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Date: October 11, 2020
Honor All Relationships
The Point: Integrity and contentment in Christ form the foundation for good relationships.
Get Into the Study
Use the following story as an alternate introduction to today’s session.
Tropical storm Beta made landfall in Texas on September 21 as the ninth named storm to hit US soil in 2020. September has been record-breaking as far as storms go, bringing rain, wind, and destruction to cities that have faced these very things before. In some areas, families and businesses have sustained damage that will take weeks or months to recover.
As TV reporters cover the storms, it’s shocking to catch glimpses of homes, businesses, and city streets decimated by water and winds. For residents and business owners seeking to protect their structures, building codes are one practical answer. South Florida, long considered to be more susceptible to higher winds, has the toughest wind resistance requirements; the Florida Panhandle is home to less stringent ones as the area is considered less likely to bear the brunt of stronger storms. Protection is the goal. A structure is better protected and more equipped to withstand the elements if it’s built or upgraded to meet current state building codes. Storms are guaranteed to come, but with a few wise choices, homes and businesses can be better equipped to withstand whatever storms come.
Our relationships are no different. Everyday life brings “storms” that can deliver significant blows that have the potential to weaken or destroy a cherished relationship. So, what can we do to ensure our relationships are as protected as possible and ready to withstand whatever comes? By wisely choosing integrity and honesty as the firm foundation on which our relationships rest. When we actively pursue integrity, our relationships thrive. They are protected from events and conversations that threaten damage that could take weeks or months to bounce back from.
Bring your group’s attention to The Point: Integrity and contentment in Christ form the foundation for good relationships.
Get Into the Study [Additional Option for Adult Leader Guide]
In advance, play a video clip of someone who represents integrity and contentment. Then ask Question #1.
Study the Bible
Use the following in your study of Exodus 20:17.
According to a recent article in the New York Times, the pandemic has increased our propensity to envy one another over social media. Scrolling through social media and seeing the lives of others who are also in quarantine (but in a bigger house, with a bigger family, or with more free time, for example) has fueled an already raging fire of social media envy in our society.
“Even before the pandemic,” the article explains, “social media was linked to rising levels of [envy]…Growing wealth disparity, along with ubiquitous social media, appears to have made us all less satisfied (and snarkier). The pandemic has fueled the fire. Essential workers envy those working at home. People who were laid off envy those who weren’t. Those home-schooling young children envy those who aren’t.”
It’s easy to look at other people’s lives and assume they’re happier and more fulfilled than you are—especially during a global pandemic. But the truth is, contentment has nothing to do with what we do or don’t have. It’s about recognizing the gifts that God has given us and choosing each day to live lives of gratitude. Even in these trying times, there are blessings from God. When we focus too much on what other people have, we run the risk of missing out on the goodness of God in our own lives.
Ashley Emmert is a freelance writer and full-time mama from Chicago, where she lives with her husband and two busy little boys.
- What are some things you value in your friendships?
- What’s the best thing about your best friend?
- What are some institutions that still represent integrity to you?
- What are the benefits to society when people live with integrity?
- Why do you think honesty plays such an important role in godly friendships?
- How does technology intersect with these commandments today?
- How would you describe what it means to “covet”?
- How can gratitude be our secret weapon against discontentment?
- Why is it so difficult in today’s world to live in contentment?
- What are some practical ways our group can encourage honoring our relationships?
- How does trusting and delighting in the Lord impact or transform our heart’s desires?
- How would you describe what it means to “take delight in the Lord?”
For Those in Your Group
Send the following link to your group members as either a teaser before the group meets or as a follow-up thought:
Click here for a 20-minute podcast for both the group member and the leader.
This article complements the study. Share this link with your group members.
- HomeLife – The Color of Love