Before our son was born, the topic that Paul and I spent the most time discussing and praying about was Joseph’s spiritual future.
Spiritual future. If you’ve never heard that term before, take a second and let it soak in a bit. The spiritual future of your child is everything that you put before him or her, every lesson, good or bad you teach, every glimpse of Jesus in you, everything that effects your child’s future decision for or against God.
If I’ve just overwhelmed you, I apologize, I promise I remember that moment when I realized it wasn’t all about nursing, diapering, watching a child grow, toddle around, playing catch with their father, nor even the dreaded teen years. Parenting is about how you influence your child’s future spiritual decision.
If you find your way to the pages of Satisfaction Through Christ often, you will most likely see me cover a different aspect of the daunting SF, but for today I want to cover one that is near and dear to me – Bible verse memory. When my husband and I discussed Bible verse memory, I would often declare that I wanted to make sure Joseph memorized loads of scripture during his childhood.
For months now I’ve been feeling God pressing on my heart, “He is ready.” My little man is ready. To learn. To memorize. To start feeding into his spiritual future, and it’s my job to guide him through. So, with a big deep breath, and daily prayers, we are jumping in!
I’m not a teacher. I was not gifted to be one! So rather than developing my own creative techniques for teaching Bible memory to my tot, I researched what other brilliant moms do. I’m sharing the results of my research and some thoughts with you today, as well as some free printables I’ve created to help my little guy learn the five scriptures I want him to memorize first! But they’re at the bottom of the post! 😉
If you know someone struggling with how to start memorizing Bible verses with their kiddos, take a moment to pass this post along. The free printables may be the perfect starting point for their scripture memory journey!
Jenni, from jennimullinix.com, wrote a great post, as part of her Truth for Tots series, specifically for bible memory with toddlers. She even has a video of her (then) not yet two year old reciting Joshua 1:9! (I love that verse!) This adorable little girl is not even two years old, so not all of the words are clear, but she does indeed have the verse committed to memory! Jenni shares several strategical hints for helping toddlers to memorize but my favorite are these two:
- “Sing the Scripture. Catchy tunes are a great way to make scripture memory easier.”
- “Use Hand Motions. Giving young children something to do with their hands that will help trigger their memory is very helpful.”
These two strategies may seem simple, but we are talking about toddlers and preschool kids here, so simple is best. Jenni’s methods appealed to me because I was able to watch that video and see her one year old quoting Joshua 1:9. And the best part about it? The little girl looked happy; she was enjoying scripture verse memory! I don’t know about you, but I want my Joseph to enjoy learning God’s word!
(Read the post, Scripture Memory Strategies for Toddlers and Preschoolers here. It’s a great resource!)
- “Start small.”
- “Be expressive.”
- “Repetition. Repetition. Repetition.”
But she also brings to light some aspects of Bible memory that I would not have thought of like:
- “Vary environment” – So that scripture memory isn’t triggered by a certain place, sound, etc…
- “Learn long passages” – Natalie says, “One bite at a time…” It’s sort of a preparation technique, so they’re ready for bigger challenges when they’re older! And it’s so good for their little minds. Young ones have impressive capabilities!
I especially love when Natalie talks about explaining the “why” of scripture memory to our children when she says: “I periodically remind my kids all the reasons we do Bible memory. It really helps them to hear why, rather than me just “making” them. They are small, but they are human. Why not clue them in?”
As a mom or dad, when you get a grasp of “spiritual future” and your role in it, the “why” becomes so important to who you are! (Definitely a post worth reading if you’re dragging your feet about Bible memory. It’s got wit!)
One common theme in all of my research was that it’s not really the method or technique that you choose, it’s how you present it to your child and the reasoning you offer. In fact, many scripture memory techniques are not much use at this age because so many of them require a child to be able to read. However I want to pass along this post, before we get to that free printable part, which includes several teaching techniques that will make scripture verse memorizing fun for older kids who can read! It was penned by Maurice Sweetsur many years ago from a Sunday School perspective, but it’s got great ideas for you Mama’s with older kids!
(Teaching Memory Verses by Maurice Sweetsur. I especially can’t wait to try the “Diminishing Words” method and the “Mistakes” game!)
If you’d like to see more free printables from Satisfaction Through Christ, or if you’d like to learn more about how to impact your child’s spiritual future, go ahead and leave a comment about that too!
You may want to check out my top three tips for new homeschool moms of preschoolers!
Latest posts by Shirley (see all)
- The Why’s and How’s of Choosing Homeschool Curriculum - April 26, 2016
- Life Verses for a Radical Modern Faith - April 4, 2016
- Marriage And Friendship – Practical Tips for Becoming Your Spouse’s BFF - March 30, 2016