Introducing Kids to Psalms

Introducing Kids to Psalms - Parenting Like HannahWhen you think of the books to suggest to those beginning to read their Bibles independently, Psalms may not immediately come to mind. We tend to think of the book of Psalms as a book of poetry and young people are notorious for disliking poetry. If we present it to kids and teens for the purposes it was originally intended though, I think they will find it is one of their favorite books.

Jews in the time of Jesus were passionate about Psalms. Their daily lives were covered by the Psalms. Daily Temple worship began with a different Psalm read on every day of the week. Psalms were used as songs and prayers. Almost any problem someone had would result in praying to God one of the Psalms. In fact it is believed, many observant Jews had memorized many if not all of them.

The best things about Psalms is they are great for helping us express our emotions to God. Teens who often have emotions constantly on edge, may actually find Psalms to be one of their favorite books of the Bible. The writers (David is actually one of several writers of Psalms including Moses, Solomon and the sons of Korah) of Psalms were not afraid to tell God exactly how they felt. Whether they were sad, frightened, confused or even angry, their emotions and the experiences that caused them were shared with God and the readers of Psalms. Joy and thanksgiving are also constant themes that run through even some of the most bleak of the Psalms.

If you want to introduce your children to Psalms, I would suggest mentioning it the next time your children are angry, upset or even joyful. Encourage them to open the Bible to Psalms and see if they can find one that expresses how they feel. If your child is a reluctant Bible reader, it may help to make a few specific suggestions. You can find online multiple lists suggesting themes for the various chapters to give you ideas to share.

Personally, I have found Psalms to be particularly comforting when I am anxious. There is something about reading chapter after chapter reminding me God is in control and loves me, that soothes my anxiety. Your teen may find the same comfort. Of course, people for thousands of years have found comfort in memorizing Psalm 23. Others love having Psalm 100 memorized.

Encourage your children to find a few they find comforting and memorize parts or all of them. Even with technology, it’s not always practical to pull out a Bible and start reading. Having the Psalms that comfort you memorized means they are available to comfort you no matter where you are or what is happening.

Consider finding art work quoting Psalms and place it around your house. Find music that uses a Psalm or part of a Psalm as lyrics. Have a family devotional which centers around everyone sharing their favorite Psalms. Be creative, but make sure your kids are familiar with the comfort God provides us through the book of Psalms.

Published by

Thereasa Winnett

Thereasa Winnett is the founder of Teach One Reach One and blogger at Parenting Like Hannah. She holds a BA in education from the College of William and Mary. She has served in all areas of ministry to children and teens for more than thirty years and regularly leads workshops for ministries and churches. She has conducted numerous workshops, including sessions at Points of Light’s National Conference on Volunteering and Service, the National Urban Ministry Conference, Pepperdine Bible Lectures, and Lipscomb’s Summer Celebration. Thereasa lives in Atlanta, GA with her husband Greg, where she enjoys reading, knitting, traveling and cooking.

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