There are many ways for parents to teach their children to how to study and memorize Scripture, and to apply it in order to build their character. One of those ways is to use books from Doorposts like the one we reviewed - Because You Are Strong, A Study of Godly Strength for Young Men by Daniel Forster.
Because You Are Strong is geared to boys and young men, ages 12 and up. Because our guys are attracted to the idea of being manly and strong, this desire needs to be defined in Biblical terms and directed in ways that can be used to benefit others and bring glory to God. We also want our children to learn useful Bible study skills that will provide them with a foundation for their future spiritual growth.
The book is divided into 10 study topics and a review section. Each study begins with a specific Scripture reference or subject, and explores it with a systematic Bible study method: pray and read, memorize, ask questions, more questions, review and apply. Each one of these tasks is assigned over several days, with space and lines and in the book so that it can be used as a devotional workbook. In the margins are helpful hints about using programs and apps to help with Bible memory and study, and directions for how to apply Biblical principles. There are also suggestions for further study. It’s enough material for 74 days of study, plus suggestions for 40 more in depth studies.
The first study topic is Hebrews 11-12, often known as the spiritual ‘hall of faith’. The second study explores what the Bible says about the omnipotence of God using Nave’s Topical Bible to find relevant verses. Study #3 is a topical study in Proverbs and adds another tool to the list with detailed instructions about how to use Strong’s Concordance. The fourth study examines the life of Samson, and the nature of strength and temptation. The fifth section is a word study on “valor” with some lessons in using the Hebrew dictionary in Strong’s or the Strong’s number search function in e-Sword. Study #6 is a verse study in 2 Corinthians 12:9-10, using context, marginal notes, and cross references. 1 Samuel 17 is the focus of Study #7, the epic battle of David and Goliath, using Matthew Henry’s Commentary, which is available free online. The eighth study analyzes Jesus’ actions in the Gospel of Mark using your computer to takes notes. Study #9 compares the strength of young men and older men from Proverbs 20:29, digging in with all the tools that have been used so far, and adding an interlinear online Bible. The last chapter contemplates the book of 1 John by fleshing it out with an outline, finding key words, consulting a commentary, and finding sermons about 1 John on the internet.
The review assigns an essay on Biblical strength with a list of questions to answer, and retrospection on what has been studied, learned, and applied.
Because many of the topics explored in Because You Are Strong include principles that can apply to women, there is a list of alternate questions for young ladies in the back of the book. It is just as important that our girls learn about Godly strength as young men.
We prefer to use Bible study tools like this together as a family or during our Bible time in school. I liked the progression from basic Bible study skills to exploring various and more advanced methods. I especially appreciate being able to show our kids that digital technology is not just about email, Google, YouTube, and playing games. There are many ways to use computers, the internet, and e-readers for Bible study, and my kids were pleasantly surprised by the number of resources available to them for free online. Even though the focus is toward young men, it was very applicable and understandable for our 11 year old boy, as well as our 15 year old girl, and the best part of any Bible study is discussion time, when as a parent I get to hear what they are thinking about and struggling with.
For parents who would like personal devotional workbooks for their teens, Because You Are Strong is not just topical, but lays thorough groundwork for future Bible studies.
Because You Are Strong is a 104-page glossy softcover that retails for $14.00, (but is currently on sale for $12.00), or as a downloadable ebook (.pdf) for $10.00. Scripture quotations are from the King James Version as well as the English Standard Version of the Bible.