By Debbie McDaniel, Crosswalk.com
One of the most powerful things we can do as parents is to teach our children God’s Word.
Yet often as adults, we may find ourselves struggling to memorize verses. Maybe we find it difficult to remember the words, or life feels full, we get busy, and it doesn’t seem that important in our day.
God reminds us over and over in the Bible how crucial it is to know the His Truth and the freedom it brings to our lives.
Through years of serving in Children’s and Family Ministry, my husband and I have heard story after story of the importance of kids learning God’s Truth from early on, and how the power of His Words will carry them through the hardest battles they may face later in life.
One mom shared this story when her grown son found himself on a real battlefield in life. He was on the front lines in a dangerous, war-torn area of the world. He saw death surround him on a daily basis. He struggled in his own fears. But he shared these powerful words with his mom who was praying for him constantly, “Mom, it’s so crazy, every time I’m there on the front lines, and I’m battling my own fear, every single verse of the Bible I learned when I was a kid comes back to my mind. Verses I haven’t even thought about in so long, they just come back. And it’s the only place where I can find real peace.”
God promises in Isaiah 55:11 that His Word will not return empty, without accomplishing great things.
He reminds us in 1 Peter 1:25 that His Word endures forever. His love letter to us will be what our children can carry with them throughout their lives, through every stage and in every battle.
Jesus Himself set the example for us in Matthew 4:1-11, by quoting Scripture in the face of temptation. God’s Truth will help us to stand strong in hard times and against the lies of the enemy.
Children are like sponges, soaking up truth and information, especially during their formative years. They want to know things, they have a lot of questions, they love to memorize, especially when we make it fun and an important part of our own lives.
Here’s a few tips that may help your family get started, or to keep going strong:
- Repetition is important. Say the verse frequently. Out loud. In different ways. Make it a game. Add music or hand motions to help them remember.
- Start small, memorize just a portion first, and then keep going. Start with just one verse a week. Then move on to the next, still reviewing the previous one too.
- Write it out. Use note cards to keep in the car or wherever you are frequently. Hang verses on the fridge or in other places around the house.
- Help your kids find the verse in their Bible. Let them highlight it or mark it in some way.
- Talk about what it really means. Give real life examples in how that verse can help us today and why it’s important in life.
- Let them see the example in you. Memorize God’s Word right along with them.
25 Verses to Memorize with Your Kids
1. God’s great love for us:
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only and only Son, that whoever believes in Him will never perish, but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.” John 3:16-17
2. Truth about sin:
“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Romans 3:23
3. The greatest gift of God:
“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 6:23
4. Christ died for us:
“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were yet still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8
5. What salvation means:
“That if you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with you heart that you believe and justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.” Romans 10:9-10
6. Truth about forgiveness:
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9
7. Assurance that God is Creator:
“In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” Genesis 1:1
8. When we feel afraid:
“When I am afraid, I will trust in you.” Psalm 56:3
9. The importance of obedience:
“Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. Honor your father and mother which is the first commandment with a promise.” Ephesians 6:1-2
10. The fruit of the Spirit:
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” Galatians 5:22-23
11. When we feel worried:
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God which transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7
12. The value of memorizing God’s words:
“I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.” Psalm 119:11
13. Assurance that God is always with us:
“Remember I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:20
14. God gives us strength:
“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13
15. Reminder that His Words and true and bring freedom:
“Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:32
16. We can be brave and courageous through Him:
“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid, do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9
17. What Jesus says are the two greatest commandments:
“Jesus replied, ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” Matthew 22:37-39
18. God gives purpose and hope in our lives:
“For I know the plans I have for you, declare the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11
19. How we should treat others:
“Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” Ephesians 4:32
20. We can trust God to always lead us:
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6
21. God is greater than anything we face:
“You dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the One who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.” 1 John 4:4
22. We never have to be afraid for He is with us:
23. We are strong in the Lord:
“Yet those who wait for the Lord will gain new strength. They will mount up with wings like eagles, they will run and not get tired, they will walk and not become faint.” Isaiah 40:31
24. We can give Him all of our cares and worries, because He cares:
“Cast all your worries on him because he cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:7
25. Jesus is the Only Way to Heaven:
“Jesus answered, ‘I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.’” John 14:6
There are so many other verses of scripture to memorize, we can’t ever get enough. Below are seven additional passages of the Bible that will help to strengthen, guide, and provide a strong foundation for spiritual growth. Over the past year, our kids have been working on memorizing these passages right along with us. Be blessed as your family hides them in their hearts.
7 Vital Passages of Scripture to Memorize:
The Lord is Our Shepherd - Psalm 23:1-6
The Armor of God – Ephesians 6:10-18
The Christmas Story – Luke 2:1-14
The Love Chapter – 1 Corinthians 13:1-13
The 10 Commandments – from Exodus 20:1-17
The Lord’s Prayer – Matthew 6:9-13
The Beatitudes from Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount – Matthew 5:3-12
Debbie McDaniel is a writer, pastor's wife, mom to three amazing kids (and a lot of pets). Join her each morning on Fresh Day Ahead's facebook page, DebbieWebbMcDaniel, for daily encouragement in living strong, free, hope-filled lives. Find her also at Twitter and Web Site.