional support. You may not need this information, but it is helpful to have it on hand in case it is needed. A basic list of healing resources is in the back of the Awaken-Love curriculum.
The Awaken-Love study follows a teaching progression that builds. It is very important to watch the videos in order. Discussion prompts are built into the videos, but if you want to pause the videos in other places to talk, then feel free. In Weeks 5 and 6 we purposely address some delicate subjects because we believe wives are dealing with these areas and we want to educate and equip them to make good choices. Please resist skipping over video sections that you are less comfortable with. Weekly Video Info Sheets are available in the Facilitator Resources. Below is a basic outline, including the bigger take-aways, of the six week Awaken-Love study.
Week 1 – What is Intimacy?
- God created sex just as much for wives as for husbands.
- Define intimacy and begin to explore the relationships between intimacy in marriage and intimacy with God, and our sexuality and our spirituality.
Week 2 – God’s View of Sex
- Always go to the Bible for God’s design for sex – what it looks like, what we enjoy, when we engage, etc.
- The importance of engaging our mind and the permission to do it.
Week 3 – Naked and Unashamed
- God desires us to be free in our marriage bed.
- God is a God that heals, forgives and makes us new.
- We must constantly guard against lies about sex.
- We must constantly pray about baggage as it is revealed.
- Realize that God made you absolutely unique and beautiful.
- We must receive our husband’s affirmation of our beauty and learn to enjoy their eyes on our body.
Week 4 – Boundaries, Communication, Exploring the Senses, & Romantic Bedroom
- For boundaries – go the source – God’s design, be discerning of the Holy Spirit for your marriage.
- Communication is how we “know” each other.
- Focusing on one of the senses can be one of the most effective ways to get out of our head during sex.
- Your bedroom should help you transform from ___________to lover.
Week 5 – How Our Body Works
- God designed our bodies exactly like He wanted – complicated, tricky, and mysterious – so that it would be a lifetime of getting to know each other.
- Our bodies have amazing capabilities.
Week 6 – How His Body Works, Frequency, Date Ideas
- We have the honor of stretching our husbands to more than on/off.
- Increased frequency starts with intentional choices and can become a craving.
- Create memories by being creative.
- God wants you to have a passionate marriage and a passionate love affair with Him.
Song of Songs
Each week, the beginning of class will start with Song of Songs. The entire book will be covered over the 6 week class. The roles in the passage should be divided up so that different people read the different parts each week. Typically, the Lover is his part, the Beloved is her part, and the friends, young women or young men is the third part. The women should read the parts out loud and then the entire class can spend some time discussing the passage. Try to encourage thinking outside of the box. Poetry can have multiple interpretations. The video will follow up with teaching to help the class understand the passages.
The mixer questions are designed to help women understand themselves and to help them find their voice in the class. We are all different and class needs to be a judgement free zone. In order to speed the process, we suggest you go around the room. Women are always free to pass if they would like. Answers should be brief and to the point so that everyone has a chance to share.
In each video, there will also be other discussion prompts. Allow people that have something to contribute to share. Discern when quieter women need to be asked, “What are you thinking?” Encourage the women in your class to dig deep and to not be afraid to share their thoughts.
We desire a lot of real and respectful discussion that glorifies God. It is important that discussions are sensitive to everyone – extending love and grace, not displaying judgement or shock. Don’t assume everyone is the same and enjoys the same things. Our sexuality is as individual as a fingerprint. Women should not say anything about their spouse that they wouldn’t say in front of him.
During Week 3, there will be an extended time of the class participants sharing a piece of baggage that they carry. Women share some very vulnerable things. Most likely the night will hold some tears, prayer, encouragement and laughter. You probably should have a box of Kleenex handy. Please be prepared to share first with the class. Share in respectful ways, but be authentic and real. Focus on how the baggage has impacted your marriage, steps that have been taken toward healing and how God has shown up. When you are done, go around the room and give the women in your class an opportunity to share. Discern whether they need prayer on the spot, need to have conversations with their spouse, need to ask God for what they want while the class joins in agreement, or should just be thanked for sharing. After you are done, pray and thank God for this Holy time and praise Him for who He is.
A link to an article that compliments the curriculum will be emailed to everyone in your class each day – beginning the day after your first meeting and ending the day before your last meeting. The articles help keep sex on our mind and prepare women for the next class discussion time. Women may unsubscribe from the articles at any time by clicking on the “Unsubscribe” link at the bottom of the emails.
There are also four Husband Homework assignments that will be sent via email to everyone in your class. Women should forward these emails to their husband without clicking on the links in the emails. It is important that husbands know they have the freedom to choose to complete or not complete the assignments. The assignments are sent in Weeks 3 through 6.
Every participant in your class will need a copy of the books Sheet Music by Kevin Lehman and Intimate Issues by Linda Dillow and Lorraine Pintus. The facilitator may purchase the books and be reimbursed by the women in the study, ask every woman in the study to purchase her own books or whatever other arrangement works for your class. Both used and new copies of the books will be fine. For your convenience, the books are available for purchase through Amazon on our website.
You will need a bag of Dove Dark Chocolates or other treats for an exercise during Week 4.
If the women in your class do not know one another, then consider getting name tags for at least the first couple of weeks.
If you have any questions about the curriculum, format, or how to address a woman’s question as you are facilitating, then you can submit them online in the Facilitator Discussion Forum. Questions regarding the specific registration information for your video class can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Leading a group of women through the Awaken-Love class is an amazing privilege. You will see God move as light bulbs go on and marriages come alive. Be prepared that class discussions may also bring to light situations that feel hopeless or frustrating. You need to understand that absolutely nothing you do can change someone – only God can change them or their spouse. Your role is to listen, pray and point them to additional resources if needed. Be prayerful in everything that you do and offer God’s truth, grace and hope. Stay connected to your husband, have Godly girlfriends that will pray for you and cling to God. He is good.
Blessings to you as you begin this journey,