Jul 9, 2014

Bible Study Rehab.....

July Reading: Psalm 1-31 {Read a Psalm a day}
July Memory Chunk: Psalm 1:1-3
Prayer Requests go here.
New to SHINE? Go here.

"I will praise you, O Lord, with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonders. I will be glad and rejoice in you; I will sing praise to your name, O most High." Psalm 9:1

I'm the kind of girl that loves to share anything and everything with my girlfriends. If I find the perfect mascara, or the perfect shade of lip gloss, you can bet I will be telling all who will listen about my great discovery.

It makes my heart happy to share good news, good finds, and good deals! I want my friends to be in on the goodness!

I am even more apt to explode at the mouth when God lays fresh revelation on my heart! I can never shut up about it. I want everyone to know! Whether they want to hear it or not!

So, this post is dedicated to sharing with my girlfriends some things that the Lord has revealed to this heart of mine lately. It's actually been a slow uncovering, and I am just now putting the pieces together wide eyed and mouth gaped wide open.

Few things I have loved more in my life than going to bible study. I mean, I would plan my whole week around my bible study night. I would plan in advance the dinner that I would serve to my family as I was gone that night. I always tried to make it one of their favorites!

I would take my little Bible, my little notebook, all of my nerdy little notes, and walk into class just bursting with excitement.

Then, at the end, I would leave, come home, and usually find the house in a heap of disarray.

Lem is a good daddy, so he is not going to spend his time cleaning up when he can be playing with the kids. And, when I say "playing", I mean making a big fat mess all in the name of fun. *smile*

I would sit down with Lem, after cleaning up the mess, and tell him all about what I had learned. I would go into detail about the Hebrew and Greek origin of the words from scripture passages we were reading. I would go into even more animated detail as I explained the life of David, Samuel, or whoever else we were studying.

As you can imagine, he was less than eager to listen.

On a good night, I would stomp off and just go straight to bed if he didn't listen the way I wanted him to. On a not so good night, I would tell him how "unspiritual" and "ungodly" he was and that he just "didn't understand". I would then stomp off and pray for his "ungodly" heart.

Yikes.

What my naive little heart didn't know then, was that I was creating a huge crevice in our marriage. I was constantly wanting to study the Bible, and to be filled and "puffed up" with knowledge. I craved it like a drug. I wanted to know more and more and more.

I was resembling my dear sister Eve from the book of Genesis. She wanted that knowledge desperately. Even when God had warned her to stay away from that tree and just enjoy life in the garden with her husband Adam.

She couldn't resist. She bit the apple, and the rest is history.

My desire to study the Bible so intently at that time wasn't necessarily a "bad" thing, but it certainly was not the best thing for our marriage.

I was running a hundred miles one way, and Lem was content exactly where he was.

Herein lies the problem:

I began chasing after a type of super-spiritualness, that quite frankly, turned Lem in the complete opposite direction.

I needed someone to admit me into Bible Study Rehab, and quickly.

Now, I cannot speak for Lem's feelings, but I will tell you that we struggled. A lot.

I would always blame it on "the devil" for trying to get us off track. I would dive deeper and deeper into the Word, begging for the Lord to help Lem to be more "spiritually in tune".

I would beg and grovel for God to change Lem's heart, not having a clue that it was my heart that needed the greatest overhaul.

The Lord has taught me that going on a spiritual island all by myself, is not where He wants me. It never has been.

Yes, He wants me to know the Word. Yes, He wants me to pray.

However, none of this should be at the sacrifice of my marriage. It should go hand in beautiful hand with tending to the heart of my marriage.

 When I married Lem, we became one flesh. "For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh" Genesis 2:24

This means that when God sees me, he sees Lem. We are intertwined as one flesh in His eyes. How cool is that?

If my heart is growing further away from my husband's all in an effort to become "super spiritual" and "puffed up with knowledge", the Lord is not glorified. Not even an ounce.

When I walk out the door, leaving Lem and my family night after night after night after night, all in the name of studying the word of God, the Lord is not glorified.

However, when I choose to focus on being a better wife to Lem, a better mother to my children, and actively living out His Word, instead of just knowing it, God is glorified.

"But don't just listen to God's word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves." James 1:22

I vividly remember coming home from a 2 day women's Christian Conference being filled to my eyeballs with good teaching and good memories. However, only to end up feeling bitter at Lem for not being on the same "spiritual high" or level that I was! I would feel even more distant from him because of my spiritual pride. *so hard to say out loud*

Y'all, we don't have to add another bible study or a 3 day women's conference  to our plate to be considered a "good Christian woman". That is absolutely false.

I will never ever win over my husband, children--or anyone for that matter--for Christ by how many scriptures I have memorized, how many Bible studies I have attended, how many conferences I have registered for, or how many Christian books I have read.

These people don't care about how much I know. They just want to be shown love .They want to be cared for. They want to be nurtured. They want to be shown the Love of Christ.

"Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers a multitude of sins." 1 Peter 4:8

We teach so much more by our actions than we will ever teach by our accomplishments.

My children are constantly watching me. What are they seeing?

A momma who runs out the door with her Bible every chance she gets to escape?

Or a momma who teaches them God's Word by taking care of them. Taking care of their Daddy. Watching the words that come out of my mouth. *a big one for me*

"Faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action is dead." James 2:17

This new awakening regarding bible study for me is refreshing!

I  still love to study God's Word, and always will. My perspective has just changed.

Studying His Word should encourage and enhance my relationships, not stifle them because of my goody-two-shoe ways. Studying His Word should change MY heart, not make my heart bitter because it's not changing those around me.

All of this takes a huge weight off of my shoulders. I don't have to be that good little bible study girl. I can be who God created me to be!  A wife, a momma, a daughter, a sister, a friend....who  lives my life doing what I was created to do. Show the Love of Christ to those around me.

If I could speak all the languages of earth and of angels, but didn't love others, I would only be a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 1 Corinthians 13:1

Lord, help me not to be a noisy gong! *gasp!*


Let's take a deep breath today.

Breathe in God's Grace.

Breathe in His Love.

Now let's exhale it to all of those precious ones around us.




putting my faith into action,




jill