Psalm 119:11 “Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.”
Psalm 119:9 “Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto
according to thy word.”
I was saved at the age of 14 while attending a Christian school. This Christian school in Georgia included Bible memory with our daily schoolwork. We had to memorize multiple verses through our ACE curriculum as well as specific passages the Christian school added on. That first year I was saved, we were memorizing the entire book of James. I loved it! I still have it completely memorized to this day! Since those precious days, I still regularly keep up on memorizing fresh Bible verses. The result has yielded thousands of verses and even entire books of the Bible. More than that: the Scriptures kept this young man clean and from sin just like our text passages reveal.
To this day, my wife and I train our children in Bible memorization. At the time of this writing (2017), they already can quote a couple hundred! You should do the same for your kids. The Bible is one of your most potent weapons in protecting your offspring and empowering them against our enemies. However, before you stress Bible memory to your kids, you need to do the same. Do not make excuses about lack of time or old age or lack of memory. When I started memorizing Scripture, it is true that I literally had a picture perfect memory. My goal was to memorize all of Proverbs, Psalms, and John. The ACE program awarded students a golden apple for Proverbs, a golden harp for Psalms, and a golden lamb for John. I didn’t make the quota in time to receive the awards. Now, though, my memory has been ruined by the brain infection I received in 2011. One moment I can remember, the next I cannot. Yet, I still “hide” God’s Word in my heart, regularly memorizing God’s Word. You need to memorize God’s Word as well, dear parent.
While you are busy memorizing Scripture, start training your children as well. Of course, many Sunday schools, children’s churches, and Christian school material give Bible verses for your kids to learn, but you are the key. Here is an idea we incorporate. Maybe it can stir some ideas for how you can train your children to memorize Scripture.
- – We gave each of our kids an index card file (or a small recipe box) to hold 3×5 cards.
- – Each week the kids are required by the end of the school week (Friday) to have written down at least one new Bible verse. You as the parent then set a time and day each week in which the kids can quote Bible verses to you. (By the way, as they get better at memorizing Scripture, you may want to set a time limit. If you don’t, you could spend your entire day listening to Bible verses!)
- – As an incentive, give the kids a reward of some sort. God’s rewards are huge incentives for His children as well! At the time of this writing, we give a penny for each verse quoted correctly. (Our children are still young. And we’re not rich!:) Maybe you could give an M&M for each verse. Whatever works for your time and budget.
- – Make sure, though, to only accept correctly quoted Scripture, to do it regularly every week (inconsistency is destructive), and to reward each verse quoted. The passion for memorizing God’s Word starts with you, parents! Train your kids right.