With two preteens in my house, it is becoming more and more clear that we are on the verge of entering new territory with our parenting journey. Hormones are beginning to rear their ugly heads. One minute I have my little girl in my lap, and the next she is trying to find the best accessory for the outfit she wants to wear. During these mixed up transition years, it is more important than ever to help them get rooted in the Bible. Here are a few of the ways that I am teaching my preteens to study the Bible.
Model Your Faith
Actions speak louder than words. Saying that something is important means little if you don’t put feet to your actions. Kids need to see that faith is not just important to us on Sunday mornings. They need to hear me listening to Christian music in the car and on my phone while I cook dinner. They need to see me with my Bible open.
Every time I cleared the table for lunch growing up, I had to move my mom’s Bible from her spot at the table. It was always out and open because she was always reading it. She told me that it was important to read the Bible, but she showed me a thousand times more often.
Your kids will remember if you have to pause your audio Bible every time they talk to you while you are folding laundry. They will notice if you are filling in your prayer journal over breakfast every Saturday morning. When they glance across your lap at church, they will either see a pristine white page or margins that are full of writing that makes them wonder what you wrote there.
Invite Them to Join You
Any time my kids are up a little early and I’m not done with my own quiet time, I invite them to grab their own Bible and join me. They don’t always want to, but there is something sweet about sitting at the table with them, both our Bibles open. This is a really great lesson for kids also; its not always about them.
If they have a question about something, ask them if they can think of a passage from the Bible that deals with the issue. It may be that they can’t think of one most of the time, but it implants the idea that the Bible is where we turn for answers. If they can’t, you show them scripture that helps. If you don’t know of a passage, look for one together. By inviting them to be a part of using scripture in everyday life, you are practicing a habit that will benefit them as adults.
Provide Simple Tools
Make sure that you show them kid-sized tools they can use in their Bible reading. Show them how the introduction has important information about who wrote the book of the Bible and when. If you can, get them a kids study Bible so that they can read the notes included in the text.
I have created two resources for preteens/teens that I have added to my Resource Library. The first is a Preteens Bible Study worksheet. It has space to fill in information about what they read, write the main verse and prayer journal. They can also write down questions they have about the text.
The second resource is a 60 day reading plan. It will have them read The Gospel of John, Acts and Romans. Great books to become familiar with, especially if they are new believers.
Using the Preteen Bible Study Worksheet
When you are teaching your preteens to study the Bible, have your child read the chapter and ask themselves two questions; What is the big idea? and How can I apply this? These are great questions to ask every time you encounter scripture. Next, guide them to choose what they think is the main verse of the passage and write it down.
The main verse can be the one they think shows the main idea of the passage, the one they think is most important, or the verse with the most important lesson to remember. Writing it down will give them time to think on the verse they have chosen.
Now have them look at the center bottom of the page. There is space to write questions they have and prayer requests. Even if they don’t always take the time to write down questions, this gives two benefits. It teaches that it’s okay to walk away from reading the scripture without understanding everything. It’s okay to take time to think and come back for more investigation later. The second thing it teaches is that we should question what we read. We should always be wondering if we have understood correctly, if there are cultural things we missed, if another passage would help make it clear. Get the Bible Reading Plan and the Bible study Worksheet here.
A Tool For You
Later this week I will be releasing a new resource for you as well! I will be opening my five day email course How to Study the Bible on Friday. The course will take you through the step by step of studying your Bible. Learn how to use the tools that are already in your Study Bible more effectively. It will also give you easy to follow instructions for digging deeper into any Bible passage. How to look for context and what the author meant for the original audience to understand. Follow me on social media to see updates for its release!