BEFORE YOU GATHER
- Familiarize yourself with this Group Discussion Guide.
- If you missed it, CLICK HERE to watch the weekend sermon.
- Read Proverbs 5:15-23, 6:20-35 and Song of Songs 6:3.
- CLICK HERE to see the overall structure of the biblical book of Proverbs.
- Sit in prayerful silence with God for a while, and ask the Holy Spirit if there is anything that he wants you to share during your group’s time together.
RESOURCES FOR A PERSONAL RESPONSE
Every week, we’ll suggest some resources that can help you and others pursue a life of wholeness, transparency, recovery, and healing.
- A GREAT READ: You & Me Forever: Marriage in Light of Eternity, by Francis & Lisa Chan
- OTHER NEXT STEPS:
- Search for a Marriage/Couples Group that you and your spouse can join: http://cornerstoneweb.org/group-finder/
- Take part in the Marriage Community Dinner at the Walnut Creek campus on September 14.
- Go with your spouse to the “Weekend To Remember” Marriage Retreat on November 10-12:
- Reach out to your Campus Pastor for a coffee meet-up, where they can provide counseling, prayer, and some helpful next steps.
Opening Prayer: (1-5 minutes)
In light of what God is saying through this week’s message, here’s some suggestions of how your group can invite God into your time together.
The pain of failed marriages is something that can hit home for all of us in all kinds of ways. Pray that God would help the group to have a spirit of grace, empathy, and hope that can meet anyone wherever they are at with tonight’s discussion.
Quick Connection: (5 minutes)
Have everyone take 30 seconds each to share a phrase or a moment from this weekend’s message that is still resonating with them. You also have the option to say “Pass.”
Large Group Discussion: (30 minutes)
This weekend’s message came from Proverbs 5:15-23, 6:20-35 and Song of Songs 6:3. If everyone has a Bible, let’s go there together.
- If you could ask any married couple to be your marriage mentor, who are they and what is it about their marriage that makes them your number one mentoring choice?
- If you could ask the healthiest Christ-following divorced person that you know to warn you about things they wish they had known or done differently, what do you think you could learn from that time with them?
- (From Proverbs 6:20-35) (Have someone read this portion and the bullet points out loud to the group.) If you don’t want to have an emotional or sexual affair, this was the list that Pastor Steve offered to us:
- Be brutally honest with yourself about your fantasies and flirtations.
- Tell “Single You” that you aren’t single anymore.
- Tell a Christian friend of the same gender what you’re tempted to do.
- Set unusually strict boundaries for yourself.
- Avoid friends & family who don’t like your spouse.
- Make friends with those who value lifetime marriage.
- Stop glamorizing the destructive behavior of famous people.
- Stop filling your mind with visual and literary forms of pornography.
- Put distance between you and anyone you are sexually attracted to.
- Completely stop drinking alcohol during this season.
- On a daily basis, tell God and yourself that you want to stay faithful to your spouse.
- Be the husband/wife that no one in their right mind would cheat on.
- (Discuss) Which of these points is hitting home for you?
- (From Song of Songs 6:3) This weekend, we were reminded that most marriages don’t end in an explosive fire, but with a slow, smoldering flame of resentment. A few questions about this kind of fire:
- (Don’t answer this next question out loud.) On a scale of 1-10, how much do you resent your spouse for the things you’ve asked them to do or stop doing, and yet they persist? (Take a moment to consider this, and then talk about this question.) Would you be willing to try telling them again about what’s bothering you, but in a loving and respectful way? What would that approach look/sound/feel like?
- If your spouse hears this sermon and wants to try talking to you about something that’s bothering them, would you agree, even before they talk to you, that you are going to respond with real change?
- (Don’t answer this next question out loud.) If your mate never changes the annoying things that they do, can you forgive them and let it go?
- (From Proverbs 5:15-23) This weekend, we heard that marriage is a promise made before you understand what you are saying. How is that resonating with you?
CLOSING PRAYER (5-15 minutes):
In light of what God is saying through this week’s message, here’s some suggestions of what your group could talk about with God in prayer.
Have someone in your group read the description of love from 1 Corinthians 13 while everyone else is in a posture of prayer. After the passage is read, take turns asking God for an aspect of God’s love that you need him to develop in your heart and life and behavior.
1 Corinthians 13: 4-8
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.