Spiritual Growth Objective
Growing in loving other people in Christ-like ways in all of our relationships.
Introduction to Relationships
Resources for Study
This 10-lesson study covers barriers to loving others, how love is an expression of faith, the role of the Spirit in relationships, honesty vs. judging, and how to live with forgiveness and compassion.
This 9-lesson study covers the way the Holy Spirit shapes diverse people into a Christ-centered community that reflects Jesus with deeper, richer relationships centered on Christ.
This 10-lesson study examines the theme of friendship in the Bible to discover a practical theology of friendship and lessons drawn from examples of friendships in the Bible like David and Jonathan or Ruth and Naomi.
This 17-lesson study draws insights from the book of Ruth to show us how to love when loving seems impossibly hard. Miller stresses that love is a pilgrimage that requires us to reflect the pattern of Jesus’ death and resurrection in enduring rejection and unfulfilled hopes, choosing to love unlovable people, and paradoxically discovering the life of God in us that sustains and satisfies us and makes us more like Christ. A separate leader’s guide is also available.
This eight-session study is an excellent introduction to relationships that teaches participants how on how to relate to others in wise and loving ways that reflect God’s love for us. The lessons teach that good relationships emerge from practicing the disciplines of being aware of and engaged with God, self, and others. The result is a growing ability to discern emotions, interests, and abilities in ourselves and others, to interpret this information in the light of God’s Word, and to use these insights to manage our responses and relationships successfully.
This is an eight-session study on practical relationship skills for developing mature, loving relationships with others, including understanding our own emotional and relational formation in our families of origin, clarifying expectations, listening actively, engaging in conflict constructively with integrity and humility, and learning language to express appreciation, confusion, complaint, and hopes and wishes in relating to others.
This study of the love of Jesus shows us the ultimate revelation of love in action. Miller teaches us how we can learn to love by knowing Jesus, who loved with compassion and truth in deep dependence on God with a humility and faith that enabled him to endure great grief and suffering.
Ed Welch, Side by Side: Walking with Others in Wisdom and Love (Crossway, 2015). 176 pp.
These books are shorter and longer versions of the same message describing what it looks like for meaningful relationships to become a natural part of daily life in the church. Welch writes to equip friends to help friends walk alongside each other and share their burdens with each other through gentle words of wisdom and kind acts of love. It is how ordinary relationships and conversations between ordinary Christians work extraordinary support in each other’s lives. Both books have questions for reflection and group discussion at the end of each chapter.
This study draws lessons from the book of Ruth to show us how to love when loving seems impossibly hard. Miller stresses that love is a pilgrimage that requires us to reflect the pattern of Jesus’ death and resurrection in enduring rejection and unfulfilled hopes, choosing to love unlovable people, and paradoxically discovering the life of God in us that sustains and satisfies us and makes us more like Christ.
Two Christian counselors address the stubborn problems that plague many close relationships and that often erupt in conflict. They show us how to explore the deeper issues that drive our reactions, choices, and behaviors, and they show you how God transforms us to help us build mature, loving relationships that are worth the effort.
Pastor Scott Sauls describes the breadth of Jesus’ relationships and calls us to follow him by leaving the safety of our small, self-made worlds of people like us to befriend many other kinds of people. Separate chapters treat the opportunities and challenges of befriending many different groups of people.
Marriage (coming soon)
Parenting (coming soon)
Friendship (coming soon)
Why are healthy human relationships so important for being human?
How do healthy human relationships play a central role in our spiritual formation?
Can you describe the qualities of a good relationship as well as the character virtues and practices that cultivate good relationships?
Can you identify some key biblical texts that offer teaching about these qualities, virtues, and practices?
Make a commitment to pray regularly for the relationships you are working on. Keep these relationships in mind and bring them before God as you pray from the Scriptures in your practice of the daily office and your ongoing conversations with God as you live a praying life throughout your day.
Make a plan to incorporate some specific practices into your relationships that will help them mature in Christ-like ways. Make sure that your ideas are concrete enough that you will can see and evaluate your progress. Discuss these with your growth group or some trusted Christian friend to seek their support, wisdom, and encouragement.