1 - Starting Point

A Safe Place

When a woman suffers from a broken marriage, unemployment, or devastation due to death and loss, sometimes she needs more than Bible study and small group community. In this first session, author and Bible teacher Jen Wilkin explores the first step churches can take to counsel women.

Jen Wilkin blogs and teaches the Bible regularly. She is the author of Women of the Word: How to Study the Bible with Both Our Hearts and Our Minds and None Like Him: 10 Ways God is Different from Us (and Why That’s a Good Thing). 

Jen said that women are in need of other women when they go through a difficult time or struggle. She said that mixed gender groups aren’t always best because women don’t feel safe talking about certain issues such as a troubled marriage.

Do you agree that a community of women is the safest place for women to talk? Why or why not?
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Jen said that women’s fellowship with one another naturally brings a greater sense of vulnerability with one another. Share a time you felt particularly vulnerable amongst other women, in a way you likely wouldn’t have felt had men been with you.
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What topics are you comfortable talking only to women about? What topics are you okay sharing with both men and women? Why do you think there’s a difference?
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Jen not only values groups of women, she also suggests women have one particular woman who can walk alongside them and speak with authority over them. This woman might be a mentor, or she might be a professional counselor. Regardless, this relationship is meant to be an additional safe place for a woman.

Do you currently have a wise woman walking alongside you in life? What value do you experience or imagine could come from that kind of relationship?
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What particular needs do you think women should bring to a professional counselor, and not just her friends or mentor?
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The starting point for counseling women is a loving community of women to surround her. After that, a mentor or even professional counselor can often be a powerful advocate. As you minister to women, strive first for safety so that women feel comfortable sharing and find the help and comfort they need during trying times.