Small Group Studies

Bride and Gloom Week 4

All relationships take work. Each of us have different opinions, life circumstances, hopes, and dreams, so it is only natural that conflict and frustration occur. The question we have to ask ourselves is, “What do we do when conflict arises”? Rachel and Leah certainly experienced the difficulties that arise in relationships after marrying the same man, Jacob. Life probably looked differently than they hoped it would. Today, we will look at their story and learn from their response when it comes to the conflict that occurs in relationships in our own lives.


When was a time in your life when things turned out differently than you had hoped? What happened?


Bible Study Questions

 1. Who do you know who navigates conflict well?


2. Read Genesis 29:18-27. How did Laban's choice impact his daughters and Jacob?

Genesis 29:18-27

"Since Jacob was in love with Rachel, he told her father, "I'll work for you for seven years if you'll give me Rachel, your younger daughter, as my wife."

19 "Agreed!" Laban replied. "I'd rather give her to you than to anyone else. Stay and work with me." 20 So Jacob worked seven years to pay for Rachel. But his love for her was so strong that it seemed to him but a few days.

21 Finally, the time came for him to marry her. "I have fulfilled my agreement," Jacob said to Laban. "Now give me my wife so I can sleep with her."

22 So Laban invited everyone in the neighborhood and prepared a wedding feast. 23 But that night, when it was dark, Laban took Leah to Jacob, and he slept with her. 24 (Laban had given Leah a servant, Zilpah, to be her maid.)

25 But when Jacob woke up in the morning-it was Leah! "What have you done to me?" Jacob raged at Laban. "I worked seven years for Rachel! Why have you tricked me?"

26 "It's not our custom here to marry off a younger daughter ahead of the firstborn," Laban replied. 27 "But wait until the bridal week is over; then we'll give you Rachel, too-provided you promise to work another seven years for me."

3. Read Genesis 29:31-35. Look at Leah’s response each time she has a son. What was different about her final comment after her 4th son was born? How did her perspective change?

Genesis 29:31-35

"When the Lord saw that Leah was unloved, he enabled her to have children, but Rachel could not conceive. 32 So Leah became pregnant and gave birth to a son. She named him Reuben, for she said, “The Lord has noticed my misery, and now my husband will love me.”

33 She soon became pregnant again and gave birth to another son. She named him Simeon, for she said, “The Lord heard that I was unloved and has given me another son.”

34 Then she became pregnant a third time and gave birth to another son. He was named Levi, for she said, “Surely this time my husband will feel affection for me, since I have given him three sons!”

35 Once again Leah became pregnant and gave birth to another son. She named him Judah, for she said, “Now I will praise the Lord!” And then she stopped having children."

4. Individually skim through Genesis 30:1-14. How did Rachel and Leah take matters into their own hands regarding their families?

Genesis 30:1-14

"When Rachel saw that she wasn't having any children for Jacob, she became jealous of her sister. She pleaded with Jacob, "Give me children, or I'll die!"

2 Then Jacob became furious with Rachel. "Am I God?" he asked. "He's the one who has kept you from having children!"

3 Then Rachel told him, "Take my maid, Bilhah, and sleep with her. She will bear children for me, and through her I can have a family, too." 4 So Rachel gave her servant, Bilhah, to Jacob as a wife, and he slept with her. 5 Bilhah became pregnant and presented him with a son. 6 Rachel named him Dan, for she said, "God has vindicated me! He has heard my request and given me a son." 7 Then Bilhah became pregnant again and gave Jacob a second son. 8 Rachel named him Naphtali, for she said, "I have struggled hard with my sister, and I'm winning!"

9 Meanwhile, Leah realized that she wasn't getting pregnant anymore, so she took her servant, Zilpah, and gave her to Jacob as a wife. 10 Soon Zilpah presented him with a son. 11 Leah named him Gad, for she said, "How fortunate I am!" 12 Then Zilpah gave Jacob a second son. 13 And Leah named him Asher, for she said, "What joy is mine! Now the other women will celebrate with me."

14 One day during the wheat harvest, Reuben found some mandrakes growing in a field and brought them to his mother, Leah. Rachel begged Leah, "Please give me some of your son's mandrakes."


1. In what ways do you, like Leah, focus on your difficulties instead of Christ? How does this impact you?

2. Just like Leah, God sees you. How has God been good to you, even amid the difficulties you are walking through?

3. Have you been trying to take matters into your own hands regarding different areas of your life? If so, what is one thing you can do to turn back to God?


What is one relationship in which you would like God to intervene? Please share it with your group. (You do not have to name names here.) After everyone has shared, pray together. Ask God to work and move in your relationships and help you seek peace and restoration in that relationship.


When conflict occurs in our marriages, we often focus on what the other person needs to do to bring about peace and restoration, not what we can do to restore the relationship ourselves. Have you ever thought or said, “Everything would be fine if ‘they’ would get their act together and do what I want them to do”? It’s their fault, not mine. The truth is we cannot force someone to change or act differently. And none of us are guiltless when it comes to the hurt and pain in our relationships. If we want our marriages to change, we must rely on God to change us and our spouses. We must turn to God and ask Him to help us grow.

Focusing on Ourselves is More Effective During Conflict:

If we want our relationships to change, we must understand where the problems start. We can’t take action toward restoration if we don’t have the source of the conflict in mind. James tells us exactly where these problems come from. In James 4, James tells us that the problem comes from us. We must take responsibility for our role in that broken relationship and seek forgiveness and growth. This admission and ownership begins to restore our relationships that are hurting. 

1. Read James 4:1-3 Where does conflict in our relationships come from?

James 4: 1-3

"What is causing the quarrels and fights among you? Don't they come from the evil desires at war within you? 2 You want what you don't have, so you scheme and kill to get it. You are jealous of what others have, but you can't get it, so you fight and wage war to take it away from them. Yet you don't have what you want because you don't ask God for it. 3 And even when you ask, you don't get it because your motives are all wrong-you want only what will give you pleasure."

2. How has your sin (such as jealousy, resentment, selfishness, scheming, etc.) affected your marriage?

3. What happens when we try to blame our spouses for the problems in our marriages instead of owning our part? 

As We Grow, The Holy Spirit Produces Fruit:

We start taking responsibility for our mess by turning to God and growing. Something remarkable happens when we lean on Him and the power of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit produces fruit within us. We become more like Christ and reflect Him to the people around us.

1. Read Galatians 5:16-23. Which of these fruits of the Spirit would you like to nourish, develop, and grow in?

Galatians 5:16-23

"So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won't be doing what your sinful nature craves. 17 The sinful nature wants to do evil, which is just the opposite of what the Spirit wants. And the Spirit gives us desires that are the opposite of what the sinful nature desires. These two forces are constantly fighting each other, so you are not free to carry out your good intentions. 18 But when you are directed by the Spirit, you are not under obligation to the law of Moses.

19 When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, 21 envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God.

22 But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!"

2. According to these verses, what is the benefit of turning to God and leaning into the Spirit’s guidance?

3. How will growing in these fruits of the Spirit benefit your relationships?

Our Fruit Has Impact:

The fruit that the Holy Spirit produces within us has an impact. First and foremost, it honors God and points others to Him. Secondly, the fruit impacts our relationships. The changes that the Spirit produces in us transform how we interact with the people around us.

1. Read Galatians 5:24-26. How do the fruits of the Spirit listed in Galatians 15:16-23 lead to the attitude described in verse 26?

Galatians 5:24-26

"Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there. 25 Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit's leading in every part of our lives. 26 Let us not become conceited, or provoke one another, or be jealous of one another."

2. According to this verse, how can we have an attitude where we are not arrogant or jealous or provoke one another?

3. What does it look like to "live by the Spirit?"

4.What would your marriage look like if these fruits were apparent in your lives?


Now that we have taken a deep dive into what Scripture says about growth and taking ownership of areas where we need to grow let’s reflect.

  1. Think about relationships in your life where you have conflict. If you are not currently in a conflict, think about a past conflict. As you consider your response to the conflict you are facing, in what area have you made mistakes and need to grow?

  2. Look back at the fruit of the Spirit that you shared you would like to grow in. Is the fruit of the Spirit connected to the area you want to grow in when it comes to a conflict you are facing or have faced in the past? If so, how?

  3. Starting today, what is a step you can take to take ownership of the area in which you need growth?

Finish your time together in prayer. Ask God to give you the courage necessary to take ownership of the areas that need growth and discernment to know the steps necessary to grow. 

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