This week we said love is willing to look foolish. Think of a time when you did something foolish for the sake of love (particularly romantic love). Share with the group.
Here’s the thing. This week’s lesson probably made some of your group members feel squirmy. Resist the urge to find all the loopholes for loving other people this way. Focus instead on all the ways you should and can love other people in a way that protects and believes the best. We need to talk about what we CAN do. Talking about what we don’t have to do is less productive.
So, consider the four characteristics of love we discussed in the sermon. Consider them one by one. What does it mean and how do we do it? Define terms and give examples of what this would look like in real life. If your group members can’t do this, you should park here for a while. Understanding what God is asking of us and identifying ways to do it is your main goal in group tonight:
- Love always protects
- always trusts
- always hopes
- always perseveres
Ask yourselves these questions as a way to enable self reflection:
- When my spouse does something wrong, do I punish or protect?
- When I don’t know how my spouse acted in a moment (whether or not he or she met my expectations), do I believe the best or assume the worst?
- When things get hard, do I lean in or turn away?
Do you feel uncomfortable with the answers you gave to these questions? There’s no question loving like this is hard. What makes it so hard?
We said on Sunday that people who love get hurt. Have you ever been too concerned about your own safety/protective to love someone well? Give an example.
Think of examples from scripture of people who loved someone else and got hurt because of it.
Why is love worth the risk of pain and heartbreak?
According to our text this week,
- Love isn’t always drawing attention to failure.
- Love covers the sins of another, protecting from harmful exposure.
- Love is willing to risk looking foolish.
- Love bears ill treatment bravely and calmly.
Which of these challenges seems the hardest to you? What gets in your way as you try to live it out?
Which one brings to mind a positive example, particularly of a married couple who practiced this characteristic of love?
Read Proverbs 10:11-12.
The mouth of the righteous is a fountain of life,
but the mouth of the wicked conceals violence.
Hatred stirs up conflict,
but love covers over all wrongs.
As opposed to hate, what does love do? What does that look like exactly?
What do you get/learn from this passage?
Tonight, take the chance to ask God to enable you to love like I Corinthians 13 says you should. Together, ask God to fill you with His Spirit and grow the fruit of love in your life.
Too, look back over this series and identify one way you want to be better at loving. Pray for one another.