Reading Group Guide
1. Read through all of Matthew 5. In this passage, commonly referred to as the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus explores six topics. It is clear that Jesus has something more in mind than just following the rules; He desires a heart that yearns completely after Him. It is also interesting to note the many figures of speech and graphic images He uses to get His points across. Jesus' sayings on divorce follow his statements on lust and on anger. Should we take His discourse on divorce more seriously than we do the others? What light do these other passages shed upon how we should interpret and follow the divorce passage? Did Jesus forbid divorce under all circumstances?
2. Did Pamela do all she could to save her marriage?
3. Cindy's struggles are understated, but they raise some good questions, especially in light of what was finally revealed about the emotional abuse of her first marriage. Read through the story of the woman caught in adultery found in John 7:53-8:11. Do you see any parallels between Cindy and this woman? What would Jesus have to say to Cindy? Jesus' final words to the woman in John were, "Then neither do I condemn you; go now and leave your life of sin." What about Cindy? Did she leave her life of sin when she cut off the adultery even though she was still in contact with Paul? Some people would say that remarriage in her case would be ongoing sin. What is your view of this?
4. Angie's position is a hard one. She loves both of her parents, and despite the past, desires a renewed relationship with her dad and can even do so with Cindy in the picture. If you were Angie, how would you have handled the situation?
5. Jumping in Sunset leaves the reader wondering whether or not Paul and Cindy, both believers struggling through the process of repentance, will get married. Assuming they eventually marry, how would you (knowing them as you do) respond to them if they were to become a part of your church? Would they be shunned or welcomed? What would Jesus do?
6. What if Pamela remarries? Would there be a difference in the way you would respond to her?
7. From the very beginning, Paul was committed to the institution of marriage, even though he never felt love or attraction for Pamela. He "needed" a wife to complete his world. Once he met Cindy, he realized there was such a thing as romantic love. Should he have stayed with Pamela out of commitment to her and the history they had together? Do you think counseling would have helped teach Paul to love Pamela?