My days were filled with changing diapers, watching cartoons, preventing meltdowns (or coping with another episode of full-on rage), and snuggles. There wasn’t much time to have a quick shower or finish my own meal let alone study God’s Word consistently.
Plus, there was always that guilt and shame from “the church”. You know what I’m talking about because I’m sure you’ve felt it, too. You should be reading your Bible and praying every single day! Get up an hour earlier every morning to make sure you do your job like a good Christian.
But when that alarm went off at 6 am, I was too exhausted to get out of bed. Honestly, I was desperate for a few more minutes of sleep.
Now, 18 years have passed since my first child was born and I’ve learned a few things along the way. These secrets to life and how to study God’s Word are things I wished someone had told me when I was a young (worn out) mom. Now, I’d like to pass this wisdom on to you, no matter what stage of life you’re in.
What does God really want from us?
The Lord isn’t keeping track of how long you study God’s Word or how many minutes you pray. If you’re the mom who somehow manages to get up before dawn every single day, you aren’t going to earn more gold stars than the mom who is trying to get as much sleep she can. (Even if she hasn’t cracked her Bible open since Sunday morning at church!)
I’m a teacher for homeschool families and one of the best things about my job is seeing and encouraging a variety of ways to achieve the same goal. Education is not “one size fits all” and Bible study shouldn’t be either.
Truthfully, I feel that there is pressure to study God’s word one way only. It seems that in order to study God’s Word the right way, one must get up at ungodly hours and read until the kids get up. Personally, I feel like we’ve been duped into something that sounds good on the surface but leaves us with a crippling sense of failure and shame.
Is that what God really wants for us? No, I don’t think so.
Yes, He wants us to know Him and a regular quiet time habit helps us to connect with Him and know His Word.
Truthfully, time where we study God’s Word is essential for life and I’m not saying it isn’t. I’m just saying maybe there is a different way. Let’s not make it more complicated than it really is.
God simply longs for us to know Him. That’s it.
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How to Study God’s Word When Life is Hectic
Listen to Scripture by audio
One of my favorite memories when my kids were young, was listening to Scripture on a CD. I’d continue doing my household tasks and the word of God filled the house. If a verse, passage, or thought captivated me, I’d have a pen and notebook handy to write it down. It worked well for that season I was in.
Now, audio versions of the Bible are a great way to study God’s Word and fill our souls. Several months ago, a friend of mine was in hospice and cancer ravaged her body. Now, this woman was a woman of the word. She loved God’s word like no one else I knew.
Because of her condition, she was not able to pick up her Bible and read. So, I bought her the audio version of the book of Psalms. She sent me a note of heartfelt thanks, expressing to me that she had been really needing to hear the gentle words of the Psalms. Less than a week later, she went to be with Jesus.
Sometimes we just need to simplify Bible study and listening to the audio versions of Scripture can feed our soul in times of busyness.
Read just one Scripture verse
There were also seasons when all I could manage was one single Scripture verse. I’d have it stuck to my fridge and by my computer so I saw it often throughout the day, week…month.
Yes, there were seasons – long, dry seasons – when I lived off of one verse. And do you know what?
It was ok. In fact, because of those times, my faith was solidified. Those were the seasons of desperation when God carried me through with that simple Bible study method.
My friend, if that is your season right now where you are barely surviving on one, tiny verse, just know that you will be just fine. Just fine.
While it might feel like it in the moment, things won’t always be this way. When the season is over, you’ll look back in awe and wonder that your Savior cared so tenderly for you. And your faith will be strong. You will love His Word all the more.
Some seasons require spiritual food from one single verse.
And that’s OK.
Get the kids involved in your Bible study
One strategy that I sort of did for Bible study was involve my kids. I didn’t do this well because I didn’t really think it was an “option” for the good Christian. So, when I say I sort of did it really means that I did it accidentally. I wish I had been more intentional about it.
Some of the richest Bible studies or Bible learning I’ve done has been with my kids. Not on my own super early in the morning. I’ve discussed theological topics and ideas with my kids – I mean deep, theological discussions – when they were little.
Of course, I’d use words that would make concepts easier for them to understand. And anything they didn’t understand was still fruit being planted since God’s Word never returns to Him void. Nevertheless, their roots grew deep into God’s Word.
I wish I understood then that it was truly alright if I study God’s Word alongside my kids. Reading the Bible together, the kids asked questions or expressed thoughts I hadn’t considered before, forcing me to dig deeper myself for better understanding.
Discussing God’s word together drew each of us closer to God as well as to each other, which was amazing. It facilitated the understanding of one fundamental component of the Christian faith. And that is relationship.
Involving the kids as you study God’s Word will deepen and challenge your own faith.
Building strong faith and relationship with your kids
Looking back on those early years, I can see how the relationship with my kids has prepared them for what our relationship is today. Now I am able to have a huge influence on them as teens and young adults. If I hadn’t cultivated that relationship with my kids in those early years, I wouldn’t have what I have with them today. And I believe that cultivating a deep faith and relationship with her kids was who the Proverbs 31 woman was.
Her children rose up and called her blessed because of the relationship she cultivated with them. Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: Proverbs 31:28
Nurturing her deep faith and cultivating a strong relationship with her kids was not because she got up early in the morning (which doesn’t mean what we’ve been led to believe it means anyway!).
Instead, carve out time to study God’s Word, even when life is hectic and focus on pursuing a relationship with Him. Remember that God just wants a relationship with you and isn’t interested in the rules we’ve created for ourselves. Just give God your heart and worship with your life.
A woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.
Our Favorite Bible Study Resource (for busy families, too!)
Do you want to make your quiet time simple and practical, but deep and meaningful? Here’s our favorite way to make your quiet time a reality when life is hectic- The Family Bible Study Toolkit!
These Bible study templates will help you:
- know how to study Scripture for maximum efficiency
- understand and apply what you read
- connect with God and grow in faith like never before
Are you ready to shake up your quiet time and finally stop fumbling through your Bible study?
Come see how The Family Bible Study Toolkit can help you thrive in spiritual growth, even when life is hectic!
Aimee is a home educating support teacher who lives in the sunny Okanagan, BC. Aimee has been blissfully married since 1998 and she still swoons at the sight of her tall, dark and handsome husband, Marcus. When she isn’t home educating her 3 kids, she enjoys sewing, quilting, scrapbooking, baking, writing and hanging out with her family. Aimee is a certified teacher who works from home, supporting and encouraging homeschool families. She blogs over at A Work of Grace. You can find her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram.