Wednesday, August 28

Bible Study for Boys - a Review

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Doorposts has been around for 20 years now, blessing and helping families. They create quality products that encourage families to incorporate scripture into their very foundations.

Because You Are Strong is a Bible study for boys, ages 12 and up. Even fathers can enjoy and learn through this study. The purpose of the study is to "help young men gain a biblical view of strength and use that strength wisely, for God’s glory."
 photo because-you-are-strong_zps09c21e6d.jpgThe book studies heroes from the Bible, a study on the power of God, the service of Jesus, and wisdom from the Proverbs. In addition to the wisdom gained about strength and God's vision for their strength, our sons also learned some practical skills in Bible study, such as how to:

• Use a Concordance
• Study original Hebrew or Greek words as they are    used throughout Scripture.
• Compare one passage of Scripture with another.
• Observe repeated words and themes in a passage.
• Outline the content of a passage.
• Gather all that Scripture says on a particular topic.
• Study the lives of people in the Bible, noting how        their attitudes and actions portray biblical truths.
• Understand and use margin notes in the Bible.
• Use free Bible study tools on computers and mobile    devices.

Some of this they knew, but it was still good practice. Some of it, I'm embarrassed to say, was brand new. My husband and I have discussed quite a bit lately that our Bible study habits need to change to better incorporate our kids. We each study our Bible early in the morning while the kids are still sleeping. It's a great time for us to focus without interruption, but it occurred to us that it also means the kids never see us studying our Bibles! We do a brief devotion time as a family, but we don't sit down and study with them or in front of them. I'm very thankful for this study that does teach them how to incorporate useful study tools into their morning devotion time.

The study includes at total of 74 days of lessons, giving almost 15 weeks of Bible study. There are suggestions for further study, which would give another 6 weeks of study if used.

What We Like:
It requires thinking. I'm a big fan of things that make them use their brains. There is no spoon-feeding here.
Learning several different methods for studying the Bible. This allows them to see what methods are the most helpful for them. These are skills they will take with them long after this study is finished.
The lessons take around 20 minutes per day to complete. This was a perfect amount of time for us.
The study is adaptable for girls and includes alternate questions in the back of the book.

What We Didn't Like:
None of these were a big deal, especially considering how much we love the study overall. Rather than "Things We Didn't Like", you could more accurately call this section "Things We Didn't Love".

  • The study uses the King James Version of the Bible, which isn't our favorite. Most of it requires students to look up verses in their own Bible though, so we were able to follow along using our good ol' ESV. 
  • The units don't divide evenly over "days". There aren't 5 studies, one for each day of the week. Some have 4 days, some have 11. Sometimes, a day's assignment could be rather involved. Others, not so much. For instance, Day 8 of Study 5 only has 2 assignments. #1 asks "How can you become more of a man of valor?" #2 instructs students to "Pray for the Holy Spirit to help you see how God wants you to change." Honestly, I think this is wonderful. I want my boys to learn to stop and be reflective and prayerful. But they are boys. If I do not read the study ahead of time and instruct them to not rush over this part, there is a good chance they may take those assignments lightly and think of it as a short day for Bible study.

The study requires access to Nave's Topical Bible and Strong's Concordance. We had neither. However, there's an app for that! Also, they are in the public domain and available online.

This book is available in softcover or as an ebook. The softcover usually runs $14, but is currently on sale for $12. The ebook is $10. I prefer ebooks so that I can print multiple copies for my children. I can also print out an extra page or two when coffee gets spilled or someone begins stressing that the eraser marks are showing.

You can check out a sample of the book online. Be sure to visit the Crew website to read more reviews of this book and of another study they have for young women, entitled Beauty in the Heart.

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