Five Reasons Women Should Study Theology
Theology can be an intimidating word. It can conjure up visions of stacks of books bigger than your head, men sitting around in a room using words that no normal person would understand, or a practice reserved for pastors or professors of the Bible.
I have to admit that the term theology did not mean much to me as I entered the College at Southeastern. I was from a rural town in North Carolina and, to my knowledge, had never even heard the word. My first introduction was in Doctrine 101. It was exactly what I mentioned above—a book with names that I did not know, various concepts of what people in history thought, and foreign terminology. Furthermore, when I met my now husband, who has a PhD in Theology, I told him I hated theology. In hindsight, what that approach to teaching theology lacked was teaching me how what I believe about God affects every aspect of my life.
In those early years of college, I had no idea what I was talking about. I had a poor understanding of what theology was, and had I grasped how theology could transform my life as a pilgrim in this world on the way to the next, I would have taken joy in studying it.
As I’ve grown to love doctrine, I realize the reasons to study theology for women aren’t necessarily different from men; however, let me offer five reasons you should study theology and how it applies specifically to women.
1. To know and love God
We study theology to know and love God. Jesus called us to “love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.” In order to love God rightly, we must know him rightly. As we study God and his Word, we not only deepen our knowledge of God, but we also grow in our love and affection for him. That love changes our desires, our thoughts, our actions—our entire beings.
2. To discern truth
As women (and men for that matter), we can be tempted to love other things “in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life;” this “is not from the Father but is from the world” (1 John 2:16). Studying theology equips us with the truth so that when these temptations come, we can discern what is truth and what is not.
3. To grow in wisdom
I want more than anything to be a wise woman. Scripture teaches us that it is the “testimony of the Lord that makes wise the simple (Ps. 19:7). It is impossible for us to be wise in the world apart from the knowledge of God and his Word. As women, we want to speak into others with wisdom, shepherd and discipline with wisdom, and interact with those the Lord calls us to with wisdom. Growing in wisdom is a grace given to us by the Spirit’s work in our lives through the study of the Word.
4. To be faithful in your calling
As women, we often feel as though we have many callings. We are daughters, mothers, sisters, friends, neighbors, co-workers, choir members, Sunday school teachers, the list could go on and on. And as we do whatever it is the Lord has called us to in this season, we are to be faithful. We are called to live in a worthy manner of the calling of Christ, and we are called to make disciples. Developing right theology enables us to be faithful in even the smallest of tasks that the Lord has called us to, knowing that there is no earthly gain worth pursuing, but rather we “press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 3:14). We study theology so we can simply be faithful.
5. To trust in Jesus
If you are reading this, you know that life is not easy. There is a trite saying in the South that goes like this, “If I didn’t have (or know) Jesus, I don’t know what I would do.” Though it may be tossed around often, the sentiment is true. Without knowing God and the saving power of the gospel, we would be hopeless when trials and sorrows come our way. But as we read and study God’s Word and see his character—trustworthy, faithful, sure—we learn to trust him, not because the path that lies before us is easy, but because the Lord is good. God will accomplish all he sets out to accomplish (Isaiah 46:10). Our theology teaches us that. But if we know God and know his heart as we grow to love him, we can trust the hand that accomplishes all that he sets out to accomplish, knowing that he works for our good and his glory.