How to Study the Bible for Beginners – Finding a Partner
Friendship has always been a little tricky for me. I’m not sure if it is my personality or if life’s circumstances have led me to be this way. I am not considered a “social butterfly.” I don’t like to be noticed or the center of attention. One of my biggest fears as a child and teenager was standing in front of people to perform. Another fear was walking into a room and not even one person would talk to me. It happened. It felt horrible. So my little heart as a child withdrew from the mass of friendship making. If new people came, I would step back. Let someone else talk to them. I probably don’t have anything interesting to say anyway.
The echoes of my childhood fears have followed me into adulthood. New situations are made worse when I have to talk to people I don’t know. What will they think of me? Will I say something stupid? Why are they staring at me? Do I have something wrong with my dress?
Many people are surprised to find out that I consider myself an introvert. My friendships today consist of a few very close friends. In fact, most of my friends have been my friend for years, if not my entire life. Finding a partner in Bible study proved to be even harder for me than making friends.
A Bible study partner is more than just a friendship. A partner in Bible reading and study must have a friendship, but that friendship must be rooted in the willingness to change. The Bible changes us. Would you agree? If we want to develop a good Bible study habit, we need help! One of the best things I did about eight years ago was start my own in-home Bible study. You can read my story here.
Before that, I had a mentor who helped keep me accountable in the Word. She was a Mexican lady with little girls at the time. I was in high school and college. Each Friday night I would go to her house and I knew she would ask me. She would ask me, “Where are you reading in the Bible right now?” That’s it! That’s a Bible partner. She did not ask me to share with her my deep sense of guilt, but I did. She did not ask me to share my struggles, I just did. Each time, she would point me to the Bible and to Jesus. Our relationship is described here as well.
As I’ve grown older I realize the importance of having a Bible partner when it comes to Bible study. Here are three questions to ask if you want to turn a friendship into a Bible study partner.
- How long have you been friends? If your friendship is new and fresh, maybe take time to get to know one another first. You want to be able to be honest with each other. So make sure you have a solid friendship before becoming Bible study partners. Would they be willing to be critiqued? Would they be willing to be asked, “Have you read your Bible?” Or “What are you reading in your Bible right now?”
- Do your personalities match? Although I love my husband, I do not consider him my Bible study partner. Our personalities are opposite. That makes for a good marriage, but not a good Bible study partner. He does not see the world like I do. He does not read His Bible like I do. His relationship with God is deep and rich, but it is different. A lot of that has to do with our personalities. Find someone who will match you in personality.
- Do you both have a desire to read and study God’s Word? Although this seems obvious, I have made the mistake of trying to create Bible study partners for people who had no desire to study the Bible. It is just important that you all discuss this before you become partners. Both need to be willing!
Once you decide if there is a person you could ask to be a partner – ask them! Just make it simple and clear. You can set up a time to chat (it doesn’t even have to be someone who lives near you). Just commit to asking each other on a regular basis:
What are you studying in the Bible?
Have you read your Bible?
It can be once a month, once a week, or even every day. I would suggest once a week or twice a month get together. Make it super casual, nothing formal. Just discuss what you’ve been reading and how God has been working in your life. What lessons have you learned? What is God speaking to you about? How have you seen a change in your attitude?
The purpose of having a Bible study partner is two fold. First, it keeps you encouraged to keep going in your own personal Bible. You can share wins (or defeats). It also provides accountability. Reading and studying God’s Word was never designed to be a solo activity. We all need accountability and encouragement.
So go find a Bible study partner today!
Who is your Bible study partner? Leave a comment with his/her first name. If you don’t have one, think about who you might want to ask.
Sarah E. Frazer is a writer and Bible study mentor at sarahefrazer.com. She is the wife of Jason and mother of five who all serve as full-time missionaries in Honduras. Her passion is to encourage women to fall in love with the Bible. Sarah is the author of several Bible study resources for women. She shares tools for deep-rooted Bible study at sarahefrazer.com. Follow her on Instagram (http://www.instagram.com/sarah_e_frazer) and join her free prayer challenge at sarahefrazer.com/prayer