Here is the PDF for the First Love small group guide.
The video for week 4 features the Reed family. There is plenty of wisdom and plenty of fun in this one:
Every marriage . . . every relationship worth sustaining, will have conflict. What you do with that conflict, and how you conduct yourself in that conflict, makes the difference between couples and friends that stay together or part ways. Here are some resources from our favorite “counselor for the church,” Brad Hambrick (and also some from Ken Sande). Take time to look at each one of these resources and see which ones are applicable to your relationship:
- Creating a Gospel-Centered Marriage: Communication (link). A six part marriage seminar that can be studies with your spouse or as a small group. The six subject areas covered are:
- Challenges — Why is communication hard when two people love each other?
- Listening — The neglected, essential skill of communication.
- Day-to-Day — Learning “what is there to talk about” after # years of marriage.
- Conflict — Identifying what goes wrong and why in bad communication.
- Repentance — Unpacking and applying the statement “couples don’t fall out of love as much as they fall out of repentance” by Gary Thomas in Sacred Marriage.
- Forgiveness — Learning how to forgive in a way that not only restores but also enhances your marriage.
- Overcoming Anger (link). The command to be angry and sin not is hard for most people to obey. This seminar walks through nine steps of applying the gospel so that we do anger well.
- To Speak or Not to Speak (link). Most couples struggle to decide whether to address a conflict and, if so, how. Here are seven biblical approaches to conflict with criteria for discern when to apply them. This article is an excerpt from the Creating a Gospel-Centered Marriage: Communication seminar manual.
- Marriage with a Chronically Self-Centered Spouse (link). Not all communication problems can be resolved with “garden variety” approaches to conflict. When one spouse will not work towards peace and unity it leaves fewer good options for the other spouse. This 18 part blog series examines (a) how to discern if you’re in a chronically self-centered marriage, (b) how Scripture describes your situation, and (c) how you can respond in the most effective, God-honoring ways.
- Romantic Conflict (link) This sermon based upon Luke 9:23-24 looks at how conflict and romance are actually two sides of the same coin so that you can get out of the “fight hard, make up hard” communication cycle.
- What You Don’t Need to Forgive (link) Some of what causes conflict are the result of moral issues, but some are really preferences or non-moral irritations. This article walks you through the difference and how to handle each type.
- Four Promises of Forgiveness (link). Ken Sande reminds of a few keys to genuine and complete forgiveness in this short but crucial article.
- Getting to the Heart of Conflict (link). To work through conflict, you must understand where it is coming from and what is the root of your motivation. This longer article will help you sort through.
1) For married couples: read through one of the above articles and discuss how it relates to your marriage and what you found helpful for yourself. Ask your spouse, “what in this article reminded you of what I do in conflict?” Even the process of choosing the article together might be revealing. If this challenge only results in more conflict, then write out notes and highlight the article for each other rather than discussing it.
2) For anyone: go to a co-worker or an old friend and ask them, “when we fight, do I fight fair?” Follow-up with some humble questions seeking to find where you make conflict worse instead of make peace. Be willing to listen without becoming defensive or combative … you might learn a great deal about yourself!