One of my favorite things growing up in church was the memory verse treasure box. You know what I’m talking about, don’t you? Every Sunday I looked forward to going to children’s church. While all the kids got settled in their seats, one of the youth helpers would listen to those of us who’d worked to memorize verses:
For God so loved the world . . .
Seek ye first . . .
Beloved, let us love one another . . .
I worked hard memorizing verses as a kid, and the reason I did it was for the prize. Yep, that’s the truth. Gum balls, plastic rings, stickers. Those things are long gone, but the words . . . the WORD remains.
During our homeschooling years, memorizing Scripture verses was part of my kids’ curriculum. Throughout the years, they memorized Psalm 100, Genesis 1, and numerous other verses. We’d practice most mornings, and as my children worked on their memory verses I was blessed to learn alongside them.
Recently, I wrote about memorizing Scripture on a guest blog post, and I was surprised by Christian parents who commented that knowing about Scripture is good enough. They don’t spend time working with their kids to memorize verses. Isn’t there enough to do in life without adding another thing?
Yes, life is busy. And, yes, it is important for children to understand the Bible as a whole. They do need to understand what the Bible is about and the message of Christ’s redemptive plan that runs throughout. We don’t want kids memorizing the Bible just for memorization sake . . . or do we?
Even though I memorized verses as a child just for the prizes, something amazing happened inside of me. God’s Word was hidden in my heart. (I think that’s what my children’s church teacher had up her sleeve all along.)
Those words have be there as a lifeline through the years.
There were times I was really worried, and the words came back to me:
Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. Matthew 6:24
All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. Psalm 139:16
OK, the truth is that at forty years old, I don’t always remember the verses word-for-word, but I do remember most of the words . . . and the message. I also know where to look (in general) to find the verse again.
So how can we sum this up?
Your kids might learn Scripture verses to earn candy bars and camping trips. These rewards won’t last long, but the reward of knowing God’s Word will last forever.
The older you are the harder it is to memorize, so start young with your kids! Learn alongside them.
Even if you are “older” (like me!) you can still memorize verses. It takes longer, but it does work. I write out verses I want to work on and keep them around the house. One great place to keep them is in my bathroom. I review the verses while I blow dry my hair.
Finally, remember that time spent in God’s Word is NEVER a waste. As Isaiah 55:10–11 says:
“The rain and snow come down from the heavens and stay on the ground to water the earth. They cause the grain to grow, producing seed for the farmer and bread for the hungry. It is the same with my word. I send it out, and it always produces fruit. It will accomplish all I want it to, and it will prosper everywhere I send it.”
Hey, those are great verses. I think I might try to memorize them. 🙂