How to Teach the Story of Daniel to Teenagers
It is important for families of faith to use Scripture to teach their teenagers how to live a life pleasing to God. Although the book of Daniel has only 12 chapters, it contains many life lessons that are pertinent to today's teens. Topics found in the book of Daniel include not giving in to peer pressure, practicing obedience and trusting God completely.
Read through the story of Daniel with your teen using his teen Bible 1. Teen Bibles are written in a language your teen will understand. Try to do this in one or two sittings if you can. It is a good idea to get the big picture before you delve deeper into each section.
Break the book of Daniel up into sections or commit to working on one chapter each day. You will need to set aside at least two weeks to study Daniel with your teenager. Moving any faster through the study might mean missing out on learning an important truth. In addition, teenagers will retain and digest more of the information if it is presented a bit at a time.
Instruct your teen to mark certain keywords throughout the text with colored pencils. For example, any reference to God could be colored in yellow, while any reference to a location is underlined in brown. You could also circle the name "Daniel" with a blue pencil each time you see it or draw a set of praying hands around the word "pray." There is no right or wrong way to do this, so be creative.
Write the keywords in a notebook, placing one keyword on each page. As you go through each section of Daniel with your teen, add what you learn about that keyword directly under the keyword. For example, in Daniel 1:4 we learn that the King Nebuchadnezzar was looking for men who were "young men without any physical defect, handsome, showing aptitude for every kind of learning, well informed and quick to understand." Each of these characteristics can be listed under the keyword "Daniel" because Daniel was chosen to be one of the king's men.
Ask your teen questions at the end of each lesson that will cause her to think about what she believes and how she can apply what she learned to her own life. This should include questions like "Was there a cost to Daniel obeying God by continuing to pray even after the king forbid it?" and "Do you believe God will protect you, like he did Daniel when Daniel was in the lion's den, if you are faithful?"
Select a verse from the first six chapters of Daniel for your teenager to memorize. Give him a week to master the verse. Repeat the second week with a verse from the last six chapters of Daniel. A few suggestions include Daniel 1:19-20, 3:17, 8:19 and 9:3.
Give your teenager time to ask you questions at the end of each lesson. This is also a fine time for reflection and discussion.
A lot of prophecy can be found throughout the book of Daniel. Teens should not be expected to master this part of the book. Understanding of Biblical prophecies will come over time and through much study.
- A lot of prophecy can be found throughout the book of Daniel. Teens should not be expected to master this part of the book. Understanding of Biblical prophecies will come over time and through much study.
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