“Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.” Romans 12:9-10
I love Wednesday nights. And before you ask, no, it’s not because it’s “Hump Day” and my week is almost over. Every Wednesday night, my living room fills up with women ranging from 21-39 years of age, women coming as moms, wives, singles, new to the faith, and seasoned in the faith. We come together from all different walks of life, but we come on a leveled playing field – each as much in need of God’s grace as the next. And I simply adore our times together.
The walls of doubt, fear of judgment, and shame have been torn down over time as we come each week choosing to love one another and be sincere in that love. We all have pasts, but praise God that in Him, we all have futures! I like to call this my Wednesday night Bible study. But maybe soul care more accurately describes it. Each girl that shows up knows that she can come just as she is, potty mouth, baggage, and all, and this will be a safe place for her to open up, share the messy details of her day-to-day, and receive prayer and encouragement.
Last night, as we talked through what the “ideal, nontraditional Bible study” would look like, I wrote as fast as I could as they shared their thoughts on the matter. Because the reality is that many, many women are missing from our round table, weekly Bible studies, and we must begin asking ourselves “why?” Why aren’t they coming? What’s keeping them from coming? As I asked my girls these questions, I was refreshed by their answers.
“I’m tired of inauthentic, catty women.”
“I can’t share my past without being judged.”
“I’ll never fit the mold of the “Christian woman” that is being defined by our church culture today.”
“I need humor. I need to be able to laugh and enjoy Bible study. It doesn’t need to always be so serious.”
This got me thinking. This convicted me to my core. How many times have I offered the condescending look as opposed to the extended hand of love? How often have I been found being judgmental as opposed to being sympathetic? How many times have I assumed my expectations upon others? There is an awesome responsibility that has been handed to each one of Christ’s followers, and this responsibility includes being agents of healing and truth to a lost, hurting, and broken world. This responsibility includes being a part of the mending as opposed to being a part of the tearing. Each one of us can either wound and injure or heal and restore the broken with our words, actions, and lives. What side of this spectrum are we on? Are we the inauthentic that this next generation has grown so desperately weary of? Or are we those that sincerely love? I pray we can grow into the latter.