What Happy Couples Know
Week 1: Nothing
A great marriage doesn’t happen by accident. It requires care and regular maintenance. But sometimes we don’t want to make the effort. As long as it’s not broken, do we really need to talk about it?
ICEBREAKER: How would you define the purpose of marriage? What are some of the influences and experiences that shaped your definition?
What are some of your hopes, dreams and desires? Share two or three with the group. To what extent do you assume marriage can fulfill them?
Talk about a time when you used one of the four C’s—Convince, Convict, Control, or Coerce—to try to fulfill your hopes, dreams or desires in a relationship.
When you run into conflict in a relationship, is your tendency to just leave? Try to win? Conform to their expectations? Compromise on what you feel you need? How has that worked in the past?
Read Ephesians 5:1-2. Does the idea of “giving yourself up” to another person—without the expectation that they will fulfill your Hopes/Dreams/Desires—seem reasonable? Why or why not?
Do you think marriage is about compromise? Why or why not?
During the message, the speaker said, “Christianity isn’t about getting what we deserve or giving to others what they deserve. It’s about getting what we don’t deserve and doing for others what was done for us. That reduces marriage to a submission competition—a race to the back of the line.” Does this sound like a realistic approach to marriage? Why or why not?
What does your spouse (or future spouse) owe you? Nothing. Happy couples know they owe each other everything but are owed nothing in return. So, take your cue from Jesus’ all-encompassing command: “As I have loved you, you are to love one another.” (John 13:34) Tell the group how you plan to specifically apply Jesus’ command in your marriage this week (or how you will apply it as you trust God for a future marriage).
CHANGING YOUR MIND
Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave Himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. Ephesians 5:1-2