Why Memorize Scripture?
By Jenna Townson
What song do you have stuck in your head this week? I marvel at what I can remember. Words from a song I haven’t heard in years can easily come to me when I hear its tune. I wish I could remember other things that easily. Especially important things—things that give me direction, comfort, purpose, and hope. I’m talking about God’s Word. Now that’s the most helpful thing to remember. What about the kids in your life? What do they easily remember? You can equip them with the greatest tool for living—knowing and remembering God’s Word.
Of course, we want kids to read God’s Word every day, but it can be hard for kids to remember anything they read that day. However, as kids memorize God’s Word, they store up God’s wisdom and guidance in their hearts. God uses this truth to help them become more like Him in their daily lives. But kids don’t always see the point of memorizing Bible verses, so they might not be motivated to make scripture memory a habit.
Here are three important truths to teach kids why we want to memorize God’s Word.
First, God’s Word is always true. Our world constantly changes—from fashion trends to technological advancements, to family dynamics. Even social standards of right and wrong seem fluid. But whatever changes are going on in the lives of kids, they can be comforted knowing God’s Word is true and never changes! Remind kids that even though the Bible was written a long time ago, it was written by God, who made the world and knows everything—including what is best for them.
Second, memorizing the Bible helps us understand God’s will for us. Here’s an activity you can do with kids to help them visualize how having God’s Word in our hearts affects everything else. Have kids draw a heart and write inside the heart the things that are important to them. Some examples might be “mom and dad”, “brothers and sisters” or “my pets.” Have them leave room at the top of their heart.
Explain to kids that their heart is the part of them that thinks, feels, and makes choices. Explain that the things they wrote in their heart may all be good, but we might not love them well or we might get them out of order as to which is more important. Now, have the kids put God and the Bible in the top of the heart. Explain that loving God and what He tells us in the Bible more than loving anyone or anything else, actually helps us love everything else in the best way.
God cares about what’s in their hearts and minds. He knows about the different things trying to grab their attention and their love. He knows that His Word is the best thing to fill their heart. Memorizing the Bible helps us understand God’s will for us.
Third, the Bible relates to their daily life. Use verses to give examples—like dealing with bullies, being kind, or being obedient to parents. Explain that remembering God’s Word can change how they react in these different situations. It can help them be kind or keep them from sinning. Help kids find a verse that talks about something they’re struggling with or something that is important to them. For example, when they’re struggling to be kind to someone, you can bring them to Ephesians 4:32. Ask kids open-ended questions like “how can remembering this verse help you be kind to someone?”
Another great way to help kids see how Scripture relates to daily life is to share your own experience! Tell the kids about a time when remembering a Bible verse helped you make a good choice or comforted you.
Our next episode is about fun ways to memorize Scripture. Although it helps to motivate kids by making things fun or with rewards, not all important things in life can be fun or have immediate rewards, so we want to try to motivate them with today’s reasons; God’s Word is true, God’s Word helps us understand His will, and God’s Word helps us in everyday life. It can’t do those things in our lives if we don’t know it, and the only way to truly know it is to memorize it.
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