Righteous Relationships (discussion questions)

Exiles Series Gfx_ThumbHere are the discussion questions that accompany my message, “Righteous Relationships,” which is part of our series “Exiles” on the book of 1 Peter. This study walks through 1 Peter 3:1-12.

  1. In which of your relationships do you find it most easy to share your faith in Jesus? In which relationships do you find it harder to do that?
  1. As we continue our series, “Exiles,” this weekend, we are turning to 1 Peter 3:1-12. Begin your study in prayer, asking God to speak to you through the Bible, and then read the passage aloud.
  1. Continuing from the previous section, 1 Peter 2:18-25, Peter now focuses attention on husband-wife relationships. He addresses them both, saying “in the same way” (3:1, 7). This brings us back to 1 Peter 2:18, where Peter addresses the household servants. What is “the same way” that Peter is talking about?
  1. According to verses 1 and 2, what reason does Peter give for the submission he commends for wives?
  1. Peter offers a contrast between inner and outer beauty. This is a hot topic in our own culture, where some companies are campaigning for “real beauty.” What sort of beauty is Peter upholding and how do you think the church can reflect this?
  1. Verse 7 is a brief but pointed instruction for husbands. What does Peter exhort husbands to do and what is the reason for it?
  1. Do you think it’s easy or hard to live out Peter’s instructions for husbands and wives? Why do you say that?
  1. Speaking more generally in verses 8-12, Peter calls all followers of Jesus into a different sort of character. How would you briefly describe each phrase offered in verse 8?
  1. Behind 1 Peter 3:9 is Jesus’ statement in Luke 6:27-28. Read those verses. What do you think it practically looks like to bless those who intend evil for us?
  1. Verses 10-12 are drawn from Psalm 34, which Peter also references in 1 Peter 2:3. Why do you think Peter uses these verses here at the end of his section on relationships?
  1. What is one specific thing you sense God is speaking to you through this study? If you are with a small group, discuss that with one another and pray about what you share together. If you are studying on your own, write it down, pray about it, and share this with someone during the next few days.

[Next week: We continue our “Exiles” series by looking at 1Peter 3: 13-22 with a conversation around “Persecution.” Read ahead with us!]

Righteous Relationships

Exiles Series Gfx_Web Header

What does apple pie, fresh fruit, and exile faith have in common?

This past weekend at Eastbrook Church I continued our series, “Exiles: A Study of 1 Peter,” looking at our relationships from 1 Peter 3:1-12: wives, husbands, and the community of God.

You can watch the message here or subscribe to our audio podcast, following along with the outline below. You can also follow the entire series at our web-site.

If you’re interested in getting to know us more at Eastbrook, please take a moment to connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Vimeo. You could also join our community by downloading the Eastbrook app.

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Sexuality and Marriage (discussion questions)

HS 4Here are the discussion questions that accompany the message that Kelly and I delivered this past weekend at Eastbrook Church, “Sexuality and Marriage.” This was the fourth and final part of our series, “Holy Sexuality.”

Discussion Questions:

  1. What was your view of marriage growing up?
  2. This week we conclude our series, “Holy Sexuality,” with a focus on sexuality and marriage. We will look at various passages in this study. Before you begin, take some time to pray, asking God to speak to you and transform you through this study.
  3. Whether you are studying alone or with a group, read Genesis 2:20-25 aloud. What level of commitment do you see in these verses about the marriage relationship before God?
  4. How is this similar to or different from the view of marriage in our world today?
  5. Now read Song of Songs 8:4-14 aloud. This passage is a richly poetic and almost surprising expression of the joys of love in marriage. What are the different aspects of love that you see in these verses?
  6. How does the community celebrate and guard love in this passage?
  7. What are one or two ways in which the example of the lovers in Song of Songs is helpful to you right now?
  8. Next we want to look at the challenges to married sexuality from Proverbs 5:1-23. Read that passage aloud and identify a few of the main challenges to holy sexuality in marriage.
  9. What antidotes to these challenges are presented in these verses?
  10. After looking at the challenges, it is clear that we cannot live this out from our own resources. What are some of the keys to committed sexuality in marriage from Ephesians 5:1-2, 21-33?
  11. What is the “profound mystery” that Paul connects to the marriage relationship in Ephesians 5:31-33? Why is this important?
  12. What is one major takeaway you have from this week’s study? If you are studying on your own, write it down and share it with someone this week. If you are in a group, take time to pray for one another about these things.

Sexuality and Marriage

HS 4My wife, Kelly, and I concluded the “Holy Sexuality” series this past weekend at Eastbrook Church by talking about sexuality and marriage. I was so glad to have Kelly join me for preparation and delivery of the message. She is such a gifted pastor and woman of God, and working together on this made the message so much better.

You can view a video of the message and the accompanying outline below. You can also listen to the message via our audio podcast here.

As always, I’d like to invite you to connect with us further at Eastbrook Church on VimeoFacebook, Twitter and Instagram.


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Ed Stetzer, “10 Things I’ve Learned after 26 Years of Marriage”

This past weekend at Eastbrook I spoke about marriage in our series on relationships, “Made for It.” On Saturday night, I shared a list from pastor and author Ed Stetzer entitled “10 Things I’ve Learned after 26 Years of Marriage.” Unfortunately, I was unable to share this list on Sunday morning because of time. There is a lot of practical insight here, so I wanted to make sure I shared with everyone. Here goes:

Here are ten things I’ve learned about marriage and relationships along the way.

1. Marriage is worth the investment. Yes, it is and investment. I know that it is not always easy, but it is always worth it. I’m thankful for a strong marriage.

2. You have to invest in a marriage for it to be worth the investment. It sounds strange, but it’s true– it takes continual investment on the investment. I’ve seen “perfect” couples—like some we knew in high school and college—get married, drift apart, and end up divorced. We did not. It’s not because we are perfect, it’s because we work hard.

3. Choosing your marriage partner is the most important human decision you will ever make. I’ve seen many, many miserable marriages. And a big part of that relates to bad marriage choices. My wife was/is beautiful, but that’s a really bad foundation upon which to build a marriage.Read More »