Community Group Questions 3/10/13

Kevlar: Bulletproofing Your Relationship Announcements:

  • Serving Insert
    • If you were not here last week you missed the most incredible ministry fair in history
    • The good news is that you can still get involved here at West Pines
    • We have just a few spots still available
    • If you will pull out this insert that is in your bulletin, you will find many opportunities to serve here at West Pines.
    • Check off any areas that you are interested in.
    • You are not signing up, you are just requesting info.
    • Someone will contact you this week
    • You can drop those in the offering boxes on the way out today

 

  • Mission Trip Registration
    • Our summer mission trip registration is officially open.
    • We are going to Haiti and Guatemala
    • If you sponsor a child in either of those countries, you will get to meet them on this trip.
    • We are limited to 25 spots on each trip. Guatemala has two options - a full week trip and then there is a 3 day trip where you will see Compassion’s work there and get to meet your sponsored child.
    • Going on a mission trip is a life changing experience
    • All the information you need is on the insert in your bulletin.
    • You can sign-up on our website
    • We would love to have you go with us

Kevlar, Part 1: Wrong Place, Wrong Time

Main Text:  Proverbs 7:1-13

Topics:

  • Virtually everyone that gets into a committed relationship, at the outset, expects there to be faithfulness within the relationship. But it is alarming how many relationships suffer the fracture of infidelity. It strikes at all different points in the course of relationship. This is not just something that happens to younger people. It is not just something that happens to newly weds. Everyone needs to be watchful to protect their relationship from the bullets of temptation.
  • This is not a subject that anyone get’s tenured on. No one hits a point where, they no longer need to watch out for the temptation of infidelity. No one is mature enough, seasoned enough, or experienced enough. This can strike anyone who is unsuspecting.
  • What happens along the way? How does this sneak up on so many relationships? How do we keep this from happening to us? How do we make our relationships bulletproof?
  • Many of these questions are already in our minds because we have seen so many relationships break because of an affair. Sometimes we see this around us so much that we are tempted to ask the question: is it even possible to keep a relationship faithful? Some of have experienced this in previous or current relationships or saw it in their home growing up and are losing hope that it is possible to have a committed relationship.
  • This is an issue that God is not silent about. In the book of Proverbs he shares with us clearly how to protect our relationships from the temptation of unfaithfulness. In chapter 7 it describes a scene where a young man is seduced by the “forbidden woman.”
  • This is a description of how this type of thing can happen to any of us.  And in the first couple of verses he urges us to take note of this wisdom. He urges us to keep these truths ready in our minds. He says things like:
    • treasure up my commandments
    • keep them as the apple of your eye
    • bind them on your fingers
    • etch them on your hearts
    • call them your sister and intimate friend
  • Obviously, that should alert us to the importance of what he is about to say.
  • The first thing he describes about this fictitious but insightful encounter with the “forbidden woman,” is where the young man goes. It says he is lacking sense. And he:
    • passes along the street near her corner
    • taking the road to her house
    • he is there in the twilight, the evening, in the darkness
  • In other words he is literally in the wrong place at the wrong time.
    • he shouldn’t be passing near her corner
    • he shouldn’t be even on the road that goes to her house
    • he shouldn’t be there at night
    • he shouldn’t be there when it is dark
  • It might not seem like he has done anything technically wrong yet. But look what happens next.  Look at the actions of the “forbidden woman.”
    • she is dressed like a prostitute
    • she is wily of heart - she’s already scheming
    • she is wayward - she’s not waiting around at her house, she’s out there on the prowl
    • she is lying in wait
    • she seizes the young man
    • and all of a sudden starts kissing him
  • This is not a statement on men and women. This is an illustrative story. It is saying that this is how temptation happens. It is not waiting at home for you to come and knock on the door. It is out on the street. It get’s you before you get to the house.
  • That is why so many fall into this. It happens before they realize it. They don’t think they are at the house, they are just on the road to the house, and it leaps out and seizes you.
  • The first way to bulletproof our relationships is to make sure we are NOT in the wrong place at the wrong time. This is about setting up boundaries. There are all kinds of different boundaries. Some are good to talk through in your relationship. Others are good to practice personally. Here are some examples of some that may be helpful:
  • Geographical Boundaries:
    • Whenever possible do not be alone with a member of the opposite sex in places like: restaurants, cars, an office, a house, etc.
  • Verbal Boundaries:
    • If you are married, be careful of flirting, teasing, or just being charming to people of the opposite sex. You may be communicating more than you think. And you may be subconsciously wanting a type of attention from them that is inappropriate.
    • Suggestive language should have no place with members of the opposite sex that are not your spouse. It begins to open up a type of intimacy.
    • Be careful of how you are complementary to people of the opposite sex. Complementing in ways that are overly intimate, or are suggesting that you find them attractive are probably crossing a boundary.
  • Emotional Boundaries:
    • Do not have a member of the opposite sex as a confidant.
    • Do not confide about your current relationship with members of the opposite sex.
    • Do not allow a member of the opposite sex to confide in you about their relationship especially if they are complaining about their partner. Suggest a more appropriate avenue for them to seek help - counseling, friend of same sex, etc.
    • Be especially careful with people who work for you or you work for
  • Physical Boundaries:
    • There are obvious moments where we have crossed physical boundaries with someone other than our significant other. But we may not think about the road that led there.
    • Ask yourself if you are overly touchy-feely with members of the opposite sex. Physical touch that may seem initially harmless, is what leads to crossing a boundary.
  • Mental Boundaries:
    • Ask yourself tough questions like: are you handling people other than your significant other in such a way to get them to find you attractive? Collecting admirers is extremely dangerous, and we may not be aware of that motive in our hearts.
    • Do you have a plan for addressing thoughts about and attractions toward someone other than your significant other?
  • Social Media Boundaries:
    • Facebook - Are you thoughtful and protective of who you are accepting friendships from? If it is going to be a temptation, “unfriend” them. If this is one of your weak spots share an account with your spouse - also applies to e-mail, etc.
    • Twitter, Instagram, etc. - Are the pictures you are posting appropriate? Are your interactions too familiar or too intimate? It doesn’t lessen the impact just because it is over social media. I think this is more dangerous because typically the people you are interacting with have a tendency to be less careful because of the perceived anonymity, privacy, or reduced threat.
    • Text Messaging - Again, the impact is not lessened because it is words typed. On the contrary, it might be worse because people make assumptions based on their context for your comment not hearing your inflection, etc.
    • Dating Sites (for those in a relationship) - Browsing through a dating site, is walking down the road to the forbidden woman’s house. It is not innocent curiosity it is dangerous. If you are married and this has even entered your mind - punch yourself. Then get help.
  • Breaking boundaries like this may be a sign that you are on the road to the “forbidden woman’s” house. And make no mistake “she” will not wait for you to get there, she will come out and seize you.
  • What do you do if have already experienced this in your relationship, or have already failed in this area.
    • First, understand that for those of us who have accepted Jesus as our savior from our sins, we are completely forgiven. He has removed our sin from us as far as the east is from the west.
    • Second, understand that none of us are perfect. We are all broken people, so you don’t have to feel like you will be judged by your brothers and sisters.
    • Thirdly, if you are seeking reconciliation in your relationship. It is possible, but it requires brokenness, total humility, and repentance.  It will most likely require counseling from a professional. We recommend that anyone in this position call the Sheridan House Counseling center: 954-583-1552.
  • This passage challenges us to intentionally think through and establish boundaries. To respond to this passage, we need to not just agree that boundaries are good, we need to stop and intentionally decide on boundaries. To just agree with this passage that boundaries are good, but not establish some, is like agreeing we should put on a bulletproof vest and then never doing it.

 

Key Questions:

  • What stuck out to you?
  • What do you think makes people overconfident to think that infidelity could never happen to them?
  • Why do you think we don't believe these kinds of boundaries will be a big deal for us?
  • Read Proverbs 7:1-13
  • When we don't protect our relationships, what are we ignoring about what God has showed us in this passage?
  • When we walk away with a changed way of thinking but no change in our boundaries, what are we short-circuiting about what God is teaching us?
  • Out of the 4 types of boundaries we talked about on Sunday, which stuck out to you the most? (Geographic, Verbal, Emotional, Physical, Mental, Social Media)
  • What boundaries do you think are the most important for couples?
  • What boundaries are you most inspired to think through?
  • How does protecting our relationships honor God with our lives?
  • How do our relationships and setting up the right boundaries affect our spiritual life?