The Perfect Life, Women of Faith Series #17The Perfect Life, Women of Faith Series #17
Robin Lee Hatcher
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Excerpt


Katherine has a perfect life. Brad is an affectionate and caring husband. They are active in their church, both serving in leadership positions. Katherine bakes, ministers, serves, leads a Bible study, sings. They have it all.Then a corporate scandal leads to Brad's arrest. Reporters dig into every aspect of their private lives, digging up the smallest of details and hidden secrets. Brad loses his job, and their finances are ruined.As they struggle to piece together their once-perfect life, Katherine wonders: can their marriage survive Brad's breach of trust?
     

 

 The Perfect Life Discussion Questions: by Robin Lee Hatcher


 

1.      The Perfect Life. Would you be able to use this title for your own life? Why or why not? 

 

 

2.      With trouble brewing in the early pages of the book, Brad immediately prayed for wisdom. Things only got worse. Does that mean you might as well save your breath and wait for the outcome? Or were his prayers eventually answered? 

 

 

3.      In chapter 4 we discover that Katherine and Brad were married in an unequally yoked situation. Brad did become a Christian later on. How do we reconcile this with the admonition to not be unequally yoked?  Have you ever been in a similar situation? 

 

 

4.      Hayley had a rather cynical outlook on Christian marriage, spousal faithfulness, and life in general.  What might you imagine brought her to this state?  Discuss ways to develop a more Christ-like attitude. 

 

 

5.      Katherine’s friend Susan recommended cheesecake and lots of chocolate as an antidote to the growing troubles in her life.  What other indulgences do we reach for to relieve life’s stresses?  What might be some better antidotes? 

 

 

6.      As their situation worsened, Kat asked, “God, why are You letting this happen?” while Brad prayed for wisdom.  When Brad resigned from the Foundation to help it stay afloat, Kat said, “But it’s your ministry.”  Brad answered, “It’s God’s ministry, Kat, not mine.”  Who is the more mature Christian?  Why?  How would you react in a similar situation?                                                                                         

 

 

7.      Kat noted the differences between Emma’s exuberant prayer life and her own more reserved one:There wasn’t anything formal or poetic about the words she used when talking to God.”  Do you think one way of praying is right, the other wrong?  Or is there a time for both?  What sort of prayer life do you yourself have? 

 

 

8.      Katherine worked hard to make her home perfecta reflection of their marriage, family, and successful life.  Why do you think this outward show was so important to her?  Is that a good thing?  Bad?  How do you balance this in your own life? 

 

 

9.      Brad felt he had to confess to Kat that Nicole had unexpectedly kissed him once.  This shook Katherine’s trust in her husband.  Should he have told her?  Did she miss something in the tellingthe fact that he wanted to be honest with her and counted on her trust in himor was she right in her reaction? 

 

 

10.  Haley noted the public image of a saint with feet of clay was not only a popular one with the media, but also possibly a true one of her dad.  Are she and today’s media too quick to judge our religious leaders?  What about you? 

 

 

11.  “Where are You, God?  No sound.  No touch.  No sense of peace.  Only turmoil.  Only aloneness.”  Have you been there? What did you do?  

 

 

12.     Emma understands that parents may not always be perfect but they’re worthy of trust and love.  Hayley obviously struggled with this.  What is your own relationship with your parents like?  Was there ever a time when you doubted them?  If so, how did that make you feel? 

 

 

13.     “Be careful what river you go down because I’m in the boat with you.”  This quote hit home with Katherine as she felt her marital lifeboat swamp.  Do you think this common way of seeing a couple as one is fair?  Should you—will you—be more careful about judging other couples as a unit?  

 

 

14.    “I did my best to walk in obedience according to the Scripture . . . That should be enough.  Shouldn’t it?  I thought of the way Brad looked sometimes after a period of worship or following his prayer time.  A look of joy that spoke of something beyond my reach.”  What do you think was missing for Katherine?  Do you relate to this?  

 

 

15.     After Hayley’s miscarriage, with the integrity of the Foundation questioned and the matter of fidelity raised, Katherine thought of the story of Job.  How does one find a way to praise God in bad times as well as in good times?  Have you had such an experience?  Explain. 

 

 

16.    Although not tempted himself, Brad thought he could now understand why some people resort to suicide.  How can we prepare ourselves ahead of time so that suicide is never a temptation when life seems broken beyond repair and our strength is used up? 

 

 

17.    Katherine said divorce isn’t supposed to happen to people like her.  She had been as good a wife as anyone could and she was not going to have people thinking she was a failure.  Nor was she going to have God thinking that of her.  How is this way of thinking flawed?  Do you think this is a good reason for not getting a divorce?  Is there a good one? 

 

 

18.  Katherine thought perhaps God had spared her any testing before because He knew how utterly she would fail.  And wasn’t her failing marriage enough without a failing faith as well?  What would be a more optimistic, hopeful, godly way for Katherine to look at things?  Have you felt like this? 

 

 

19.  Sometimes, events from our past have more effect on our lives than we realized.  What did Katherine come to understand about the death of her father when she was a teenager?  As far as trusting God to take care of her?  As far as needing to be in control of everything?  Can you share an example of this from your own life? 

 

 

20.  “Come with Me.” Katherine heard these words and answered, finally, with abandonment of her own control, giving God her complete trust.  So many of us allow Jesus to be our Savior but never get as far as letting Him also be our Master, Father, Friend.  What profound changes did this new knowledge make in Katherine’s life?  What about yours?

 

 

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