Most Christian parents want their children to grow up knowing and memorizing Scripture. We believe it is a good thing. We just tend not to do it. It falls on the “good intentions” list. This post cannot give you the will to follow through on good intentions. Hopefully, what it will do is give you a clear enough plan to motivate you to begin and thorough enough to keep you going.
I would advise that you begin by memorizing three passages as a family: John 3:16, Matthew 22:37-40, and Matthew 28:18-20. Memorizing them “as a family” means parents too. I would recommend that parents memorize the passages first, so that you teach and rehearse verses conversationally rather than from a piece of paper.
If you already know the passage, you are modeling how important Bible memorization really is. It is a contradiction to say “It is important to memorize Scripture” and then not know (or at least participate) in the memorization.
These three verses will provide the major headings for all future Scripture memorization.
1. Who is God? “For God so loved the world”
2. Why did Jesus come? “that he sent His only Son that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life”
3. Who Are We?
A. Worshippers “Love God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength”
B. Servants “Love your neighbor as yourself”
C. Evangelists “Go and make disciples of all nations”
D. Disciples “teaching them to observe all I have commanded you”
Once you have memorized these three passages as a family, have a family conversation where you assess your family’s strengths and weaknesses (as individuals and as a group). Parents should participate in this conversation (not just lead it). By talking about where we need to grow in the main things God has called us to do, we are modeling humility.
Make a list of growth areas for the family and each member of the family (this is an immensely helpful thing to do if you intend to be a family that grows in Christ-likeness). Use a concordance, Bible promise book, or The Quick Scripture Reference for Counseling to find passages that address these areas. When the family memorizes a new verse discuss both the big question this verse addresses and the family/individual growth desired from this passage.
As you learn a new verse review the verses that also answer the same big question or have been memorized to help the same person (if the “apple doesn’t fall far from the tree” the same verse may apply to areas of character in multiple members of the family”). Discuss how the verses on the same big question inter-relate, how you have seen growth in that person’s life, or ways members of the family could apply that verse.
It might be helpful to make a chart with the big questions and family member’s names. In the blank boxes you would list the growth area and relevant Bible passage.
|Child 1||Child 2||Family as Whole|
|Who is God?|
|Why did Jesus Come?|
|Who are we? Worshippers|
|Who are we? Servants|
|Who are we? Evangelists|
|Who are we? Disciples|
By doing this you are teaching your children to see the “big picture” of Scripture, helping your children see the relevance of Scripture for daily life, and training your children to apply Scripture to the real challenges they face.
If this post was beneficial for you, then considering reading other blogs from my “Favorite Posts on Parenting” post which address other facets of this subject.