I was having some major mom guilt. I was kicking myself all over the place because I felt like I was failing as a mom when it came to teaching my girls scripture. This has been one of those things that I knew I wanted to do, and knew was important, but I just couldn’t wrap my head around an easy and fun way to do it. So I did nothing. Until recently.
I thought I’d share what I did. By the way, it’s working:
I started by making a list of favorite verses. Knowing that I would be challenging the girls to memorize them, I started with shorter ones, or verses that we say around the house a lot. I wanted to set them up for success to keep them motivated when it got a little more challenging.
After I had a list of eight to ten verses, I printed them off, cut them apart, and pasted them onto pretty colored paper. Then I glued magnets on the back so they would stick to the refrigerator. My next job was to get the girls excited about it. I needed to remember that MY attitude is everything! If I acted like it was a chore, then it was going to feel like a chore. I found that if you show your kids that scripture memorization can be fun, then guess what? It’s going to be fun!
Next, I presented my pretty paper verses to the girls and told them that we were all going to participate in a family challenge. Never once did I make this only about them. I explained that “I” wanted to learn more scripture and so did their Dad, and I thought it would be fun if we all did it together!
You know your own kids and what makes them tick. For me, if I involve the whole family and not single them out when it comes to things like this, they seem to be more willing to participate. It’s about creating a culture in your home where everyone is learning and working on growing their faith. When your kids see you do it, they model what they see.
I began by choosing a short scripture that I knew they already had down. (I know, that seems a bit like cheating, but there’s a method to my madness. Keep reading.) I put the verse on the refrigerator and during breakfast I enthusiastically said we were going to start learning it. I spent a maximum of 3 minutes on it. We each said the verse, then said it together, and I tried to make it as fun as possible. Oohh…I may have done a little goofy dance to go along with it. Then I left it alone! The next morning, I brought it up again at breakfast, and we repeated what we did the previous day. Thirty seconds, that was it.
I revisited that verse a few more times, but not everyday. Because they already knew that verse pretty well (my sneaky plan), they felt confident moving onto another one. I really feel that this early success was helpful in the longevity of my plan.
Once we all celebrated that the ENTIRE family had learned it, then I added another one to the fridge. I made sure to keep the first one up to show the progression knowing that as the list grew, so would their confidence in their ability to do this.
Over the course of a few months we continued to memorize more verses. I purposely picked verses that I knew would be helpful to them and might meet them where they were in their lives. For example, knowing that one, or both of them, occasionally get a little freaked out over what might be lurking under the bed, we learned a verse about fear. Then I could strategically pull out one of those verses, in that exact moment, and show them how it could apply to whatever situation they were going through! Score! Real time application, check!
I also began taking longer passages and breaking them up into smaller sections. As we all learned each small chunk, I began putting them together. The girls were amazed that they could recite larger sections of scripture. Again, that feeling of accomplishment and success is what kept them motivated!
Proverbs 6:20-22 says, “My son, keep your father’s command and do not forsake your mother’s teaching. Bind them always on your heart; fasten 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.”
Psalm 199:105 says, “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.”
Give your kids the ammunition they need to fight the battles that will come in their lives. Scripture is the living breathing word of God and will enrich, encourage, and protect them wherever they go.
We as parents would never let them leave the house in the dead of winter without a coat, right? Why would we let them go out into the world without the protection and guidance that God’s word provides.
Helping to bind His words on their hearts is not hard. A little paper, glue, and 30 seconds every now and then over breakfast will give them a lifetime of blessing.
If you’d like to know which scriptures we started with, here is the list:
2. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:7
3. Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable-if anything is excellent or praiseworthy-think about such things. Philippians 4:8
4. Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. John 14:6
5. For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. I Timothy 1:7 NKJV
6. Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:5-6
7. Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord. Colossians 3:20
8. Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path. Psalm 119:105
9. For I know the plans I have for you, “declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11
10. But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. Isaiah 40:31