Skip to main content

Women's Bible Study

When I first started women’s bible study in September 2015, I hated it. My heart was in discord with the wizened smiling faces, the pleasantries, the organized program, the style of lecture, the small group discussions, and the questions on the homework that felt a little too much like my high school bible class homework. 

I was coming to bible study hoping to be met on my own terms, like a millennial, and WOW began with a generation very different than mine. That generation, the one that became known as the Greatest Generation, speaks another language. They are a generation of manners and class and duty and privacy. 

Mine is a generation that makes songs about our feelings, delving deep into our emotions, inventing new word pictures to describe and discuss our thoughts. I am of a generation that has become its own paparazzi, airing its victories and complaints. We are a generation that does relationships differently, without pleasantries, without rules, without customs, and often times without consistency.

And here in this bible study, the clash of the generations was happening in my heart as I saw an older generation doing something that I, if I were to do likewise, would be guilty of fakery. 

But they are not fake, that generation. They are doing what they ought despite what they feel. They are modest and courteous and kind. And they care deeply about God’s word and how it effects their lives, although they use different words to describe this experience than me. 

What became quite clear to me in my fifth month of bible study was that I had to stop expecting others to alter their methods for my learning experience. And I had to allow that their differences weren’t wrong, and in fact were quite meaningful and proper for them. Most importantly, I had to stop expecting to be listened to or understood perfectly. That is no one’s job but God’s.

I was tempted to give up WOW. Perhaps this was just a thing for the older generations and not me. But the desire to conquer compelled me not to give up. How do I make this thing work? It’s like a big machine, one that’s been running for years quite well. All the gears and levers fit together and run smoothly. The ladies know their jobs and do them duteously.

It was my burden to discover how my cogs could fit into theirs. We are, after all, one body. And these ladies, these sisters in Christ, are ones that I will be with for eternity. I must learn to love and respect them. We are all in the same boat. They are on my team, part of the same fleet, the same family. I’m sure I could go elsewhere and practice religion with people more like myself, people who practice being real like its a religion. But I think if I were to do this, I would be like the rich young ruler who went away sad because he wasn’t willing to sell all his possessions. 

I have been asked to sell all my possessions. Yes, even this, comfort in worship. And there is a promise that when I give all that I have, I will gain back much more than I have given away. I gain a more multifaceted picture of God, reflected back in the faces of the ladies who do things differently than me. 

Comments

So great, Abby, and true! The generations do worship and study differently and that's okay. :)
Erin said…
Very interesting observations, Abby. Good thoughts.
Grandma Seelye said…
Thank you Abby for sharing your experience and observations, your reactions and decision to hang in there with the older generations!! Only two more weeks! Bless you heart, you're a real trooper! And very wise!

Popular posts from this blog

Baptism Testimony

I didn't used to want to be baptized. I was too stubborn. I was determined to be the upright, genuine Christian who wasn't baptized—something of a superior class, I suppose. All that physical symbolism was for the archaic layman or the really emotional sort or the person who's afraid baptism is necessary for salvation. It's not for me. It's not for the steady, reliable believer who's doesn't have a big conversion story. I was in preschool when I prayed the prayer. In 6th grade, I gained a deeper understanding of sin while bickering with my siblings in the backseat of the family van. When I was 16, I began a daily quiet time with the Lord. And now at 36, I'm hearing the Lord asking me to make my faith work. Make the rubber meet the road. Get out of "morbid introspection and into deeds," out of "anxious hesitation and into the storm of events" (Rohr & Ebert, 129-130). Stop retreating into my head to figure out God and salvation

Why the Enneagram Numbers Quarantine

Type 1: The Reformer     I quarantine because it's the right thing to do and everyone ought to be doing their part for society by following the same procedures. Type 2: The Helper     No, I'm not concerned about myself, but I quarantine for everyone else. I want to help my neighbors feel safe, and I would absolutely die if I found out I had passed on the virus to someone else. Type 3: The Performer    I quarantine because that's what's expected of me, right? Plus, think about how bad it would look if I didn't. Type 4: The Individualist     I would've loved to quarantine before all this started but now that everyone is doing it, I'm not so sure I want to follow along. I guess I'll quarantine but somehow find a way to still remain exceptional. Type 5: The Observer     I might quarantine. I might not. I probably will while researching the facts about this virus. When I know enough, I'll make a final decision. Type 6: The Guardian     I q

Wanting the Ends Without the Means

I want my children to learn to get along, But I don't want to hear them fight. I want them to feel their emotions and understand them, But I don't want them to slam doors or be sassy. I want them to be respectful to adults, But I don't want to be embarrassed when they say something totally inappropriate. I want them to choose to obey me, But I don't want to come up with consequences when they don't. I want them to fill their own time with play, But I don't want to clean up the mess when they put stickers on the walls or throw tomatoes over the neighbor's fence or carve into the walls or cut through the upholstery with scissors. I want them to be good. But I don't want to suffer through their becoming good. I want a rich and seasoned relationship with my husband, But I don't want to endure seasons of dryness or coldness or disinterestedness. I want to have friends who are different than me, But I don't want to hear their threatening opinions. I wa