Many of you went to Bible schools and Christian universities. (I did, too, majoring in art.) I’m sure you love the Lord and you tried to learn all you could about the Bible, doctrine, and maybe even missions and practical Christianity. Then, you got to the field and found yourself confronted with issues they never told you about. You might go to your husband or the senior missionary on your field for advice. You open your Bible. Where to begin?
Overwhelming, isn’t it?
Years ago, I could tell I had very few biblical answers. I knew what the Christian world always said about some matters, but when you live in a culture that has no moral compass, you start to wonder if they were Christian traditions or Bible. I became motivated to start studying. (Better late than never!) My first study was about women. What does the Bible have to say to women—just women, not men—being practical, for my own knowledge and understanding.
So, I pulled out my husband’s trusty dusty (literally!) Strong’s Concordance and started searching: woman, women, maid, damsel, wife. I wrote down all the references and went to work weeding out verses I didn’t need (that only referred to women, not instructing), and I compiled the verses I wanted—any that spoke to women directly. I asked myself, what does God actually say? What can I learn?
This study was life changing! I probably didn’t use the methods I would have if I had been a Bible or theology major. I didn’t even use concordances until very late in my compilation. I simply asked God to teach me what He wants women to know. It was eye opening. It was radical. It was convicting. After all, I was constantly aware of the need to compare my own behavior and beliefs to the Holy Word of God. It prepared me for ministry.
Probably eighty percent of the women I’ve personally counseled have been abused. Several have had lesbian relationships. Many have deep hurts that only God can heal, and every single woman on this planet needs to know what God wants her to do. After all, Jesus said, If ye love me, keep my commandments (John 14:15). How can we keep them if we don’t know what they are? How can we lead girls and women to the truth if we don’t have His commands firmly resolved in our own hearts, minds, and actions?
So, we study the Word. To make it easy for you, if you’re just starting out, I’m going to make a list here. Read these passages. Ask God to open your understanding. Let the Word speak directly to your heart. Meditate on what you’re reading and analyze the verses. Find out what God wants from you. Then, you can pass these truths on to others.
To my surprise, there weren’t tons of key verses for women. (Yes, I know the whole Bible is for women, but I’m talking about verses specifically directed to women.) So, it’s not difficult to get a very good grasp on the basics. God made it easy! (The asterisks are for the key verses for each subject.) Are you ready?
For Single Women and Girls
*1 Corinthians 7:7-8
See also: Deuteronomy 7:3; Numbers 30:3-16
For Married Women
*I Corinthians 7:2-5, 10-16, 34, 39
*Ephesians 5:22-24, 33
*1 Peter 3:1-6
Read also: Genesis 2:24; 1 Corinthians 11:3; 1 Timothy 2:12; and Hebrews 13:4
A Woman’s Role in the Church
*1 Corinthians 14:34-35 with *1 Timothy 2:11-14
*Proverbs 31:22, 25
*1 Corinthians 11:5-15
*1 Timothy 2:9-10
*1 Peter 3:3-5
How cool is this? There are basically three passages for single women, five for married, four for women’s behavior in church, and five about dress. So “simple,” yet, as you’ll see, so profound.
Of course, we could add to this list the verses about purity, homosexuality, divorce and remarriage, plural marriages, widows, and many other issues you’ll face on your field. Do you know what the Bible says about these things? At some time in your ministry you’ll need to know.
Start now! Master the basics (above). Maybe copy these simple outlines and keep them in your Bible so you know where to look, if you find yourself suddenly counseling someone.
After—not before—you really understand what the Bible says, read books about domestic abuse, testimonies of former lesbians who’ve come to Christ, and other counseling books that are written from a biblical perspective. (Beware of “Christian” counseling books that aren’t biblical counseling. There’s a lot of that out there!)
Become a life-long Bible student.
Enjoy the Word!
God bless you!