We who are strong have an obligation to bear with the failings of the weak, and not to please ourselves. Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, to build him up.
3 Reasons I Can’t Live Without Bethlehem Women’s Bible Study
Guest post by Maggie Combs:
This isn’t really about Bethlehem; it just happens to be where I attend. Everything in here will probably apply to any formal weekly study of God’s word. If you have spoken to me about this subject before, you’ve probably heard all of this. Or if you know my mother and not me, you probably won’t be surprised that I am writing a blog post (even though I almost never blog!) about attending Bible study.
Let me state first that this isn’t about doing personal devotions. This is specifically about attending a weekly meeting that focuses on learning from the Bible. So here are my three reasons I can’t live without Bethlehem Women’s Bible Study:
- I am a sinner: This is always where it all starts, isn’t it? That’s because sin is the root of the problem. Personal Bible study is our ultimate weapon against sin. Here lies my problem. When the Bible isn’t keeping me from sin, sin keeps me from the Bible. You know that renewed passion you have for God, his Word, the Gospel, and making much of Christ that you feel after attending a God-exalting Sunday worship service? For me, it seems like around mid-week that starts to fizzle a bit, and my personal devotion time gets shorter and less meaningful. Enter Bible study. It just so happens to fall on Wednesday for me, and the time spent in corporate study of God’s word is such a refresher. It refocuses my soul on the pleasures and wonder of our God and Savior. I’m sure some of you don’t have this problem, but I’m just admitting that I do. And I am also telling the other women out there who have the same issue that there is a solution: get refueled mid-week through Women’s Bible Study.
- I am a woman: I am not going to say that you can’t get great benefits through a couples’ Bible study. I’m just going to say that no one else gets your struggles like a group of women. When I enter Women’s Bible Study at Bethlehem, I feel safe. Safe to confess my sins, share my struggles, and be real. My favorite part about the Bible study that I attend is that it covers a range of ages and life experiences. We have young women who are finishing high school, women who are in or have just completed college, young mothers, seasoned mothers, and plenty of wise, Titus 2 kind of women. I happen to fall into that young mother category, and it is so refreshing to have wisdom of women who have been there and made it through to the other side! I also love listening to the younger women talk about their struggles. It is encouraging to see their reliance upon God and such a great reminder to me that a world exists beyond my home and my child. It is always a temptation to surround myself with women who are exactly like me: young, moms, stay-at-home, Christians-all-their-lives, kinds of women. I buy into the lie that only women like me can get what I am going through. Bethlehem Women’s Bible study has taught me that it is exactly the opposite. When every woman has the same struggle, they lack the wisdom and energy to encourage each other. Instead with great diversity in experience, we have great strength. I have received perspective and encouragements that I never imagined.
- I am a mother: This is my current soapbox, so if I have already beaten you over the head with this, I apologize. If you aren’t a mom, I’m sorry if this doesn’t apply to you, but I encourage you to think about what your own reasons might be. I can think of a few women in my Bible study that I would love to see write up their own three reasons they can’t live without Bible study (hint, hint)! Here comes one of my biggest frustrations…there is a lie going around the church these days (even at Bethlehem). It says that young moms don’t have time for Bible study, and that’s ok. I know I only have one child, and some of you with three, four, or five might roll your eyes at this, but I am just going to say that it’s a lie. There is always time for Bible Study. Pastor John puts it this way, “No Bible, no breakfast.” Through much of my adult life I took that literally and did my Bible study while eating my breakfast. As a mom, that’s not possible for me anymore because I eat with my child, but the essential point remains the same: make Bible study your FIRST priority. That means that the first moment I have free from Isaac, I do my Bible study. Sometimes it happens right when he wakes up, if he is in the mood to play alone for a while. Sometimes it doesn’t happen until he takes a nap, but it should always be the first thing I do. Yes, moms, are lives are very busy. We are always behind, but even if it means the dishes don’t get finished until all the kids are in bed, we do our Bible study. Even if it means taking it with us to the park, we do our Bible study. Even if it means waking up a half hour before our kids, we do our Bible study.
Why is it so essential? Because nothing else you do in the day will making you a better mom than having your heart transformed by God’s word. No parenting books, moms groups, early childhood education classes, or creative crafts will be more beneficial for you or your children in the long run. When raising children is a battle, I must not neglect to pick up my sword.
Yes, as moms we are so busy. It just makes joining a Women’s Bible Study group all the more essential. If I am not involved in a formal Bible study, my whirlwind life will keep me too busy to open God’s word. Get in a Bible study, and get yourself some accountability and guidance through God’s word, my fellow moms!
Fall is upon us. Bethlehem’s Women’s Bible studies are open for enrollment. I can’t live without one, and I bet if you join one, you’ll find that you can’t either.
See a brochure listing all the Bible studies available for women at Bethlehem or register online.