On Women’s Bible Studies
I don’t lead a charmed life. Honestly, I don’t buy things just because they’re pink or sparkly. My favorite color is blue and I’m more likely to be found wearing boots and blue jeans than a dress.
I also don’t flock to women’s only Bible studies. I don’t really think that the Bible has a different Truth for me than it does for a man– there is one core truth that we ALL need. That truth is that Jesus came as a tiny baby, held safe in the arms of his mother, and went willingly to Calvary to conquer Death for all of us.
There’s no sugar coating needed on this.
Women love theology. I’m not sure when the misconception started that women dislike the nitty gritty depths of theology, or that the only study they were really capable of devouring was one wrapped up in simplistic words, covered with a bow.
I’m also not here to knock on my sisters who do want something lighter. If you’d rather go to a themed study– please, by all means, go! I do not want to dissuade anyone from increasing their time spent in God’s Word. We have Lutheran resources that while not my personal choice are sound and edifying.
Check what you’re learning against the Bible. Ask your pastor if it’s correct, if you’re not sure. Take it back to the Catechism and the Confessions. Truth is truth.
The Bible is for you. It’s for me. The Confessions? Also for all of us. We can change the packaging and shift the format, but we can’t and shouldn’t let the content suffer.
Because in the end it’s not about whether you’re more likely to pencil church Bible study into your calendar if it has a catchy title or if it’s “only” a Book of Concord reading group. It’s not about whether or not your fellow coffee drinking, cookie eating, theological buddies are digging into the finer points of Greek or if you’d rather read the Psalms.
That’s all window dressing. These are the things that create distances between us when what we really need is to draw closer. We are a family. We are a family, bathed in the blood of our Lord, united by our needs for grace and forgiveness, and held strong with a unified confession louder than our differences.
I don’t seek out women’s Bible studies, but I love my sisters in Christ. I don’t need a study to “meet me where I’m at” because where I’m at, on my own, is pretty awful. What I need — what all of us truly need — is to hear the Good News.
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.
I hadn’t considered until now that someone might imagine our women’s Bible study to be “sugar-coated”, “lighter”, or even “themed” (it is definitely none of these!). What an interesting and thought.
While I certainly understand what you are trying to say (there are some very silly studies out there), I would also encourage people who might be wary of a women’s study group to ask what the study is on before assuming it is a less-than study covered in sparkly pink frosting. They just might be seriously surprised.
I think some Women’s Bible studies are better than others. The ones I tend to like the most are the ones that are written for either men or women. But I enjoy going to our women’s Bible study, because I enjoy the time with my sisters in Christ.
Also, I find that the great majority of “women’s Bible studies” are about being a good wife and mother. Which is nice, I guess, for women who are wives and mothers. For those of us who aren’t, however….
“I don’t seek out women’s Bible studies, but I love my sisters in Christ.”
AMEN. I hate to be the only woman who doesn’t go to these studies, but I get so much out of our pastor’s main Bible study group I really don’t feel a need to go to these ladies’ only groups. I am also wary of the non-Lutheran materials that sometimes are used.
Our pastor is currently doing a study on the Gospel as found in Les Miserables. It’s an awesome study.
I also had a lot of difficulty with women’s Bible study as they typically turn out, but then I got involved in a couple over the past few years that were sound and deep. Now I’ve seen both sides to it and know what to look for.
What I don’t like about women’s Bible studies is when they turn into “coffee with Jesus” and a talk-about-our-feelings session. I love coffee, I love Jesus, and I love talking, but that’s not why I go to Bible study. I go to study the Word and share in the joys and trials of my fellow believers. I appreciate that when having a Bible study with only women, there are issues that I can discuss with my sisters in Christ that I would never bring up around men–not because the topic is inappropriate in general, but because it wouldn’t be appropriate for a mixed group. For example, if a woman in the group is struggling with a pornography addiction, a women’s Bible study is a safer place to discuss this than a co-ed study.
There are definitely benefits to demographic-specific Bible studies, be they gender-, age-, or vocation-targeted. But as the article points out, these targeted studies can have problems, as well.
I am confused, was this an introduction to a bible study, or an introduction to a website similar to John the Steadfast?
personally, I like bible studies… The Word is the Word. digging deep into it, there can be no better use of time for humankind.
@Christine Villasenor #7
Now, I wish I had read more before commenting, please do forgive me.
This website looks like a wonderful help to Lutherans worldwide.
Christine, please don’t worry about it– I hope you enjoy the site!