Why teach children to memorize Scripture? Assuming you are a follower of Jesus what is the downside?
Drawback: It takes work. My six year old grandchild does not like learning her spelling words, but that does not mean we don’t make her memorize her spelling words. We do it because we know learning to spell will benefit her throughout her life. It is the same thing with memorizing Scripture except the benefits last beyond this life.
What other reason is there not to help kids memorize God’s Word? The only other reason I can think of for not helping children memorize Bible verses is because you doubt that God’s Word will make any difference in your child’s life. How many things do kids learn in school that they will never use again? In school the problem is we don’t know the future so we can’t tell what will help them and what is unnecessary. With learning the Bible everything we learn will make a difference, maybe not tomorrow but someday, plus you are obeying this command:
Deuteronomy 11:18 says: “So commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these words of mine. Tie them to your hands and wear them on your forehead as reminders.” Later on in the same chapter God says: “See, I am setting before you today a blessing and a curse: the blessing, if you listen to the commandments of the LORD your God, which I am commanding you today; and the curse, if you do not listen to the commandments of the LORD your God, but turn aside from the way which I am commanding you today.” We have this choice today. We can live for ourselves or live serving God.
What have Christian Leaders said about learning Scripture
Billy Graham: “I am convinced that one of the greatest things we can do is to memorize Scripture.”
Franklin Graham: One of the things he thanks his mother for is the value of God’s Word. “My mother always insisted that I memorize Scripture — and I’m glad she did,” he wrote on his Facebook page. “She said that if we didn’t have the Word of God with us, we could always have it in our hearts.”
Chuck Swindoll – Pastor, Author Insights for Living: “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.”
Rick Warren – Pastor Saddleback church. Author Purpose Driven Life. “Scripture memory is a habit that most Christians never even tried, but getting your members to hide God’s Word in their hearts brings personal revival and renewal.”
Dallas Willard, professor of Philosophy at the University of Southern California – “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.”
Martin Luther, father of Protestant Reformation, 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.
John Piper, pastor, author Desiring God said: “here are a few reasons why so many have viewed Scripture memorization as so essential to the Christian life.
- Bible memorization has the effect of making our gaze on Jesus steadier and clearer.
- As sin lures the body into sinful action, we call to mind a Christ-revealing word of Scripture and slay the temptation with the superior worth and beauty of Christ over what sin offers.
- Daily triumph over Satan
- Offers comfort and counsel for people you love
- Communicating the Gospel to unbelievers
- Communion with God in the enjoyment of His person and ways.
Charles Spurgeon says: “The Bible in the memory is better than the Bible in the book case.”
Francis Chan had this to say about God’s Word
We take time to teach our children many things but nothing is more important than teaching them God’s Word. It is a foundation that will help them in this life and open their hearts to an eternity spent with God. I hope these words will inspire you to start helping your children memorize Scripture.
What are some ways to help children memorize Scripture?
iPhone and Android apps to memorize Scripture
I started my search on my iPhone since my grandchildren always want it. The last time I searched for a Bible memory tool specifically for kids I found nothing. This time I came across Noah’s Bible Memory. I just downloaded and tried it so I’ll update this blog post in a month after my grandchildren and I have had a chance to try it out, but I like the colors and the kid friendly design. It was a free app. There are 25 Bible verses. Hopefully as more people install the app they will add more verses. You can find it on iTunes by typing Noah’s Bible Memory. It is also available for Android phones. Joel Carson has several other apps to help children learn the Bible. I encourage you to check them out.
Bible Memorization Coloring Pages
Another fun way to help kids learn to memorize Scripture is by giving them Bible verses that they can color. Most children love creativity and coloring so why not have them color Bible verses and then help them learn the verse. Here are a few I found.
- Joel Carson, creator of the app above also has a free PDF of Scripture verses that kids can color in. It is beautifully well done and again free.
- A Kid’s Heart has a number of verses illustrated that you can print out. Some also allow you to color online.
- Hubbard’s Cupboard has verses that kids can color, charts and cards that you can make a game out of that is similar to Go Fish.
- Lori Lindeman has put together an extensive list of Scripture cooling pages on Pinterest.
- Tony Kummer’s Ministry-To-Children is always one of my favorite resources; always free and is full of great ideas, plus I really like his heart and what he is doing. Check out what he is doing ministering in Haiti.
Memory Cross Cards
The idea for Memory Cross started with Andy Lambert, a pastor with the United Methodist Church, who was looking for a creative tool that would capture kid’s attention while helping them memorize Bible verses. We now have a variety of printed and blank cards available. Click here to learn more. The video below shows how each Memory Cross works.
If you have other resources share them with us and if you know anyone with children that could benefit from this post please consider passing it along.