When Your Bible Study Becomes Group Therapy

Building strong relationships doesn’t need to come at the expense of delving into Scripture.
When Your Bible Study Becomes Group Therapy
Image: PEARL / LIGHTSTOCK

Somewhere in that narrow window between dinner on the table and total, tired meltdown, my friends and I shuffle our kids downstairs with the babysitter, grab a cup of coffee, and circle up. Like a halftime huddle, this midweek ritual shores us up for the gridiron of life.

Then several months ago, something felt off about our treasured time together. Our Bible study began to feel more like group therapy. Looking back, I can see that, as the leader, I’d made a critical mistake: I’d taken the Bible out of the Bible study.

Mind if I invite you in to our circle so you can see how it happened?

Meet the Ladies

Of the nine women in our study, five have full-time jobs outside the home. Three have full-time, work-from-home jobs. One homeschools her three children.

We are the proud mamas of 24 kids under age 11. Yes, 24. The football analogy I used earlier is legit. We can field two complete teams and supply a couple benchwarmers.

Our Bible knowledge varies wildly. Some of us can debate the finer points of propitiation. Some of us struggle to find Leviticus without using the table of contents. Some have read the Bible since childhood. Others purchased their first Bible in their thirties.

If you are a woman trying to know and follow Jesus while keeping a thousand plates spinning, pull up a chair. You’ll fit in just fine! But you should know, there’s homework.

Did I lose you? I was afraid of that.

Because I wanted us to open our Bibles more than once a week, I chose a Bible study curriculum with required homework. That presented a problem, namely that no one would do it. As a former teacher, I know how to lay on the homework guilt, but these are my friends, and I know how hard we’re all trying. The women in my Bible study are amazing wives and mamas, productive workers, and faithful volunteers. I don’t want to add to their burden; I want to ease it.

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Bible; Bible Study; God's Word; Spiritual disciplines; Women's Ministry
Today's Christian Woman, April 27, 2016
Posted April 27, 2016

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