For the Leader: It’s important to remember that the principles in this series apply to everyone, regardless of their romantic relational status. In fact, they can apply to all of our relationships in some way. Ask God to give you wisdom on how to include everyone in your group in this conversation. Ultimately, we hope that this conversation helps us all remember how God loves us, and that as a result we would learn to love in a similar way. We encourage you to remind your group throughout this conversation that both “love” and “being slow to anger (patience, kindness), are fruits of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23). Thus, remaining close to God is how we become both loving and slow to anger! The question to keep coming back to today: How can we remain connected to God? (John 15:4)

Success is usually the result of preparation— not the product of good intentions or mere promises to succeed— and relationships are no exception to this rule. This is why it’s so important to get serious about becoming the kind of person the person we’re looking for is looking for, rather than simply hoping that once we find “the right person,” everything will work out. But to do so, we’ll have to examine the fine print of what Jesus asks of his followers in relationships. We’ll have to get serious about practicing his particular brand of love, which requires exercises in kindness and empathy now, in order to be ready later. That means practice, whether you are single, dating, or married!

Start Talking

  • What’s the craziest misconception you had about life as a child? Did you mistakenly believe anything really strange? (For instance, I have a friend who thought that to get “fired,” meant that your boss cooked you in a literal oven as punishment for poor work performance.)
  • What childhood stories shaped your view of romance?
  • What fairy tale or romantic comedy sends the least helpful messages about love in your opinion?
  • What real life relationship has shaped your view of romance and love?

Think About It

  • What “childish” notions or assumptions about love did you carry into adulthood?
  • What has changed in your thinking or actions since we began this series?
  • What surprised you the most about real-life relationships when you first started dating? 
  •  Do you think love can be learned, practiced, and intentionally implemented?

Look It Up

Read 1 Corinthians 13:4–5.

  • What stands out to you in these verses?
  • What does it mean to be “easily angered”, and what experience have you had with someone being easily angered? 
  • Would you say you are a person who is easily angered? If yes, describe what this is like for you. 
  • How does a person go about trying to become, “slow to anger?”
  • What are the implications of truly believing that nobody can make us angry, but rather that the behavior of others usually only reveals the emotions that already exist in our hearts?

Read Philippians 2:3-8.

  • What stands out to you?
  • What does the sacrificial life and death of Jesus have to do with our romantic
  • What do these verses teach us about “protecting” our relationships? What would it/does it look like for you to protect the relationships you are in?

What Now?

  • Where do you have work to do? Are you self-seeking? Easily angered? A scorekeeper? Not protective?
  • What can you do this week to address your weak spots?
  • What does today’s conversation show you about how God loves you?

Additional Resources

The New Rules of Love, Sex, and Dating by Andy Stanley (Book)
Single, Dating, Engaged, Married: Navigating Life and Love in the Modern Age by Ben Start (Book)
Chasing Vines: Finding Your Way to an Immensely Fruitful Life by Beth More (Study)
Loveology by John Mark Comer (Book)
Goodness of God by Bethel Music (Song)