This week's Small Group Guide is composed of questions from this week's GPS Guide. The questions relate to the Scripture for that particular day. You can download the full week's GPS as a printable document for the context of each question below (in the printable version, the recommended small group questions are marked with a special bullet point.)
Other passages (Micah 6:8 is a notable example) called God’s people to lives filled with loyal, faithful love. Clearly this kind of love that reaches deeper than just the fluctuating, changeable emotions our culture often labels “love.” In her novel Many Waters, Madeleine l’Engle wrote of a “vast, patiently waiting love” at the heart of the cosmos. How does believing in that, rather than a cold, empty universe, lay the foundation for you to live a life of loyal, faithful love?
One provision in Israelite law (Deuteronomy 24:1-4) somewhat puzzlingly said if a man divorced a woman, he could not take her back and remarry her after she’d had another spouse. Jeremiah 3:1 actually referred to that provision. Yet the prophet said the divine love of God, Israel’s “husband,” rose above that, and called his people to “return” (Jeremiah 3:12, 14). At what points in your spiritual journey has it been important to you that God is always willing to welcome you back?
Jesus expanded the idea of betrayal (as he did for several other parts of life). He said a person’s heart (emotions and thoughts) can be faithless to a spouse’s needs, even without any overt act. How might it be possible to commit that kind of “adultery” with your career, a favorite hobby, or even your children if you gave them a higher priority than loving your spouse? How might a deep commitment to be faithful to your spouse call for changes in you at the heart level?
In his day Paul directed the command to husbands. What would it mean for a husband to love his wife “just like Christ loved the church and gave himself for her”? Do you believe that in God’s plan the same standard applies to wives? “Love” (Greek agape) was about purposely chosen thoughts and actions, not an ever-changing emotional state. How did this command challenge the “lord of the manor” image many husbands then (and now) held? How did this image call both partners in a marriage to be willing to give up some comfort or power for their spouse’s sake?
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