Has this ever happened to you?
You snap the lid on your travel coffee mug, snatch your car keys off the counter, and catch a glimpse of your Bible where it’s rested untouched since church on Sunday—five days ago. Your shoulders sag under the weight of guilt as you head out the door. Again. This week was supposed to be different. You promised yourself.
This experience may be all too familiar, but even if the scenario is foreign to you, you’ll probably find women in your church who relate to this frustration—and feel powerless to change. Your women’s ministry team can offer them hope that studying God’s Word isn’t destined to remain a nagging item on their to-do list. It can become a treasured habit.
Three Ways to Help Women Love Studying the Bible
1. Love the Bible Yourself
I wish I loved to cook, but I’d rather scrub the toilet. My mother wasn’t a fan of the kitchen either. When my children were young, I cooked every day, more out of a conviction not to starve my husband or children rather than a desire to create delectable culinary experiences. I worried that my unenthusiastic example would lead my children to also grow up dreading the three words I feared most: what’s for dinner?
Then one of my daughters went off to college and roomed with a girl who loved to cook. Soon her interest in the kitchen grew. By the time she graduated, she enjoyed binge-watching Food Network and whipping out dishes flavored with ingredients I can’t pronounce.
Similarly, I used to wish I loved studying the Bible, but I didn’t. I read it more out of a sense of duty than desire. Then one Saturday morning, a lady came to our church to teach our women the Bible. Scripture dripped from her lips like honey. She didn’t quote it like a well-schooled academic. Instead, she recited it from memory as if recalling a favorite day at the beach or seeing a Monet for the first time. Her wonder over God’s Word and the powerful truths it revealed about Jesus flavored everything she said and did.
I longed to feel the same passion for God’s Word. Now, through this enraptured woman’s example, I saw—and believed—that if I devoted myself to the Word of God as she had, I too would come to love the God of the Word.
2. Teach Them How to Study the Bible
Do you ever wonder why some women’s chocolate chip cookies pop out of the oven ready for a magazine cover, but yours come out sad and flat? Apparently, it’s not enough just to toss in the right ingredients. Anyone can do that. But if we learn effective methods for adding the ingredients at the right time and in the right manner, our efforts will reward us. One master baker taught me to soften the butter in the oven first and then chill the dough in the refrigerator for a few minutes to create fat bites of delicious perfection.
Similarly, anyone can sit down and read the Bible, and they should. However, if they’re never taught effective methods of how to study it, well-intentioned but misguided goals can leave them feeling sad and flat. One misguided goal I held to for years was that if I read the Bible, I’ll learn how to become a “better” Christian. But God doesn’t call us to become better versions of our sinful selves. He calls us to surrender all-out to His will. And yet, it’s hard to surrender to Someone we don’t truly know.
When we teach our ladies effective methods for studying the Bible and searching the Scriptures for Jesus and His wondrous ways and nature, they’ll taste and see that the Lord is good (Psalm 34:8). This taste will draw them back for another. And another. Before long, they’ll awaken each morning eager to feast on God’s Word and not slink past it. And His truths will soften their hearts to know and believe that surrendering to Him is actually appealing.
3. Teach the Bible from the Bible
I confess. For Easter this year I served three frozen casseroles. Yes, I am ashamed. But I also served two casseroles I’d made from scratch. Guess which tasted better. Frozen foods can taste great and certainly make life easier, but there’s nothing like the flavor of farm-to-table food.
Likewise, as tempting as it is to peruse a Christian bookstore for the latest DVD Bible study kit for your next ladies Bible study, consider a fresher option. Consider teaching them the Bible from the Bible.
DVD kits and books are wonderful tools that hold an important place in women’s ministry. Many are filled with sound teaching that will help your ladies better understand God’s Word and biblical womanhood. But nothing reveals God to us better than His own Word. If we want women to love studying the Word at home, let’s demonstrate this delight by studying the Bible from the Bible together.
If no one on your leadership team feels confident in leading a Bible study without a book or DVD, pray. Ask God to provide. You may discover a woman within your church who has the spiritual gift of teaching but who’s never had the opportunity. God may also draw someone new to your church with a passion to teach God’s Word. Or perhaps He’ll raise up a brave soul willing to learn alongside the ladies as she leads them through a book or section of the Bible.
A seminary degree isn’t what’s needed. Faithfulness is. As your women set their hearts to open His Word, God will work in their hearts and minds. He may even surprise your group and place a hunger within several ladies to teach His Word. Before long, you may have so many teachers that you’ll need to go out and find more students.
Share the Love
One of the greatest passions we can develop in this life is a love for studying the Bible. It’s more satisfying than fresh peaches spooned over hand-churned ice cream on a summer’s day. Our next greatest delight is sharing that love for God’s Word with others.