I got to be on my friend Chris’s podcast last week, and I had just a blast catching up with him and sharing my passion for family discipleship.
While we were talking, one of the stories I shared was about how the first Bible verse I remember learning was Romans 8:38-39.
It says, “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
It was a mouthful, but when I was just seven or eight, I worked really hard at this verse until I learned it. My motives weren’t exactly the holiest; I was on a Bible trivia team for my church, and this verse worth more points than a lot of the others. But despite my competitive intentions, the verse stayed in my mind and my heart, and God has used it countless times throughout my life, to challenge, correct, and reassure me.
I honestly don’t know where I would be as a Christian if not for the discipline of memorizing Scripture. If we are going to follow Jesus, we absolutely must fill ourselves with the Word of God. And it’s a true gift to our children if we can do the same for them while they are in our homes.
There are a lot of games and interactive methods you might find online to use for memorizing verses, and these work well in classroom setting, especially if you only have the kids once a week. But unless you just really want to, you don’t need to make up motions or puzzle pieces for every verse you learn as a family.
Children have an incredible capacity for memory, and if you’ll make Scripture memory a habit, I think you’ll be amazed at how many verses they can learn. The trick is to work on the verses nearly every day.
What we’ve done in our home is to write each verse we are learning on a separate index card, and keep them all in a small file box near our kitchen table. Every morning, while we eat breakfast, we read through the verse we’re learning a few times, encouraging our kids to say it with us the best they can. Then we recite a few that we’ve already learned.
That’s it. It takes about five minutes a day, and it only takes us a week or two to learn a new verse using this method.
Ready to get started memorizing Scripture? Below are several great verses to learn with your family. (Verses marked with an * are ones we actually learned as a family over the past year.)
Ephesians 6:11 – “Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.”
Psalm 45:11 – “The king is enthralled by your beauty. Honor him, for he is your lord.”
James 1:19* – “Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry.”
Hebrews 12:11* – “No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.”
Genesis 1:1* – “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.”
Isaiah 9:6* – “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given. And the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”
Psalm 56:3 – “When I am afraid, I will trust in you.”
Matthew 28:19-20* – “Therefore go and make disciples, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
2 Timothy 1:7 – “For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love, and of self-discipline.”
Psalm 139:12 – “Even the darkness will not be dark to you, the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you.”