When our children are young, training them in the way they should go is relatively easy (Proverbs 22:6), but as they enter their teen years, guiding them becomes an increasingly challenging process.
As parents, we often find ourselves wondering:
- How do we continue to develop the firm foundation of faith that we’ve already instilled in our kids?
- How do we strengthen their ability to hear God’s voice so that His words carry more weight than those of their peers and the surrounding culture?
Surprisingly, teaching our teens how to Bible Journal makes a tremendous difference in their spiritual lives!
Bible Journaling is simply the process of spending quiet time with God and recording what He says to us in our Bible. Listening to what God says to us, observing how God interacts with us each day, and recording these insights are at the heart of Bible Journaling.
Bible Journaling provides teenagers with a creative way to communicate with God and helps families who journal together strengthen one another’s faith and keep the lines of communication open during the times when we need it the most!
Although Bible Journaling has become very popular in recent years, the concept itself is not new. Scripture provides us with the basis for writing down God’s words:
- In Jeremiah 30:3, the Lord instructs the prophet to “Write in a book all the words I have spoken to you.”
- In Habakkuk 2:2, the Lord commands Habakkuk to “Write the vision and make it plain on tablets, that he may run who reads it.”
When it comes to Bible Journaling, it’s important to encourage our teenagers to express themselves as simply or as creatively as they like. Many of us began our Bible Journaling adventures by simply highlighting a few key words and passages in our traditional Bibles. Then, as we discovered wide-margin Journaling Bibles, we not only found the space to write down key words, notes, and prayers in our margins, but also the freedom to embellish our notes with devotional artwork!
Are you ready to begin Bible Journaling with your family? Here are a few tips to get you started!
Choose the wide-margin Journaling Bible that best meets your teenager’s needs!
Zondervan offers two lines of Bibles – the NIV Beautiful Word Bible For Girls and the NIV Beautiful Word Coloring Bible For Girls – to help you and your girls dig into the Word of God! Both Bibles feature thick white paper with lightly ruled lines and extra-wide margins that are perfect for journaling and creating your own artistic expressions. Both Bibles also feature hundreds of inspiring verses!
However, the verses in the NIV Beautiful Word Bible For Girls are pre-illustrated in full color for girls who prefer to focus on writing in their Bibles, whereas the line drawings in the NIV Beautiful Word Coloring Bible For Girls are ready for your kids to color (making them perfect for the budding creative artists among us!)
Gather your supplies.
Select a good set of archival pens and colored pencils that will not bleed through your pages for journaling, coloring, and highlighting purposes (test them in a non-conspicuous spot to find out which ones work best for you!)
If you’d like to add artistic elements to your Bible Journaling, gather elements like alphabet and decorative stickers, washi tape, stamps and ink pads, and acrylic paint as well!
Pick a passage to study, reflect upon, and write about in your Journaling Bible.
How is God speaking to you today? What do you want to remember when you open to this page in your Bible? Journal that message, using whatever written or artistic techniques you like to embellish it.
Create and experiment with different techniques as you feel led.
Certain passages are easier to artistically journal than others because they contain words that evoke concrete images (heart, lamp, dove, for example). Abstract ideas might lend themselves to creative doodling or to the use of certain colors to convey emotions.
As you share your love of Bible Journaling with your family, remember that this spiritual discipline isn’t about creating the perfect page or comparing our innate artistic gifts to others – it’s about memorializing our spiritual journey with God.
Recently, as I was thinking about my family, I came across the following passage during my quiet time with the Lord:
Do everything without grumbling or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.” Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky as you hold firmly to the word of life. And then I will be able to boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor in vain. – Philippians 2:14-16
As we teach our teens to Bible Journal, isn’t that our goal – to help them to hold firmly to the word of life, so that they will shine like stars as children of God, blameless and pure, as they go into the world and impact this warped and crooked generation?
Our Journaling Bibles are living testaments to God’s greatness and His faithfulness in our lives. Let’s teach our teens how use them to minister to others as they share their personal testimonies and testify to God’s glory!
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What do you find most appealing about the concept of Bible Journaling? Have you ever Bible Journaled with your family? What tips would those of you who journal like to share with others who are just getting started (and are teaching others how to journal)? Please share your thoughts in the comments. Our readers would love to hear from you!