This article is part of our How to Study the Bible Series. Read the other articles in the series here:
- "Fight the Battle to Read Your Bible" by Kristie Anyabwile
- "When Bible Study Feels Impossible" by Brittany Allen
- "How Often Should I Study the Bible?" by Ashley Chesnut
- "How to Get in God’s Word Every Day" by Ann Swindell
- "Why Journaling the Word is Worth It" by Lauren Washer
- "Eight Ways to Be in the Word in Every Season" by Titania Paige
- "How to Learn About God in Your Bible Study" by Lauren Washer
- "How to Learn About the Gospel in Your Bible Study" by Fernie Cosgrove
- "Should I Use a Commentary for Bible Study?" by Lara d'Entremont
How to Get Back on Track with Bible Study
When I came home from the hospital with twin boys to a two-year-old toddler waiting for me at the door, my life went into survival mode. Many tasks and habits got shuffled to the side, like folding laundry, scrubbing kitchen appliances, and even Bible study. Falling into survival mode doesn’t just happen when a baby is born; we can operate this way in times of crisis or during other significant life changes as well.
Taking that time off from Bible study wasn’t wrong—God doesn’t call us to a specific study regime but to dwell on his Word regularly. In crisis, the habits we’ve invested in during past seasons—like Bible memorization and the rhythm of attending church—shine in value as we experience Scripture through those modes instead of nestling down in our favorite chair with our Bibles in our laps. However, when we have to pause our Bible study during a season of survival mode, it can be hard to restart the habit again.
Habits are tricky to build, but the reward is worth it. In this case, it’s more precious than gold and sweeter than honey from the comb (Ps. 19:10–11). How do we get back on track with Bible study?
Rearrange Your Heart Before You Study
Before we can get back on track with our Bible study habits, we may need to rearrange our hearts. Let’s pause to ask ourselves two questions:
1. Why am I studying the Bible?
Am I studying because I’m fearful that God will stop loving me if I don’t? If we try to earn our salvation through Bible study, our attempts will always fall short. If Bible study could save us, we would also need to obey the entire law, without even the slightest waiver, our entire lives. That’s impossible, right? However, our God is full of love and grace. He sent his perfect Son, Jesus Christ, to obey in our stead and earn salvation for us. Then he died in our place, taking the punishment our sins deserved.
When we trust in Christ for our salvation, we receive his righteous life. We are saved by faith in him, not by our works. Because of this, we can study God’s Word out of gratitude for what he’s done—not to earn his affection or mercy, but simply out of joy for all he’s given us. We can study to equip ourselves to discern truth from error, learn what kind of life God calls us to, and grow in our adoration for him. This needs to be our motive. Trying to measure up through perfect Bible study will only cause us to burn out because it will never be enough.
2. What are my expectations?
When building any habit, we must make sure that our expectations are realistic and sustainable. If you’ve never run any further than the distance between your car and your house in a rainstorm, you can’t expect to be able to run a full mile without stopping on your first attempt. You need to work up to it and train your body.
Similarly, we need to train our bodies and minds in the discipline of Bible study. If you’re out of the habit of studying the Bible, it might not be realistic to set a goal of reading five chapters a day or doing an inductive study of Leviticus. Choose a book of the Bible that’s exciting to you, and decide on an amount of reading that feels doable.
Don’t forget to consider your season of life. If you’re just getting out of the newborn stage, you still might not have an hour to sit alone at the kitchen table with your Bible. Look at your day and see how much time you can commit to. Take note of your screen time and evaluate if some of those minutes can be used for studying Scripture.
As you evaluate your schedule, don’t feel guilty if your time for Bible study appears small. Even five minutes a day is better than none. Remember, God calls you to be a faithful steward over all your life, so he doesn’t expect you to neglect one area of your calling in order to fulfill another. It’s about learning to balance all aspects of our walk to bring glory to him.
Four Tips For Getting Back on Track with Bible Study
With our hearts rearranged, here are four practical ways to rebuild your Bible study habits:
- Pair it with an existing habit. It’s much easier to remember to do something when we pair it with an already-established habit. For example, you could wake up before the rest of your family and study the Bible while eating your breakfast or sit down with your Bible as soon as your little ones go to bed.
- Use a study guide. Whether it’s simply a Bible reading plan or a Bible study (like the ones in the Well-Watered Co.), having a guide can make the task seem less overwhelming.
- Have a plan. It’s easy to get overwhelmed or distracted when we don’t have a plan. Choose a minimum length of time, a place to sit, and a book of the Bible and gather all the tools you’ll need (it may help to have a box or shelf where all your study tools are stored to quicken the process). Next, lay out a step-by-step plan of what you’ll do once you sit down. It doesn’t have to be complex—just something to guide you through your allotted time and keep you on track.
- Involve your family. Your regular Bible study habits don’t need to be done in solitude. If you’re having difficulty finding a time slot where you can be alone in silence, involve your family in the habit.
Bible study doesn’t need to be another chore added to our ever-growing list of tasks. It’s something we get to do, all for God’s glory. Get creative and find ways to build this habit in ways you both enjoy and can commit to, and watch God change your heart.
Meet the Author
Lara d’Entremont is a wife and mom to three from Nova Scotia, Canada. Lara is a writer and learner at heart—always trying to find time to scribble down some words or read a book. Her desire in writing is to help women develop solid theology they can put into practice—in the mundane, the rugged terrain, and joyful moments. You can find more of her writing at laradentremont.com.