Week of 11/06/2016

From this Day Forward        

Session One: Seek God 

Life Group 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. 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 couples to share and encourage one another in their marriages.  

However, the topic of marriage can also be difficult as some of the discussion will cut straight to the heart of struggles some marriages are facings. Emotions can be high, and in a cry for help, hurt can surface in distracting and confrontational ways.  

Our goal in this study is to strength marriages. 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 pertaining to marriage can be addressed and steps given to help couples work on them together. All you need to do is contact the church at 817-294-2488 or email the office administrator at 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:  

  • Ask: When you decided to get married what was the best and worse advice you received? If you were advising someone else about to get married what advice would you give them?  

  • According to this week's sermon, how is marriage more than just a legal commitment between two people?  

  • With statistics stating that 50% of all marriages fail, how does making a marriage a holy commitment to God better your chances for a great marriage?  

  • How does the vow “to have and to hold from this day forward” bring hope to a marriage?  

Dig Deeper 

Read Matthew 22:37-39 
Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’  
  • How do these verses contradict the way that society conditions people to think when it comes seeking a spouse?  

Idolize and Demonize

  • How do we idolize others by placing them in our number one spot of our lives?  

  • Why is it unhealthy to our relationships to place false expectations on another person to meet our needs?  

  • When our needs our not met, how do we tend to demonize the other person?  

Read Matthew 6:33 
But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.  
  • How is our relationship made stronger by seeking the One (God) with our two (Spouse, Girlfriend, boyfriend)?   

Read 1 Chronicles 28:29 
Worship and serve Him(God) with your whole heart and a willing mind. For the Lord sees every heart and knows every plan and thought. If you seek Him, you will find Him.  
  • What promise does this verse contain about seeking God?  

  • What are some practical ways we can seek God together as couples?  

Read Chronicles 7:14  
if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land. 
  • According to the message this week, what is a keystone habit?  

  • Why was prayer suggested as a keystone habit?  

  • Why do we find it hard to pray with our spouse or boyfriend or girlfriend?  

  • How can we start praying together?  

  • The message said we should pray simple, pray in everyday language, and pray for each other.  

Say: Prayer is a keystone habit that creates spiritual intimacy together because it develops positive spiritual momentum in our relationships.   

  • What were some of the practical benefits of praying together?  

  • It’s hard to be mad at someone you’re praying with. 

  • It's hard to fight with someone that you're praying with?  

  • When you're praying together, it's hard to commit adultery, or get hooked on porn, or have an affair. 

  • Prayer makes you want to know God, serve God, and not be caught in those things that trap so many people so easily. 

  • It's really hard to divorce someone that you're seeking God with. 

Family Life surveyed thousands of Christian couples and found that fewer than 8% of Christian couples pray together regularly. Of the couples that pray together, less than 1% divorce.  

  • So when we seek God together by praying the odds increase from 50% to 99% chance of your marriage making it.  

Read Psalms 127:1  
Unless the Lord builds the house, it’s builder labor in vein.  

The first Commitment is to seek the one with your two.  

What’s your Next Step? 

Perhaps you pray together already as a couple. Your Next Step maybe to renew that commandment to seek God together.  

Perhaps you don’t pray together. Then your next step is to make that commitment to pray together, even if it is uncomfortable, and even if it is just over meals.  

Perhaps you don’t pray for your spouse, boyfriend or girlfriend. Your Next Step may be to begin praying for your spouse and pray for yourself that you can be better for them.