Fighting Fair | Song of Solomon | Week 4

Sermon Notes

Fighting Fair | Song of Solomon | Week 4
Pastor Dave and Clare Pretlove

How to handle conflict in marriage:
  1. Expect it!
    • Song of Solomon 5:1-6
  2. Identify the land mines – the sources and seasons of conflict.
    • Song of Solomon 5:2-7
  3. Have a shared goal for the conflict.
    • Song of Solomon 5:8-11; 6:1-5
    • The goal is a win-win, reconciliation, and making up well!
    • Colossians 1:19-22


Group Questions

  1. How have you normally seen people or your family handle conflict?
  2. Why would it be important to identify the sources and seasons of conflict? What other seasons or sources of conflict have you identified in your own life?
  3. Read 2 Corinthians 5:16-21 aloud together. How do you see the themes of initiation, humility, forgiveness, and affirmation in this section?
  4. How can you apply the principles of initiation, humility, forgiveness, and affirmation to your own relationships when dealing with conflict?
  5. Have you experienced a time when conflict strengthened your relationship with someone? If you’re comfortable, share what you learned from that situation.
  6. Ephesians 4:32 instructs us to “be kind to one another, compassionate, forgiving one another, just as God in Christ also forgave you”. Which area will you or your group grow in this week? How specifically will you do that?

Something To Think About

I recently heard a leader say, “Don’t focus on confrontation, focus on clarity.” Don’t sit down with someone and think you’re confronting them, think about how you’re seeking clarity. That is a perspective shift!

When it’s time to have a hard conversation (notice I say when, not if, because when we’re following Jesus with our whole heart, there will always be hard conversations in the body of Christ), I can really get in my mind about it. I can get so freaked out about how the person will respond, how I’ll handle it in the moment, and my pits get sweaty and my heart rate increases. You get it.

But when I approach a conversation and can gently say, “I just want clarity. And I think you want that, too.” that changes everything! When our posture is, “Let me understand where you’re at and where you’re coming from.” that disarms people and gets us both on the same team. When we communicate the shared goal of clarity, reconciliation, and understanding, that radically changes how the conversation goes. Be praying and thinking about how to gain clarity in your relationships this week. 

Lydia Long

A Spiritual Practice To Try

As we meditate and reflect on reconciliation this week, the spiritual practice of service may serve us well. Specifically, serving others through listening.

In his book Celebration of Discipline, Theologian and author, Richard Foster says this about the service of listening:

“To listen to others quiets and disciplines the mind to listen to God. It creates an inward working upon the heart that transforms the affections, even the priorities, of life. When we have grown dull to listening to God, we would do well to listen to others in silence and see if we do not hear God through them.”

This week, as you navigate conflicts and reconciliation, serve the other person through listening. And as you listen, listen for the stirring and working of God in this relationship and conversation.

In-Depth Bible + Discipleship Study

Grab a couple of friends and spend some time in Ephesians 4, specifically verses 25-32. Maybe commit to memorizing 4:31-32 together. Ask, pray, and journal about these questions:
  • Who is speaking? Who is being talked about?
  • What is the subject or object? What comes before and after? What are the circumstances? What’s the atmosphere or emotion of the text? What keywords or phrases are being repeated?
  • When is this taking place?
  • Where is this taking place? 
  • Why are they there? Why are these instructions being given?
  • How are people responding? How is the recipient expected to respond?
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