One day when I was on carpool duty, taking kids home from school, we were talking about verses the kids were memorizing for homework. The preteen boy riding with us couldn’t understand why he needed to memorize Bible verses; after all he could just look them up on the Bible app on his phone, right? I knew this boy was a thinker, so I tried to explain to him why memorizing scripture is so important, and I hope it made him think. Many youth and adults feel the same way today. Memorizing scripture isn’t easy. It takes time, energy, and brain power, and our culture prefers ease and convenience. We tend to exert the least effort possible to get the job done because we have technology to do the work for us. So the question becomes, if we have technology to “think” for us in today’s culture, is it really that important to memorize scripture? How does memorizing scripture affect our lives? How will it impact our children’s lives? The Bible has a lot to say on this subject.
Here are three reasons why it is so important for our children to memorize scripture.
“Stand firm, then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist.” Ephesians 6:14 (NIV)
1. God’s Word Help’s Our Kids Stand Firm in Their Beliefs.
God’s Word is the standard of truth by which we must base our beliefs – what we know to be true. By knowing God’s truths, we understand who God is, how we are to live our lives, and what will happen when we die. When we know something to be true, we can also recognize when something is not true. For example, we memorize at an early age that 2 + 2 equals 4, and in our core beliefs, we know that to be true. But what if someone came up to us and said that 2 + 2 actually equals 5? We would immediately dismiss it as a lie, wouldn’t we? But what if we never memorized our addition facts. We would be much more susceptible to believing the lie that 2 + 2 = 5, wouldn’t we? And the truth is that our world is filled with SO many lies, it is hard for the next generation to discern the lies if they do not know God’s truth! Having God’s Word stored in our children’s hearts will equip them to pull it out when they need it and stand firm against the devil’s schemes to get them off course.
For those God foreknew He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. — Romans 8:29 (NLT)
2. God’s Word Will Help Our Children Become More Like Jesus.
God calls us as believers to be conformed to His image, and when our children memorize scripture, not only will their core beliefs change, but they will begin to think like Jesus and act like Jesus. That has great parent benefits as well – less discipline needed! Negative thoughts or lies will decrease and positive, Christ-like ones will increase. They will see the world from God’s perspective and focus more on loving God and loving others than on pleasing themselves. They will be secure in who they are in Christ because they know their identity comes from Him and not the world. They will also be able to hear God speak to their hearts because God often recalls scripture to us when we need it the most. They will be great shining lights to those around them because they will stand out from the crowd when they act like Jesus, bringing Him much glory!
“Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked…but whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night. That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither— whatever they do prospers.” Psalm 1:1-3 (NIV)
3. God’s Word Helps Our Children Bear Fruit and Thrive as Believers
I love Psalm 1:1-3, where God promises that those who delight in His Word and meditate on it – really take it to heart – will be like trees planted by streams of water. Isn’t it beautiful imagery to imagine our children with the living water of God’s Word, becoming strong, fruitful trees that cannot be shaken? That’s what God promises to those who know His Word and desire to follow it! Once our children start memorizing God’s truths and take the promises and commands to heart, they will bear much fruit for God’s Kingdom! I have seen it in my own children’s lives as well as other kids that are learning and memorizing scripture as well. God’s Word is like fuel for their soul; there is nothing more important to feed our children. I believe through our prayers and teaching them God’s Word, we are allowing the Holy Spirit to work in our children’s lives, so they can become thriving, fruit-bearing trees for His glory!