Why is bible study so hard? That’s a question that many Christian women have when it comes to time with God.
Does this sound familiar? You’re struggling with bible study because you’re busy and overwhelmed. No matter what you do, you can’t seem to stick with it and get it done and you’re not sure what to do anymore. I understand that because I have been there so many times before.
Today, I want to talk about nine common bible study struggles and how to fix and overcome each one. Before we get started, I have a little confession to make: the struggles in this article apply to any part of your spiritual growth and faith journey, not just Bible study.
Reason #1 Bible Study is Hard: Too Busy
The thing that I want to start with is that sometimes you’re just too busy. We are a culture that praises busy. The busier you are, the better it seems to be, except that’s not true. There’s a quote that says “if the devil can’t make you sin, he’ll make you busy.”
It’s so true because we are so busy doing all the things, serving, working, volunteering, helping, cleaning, cooking, parenting, being a good friend, and being a good spouse, that we often don’t have time for God.
You don’t have time to be in your bible, pray, serve, or go to church sometimes. You get so busy that you’re skipping out on fellowship and gathering together. The solution to being busy is something called time management and margin.
You have to prioritize bible study or whatever you’re doing to grow your faith. Whatever you’re doing for God, you’ve got to make that a priority and you need to protect that time. That might mean that you don’t go to the birthday party or the sporting event on Sunday because you and your family are going to go to church.
Maybe that means that you go to an earlier service so you can make sure that’s getting done before you go do other things. Whatever busy looks like for you, I want to encourage you to stop and evaluate what you are doing and just ask God to show you what is the best use of your time.
Often the things that you are doing are good, but good is not best and God knows what’s best. Ask him if there’s something you need to take off your schedule or step down from to free up time. Spending time with God is not optional! You need to make time for it because it’s going to make all of the other things that you’re trying to do with your life that much easier.
Reason #2 Bible Study is Hard: Too Tired
The second thing is related to being too busy, it’s being too tired. You’re too tired because you’re too busy and not prioritizing rest. I speak as a person who struggles with rest all of the time. You can’t serve from an empty cup.
I know you hear this a lot, but if you are so exhausted from doing all the things for all the people that you don’t have time for God, you’re doing too much. It’s time to empower those people in your life to do some of their own stuff. Maybe it’s time to step down from some things and cut back.
Then figure out how to rest. On the seventh day of creation, God rested and he meant for you to have a regular Sabbath rest as well. You need it. God knows you need it. You know you need it, but it’s time to put forth an effort to make that happen.
Reason #3 Bible Study is Hard: No Motivation
The next struggle that I see often is a lack of motivation. Motivation is hard because it builds and you have to get started to get to the motivation and then the motivation will grow. It’s like pushing a rock uphill. It’s really hard to get going, but if you can get it going eventually you’re able to maintain that.
The reason that I usually see a lack of motivation is because what you’re doing feels like a chore. You view bible study as something you have to do. It’s not something that you are looking forward to or get to do, it’s just a chore.
When something feels like a chore, you’re probably not going to want to do it. Try to find ways to make things fun and exciting. I’m not talking about turning church into a performance and a concert. I just mean try a new way to connect with God and dig into scripture.
The other thing that I see from no motivation is laziness. If something requires work and effort we tell ourselves that it’s just too hard and we can’t or won’t do it. Listen, hard does not mean impossible. Sometimes you have to work at things to be good at them
Reason #4 Bible Study is Hard: You Don’t Want To
Another struggle is when you just don’t want to. My three-year-old has a really bad case of just don’t want to. His favorite phrase lately is “I just don’t want to.” When you are in a position where you just don’t want to – do it anyway. That’s the only answer that I have for you. If you just don’t want to do it anyway and do it until you want to do it.
There are so many times when I have not wanted to spend time with God but I got up, I got my butt in my chair, and I got my Bible and journal out and about two minutes in that “don’t want to” went away. Don’t get stuck there, it’s a trap. Even you do just 2 minutes, that’s better than no minutes.
Reason #5 Bible Study is Hard: Too Distracted
Being distracted is another struggle. Distractions can be due to being too busy, being tired, or because you’re not the only person who lives in your home. My family is probably my biggest distraction when it comes to my time with God.
It seems like the second that I sit down with my bible somebody needs me or World War III breaks out in my house because my kids have decided that they don’t like each other for the moment. Distractions are sometimes unavoidable so you need to learn to roll with it punches.
There are things that you can do to set yourself up so that distractions aren’t as big of a problem, but sometimes that’s life. I like to encourage my clients that I work with for coaching to think ahead about what those distractions are and make a plan for them.
If a child comes and interrupts you, you’ll have books for them to look and they can sit next to you quietly while you finish what you’re doing. If you don’t finish your chores for the day, don’t sit where you can see the pile of dirty dishes in the kitchen because you’re going to want to clean the kitchen instead of spending time with God.
If you need help with that, I can help you brainstorm what your distractions are and some solutions on what you can do to overcome them.
Struggling to be consistent with your quiet time with God? Learn how to connect with God and others as an introverted Christian woman so you can create a quiet time routine and plan that actually works with Introverted Faith.
Reason #6 Bible Study is Hard: You Forget
Sometimes bible study is hard because you forget about it. I’m totally guilty of this to. I go through my whole day, climb into bed, and suddenly realize that I didn’t even pick up my bible that day. One way to not forget is to make bible study a regular part of your daily routine.
You can also put reminders on your phone for when you want to spend time with God so that you don’t forget. The alarm can get your attention so you stop what you’re doing and grab your bible.
Reason #7 Bible Study is Hard: Afraid of Doing it Wrong
Feeling like you don’t know what to do or worrying that you’re doing it wrong is another struggle. You don’t know where to start or feel like scripture is just too hard to understand. If this is you, know that you’re not alone and it’s easy to learn how to study the bible.
Also, be careful when it comes to worrying about doing bible study wrong. Unless you are making stuff up you probably aren’t doing it wrong. If you are, the more time that you spend with God, the more chance he is given to straighten that out with you.
Reason #8 Bible Study is Hard: No Relationship with God
Reason number eight is that you don’t have a relationship with God, or the flip side of that is that you’re just not interested in the correction that comes with spending time with God. I am guilty of that second thing of trying to avoid correction and conviction by God.
Sometimes you don’t come to God because you already know what he’s asked you to do, that you’re not doing it, and you don’t want to deal with the discipline or the correction that you know is coming. If that’s you, it’s time to put your big girl pants on, go get pruned, go get disciplined, and keep moving forward.
God corrects you because he loves you and he doesn’t want you to stay in those unhealthy or sinful patterns and habits because he knows where that leads. It doesn’t lead to anywhere that’s good for you. He’s a good father and he’s going to correct you just like you would correct your own children if they were doing things that were not okay.
If you have no relationship with God, can I encourage you to just pick up your Bible and get started? I know that it’s hard to be consistent with digging into the word of God when you don’t know the God that you’re reading about. The only way to get to know him is to spend time with him.
I know that seems simplistic, and it is and it isn’t. Relationships require time. The more time that you spend with God, the more time that you spend seeking to know him and seeking to understand him, the stronger that your relationship will be.
Bonus Reason Bible Study is Hard
Before we wrap up, I want to share a bonus reason why you might be struggling with bible study, prayer, or just connecting with God in general. It’s because you are trying to do something that does not fall in line with the way God created you.
I am extremely introverted. I have a really strong gift of empathy, and I’m also a highly sensitive person. If you’re like me then you’re probably falling into this trap of trying to connect with God in extroverted ways. You are less likely to truly connect with God and do well in settings where you’re around a lot of people or there’s a lot of noise. Large corporate worship services may not be your thing and that’s okay.
You are not built to connect with God in large groups of people. It often takes so much energy to just be in those settings with lots of people that there’s not a lot of energy left to connect with God. You’ve got to understand how God has uniquely made you to connect with him even if it looks different from everyone around you.
Related Bible Study Articles:
- How to Color-Code Your Bible
- 3 Tips to Help You Understand Scripture
- Surefire Ways to Sabotage Your Bible Study Efforts
No more asking why bible study is so hard with these 8 tips you don’t have to struggle anymore.
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