It is my goal, not only to learn to be diligent and successful at the memorization
of scripture myself, but to encourage and teach others to do the same.
I would like to see my family and friends learn to love memorizing
scripture. I would also like
to encourage people to memorize scripture through the availability of this
Once I have built consistency into my own life, I can be free to encourage
others to do the same.
Memorizing Scripture as a Family
When I introduced the idea of memorizing scripture to my family,
they were positive about it, although my wife was concerned about how we
would find the time and energy. I think it is important to introduce good
habits to your children as early as possible. This applies to all areas
of life and learning and not only spiritual things.
Here are a few different things I have tried with my young children. You
can change your method from time to time so as to keep it interesting.
- What boy or girl does not like flashlights? We tried this for a few weeks now
and it worked very well. I got two small
photo albums which hold 36 pictures (3x6inch) and cut out some pieces
of paper and wrote a selection of Bible passages on them. Each week
or so I add another verse. I made two of these verse books because I have two children. Next I, got two little flashlights
and a couple of sticks about 3 feet long. Each night I
take one child and my wife takes the other one and we turn off the
lights, climb under the covers of their beds, prop up the stick to
make a tent and turn on the flashlights to look at our verses. They think it is great
fun and are paying attention. Most important, they are focused long enough
to actually memorize the verses. When they have reviewed a verse so many times
that I am sure they know it, I move it over to a new booklet for weekly review, which
we are currently looking at on Saturdays.
- I am sure that you teach your children that it is important to eat food and
drink water every day to remain healthy. No child will fail to
understand this. Similarly, it is easy to teach your Children that it is
important to wash every day, brush your teeth and to get enough sleep.
Don't forget to tell your children that it is important to study God's words a
little bit each day too! Teach him/her right from the start that
the Christian disciplines are as important (if not more) than the physical
- Do you drive your children to school each morning? Why not take
advantage of a captive audience. Make a habit. Each morning starting
when you back out of the driveway to spend 10 minutes reviewing verses.
This may be a good opportunity to take a favorite chapter or two and work
Try to be creative with your teaching.
"These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your
hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at
home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you
get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your
foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on
Teaching of spiritual values should follow two rules:
- Be a model of what you want your Children to be. "These
commandments that I give you today are to be upon your
- Teach them in the
context of everyday life.
For example, here is something that I am working on. My son is
interested in playing hockey. One of the important things is to be in
good physical condition. We are trying to get into the habit of doing
push ups each morning. This increases the strength of the upper
body and assists in more powerful shots with the puck.
I put up a chart on his bedroom wall. The chart is 50 squares
high (number of pushups) by 250 squares long (days of the
year). Each day we put a dot indicating the number of pushups we
did. If we did not do any for that day, we do not put a dot.
Over time, we can see a graph developing (or not). On the top of the
graph I have printed the following verse:
1 Timothy 4:8 For
physical training is of some value, but godliness
for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life
As time goes by we occasionally forget all about doing pushups, even
for a few weeks. Then we would get back to it. This tool
serves several purposes:
- An aid to encourage us to do the pushups.
- A visual teaching aid to see what we could have accomplished if we
had discipline compared with what we actually did do.
- A teaching aid to compare physical training and spiritual
growth. Spiritual growth is a slow process over time, but you
can stay still or even go backwards if you neglect your spiritual
disciplines for a season.
As time goes on we can learn a lot from this exercise, and every week
or so, you can spend a few moments talking about these things:
- That if you work at something a little each day, you will
accomplish a lot.
- That spiritual growth is similar and as important to physical
- That if you lack discipline that you accomplish less than you
could if you did have discipline.
- How many pushups could we be doing today if we did not forget to
do them each day for the last six weeks? (How many verses
would we know now if we did not forget to do them each day has we
have during the last six weeks?)
- Get into the routine that at certain points of the day everybody (including
Mom and Dad) quotes one scripture verse from memory. A lot can be
accomplished if you do little tiny bits here and there. The important thing is
to make it a habit.
- I put a dry erase board on the wall in the Children's bedrooms. I have
mounted 7 watt night lights around the frame to illuminate the board. I
have run a wire and mounted an electrical switch to the wall near the floor by
the bed. (Do not try this at home unless you have a good sense of how to
hook up electrical wires safely). When my son is trying to fall asleep
or wakes up early, he can reach over and turn on the light for a few minutes
and read and try to learn the verse of the week. He thinks it is fun and
the word of God is becoming part of his everyday life.
Be creative, make it fun ...
At this point I would like to ask you to share with me your experiences with
scripture memory and your family. Send
me an Email
and tell me about the tools and routines you use. What do you do to motivate your
children? Do they actually want to do it? How do you teach them about the importance
of spending time at memorizing scripture? How do they respond? What works and what does not
work? Tell me what you have learned so that I can use this knowledge myself and then add it
to this web site so others will know too.
Memorizing Scripture and your Small Group
Many Christians meet regularly in small groups for fellowship and Bible
study. It is very hard to keep to a scripture memory routine if you are
working at it alone. But, if you are a member of a small group which has
similar interests, you can support and encourage each other. It may be of
value for the group leaders to encourage the members to dedicate some time
each day to memorizing and reviewing scripture. You probably
would not want to do much with scripture memory at the actual group meetings
because of the amount of time it would take. But each member could have a
buddy whom he/she meets with at different times during the month so they
can discuss how to best memorize scripture, to review verses and
to encourage each another to be steady.
Give me your feedback.
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Copyright (c) 1997-2004 Stephen Simpson. All
rights reserved. You may use the material on these pages freely,
but it may not be sold under any circumstances whatsoever.
Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL
Copyright (c) 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. Used by
permission of Zondervan Bible Publishers