Teens, the Bible is for You

We know the Bible is an old book - eternal, as a matter of fact. We know a lot of the context is ancient and the practices culturally unfamiliar. We know in some parts, the writing is poetic which can be challenging to interpret, and in other parts about as exciting as reading a history textbook. And yet, even still, every bit of it is for YOU! 

Because the word “teenager” wasn’t coined until the 1940s in America, you won’t find it specifically in Scripture. However, the Bible does address young people throughout its pages. There are specific verses and whole contexts written with youth and children in mind. Sometimes it refers to “young children” or “children” and other times with terms like “youth” and “younger ones.” Clearly, the Bible is written for all these ages and stages and why you’re missing out if you aren’t reading it. Here are several reasons we are sure of it.

1. God’s Word has always been relevant to young people.

Deuteronomy 11:18-19
Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.

2. God showed his heart for all ages and generations. He cared about young ones keeping his word because it was best for them.

Deuteronomy 11:20, 21
Write them [God’s words] on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates, so that your days and the days of your children may be many in the land the Lord swore to give your ancestors, as many as the days that the heavens are above the earth.

3. Jesus, the Living Word, invited the younger generation to come to him and set them forth as an example to all.

Matthew 18:1-5
At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who, then, is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them. And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me.

4. Jesus showed his care for youth and pronounced judgment on anyone who took advantage of them.

Matthew 18:6,7
“If anyone causes one of these little ones—those who believe in me—to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea. Woe to the world because of the things that cause people to stumble! Such things must come, but woe to the person through whom they come!”

5. Jesus rebuked the disciples for thinking he was too busy or important to be bothered by the younger ones.

Matthew 19:13-15
Then people brought little children to Jesus for him to place his hands on them and pray for them. But the disciples rebuked them. Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”

6. The Bible addresses specific strengths and struggles common to youth and offers them hope and help.

Psalm 119:9 
How can a young person stay on the path of purity?
By living according to your word.

1 Timothy 4:12
 Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.

Proverbs 20:29
The glory of young men is their strength,
    gray hair the splendor of the old.

1 Peter 5:5
You who are younger, submit yourselves to your elders. All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, “God opposes the proud
    but shows favor to the humble.”

2 Timothy 2:22
Flee the evil desires of youth and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.

(Read here for more verses.)

7. Several main characters in the story of Scripture were probably teenagers.

Daniel
Jeremiah
Ruth
Esther
Samuel
Mary 

(Read here for more.)
We hope these 7 reasons encourage you to see the Bible as written for you. Contrary to what culture tells us, it isn’t a dusty old book that is outdated and irrelevant to life today. We hope that you have new motivation to pick it up and start reading it.  In the next post, we’ll share some suggestions on how to connect with the Bible in meaningful ways and how to avoid some common obstacles that can trip you up and discourage you in your reading.
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