What Teens are Saying about the Bible

He raises his hand vigorously, vaulting himself slightly off the floor in excitement.

At a youth group open forum night, the crumpled paper question asked, “How much time should you spend reading the Bible?” and my eldest let others speak for a bit, and then jumped into the fray as well.

“We were built for relationship.” He’s passionate, excited, talking confidently.

“And we need to eat food to live.” Laughter ripples across the youth area, as teens nod, relate, and know how much this man likes to eat too.

He continues unfazed, and grinning. “And we need water to live. And, I believe, we need a relationship with God to really truly live.”

“There’s no set time that someone needs to read their Bible, but–”  John’s friend beside him interjects ideas, and they stumble words beside each other, these two teens who bring their Bibles and grab hot drinks at nearby coffee shops some mornings together.

“I want this time in God’s word to be like a hunger for me. Like I need it to live, but it doesn’t always feel that way to me,” John admits freely. “Sometimes it’s boring, but I find that the more I make myself do it every day like a discipline, the more it becomes like food or a need to me.”

“Because it’s a letter from God to us.” His red Bible cover is faded and worn, with a lifeguarding cross on the front. John flips his Bible open with intimate familiarity, and settles back against the wall to listen, as others add to the discussion.

Sitting on the floor across the room from him, I’m proud of him. I love that he is excited about God’s word. It’s something that God has grown in him over the years, and something we’ve prayed for in him.

And I’m convicted too. Tonight John teaches me. In the busyness of life, I haven’t grabbed my Bible yet today, and I need to.

So, wanting this to be like food to me, like a hunger pain or need, please excuse me while I pick up my Bible, my journal, and slip away.

Where have you been reading from this week? (Those in email can join the discussion here.)

Rekindle a flame in your walk with God with any of these other posts too:
– “Naked Trees Scrape the Horizon” 
“Smoldering Brown Eyes and a Neck that Smells Like Toothpaste”
– “People-Watching in Ancient Israel (& Seeing Myself)”

(Photo credit)

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  1. Cheryl Barker on August 16, 2013 at 4:30 am

    So wonderful that your son has developed such a love for the Word of God, Jennifer! I started reading Lamentations the other day and I'm also reading a little in the Psalms each day. I love God's Word, too!

  2. Jayne on August 16, 2013 at 1:40 pm

    I too have been convicted of not only not reading God's word more but also meditating on them. Jeremiah 15:16 says, "When your words came to me, I ate them; they were my joy and my heart's delight."

  3. Floyd on August 16, 2013 at 2:31 pm

    Count me convicted too. I haven't picked mine up this week… And looking forward to a time of study isn't the same thing. May God continue to bless your son and family. Thank him for me for the reminder…

  4. Unknown on August 17, 2013 at 2:14 am

    "I want this time in God's word to be like a hunger for me." This inspires and convicts me. How often have I lost my "hunger" because I don't eat enough??

  5. Jennifer Dougan on August 18, 2013 at 11:14 pm


    Lamentations and the Psalms… chapters that capture the wide range of emotions, huh? I love that we can be honest before our God.


  6. Jennifer Dougan on August 18, 2013 at 11:20 pm


    That's a great verse reminder, huh? Thanks.


  7. Jennifer Dougan on August 18, 2013 at 11:24 pm

    Amen, Floyd. Thanks.


  8. Jennifer Dougan on August 18, 2013 at 11:25 pm


    "Lost my hunger because I don't eat enough"? Wow, good line to ponder. Thanks.


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