Our lives are full of relationships — best friends, spouses, exes, neighbors, co-workers — and those relationships can be complicated. Relationships are messy, and love can be hard. So how do we have good ones? And get over bad ones? During this series, we’ll give you the secret to strong and thriving relationships in every area of your life.
What is your favorite memory of your parents? Why?
This week’s message continues our Crazy, Stupid Love series. We’ve been learning about the natural progression of healthy relationships. You have to KNOW someone before you can TRUST them. And you have to have TRUST before you will RELY on someone. And you have to RELY on someone before you’re willing to make a COMMITMENT to them. The focus of the message this week is the power of TOUCH in our relationships, and in a marriage relationship, that involves sex. Gene’s message this week has two parts: the power of touch in general, and then touch and sex in a marriage relationship.
Gene pointed out that there is a life-giving power that happens with human touch. Of course, we are talking about healthy, appropriate touching. Whether it is a simple high-five, a pat on the arm, a hug, a kiss, or sexual intimacy, it affects us; God wired us this way.
Can you give an example of being affected in a positive way by a friendly (non-sexual) touch?
Even Jesus engaged in the power of life-giving touch with his disciples. The Apostle Paul instructed believers to greet each other with a “holy kiss” to create an atmosphere of warmth and welcome.
In this modern time, we don’t engage in “holy kisses,” but do you think it is important to have greeters to welcome people to Eastside either by a hug or a handshake? Why?
Gene shared that there is a bond-building power from sexual touch. He also shared that human sexuality is a gift from God.
Have someone read Genesis 1:27-29. Gene shared that God not only created sex and commanded it, but also created in us the ability and desire to engage in it. That makes our sexuality good, not evil.
Does that statement challenge any previous opinions you’ve had or observed of sex or sexuality?
The Bible tells us that there should be boundaries involved with engaging in sex. Read Hebrews 13:4 and 1 Corinthians 16:16-18. Boundaries are important because they keep your body and soul protected. Gene explained that God did this to save us from pain and consequences as time goes on.
What do you think or feel about these boundaries?
Gene shared some important tips for married couples:
It can be better.
Build an atmosphere of affection.
Increase your commitment to communication.
Maintain an attitude of giving.
If you are married, what ideas along these lines come to mind that you can you do to make your relationship better?
If the Touch scale on the R.A.M chart is low in your marriage, can you think of what you and your spouse need to work on regarding the other scales that would invite improvement in this one?
God created physical touch to be life-giving and bond-building between people at the right time. Whether it’s between family members, friends, acquaintances, people you are meeting for the first time — is there a relationship you are involved in where you can appropriately show more life-giving touch to create a space of welcome and warmth?
Break into groups of 2-3 and pray that God would reveal any relationships wherein you need to set some boundaries. Or for God to open your heart to be more warm and comforting to friends when the time is right and sharing some caring touch. Pray for healing and cleansing for all who might be seeking it in this area of life.