Last week I shared tips for helping our children memorize Scripture. I had quite a few questions about choosing Bible verses, so I thought I would write a follow-up post to better answer those questions.
First, I must say that there isn’t any “right” way to memorize Scripture–or even “right” Bible verses for that matter. Any verses from the sixty-six books of the Bible that your child memorizes will be beneficial because it is the Word of God. Also, I believe that it is perfectly okay to use a portion of a verse for younger children as long as you are using it in the correct context of the full verse and passage. And I do have my daughter memorize the reference (or “address”) of the memory verses. We usually quote them at the beginning and end of each recitation since they are usually the most difficult part to remember. With that being said, here’s some help for choosing appropriate memory verses for little ones…
3 Tips for Choosing Bible Verses for Memorization
1. Consider Godly Character Traits. This is an especially good place to start for toddlers and preschoolers because they can easily see how the verses can be applied to their lives. For example, my daughter is currently working on Proverbs 17:22 to help her with the “terrible twos” attitude she has been getting when she doesn’t get her way. I am able to use the verse as a reminder to have a “merry heart” when she begins to pout. While it doesn’t always keep her from throwing fits, I know that I am planting seeds of Truth in her heart when we quote it. Determine character traits that you wish your child to demonstrate and find a verse (or verses) that will encourage them in that area. I find using a Bible Concordance to be helpful. When doing this, always be sure you are using verses in the correct context. Don’t just pull out a verse because it sounds good. You want to be sure that you are correctly handling the Word of God (2 Timothy 2:15). If the verse is in the correct context, when the child is older and reading the entire passage he will be able to grasp a fuller understanding and see how the verse works in a relation to the entire Bible.
2. Study Doctrinal Truths. There are specific doctrines that are essential to the Christian faith that our children must begin to understand in order to make a decision to follow Christ. Concepts like the love of God, the fall of man, salvation, grace, etc. are all wonderful places to start. (Claire’s first memory verse was “God is love” from 1 John 4:8). Verses like John 3:16 or Ephesians 2:-9 are good ones also. Another great place to start for preschoolers and older children could be the verses used in the Romans Road or some other evangelism tool. Which brings us to our final tip…
3. Use a Memory Verse System. If picking verses at random is not your style, there are several resources that you can use to aid your child’s Scripture memory journey. I find that when I get stuck on what verse my daughter should memorize next I often just need some guidance. I have used (or plan to use) most of the resources listed below. I hope you will be able to find something that will be helpful to you and your children as well.
Are you excited about helping your child memorize Scripture now? I sure hope so! I would love to read about any tips that you use. Please leave a comment below!
How do you choose memory verses for your children?