Finding the time to attend a Bible retreat might seem impossible for any busy mom. However, finding time to dig deeper into God’s Word is a must. So what’s a mom to do? Why not schedule a Bible retreat right in your own home? If you plan ahead, you may be surprised at how easy it will be to find those times of solitude. Follow the steps below to prepare for and execute your own private weekend Bible retreat.
Prepare yourself for the Bible study. Decide what resources you will be using. I recommend making the weekend about hearing from God through His Word. While using commentaries and devotional books are useful, you need to find out what the Lord is telling you specifically through His Word. That being said, you need to know how best to study the Scriptures. I recommend Dr. Rob Plummer’s book entitled, 40 Questions About Interpreting the Bible. Reading this book ahead of time can prepare you with the tools needed to make your Bible retreat a success. I attended a workshop by Dr. Plummer recently and learned so much about Bible interpretation. Three main highlights he shared with us were that we should: ride the bull, make a channel first, and meditate. Let me explain.
When we read a Scripture, it’s easy to see a face value kind of meaning. For example, with the story of Jesus washing the disciples’ feet, we can instantly see the lesson of serving others. But, when we get on the bull and keep riding it–even if it boots us off of the topic we were on–we can sometimes find the underlying reason the author (inspired by God) wrote that Scripture. Further reading and study bring us to the realization that John was trying to get us to understand that the foot-washing was an act of love toward the disciples. It is that kind of love that He wants us to have for other people, which will cause us to serve them. So ride the bull….
We need to start with the original meaning of the text and create a channel with that first. Then, we can let implications flow from that original meaning. For example, Matthew 28:19, says, “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.” It doesn’t say give to your church’s mission program or go on a mission trip in the summer, but those implications flow from the original meaning the author intended. So make a channel first…
Meditating means just letting it soak down–reading it, writing it, and thinking on it. Think on the verses while you wash the dishes, do laundry, while in the car, etc.–soak it in. So meditate on His Word…
As moms, we know that preparing meals three times a day and a couple of snacks in between takes up a good bit of our time each day. Plan ahead for your in-house Bible retreat by making sure you have done your grocery shopping before the weekend arrives. Stock the snack shelf with things like Rice Krispy Treats and cookies that you prepare in advance and store in sandwich bags. Purchase fruits such as bananas the kids can grab when they need a snack. For lunch, create your own version of Lunchables. Have crackers, meats, and cheeses available, as well as bags of chips or pretzels. For supper, create Freezer Meals ahead so that supper is easily taken care of. You may also ask your husband to take the kids out for pizza one night of the weekend.
On Friday I will be back to share steps 3 and 4 to planning a Bible retreat! If you have any questions, or suggestions, please share!