This week, we saw that God’s desire is for our communication with our families come from the heart and speak to the heart. When we view our words as this important, we take more responsibility for what we say, we choose our words carefully, and we give grace to those we speak to.
To get the conversation started, ask each person to answer the following:
Which phrase(s) best describe(s) the communication style of your parent(s) while you were growing up, and why?
a. “never met a stranger”
b. quiet, reserved
c. kept conversation flowing
d. superficial, guarded
e. loving, honest, vulnerable
Looking Back on Communicating Heart to Heart (Ephesians 4:29)
Start out by reviewing the main points of the message with the group. What one principle or insight stands out as being particularly helpful, insightful, or difficult to grasp?
Have the group read Proverbs 12:18. How does this passage relate to our discussion about speaking from the heart to the heart? If you as the group leader can provide a personal example of when you’ve used words recklessly and wisely, or when you have been the recipient of reckless or wise words, this can help the group open up to sharing their own experiences. Ask the group to share similar examples from their lives, either positive or negative, and how those impacted them.
Ask the group why it is important to take responsibility for our words and our communication with our families? What happens when we don’t take responsibility for them? How can that affect our families?
Have the group read James 1:19. How can this passage help us apply the principle of “limiting our vocabulary” – choosing our words carefully? How can we remind ourselves to be slow to speak?
What’s one step you can take to be wise with your words and give grace to those who are listening to you? To wrap up this time, ask the group to think about someone in their life who needs to hear grace from their words. Have them think about what that person is going through, and what encouragement or gentle rebuke do they need to hear most. Give the group a minute or two to think about this. Have the group pray silently for that person and ask God for the words to say to them.
Looking Ahead to Caution: Families at Work (Romans 8:28-29)
Romans 8:28-29 tells us that God uses every experience and part of our lives, including our families, to continually change us into the people He made us and saved us to be.
Read Romans 8:28-29 as a group, and discuss the following three questions in anticipation of next week’s sermon:
Verse 28 teaches that “God causes all things to work together for good…” How might this statement apply to circumstances in your family-life right now?
What do you think the “good” is that Paul is pointing to? In other words, what might the purpose be that God is working toward in your life? (Hint: consider the context of verse 29).
In light of our discussion tonight, how has God used your family (whatever that has looked like throughout your life) as a part of the process of making you more like Jesus?
Family Life in HD: Communicating Heart to Heart Ephesians 4:29
5.12.13 Larry Nees, Outreach Pastor
Take full responsibility for your words.
Limit your vocabulary – choose your words carefully.
Purify your motives – speak from your heart.
Family Life in HD: Communicating Heart to Heart
Complexities of communication in a family are immense! We may never be able to untangle the web of personalities and motives that shape conversations. But we can take ownership of our own words. Just think of the potential impact for positive change if we trust the Lord as our source of life and security, so that we might speak healing words from a pure heart to others in our family.
Thinking It Through
Trust is the most essential ingredient in effective communication.
Constantly talking isn’t necessarily communicating.
You cannot talk to people successfully if they think you are not interested in what they have to say or you have no respect for them.
Google before you tweet.
Living It Out
1. Describe the communication patterns in your family of origin. What have you learned from them?
2. Why is it so hard to speak from our heart? What are the obstacles we face in speaking to another’s heart?
3. What is the role of eye contact, focused attention and listening in healthy communication?
4. How do we discern “according to the need of the moment” as we seek to communicate well?
Family Life in HD
Caution: Families at Work
We all know family-life is anything but easy. At various times it can be beautiful, frustrating, painful, joyful, hopeful, trying, worrisome, fun, and incredibly complex. Underneath all these layers of emotion, God is up to something in your life. Have you ever thought about how God might be using the joys and frustrations of your family-life to do His transformative work in you?
Looking It Up
1. Read Romans 8:28-29. Write down one or two emotions that come to mind as you read these verses. Do they give you a sense of hope? Comfort? Encouragement?
2. Make some observations about the words in the text. Which words or phrases stand out to you as particularly important? Make a list of the verbs in these two verses. Does anything stand out to you about this list?
3. What kind of picture of God do these verses portray? Is He active or passive? Involved or distant? Loving or detached? Proactive or reactive? Purposeful or random?
4. Verse 28 teaches that “God causes all things to work together for good…” How might this statement apply to circumstances in your family-life right now?
5. What do you think the “good” is that Paul is pointing to? In other words, what might the purpose be that God is working toward in your life? (Hint: consider the context of verse 29).
6. How has God used your family (whatever that has looked like throughout your life) as a part of the process of making you more like Jesus?
Posted on Mon, May 13, 2013
by Lawton Jones