The Marriage Perspective: Face2Face with a Samaritan Woman
Make sure you have both heard this week’s sermon. Reread the scripture passage together and talk about the following questions or topics:
January 20 Sermon
In broad terms, how would you describe/define Jesus shaped hospitality?
Gary asked us to pay attention to our resistance to this hospitality. Jesus intentionally chose to travel through Samaria instead of the typical route–to go around Samaria. When you are presented with obvious obstacles or tensions to welcome a stranger, which impulse usually guides you–go around or go toward? Why? Are you surprised by each other’s answers? How can you help each other feel more comfortable “going toward”?
The Samaritan women came to the well alone choosing to avoid others because of her life story. Is there a couple you know who seem to be isolating themselves lately? Maybe you don’t see them much anymore and they typically have an excuse not to connect. Are you “going around” them or is your desire to “meet them at the well”? Talk about what “meeting them at the well” would look like.
How about you as a couple? Have you been pulling back from others to avoid questions or expose your unresolved issues? Is that creating a barrier to building relationships with others? Just like the woman’s story, Jesus knows your story too and what’s really going on in your home. Talk about the barriers and what you as a couple could do to begin breaking them down.
Gary told a story about his opportunity to either defend his faith or to just listen to a man’s questions. He challenged us to steer our conversations with others to a “consider” rather than “convince” approach. Shouldn’t we apply this same approach to our relationship? How often do we try to convince our spouse of our way or perspective instead of considering their feelings or opinions? Is this a recurring theme in your marriage?
We can all be better listeners so practice listening to each other and asking more questions in order to “consider” rather than to “convince”. Talk about how this may make a difference in your relationship.
Practice active listening:
Give your spouse your full attention: put down the phone, turn off the TV, etc.
Listen without preparing a rebuttal
Give reflective responses–“what I heard you say was…”