Has it been difficult for you to schedule your 1-2-1 time this year? Make it happen each month? When it comes to Bible reading do you sometimes let the urgent overtake the important? I understand that completely and struggle to be consistent myself. But it’s good to remember that spending time together around God’s Word is part of ‘making disciples’ (Matthew 26). As we schedule in time with God’s Word other things fall away, and that way we gradually allow the important to be primary.
Some tips going forward as you schedule and spend time with each other:
- Don’t overprepare before each session. Reading one-to-one in the context we have been doing is a journey of mutual discovery. It’s not one person necessarily teaching another. It’s learning together.
- Be disciplined about getting to Bible study. Perhaps give five minutes or so to chat and catch up and then get right into Bible study for about 45 minutes.
- Pray over what you have learnt.
Talking about prayer, when my family and I first moved to Durban the garden attached to the house we lived in had a wall with a door in it. When entering through the door and then closing it you sealed off the outside world. It was like stepping into a private sanctuary. My husband had taken on a new job whilst I worked from a home office. I could see the garden gate from my office window, and my husband when he came home. His new job was often very difficult and I could tell what sort of day he had had just by watching him open and then close the gate behind him. He knew I was watching him as he walked through and he would sigh, look down and trudge up the path with his shoulders sagging. When he got in the house I just had to say ‘What’s wrong?’ and he would pour out the contents of his day.
Relieving our anxieties
That’s a little bit like what God invites us to do with him. ‘Give us this day our daily bread’ in the Lord’s prayer (Matthew 6) is about us asking God to meet our needs, answer our requests, yes. But it’s also ‘partly so that we will have peace of mind’ (Wendy Alsup, Practical Theology for Women). God invites us to bring our requests, our concerns and our worries to him because he knows that praying to him keeps our hearts and minds at peace. Pouring out our requests to God helps us mentally deal with our burdens.
When I listened to my husband share his trying day with me I think he felt a little lighter. Bringing our concerns to God gives us a peace – not so much from knowing that he will fix whatever’s wrong – but from knowing that God is good and we can trust him.
To Bible Study
Using either the Swedish method (see the February post entitled ‘Closing the Gap’) or the COMA method, study the second last passage of Colossians below:
18 Wives, submit yourselves to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord.
19 Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them.
20 Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord.
21 Fathers,[a] do not embitter your children, or they will become discouraged.
22 Slaves, obey your earthly masters in everything; and do it, not only when their eye is on you and to curry their favor, but with sincerity of heart and reverence for the Lord. 23 Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, 24 since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving. 25 Anyone who does wrong will be repaid for their wrongs, and there is no favoritism.
4 Masters, provide your slaves with what is right and fair, because you know that you also have a Master in heaven.
Set a date for next time (the last time for this year). Pray together about what you have learnt.
by Brenda Daniels
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7