I have vivid childhood memories of memorizing Bible verses for Vacation Bible School.
I knew we received prizes for memorizing verses, but I never knew there might be other reasons to memorize Scripture. It wasn't until I got to college that I realized there were other benefits to memorizing passages of the Bible.
What about you? Did you have this same experience?
What is your children's experience? Do they memorize Scripture on a regular basis? Do they know the why behind memorizing?
There are many reasons why we should memorize Scripture. It's really one of the best things we can do for our spiritual health.
Why Memorize Scripture with Your Children
1) It is a blessing to us!
Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night. Psalm 1: 1-2
When we memorize a passage, we are essentially meditating on God's Word. I don't mean this in an Eastern religion, transcendental sort of way. What I mean by meditating is pondering, dwelling on a passage, or thinking only about the meaning of the passage. When we memorize Scripture, it fills our thoughts. The words are considered as we put them into our long-term memory. We are letting our hearts consider their meaning.
When we meditate on His law day and night it becomes a part of us. It influences our behavior, and we become more like Jesus.
2) God's Word changes us.
I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you. Psalm 119:11
The first time I remember watching God's Word change my children's hearts and behavior was while we were memorizing a Bible verse together. Whenever we memorize a new verse or passage, I always start by talking with them about the meaning of the verse. We were memorizing Proverbs 20:11a: “Even a child makes himself known by his actions.” We talked about how we form opinions about others and how a person's behavior teaches us about him. I can remember the expression on my son's face when this verse came to him after treating his sister badly. “Is that how you want her to think of you, as the person who is mean?”
His heart changed a little bit that day. We talked about it and recited the verse together once again. Storing God's Word in his heart had taught my son how to keep from sin.
3) It arms us with Scripture when we do not have a print Bible available.
Bind them on your heart always; tie them around your neck. When you walk, they will lead you; when you lie down, they will watch over you; and when you awake, they will talk with you. Proverbs 6:21-22
I've always wondered what would happen if I were a missionary who was imprisoned, or if a catastrophic event happened that claimed all available Bibles. Would I remember God's Word?
I recently had a sudden illness that required emergency surgery to save my life. The surgery was major abdominal surgery that required a 16-inch incision. Needless to say, it was very difficult to move afterward. I had my tablet with a Bible app available to me, but there really was no position that I could use it in that did not cause me pain. I found that God's Word still encouraged me, even though I did not read it or have my husband read it to me. Thankfully, enough Scripture had been “bound on my heart” to help and encourage me in those very scary, difficult moments. God is always so good to us, isn't He?
This list is not exhaustive. There are so many more reasons why we should memorize Scripture. But the main point of all the possible reasons is this:
It is good for us. And it is good for our children.
If you'd like more scripture references about hiding the Word in your heart, I found many at OpenBible.
Next time I'll be sharing some practical helps for memorizing Scripture with your children – things we have used in our house with many different ages.