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SERIES: WHAT HAPPY COUPLES KNOW
TITLE: IT’S A CHOICE
SCRIPTURE: 1 Corinthians 13:1-7
What DO happy couples know?
· They owe each other everything but are owed nothing
· It’s a submission competition.
· Sometimes you have to throw things (to God).
· They know one other thing as well. They know they have a choice.
· Happy couples know they have a choice.
Happy couples make the happy choice.
1 Corinthians 13:1–7
If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing. If you give to get, you gain nothing. Have love? I have love! Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self--seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
This positive illusion created an upward spiral of love.
· Illusion created conviction.
· Conviction led to security.
· Security fostered intimacy.
· Intimacy fostered love.
The recommendation: Find the most generous explanation for each other’s behavior and believe it.
Two things (obstacles) make it difficult to believe the best.
1. What we experience.
2. Who we are
Happy couples know it’s a choice. -- It’s your choice every single time.
Choose to trust.
Accept God’s perfect love for you .
Believe the best for a week.
Choose, when you blow it, to start over!
What Happy Couples Know | DISCUSSION GUIDE
Happy couples decide they owe each other everything but are owed nothing in return. But that requires effort. Every married person makes a choice every day. That choice feels more like a reaction, so most people don’t think they have a choice at all. But they do. Happy couples make the happy choice.
1. On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being “I can let go almost immediately” and 10 being “It takes a lot of time and effort,” how difficult is it for you to let go of a grudge? How has that tendency affected your relationships, for good and bad?
2. What are some reasons it’s easier for people to assume the worst rather than believe the best in their relationships?
3. Read 1 Corinthians 13:4–7. Which of these characteristics of love described by the apostle Paul need to be dialed up in your relationships?
4. Happy couples find the most generous explanation for each other’s behavior and believe it. Does that sound reasonable and realistic to you? Why or why not?
5. In what ways might your history, fears, or insecurities be obstacles to assuming the best of your spouse? What would it take to overcome those obstacles?
6. What is one thing you can do this week to “choose trust”? How can this group support you?
Hearts are drawn toward acceptance. That doesn’t mean you avoid difficult conversations or ignore problems. But it does mean you work to resolve your conflicts and get back to trusting each other. Happy couples know that believing the best is a choice. In fact, it’s the happy choices.
CHANGING YOUR MIND
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 1 Corinthians 13:4–7