Why Don’t Women’s Bible Studies Study the Bible?

Why Don’t Women’s Bible Studies Study the Bible?

There are so many “Bible Studies” for women but few of them study the Bible. Why is this the case? In Hosea 4:6 God tells us that His people are destroyed for lack of knowledge and I see this happening in the churches. Too many women don’t know the Word but study false teachings that make them feel good about themselves and in tuned with their “feelings” instead of learning how God commands that they live and love.

Many today don’t believe that Scripture is sufficient. They try to read things into what the Bible clearly states and have “personal revelations” about it. This is a dangerous practice since we are warned not to add nor subtract anything to the Word of God. His Word gives us everything we need for life and godliness!

Some studies of the Bible will have women read a passage in Scripture and then be asked, “What does this mean to you?” This is the wrong question to ask. They should be asked, “What is God teaching us in the passage?” We want to know His will, not what we think it may be based upon our own private interpretation.

I posed this question to the women in the chat room and received many good responses.

Paula: Just my opinion: 1) I think most people these days don’t even read their Bible (way too busy) so it’s hard to find a woman that even feels comfortable enough teaching it to other women; 2) it’s easier just to buy a women’s “Bible study” book to mindlessly read through as a group that appeals to women’s feelings and emotions.

Lindsay: My guess is that there are a few reasons: 1) The teacher is often not familiar enough with the Bible to be confident teaching it directly, so they rely on a book or study that was pre-written for them. This is true for a lot of Bible studies and Sunday school classes, not just those for women.

2) The teacher for a women’s Bible study is usually a woman, and as a woman, she tends to like things that make her feel good and uplift her. Since the Bible has all kinds of things in it which are not purely for feeling good – like doctrine, history, and calling out evil – it is “safer” to pick a study that is on a comfortable topic to ensure that it will feel good.

3) Not only is a female teacher more comfortable with a feel-good lesson, so are her female listeners. She thus wants to please them so they don’t go elsewhere.

4) The books marketed for “Women’s Bible Studies” are usually light on doctrine and heavy on emotion. Women think that is what they are supposed to study because that is what is being marketed to them.

Cheri: The church where I had recently attended, the women’s “study” group wasn’t interested much in the Bible, rather what others (mostly women writers) interpreted what they thought the Bible said. And even with that the thought was to sift out and take only what they would like to hear… things that made them “feel good” about themselves. I tried to gently challenge the woman “leader” of this group to seek a deeper/scriptural study but she seemed only interested in the number of women she could get to attend, therefore it had to be only feel good stuff.

Stephanie: I think that most women’s Bible studies are not accurate because it is not based on the Bible, rather emotions or what appeals to them and like you said those things that make them feel good. I have yet to find a study that is based off of Scripture rather than what makes us feel good.

Tammy: Most women get together to share feelings and personal opinions and don’t really want anyone talking about ways we need to improve.

Lindsay: Yes, women are very much tuned to relationships and smoothing things over, so they avoid confrontational topics that might make someone uncomfortable. That’s fine in a lot of situations, but bad when people need to be taught Biblical truth.

Paula: Yes, and the group often turns to complaining about their husband’s. Sigh.

Nicole: It’s because women’s bible studies are lacking a male bible teacher!

Jamie: For me, I used to teach ladies’ study and there was no one wanting to learn about being submissive to our husband, not nagging on them, and instead having a gentle and quiet spirit and pray, plus there was way too much chit chat and gossip. That was regardless of the topic. Scripture says there’s a time and place for everything and God is a God of order not disorder. So I backed down from teaching and now I teach my girls.

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom.
Colossians 3:16

12 thoughts on “Why Don’t Women’s Bible Studies Study the Bible?

  1. Hi Lori! Thank you for this article—I’ve really been questioning why women’s ministry seems to be ineffective and I think “women’s studies” are a big part. My question now is what should a good women’s ministry at church look like? Do you have a post or resource you can recommend?

  2. I agree with many of the comments. Publishers and churches assume that women are “so emotional” and since many of us are homemakers and May not have gone to college, that we are intellectually incapable of truly learning about the Bible. Thus the women’s bible studies marketed to women are full of “fluff.” My advice is to a) take a college level course if you can b) study the Bible with your husband and annotate together c) thoroughly research what the goal of your women’s bible study is d) make sure the women in your study are serious about learning, not socializing. You can go go lunch with your friends to chat AFTER Bible study!

  3. In our fellowship the women’s classes often do use the scriptures. In general everyone who is a part of the fellowship learns them fairly intensively from childhood. But the issue I have is twofold. 1. Despite learning scripture pretty thoroughly they aren’t trained as well as teachers for adults in the church as men are so they are like the second string team. 2. But most importantly scripture tells the women in what and to whom to teach. Older women are to teach younger women to love their husbands and children be busy at home, kind, good, self-controlled and pure. It doesn’t say to teach doctrine or theology (I don’t know that it is wrong to teach those things but it isn’t what was specifically asked by God). The church would be so much stronger if the women were courageous and humble enough to submit to God’s Word in these things.

  4. One point of clarification to my comment. I didn’t want to imply that women teach men in our fellowship because that is not typically the case. In general men wouldn’t ever be present if a woman is teaching. Neither do women lead songs or prayers if a man is present.

  5. I’m frustrated because our women’s Bible studies are on ” safe” books of the Bible. This fall they will study either Isaiah or Revelation. I really want to study topics that pertain to women like submission, respecting our husbands etc.

    But I guess that will never happen.☹

  6. Hi there Lori, can I ask you if this problem is an American Ladies problem? As I have not found this problem here in Australia. I have found that the Ladies Bible Studies here are very Biblical. They are about Proverbs 31, Trusting God when there seems no hope, Loving our husband’s no matter what, Staying true to our vows we made before God, cooking, cleaning our homes…and the list can go on.
    I hope you don’t mind me asking.
    Love Jilly. ?????

  7. A women’s Bible Study should obviously be a study of the entire Bible, not just what makes us “feel good” since that’s not even a real Christian concept. Following Christ is about denying ourselves, not filling our appetites with what put our needs above God’s commands. I appreciate a previous comment that mentioned what the Bible says about older women teaching younger women but we can’t put limits on God or ignore what is fairly obvious: God NEVER said that marriage was promised to all. Above all, women’s studies need to stop ostracizing women that don’t fit into their cookie-cutter expectations (wives and moms and women that “may” not have gone to college) because that is just not reality. Didn’t Paul say that the unmarried woman could do more for the Lord? Surely he meant something by that!

    When a woman is truly hungry for the Word as all sincere Christians are supposed to be, then this is really a moot point. We won’t be led by emotions or pop culture but by the spirit of God. So I agree with a previous comment, this seems to be an American problem and as an American woman I have long since believed that American Christianity has become sooooooo lukewarm.

  8. Biblical womanhood isn’t only for married women but for ALL women who claim to be Christians. It teaches them to be good, sober, chaste, and discreet – all things that women need to be taught.

  9. Although this is old – I appreciated it. I have been struggling with attending our Women’s Bible Studies for many of the reasons stated…I am SO desperate but feel at a lost on how to fix it. Even going into the Bible book stores – I find it hard to purchase a bible study that’s a scriptural study- I don’t need recipes or a weight loss or coloring book bible study … just more insight to what the Bible says. Those are okay but not all of us are wired that way.. oh well I got rather lengthy here?
    Thank you for sharing this.

  10. There are lots of books my husband and I read together that expound the Bible. They are fantastic to accompany the Bible. I get a lot of the books directly through Kindle for my iPad (easier for us both to see and read together). Try Jon Courson’s Application Commentary or any of Chuck Swindoll’s Living Insights..currently reading the one on Revelations

  11. Hi Lori,

    I have a question for you with all due respect. In this post you talk about women teaching and studying the Bible with other women, and yet in other posts you seem to claim that women should not be teaching the Bible to one another, but rather leave that to the men and male leaders of the church.

    Can you please clarify these seemingly conflicting ideas? Perhaps I have misunderstood.

    Thank you.

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