Just a little reminder that this is a discussion guide designed to help you take Sunday's message a little deeper into your life.
This week we began a series of messages that addresses a specific and subtle lie in marriage. The issue is our culture proposes the idea that our spouse is responsible for our happiness. The truth is our spouse could never make us happy all the time. In fact, at some point in the relationship your spouse will fail you in a significant way. The question is how do you treat your spouse when they fail you? Your answer has serious repercussions on the state and future of your marriage.
1. What are some expectations men and women might bring into a marriage? How can these expectations change the dynamic of the marriage from loving each other to testing each other's love? What examples of behaviors and communication patterns are evident in this transition?
2. Expecting your mate to keep you happy usually leads to one of three conditions in a marriage. One, you leave the marriage. You figure out they can't make you happy. Two, the stronger spouse dominates the relationship. Happiness is a one-sided relationship. Or three, you live out a compromised marriage. You both simply pursue your own happiness. The problem is you figure out you can't give yourself happiness either. That's why you got married in the first place!
Of these three results which one do you feel is the most damaging? to yourself? to the family? to others who care about you?
3. React to this statement, "when you put conditions on your spouse the unconditional love in the marriage evaporates."
4. According to 1 Peter 1:13 uncoditional love in a marriage comes from God and not from each other. How could this truth change the dynamic of your marriage?
5. Read 1 Peter 1:14. The evil desire mentioned in this passage in the context of marriage is to expect happiness from our mate. Why does our culture believe in this myth? How can this myth destroy a marriage?
6. Read 1 Peter 1:15-16. God has called us to holiness. How does this calling affect our attitude towards our marrige? How can your husband's / wife's failures help you demonstrate holiness to them?
THINK ABOUT IT
Am I holding my spouse hostage to my expectations or am I seeking to make him/her more holy through unconditional love?
CHANGING YOUR MIND
"Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present to himself a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. " Ephesians 5:25-27
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