Brave – (My Own Hand)
Main Point of Discussion: When we think about our future spouse, it is critical that we trust in the powerful hand of God rather than just our own hand.
Introducing the Clip:
The clip we are going to watch comes from the movie Brave. It is set in medieval Scotland during a time when women’s husbands were chosen by their parents after the suitors competed for their daughter’s hand in marriage. Our main character, Merida, decides to break this time honored tradition in a very interesting fashion.
The Video Clip:
(This clip is available on YouTube at this link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vfDyiCY57eo or you can rent or purchase the video and cue it up to the scene described.)
Although this scene came from a fictional, animated movie, the idea of arranged marriages has been and still is very popular in many cultures. In fact, it may surprise you to know that the whole concept of dating around and looking for your ‘soul mate’ is a recently invented way of finding a spouse. The point I want us to understand as we go forward is this: when we think about our future spouse, it’s critical that we trust in the powerful hand of God, rather than our own hand.
Divide into Small Groups: Let’s go ahead and split up into our discussion groups, and then afterward we’ll come back together for a final word.
CLICK HERE for a quick training article on how to maximize your small groups using our small group format—a great resource to equip your small group leaders.
- AROUND THE CIRCLE: Before we dive in, everybody share your name and whether or not you plan to get married someday.
- ASK A FEW: Would you like for your parents to arrange your marriage and your spouse? Why or why not?
- ASK A FEW: In the clip, why do you think they had potential suitors compete for Merida’s hand in marriage?
- ASK A FEW: Why did Merida decide to take her future into her own hands?
- ASK A FEW: Would you have done the same? Why or why not?
- ASK A FEW: What role should God play in our marriage/wedding?
- ASK A FEW: How do you think God could help you as you search for a spouse?
Read the following passage:
Abraham was now a very old man, and the LORD had blessed him in every way. One day Abraham said to his oldest servant, the man in charge of his household, “Take an oath by putting your hand under my thigh. Swear by the LORD, the God of heaven and earth, that you will not allow my son to marry one of these local Canaanite women. Go instead to my homeland, to my relatives, and find a wife there for my son Isaac.”
The servant asked, “But what if I can’t find a young woman who is willing to travel so far from home? Should I then take Isaac there to live among your relatives in the land you came from?”
“No!” Abraham responded. “Be careful never to take my son there. For the LORD, the God of heaven, who took me from my father’s house and my native land, solemnly promised to give this land to my descendants. He will send his angel ahead of you, and he will see to it that you find a wife there for my son. If she is unwilling to come back with you, then you are free from this oath of mine. But under no circumstances are you to take my son there.”
So the servant took an oath by putting his hand under the thigh of his master, Abraham. He swore to follow Abraham’s instructions.
Then he loaded ten of Abraham’s camels with all kinds of expensive gifts from his master, and he traveled to distant Aram-naharaim. There he went to the town where Abraham’s brother Nahor had settled. 11 He made the camels kneel beside a well just outside the town. It was evening, and the women were coming out to draw water.
“O LORD, God of my master, Abraham,” he prayed. “Please give me success today, and show unfailing love to my master, Abraham. See, I am standing here beside this spring, and the young women of the town are coming out to draw water. This is my request. I will ask one of them, ‘Please give me a drink from your jug.’ If she says, ‘Yes, have a drink, and I will water your camels, too!’—let her be the one you have selected as Isaac’s wife. This is how I will know that you have shown unfailing love to my master.”
Before he had finished praying, he saw a young woman named Rebekah coming out with her water jug on her shoulder. She was the daughter of Bethuel, who was the son of Abraham’s brother Nahor and his wife, Milcah. Rebekah was very beautiful and old enough to be married, but she was still a virgin. She went down to the spring, filled her jug, and came up again. Running over to her, the servant said, “Please give me a little drink of water from your jug.”
“Yes, my lord,” she answered, “have a drink.” And she quickly lowered her jug from her shoulder and gave him a drink. When she had given him a drink, she said, “I’ll draw water for your camels, too, until they have had enough to drink.” So she quickly emptied her jug into the watering trough and ran back to the well to draw water for all his camels.
The servant watched her in silence, wondering whether or not the LORD had given him success in his mission. Then at last, when the camels had finished drinking, he took out a gold ring for her nose and two large gold bracelets for her wrists.
“Whose daughter are you?” he asked. “And please tell me, would your father have any room to put us up for the night?”
“I am the daughter of Bethuel,” she replied. “My grandparents are Nahor and Milcah. Yes, we have plenty of straw and feed for the camels, and we have room for guests.”
The man bowed low and worshiped the LORD. “Praise the LORD, the God of my master, Abraham,” he said. “The LORD has shown unfailing love and faithfulness to my master, for he has led me straight to my master’s relatives.”
In many ways, the decisions you make about dating and marriage are among the most important in all of life. They will greatly impact your personal contentment and more importantly your ability to serve God. That’s why it’s awesome to know that we don’t have to face these choices alone.
God desires an abundant life for us, and a large part of that is determined by the quality of our marriage. It’s never too early to start praying for His wisdom and guidance as we first get to know people of the opposite sex, then later as we enter into committed relationships, and finally as we decide who to marry.
Give students a pencil and paper, then ask them to write the top ten qualities they are looking for in a future spouse and rank them from most to least important. After they are finished, ask them to rank themselves in each of the qualities they listed. Have them finish by writing out a prayer for their potential future marriage based on the list they created.
Let’s close in prayer, asking God to bless us and speak clearly to us as we look for those we date and marry.
Close in Prayer
Written by Lane Palmer
Jonathan McKee is the author of over twenty books including the brand new The Guy's Guide to FOUR BATTLES Every Young Man Must Face; The Teen’s Guide to Social Media & Mobile Devices; If I Had a Parenting Do Over; and the Amazon Best Seller - The Guy's Guide to God, Girls and the Phone in Your Pocket. He speaks to parents and leaders worldwide, all while providing free resources for youth workers on TheSource4YM.com. Jonathan, his wife Lori, and their three kids live in California.