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I became a Christian when I was ten years old. I was blessed to attend a church that was very serious about discipleship, and to have parents who also discipled me. One practice that I made part of my own spiritual growth very early on was memorizing scripture. I memorized both long passages and individual verses, and most of them I can still recite today. This was an indescribable blessing to me, and still is. Fast forward to now, and with mommy brain and a to do list that is going, going, going, it is much harder to memorize scripture now than it used to be. It takes longer, and I have to stay on top of it. But it is still something that I feel is very important and that I want to teach my kids from a very young age. I have discovered and tried many different ways of memorizing scripture with my kids, and we love it. They are still very young, and they are like little sponges. Here are some of the things that we have done to memorize scripture together, and some other ideas that I plan to try in the future:
One thing that we have do several times a week is, while we are still seated at the table after a meal, we make up a song using the exact words of whatever verse we are trying to memorize. Everyone takes their utensils and bangs them on the table to the beat of the song we are singing. The kids LOVE this. And later throughout the day, when they are playing, I often hear them singing that song! So sweet. Mom and Dad are also memorizing with them!
Another thing that we do is turn on kids’ music in the car that puts scripture to song. My very favorite CD to use is Steve Green’s Hide ‘Em In Your Heart. Again, the kids love it, and the scripture gets stuck in their minds without them even trying. You can buy this CD here:
One idea that I want to try when my kids get older is to use a sticker chart for our family. I want to set an age-appropriate goal for each child for a number of verses that they can memorize. When they reach their goal, they get a prize.
I read about another idea in the book The Most Important Place on Earth by Robert Wolgemuth. This sounded amazing and it is something that I definitely want to try. When his daughter was a toddler, she stayed with her grandmother for a few days, and her grandmother made a booklet of Bible verses with her. She helped her to memorize 26 verses—one for each letter of the alphabet. For example, for A might be “All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God, Romans 3:23.” For each letter is a verse that begins with that letter. The way that she did this with her granddaughter, who wasn’t even old enough to read, was that she had cut out different magazine photos of things related to the verse, and they spent hours each day cutting and gluing all of the pictures inside the booklet. There was one page for each verse. The amount of time that they spent creating this allowed for them to recite each verse together. All I could say when I read this was wow. I know that with my daily responsibilities, and the number of kids that I have, that I could never pull this off in a few days like this grandmother did, but it is something that I want to do with my oldest daughter. She already knows her ABCs, and we could probably do one verse a week. You can buy the book The Most Important Place on Earth here.
For older kids, and for parents, another idea for keeping all of your memory verses together, is to write them on index cards, hole punch them, and put them on a metal ring. You can easily keep this in your purse, so that when you are waiting in line at a drive thru or at the doctor’s office, or anywhere, you can pull it out and practice your memory verses or review past ones.
Is scripture memorization something your family practices? What have you tried to make it fun and meaningful?