Small Group Questions

Man Caves And She Sheds: Distractions  

Introduction: 

If you see anyone who has built a successful marriage, it’s because that couple had a specific vision of what could and should be in that relationship from God’s perspective. That couple developed a picture of what they wanted that marriage to look like, how it should feel. But there are some people who discover and begin to live out their vision, but they never finish that vision. They see where God moves the right people and circumstances into place, and how He provides the resources to carry out that vision. They start to live that vision when a problem arises. They don’t follow through on the vision. The reason? They get distracted. The problem is that the daily grind is very hard on vision. Life is so full of distractions that vision. mission and purpose are lost in the distractions and couples end up living for no higher purpose than to get through another day.

Something To Talk About: 

Distractions and their impact on our lives. They can be deadly to our marriages, and they can be disastrous to our relationship with God. We need to take action to avoid distractions. Five of those distractions are: 

  1. Smart Devices : One of the biggest distractions is technology. This includes texting, the internet, and smartphones, as well as the old favorites—TV and video games. So how do we use the technology so needed in today’s world and yet keep it from distracting us from what’s important in our relationships? It is not the technology that is bad. In fact, it has many good uses. But if we’re not careful, it can definitely become a distraction that gets in the way of what God wants us to do. The answer is to control it. Moderation is an uphill battle in our culture. We are inundated with excess. But God—through the Holy Spirit living in us—will empower us to choose moderation over indulgence. When we do not live in moderation and we lack self-control in any area of our lives, it indicates we have not allowed God to have full control of that area. We must work to develop a stronger marriage and a tighter bond with our spouse.  This will not happen in front of a television or computer screen. 
  2. Hobbies: Hobbies – from golfing or hiking, to researching stocks or refinishing old furniture – can bring enjoyment into your life.  It’s healthy for you to have passions; God made you that way. So it’s okay to feel passionate about your hobbies. What’s problematic is getting your priorities out of order from where God intends them to be. It’s unhealthy to run after your hobbies with such intensity that you neglect the other things you should be pursuing. Ask God to show you which of the relationships and activities in your life truly deserve to be high priorities for you. Decide right now to make your relationship with God your highest priority by placing it at the center of your life and revolving everything else around it.
  3. Working from home: When you sit down to work from home, it can be difficult to know when to call it a day’s work. Having constant access to your workload and employer from the comfort of your own home can make you feel like you should always be on the clock, but it can distract you from your mate. If you are having trouble creating a work/life balance, it’s time to start setting some ground rules. If you have the ability to work from home, set a time limit to how long you sit at your desk. Start by setting a regular 9-5 shift for yourself. Get as much work done in the timeframe as possible and then devote the rest of your night to spending time with your mate. 
  4. Raising children: Raising kids is a tremendous blessing. It is also a tremendous responsibility and can be a huge distraction in marriage. The important thing is to continue to nurture the marriage relationship. Raising a child is one of the most selfless things you can do. As a parent, there is no one else you’d rather give your attention to than your children. This isn’t a bad thing. However, you need to make sure that your spouse is still getting enough attention from you in order to maintain a happy, healthy relationship. Fight against potential distractions in relationships by having a date night with your spouse. The benefits of date night in a long-term relationship are endless.  
  5. Pursuit of wealth: You need money to put a roof over your head and feed your family, but the pursuit of material gain can be a distraction in a marriage. Money is important, but it isn’t everything. Do not put your pursuit of living a cushy life interfere with the health of your relationship. Remember that you need money to live, but it doesn’t have to be your main concern every waking moment of the day. Have a balanced view of work and finances in your relationship. Don’t work so much that you aren’t nurturing your marriage. Similarly, don’t hassle your partner or make them feel guilty when they have to work extra hours to help support your household.

Discussion Questions 

  1. Is it possible to eliminate all distractions?  
  2.  Take a minute as a group to share about one thing in your life that distracts you (serious or funny). What are some things you have missed as a result of being distracted? Share with the group a time and place where you feel least distracted.
  3. Why do you separate everyday activities from your relationship with God? How can you focus on God while doing what you do all day long?
  4. Drifting apart can happen in every marriage and it begins with distractions. How are the distractions in your life affecting your marriage? List your top three biggest distractions.
  5. Is technology a distraction in your lives and marriage? How is it a distraction? Which technology devices are most distracting? Discuss things you might do to help each other overcome these distractions.
  6. Raising kids is a tremendous blessing, it is also a tremendous responsibility and can be a huge distraction in marriage. The important thing is to continue to nurture the marriage relationship. How can we accomplish that? 
  7. How do you see hobbies being a distraction? What about working from home? 
  8. Building an awesome marriage is often about balancing the distractions of life. Think of two ways you can better balance the distractions in your life.
  9. What did God teach you through this weeks message? How can you begin to apply it in your life and marriage? How will it help you have a stronger marriage?

Take one thing home with you: 

Having a smartphone in your pocket can automatically connect you to the world. Your work, e-mail, social media, and chats with friends are just a swipe away. This is great for you, but not so fantastic for your partner. Keeping up with social media and having multiple conversations at the same time via text demands your time and energy. The same time and energy you could be giving to your partner. Consider having a daily blackout. Having a blackout is becoming more popular in relationships. This is an occasion where for one hour every night you and your spouse turn your phones off. Some go as far as blacking out completely with no calls, video games or television. This is a great way to give your partner undivided attention and feel valued and heard.