“I’m just too busy to read my Bible.”
“I really need to wake up early and read my Bible.
“I should be in the Word more…”
Have you ever said these things, while also wasting hours on social media and Netflix? (Raising my hand here with you!) Entertainment isn’t inherently bad, of course. But if we can make time for it, and can’t seem to do the same for our Bible reading—something is amiss.
Can you imagine eating lunch on Sunday…and then not eating anything for the rest of the week? Until the following Sunday, when you feast again. That would be ridiculous! Yet, for many, this is our approach to spiritual food and drink. We starve ourselves all week long, expecting to survive the demands of life and motherhood, without any spiritual sustenance. What God calls as “daily bread,” we consider a once-in-awhile charcuterie. We love to partake, but only if someone else does all the work and then serves it up in a sermon or podcast.
Two hundred years ago, 88 percent of the world was illiterate. Today, the numbers have inverted, with literacy rates at 86 percent. That might lead us to assume that biblical literacy has also increased. But we would be wrong.
We have a dozen translations of the Bible—on our phones, for free. The average American home owns 4.4 Bibles. We can listen while someone reads it aloud through our car’s bluetooth speakers. There is no shortage of paths to hearing and reading God’s word.
Why do we still struggle? Can you relate?
You are not alone.
Perhaps in previous centuries the barrier to time in God’s word was literacy or technology. Today we enjoy both, but sometimes to our detriment. On a bad day, we can entertain and over-schedule ourselves until we are simply out of time. Ultimately, this is a heart issue, not a scheduling one. We make time for that which matters to us. We make time to feed our kids and ourselves actual food. If we truly desire to grow in relationship with someone, we make time for them.
It is not too late for a course correction.
Living in repentance means that we get to spend an entire life making joyful, occasionally painful, course corrections. When God graciously points out areas in our lives that need correction, we address it. That’s part of what it means to call yourself a Christian. No believer wants to look back at the end of their life and see that they missed millions of opportunities to meet God and connect with Him. If you want to spend more time studying your Bible, and living more intentionally for Christ, here are three practical tools for doing just that:
- Pray. Right now. Ask God to show you opportunities to pick up your Bible instead of your phone, or to open your Bible app instead of Instagram. Ask Him to stir a desire in your heart to know Him, a desire that will not be satisfied with anything less than genuine faith, rooted in the Word. Proverbs 21:1 says that the heart of a king is like rivers of water in the hand of the Lord. He steers and directs all desires. How much more will God direct our own hearts? Our prayers are not aimless wishes upon a star. They are precious requests from a beloved daughter to a generous Father. Ask!
- Join a small group at your church. Our church calls these Life groups. We study God’s word alone, and come together weekly to talk about how our lives are intersecting with what we are reading and learning. You don’t want to be that person who shows up without anything to contribute to the group – a little incentive can help keep you committed and accountable. Try to join a couples’ group or join a women’s group. And watch as over the years, God brings families together to share burdens, trials and celebrations. Often He has used suffering in a redemptive way within our group. Watching God move is so motivating. But it’s harder to see when you are living outside of consistent community.
- Commit to do the daily reading. Find a Bible reading plan. A quick google search will confirm that there are approximately one million reading plans available. Or simply open your Bible and start. I like to read a few chapters a day, alternating between the New Testament and the Old Testament. Try carving out twenty minutes in the morning before everyone wakes up and the house is still quiet. If that doesn’t pan out, hope is not lost! When you sit down for lunch, grab your bible and spend a few minutes in God’s word. Or listen while it’s read aloud and you wash dishes. Never in history have we had as much access to great resources for understanding our Bible. Take advantage of it.
A friend shared in life group that one of her most formative childhood memories was watching her own mother every morning sitting in a chair, with an open Bible in her lap.
May our kids share the same memories of us with their future life groups.
How do you think you might get started today? Do you need any support? Don’t hesitate to reach out to us!
Molly DeFrank is a mom and foster mom to five kids under ten. She writes about faith and motherhood—the hilarious and the hard; the fun and the maddening; the beauty and the blunders. She loves to share encouragement and laughter with women just like her. You can find her on Facebook, Instagram, or her website, www.mollydefrank.com.