Read your Bible. Read it every day, in any order. Just open it and read it.
What I’m sharing here is my Bible study from this morning. I like the SOAK method, which is also referred to as SOAP. The “S” stand for scripture, the “O” for observation, the “A” for application, and the “K” for kneeling in prayer (or “P” for prayer). If you want to learn more about this method, or color-coding what you read, a good place to visit is the Women Living Well site.
S: Husbands, love your wives and do not be bitter toward them. Children, obey your parents in all things, for this is well pleasing to the Lord.
O: Why must husbands be reminded to “love…and do not be bitter” toward their wives? What form of love is being referenced here? It is natural – though unacceptable – for a wife to take the lead over her husband or for a child to disobey. Is the implication then that it is natural for a husband to be bitter, harsh, resentful, and/or unloving toward his wife?
A: Being neither husband nor child, these verses don’t seem to apply directly to me at first read. However, seeing what my husband and children are being instructed to do, I can support and encourage them. I can encourage my husband in being loving by being generally lovable. I cannot control his thoughts or feelings, but I can control my end and not make things difficult on his end. I can also model discretion and gentleness in my speech as often as possible. By being a consistent example in our home, I can set the tone for all of us to avoid being harsh toward one another. As for bitterness, I suppose I can, in conversation and prayer, work through any feelings I have that might lead to bitterness, regardless of where or to whom they are directed. That practice could lay the groundwork for my husband to feel safe doing the same. Concerning the children and their obedience, I should always be a clear communicator, and make sure that expectations are age and ability-appropriate. I should also be as consistent as possible, and ask for forgiveness when I make mistakes.
K: My God, you are an awesome God! You reign over Heaven above with wisdom, power, and love. You are an awesome God! I ask that you forgive my slip-ups and willful sins. Forgive me for my impatience, for the times when I have considered taking the lead over my husband, in any form. Please, forgive my lackadaisical and inconsistent manner of training my children to biblically obey. I thank you for your daily providence, for your grace, and for your perfect example of what real love looks like. According to your Word, I can ask you for your wisdom, and I pray you will grant it to me according to your Will that I may bring you honor and glory in all I do. I pray for your protection over the hearts of my family, especially my husband’s at work, and my children’s as they spend more time among those who don’t follow you. In the name of your beautiful Son, Amen.