When I had a newborn who seemed to nurse all the time, it was relatively easy to find time to read the Bible. I could sit on the couch and read a few Psalms while my baby was nursing. But those infant days didn’t last long, and soon it became more and more difficult to find any sort of focused time to read the Bible. When I had a second child, my busy three-year-old wanted to interact, and peaceful, quiet moments of nursing and reading the Bible evaporated. More often I would be nursing the baby and reading a picture book to my three-year-old at the same time. Unfortunately, my Bible got a little dusty.
I knew that I couldn’t operate on empty, but it was very difficult to keep growing spiritually during the mom season of life. In our lives as women and leaders, there is a seasonal ebb and flow to our time, but I know from my own experience, a season without any new insight from the Bible gets dangerously dry.
So how is a leader supposed to read the Bible on a regular basis and keep from leading on empty?
- Put the Bible where you can see it. A note card on your computer monitor, in your purse, or on your dashboard can encourage you as you think about that verse of the Bible while you go about your daily activities.
- Start with a few minutes in the Bible to orient your thinking toward God when you sit down to a regular period of work in your day—at the computer, paying bills or other activity.
- When you do have time to read the Bible for a few minutes, know where to turn. Randomly picking a verse is probably not as healthy as reading a section of scripture, or reading through a plan of particular scriptures.
- Try a fresh translation or paraphrase of the Bible. I love using The Message to read God’s word in a fresh way.
- Learn from different Christian traditions. I do not have a liturgical background; however, readings from a liturgical tradition can enrich my spiritual life. To supplement my Bible reading, I am currently using a devotional collection of Henri Nouwen’s writings, for example.
- Realize that there is a difference between Bible reading and Bible study. Look for opportunities to include Bible study in your schedule, whether it is a group through your church, or just one other woman with whom you are working through a study book.
- Sign up for a daily verse by email, or listen to an audio version of the Bible as you are walking with your stroller in the park.
- Don’t live by legalism. While regular Bible reading is important to spiritual growth, missing a day every now and then is not fatal.
Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path (Psalm 119:105).
Written by Carla Foote
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