Below is an excerpt from a blog post I wrote in May 2008:
I don’t know about you, but I am constantly wondering how I could be a better mom. I’ve read a lot of books and talked to a lot of experienced moms, searching for information that might help in my own child-raising struggles. Sometimes I’ll even manage to put a great idea into practice for about a week, and then I fall right back into the same pattern of begging, yelling and bribing in an effort to squeeze some small amount of obedience from my children. I start the day wanting to set a joyful tone for our home, but I find myself become discouraged and irritable, often by 9:00 a.m. (on good days). I feel like I have the pieces of the puzzle, but I can’t keep them together for more than a couple of hours at a time.
On my search for the answer to these dilemmas, I would hear people talk about spending time daily in God’s Word and in prayer. Honestly, I thought it was a little legalistic and regimented. I knew I should be spending more time with God, but it was so hard to set aside the time. (Strangely enough, I have no problem finding the time to play on Facebook and watch American Idol.)
Then came Bible Study Fellowship. I am finishing my first year in BSF, and I can now say that I have discovered the secret to being a better mom. Those “legalists” were right: the answer is spending time with God daily. (Or almost daily, in my case–just being honest!) I still fall short over and over again . . . take this morning, for example, when I was yelling at Christopher about 30 minutes before leaving for BSF. But I find myself less discouraged, less irritable, more joyful, and handling the rough spots in my life much better than I did a year ago. I know the reason for this is that God has been convicting me of my sin and teaching me about His character and truth through my study of His Word. I look forward to becoming even more wise, self-controlled and joyful in my parenting as He teaches me more.
At this point, you might be thinking, “This BSF has a parenting class?” That’s the crazy part about it. I’ve been studying the Gospel of Matthew this year. From the book of Matthew, I’ve learned huge lessons about materialism, obedience, forgiveness, relying on God’s strength, worship, contentment, being a better wife and mom, and so much more. God’s Word is always effective–when it goes out, it never returns void–so no matter what you are studying in God’s Word, He knows what you need and He will teach you through His Truth. It shouldn’t have taken me this long to figure out: Christ tells us in John 15:4-5 that we need to abide in Him. Jesus said that He is the Vine, we are the branches, and we cannot bear fruit apart from Him. It is only by being connected to the Vine that we can accomplish what He has called us to do.
So if you want to be a better mom (or wife, or daughter, or friend), let me encourage you to plug yourself into the only Vine that can provide what you need. If you do not have a Bible study that challenges you to daily study God’s Word and apply it to your life, check to see if there is a BSF group in your area. Two things I love about BSF are the weekly lessons that hold me accountable to be in God’s Word throughout the week and the children’s program for children ages 6 weeks old through high school. It is not just child care–the children study the same passage as we do, and the program is fabulous (and free!).
I’m reposting this now, because it is still just as true as it was two years ago. God has used BSF in my life in a big way to help me grow in discipline and my understanding of His Word. As you are making commitments this fall, would you consider finding a Bible study that challenges you in these ways?
BSF classes around the country will be having introductory classes the weeks of September 13 and 20 for this year’s new study: Isaiah! It’s going to be good. And bring your kids . . . daytime classes offer children’s programs for children ages 6 weeks through kindergarten, and evening classes offer programs from 1st grade through high school. I can’t wait to work on Christopher’s lesson with him this year as he starts the elementary program!
If you want more information about finding a BSF class, please leave me a comment or email me at email@example.com.Share
Wow, Your posts are incredibly relevant to me today. Thankyou.
Thank you for the re-post Marissa…and the wake up call. Your words continue to resonate in my heart. His Word “will not return void.”
Marla Taviano says
Thanks so much for writing this, Marissa! I’m reading through the Bible this year, and God is teaching me sooooo much!