If I'm honest, I can often struggle when reading the Bible. I love reading the Good Book, and I often learn more about God while reading it, but I often struggle with understanding what I'm reading. This can lead to frustration and it can even lead to a discouragement that keeps me from wanting to dig deeper in a passage.
What I appreciate about Jen Wilkin's book, Women of the Word, is that she tackles this issue and many others. Many women feel similarly. They feel like the Bible is too difficult to read or understand. Not only that, but we can often read the Bible with the wrong perspective, thinking it's a self-help book for us when it's actually a book to teach us about God.
Wilkin begins the book by saying, "This is a book about equipping women through Bible study." It equips women in knowing how to read the Bible to know God more, because when we know God more, our love for Him grows as well. That's the primary focus of this book: equipping women to study the Bible to know God more and as a result, grow in our love for Him.
In order to encourage women in their study of the Bible, Wilkin goes through what she calls the Five P's of Sound Study:
Study with Purpose
Study with Perspective
Study with Patience
Study with Process
Study with Prayer
While it's a short read, it's very applicable. Wilkin goes through the Five P's and a Bible study method and then she takes a few pages to apply it through the book of James. I've been using the Bible study method that Wilkin uses since my freshman year of college, but her explanations and nuggets of wisdom gave me an encouraging and fresh perspective on Bible study. After reading each chapter, I found myself wanting to dig deeper into passages that I've found difficult to understand and comprehend.
My main take away from this book is that studying the Bible is supposed to stretch our understanding of God and help us grow in knowing Him more. Which means that it's okay if we struggle through understanding a passage or if it feels like we're just not getting it. Searching for understanding is part of the process of learning, and when we finally do get it, it's all the more satisfying. We learn more about God in the process and become women of the Word.
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