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.
weekend in review
This week Jodi Hickerson addresses the challenges of parenting. She discusses biblical principles that give practical direction and strength to all of us and focuses on how to pass the baton of faith, gratitude, and love to the next generation.
- How has the pandemic affected the relationships within your household
- Have you read any good books on parenting that you can recommend?
- Read Romans 12:9-18. Which of these admonitions do you need to focus on remembering? Are any of them a new way of seeing things for you?
- Jodi emphasized that God cares more about who we are becoming than where we go or what we do. His desire is for each of us to become a person who loves others, who embraces and embodies integrity, gratitude, forgiveness, kindness, hope, joy, peace, and so much more. Take a few minutes to write down what matters most to you along these lines of who you are, who you see yourself becoming. Share with the group.
- Parenting is a learning experience as well as a responsibility. If you are a parent with children at home, what is one big thing you have learned during this past year?
- Jodi encouraged parents to identify five people that can “help you build into your kids and who your kids can build a trusting relationship with.” Parents, who are helping you build into your kids’ lives? If you don’t have kids, share who built into your life while you were growing up.
- Read Psalm 127:4-5. What have you and your kids been doing together for fun during the pandemic?
- When you were growing up, how did your parents communicate to you that you mattered?
- Jodi gave a “greater than” list that compared the value of many things we can easily get confused about: people vs things, obedience vs success, dependence vs striving, identity vs appearance, character vs comfort, honesty vs hiding, imagination vs iPhones, wisdom vs knowledge, love vs fear. Which of these resonates the most with you?
- Read James 1:5. Jodi encouraged us to walk with God. When face-to-face with a challenging situation, the wisest first thing to do is to slow down, take a breath, remember who you are now in Christ, and ask God to guide you. Easier said than done; so how can we get better at putting this into practice when we feel emotional in a difficult situation?
- Read Proverbs 4:20-23. What has helped you face the day when enduring the ongoing difficulties of this past year? In what ways have you grown stronger? How about your kids?
- Jodi emphasized that we cannot overcommunicate to our kids that they are always loved. Do your kids thoroughly understand that? Tell them again. How about other members of your family or household
- Years ago, Jodi wrote a description for her home: “In this home we… Love Jesus. Live grateful. Put others first. Believe the best. Forgive freely. Dispense grace. We laugh hysterically, sing loudly, and dance often. In this home we trust God, surrender daily, and love deeply.” Write a statement for your home.
WRAP UP & PRAYER
Share prayer requests and spend time praying for each other
Pray for our families, that they be strengthened with God’s love, that we can help the next generation understand the goodness of God and embrace his love and presence. Pray for opportunities to demonstrate kindness and offer encouragement to those around us.