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(Ministry of Five Oaks Church, Woodbury, MN)

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Introduction
How can two people stand at an altar and swear they will love each other until "death do us part" and then just a few years later hate each other more than they have ever hated anyone? How can the person to whom she gave her deepest vow become the person she despises most? In this message, Andy provides insight on how to not only fall in love, but also to stay in love.

Discussion Questions

1) Andy says that we all bring emotional "baggage" into our romantic relationships. What are some reasons why romantic relationships reveal this baggage more than any other kind of relationship?
2) Our 'baggage' frequently results from family or romantic relationships. What are some specific experiences that have most contributed to your baggage?
3) Read Proverbs 4:23. In this verse, Solomon, famous for his wisdom, says to guard your heart above all else. Do you agree with Solomon? Even if you disagree, can you think of some reasons why Solomon would place such value on guarding your heart?
4) Andy says that your ability to feel certain things is determined by the condition of your heart. Why is this more important than your partner's behavior? How does the second half of Proverbs 4:23 support this assertion?
5) Unspoken emotions have a great deal of power over us. Why does verbalizing a specific emotion take away that power?
6) Oftentimes, we feel defensive when our partners come to us and say, "When you do ________, I feel _________." Andy says that there are no bad feelings and that when we share feelings, we are providing an observation, not a criticism. What did Andy say our response to this type of observation should be? Why is this so difficult to do?


Moving Forward

What's inside of you is coming out. And it's not coming out because of who you are with, but because it was in you to begin with. If you want to stay in love, you have to pay attention to what is in there, so that you can own it. You have to have a plan to guard your heart--a plan that begins with thinking about and identifying specific emotions and then communicating them. Will you commit to this plan?



Changing Your Mind

Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.
Proverbs 4:23