Friendships should be fun and easy! At least, that is what many of us are prone to believe. But, this belief will limit our friendships when other emotions are necessary. This week we’ll look at the friendship essential of emotional connection. Learning from the Book of Proverbs and seeing examples from Jesus’ own friendships, we will discover how a deeper understanding of our own emotions can help us find better connections and more meaningful relationships with our friends.
Group Discussion Guide
To see the leader guide for this week, CLICK HERE
Spend a few minutes discussing with your group how last week’s application went. What were the highs and lows of your week?
After your time of connecting, begin your meeting with prayer.
Colossians 3:12 “Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.”
Have you ever had a friendship that feels emotionally one-dimensional? This can look like an avoidance of discussing anything difficult within each other’s lives or, even worse, ignoring anything other than positive emotions in your relationship with someone. When friendships only revolve around positivity, it can lead to an emotional disconnect, which can make it difficult to fully trust each other. Emotional health in friendships requires looking beyond the easy parts of a person’s life and digging a bit deeper. By being willing to empathize and be emotionally vulnerable with our friends, we will be able to secure more stable and loving relationships. Today, we will explore how to allow our friendships to flourish by connecting emotionally. This leads us to our big idea for the week:
Big Idea for the week
God invites us to experience the power of shared emotion in friendships.
- Are you in tune with yourself emotionally?
- How do you gauge your own emotional health?
- How much of a role do you give emotions in your life?
- Do you think emotion is a healthy or unhealthy part of your life? Why?
- What role do emotions play in your friendships?
Go around your group and have someone read each of the following verses, then discuss the connected questions.
- Romans 12:15
- 1 Corinthians 9:22
- How do these Bible verses compare to the way emotions were expressed in the household in which you grew up?
- How has your childhood emotional experience impacted your current view of emotional expression?
- What do these verses say that could relate to emotional regulation?
- What do you think unhealthy and healthy emotional regulation looks like in a person’s life?
- Have you ever been ignored or comforted poorly when trying to express emotion in a friendship? How did that feel?
The next set of verses comes from a book of the Bible called Job, which is a story about a wealthy, righteous man in the ancient middle east who experiences great loss and struggles to understand why it happened to him. These three verses describe the immediate reaction that Job’s friends had after they heard of his loss. Pay attention to how they act.
- Job 2:11-13
- What do these verses teach us friendship can look like when your friend is in distress or grief?
- What do you feel is the role of emotions in the spiritual life? How can that affect your friendships?
Based on the verses we just read, there are some things that we can do in response. Take a moment to discuss these questions as a group to determine what your personal action steps for the week can be:
- How can you take a step towards understanding yourself a little better emotionally this week? How can you invite God to be a part of that process?
- What areas in your life do you think you should address when it comes to being able to connect with others emotionally?
- What is one new friendship you can be emotionally vulnerable in?
- How can the group help you stay accountable in an area of growth for you this week?
Part of being a good friend is being both emotionally available and emotionally healthy. These two things will help not only to start new friendships well but to build upon the ones you currently have. As you go forward this week, try your best not to do this alone. Prayer and community with others are essential if we want to connect emotionally in our spiritual life and friendships.
Daily Bible Reading
Use the S.O.A.P. method to reflect on the verses below.
Scripture: Read the verses several times out loud.
Observation: As you read the scripture what do you observe.
Application: What is God wanting you to believe, do or feel based on what you have read?
Pray: This is a chance to talk to God about what you have read, and ask him for help in living out what you’ve learned.
- Day 1: Proverbs 16:23-24
- Day 2: Matthew 7:12
- Day 3: Acts 20:25
- Day 4: Galatians 5:22-23
- Day 5: Job 6:14
- Day 6: Hebrews 13:1-2