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.
To finish up the series Taylor Hunt and Daylie Parks interviewed Mike and Debbie Breaux on all things marriage and staying in love! They debunked the idea that soulmates complete each other and talked about all the ways they’ve learned to put each other’s needs first, check their egos at the door, and submit to each other out of reverence for Christ.
Each question can be gold mine
Remember… the questions are never checkboxes to be completed! And that’s especially hard when there is SO much great content to talk about! But resist the temptation to get through them all - instead aim to have the most organic and helpful conversation possible, using the questions as starting points.
Two ideas for how to land in the right spot:
1. PREPARE BEFOREHAND
…so you can think through possible follow-up questions and which questions will land best with your group.
2. ASK THE GROUP WHAT STOOD OUT
…then use the question that most relates to provide some structure around their thoughts.
Connect with each other
Who in your life has set your gold standard for marriage? What makes their marriage so great?
Connect with the Message
How much do you know about your own personality type? What about some of the people close to you?
Think about a significant relationship that you’re in - what does it look like practically for you to check your ego at the door in order to serve and understand the other person? How would that help you appreciate the other person’s uniqueness more?
read the room and customize
You know your group - which means you have the final say on how you ask a question! When we’re talking specifically about relationships, think carefully about what questions are best for married couples, which are best for singles/dating, and which need some simple customization to fit anyone.
Also, be aware that sometimes you can stumble onto real live conflict between couples in a group setting… so be mindful! We want to be honest and vulnerable, but at the same time, we don’t want to unearth sensitive topics between couples in a discussion. Choose questions wisely, split guys and girls if it’d be helpful, and quickly move on if necessary!
Renewed by God
Healthy relationships are made up of healthy people. Debbie said that when you are both on individual journeys to understand what God says about you, you are on the path toward wholeness - because He is the only one that give us the unfailing love we need.
What does that journey look like for you individually?
What happens to your relationship when you count on the other to give you the unfailing love that only God can give?
Conflict is supposed to be normal and healthy - when you don’t have it, someone’s not being truthful and real. Debbie said that “healthy conflict is the doorway to the deepest levels of intimacy and connection, when you learn to fight fair.” The difference happens when we seek to understand instead of seek to be heard.
Are you more likely to passively avoid conflict or engage quickly in explosive conflict? Are you similar or different than your significant other?
Mike and Debbie talked about several tangible ways to seek understanding in the midst of conflict. What can you make
Some reminders of what they said:
Patience is the ability to count down before blasting off
Take a walk, take some space, come back calm
Take “winning” off the table - it’s not the goal
Make “always” and “never” off-limits
Submission is often thought of in relation to abuse and oppression. But healthy biblical submission is a beautiful concept closely related to humility. Charles Spurgeon even said that “non-submission is the root of all sin” - it’s pride that convinces us to fight for ourselves instead of fighting for each other. Healthy submission happens when strong people voluntarily place themselves beneath the other’s needs. (Read Philippians 2:1-11 and Ephesians 5:21-33 for context)
What’s your relationship with the word submission when it comes to
Submission is attaching a high price tag to someone and honoring them well.
Psalm 16:11 says “You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.” The path of life that God has for us is not focused on what we should do, but rather who we should be. And that path becomes more clear when we are primarily focused on being close to God.
What would it look like to place your relationship with God first, above all else?
What’s one thing that is currently standing in the way of a healthy marriage? What in your life threatens to take priority over the health of your marriage?
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, we are all so far from experts on how to love others well. Help us all come to you first for the love that we want, the acceptance we crave, and the safety we need. Help me become whole so that I can bring a whole self to every relationship I step into so that I can be the humble and selfless person you created and rescued me to be.
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!