.           all rights belong to Tanis Harms –
.             refer to

MARRIAGE SUPPORT GROUP – written by Tanis Harms
TOPIC:        relationships
SCRIPTURE:    Prov.5:18; 1Cor.13:1-13;
.             Eph.4:25-22, 5:15-32
Style:        comedy/conversation: three couples attend
.             a marriage support group to learn from
.             each other’s experiences
Cast:         COUNSELOR, BILL & SANDY,
.             DAN & KAITLYN, ANDY & RACHEL
Set & Props:  7 chairs


(COUNSELOR and the couples sit down in semi-circle.)

COUNSELOR     Everyone! Welcome to the marriage
.             support group-

BILL          (angrily to SANDY)  Support group?!
.             You said this was a cheese-tasting party.

SANDY         (to BILL)  Sorry.  But- you refused
.             to even consider marriage counseling-

BILL          (stands up)  I’m out of here.

DAN           Are you a quitter?

BILL          I never quit anything!

DAN           You’re quitting this support group.

BILL          I never started!  And FYI - I’m never
.             going to quit on our marriage.
.             She is stuck with me forever – as is.

SANDY         But you’ve quit on US, Bill.

BILL          “US” - is the marriage!

COUNSELOR     Actually, even if you stay in the marriage
.             but you do not keep working
.             on the relationship, that is the same
.             as quitting the “us” part of marriage.
.                                                       2
(BILL sits back down with great skepticism.)

BILL          Ooookay, I’m listening.

COUNSELOR     This support group is actually more than
.             just listening.  It’s also sharing.
.             This way we can learn from each other.
.             And sometimes we’re able to see ourselves
.             better through the eyes of other people.

DAN           Oh-oh-oh!  Then let me start by saying-
.             (to BILL) -YOU - sound very selfish-

COUNSELOR     Ah, how about if you start with yourself?

DAN           Ohhhh...  okay.  (clears throat)
.             Hi, I’m Dan, and, I’m a recovering husband-

(KAITLYN swings a dirty look over at DAN.)

ANDY          (chiding)  Ohhhh, you’re in trouble now.

DAN           And by recovering – I mean – I’m working
.             on improving myself.

ANDY          (leaning over)  Good save!

DAN           I mean it.  I came to the realization
.             that I always need to be improving –
.             as a husband, a father, and, well,
.             just as a man in general.
.             I can only control myself.

COUNSELOR     You bring up an excellent point, Dan.

DAN           Thank you.  I mean, how else could I even
.             THINK about controlling my wife and kids?
.             Huh?  When I do good– they can feel guilty-

ANDY          Ugh!  So close.

COUNSELOR     Doing and saying good things with
.             the motive of controlling others is –
.             still wrong.

KAITLYN       Thank you!
.                                                       3
DAN           (to KAITLYN)  Oh!  And what about
.             all your – crying – and-and –
.             “Oh, I have to do everything around here”
.             even when I have taken the garbage out.

ANDY          Dude!  Do all women do that?

(RACHEL drops her jaw at this statement with a gasp.)

COUNSELOR     All forms of manipulation are wrong.

BILL          So YEAH, exactly.  Even when the wife says,
.             “Oh honey, how sweet.  I LOVE when you
.             surprise me like that.”

(Confused, ALL stop to look at BILL.)

COUNSELOR     Tell us, Bill, how is that wrong?

BILL          Well, it’s like, she’s complimenting me
.             and making me feel all good about being
.             thoughtful and nice... She’s just-
.             trying to get me to be all thoughtful
.             and nice AGAIN!  If it were up to her,
.             it would be ALL THE TIME...

(ALL still stare at BILL.)

BILL          Right?

ANDY          Dude, what if we were always thoughtful
.             and nice.  Things would probably be – nice!

SANDY         How wonderful with THAT be?

BILL          But the wives are supposed to obey, yes?

COUNSELOR     The word is “submit” – and actually –
.             all believers are supposed to submit
.             to each other.

BILL          Husbands are supposed to obey the wives?
.             I’m not letting her boss me around.
.             I get enough of that at work.

COUNSELOR     Does anyone else have thoughts on this?
.                                                       4
(HUSBANDS go into sulking and thinking poses.)

RACHEL        Maybe it’s not so much about who’s the boss
.             and MORE about working together and
.             respecting each other.

KAITLYN       But the home is MY area.  There’s no way
.             Dan is going to dictate how I run things
.             there.  What I say – goes!

BILL          (making a whip-sound to DAN)
.             Consider yourself a whipped man.

ANDY          I suppose I’m the lucky one, then.
.             My wife lets me do whatever I want.

RACHEL        But I WANT you to step up and care
.             about the family, and HELP run the home
.             responsibly.  Sometimes I feel more like
.             your mother, than your wife.

DAN           Ouch!

ANDY          Oh.  I just assumed it was the wife’s job
.             to nurture the husband and children.

BILL          Exactly!  My thoughts exactly!

RACHEL        (to ANDY)  They’re your children, also.
.             You NEED to be a father to your children.
.             I cannot be both parents!...
.             You complain about how YOUR father was
.             never there for you.  Do you really
.             want our children to feel that way too?

ANDY          Ohhh.  No.  So it’s not so much about
.             YOU getting a break from the kids –
.             as it is me spending time with our kids.

SANDY         THAT’S what I’m talking about!

BILL          I thought this was about the marriage
.             relationship, and not about being a father?

COUNSELOR     It’s all connected.  Or am I wrong, ladies?

SANDY         It would actually be very romantic        5
.             to see you take an interest in the kids,
.             as well as me.

BILL          Me-me-me!  I knew it would come back
.             to that.

DAN           Aren’t us husbands doing the same thing?

COUNSELOR     When kids see that their parents
.             are getting along, they feel more secure.
.             And it’s even more secure - when God is
.             the glue – the foundation of both parents-
.             the key to any successful relationship!

BILL          I do not get how that works.

SANDY         Have you forgotten what the pastor
.             read at our wedding?

BILL          That was a long time ago.

KAITLYN       Most pastors read the scripture from
.             1 Corinthians chapter 13.  Love is-

SANDY         A sacrificial love!

BILL          I really do not want to lose myself.

DAN           Actually, I think it’s more about
.             losing our pride.

ANDY          The big ego-check!

KAITLYN       Well, you cannot have reconciliation
.             without apologies and forgiveness.

SANDY         Although, if the other person is
.             not willing to apologize, then one still
.             needs to forgive them anyway; otherwise,
.             you just become angry and bitter.

BILL          Is this because I forget to buy you
.             something for your Birthdays, oh,
.             or for Valentine’s Day?

ANDY          Dude, how have you survived this long?
.                                                       6
BILL          I just don’t see the point.  They’re
.             all just random days of the year.
.             I’m very busy providing for EVERY day. And-
.             (logically) -I don’t need or expect
.             anything special from you on those days.

KAITLYN       Well then, do you ever do something
.             special for her on other “random” days?

(BILL and SANDY both sit very still.)

DAN           That would be a “no.”

ANDY          Dude, how have you survived this long?

BILL          I just don’t see the point.

KAITLYN       It’s called keeping the romance alive.
.             You have to keep dating each other.

RACHEL        It’s nice to celebrate what you have.

BILL          It’s always about money!  You know,
.             I work very hard to support the family,
.             and what thanks do I get?

SANDY         You’re right.  I always expect you
.             to thank me for the work that I do,
.             but - I really need to thank you
.             for all your hard work.

BILL          You’re welcome!

ANDY          Dude!  I still don’t think that gets
.             you off the hook for forgetting Birthdays
.             and Valentine’s Day.

BILL          Well, I still don’t see why that’s
.             so important.  Maybe if you could put it
.             in a way that I can understand...

(WIVES all go into thinking poses.)

BILL          How much I spend should not have to equal
.             how much I feel.

(RACHEL suddenly gets an idea.)                         7

RACHEL        Exactly!  It’s more about the thought, and
.             the time spent together.  Ah... it’s the –
.             emotional – INVESTMENT!

(KAITLYN adds to the idea.)

KAITLYN       Right!  If you do not INVEST in us -
.             emotionally – how can you expect
.             big returns?

(HUSBANDS all “ahhhh” their understanding.)

SANDY         You’ll be happier – when we’re happier.

(HUSBANDS become suspicious again.)

COUSELOR      You should have quit while you were ahead.

KAITLYN       Well, by that we mean - we are happier
.             when the relationship is working in unity.
.             When we can hear and see that you love us.

BILL          And THAT’S - a lot - of work.

SANDY         Investment!

COUNSELOR     Relationships ARE work.  Just think,
.             you all hard at your jobs to have good
.             relationships with your bosses, colleagues
.             and clients, why would you NOT want to
.             at least have the same at home -
.             with the person you’re going to spend
.             the rest of your life with?
.             Never stop investing in that.