Here are a few thoughts that I had on memorizing Scripture with children. I have three boys of my own (with another on the way) and my oldest is getting to the age where he can begin to memorize Bible verses.
- Make it a daily routine. The way to memorize Scripture is to do it daily. Go over the verse a couple of times each day, at the same time. You can do it at dinner, before school, or at night before bed. The idea is to be consistent.
- Choose appropriate verses for your child's age. While all verses in the Bible are inspired by God (2 Timothy 3:16), not all of them are necessarily age-appropriate for your child. I would recommend start with John 3:16, Genesis 1:1, John 1:1, or Romans 3:23. As your child progresses and learns some verses, gradually increase the difficulty of the verse.
- Make learning the verse fun. If you can, try to make learning the verse an enjoyable experience. It should not be a chore. When I was in Sunday School, we would often do an activity where the teacher would write the verse on the board, then gradually remove words until the entire verse was gone. You can also try to turn it into a song or add motions to the verse. Doing this will help your child retain the verse long after you have moved to a new verse. I actually still remember 1 John 4:7-8 and most of 2 Timothy 2:15 because of songs I sang as a little kid (Awana, anyone?)
- Memorize Scripture yourself. One of the most awesome privileges of being a parent is the fact that our children want to do everything we do. My little boys pretend to shave when they are in the tub because they have seen me shaving in the morning. If we want our children to love memorizing Scripture, they need to see us doing it as well. Make it a part of your daily life. If you memorize one verse a week, you will have learned 52 verses in one year. Imagine the impact that doing something as simple as one verse per week can have on your walk with God.
I am sure that I am missing some tips, so if you can think of something or want to share what you do to teach your children Scripture, please add your tips below.
What are you doing to teach your children (or yourself) Scripture?