To be fair, the question for this post could read women's or men's Bible studies, but for the purposes of our blog here (a women's ministry blog, to be clear) we'll just focus on the ladies today.
Seems a funny question probably to some. Studying the Bible seems pretty Biblical, correct? Yet, there are many reasons women give for not joining a women's Bible study group so the question does seem fair to ask. I know the answers will vary, especially if the women's study offered is more focused on chit-chat and unbiblical books and advice. But, let's imagine, for the sake of simplicity, that we're talking about a solid church offering solid women's Bible studies and go from there.
Are women's Bible studies Biblical?
- 2 Timothy 2:15 clearly states that we are to be diligent to present ourselves approved to God: "A worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth." While I gain much from overview readings of the Word, I am most convicted and changed when I study a passage and dwell in that passage over some time. This is a work that I do on a daily basis--as we know from school, knowledge always sinks in best when it's learned day by day, not crammed into our skulls at the last minute. It's also best when we are discovering the truths and not just hearing someone else tell us about them. All of these things work together in a solid Bible study: daily discovery of God's truths while completing our study at home, listening to wisdom from the other women during the study, then dwelling on the truths and being changed by them through relationship with God and the women in our study.
- While the majority of professing Believers know that it is imperative to meet together in corporate worship, some women view studying the Word together as more optional. However, in the Hebrews passage where we are exhorted not to forsake regular assembly, we are also told to hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering and to consider one another in order to stir up love and good works. Is it possible to do this apart from Bible study? Of course! But, a good solid Bible study provides this sort of environment in a way that is intimate and encouraging. You are part of a group of women who learn from one another, who pray for one another, who hold one another up in fighting against sin, who miss one another when you're apart. These are some of the additional benefits to studying God's word in a group as opposed to studying it alone or with one other person. Yes, study it alone; yes, study it with another person; but, discover the additional joys of studying God's living Word among a group of women who offer many different experiences and perspectives.
- Along with the previous points, we must remember that a group of women will stretch us to places we would have never gone before. Other women can see things we may not. Other women will say things we would have never otherwise heard. Other women will introduce solid food to us when we would have preferred the comfort of our milk. We grow up in a solid study. We grow out of our comfort zones in a solid study. We grow together in a solid study.
There are many more benefits to women's Bible studies--they provide an opportunity for women to teach other women, they provide a place where women can ask questions specific to our needs as opposed to the needs of a man, and the list goes on. Fortunately, the answer to our question, "Is a solid women's Bible study Biblical?", is yes. It weaves us together in unity as the Body of Believers and is a tool for maturing in Christ. If you have taken studying the Bible in a group lightly before, I urge you now to prioritize this means of maturity in your life. Join a real life study (online groups are not what I'm talking about here, sorry) and expect to see God at work in you and in others. I pray that your passion for Him and His Word will grow abundantly!