Colorful leaves covering the ground. A crisp chill in the air. As we look around, we know that fall is upon us. And once fall, then Thanksgiving and Christmas are right around the corner. While the holiday festivities keep our evenings busy, as moms we know that the onset of cold and snow means long hours stuck indoors, trying to keep our sanity. One thing I have found incredibly rewarding in such housebound days is to memorize larger portions of Scripture with my kids. What better time to start than when the days are cold, keeping you inside?
Memorizing the Bible is always something I have every intention to do, but the reality is I just don’t get around to it. I know it is good and profitable. There are countless verses I can call to mind to show just how important a practice it is.
Psalms 119:11 I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.
2 Timothy 3:16 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness.
Matthew 4:4 But he answered, “It is written, “‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”
While I know these things to be true, I’ve always found that unless I have someone holding me accountable, I just don’t make it a priority.
Cue the kids.
Telling young children you’re going to do something is a great way to keep yourself accountable. They never forget. It goes into their little brains and is locked up in what seems like a vault of things they remember you said you’d do. While this might be inconvenient in some situations, it also can be really helpful. No more “forgetting.” They will leave you with no excuse.
I am constantly amazed at the things my children can do if they are given the opportunity to rise to the occasion. They might be young, but their ability to memorize is great. They can learn, retain and repeat at an incredible rate. We just finished memorizing 1 Corinthians 13, because my girls seemed to be in need of constant reminder as to what love is. The passage is 13 verses and not a small task, but my 4, 3, and (to the extent that she can talk) 2-year-old were able to do it and yours can too.
My children have not just been able to memorize large chunks of scripture, but they love doing it. They are the ones who beg me each day to “work on our verses.” They giggle as we do the hand motions we’ve assigned to different portions and as we use the different voices that seem to fit the tone of the verses. Repetition for them (and myself) is key. We start with one verse, or maybe one portion of a verse and say it over and over and over again. We don’t bite off more than we can handle, each day we add a little bit more. At the end of each day we have a little bit more of the Bible memorized than we had before. So, if it takes you three months to memorize the passage you selected, great. That is three months spent meditating to the Word of God. Three months spent hiding His Word in your hearts. Then your children can call those verses to mind in a time of need. They will be their sword in fighting their sin. They will know to say, “No I shouldn’t have said that, because love does NOT boast.”
If you are looking for a place to start as we are beginning to come to this holiday season, I would suggest Luke 2:1-20. I remember memorizing it as a child, and each year I come back to it with my own children. It is a great way to bring their focus to the reason we celebrate and what we have to be thankful for. And as you memorize and repeat the story of Jesus’ birth together, it makes that whole event come alive in a new way.