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Five Ways to Help Your Kids Memorize Scripture

By: Kate Ritchie

Thirty years ago, I was in the first grade. I went to a small Christian school, and each kid was required to participate in a speech meet. I remember looking through my passage options for memory work. I picked Ephesians 6:1-3, a lot of words for a little girl who had just learned to read. I practiced diligently for weeks before the event. I remember walking up the pink carpet stairs to the stage of the little chapel. My feet found the mark I was supposed to stand on, and I looked out at all the kids in my school and belted out,

 

“Children, obey your parents in the Lord for this is right….”

 

Thirty years later, I can still remember every word of the verses I memorized. Memories from thirty years ago are fuzzy, but the Word of God is clearly inscribed in my heart and mind. It can be recalled with clarity and applied in needed moments. 

 

Over the years, the scripture I’ve memorized has calmed storms of anxiety, directed me in wisdom, reminded me of truth, and been my words when I had no words. I don’t think it can be over-emphasized; memorizing scripture is an essential and formative practice for Christians.

 

The Bible told the ancient people of God to put scripture on their doorframes, to bind it around their arms, hands, and heads, and write it on their hearts. In Jewish culture, people literally put scripture in little boxes on their bodies and wrote it on the doorframes of their houses. This was an outward expression of the heart. Scripture should guide our going out and our coming in, be at the front of our minds, and lead our actions each day. 

 

As these famous verses tell us in Proverbs 3:1-6,

 

My son, do not forget my teaching, but let your heart keep my commandments,
for length of days and years of life and peace they will add to you. Let not steadfast love and faithfulness forsake you; bind them around your neck; write them on the tablet of your heart. So you will find favor and good success in the sight of God and man.
 Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.

 

At Kids Faith Krate, we offer families scriptures to memorize each month that go along with that month’s family discipleship krate. We believe it is a necessary part of family discipleship. We have put together five strategies to help your family to memorize scripture!

 

1. Music and beat

 

One of the best ways to help your children memorize scripture is through music or beat. You can find a way to make the scripture a song or simply tap along to the words on a drum or table. Another way to do this is to clap out the scripture. As simple as this tip may seem, you would be shocked to see how much it helps. We have a small drum at our house that works wonders for scripture memory. What musical instruments or shakers do you have in your home? You can also make little shakers out of paper plates and dry beans or beads! Putting a beat to the words is a beneficial way to put scripture to memory.

 

2. Move your body

 

Another simple practice is to move your body with words. When my youngest son was two, he memorized Hebrews 4:12,

 

For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword...

 

These are big words for a little guy! What helped him do it was a foam sword that we had at our house. We made up motions with the sword that went with the words, and he memorized it quickly to heart! How can you get creative with hand motions or props to help your children memorize more scripture?

 

3. Practice regularly throughout the day

 

Growing up, we called these scripture practices “sword drills.” You can have intentional times at meals or bath time to practice throughout the day, or you can have surprise practices. You can give your kids points and set goals for them. Consistent practice “makes perfect,” and it actually works!

 

 

4. Explain the meaning of it

 

Another way to help with retention is talking through the meaning and application of the verse. Our minds remember things by making connections. When we recall someone’s name, we often picture where we first met them or some other connection we made to commit their name to memory. Likewise, if our kids understand what the scripture means and make a personal connection, memorizing that verse will become more natural and personally impactful.

 

5. Pray it back to God

 

One beautiful way to memorize scripture is to turn that scripture back to God in prayer. Thank God for the characteristic the scripture reveals about him. Ask God for the thing the author of that scripture is asking. For example, if you look back at Proverbs 3:1,

 

My son, do not forget my teaching, but let your heart keep my commandments,
for length of days and years of life and peace they will add to you.

 

You can pray together as a family, 

 

“Lord, help us to not forget your teachings. Help us to keep your commandments. We pray that through your wisdom, you will add life and peace to our family. In Jesus’s name, Amen.”

 

Praying scripture is an excellent practice of aligning your will with the will of God, and it is also a wonderful way to help your family remember scripture.

 

Our prayer for you is that you and your family will “lay up the words (of the Lord) in your heart and soul” as you seek God’s heart and run after him all the days of your life. (Deuteronomy 11:18) Our prayer is that as your family fills up their hearts with the Word of God in scripture, that those same words would overflow out of your hearts!

  • Jun 07, 2021
  • Category: News
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