Community Group Questions 2/19/12

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Announcements:
Please share whichever of the following announcements apply to your group:
  • Student Events
    • Summer Camp is coming up
    • We have a parent meeting next week after the second service
    • We are participating in the Compassion 5k in a couple of weeks

Sermon Title: Together, Part 2: Relationship Roles

Main Text: Ephesians 5:21-25

Topics:

  • Marriage involves mutual submission of the husband and the wife. How they submit to each other is unique.  They each submit in different ways.
  • The wife submits to the husband by allowing him to lead.  The model for how the wife submits to the husband, is the church submitting to Christ.
  • The husband submits to the wife by using his leadership to put her needs and the needs of the family ahead of his own.  The model for how the husband is to lead his wife, is how Jesus gave Himself up for the church.
  • These roles are particularly for within the covenant of marriage. They would be in embryonic form during an engagement, but would be unhealthy during a dating relationship.  In a dating relationship, independence and still belonging to one’s family is essential.
  • Leadership is not the same thing as:
    • always getting your way
    • being superior
    • having all the right answers
    • being served and honored
  • The Bible clearly defines what being a great leader looks like. It is putting ourselves last and serving those around us.  It is making others feel honored and not ourselves.
  • There are leadership pitfalls that can harm a marriage. My leadership is weakened:
    • If I feel the need to remind someone I am the leader, I’m not leading.
    • If I have to pull rank.
    • If I think I’m always right.
    • If I don’t rely on the expertise of those around me.
    • If I’m not operating as a team.
    • If I am making a decision to prove to myself I am a leader.
    • If I sacrifice conviction out of cowardice.
    • If I am afraid to move forward without unanimity.
    • If I have to make every decision (micro-managing), I am not empowering.
  • Allowing the husband to lead does NOT mean:
    • the wife keeps quiet. The husband and wife should work together in talking through decisions.
    • the husband always gets his way.  Often a good leader will defer to those around him, that he feels has better insight into the situation.
  • The roles of a relationship, are powerfully impacted by the “Love and Respect” principle.
    • As a wife encourages and affirms her husband’ leadership...
    • The husband, feeling respected, is naturally inspired to use his leadership to meet her needs...
    • The wife, feeling like her husband is attentive to her needs, naturally admires him more, and appreciates his leadership...
    • This inspires him to be even more selfless...
  • While the Love and Respect principle can build on each other, it can also be a downward spiral.
    • A husband who is disrespected and not encouraged to lead can get very self focused.  He can then become adolescent or distant.
    • When a husband is not using leadership selflessly, a woman can feel neglected, trapped, suffocated and beat down.
  • Husbands, should ask themselves (and their wives) what they can do to make it easier for their wives to respect their leadership.
  • Wives, should ask themselves (and their husbands) how they can affirm and encourage his leadership.
  • Both husbands and wives need to pour grace on each other, as they grow in their mutually submissive roles.

Key Questions:

  • Who is an inspiring leader you have worked with or been around? What made you want to follow him or her?
  • In your own words, describe how Jesus leads as a servant?
  • What are some moments in Jesus’ ministry that were particularly selfless?
    • Becoming a Human (Philippians 2:5-11)
    • Washing Feet (John 13)
    • Etc.
  • What does it look like when someone falsely views leadership as superiority or control?
  • Outside of the marriage context (work, school, government), what are some frustrating things that leaders do?
  • How can those same things be replicated in a marriage?
  • What are some excuses a wife could use for not submitting to her husband?
  • What are some excuses a husband could use to justify not leading, leading selfishly, or dominating?
  • How can a husband use his leadership to adore his wife?
  • How can a wife use her role in the marriage to make her husband feel admired and respected?
  • How are you challenged to better practice your role? OR how are you challenged to right now prepare for living out these roles in your marriage?

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