In lieu of a regular sermon this mother’s day, Gene interviewed Taya Kyle, wife of Chris Kyle, known as the American Sniper.
Chris was a Navy Seal and the most accomplished sniper in American history. He survived four tours of duty in Iraq and dedicated his time following his Navy career to helping veterans with disabilities and those suffering from PTSD.
Tragically, Chris was killed by one of the veterans he was seeking to help, and Taya was left to raise their two children as a single mom.
At the beginning of their conversation, Taya told Gene that prior to meeting Chris, she had a plan for her life: to be independent and self-sufficient but that God had other plans.
Have you ever had a plan for your life that differed from God’s plan? What were you planning, and how did God change that plan?
God didn’t design us to be independent and self-sufficient. He built us for community with others. Who are the people in your life who support you, encourage you, build you up, and call you out when needed? If you’re not sure who that is, what can you do to find those people? Could some people in this group be those people?
Have a volunteer read James 1:27.
Taya talked about the importance of having strong male role models in her kids’ lives now that she is a single mom.
Do you know anyone who is a single parent? How can you help to be a role model in the lives of their children?
If you are a single parent, how can you be intentional about bringing strong role models of the opposite gender into your kids’ lives?
Have a volunteer read Matthew 6:25-34
Taya spoke about learning to trust God the way that a child trusts a parent and gaining a new internal peace; having more joy; and realizing that worrying and stress and anxiety had an impact on her children and others around her, not to mention making her a less happy person.
What are some areas of your life where you have difficulty trusting God? How might you begin to trust Him more?
In very practical terms, how would having the peace and joy that come from trusting God impact your life and the lives of those around you?
Gene asked Taya about the pressure of juggling all of the different roles that she has, especially that of being a single mom. Taya said that sometimes we need to just relax, realize that everything doesn’t have to and won’t always be perfect and that God is in control. She added that sometimes when others realize we’re not perfect (i.e. they come over and we have two days of dirty dishes in the sink), it helps them breath a little easier since they know they’re not the only ones who can’t keep up.
Are there areas of your life where you’re striving for perfection and are stressed out as a result? Career and kids are two of the most common places this happens.
Since perfection is impossible and God is in control, how can you allow yourself to be okay with that? This doesn’t mean that we don’t work hard and strive for excellence but rather that we recognize we can’t control or accomplish everything.
What would the impact be on those around you if you learned to let go?
Have a volunteer read Matthew 6:14-15.
Taya discussed the challenge of forgiving her husband’s killer. Forgiveness is often very difficult, especially when we’ve been wronged in a significant way, but forgiveness not only sets the person who is forgiven free. It sets the person doing the forgiving free.
Is there someone in your life who you need to forgive? What can you do to let go of the hurt, pain, or resentment? Does it help to remember that all of us have done wrong and need to be forgiven?
Is there a single parent in the group or someone in the group who is friends with a single parent? If so, how can you as a group support that person?
Spend some time as a group praying for those who were willing to be open and honest about struggling with forgiveness, perfection, doubt, or worry. This should cover just about everyone in the group.