Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. – Joshua 1:8
These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. – Deuteronomy 6:6-7
Over the past few months I have caught myself having a strange observation. It’s been one that has caused me to experience a few different feelings. I’ve felt angry, sad, and confused. Want to know what my observation has been? It started about three months ago as I sat in church one Sunday and I caught myself observing how many adults did NOT bring their bibles to church. (Please understand this observation has not only taken place in my own church) The first feeling I dealt with for several days after the initial encounter with this quandary was confusion. I kept asking…why?
Why did so many adults not have their bible? Why did I feel like I was one of the only one in the room that did bring a bible? Why did I feel like I was out numbered and didn’t fit in? Why?
I have to admit after the first time I kind of shrugged it off. Then a couples weeks later I was drawn to the very same observation. However, this time I felt anger. Did they think it was a wimpy thing to carry a bible? And if that’s how some of them think does that imply I’m a wimp? My thoughts at that time were so strong I ranted verbally to my wife for half the car ride home. I guess my ranting concerned her as she asked me if I needed some aspirin and a nap when we got home. That afternoon I knew my thoughts and feelings had gone too far and being angry was wrong. I’m just glad I didn’t do something stupid like rant to some unsuspected church member or worse yet the pastor. After that moment of unwarranted anger and venting I once again shrugged it off.
A few weeks later it happened again, except this time we were visiting a church as we had been out of town for the weekend. I was sad because I wondered if this was happening all over the country in our churches today, men and women not brining their bibles to church. I was sad wondering, if they don’t bring them to church then are they reading them at home? And are they reading it to their children? What place in their life does the Word of God have? And as I dwelled on this thought further my heart was sadden even more as I wondered…could it be? Could this be just one of the reasons?
Here’s a fact; many teenagers today, “Christian” teenagers, struggle or have no desire to read their Bible. Could it be that our teenagers do not have a desire to read their bible and therefore grow deep in their faith because they are mimicking what they see around them? Could it be the lack of adults bringing their bibles to church on Sunday’s is just one of the reasons our teens are not reading theirs?
It’s been three months since I’ve taken notice of this situation and in the course of my ponderings I had to ask. So I swallowed the lump of discomfort in my throat and began asking some adults what they thought about the matter. And though I got many opinions as to the question why, there was one common thread among all of them. They all agreed that teens could easily be taught from this common practice among adults today to think; “if my parents don’t bring their bible’s then I don’t need mine.”
Our children and teenagers watch every move we make. Are we meditating on God’s Word day and night and being careful to do everything that is written in it? And do we talk about it in our homes with our teenagers? Are we taking the time to teach our teenagers the importance of reading God’s Word in order to grow deep in their faith? What place does the Word of God have in your life, and what example are you setting for your son or daughter? Remember, if it’s not important to you than it won’t be important to them.
And so I’ve wondered, could it be?