I taught a Bible study this last week for women in our new church. Nine women were present. Four of us had been married just once. Three of the women had been married twice. One had been married three times and one had been married four times. So there were nine women and seventeen marriages.
We have been church planting for several decades and I now find that the issues faced by our women are more difficult than ever.
This week, God willing, I’ll teach a different group of women. In that group two of the women have been married four times. Most of them have never been in a Bible study before. What a privilege! What a burden!
Perhaps you too are ministering to broken women. The “women’s movement” has taken an unbelievable toll on us. We have been fed tremendous lies promising freedom that lead only into horrible bondage. Many feel depressed – even overwhelmed by their past. How can I help them? How can I do more then tell them that the love of Jesus will bind their broken hearts? Platitudes are not enough. As one woman put it last week, “My life is a polluted stream that Jesus is making clean.”
In my opinion there is only one way – God must speak individually to their hearts –through His Word.
For a woman who has never opened a Bible before this can be an overwhelming undertaking. It has been my practice to assign our women a portion of scripture to study… then we talk about it.
It almost doesn’t matter what you study – just get them into the Word. A few key questions are all that’s needed and God will do the rest.
I’ve kept them away from the “how-to” Christian books. They have their place; I wrote one. Popular books can be very helpful, but are no substitute for God’s word hidden in the heart. He speaks to the heart through His word. It pierces and quickens; it’s a balm to a troubled soul.
In addition to Scripture study I make available biographies of the great men and women of church history. These books shaped my thinking during my formative development in Christ. They made me understand that God could use me, if I was willing.
Our women are being challenged by the sacrificial dedication of giants like missionary C.T. Studd; prayer warrior – George Mueller; visionary DL Moody. Christian Olympian Eric Liddell, Borden of Yale, Navigator – Dawson Trotman, and others like Andrew Murray, George Verwer, Corrie ten Boom, and Amy Carmichael.
Other great books include The Christian’s Secret of a Happy Life, by Hannah Whitall Smith and The Pursuit of Holiness by Jerry Bridges, to name just a few.
The bottom line: You must feed your sheep; then watch what God will do.