As a Christian, my job as parent is more than disciplinarian or referee. Not only will we answer for the actions of our own lives, but for the lives of those God entrusted to us—our children. Every day. Every hour. We are to help guide them into a deeper, more loving relationship with our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
Last month we talked about ways to get your children started in their own daily Bible study time. Once you establish that a daily quiet time needs to be done, what now?
Bibles for Independent Readers and Teens
One thing you need to do is make sure they have an age-appropriate Bible. One that fits their reading level is best so kids don’t get discouraged. I am not one that promotes watered-down Bibles, but I am an advocate for Bibles that use language younger children can understand. Here are a few of my favorites that will help you get started in choosing a Bible study for your child.
NIV Boys Bible – This Bible, geared toward boys ages 9-12, includes extra features such as “What’s the big deal?” “Check it out,” and “Grossology.” What 10-year old boy doesn’t want to find out gross things he never knew was in the Bible? This Bible targets this age of boys perfectly and draws them further into God’s Word with the added features.
NIV FaithGirlz Bible – This one is geared toward girls ages 9-12, includes extra features such as “Dream Girl” “Bring it on!” and “Oh, I get it!” What girl doesn’t dream about what life would’ve been like way back when? This Bible helps bring the stories of the Bible to life and applicable to their every day life. This Bible will help make God’s Word relative to them and bring them closer to God in the process.
The Action Bible – While I’m not the biggest comic book fan, I can appreciate the draw boys have to them. That being said, I’ve been on the fence about this particular Bible over the past year. I have a nephew who is very into comic books even though he despises reading books, so getting him to read the Bible is a challenge. After looking at it several times and reading through it, I see where drawing more modern pictures and presenting the Bible in a format relative to young boys is a positive thing.
Apologetics Study Bible for Students – For older students who want to know how to defend their faith, this Bible is perfect. This Bible has extra features that were written to help young Christians gain confidence in knowing the truth that lies in God’s Word, so they can adequately defend their faith.
Bible Studies for Older Children and Teens (ages 8-19)
After you have found a suitable Bible for your child, the next step is to find a Bible study. When looking for a Bible study, you will want one that resonates with them and where they are in their own life. Maybe they are having trouble with self-esteem and confidence or they are just learning how to study the Bible. Whatever it is, take care in choosing a Bible study that you believe will encourage them in their walk with the Lord.
The One-Year Book of Devotions for Kids – There are several editions in this 365-daily devotions for children series. My oldest son does this one each day and loves it. What he likes is that the date is on each devotion. That way he’s not lost or forgets where he was if one of his siblings comes along and pulls out his bookmark. This study focuses on a theme from a key verse for the day, followed by a contemporary story that deals with the theme, application questions that are thought provoking for children, a memory verse for the day and an action phrase to help kids put into practice what they just read and learned. It is a great way to get kids actively involved in God’s Word and show them how it directly applies to their life. Also check out The One-Year Book of Devotions for Boys and The One-Year Book of Devotions for Girls.
Discover 4 Yourself Inductive Bible Studies for Kids by Kay Arthur and Janna Arndt – Our oldest has one of these books and I have been impressed with it so far. Arthur and Arndt do a wonderful job of helping children connect to God’s Word on their level. Through fun illustrations, puzzles, games, and activities they really do reinforce what they are reading and learning in God’s Word. And since it is relative to them, they learn and comprehend how to apply what they learned to their own life. If you don’t know where to start in this series, I suggest starting with How to Study your Bible.
Jesus Calling: 365 Devotions for Kids – Sarah Young does a beautiful job of writing straight to the heart of children. Adapted from her original Jesus Calling book for adults, she pens this wonderful daily resource that will not only touch the heart of your children, but challenge them to hear Jesus Calling.
The Action Bible Devotional – Designed to accompany The Action Bible, this 52-week study uses stories to teach spiritual lessons with action-adventure missions that make kids’ faith become a real part of their life. Covering difficult topics such as temptation, sibling rivalry, self-esteem, materialism, and more, the year’s worth of studies include activities, questions that will not only engage young readers, but challenge them in their faith daily.
Teen-to-Teen: 365 Daily Devotions by Teen Guys for Teen Guys – Although I don’t have children this age yet, this looks like a great daily study for teen guys. It’s written solely by teen boys. These devotions deal with issues that each and every teenage boy faces, but from another teens point-of-view. I find it encouraging that teens want to help other teens dig deeper into God’s Word.
Teen-to-Teen: 365 Daily Devotionals by Teen Girls for Teen Girls – Yep. You guessed it. This is the same format as the Guys book, only written by teen girls.
The Story: Teen Edition – The Story has quickly become the latest way to read the Bible. What makes it so different? It’s written in chronological order from Genesis to Revelation. This Teen Edition is written to the heart of teens in a style they can relate to written with drama, intrigue, deception, conflict, romance, and redemption. Written more like a novel rather than old-style English, makes The Story a fun way to read the Bible.
The Story for Kids – Just like the Teen version, this edition is written in chronological order and novel format. This version, although still in NIV, is geared toward the 9-12 year old age group. My oldest actually has this version and enjoyed reading it as our church went through the study together. He found it interesting to see things in chronological order and enjoyable since it read more like a chapter book.
This is by no means a complete list, but I hope it helps you get started—which is the hardest part. My prayer is that with these resources, you and your children will grow to love reading God’s Word so much that you crave time with Him each day. I also pray that your children will grow in their relationship with the Lord, Jesus Christ through this daily time with Him.
Have younger children? Check out my Bible Study resource list for Preschoolers and Young Readers.