Welcome! This is our first day in a 5 day series talking called Teaching Them Diligently – encouragement, tips and lessons we’ve learned in our family as we seek to raise our children according to God’s Word and parent with diligence.
Make sure you come back each day this week as we will be discussing a different topic. There’s so much more I need to know and learn, so please, leave your comments and ideas so we can interact, learn and encourage each other!
Day 1 – Tips to Inspire and Help You Memorize Scripture as a Family
I am constantly amazed at what we are all able to accomplish in memorizing Scripture together. We are so blessed to have the opportunity and freedom to read God’s word wherever, whenever! It is so easily at our fingertips, but it may not always be that way! We need to be diligent to put to memory and hide in our hearts the truths of God’s word – for who knows when we may need it.
Right up there with encouraging discipline in personal quiet times, leading to a desire and delight in spending time in God’s word, is the joy of taking time to memorize Scripture as a family.
I have to admit though, this is something I kept putting off doing, simply because I did not know where to start or how to stay motivated!
When we began memorizing Scripture as a family, the boys were probably about 2 and 4. We started with simple verses, mostly ones from Awana that they learned each week – 3 at a time (though most were only portions of longer verses) seemed overwhelming, but it became obvious very early on that they were sponges and quite capable of memorizing their parts of the verses, if not the whole verse as well.
However, once Awana was finished in the summer we lost the motivation to keep up with our memorizing. And, I’m sad to say, forgot many of the verses they/we had learned. Review is so important for keeping our memories fresh!
Fortunately, the next year we had learned our lesson, and continued to memorize and review the verses for Awana, adding to them as we went. Over the summer and into the fall we worked on memorizing ABC Bible verses – taking a letter of the alphabet and a key word from certain verses to match that letter, then learning the full verse. We put them up on a chart in the kitchen and each week or so added a new “Letter” to our list. The boys loved this, making it fun and motivating for them to learn!
Following that, I started picking verses based on godly character traits we wanted them to learn, as well as some longer passages of Scripture. This is where we started using a sticker chart to keep track. Once they had the verse memorized, each time we reviewed it and they could say it, they got a sticker. Even at now 6 and 4 years old, they LOVED getting stickers on their chart! Again, another score for staying motivated!
This method of memorizing and reviewing has worked really well for the last couple of years – the chart is still up in our kitchen and as we do one more review, we’ll turn it over and add the passages we have more recently memorized to the review chart, keeping those verses up before us and fresh in our minds. We’ve got a few other ideas that have helped us learn and remember Scripture and would love to share them with you!
7 Tips to Encourage and Help You Memorize Scripture as a Family
1. Just start.
It doesn’t have to be complicated or in depth. What were some of your favourite verses as a child? Start with those, remember them yourself and share them with your children. Kids love stories, so tell them what the verses mean to you.
Use Bible and character studies to give you a start in an area to focus on. Are there character traits in your children (or you!) that need to be developed?
I love using For Instruction in Righteousness to help pin-point areas we need to work on and quickly find verses that speak to the heart issues. The Child Training Bible is another fantastic resource for memorizing verses for specific areas in our lives.
2. Use music and song.
We listened to a lot of bible verse music growing up, and I can STILL remember verses from Steve Green’s Hide ‘Em In Your Heart tapes and VHS (and we bought the CDs for our kids!). Music and song has a way of making things stick, and what better way to memorize Scripture than to a song?
Our favourite songs for memorizing are definitely Seeds Family Worship. We have learned many complicated verses (such as “Finally brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable”…. oh yeah, it was down in less than 4 listens!) and blessed truths about God is through these songs.
And they aren’t just “kiddish” (as my kiddos like to say). They’re actual cool-sounding, fun praise and worship songs that the whole family will enjoy!
Other great options are Rain for Roots, Scripture Lullabies Hidden In My Heart: A Lullaby Journey Through Scripture (more for babies, but we love these peaceful CDs for afternoon quiet time also!) and The Rizers. Put the music on, turn it up loud, sing, dance and learn God’s word!
3. Use stickers. Lots of stickers.
No, it’s not bribing. It’s a visual portrayal of the progress they’re making in learning the verses. Everyone can use a bit of motivation! :0)
4. Put Scripture up in your home.
We have Scripture verses everywhere! Our memory review charts, prints, Awana work, on my phone lock screen, in our journals, on the cupboard doors. Change them around often so you don’t get so used to see it, and make a point to stop and read the verses, or ask one of the kids to find a verse in the house and read it.
You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates. ~ Deuteronomy 6:9
5. Play Scripture memory….memory!
After our breakfast and bible time we review our memory verse(s) for the week. Above our kitchen table is a whiteboard which we write the current verse on. After we’ve done it a few times (the goal is at LEAST twice a day!) we start erasing words.
Seriously, this is the fastest method we’ve done yet for memorizing! We leave the rest of the verse up on the board with a line for the missing word and see who can remember the most! Often a few days into the week we have only a word or two left and the whole verse already memorized. Plus, it’s fun!
6. Don’t be afraid to tackle longer passages.
Thanks to some motivation from our co-op group, last year we memorized all of Psalm 103. That’s 22 verses! Now, it took us from June to December to do it, but what a feeling of joy when we finished! Before that the most we had done in chunks was 7 or 8 consecutive verses, so it was quite the challenge.
But using our tools above, we took it head on and the result is such a blessing.
The beauty of memorizing longer passages is that you get a much bigger picture than just taking a few verses at a time.
Seeing the grand design of God at work through the writer and events happening in the passages is eye-opening!
7. Be accountable and include others.
Oftentimes all we need (besides a good kick in the pants!) is the motivation of others memorizing with us. Encourage your friends and their families to join you, pick some verses relevant to you, or ask the kids to find passages they want to memorize.
However you do it, the important thing is that you hide the treasures of God’s word in your hearts – individually, and as a family.