I recently had a conversation on my Podcast with Jimmy and Kristin Scroggins about their new parenting book: Full Circle Parenting (affiliate). One of the quotes that got my attention in the first chapters of the book was:
“We need our kids to be more influenced by the Word of God than the world around them.”
I love that quote, but sometimes feel overwhelmed about how I can actually practically achieve that. I mean, my kids are influenced by the world around them in almost everything they do: school, internet, friends, etc. The world is constantly influencing and bombarding our minds with things that most likely go against the principles taught in God’s Word.
So, I asked Jimmy and Kristin to give me some practical advice as to how to accomplish what they suggest in the book. How can we help our kids be influenced by the Bible?
Be the Example of Looking to God’s Word: Jimmy says that one of the best things we can do is help our kids love God’s Word by having a quiet time and love for the Bible of our own. They need to see us reading and studying God’s Word, going to church ready to learn from God’s Word, and generally being guided by the Scriptures in our daily lives.
Lean into Resources Offered by Church: Youth groups, youth leaders, children’s Bible studies, and other things that church offers for kids will help put them in front of God’s Word and allow them to think Biblically about issues that are facing them.
Have Continued Conversations about God’s Design: We have a lot of time with our kids, so we can have small conversations over the course of days, weeks, and years about what God’s Word says about certain issues and what we believe about them. Taking advantage of the conversation times is important to help kids be influenced by God’s Word.
Get Them Around Church Leaders Who can Pour Into Them: Parenting and molding our kids takes a lot of people. Help find them good mentors and leaders who can influence them.
Help Them See Their Place in the Body of Christ: If kids can see where they belong and how they can serve, they will see how God created them to be a part of the church and will be influenced by other members of the church.
(This post contains Amazon Affiliate links. I earn a small commission when you make a purchase with my link…but these opinions are my own.)
Although there are many great resources for christian teens to learn more about the truths of scripture during their teen years, there is no argument that the best way for them to live out the christian faith is to read the word of god on a daily basis.
Youth ministry and youth groups are important, and youth pastors and youth workers are great at helping high school students learn and apply the Bible to the realities of life through open discussion and Bible study, but the truth is that if teenagers are going to grow to be young adults who can live out their faith in today’s world, they need to begin to have personal devotion time.
An important factor in growing in their christian life is to find the right bible for them.
Parents ask me all the time what are the best bibles for young people and how to help their kids read the Bible on a regular basis. I believe it’s important for kids to get into the habit of including the Bible in everyday life. So today, I want to talk about the best Bible for teens.
Here’s some smart advice for you: The best Bible for teens (or anyone) is the one they will read!
Tips for Choosing the Best Bible for Teens:
Let’s talk about some tips for choosing the best Bible for your kids…
Choosing the best Bible starts by choosing a good Bible translation.
A good choice for students is the New Living Translation Bible. I recently picked up a copy of this translation, and I believe it is easy to read and helps a young person stay with the bible stories while reading it. Have you ever started your bible study, but then zone out before much time has passed because you stopped understanding what the text was actually saying? A good version of the Bible will help kids read and understand god’s love for them. Other great translations for young christians are the new international version and the English Standard Version.
Choosing the best Bible requires knowing what you want to do with it.
Obviously, you want them to read it. But there’s a difference between reading the Bible and studying it. Do you want it to be a study Bible? If so, look for the best study bibles which have textual notes, a quick view of main themes of the books of the bible, and easy to understand book introductions. Some of these study Bibles give appendices or concordances as well as dictionaries of common Biblical terminology that will help the reader see the way the bible verses can be understood in today’s world. There might even be a question and answer section where students can see how the Bible applies to areas of her life. One of the special sections that has always helped me is a list of the promises of god that is almost always included in a study Bible.
Study Bibles are great bibles if you want to spend time really looking at If you’re looking for a Bible that is more “devotional” in its approach, you can look for a different type of Bible. Sometimes, you want a Bible for daily life and one that you can simply use for daily readings or times to reflect on what God is saying.
Choosing the best Bible requires knowing who will be using it.
Some teen girls (and boys) enjoy drawing, coloring, or journaling in their Bibles. One of the best Bibles for that is NIV journal Bible. I have a few journaling Bibles and know that they help me take notes and occasionally “sketchnote” or draw in them. They have ample space in the margins to write or draw. Another highly popular version of this kind of Bible is the NIV beautiful word coloring Bible. Young girls especially enjoy coloring and drawing, and I know this Bible has pages that are specifically for that. It would be a perfect gift for a girls ages 12-16 (and probably older).
Teen boys (and girls) often find it difficult to get past the list of books of the Bible. The teenage years can be difficult to get boys to read. There is so much vying for their attention, and the things they find on the pages of the bible don’t always excite them. It has been a struggle to get my own kids to like to read the Bible. There are a few Bibles that resemble comic books that help boys get interested in the entire bible. The action bible, while not really a full Bible, has 215 Bible stories told in picture form that tell the story of god’s love for mankind in a visual manner. It is a great idea to get this Bible for the teen guys in your life.
Other Features to help you choose the best Bible for teens
So we’ve been over study Bibles, Bibles for teenage girls, Bibles for teenage boys, and other things, but there are some other features that I believe are important when you look for a Bible that will impact your kids.
You should ask yourself if it’s important that the Bible includes a reading plan. While there are many reading plans available online, maybe you should look to see if the Bible you’re about to get has one as well. This will help your kids stay on track to read the Bible.
Is your kid going to be a college student soon? If that’s the case, you might want to look for a Bible that will help them with contemporary issues they will be facing in the university.
Is there a student edition of the Bible you’re thinking about buying? I remember getting a student edition of the NIV Bible when I was younger, and it really helped me to spend more time reading God’s Word.
As you can see, there is no one “best Bible for teens.” There are many factors that come into play when we are trying to find ways to help our kids come to know Jesus Christ. I hope these thoughts have helped you as you look for the right Bible and that you will find what you are looking for.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me, and I’ll try to help you find a great Bible for your teen.
I overheard a conversation today where the person was describing a situation in which they were “being triggered” by someone 😡. They responded by getting in a fight and are now going through a lot of consequences of their actions. As they sat there explaining their current situation and all of the things they are going through as a result of this one incident, I thought about “being triggered.”
There are a lot of things that people do or say to us simply to get a response from us. It’s easy to fall into the trap of responding to a negative or instigating comment with one of our own.
I’m guilty. I’ve done it.
But it’s not something we “have to do.” The girl describing the situation made it seem like she had no other choice but to fight back (and, consequently, get the police called on her).
It doesn’t have to be this way.
One of the things I want my kids to understand is that they do not have to “get triggered” by what someone else says or does. Someone else’s negative actions or words do not have to start a spiraling effect where one responds aggressively because they are “triggered.” In fact, the Bible teaches the opposite. The Bible says that a gentle answer turns away anger. We don’t have to respond the way we selfishly want to respond.
My kids need to learn that they can respond with self-control even though the rest of the world says they ought to be triggered or respond either violently or at least confrontationally. A fruit of the Spirit is gentleness and self-control. If we, as God’s children, could just respond to those “triggering incidents” with gentleness and self-control, we would live much better lives and reflect God’s glory to those around us.
This is what I want my kids (and me) to learn, remember, and practice.
I recently had the incredible opportunity to preach at Gulfcoast Fellowship in Palm Harbor, FL, (it’s available on Facebook). I preached from Philippians 2, and during the week as I was meditating on the passage, I wrote this:
“Even if Jesus would have been born to extraordinary fanfare in the most extravagant palace to the most powerful ruler in the modern world, the simple act of the incarnation would have been more humble than the most humble act you or I could ever imagine.”
I invite you to read that phrase again and just sit in it for a minute.
The reality is that Christmas is the beginning of the ultimate act of humility, which is summed up in “the Christ hymn” in Philippians 2:5-11.
Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
God has called us to be humble like Christ. He has proven over and over again that “Humble obedience is exalted by God.”
Unfortunately, we live in a culture that exalts self-promotion.
Our kids are not wired to put others ahead of themselves. Let’s be honest, neither are we. However, it is the way of God to put others ahead of ourselves and be humble. Thinking not only of our own interests, but also of the interests of others.
Imagine what the world would be like in 10 years if we instilled humility in our kids and a sense of helping others. Something I want for my kids is that they will be humble people who seek to help others.
As always, the best way for my kids to become people who are humble and seeking others’ interests is for me to model that in my own life and to show them what it’s like to be that kind of person.
As we continue in the advent season and seek to lead our families well, my prayer is that I can be an example of humility and obedience to my children.
I want them to see me serving others. I want them to see in me the same mind that was in Christ Jesus, and I ultimately want them to have that as well, putting others above themselves.
As you run around this last week of Christmas craziness, let me encourage you to put others ahead of yourself and lead your kids to be like Jesus in humility.
In case you didn’t want to watch the 15 second video, here’s basically what I say in it:
The Bible is inspired by God.
The Bible will transform us into who we are to be.
The Bible will equip us to do the work we are called to do.
If you’re kids understand that God gave us the Bible to transform and mold us into who we are supposed to be and then to equip us to do what we are called to do, then the Bible will become more than just an ancient book but will be transformed into the powerful manual for life that it was meant to be.
How are you helping your kids understand these three things about the Bible?
In this Podcast Episode, Chris Shepperd, College Pastor at Brazos Fellowship in Texas, gives tips and advice for Christian parents to prepare their high school children for college as well as what it takes to succeed as a freshman in college.
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