When we gather as a group, these are some ways we ensure the best group discussion:
We make the circle safe by staying honest and transparent - leave the masks at the door.
We keep it inside the circle. Each person’s story is theirs alone to share.
We look to the Bible for wisdom and truth, and work together to let it shape how we see the world.
We don’t try to fix each other in front of each other or give unsolicited advice. We lovingly save hard conversations for private moments.
We respect each others’ time by starting and ending when we say we will.
We believe that in Jesus Christ, there is hope for everyone.
We all have relationships… which means we all have relationship issues. From single to dating to marriage to single again… we’ve all got a lot to figure out.
Taylor Hunt started the series by reframing what it means to date great- and it starts before we date. Singleness is our chance to be whole people that are rooted in our true identity as children of God. And when we start looking from that foundation, we can look past the dating myths we’ve all been told and choose to trust God’s wisdom instead.
Connect with each other
Think about what our culture believes about marriage and romantic relationships - what messages did you grow up with? How has that message changed over time?
Connect with the Message
Single is not a less-than life
Taylor said that our culture has bought into the myth that single is a less-than life, and that romantic relationships are what define a full and complete life.
Would you agree that our culture idolizes romantic relationships and expects them to fulfill us? How has that affected your own dating life and relationships?
The church as a family
In the creation story in Genesis, we see God say “it is not good for man to be alone”. But we’ve taken that too far and changed it to “it is not good for man to be single”. We were created for relationships, but not necessarily for romantic ones.
Jesus’ vision for the church was always to be a family for those who don’t have it. If that’s true, what real-life implications does that have for each of us?
If you were single for your whole adult life, what would you hope for from the church? (the people, not the organization)
Myth: WITH determines WORTH
Anyone can be with someone if you set your standards low enough, and marriage and romantic relationships are not the final step on our path to fulfillment.
How has who you’re with (or without) affected your own self-worth? Why is it so hard for us to stop romantic relationships fro determining our worth?
Myth: Characteristics > Character
It is so easy to get caught up in characteristics when dating or even making marriage work. We think that characteristics determine compatibility and relationship success. But character is what lasts - and what we actually live with when we go the distance with someone.
How would you define the difference between characteristics and character? Where do you have trouble focusing on characteristics over character?
not just a dating problem!
Don’t get caught in the trap… this question (and the rest of them too) is not just for singles who are dating!
It’s just as important for married couples to understand this! All the time, married couples get caught in the trap of becoming discontent or frustrated with their spouse’s characteristics… and they start looking elsewhere for someone more “compatible”.
But it’s STILL all about character! The best marriage happens when a couple is focused on bringing out the absolute best character in the other. That’s what marriage was made for!
Decide to Date Great
When we do decide to date great (or keep dating our spouse great), we need a plan! And it’s not a plan for how to date so-and-so and make it work. It’s a plan for what a healthy and God-honoring dating relationship looks like in general.
Have you ever started a relationship with a plan to date great - a goal for honoring God and each other? What happens when you don’t start with that plan?
What needs to be in your plan right now? What’s stopping you from intentionally making that plan to date (or keep dating) great right now?
Myth: You are just a body
One of the most dangerous myths in our culture is that sex is just a physical act - and much of it stems from our distrust in God’s wisdom around how He created sex and what it’s for.
Physical boundaries aren’t a sacrifice - they’re an investment in your future marriage, your future kids, and your future self. How have you seen a lack of physical boundaries in dating take a relational, emotional, or spiritual toll on you?
Is it hard for you to trust God’s wisdom around our bodies and sex? What would be the biggest challenges if you decided to follow God’s design for sex only in a committed marriage relationship?
No matter what your past says, how you’ve failed, or what’s going on currently, today is the day that God asks us to trust him and begin again. We are forgiven, free, and able to live and date in a new way.
Where do you need to choose to begin again? Do you need to think different about singleness and act as family to your single friends? Do you need to redefine what you’re looking for in someone’s character instead of characteristics? Or do you need to reframe how you view your body and God’s design for sex?
What step can you take in that direction this week - and how can the group help you do it?
READ. PRAY. DO.
Work your way through all of 1 Corinthians this month during this series! When Paul wrote them this letter, there was a huge host of problems the church was experiences - and his chapter on “love” is sort of the pinnacle of the letter! Many of their problems dealt with not being able to see their relationships of all kinds through the new lens that Jesus offers us. Check out this intro video and start reading!
Pray this prayer on your own, or use it to kickstart your own personal prayer time.
Father, help me break free from what the world has told me.
Help me see myself how you see me - as your fully loved child.
Help me define my worth because YOU are with me - and nothing else.
Help me see the single life as a full and valuable life, and act as true family for the singles around me.
Help me understand the high price you paid for me so that I can value my body and soul like you do - as priceless and deserving of honor, commitment, and real love.
Thank you for a love that covers all my sin, forgives my past, and is patient with everything in me that pushes against your wisdom.
When Paul wrote to the church in Corinth (1 Corinthians 13), he called the Christ followers there to a whole different kind of love. He called the church to not wait for love, find love, or fall into it. He called them to become love - just as Jesus had become love for them.
So put your name in these blanks and starting asking God to help you become love in tangible ways. Try focusing on one a day or every few days, and watch how God starts shaping you into a person that embodies love for the world to see!