Here are four top reasons to encourage children to memorize Scripture:
1. Children have amazing memories.
Children memorize easily. In fact, they often memorize effortlessly. Since memorization is so easy for them, they are memorizing constantly. They will memorize either what the world has to offer them or what we have to offer them. Why not take advantage of this God-given gift for the benefit of our children’s spiritual growth? This “window of opportunity” is open for about twelve years. After age twelve, memorization is harder — unless a child has been trained in the habit of memorization.
2. What is learned in childhood is often retained for a lifetime.
It is so much harder for adults to memorize Scripture than children. We often feel handicapped because we do not have more Scripture memorized. For many adults, the verses they know well (those which come to mind as an automatic response) are verses learned in childhood. So seize the moment!
3. Memorizing Scripture provides children with an ever-present counselor and protector.
We cannot always be with our children. If the word of God dwells richly in them, they have wise counsel with them at all times. In addition, God’s word is so much more powerful than our words; it will protect them from the attack of the enemy.
4. Memorizing Scripture makes application and response to the word more likely.
Situations arise in all of our lives which either demonstrate a spiritual truth or demand a word of Biblical counsel (e.g. What do you do when someone speaks harshly to you?) Often in those situations, the Holy Spirit brings to mind a verse you have memorized. (e.g. “A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” Proverbs 15:1). This is less likely to happen when we have memorized only a few verses. When we recognize a Biblical truth demonstrated in a situation, it is often impressed on our hearts, and a heartfelt godly response is more likely to occur. That response can come in the form of appropriate behavior, correct attitudes, or in worship of God as we are awed with the truth of his word.
What does it take to get children to memorize? Children learn by example, by watching you. To encourage your children to memorize Scripture, as parents and teachers you must model what what you want them to learn, value it and do it alongside your children.
A key factor in making Bible memorization easier is starting at a very young age. Young children’s minds are not cluttered and it is very easy for them to memorize anything. Often they memorize entire books that have been read to them only a few times. If the habit of memorization is started at a young age, it will become as regular in our children's lives as brushing teeth or making the bed. Once it is established as part of the routine of life, the habit will likely last a lifetime.
Foundation Verses are a key set of verses for you to help your young children start memorizing. These 76 verses are foundational to a life of faith. Fighter Verses will prepare your family to fight the fight of faith and are ideal for adult and children first grade and up to memorize together. There are also many other Fighter Verses resources to equip and encourage your family to memorize together including a coloring book, verse packs, the app, incentives and verses set to music.
Praying for and with your children about memorizing Scripture is one of the greatest things you can do. In Deuteronomy 6:6-7, the Lord declares that “These words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.” If the Lord calls us to teach his Word to our children, we can be assured that he will hear us when we seek his help in memorizing.