Small Group Studies

Bride and Gloom Week 3

After God created Adam, the first person ever created, He saw that it was not good that He was alone in Genesis 2. In response, He created Eve as a helper to live life alongside him. We have enjoyed the gift of having deep relationships, from our spouses to members of the body of Christ, ever since. God gave us relationships with one another as a gift, but unfortunately, sin disrupted God's design for relationships. Sin brought about the conflict that still impacts us today. Conflict is inevitable in our relationships, but we get to choose how to respond when it erupts. Today in our study together, we will look at how to respond when this conflict comes in a way that honors God and points people to Him.


What was your silliest conflict with a sibling or friend when you were younger?


Bible Study Questions

 1. What are the main causes of conflict in our relationships today?


2. Read Genesis 2:18-23. What does this passage of Scripture teach about God's design for relationships? How has sin distorted God's good design for relationships?

Genesis 2:18-23

"Then the Lord God said, "It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper who is just right for him." 19 So the Lord God formed from the ground all the wild animals and all the birds of the sky. He brought them to the man to see what he would call them, and the man chose a name for each one. 20 He gave names to all the livestock, all the birds of the sky, and all the wild animals. But still there was no helper just right for him.

21 So the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep. While the man slept, the Lord God took out one of the man's ribs and closed up the opening. 22 Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib, and he brought her to the man.

23 "At last!" the man exclaimed.

"This one is bone from my bone,
and flesh from my flesh!
She will be called 'woman,'
because she was taken from 'man.'"

3. Read Ephesians 4:26-27. What does anger do, according to these verses? How have you seen this to be true in your own life?

Ephesians 4:26-27

"And "don't sin by letting anger control you." Don't let the sun go down while you are still angry, 27 for anger gives a foothold to the devil."

4. Read Ephesians 4:31-32. Compare and contrast two ways to respond to conflict described in these verses.

Ephesians 4:31-32

"Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. 32 Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you."


1. How do you usually respond when you are in a conflict?

2. What room for improvement do you see regarding how you respond to conflict?

3. What is a conflict you are currently walking through? How can you follow Ephesians 4:26-32 as you respond to this conflict?


Take some time to pray for the relationships where conflict has erupted. Pray for the people you find yourself in conflict with. Pray also for you all as you walk through your conflict. Finally, pray that God would give you compassionate and forgiving hearts so that you can love them well.

 GOING DEEPER tells about a time when Clara Barton, the founder, and president of the American Red Cross, was reminded by a friend about some wrong that had been done against her. The friend said, "Don't you remember?" Clara replied, "No, I distinctly remember forgetting that." This brilliant statement by Barton is a reminder that forgiveness is a choice. We may not be able to forget all of the wrong done against us, despite the adage, "forgive and forget," but we can choose forgiveness. To say "I can't forgive them" is untrue. We can; we just choose not to forgive. So today, we will take a deep dive into Scripture and be challenged to forgive, especially our spouses and loved ones.

Forgive Because We Also Need Forgiveness:

While many of us may be slow to forgive, we quickly ask for forgiveness when we mess up. We are slow to forgive but quick to accept forgiveness. The truth is, we have all messed up. We all need forgiveness. This is why Scripture says we should be eager to extend the same forgiveness we request and accept.

1. Read Matthew 6:11-12. How are we told to forgive, according to these verses?

Matthew 6:11-12

"Give us today the food we need,
12 and forgive us our sins,
as we have forgiven those who sin against us."

2. Read Matthew 6:14-15. Why is this instruction to forgive to be taken seriously? Why do you think Jesus connects God’s forgiveness with our own willingness to forgive?

Matthew 6:14-15

"If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you. 15 But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins."

Forgive Like Jesus Forgave:

There is no greater example of forgiveness than Jesus' forgiveness. When we were lost in sin, He came to earth, lived a perfect life, died an agonizing death on the cross, took on the punishment for our sins, and rose from the grave. He is willing to forgive us any time we turn to Him. He has forgiven us of every sin and will continue to forgive us when we sin and turn to Him. Just like He forgives extravagantly, He calls us to forgive extravagantly as well.

1. Read Colossians 3:13. What are the parameters of how we are called to forgive?

Colossians 3:13

"Make allowance for each other's faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others."

2. How has Christ forgiven us?

3. In one sentence, what does it look like to forgive others as Christ has forgiven us?

Forgive Often:

Here on earth, we often put limits on forgiveness. We can forgive one time, but the next time someone hurts us, we want to withhold forgiveness. In Jewish culture, people were required to forgive someone three times, and if someone extended that third time, they were no longer obligated to forgive. Jesus came onto the scene and taught something completely different.

1. Read Matthew 18:21-22. How was Jesus' answer counter-cultural to the typical understanding of forgiveness in Jesus' day?

Matthew 18:21-22

"Then Peter came to him and asked, "Lord, how often should I forgive someone who sins against me? Seven times?"

22 "No, not seven times," Jesus replied, "but seventy times seven!"

2. Jesus did not mean we are expected to forgive 490 times. What was Jesus trying to express with His answer "seventy times seven"?

3. What does that mean for us, and how are we to forgive?


Now that you have taken a deep dive into what Scripture teaches us about forgiveness let's reflect.

  1. How do these passages of Scripture impact your understanding of forgiveness? How do they challenge how you previously forgave others?

  2. How would following Scripture's teachings about forgiveness impact your relationships, especially your marriages, for those who are married?

  3. Who do you need to forgive right now?

Our call today is to follow Scripture's command to forgive. This week, take steps to extend forgiveness to someone you have been harboring unforgiveness toward. Then, spend the next few minutes praying for God to give each of you tender hearts, eager to forgive.

MONTHLY MEMORY VERSE (Available for download on Sagebrush App)

Live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ. He loved us and offered himself as a sacrifice for us, a pleasing aroma to God. Ephesians 5:2