From time to time readers ask me if I can recommend a Bible study that can be done with a teenager. Doorposts asked the TOS Review Crew to take a look at their new Beauty in the Heart study, and I was happy to review it so that I might be able to steer you in their direction if need be.
I have loved and used Doorposts products for a long time. For one thing, Pam Forster, who authors most of the Doorposts materials, is a homeschooling mom who has graduated a whole group of kids, and I respect her experience and wisdom.
For another, I love it when homeschoolers put out excellent products. Pam's illustrations are light-hearted and her materials are always thorough and well-researched. The Doorposts Brother Offended Chart has had a permanent spot in our school room for at least 10 years, and the Go to the Ant Chart hangs in our pantry. Good stuff.
First, the nitty gritty details:
- Beauty in the Heart is recommended for ages 10-12 or older
- The study includes Bible study (book, chapter, and verse), character studies, and a word and topical study
- The paperback version sells for $14 and the pdf version is $10
- Coupon code BEAUTYSHOP will get you a free pdf version when you purchase the paperback (until August 31st)
And what we thought:
Our culture has taken the Biblical definition of beauty and made it into an ugly, sexed-up, outward-only facade of the truth, has it not? My three daughters are absolutely inundated with the world's twisted message, from the magazine covers at the checkout stand to the ads seen on billboards, to, well, everything.
I work extra hard to communicate to them that they are beautiful intrinsically, because they were made in the very image of God, and that He looks at their hearts. Who has captured their hearts? Jesus! And Jesus has made them beautiful.
At the same time, the 4 of us? We love make-up. And stylish clothes. And this collection of pins. We love making our hair beautiful and painting our nails beautiful colors and living with beauty in our home. Outward beauty isn't wrong. Doing all of those things because we're hoping they'll gain us the attention of others (male or female), or make us feel as if we have value and worth, or that they'll give us some sense of identity? A trap that leads us to the very bondage our culture is choking from.
And so I have to tell you that I was concerned that Beauty in the Heart would be a "how to be a Biblically beautiful woman" by doing X, Y, and Z, when clearly Scripture teaches that He make all things beautiful in His time (Ecclesiastes 3:11). So, let's redefine beauty for our daughters, but let's realize that the work is His, born out of a heart turned toward God, not from the things we do. A quest for beauty by doing things, whether outwardly or inwardly, is works righteousness, my friends.
But I didn't find that here. Instead, Beauty in the Heart is a true Bible Study, one that opens up the opportunity to listen to the Holy Spirit as you read God's Word, and that's how it should be! And take a look at the Bible Study skills your daughter will learn:
- Compare one Scripture with another
- Observe repeated words and themes in a passage
- Outline the content of the passage
- Gather all of Scripture's words about a particular topic
- Study the lives of people in the Bible, noting how their attitudes and actions portray the truths of Scripture
- Study original Greek and Hebrew words and how they are used in other places in Scripture
- Use printed and online study helps in your Bible study
Great tools! So, rest in the knowledge that He is at work in your and your daughter's hearts. Study His beautiful, life-giving words. Take a book like Beauty in the Heart and use it as a springboard for your conversations on beauty with your daughter, because these are very important conversations that need to be had. But don't look for formulas, because formulas lead to bondage, not freedom. Look to Jesus! He makes all things beautiful.