When teaching my tweens and teens at home, I found it hard to find a simple devotional that they could relate to. My children
didn’t date, didn’t deal with locker room gossip, or the usual school social structure. In fact, some of the typical devotionals written for young people glorified the traditional school culture enough to make my children wonder if they were missing out on something.
Around the Word in 60 Seconds is just what I was looking for, but could not find. Author Mary DeMuth, who “enjoys helping parents and kids connect over conversation,” has put together a book that speaks to broader issues than high school culture. While written directly to tweens and teens, this devotional is also useable as a guide for families.
The weekly format starts with a short devotion followed by an action item and prayer. Ms. DeMuth loves to write prayers for her readers. Then for five days the reader is presented with a Bible verse and a thoughtful question. There is something for six days each week, presumably leaving the seventh day for worship.
Ms. DeMuth has written this devotional to the wider teen market, so the devotions often are stories of what might be happening at a traditional school. It’s the action items and daily questions that make this book different, and useable for the family.
A couple of the action items that caught my attention:
“The next time you’re in the grocery store or at the gas station, read the headlines of the gossip magazines. ….. Say a prayer for one of the celebrities whose picture is on the front page of one of the tabloids.”
I thought, “Now that’s a great action.” Can you imagine what might happen if families all around the country were praying for these celebrities?
“Ask your parents about what TV shows, movies, and songs they find offensive. Listen to their reasons why they’re inappropriate. Choose to obey your parents and stay away from the things they warn you about.” (emphasis added)
Another “Wow” for me. Not only does this action item reinforce biblical commands, it opens up a discussion with parents. It also acknowledges the wisdom and authority of parents. Something I ‘ve found lacking in some teen devotionals.
The daily questions can be used for journal writing or a family discussion. Again, the questions aren’t superficial. “What’s the difference between befriending those who aren’t Christians and spending all your time with them?” or “How can someone possibly be joyful all the time?” are thought provoking no matter your age.
Whether you give this book to your teen for personal devotions or use as a family devotional, you won’t be disappointed. In fact, I recommend that adults use this book as well.
Around the Word in 60 Seconds
the ultimate tween devotional
by Mary DeMuth
Linda McQuinn Carlblom says
Thanks for this excellent book review. I’ve read some of Mary’s other books and love her transparency and spiritual depth. I am so glad she’s speaking into the lives of young people through this devotional. As a mom of a 16-yr-old who just started online school from home this year, I definitely see the value of a book that doesn’t target only the traditional high school experience. Can’t wait to get my hands on it! Blessings!