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A Love Restored
- At its core, A Love Restored is a story about the power of words in our lives and the struggle each of us faces to take our thoughts captive to the truth of scripture so we may experience the fullness of God’s unequivocal love for us. How has Ben and Ruth Ann’s story changed the way you see yourself or someone else through God’s eyes? What advice would you give someone who is struggling with their self-image?
- In A Love Restored, the hero struggles with pride. Driven by a deep need to gain the respect of others, Benjamin allows the world to influence his choices but soon regrets his decisions. In a culture that is constantly driving us be the best in our education, our jobs, family life and even our physical appearance, it can be easy to feel we don’t measure up. What advice would you give to someone who is tempted to make unwise decisions to gain the short-lived acceptance of others?
- Ruth Ann Sutton is considered to have a ‘less-than-perfect figure’. What was society’s idea of beauty in the 1870s, and how much has it changed between then and now? Do you think women had an easier time with self-image when media wasn’t so prevalent?
- Joel 2:25a says, “And I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten.” Why do you think the author chose this as the theme verse for A Love Restored? What did Benjamin and Ruth Ann have “eaten by the locusts,” and what did God restore in their lives?
- As Ruth Ann learned to put her self-worth in God she came to realize that Benjamin had rejected her because “the wrapping on the gift was not to his liking.” Have you ever judged someone by their appearance only to have learned they weren’t what you expected? What happened?
- Ruth Ann blazed a trail by teaching at a Freedman’s school. Do you think her insistence to keep the school open even in the face of danger was correct? Have you ever been called to step out of your comfort zone by the Lord? What happened?
- Benjamin allowed the world to dictate his own values for a while. In a culture that is constantly driving us be the best in our education, our jobs, family life, and even our physical appearance, it can be easy to feel we don’t measure up. What advice would you give to someone who is tempted to make unwise decisions to gain the short-lived acceptance of others? How can we guard ourselves from making the same mistake?
- When Benjamin learned that Ruth Ann wanted to speak on her friend Elias’s behalf at his trial, he became upset and wanted to know why she couldn’t forgive him as well. She responded that she had forgiven him but didn’t know how to trust him. Do you think that trust and forgiveness go hand in hand? Do you find it easier to forgive or ask forgiveness and why do you think that’s the case?
- Benjamin’s misplaced emphasis on achieving success at work and his deep need to gain the respect of others, lead him to take his eyes off his faith. How can we carry Jesus with us when we go into the world on social media, in our neighborhoods, or to the office (either in person or virtually—this is 2020).
- Ultimately, Ruth Ann and Benjamin’s story has a happy ending, but it took time. How do we wait on the Lord without losing hope?
- Who was your favorite secondary character and why?