HELP YOUR KIDS MEMORIZE SCRIPTURE
Why should we help our kids memorize scripture, and how do we do it? Keep reading!
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WHY MEMORIZE SCRIPTURE WHEN YOU’RE YOUNG?
How many Bible verses do you have memorized? Let’s take a little quiz… can you complete these verses from memory?
“For God so loved the world…
“I am the way…
“The Lord is my Shepherd…
“For all have sinned…
“Love the Lord your God with all your…
“The fruit of the Spirit is love…
“For unto us a child is born…
“For I know the plans…
“Trust in the Lord with…
So, how’d you do? Were you able to complete the verses?
Now count… how many of those verses did you memorize as an adult? As a child? As a teenager?
I memorized most of these scripture passages before the age of 20. As an adult, I have had a much more difficult time memorizing scripture verses.
It’s not that I can’t do it, but it does take a lot more effort, and I’ve found that what I do memorize does not stick with me long term. A few years ago, I memorized nearly the entire book of Colossians. But guess what? I can’t remember any of it now!
Our kids are like little sponges. They have a unique capacity to retain information and memorize long passages of text. If we can encourage them to memorize scripture when they are young, those words will stick with them for the rest of their lives.
But My Kids Don’t Understand What They’re Memorizing!
Hey, that’s okay! There may be words and concepts that they don’t understand yet, but just the process of imprinting the Word of God in their minds will one day help them transfer that knowledge to their hearts.
Not to mention, memorizing scripture together as a family is a great opportunity to talk with your kids about the meaning of the passage and connect with your child’s heart.
WHY MEMORIZE SCRIPTURE AT ALL?
What’s the big deal? Why do I need to memorize scripture when I can just look up Bible verses on my phone? Let’s see what the Bible has to say.
1. Memorizing Scripture Helps Us Focus On God
“If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.” (ESV)
These verses command us to seek the things above and “SET YOUR MINDS” on things that are above. What better way to set your mind on things of God than to fill your mind with the Word of God?
2. Memorizing Scripture Transforms Us Into the Image of God
“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” (ESV)
How do you transform your behavior? By the renewal of your MIND. What better way to transform your mind than to fill it with the the Word of God?
II Corinthians 3:17-18
“And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.” (ESV)
We are being transformed into the image of the glory of God. But wait, this verse says our transformation comes from the Spirit! What does this have to do with memorizing scripture? Keep reading this next verse:
“In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication.” (ESV)
Did you catch that? The “sword of the Spirit” is the Word of God! The Holy Spirit uses the Word of God in our lives to transform us into the image of the Son of God. What better way to be close to the Spirit of God than by memorizing the Word of God?
3. Memorizing Scripture Keeps Us From Sin
“How can a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it according to your word. With my whole heart I seek you; let me not wander from your commandments! I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.” (ESV)
If you want to live a life of purity, you need to live according to the Word of God. The Psalmist states that he has “stored up” (memorized!) God’s Word so that he would not sin against God.
4. Memorizing Scripture Reminds Us of God’s Faithfulness
“You shall therefore lay up these words of mine in your heart and in your soul, and you shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall teach them to your children, talking of them when you are sitting in your house, and when you are walking by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.” (ESV)
In this passage, God tells the Israelites to “lay up these words of mine in your heart and in your soul.” That sure sounds like a command to memorize scripture! The Israelites were encouraged to surround themselves with the Word of God so that they would have a constant reminder of God’s great works and faithfulness to them.
There are many more benefits to memorizing scripture.These are just a few!
HOW TO MEMORIZE SCRIPTURE
Okay, you get that it’s important. But now you’re wondering, “How do I do it? How do I get my kids to memorize scripture?”
The following are a few methods you could try, depending on the age of your kids:
If you’ve never memorized scripture with your kids before, start with a short Bible verse like John 14:6.
“Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
Write out the verse on a 3×5 card and put it in your napkin holder. Every time you sit down for a meal, pull out the card and read it out loud. As you repeat the phrase, it will become more and more familiar to your kids. Encourage them to repeat it with you each day.
2. Bit by Bit
For longer verses, have your children repeat phrases from the verse, a little bit at a time. Then add on the next phrase and repeat.
“Jesus said to him…” (kids repeat).
“Jesus said to him, I am the way…” (kids repeat).
“Jesus said to him, I am the way, and the truth…” (kids repeat).
“Jesus said to him, I am the way, and the truth, and the life…” (kids repeat).
Continue this process every day until your kids are able to recite the verse on their own.
3. Write it Out
If your kids are old enough to read and write on their own, have them write out the verse in the same pattern as you did in the “bit by bit” section. Additionally, you could have your kids write out multiple copies of the verse and place the cards around the house as a reminder to hide God’s Word in their hearts.
4. Add Motions
Physical movement is a great way to memorize scripture. When you assign a specific action to certain phrases or words, your kids are much more likely to remember. You can even use the motions to help remind your kids of the phrase that comes next. The motions don’t necessarily have to correspond to the meaning of the phrase, but it helps if they do! Here’s an example:
“Jesus said to him…” (Point to heaven)
“I am the way…” (Point to self, then make “path”, hands together in front, then pushing apart like a breast stroke).
“and the truth…” (Point to head… we know the truth in our minds).
“and the life…”(Fold hands over heart… we have no life if our heart stops beating).
“No one comes to the Father…”(Shake head and wag finger – “No”, then point to heaven again).
“except through me…” (Raise one finger in air – “Except!”, then point to self).
5. Sing a Song
Like physical motions, the lyrics of songs have an amazing way of sticking with us through the years. I’m not going to try to write a song for you, but if you can find a song that goes along with the scripture verse you’re teaching to your kids, it will be a great benefit!
You Tube is a great resource to find Bible memory songs… I just typed in “John 14:6 song” and there were at least 10 different videos that came up. Here’s the first one: JOHN 14:6 YouTube
6. Picture Cards
This last option is one of my favorites! I have created picture cards to help my kids memorize longer passages of scripture. Every year during the month of December, we work on memorizing a portion of the Christmas story from Luke 2 and Matthew 1. I divided up the passages into smaller chunks and found an image to represent what the text was saying. Then I printed and laminated them, and voila! We have a set of scripture cards that we can come back to every year.
We are currently working on memorizing Psalm 23 with the same method of picture cards. AND I’D LOVE TO SHARE THEM WITH YOU!!
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(Verses are taken from the English Standard Version ESV).
I will be adding more picture cards to my collection to help you and your kids memorize scripture. If you’re subscribed to my weekly newsletter, you’ll be the first to know about newest Scripture Memory Cards as well as my latest Devotional Bible Stories!
What kid doesn’t love a reward for their hard work? How about taking the family out for ice cream, or renting a fun movie? Set a goal for your kids to work towards… once everyone in the family has memorized this Bible verse, then you all get to go out for ice cream!