Last week I wrote about how God frees us to live out His Word with those in our lives – that we don’t have to create some forced situation. He invites us to invite Him into our everyday, everywhere lives. BUT, what about Bible study?
You see, I am actually a HUGE voice for Bible study. I love His Word! Ever since my first church mom gave me my first devotional, I have been smitten. I am a lover of words and since God speaks His love to us through His Word, I am happiest when I am sitting knees up on my couch with my Bible open. So, naturally, I had great dreams of nights spent together with my husband and my children around an open Bible. I wanted to share my love for God’s Word and them in-turn share theirs’ too.
Well, I gave you a bit of a glimpse of real life in that last post. Rarely did any family devotions go as planned…I use rarely as a generous term! With all my little people with all their own personalities and needs and Nathan and I tired but trying, we’ve fumbled and struggled along on and off for the last 14 years. There were a few nights it all seemed worth the effort, but there were so many other nights we ended up irritated and frustrated, putting the kids to bed after speaking loud words of discipline. Then, there were the many many nights we didn’t try anything more than our nightly prayers. For this idealistic wife and momma, this seemed the biggest failure.
When God met me with the Deuteronomy 6 message, I was so in need of its freedom, but I also longed for more times to share God’s Word with my people. You have to understand, Jesus is my world and He is the Word, and I want more than anything to commune with Him with all my them’s! (My husband, knowing me and being sweet like he is, shared this song with me when this Hillsong cd came out a few years ago. He said, “It’s your song.” I cannot even tell you the burst of love that came forth because he knew me in this way! Anyway, sidetracked…) So, is all the effort really worth the temporary losses (loss of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control…) for 10-15 minutes of attempted Bible study with your family?
Well, last week, my oldest asked if we could have Bible study after dinner each night since we’re all at the table. He brought up his Bible and after we ate, Nathan or I took turns reading a short portion out of Psalm 119. We asked the kids questions; they answered and asked some of their own. We had a small discussion without any fussing, and even when we had to correct a behavior, we did it knowing that that is part of “Bible study” too. I sat in bed that night pretty awestruck, to be honest. “Wow, God, all those times – even the really ugly nights – you stood by Your promise that, “Your Word would not return void.” AMAZING! (I am serious when I tell you that there were nights I wouldn’t have wanted you to be a fly any where near my walls with the way family devotionals ended!)
I don’t want you to think we’re now fulfilling all of my idealistic longings – we’re not. (There’s still time, though, if you want to work that out for me Jesus…Nathan…children!) We are still a family on the go a few nights a week. BUT we have a rhythm we can return to.
I want to encourage you all, parents or not, married or not, female or male, that every moment in His Word is more effective than thousands outside of It. In the words of Beth Moore, “Beloved, you will never waste a single minute in God’s Word!” And even better, He will never waste a single one of your minutes that you give to His Word.