In 2014, I received a book entitled Women of the Word. Although I grew up in a Christian home with parents who taught me how to read and study the Bible, the Lord used this book to open my eyes to a “whole book approach” in Bible study. This has not only changed my approach to studying the Bible, but also given me an increased desire to truly know and learn the Word of God.
I immediately began sharing this book with my friends and anyone else I thought might be interested. I’ve lent my copy to so many different people, given copies to others (never fear, I paid amazon for the copies instead of utilizing the copier. although that’s tempting.), and wrote a review to encourage you all to read it. I’m incredibly thankful for the way God has used this resource to point me closer to Him & His Word.
For these reasons, Jen Wilkin (author of Women of the Word) was on my short list of people to contact for the Dwelling Richly interview series. I trust God will use this interview to point you closer to Him & His Word!
I study as part of my preparation to write and teach FMWBS. I teach to learn, and I see myself as a co-learner with the women in my studies. Teaching is something I enjoy and have an aptitude for, but it is also a form of accountability for me.
Black coffee, colored pens, double spaced copy of the text, Bible Gateway so I can compare translations, yoga pants.
I usually have my two pugs in the armchair with me, which can be a balancing act with the laptop and the coffee.
Yes, I’m a firm believer in studying entire books of the Bible from start to finish. It’s an approach that focuses on long-term versus short-term yields. Repetitive reading in context, annotating and paraphrasing, cross referencing, all the basic tools for being a good reader of any book (particularly an ancient one) are essential to building Bible literacy. On the surface, it sounds like it would be a dry way to approach God’s Word, but it isn’t at all. Taking the text on its own terms allows it to yield far more riches than a ten minute devotional.
Repetitive reading helps me with scripture memory and meditation.
I strongly recommend that meditation be done only after we try to “get into the skin” of the text’s original hearers and spend adequate time grasping the passage’s interpretation. Meditation is often seen as a mystical practice in which the Holy Spirit just gives us insights when we sit and think about a verse or verses. It is far more than that.
We cannot properly explore “what this verse means to me” until we have earnestly sought to discover “what this verse means.” So, be leery of any “listening practice” that does not start with looking for the objective meaning of a passage.
I had four children in four years, so I can say with confidence that “the struggle is real.”
I can also say that we make time for the things we care most about.
With that in mind, I encourage young moms to ask God for an increased desire to study. I also encourage them to get in a group for structure and accountability. If doing a group study is not a possiblilty and your hair is falling out in patches, maybe just see this as a season during which you will simply read the Bible versus trying to study. You do get your brain back eventually, and God is aware of your season of life and its limitations. There is grace for you during the Crazy Years. Just remind yourself that once they begin to fade into the past, Bible study is a habit you will want to return to.
Jen Wilkin is a wife, mom to 4 great kids, and an advocate for women to love God with their minds through the faithful study of His Word. She writes, speaks, and teaches women the Bible.
She has written 2 books – Women of the Word: How to Study the Bible with Both Our Hearts & Our Minds and a brand spankin’ new one entitled None Like You: 10 Ways God is Different From Us (& Why That’s a Good Thing) releasing in April 2016! You can find here on twitter and her blog.
Jen, thank you so much for sharing your time and heart with us!