Good relationships are possible, but they are not probable.
Series Theme Verse
Romans 12:2 (MSG)
Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.
Call of Duty
When it comes to relationships, we’ve been told things like “opposites attract,” and “marriage takes work.” But oftentimes the differences and challenges that may have been so attractive in the initial stage of a relationship can start to drive you crazy as time goes on.
Sometimes as we begin responding to these challenges, we can fall into habits of thinking that we can fix things, manage things, solve the problems. It can become a call of duty, and we can even go so far as believing we can be someone’s savior, or the hero of a situation. Sometimes this can be an unhealthy solution to our own personal need to be needed.
Is there someone you know who seems to be caught in a “codependent” relationship – constantly fixing or compensating for another person’s failures? What do you notice about them?
Know Who You Are
Oftentimes in these situations, we feel bound by performance (what I DO) rather than our core value and worth (who I AM). We are always answering the question: “Am I ___________ enough?”
For example, workaholics may claim great ambition, but can be subconsciously chasing approval or praise they rarely received growing up. Or in dating relationships, we may think we have to compromise our personal beliefs or standards to please the other person or to be loved and accepted.
Have a volunteer read Romans 8:14-16.
As children of God we are no longer bound by a spirit of slavery which leads to fear. Because God adopted us as his children through the Spirit, we have the privilege of calling him “Abba,” a word as personal as “Daddy” today.
Why is it important to know who you are in Jesus?
How to Stay in Sync
Have a volunteer read Matthew 6:33.
We can easily forget who we are in the day-to-day activities and busyness of our lives. It’s easy to fall back into old habits and negative patterns of behavior.
How can “seeking the kingdom first” help keep us from taking on a call of duty that may not be ours to manage?
Do you have any personal strategies you use to stay connected with God that you could share with the group?
Deal With It
Have volunteers read Ephesians 3:17b-19, and John 8:31-32.
The weekend message focused primarily on the person responding to difficult situations with the coping mechanism known as codependency. The reality is that codependence is a dance with two partners. There’s another person involved in the equation, and if you’re that person, you need to take an honest look at your anger, drinking, gambling, over-spending, addictions, or just plain selfishness. The good news is, you too can live in the freedom of knowing and being known by God; of loving and being loved by God
How might our lives look different if we could really grasp God’s love for us every day?
No matter which side of the codependent equation someone is on, how do you think knowing the truth can set us free?
What do you think it means to be “filled to the measure” of the fullness of God?
What kinds of things can we do each day to “seek the kingdom first” in what we do?
What are some ways you could remind yourself this week to seek the kingdom first – in your conversations, work, family?
How can the group pray for you this week?
Friday Night of Hope
If you’re ready to do something about your habits, hurts, or hang-ups, connect with a caring group of individuals who have walked your path and found hope and healing.
Meets every Friday night at 6pm. eastside.com/fridaynightofhope
Mike’s Scripture Mash-up & Marinade
For those who think that love is something you work for, or something to be earned… Or you tend to think “IF I do this…THEN I’ll be worthy.”… Listen to what God says about you:
“Before you were born, you were special to me. I knew you before you were conceived in your mother’s womb. With My own hands I fearfully and wonderfully created every detail that makes you unique. I have watched you every day of your life, so I know you. I know where you have been, where you are, and where you are going.
If you only knew the thoughts I have toward you. Did you know that My thoughts for you outnumber the grains of sand on all the beaches of the world? You are the apple of my eye. I have engraved you on the palms of My hands. You did not earn my acceptance through anything you have done. You can’t take credit for it, it is a gift from me. So it is not what you do that makes me love you, for compared to what I deserve your righteous acts are like filthy rags, but it is My love for you that makes you precious and honored in my sight. I created you for My glory, and I will never abandon what I have formed and made.”- God
(Ps 17:8, Ps 23:6, Ps 100:5, Ps 138:8, Ps 139:13-18, Isa 43:4,7, Eph 2:8-9, Is 64:6, Is 49:16, Jer 1:5)
Mike’s Scripture Mash-up & Marinade #2
“I am the eternal God, your Refuge. And underneath you are My everlasting arms. My grace is sufficient for you for My power is made perfect in your weakness. So do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer present your requests to Me. And My peace, which transcends understanding, will stand guard over your heart and mind.
Rest my child, for I have been good to you. You can trust Me. I have delivered your soul from death, your eyes from tears and your feet from stumbling, so that you may walk before me in the land of the living.
When the cords of death entangle you, when you are overcome with trouble and sorrow, call upon My name. I will reach down from on high and take hold of you; I will draw you out of the deep waters. I will rescue you from your powerful enemy, Though they confront you in the day of your disaster, I will be your support. I will rescue you because I delight in you. I will quiet you with my love; I will rejoice over you with singing.
So, My loved one, rest secure in Me for I will shield you all day long. You can trust in my unfailing love. You are the one I love; come rest on my shoulders.” God
(Dt 33:12,27; Ps 18:16-19; Ps 116:3-5, 6-9; Zeph 3:17, 2 Cor 12:9, Phil 4:6-7, Ps 13:5)