Picture Perfect (Part 1): Study Guide

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Bottom Line

You will not see a new story until you let go of the old one. 

Study Verses

James 1:23-25, Revelation 21:1-4, Hebrews 2:11, Ephesians 1:13-14

Key Points

  • The cultural understanding of the family has changed more than we know. 
  • Redemption is the reality that God uses everything. 
  • The danger of disappointment is we long to go back. 
  • The danger of fulfillment is that we long for things to stay the same.
  • The way of redemption requires us to let go of demanding things work out. 
  • Stop looking in the past. There is only one direction and that is forward. 
  • The restoration and reclamation of the family isn’t the only thing that matters. Redemption does. 
  • The family is one of the most central concepts of humanity, but it’s also one of the greatest sources of frustration, disappointment and shame. 
  • We all believe the family is important, but we all know that the family is imperfect.
  • The worst possible way to struggle is alone. 

ENCOUNTER

  • Complete the sentence: My family is ___________________. How does your answer influence your perspective of the purpose of the family?
  • What do you believe God’s intention is for the family? What makes you answer in the way that you do?
  • How has the cultural understanding of the family changed over the years?
  • How do you wrestle with the tension that believing the family is important, but knowing that the family is imperfect?

FORMATION

  • Read James 1:23-25. Why is it important that we take a step back from our limited perspective and take a larger look at God’s purpose for the family?
  • Read Revelation 21:1-4. What is the significance of marriage being the book end stories of the Bible (establishment of marriage in Genesis and the celebration of marriage in redemption seen in Revelation)? Why did God use this imagery to describe our relationship with Him?
  • Read Hebrews 2:11 and Ephesians 1:13-14. What does it mean that God has a “view of redemption”? Why does the redemption of the family matter just as much as the restoration and reclamation of it?

EXPRESSION

  • The worst possible way to struggle is alone. What struggles are you dealing with when it comes to your family?
  • The danger of disappointment is we long to go back. The danger of fulfillment is that we long for things to stay the same. Of the two (disappointment or fulfillment), which one are you viewing your family story through?
  • What would redemption look like for your family? What part of your old story are you holding on to that is preventing you from experiencing a new story?

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