Over the summer, I began giving Elijah some Bible verses to memorize. I tried to have a new one picked out for him every Monday morning, and then we would go over it throughout the week. If he could say it by himself without help on Sunday, then he earned a dollar toward his King’s Island fund.
It only took the first couple of days of going over the first verse for me to realize that Josiah was not going to be left out of this. He wanted his turn to repeat the words after Mommy. That was fine with me. Whether he could really remember them or completely understand them, he would be learning God’s Word. I searched for the most kid-friendly translations, and we always talked about the verses as we learned them.
Elijah memorized them easily and eagerly, but Josiah’s determination to learn them really surprised and delighted me.
Some of the verses we studied were John 3:16 (of course), Proverbs 1:7, Philippians 2:14 & 4:13, Luke 6:31, and Colossians 3:20 & 3:23.
One day during breakfast, as we were going over our verse for that week, which was Colossians 3:20, I recorded Josiah working on his verse. Here it is:
For just over 2, he was doing a really great job, but did you hear what he said at the end?
“Now yours turn.”
Most people probably equate Memory Verses with Sunday school or Children’s Church, and thus, children. However, we are reminded continually throughout scripture of the importance of knowing God’s Word, of having it before us, around us, and in us. (Deuteronomy 6:6-9, for example).
Josiah’s words challenged me. I was teaching scriptures to them and remembering those verses as I taught them, but when was the last time I had purposely set out to memorize God’s Word for myself?
Having been in church all my life and having attended a Christian school from 6th grade through 9th grade, I’ve had plenty of Memory Verses, whole chapters of Psalms, and even the Lord’s Prayer in Spanish (Thank you, Mrs. Bolds). Then, of course, teaching children for several years means that I’ve helped them learn many of the same verses I learned.
So, I know some scripture. But I definitely don’t know it all.
Now I understand that some people just aren’t good at memorizing. Some people can remember the words, but not always the reference (I’m there often).
However, having even a basic familiarity with what God has said makes it so much easier to find those Words when you need direction, encouragement, or even correction.
I don’t think God is looking so much for us to be able to perfectly recite the entire Bible, but He wants us to WANT to know it. To NEED to know it.
If we are serious to know His Word and do our best to study it, then He’ll help us recall what we need to when we need it.
Sometimes we just need a little reminder of all we need to remember.
“Your word I have hidden in my heart that I might not sin against You.” – Psalm 119:11
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My parents say they weren’t sure at what age kids were ready to start spiritual habits like memorization, so they started when we could (and did) imitate things they said. I am so grateful they did because the habit and some of those verses have stuck with me for 30 years and counting!
Exactly, Abby! I figure if Josiah wants to learn, we’ll encourage it. 🙂
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