As a child or teen, who was your first crush and why?
Optional: For those who haven’t seen the movie Gene used this weekend, view The Notebook trailer:
1. What observations do you have about the videos? What are some significant differences between the two perspectives? Was there anything in the second video that surprised you?
2. How does our culture portray romance and love? How does it portray marriage?
3. Is marriage still significant in today’s world?
a. Read Genesis 2:18. What is the main reason God created marriage? Why is that important?
b. The Hebrew word for “helper” is “ezer.” It’s used 17 times in the Old Testament to describe God himself. Read Psalm 124:8, Psalm 146:5. What kind of “helper” is the woman intended to be?
4. Read 1 John 4:7-11. What is our example of how love should be? Why is that difficult in day-to-day life?
5. All relationships experience difficulty. As Gene said, “You can either break up, or you can trust God for a break through.” Read Matthew 19:26, 6:21. How do these verses encourage a break-through in a marriage?
6. Thinking of single parents, and those in this study who are not married, read Deuteronomy 31:8, Psalm 68:5-6, Isaiah 46:4, Psalm 91:1-4. What are God’s promises to you?
CHECK THE MIRRORS
1. Gene talked about how we believe that God created the universe, that he died on a cross, that he raised from the dead. But there are still things we doubt he can do, such as heal a broken relationship or transform a marriage. Is there something in your life or marriage you’re not sure God can change?
2. What’s one thing you could do this week to invest in your marriage?
3. As appropriate and as you feel comfortable, let the group know how we can pray for you and your marriage or relationships.
[Optional Expanded Discussion]
1. For anyone married more than 25 years, what are some key lessons you’ve learned or habits you’ve developed that contribute to the success of your marriage?
2. Read 1 Corinthians 7:8-16. Why do you think Paul says it’s good for people to “stay unmarried” as he was? Is marriage merely an antidote for burning passion?
3. Compare 1 Corinthians 7:10-16, and Matthew 19:8-9. Discuss these teachings on divorce and the reality in today’s church. Have we failed, compromised, adapted?
4. What are some ways you could invest in encouraging young marriages?