We are continuing on with the Sunday Series, again these books are called The Homebuilder Couples Series (click to order). They are meant to be led devotional style together or in a group of couples. My husband and I choose to do them together once a week. It helps us understand each other and improve our communication. Marriage is something that should always be changing and growing stronger. This takes actual work. It doesn't just magically happen. Couples have to decide that complacency isn't okay and strive to become everything God intended for them. This is just one way to start and continue that process in your own relationship or marriage.
Today we are going to discuss:
so grab some coffee, grab your bible, and grab your honey to participate with you!
warm-up: Best Friends
discuss these questions between yourselves or your group. Yes, this is an icebreaker! Go with it!
- who was your best friend when you were growing up? what made you close?
- think about someone who helped you make the transition to a new school, job, neighborhood or church. What did that person do that helped you most?
- what's the closest group or team that you've been a part of?
Blueprints: A Controlling Influence
1. One of the greatest human needs is to be unconditionally loved and accepted. Unfortunately, fear of rejection is a controlling influence in many marriages and lives. Read Genesis 3:1-20. In this passage Adam and Eve hid from God. What did they fear? How common do you think this fear is today?
2.Why do people fear rejection?
3. What are some ways that fear and rejection can affect a marriage relationship?
4. Read Ephesians 2:4-7. What do you find in these verses about your ultimate acceptance by God?
5. Read Genesis 2:21-24. What components of acceptance do you see in these verses? How do these verses demonstrate Adam's commitment to acceptance?
6. While it may be true that opposites attract, it is also true that the differences that first attracted you to your spouse can later become sources of aggravation.
- what are some ways, other than physically that you and your spouse are different?
- how have you seen God use your differences in your marriage?
7. What is one way you can demonstrate your commitment to accepting your spouse?
Demonstration of Love
As you have probably already discovered, words or acts that communicate love and acceptance to you don't always communicate the same message to your spouse. You may have to change the way you convey your message so that he or she can feel loved and accepted.
8. Review the following elements of love taken from 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 and answer the questions that follow. (Answer individually first, then share your answers together).
is patient keeps no record of wrongs
is kind does not delight in evil
does not envy rejoices with the truth
does not boast always protects
is not proud always trusts
is not rude always hopes
is not self seeking always perseveres
is not easily angered never fails
- Which elements of love in this list is your spouse particularly good at demonstrating? Specifically, what does he or she say that makes you feel this way?
- What element of love do you desire to do a better job of expressing toward your spouse? What is one way you could begin to do that?
9. Read 1 John 4:18. How does this verse describe the effect of love?
Answer these questions on your own.
1. What is the most meaningful of expression of love that your spouse has shown you?
2. What is one way that your souse expresses love and acceptance that you appreciate?
3. In what areas of your life are you feeling confident and accepted right now?
4. In what areas are you fearful or afraid of rejection? What effect is it having on you?
5. In what way, if any, are you making it difficult for your spouse to be more transparent with you?
6. How can you better express to your spouse the kind of love that "casts out fear"? (1 John 4:18)
7. How would you like your spouse to pray for you? List at least three things.
okay, now you two can come back together to answer the final questions together!
1. Share your results with each other.
2. Share one insight you have gained about your spouse from this session.
3. Together read Romans 15:7. How are doing at accepting each other?
4. Finish by praying for each other in the areas that you noted above. Thank God for your spouse.
As an extra, you may want to consider doing this additional exercise to reinforce your commitment to one another. On a separate piece of paper, write out a one or two paragraph statement expressing love, commitment and acceptance of your spouse. Be sure to include a statement about casting out fear of rejection. Sign, date and deliver your note.
Part 3 Next Sunday!