I was blessed to grow up memorizing Bible verses at home, at church, and at my Christian school. I am amazed by how many of them I can still recall easily – and how difficult it is for me to memorize Scripture now at my more advanced age 🙂
One of my deepest desires as a mother is to encourage my children to hide God’s Word in their hearts. When temptation comes, they’re ready to fight it with Scripture. As they walk through trials, comfort and peace can be found at a moment’s notice as they bring passages from Psalms and other books to mind.
And it’s never too early to start! Even very young children can memorize simple Bible verses that have eternal truths in them.
Here are ten ideas we can use as we help our children memorize Scripture.
1. Read the Bible verse aloud to your child.
Choose verses based on the age of your child. Make sure to include the reference of the verse so that in the future they can find it in the Bible themselves.
2. Explain the definition of any unfamiliar words and discuss the meaning of the passage.
We want our children to know the exact words, but it’s just as important that they understand what the verse means.
3. Break the verse down into shorter phrases that are easy to remember.
Or you might want to work on a passage – like Psalm 23 or Psalm 100. Just take it a verse at a time; add on as they master one section.
4. Have your child repeat the phrases after you several times.
You know the saying – repetition is the key to learning… or some say to success. Either applies here!
5. Make up a tune to go with the words of the verse.
Make up your own tune or find a familiar children’s song – say Row, Row, Row Your Boat or Mary Had a Little Lamb – that fits the verse and put the words to it.
6. Schedule several times throughout the day to practice the verse.
Tie this to something you already do daily. For example, every time you sit down to eat at the table or any time you get in the car and buckle up, say the verse together.
7. Put motions with the words.
You can include simple gestures like pointing up to heaven when saying “God” or “Lord” or moving your feet for the word “walk.” I use this almost every week with the kids I work with at our church. Often we’ll talk through the verse and I’ll let them decide what motions they want to use.
An alternative would be to draw pictures to represent key words in the verse and use those as you practice it.
8. Record the verse in a media format and play it back so your child can listen to it.
Back in my day, this would have been a cassette tape 🙂 but nowadays, you have lots of options!
9. Make a video of your child (or you) reading the verse, then have them watch it back while saying the words along with the recording.
You could do this on your phone, tablet, or laptop.
10. Use memory games to help reinforce the verse.
Write words or phrases on two sets of 3×5 cards, turn them face down, and play a traditional memory matching game with them. Take one of the sets of cards, mix them up, and have your child arrange them in the correct order.
Or take turns with your child saying a word from the verse until you get to the end. And one other idea – write the verse on a small whiteboard, then erase a few words and see if your child can quote the verse, including the missing words.
What are other ways we can help our children learn the Bible? Do you have any suggestions for making Bible memory a part of your day? What are some favorite passages that your children have learned? I’d love to hear your ideas!
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