Can I be honest with you? This is a post I’ve been thinking about for a few years now. (Yes, years!) I have countless notes in my phone outlining it, I’ve brainstormed about it with other girls who love Jesus, I have even filmed a YouTube video for it. For one reason or another, I’ve never published anything.
Today, I’d love to change that. This topic is a little different from my usual fashion-related posts, but if you’ll let me, I’d love to share with you how I truly began to love the Word, and how to grow your love for reading the Bible, with five down-to-earth, practical tips.
I get many, many DMs and emails from followers asking how to grow and deepen their faith. That deserves a whole separate blog post, but I truly believe that one of the most impactful and dynamic ways to grow as a believer is to spend time reading the Bible. Not someone else’s words about it… the Bible, itself.
It’s always a bit intimidating and scary to share your heart with an online world, especially when faith and religion can be such a hot button for so many, and I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a little bit afraid of "hate" surrounding this. But many of you have followed me for years, and as I’ve sought to share the ups and downs in my life, you know my faith has been a huge part of it. I hope this is an encouragement to even one reader, even if it isn’t something you personally believe!
So let’s get started…
I accepted and chose to follow Christ at a young age. For years, I went to church, did youth group, attended Christian summer camps, the whole 9 yards, as they say. The "turning point" in my walk with Jesus, though, was spending time actually reading the Bible.
I know it sounds so cliche, y’all. I do. Maybe boring, unexciting and even old school, too. BUT, after seeing God grow my love for the His Word, and how He continues to change and shape and mold my heart through it, I’m passionate about believers cultivating a love for the Word as well!
For years I thought reading the bible was so boring. I know I "should" do it, so I’d hurry through a few verses from time to time to check it off of my list. I had no idea that there was so much life waiting for me in those pages, and I hope to give you a few tips on how to discover that joy for yourself today!
How to grow your love for
Reading the Bible
1. Ask God To Give You A Love For His Word
This was where I started, nearly eight years ago. I was working at a Christian sports camp, where we had time set aside each day to be in the Word, and I found myself really wanting to enjoy and grow during it rather than crossing it off my list. So I prayed a super honest and open prayer. "Lord, if all scripture is profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, would you please help me love it? Right now, it intimidates and bores me. Give me a love for your Word."
Friends, He did. It’s as simple as that. As I began to pray that daily prayer, I started to see the Word come alive to me in new ways. Words and phrases and verses from stories I had heard my entire life, even verses I had memorized, were speaking to my heart in new, fresh ways. I can’t explain it other than God answering the desire of my heart. For the first time in my walk as a Christian, I saw how Hebrews 4:12 is true: "For the word of God is alive and active…" and it began to change my entire relationship with the Lord.
So if you’re stuck and in a rut, wanting to grow in your walk with the Lord but having no idea where to start, begin by talking to him openly and honestly.
"And I tell you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you." Luke 11:9
2. Find A Copy You Love
Now hang with me on this one, friends. This may very well be my least scripturally-based piece of advice, and a very superficial one, so take that for what it is! But truly, something that helped me begin to love reading the Bible was… finding a Bible that I love!
Here’s what I mean. My parents gave me a "teenage" bible when I was young. It had a bright red and orange cover, corny inserts with insights meant to speak to teens, and to top it all off, lime green-colored notes and annotations. I had it for years, and the older I got, the more I reallyyy didn’t like that copy. (Again, incredibly superficial and I realize the huge blessing it was to even have a Bible. But from a completely honest and unassuming place, this is how I felt.)
When I reluctantly mentioned this to my mom, she immediately took me to our neighborhood Christian book store, Logos, where we spent an hour combing through the different copies. I found one that, to this day, I absolutely adore. Soft brown leather, huge enlarged text (since I’m blind as a bat), gold leafing. It’s beautiful, and I genuinely love opening it and reading it. As silly as it may sound, having a copy of the Bible I found beautiful from an outside perspective helped me view the Word as it is… a treasure. Something sacred and beautiful.
So if you have a Bible that’s been sitting on your shelf for years that no longer fits the season you’re in (like my colorful teenage commentary bible) I’d encourage you to find a copy you love. A few recommendations? The beautiful She Reads Truth Bible, the CBS Study Bible, the ESV Illuminated Bible (room for notes and drawings!), or the bible I have, the ESV Large Print Bible. (Mine is from 2011, though, and I haven’t been able to track down the exact style/leather color, etc.)
There are so many beautiful options out there. It’s a worthwhile investment to find one you truly love spending time in!
3. Create An Enjoyable Experience
One small change that helped me turn time reading the Bible from "chore" to "joy" is to create was to create an enjoyable experience surrounding it. What do I mean by that? Make time spent reading your Bible something you enjoy!
In college, I would make a bowl of cereal and a cup of coffee (with my favorite creamer) and sit outside on the balcony of our apartment for quiet time. I loved being outdoors, and the coffee! :) Once I graduated and moved to an apartment of my own, I loved turning on the fireplace and playing soft folk music (mainly Alison Krauss, LOL) while I drank coffee and had my quiet time. To this day, I still love spending time in the Word in the mornings… either on our screened-in porch, or inside in a cozy corner of our living room, depending on the weather.
Time doesn’t always permit, but whenever it’s humanly possible, I look for ways I can make time reading the Bible one of my favorite parts of the day.
4. Share What You’re Reading With A Friend AKA An Accountability Partner
You know what they say… "accountability is key." In our personal walks with the Lord, this is absolutely true as well! I will be the very first to say there are more days than I’d like to admit where I’ve let the demands of this world (emails, projects, appointments, etc) take precedence over time in the Word. The enemy does not want you growing closer to God, so I have a suspicion he’ll do everything in his power to make sure you don’t have a quiet time.
That’s why it’s so important to have friends in your life who can encourage you to make time for the Lord, daily. They don’t have to even live in the same city! Shoutout to my bestie, Kelly Brooks. She and I are working through a study together, and every morning we text about what we learned from whatever passage of Scripture we read. I’m always so encouraged to hear about what she learned because often it’s completely different from what I took away from the same passage. It’s also encouraging to receive her text when I haven’t sat down to spend time in the Word, as it reminds me to slow down and spend time with Jesus.
If you don’t currently have any friends in your life who would love to keep you accountable to spending time in the Word every day, I highly encourage you to find a church and, if you already have, join a bible study or small group! Still looking? There are some amazing online sources as well. I personally love She Reads Truth, which offers Bible studies, an app, a daily email, and many more tools that help you find time to spend in the Word. First Five is another great resource, with an online community and great studies as well.
I’m sure there are many others, so if you have any recommendations, please leave them in the comments!
5. Give Yourself Grace
We’ve all been there, friend. A busy day where you don’t get your quiet time in turns into two busy days where you don’t get your quiet time in. Before you know it, it’s been a week, maybe two, maybe a month or even years. But here’s the thing, it’s never, ever too late to jump back in. So if you’re believing that lie… that you’ve gone too far and you can’t start back up again, or start for the first time, stop it in its tracks!
I’ve had seasons in my life where I wake up and can’t wait to open up my Bible. Where I can see the Lord moving in my life in big ways and teaching me new things, and time with Him is all I want! I’ve also had seasons in my life where I’ve felt so dry and unenthusiastic about spending time with the Lord. Where I couldn’t care less, honestly, and don’t really "feel" it. Can you relate?
One of my favorite quotes is this: "Feelings are real, but they’re not reliable." How I’m feeling towards the Lord has no impact on the truth of His unrelenting love for me. The level of "excitement" I feel surrounding time with Him has zero effect on what He can show me and teach me and change in my heart through His word.
So if you find yourself in a rut, if you’re feeling unmotivated to make time in God’s Word a daily habit, or if you feel like you’ve run too far away from Him and can’t find your way back, tell Him. Then open your Bible and watch Him work.
I always think about the story of the prodigal son. After his son runs away and spends all of his father’s money on reckless living, the Father looks out for him and hopes for his return. Every. Day. When the son finally comes back, with his tail in between his leg, the Father runs out to meet him and throws a huge celebration at his return! And that is you, sister, and me, whenever we decide to let go of whatever it is holding us back (shame, guilt, a busy schedule, a disinterested attitude) and run back to the Father.
So, y’all, there you have it! This is coming to you from a girl who is 100% unqualified, who is not in vocational ministry, and who is still learning to love the Word more and more. I don’t have all (or many) of the answers, but I do hope my experience encourages you, wherever you’re at in your relationship with Jesus today!
I feel immensely grateful to be able to share my life and my heart with you here on Lonestar Southern. Thank you for taking the time to join me here every so often, and especially on "weightier" topics like the one we’ve walked through today.
I meant it earlier when I asked for recommendations around any resources you love when it comes to spending time in the Bible. Please leave them below so we can all help each other on this journey! And if there are any other faith-related topics you’d like to see me cover, I’m all ears.
Love you all. Dearly!
Love from the Sunshine State,