Hope For Bible Study Newbies (Who Want to Train their Kids Well)
I’m not sure I should admit this, but as much as I loved Women Living Well, I felt a twinge of jealousy as I read chapter two. Unexpected emotions rolled around in my gut as I read about how Courtney’s mother sat down with her in fourth grade and taught her how to have a quiet time. I almost couldn’t relate to the picture of a young Courtney, with blonde pigtails no less.
Spending time with God and receiving notes of encouragement from my mother wasn’t my story. My mother was great and we went to church, but I honestly can’t remember one time during my 4th-grade-year (or 5th, 6th, 7th…) sitting down with my Bible or even connecting with God beyond church or vacation Bible school.
I loved Jesus, I did. I grew up going to church, well mostly. My mother and grandmother both became Christians when I was in second grade. I remember the happy day when they were baptized, but I also remember the challenges that came as they tried to live out their faith.
When I was in fourth grade, my mother and grandmother had only been Christians a few years and everyone else in the family was still on a journey. (Some of those family members are journeying still.) We didn’t have Christian books around the house and Bible study wasn’t something I witnessed. Our lives centered around my parents’ friends and new movies on HBO–movies I’d sneak and watch through the crack in my bedroom door.
Why am I confessing this? Because even though my childhood didn’t look like Courtney’s, so much more of chapter two looks like my life. Like Courtney, I draw peace, hope, and nourishment from my time with God. As a mom of six children (three of them six-years-old and younger), I sneak out of bed early and PRAY–pray that no one wakes up too soon. I need God, and my day is so much better when I make time for Him.
Unlike Courtney, no one taught me how to have a quiet time. Instead, I figured it out myself as a pregnant teenager who’d just given her life to God. And you know what? God showed up! He met me. He taught me. He teaches me still.
Spending time with Jesus is much more about making the time than it is knowing the tactics. You might’ve never picked up a Bible before and God would still show up as you read His Word. I promise. The important thing is making time to do it.
In Women Living Well, Courtney says, “Choose when you will have quiet time each day. We are creatures of habit, so select a time that works best in your season of life, and work toward being disciplined at that time. One of my strongest memories from childhood is of my mother studying her Bible late at night at the kitchen table.”
Don’t you love that image? And the cool thing is that even though I didn’t get that from my mom as a young girl, I’m giving it to my kids. Most mornings when they come downstairs, they seem me reading my Bible or praying. I might not have had the memories myself, but I am creating them with my own kids!
I am modeling for my children what a quiet time with God looks like, and I have the chance to teach my sons and daughters how to do it well, just like Courtney’s mom!
Today is the day everything can change for you, friend. Even if you’re a Bible Study newbie there is hope!
Take time today—five minutes, ten, fifteen—and open your Bible. Read God’s Word and allow it to speak to your heart. Then find a godly mentor (even if her voice comes from black and white print). Godly women like Courtney are available to offer help and encouragement through the pages of wonderful books. Also pray and ask God to bring you a flesh-and-blood person to help you, too.
No one in life can know God well without knowing His Word well, and today is the day God’s Word can make a difference in your life if you let it!
Not only will daily Bible study benefit you, but also your kids. After you spend time with God, take five minutes, ten, fifteen to teach your children about God’s Holy Word.
I’m no longer jealous of what I didn’t have growing up — well, not for the most part. Instead, I’m excited about how God can use me to impact the next generation. With God’s help I can train my children, but it starts with my own discipline first! It starts with yours too, whether you’re a newbie or not!
TRICIA GOYER is the award-winning author of more than forty books, including the novelization of Moms’ Night Out. Tricia writes regularly for several popular Christian women’s blogs in addition to her own. She has been married for more than twenty-four years and is the mother of six children. For more information, visit: www.triciagoyer.com or www.facebook.com/authortriciagoyer
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