When I went to college at Samford University, if I had a paper due, I would traipse my way down to the Harwell Goodwin Davis Library to study. There, it was so quiet that you felt as though you couldn’t budge, or you would interrupt somebody else and potentially be thrown out!
But in the days of Jesus, their way of studying and learning was not isolation and burying yourself in the reading of books on a certain subject. They had the Bible and they had a "haverot".
"Haverot" comes from the word "haver" which means “friend”. A female student who studied the Scriptures with a partner or group of people was called a "haverah". So "haverot" is a group of women who were actually willing to partner with one another in grappling over the Bible so they could walk in obedience to it in its fullness.
In the days of Jesus, it was critical for you to have a gathering of people who could learn right alongside you. Jesus had 12, and even took 3 aside who He carried even deeper. Early rabbis would say, “When two sit together and exchange words of Torah (an interpretation of Biblical texts), then the Divine Presence dwells among them.” Jesus said something similar, “Where two or three gather in My name, there am I with them.”
We tend to believe that the only way to deeply encounter God is through prayer and study. But it is also important to know that Jesus implied that His Presence was most often felt in the presence of a small group of haverot.
Jesus implied that His Presence was most often felt in the presence of a small group.
I believe that women are desperate for a haverot. They may not know it, and they may be trying to fill the void they fill with promising alternatives, but they will never satisfy like that of true community with other women. Most women long to be seen, accepted, and invited to belong. It’s in our DNA. It is important that we spend time with others, learning how to love and be loved, offering grace to each other as we work through admitting and repenting of our flaws and sin, and allowing the Holy Spirit to redefine, refine, redesign, and reshape us.
So today, I would encourage you to consider if you have a haverot or not. And instead of waiting to be asked, why don’t you ask some women to be in your haverot. Women you can trust, who can openly express their thoughts, with full assurance of secrecy. But also, the freedom to respectfully disagree and challenge one another when necessary.
That’s why we encourage small groups and why I felt led to write small group curriculum with companion video teaching. That’s why we offer a summertime online study. That’s why I lead DayToPray every Thursday at 3pm
on Facebook. That’s why I offer women’s coaching. All of it is a way to serve women and help them see the great value of community as the most effective way to raise up disciples.
Community is the most effective way to raise up disciples.
So in the words of many rabbis who offer this famous advice from before Jesus’ time: “Aquire yourself a rabbi (we have that in Jesus), and get yourself a haverot.”
You are loved,
Click HERE to sign up for our summertime online study that starts June 4th!!! We’d love to have you!!!!