I absolutely stink at drinking enough water throughout the day. Don’t tell my husband, but I rarely drink more than 20 ounces. I know, it is bad. I have really good days and I chug half my body weight, or whatever amount it is. For the most part, though, I stink at it. But, water often reminds me of the Bible (you know, that verse about the living water…John 7:38), and for the longest time I could say my actual water drinking habit was comparable to my Bible reading habit. I just wasn’t thirsty…
I grew up reading the Bible.
Ok, I should clarify – as a child, I read the Bible to earn points in AWANA at church, to earn money for church camp scholarships, to earn good grades in school, and whenever I got in trouble as a teenager and my Dad made me write out Proverbs.
I was not good at reading my Bible daily for the pure joy of getting to know God. I mostly only did it when I absolutely had to. My parents read the Bible, but I just did not form the habit.
Fast forward about 18 years to 2015. I am a mom to five beautiful (yet ridiculously energetic!) children God has entrusted to me, a wife to a man after God’s heart, and I still am not in the habit of reading God’s Word daily. I would go in spurts – a week or two of daily reading then fall away and fill my mornings with other things, then a week of two of not reading before realizing I need to start again. But, when I would be reading daily I was not really focused on the content. It was more or less to check it off my daily to-do list.
And then my husband started online Bible classes. He jumped right in with studying how to read the Old Testament, and he absolutely loved it! (If you speak with him, he’ll probably do the ol’ complaining about how much reading he has to do and how tough the teachers can be, but when I see him working on it at home I see his heart is SO into it.) He was digging into God’s Word to write a paper about Old Testament covenants, and we’d have these late-night discussions of our viewpoints on different things. I would spit out what I learned as a child, and he would eagerly share what he had read….on his own, outside of any schoolwork, just because he wanted to know more.
I was watching and listening and feeling really ashamed at how much he craved learning God’s Word. Here he was, a Christian of 8 years, just absorbing everything he could about Biblical history.
And there I was, a Christian of over 20 years….and I really didn’t have anything to add to the information he was giving me. I could only share what had been told to me so long ago; I had never researched it on my own.
Yes, I had looked up what the Bible says about homosexuality and sex outside of marriage and women preachers and things relevant to today’s headlines. But, I didn’t know anything about the New covenant (didn’t even know there was one named that!).
After watching my husband learn and get excited, I began to thirst for more. I wanted to know some background; I wanted to know why I believe what I believe….about everything! Not just the major controversial topics. I wanted to know why we aren’t bound to the Ten Commandments!
(by the way, I did learn why…it has to do with the fact that Jesus died and we aren’t bound to the Law in the old testament. there’s so more to the explanation, but I actually know why!!)
The past several months have been so amazing for my Bible reading. I have stayed rather consistent with reading in the mornings. I am working to read through the Bible this year, but I am also so incredibly thirsty to read! I keep wanting to know more. I have a lot of “why’s” I want answered, and I have this strong desire to find out.
After feeling ashamed that I have never really been craving the Bible, I am feeling very encouraged by the fact that God led my husband to take that online course, which led me to desire to read His Word.
Every day is not perfect with my reading – I still get distracted if the boys are up with me. I grouch at them that I need to read my Bible (a little counterproductive really), but I try to help them understand I need to do this. I pray before I start, asking for wisdom and understanding of what I am reading. I also ask for focus because my mind wanders to breakfast and the rest of the day, if I’m not careful.
I am so excited to dig into God’s Word and know more. I am actually wanting to read, to understand what I am reading, and finding how I can apply some part of it to my daily life.
My sister is my accountability partner…..even if we go a week or two without checking in. 😉 I know she is reading, too, which is a huge encouragement as well. We get to share what we’ve been reading and what we are learning. Even the smallest bit of wisdom from her really brightens my day. I am not going to say she’s my favorite sister, but I am certain she is the only one who reads this blog…so she is definitely my favorite! 🙂
I am not sharing all this to brag. I just wanted to share in case you’re an “old” Christian like myself, who feels a little blah about reading your Bible. We all go through dry spells, I totally get that. But I would encourage you to just open your Bible and read anyway.
That dry spell could turn into a serious thirst.
“If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink.” John 7:37