Helping children memorize Scripture is one of the most, if not the most important things we can do for our kids. The impact of Scriptures on the lives of children can be life altering. As Christians we are commanded to put God’s Word into our hearts and minds and since many people come to Christ as children, memorizing Scripture is an important step in that process. I cannot think of a better gift Christian parents can give their children than God’s Word embedded into their hearts and minds. His Word has an impact on the way we think and live and will keep us from many hardships.
Christian leaders have written about the benefits of memorizing Scripture. Here are a few:
Dallas Willard, professor of Philosophy at the University of Southern California, wrote, “Bible memorization is absolutely fundamental to spiritual formation. If I had to choose between all the disciplines of the spiritual life, I would choose Bible memorization, because it is a fundamental way of filling our minds with what it needs.
Chuck Swindoll wrote, “I know of no other single practice in the Christian life more rewarding, practically speaking, than memorizing Scripture. . . . No other single exercise pays greater spiritual dividends! Your prayer life will be strengthened. Your witnessing will be sharper and much more effective. Your attitudes and outlook will begin to change. Your mind will become alert and observant. Your confidence and assurance will be enhanced. Your faith will be solidified.
Martin Luther knew so much of the Bible from memory that when the Lord opened his eyes to see the truth of justification in Romans 1:17, he said, “Thereupon I ran through the Scriptures from memory,” in order to confirm what he had found. Martin Luther started the Protestant reformation.
Rick Warren says: “There are enormous benefits to memorizing Bible verses. It will help you resist temptation, make wise decisions, reduce stress, build confidence, offer good advice, and share your faith with others.”
John Piper recorded his feelings on memorizing Scripture. If you are a Christian thinking about memorizing Scripture I encourage you to take a moment and watch this video.
The Bible has a number of verses about Memorizing Scripture including: “Let the message about Christ, in all its richness, fill your lives. Teach and counsel each other with all the wisdom he gives. Sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs to God with thankful hearts.” (Colossians 3:16 NLT)
Practical ways to help children memorize Scripture
- Normally I would include our resources last, but in this case I’m listing Memory Cross first. For working with children individually or in Sunday School, Memory Cross cards are one of the best resources I know of. You can use it memorize any verse in any translation. The cards break verses down into four parts which makes it easy for children to learn the verse. I’m working with my 5 year old granddaughter on memorizing Scripture. She can’t read yet, but she can repeat back a few words from each verse and she learns a new verse each week. We have a free sample pack if you want to see the card for yourself.
The video below shows how Memory Cross works.
Every night (well almost every night) we go over a verse. At the end of a year she’ll know 52 verses and by the time she is 10 she would have memorized 520 verses! Memory Cross has printed and blank cards that allow you or your children to write down any verse in any translation.
- Put music with the Scripture. Even if you are like me and have no musical talent there are a number of resources available to help. One good source is YouTube. Type in the Scripture you are looking to memorize, something like “teach children and then verse.” You’ll be amazed at how many resources are available. Here is one I found when I typed in 2 Corinthians 5:17
- Illustrate the verse. Most kids like to draw so give them a piece of paper and the verse and help them illustrate it. By doing this you’ll help them think about what the verse means to them. As an alternative you can go to Google, Bing or Pinterest and type in the verse and click on images (Pinterest will be images by default). The one below came from Artist Hands of Faith which offers some great resources for parents and children, many of which are free.
- Review – Keep the Scriptures your child has learned and review them on a regular basis. We learn one new Scripture every week and then review that Scripture the end of the following week.
- Talk about what the Scripture means. This is a good time to share your faith with your children.
If you have other ways you’ve help children memorize Scripture be sure to put it in the comments box.