This Month’s Parenting Class: Helping Your Teen Develop a Personal Devotional Life
The Bible says in Luke 5:16 that “Often Jesus withdrew to lonely places and prayed”. A foundational spiritual practice of the Christian life is having personal time alone with God. The Bible speaks often of personal times of prayer, study and reflection. As parents, we need to make this a part of our own daily lives for sure. In between the mounds of laundry, running to the next sports practice or trying to make it to the next business meeting, we personally need to set aside time to be with God.
For our teens, it is even more important as they are establishing their own life-long spiritual path. The habits they form in all areas of life will be the life they live in years to come. This especially applies when it comes to their spiritual lives and personal devotional practices. If teens can develop healthy spiritual rhythms now, they will be more likely to continue them as they head into adulthood.
Here are 3 ways to help your teen to begin to develop a personal devotional life…
“Set the Example, Not just the Expectation.” You cannot just expect your teen to want to have a personal time with God if it is not something that is important to you in your own lives. Your own personal spiritual practices need to be something you talk about and share with your family. Your teen will not only be able to see the action of doing but also the reaction of the result in your lives.
Often as parents you want something for your children that you do not have in your own life. This might be great when it comes to academics or athletics, but when it comes spirituality, parents must lead the way first.
“Pray, Not Just Persuade.” Long before you begin the discussion about spiritual practices and individual quiet time, you need to be praying for your child. More powerful than your words to them, is your word for them in prayer. Your human power of persuasion to challenge their mind will never be as powerful as God’s power to persuade their heart.
Yes, you do need to talk to your teen about the importance and the reasons for developing the habit of having daily time with God. You also need to be leading up to, surrounding, and continuing to pray after you have those conversations. God will continue the work to draw them closer to Him.
“Discuss, Not Just Debate.” As your teen begins to read and pray through the scriptures, they are going to come across things that may be confusing or bring up questions. It is natural and actually good for your teen’s spiritual development to have “honest questions”. You need to be able to address these challenges head on in discussion and not debate.
The greatest help in personal study is to have additional tools and wisdom to refer to. Beyond simply having your teen read the Bible, supply them with good study tools. Consider purchasing them a devotional to compliment their Bible reading. Find a few good commentaries and study Bibles to have available for your family. Together, take some time to discuss and talk about what is being read, helping them to be able to interpret and apply what God is revealing to them in their personal time with Him.
A deep personal devotional life does not happen overnight, so be patient while you continue to pray and follow up with your teen. Especially during busy seasons, together keep each other accountable in being consistent in the word.
- Parenting Class 1: The Shema
- Parenting Class 2: Physical Changes in Teenagers
- Parenting Class 3: Rewind and Fast Forward
- Parenting Class 4: Rebel and Repeat
- Parenting Class 5: The Power of a Symbol
- Parenting Class 6: The Power of a Shared Experience
- Parenting Class 7: The Power of an Aplology
- Parenting Class 8: Sibling Rivalry
- Parenting Class 9: Harnessing Your Spiritual Influence
- Parenting Class 10: Planning “On Purpose” Time with Your Teenager
- Parenting Class 11: Taking Pride in Who God Made Them to Be
- Parenting Class 12: Responding vs. Reacting
- Parenting Class 13: Choosing Wisely
- Parenting Class 14: Failure and Success
- Parenting Class 15: Shepherding Their Heart
- Parenting Class 16: Friends
- Parenting Class 17: Broken Trust
- Parenting Class 18: Listening
- Parenting Class 19: Lines of Communication
- Parenting Class 20: Shared Hobby
- Parenting Class 21: Teens in Crisis
- Parenting Class 22: Training Your Teen to Be a Leader
- Parenting Class 23: Supporting Your Teenager’s Small Group
- Parenting Class 24: Investing in a Strong Relationship
- Parenting Class 25: Back to School
- Parenting Class 26: Guiding without Controlling
- Parenting Class 27: Thoughts on Praying for Your Teenager
- Parenting Class 28: Establishing a Trust Economy with Your Teenager
- Parenting Class 29: Helping Your Teenager Learn to Manage Money
- Parenting Class 30: Why Does Parenting Seem So Lonely?
- Parenting Class 31: How Do I Help My Teen Through the Death of a Friend?
- Parenting Class 32: How Do I Know When My Teen Needs Counseling?
- Parenting Class 33: Learning How to Apologize to My Teen
- Parenting Class 34: How to Stay Out of My Teen’s Drama
- Parenting Class 35: Knowing When to Stand Strong
- Parenting Class 36: Connecting with Your Gamer
- Parenting Class 37: What If Your Teenager Has a Bad Friend
- Parenting Class 38: Friendship Drama
- Parenting Class 39: How to Have a Tough Conversation with Your Teenager
- Parenting Class 40: Teens and Cell Phones
- Parenting Class 41: Looking for an Identity
- Parenting Class 42: Help Your Teen with Social Media
- Parenting Class 43: Is My Teenager Self-Obsessed?
- Parenting Class 44: The Pressure to Be Perfect
- Parenting Class 45: Cyberbullying
- Parenting Class 46: Goal Setting with Your Teenager
- Parenting Class 47: 3 Types of Spiritual Conversations You Can Have with Your Teenager
- Parenting Class 48: 3 Questions to Get Your Teenager to Start Talking
- Parenting Class 49: The 3 Seasons of Being a Teenager
- Parenting Class 50: Rage vs. Anger
- Parenting Class 51: Connecting Through the Written Word
- Parenting Class 52: Their Safe Place
- Parenting Class 53: Developing Gratefulness in Your Teen
- Parenting Class 54: Helping Your Teen Deal with Stress
- Parenting Class 55: Teaching Your Teen Responsibility