Family Life

Part One      Part Two      Part Three      Part Four     


Widen the Circle

Many parents can’t give their children a lavish inheritance, but every parent will leave a personal legacy. Family, no matter what part you play in it has a huge influence on our lives. Whether we are parents, children, brothers, sisters or grandparents, our lives are impacted by our family of origin. We all live and work in relationship with people. Let’s do what we can to make those relationships meaningful and healthy and all that God would want them to be.

Discover

Read Ecclesiastes 4:7-12. To help get a good understanding of the passage, try to describe what is happening or being said in your own words. Take a moment to reflect and note down what stands out as important, significant or meaningful to you. What does this passage tell us about God? What does this passage tell us about people? How does this passage change how we live?

Discuss

1. What are some of the deposits and withdrawals that have been made into your life or your family’s life?

2. Humanity’s highest ideals are all done in community. Love, justice, mercy, kindness, forgiveness, sacrifice and service. Where do you have opportunity to exercise some of these qualities?

3. Loneliness and lack of connection is such an issue in our world, what stops people from being in relationship or community? Discuss (Genesis 2:18)

4. God made us as relational beings, having other significant people speaking into our lives or the lives of our children is essential. Who do you allow to speak into your life just now? (Galatians 6:2)

5. When Ruth went through one of the hardest times in her life, she chose to stay in community rather than flee to isolation. Discuss. (Ruth 1:16)

Respond

Widening the circle of influence in our life or our family’s life is both protective and life giving when those who are included are speaking from a Godly perspective. Connecting with other families or people who share similar passions to you is one of the easiest ways to connect with others. Make a decision to step into community either in a Life Group, in service or in a shared community around a passion. Sign up at the Welcome Desk at church.

 


Create a Rhythm

Jesus lived His life with intentional rhythms and practices. He modelled life-giving patterns. His disciples were invited into His life where these rhythms shaped their faith and life. The challenge that we all face every day is whether our own life practices reflect biblical patterns. In a world where success is so often equated with busy-ness we need to find the rhythms that give us time to cultivate the most important relationships in our life.

Discover

Read Mark 1:35-39. To help get a good understanding of the passage, try to describe what is happening or being said in your own words. Take a moment to reflect and note down what stands out as important, significant or meaningful to you. What does this passage tell us about God? What does this passage tell us about people? How does this passage change how we live?

Discuss

1. Read Mark 6:30-32. What rhythms and practices did Jesus put in place to cultivate His relationship with His heavenly Father?

2. The challenge we all face every day is whether our life practices reflect biblical patterns. Discuss.

3. Most people equate busy-ness with success. Discuss.

4. How can you confront busy-ness in life with wise, God-honouring, purposeful and life-giving rhythms?

5. Crash and burn rhythms. Absent parent rhythms. Self-driven rhythms. Accidental rhythms. The reality today is that we all have life rhythms. The question is: are our habits helping us? Discuss.

6. How can you cultivate quality time with people in your “inner circle”?

Respond

We “catch our breath” in life when we create “sabbatical” rhythms: making inward relational commitments; being creative and innovative with people; making time for intentional missional relationships; and creating invitational rhythms in hospitality. Talk about what incremental steps forward you can take this week. Commit yourselves to action. Pray for each other.

 


Make it Personal

“I am writing this not to shame you but to warn you as my dear children. Even if you had ten thousand guardians in Christ, you do not have many fathers, for in Christ Jesus I became your father through the gospel. Therefore I urge you to imitate me” (1 Corinthians 4:14-15). Imitation and example are at the heart of the biblical pattern. The reality is that today we are all example setters. We are all influencing others. We are all shaping a legacy.

Discover

Read Deuteronomy 6:5-6. To help get a good understanding of the passage, try to describe what is happening or being said in your own words. Take a moment to reflect and note down what stands out as important, significant or meaningful to you. What does this passage tell us about God? What does this passage tell us about people? How does this passage change how we live?

Discuss

1. What are some things in other people’s lives that you have tried to imitate?

2. What are some characteristics that you have that have come from your family of origin or your current family?

3. Jesus used example and imitation as His method of teaching His disciples about faith and life. Discuss.

4. What are some lessons that Jesus taught this way?

5. Read Deuteronomy 6:5-6. What does it mean to write commandments on our heart?

6. Whose life are you intentionally impacting right now?

7. How are you going in the challenge of living as an encourager, a reconciler and a passionate disciple?

8. Passion and proximity leave a lasting legacy. Discuss.

Respond

Talk about the people who have a “front row seat” in your life. Ask: What are they seeing? What would you like them to see?
Take time to pray for each other for encouragement and empowerment to shape an intentional legacy this week.

 


Fight for the Heart

When we allow God to win our heart and we win the hearts of our children, we operate from a different place. We no longer do things because we must, but we do things because we want to and to do otherwise would cause a break in our relationship. Our relational capital is much more important than winning an argument or a battle.

Discover

Read Matthew 3:13-17. To help get a good understanding of the passage, try to describe what is happening or being said in your own words. Take a moment to reflect and note down what stands out as important, significant or meaningful to you. What does this passage tell us about God? What does this passage tell us about people? How does this passage change how we live?

Discuss

1. How would you describe who you are? What criteria would you use and what is important? (Ephesians 2:10)

2. Satan is always on the prowl to attack and question who we are. Where is your identity found?

3. With family being one of God’s societal building blocks, how do you treat and maintain relationships within your family?

4. What kind of obedience does God require from us? (Matthew 15:9) Discuss.

5. What does it look like to honour God with our lips but for our heart to be far from Him? (Matthew 15:8)

6. What does understanding that you are known, affirmed and loved by God do deep down inside of you? (Matthew 3:17)

7. How does fighting for the hearts of our children change how we interact and parent them?

Respond

God is a relational God and He wants to engage with us relationally. When we try to reduce that to a list of rules and behaviours, it may be easier to follow, but it does not develop relationship and the Godlike character of spending time with our heavenly Father. Find a way this week to ‘fight for the heart’ in your relationship with your children or family. How does this change your priorities?

 


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