Week of 11/13/2016

From this Day Forward

Session Two: Fight Fair

Leaders Insights:

Dealing with the topic of marriage in a Life Group setting has many rewards. Many couples find that the struggles they face are not as uncommon as they once believed and other couples share those struggles. Likewise, in Life Group setting, couples will discover that others have overcome issues they are dealing with and can offer great insight into overcoming their issues to have a stronger marriage. It is a great time for couple to share and encourage one another in their marriages.

The topic of marriage can also be difficult as some of the discussion will cut straight to the heart of struggle marriage are facings. Emotions can be high and in their cry for help, can surface in distracting and confrontational ways.

Repeat this again to enforce the boundaries of this study.

Our Goal in this study is to strength marriages. That being said, let’s set some ground rules with your Life Group to help this study be productive.

  1. All elbows are to remain to yourself.
  2. Loud huffing and eye rolling is prohibited.
  3. If your spouse is struggling with the topic we address, please do not call attention to them or make comments that would embarrass them.
  4. Please limit your questions to the general topic and do not aim to “fix” your spouse.
  5. Use this study to find ways to make you a better spouse not to make your spouse better.

If you feel someone is getting out of hand by sharing too much and not following the rule, for the sake of the group you have to say. “Why don’t you and I talk about that later a part from the group.”

If you find a person or couple in your group that seems to be having struggles encourage them to set up a time to counsel with one of our pastors.

Counseling for couples is provided by TFF free of charge. In this counseling specific issues pertain to your marriage can be addressed and steps given to help you to work on them together. All you need to do is contact the church at 817-294-2488 or email jess@tff.church

The following discussion guide is to help you open dialoged within your group. Use the questions to help guide your group. You may use some of the question or all of them the goal is to create discussion to hash out truth together. You are not obligated to ask every question. Use those that best suit your group or fit within your discussion.

Opener

  • Last week we made a commitment to seek God and pray together every day.
  • How do you feel it benefited your relationship? Were there any struggles in making it happen?
  • How did your parents handle conflict in their marriage? How has that shaped the way you handle conflict in your own marriage?

Dig Deeper

  • According to the sermon, how do some couples fight in unhealthy ways? (Unhealthy couples fight dirty; below the belt jabs, undercuts, name calling ,and accusation to win rather than to resolve.)
  • Why is it healthier for our marriage to fight for resolution than to win?
Read James 1:19-20
My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.
  • According to these verses, what are the rules for fighting fair?  (Listen, guard your words, handle your anger righteously)
  • In an argument, is it easier to listen to the other person, or as the other person is speaking prepare your own argument in your head so when they do finally shut up you can tell them why they are wrong and you are right?
  • Why is it important and helpful to repeat back to the person what they said?
  • How does it benefit our spouse when they know we are truly listening to what they are saying? (It forces us to listen and then it validates our spouse to know that he or she has actually been heard.)
Read Proverbs 18:2
  • When guarding our words, Pastor said there are two question we should ask ourselves before we speak. What are those two question? (Should it be said? Should it be said now?)
  • When we think before we speak, why is it better for our marriage to think and not speak?
  • Why is timing important to those things that should be said?

Rules for Fighting Fair

  1. Never call names.
  2. Never raise your voice.
  3. Never get historical.
  4. Never say never or always.
  5. Never threaten divorce.
  6. Never quote your pastor.
Read Ephesians 2:26
  • What is the danger of going to bed angry according to this verse?
  • How does the foothold compound in our relationship over time?

There are four progressive warning signs that a marriage needs to seek help:

  1. Criticizing: A critical spirit on a relationship moves to contempt
  2. Contempt: Eye rolling sarcasm, disgust and mocking
  3. Defensiveness: Blaming the other person and taking no responsibility.
  4. Stonewalling: Tuning out and shutting down
Read Romans 12:21
  • Fighting fair, for resolution and not to win, allows the good to overcome the evil because it brings healing and understanding to our relationships.
  • When we forgive others and apologize when we are wrong it brings resolution that strengthens our marriage.

What’s your Next Step?

As a couple have you been fighting fair? If not your Next Step maybe to apologize to one another and adopt the rules for fighting fair to allow you marriage to grow.

Have you been fighting to win? Your next Step is to understand that as conflict is resolved your marriage wins.

Do you guard your words? Perhaps you have said some hurtful things to your spouse in and augment. Your Next Step is to apologize and seek forgiveness.

Have you allowed your anger to rule your relationship? Your next step is to ask forgiveness from your spouse and start applying the rules for fighting fair in your relationship.

Have you discovered that your marriage is marked by one or more of the warning signs? Your next step is to seek help as an individual and as a couple to restore your marriage.