This week's memory verse:
"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." Romans 8:28
The message translation of the memory verse:
"That's why we can be sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good."
We all come into this world as babies, learn and grown into children and before we reach adulthood, we become teenagers. That is a difficult time...when we yearn for independence as we feel capable of thinking and doing for ourselves, while at the same time we want the love, support and guidance of our parents and other adults in our lives.
There are several teenagers in my life right now, and since I was once a teenager myself, I THINK I know how to relate to them, talk to them and guide them. However, I am discovering that while I think I know...God's plan for teenagers to grow into adults INCLUDES the strife between teens and adults. Teens NEED to feel like the don't understand adults...they NEED to learn to think their own thoughts (and in the process, think that adults just don't understand them) in order to gain confidence in their own thoughts. They NEED to think they are different from adults, even if eventually they learn that we all have much more in common. That is how they grow up to be adults.
The problem for adults who have teens in their lives...we need to learn to be there, to listen, not judge and be patient when they think they know better, while at the same time guiding them too...only in a way that does not feel to them like we are pushing them. Well, I have NOT mastered all that yet, as I was reminded again over the past weekend. But, I am willing to learn.
My question for the week...how to engage teens in Bible study that will help prepare them for the hard battle between teen and adult years without it seeming like boring homework????GOOD QUESTION, huh? :-)
I thought about the memory verse above and tried to think of something current that might help them relate to it. I thought of the movie "Soul Surfer." I haven't seen it yet, but have heard a lot of teens talking about it and have read about this teenager,Bethany, who lost her arm to a shark.
She talks about several Bible verses that helped her get through her terrible ordeal, and one of those verses was Romans 8:28 above. She felt that God used this tragedy in her life to make her stronger and learn to rely on him more. She relied on God's promises to get her through. How did she KNOW of God's promises? She had read and studied the Bible as a child and had strong, loving adults in her life to guide her.
Reading and studying the Bible doesn't have to feel like homework...but the teens in my life are right...you do need a Bible study guide that is relatable to you. Perhaps that is the key issue. I hope in the next few weeks to find ways to take the lessons I am learning in the Bible study program that I am enjoying and make it relatable to the teens in my life. They are so important to me...