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Spiritual Growth

How Can I Encourage My Teen to Spend Time in God’s Word?

As followers of Christ, we know that spending personal time in God’s Word is essential to our growth regardless of our age. The idea of a “devotional” or “quiet time” used to be emphasized as a daily rhythm but today many believers, like our teenagers, struggle to make this happen for a number of reasons. If you want to help your teenager engage God’s Word on their own, here are a few ways you can come alongside them and begin developing a heart that delights in Scripture.

  1. Example before Expectation – Few things will push your teen to ignore your advice more than if they see you ignoring it yourself. However, few things could help encourage your teenager like seeing and hearing their parents spend time with God’s Word. Be mindful that your teenager is watching your life and can tell by your actions and words what matters to you. Share things that you learn from God’s Word with your teenager. It may be awkward at first if you have not done this before, but it will get easier and is well worth it.

  2. Prayer before Persuasion – Your words to your teenager are meaningful, but your words of prayer to God on behalf of your teenager carry even more effect. Have you committed to praying for your teenager’s spiritual growth? Let them know you are praying for them to delight in God’s Word.

  3. Discussion before Debate – In order to develop a heart that delights in God’s Word we need to be having conversations about it. Sometimes as parents can be guilty of pulling out Scripture only to prove a point we want to make. While the point may be true, we can turn our teenager’s hearts away if this is the only time we are discussing Scripture. Look for opportunities to discuss Scripture with your teenager and keep a relational focus.

These are three simple approaches you can take to begin guiding your teenager’s heart to Scripture.

Now here are three ways as a parent to invest in your teenager as they invest their lives into God’s Word.

  1. Resources – Find things that are biblically sound and engaging for a teenager. The best resource you could provide long term is a good study bible that has notes to help guide your teenager in their understanding of Scripture. Ask ministry leaders for other suggestions.
  2. Margin – Is your teenager so busy that they struggle to set aside time to be in God’s Word? Consider helping them structure their day in the morning, when they get home from school, or before they go to bed to spend time reading their Bible. Help protect that time for them each day and be patient with them as they grow in their understanding.
  3.  Encouragement – Let your teenager know how proud you are of them as they grow in their engagement of Scripture. Let them see the joy on your face as they share what they have read and learned and be sure to do the same with them from your time in God’s word.

Guiding your student’s heart to love Scripture will take time and intentionality but it is a worthwhile investment.