If you’re happy and you know it, clap your hands…. The itsy bitsy spider goes up the water spout…. Pat-a-cake, pat-a-cake, baker’s man…. One, two, buckle my shoe….
We all know those familiar words by heart, don’t we?? From when we were tiny babes, our parents clapped and smiled as they repeated rhymes and songs over and over again until we knew them, too. So well, in fact, that we can still pull them from memory at the drop of a hat.
What about Bible verses? Are we able to recite them as easily? Are we teaching them to our children?
Our greatest joy and responsibility as Christian parents is to share the love of God and His precious Word with the ones we've been entrusted with!
Let the Word of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. ~Colossians 3:16
Memorized Scripture is yours! It is yours even without a Bible in your hands. It is on your heart and mind and cannot be taken from you. It is yours to keep and to use for comfort and growth and for battle. It's yours to share as encouragement for others. It's yours to chew on and let sink deep in your heart. It's your Truth and a Lamp in the darkness and the Love letter in your pocket.
No rhyme or song is more important than that. Not even close!
As a mama, I struggled at first to find the "best" method to help my son memorize Bible verses. Do you want to know what I've found to be the golden ticket??
My little guy has been able to put to memory many Bible passages simply by incorporating hand motions with the words of each verse. It's been a game changer!
Here's a short clip of my sweet kiddo saying John 3:16 by heart ::
Three cheers for hand motions!
A few thoughts: Keep it simple - No need to go crazy thinking of the perfect actions! Or using too many. Each motion should simply match up with an important word or phrase in the passage. Have fun - Learning God's Word is a joy! Smile and be enthusiastic. Allow your child to come up with some of the movements for each verse. But don't let it be a distraction - Hand motions are a tool to aid in the goal of memorizing Scripture, obviously not the main focus. If things get too crazy, then take a break or come up with a different plan. Be consistent - Try to keep them same motions for certain words. Many can be used again and again! If you cross your arms over your chest for the word "loved" in John 3:16, then do the same action when you memorize other passages that include "love". This will also help kiddos to relate the passage they're working on with other ones they have learned. Run with it - This technique can be also used for memorizing hymn stanzas, the 10 Commandments, and parts of the Catechism. Not sure what to memorize first? - Just start! Teach your favorite Bible verse. Open the Bible to a page and pick a passage. Pick a passage that applies to a struggle your kiddo has been dealing with. Flip to your favorite book and begin there. Ask your spouse or your mom or a friend. Google "Bible Passages to Memorize List". There's no "right" place to begin! Add a tune - If coming up with a simple melody to go along with the words and motions helps, then go for it! Repeat repeat repeat - Even though the hand motions can help, memorization still takes a lot of time and practice. Keep at it! Work on a verse at the breakfast table, in the car, before bedtime, and when you're waiting in the checkout line.
My son, pay attention to what I say; turn your ear to my words. Do not let them out of your sight, keep them within your heart. ~ Proverbs 4:20, 21
My prayer is that the precious passages of God's Word would grow deep roots in the hearts and minds of your dear children. No matter the method to learning and memorizing Scripture, take joy in embracing the treasure the Lord has given to us!
Do you have a Scripture memorization technique that has worked well for you and your family or students?? Please share!