weekend in review
An athlete can always tell if something is not quite right inside. There is no glaring injury, but they can still feel the hidden pain. If left unattended, this tiny problem will eventually break. The same thing is true in relationships. On the surface, things look fine, but underneath, we know something is off. The past year has created a lot of stress fractures in marriages, families, friendships, even churches. Join us for a relational MRI, and we’ll examine the little things that can help heal the relationships most important to us.
Begin with some conversation, checking in on how people are doing. You can talk about whatever you’d like, but here are potential questions to get the conversation going.
- Any sibling-rivalry stories in your family to tell about?
A year of quarantines, loss, illnesses, financial hits, and home-schooling challenges has created all kinds of stress fractures in relationships.
Select 5-6 questions from the list below to guide your discussion time.
- Read Genesis 27:41-44. In this passage, we read about one of the great relationship stress fractures between twin brothers, Jacob and Esau. Have you ever experienced a significant relational break with a sibling or close relative?
- Gene shared three primary causes of relational fractures: unrealistic expectations, unhealthy role models, and unpredictable circumstances. Read Ephesians 3: 19. One of the most significant ways we are misled is thinking that a person can “complete us.” The reality is God is the only one who can do that. Think of some current relational challenges involving unrealistic expectations, and share one way that you can be you, let the other person(s) be themselves, and let God be God in your life.
- Did you grow up with a Volcano model or a Bottler model? If so, how did that influence you?
- We have been through a year of unpredictable circumstances that have strained—even shattered—many relationships. Do you have one situation weighing heavy on you right now?
- Read Romans 12:18 and Genesis 33:4. “As far as it depends on you, live in peace.” We see that Jacob wrestled with his fears and moved toward reconciliation. Do you or can you see yourself as someone who, when confronted with differences and rifts with another person, chooses to do what you can to live in peace with them? Or do you tend to behave destructively?
- Read Matthew 7:4. Gene gave four practical steps we can take today toward relationship reconciliation rehab. The first step is to take ownership of your faults in the situation. On a scale of 1-10, how hard is it for you to own your part when there is an issue?
- Read Philippians 2:4. The second step Gene described is to shift perspective. It is so easy to only see things from your perspective when you are in the middle of an issue. Take time to consider these questions: How can I meet their needs? Do I even understand what their needs are? Share a time when doing this made it easier to move forward in healing.
- Gene’s third step is to hold on to hope. There are times in marriages, family relationships, or friendships, when the situation feels dark and hopeless. But then one person dares to hope and believe that with God’s power, this can get better. The simple step of being open to that possibility keeps the relationship hanging on until it does get better. Where is somewhere you are struggling to find hope and need to dare to believe God’s power can change things?
- Step four is to exercise lots of grace. Gene explained that relationships need a lot of grace because, well, the truth is we hurt each other. Read Matthew 5:23-24. Gene said we’ve got to learn the power of forgiveness. If not, we’ll be carrying hurt, resentment and bitterness… which can eventually turn into hatred. When you think about all the grace God has extended to you; this helps you to extend it to another. When do you rely on others to give you grace? Where do you need to extend grace?
- Read Ephesians 1:19-20. The same mighty power that raised Christ from the dead can bring relationship rehab into your fractured world. What is one step you can take this week toward healing a damaged or broken relationship?
- Commit to praying My Relationship Rehab Prayer every day this week.
WRAP UP & PRAYER
Share prayer requests and spend time praying My Relationship Rehab Prayer. Pray for each other as you move toward healing in fractured relationships.
“God, please heal the relationship stress fractures in my life. Help me to own my stuff. Give me eyes to see the needs of others. Fill me with hope and empower me to extend grace, just as You’ve extended to me. Amen.”