I recently posted about making treasure boxes with the boys as a tangible way for them to think of God’s Word as a treasure. We are currently memorizing Proverbs 2:1-11 together, and before that, we memorized all of Psalm 19 (14 verses). If you have never memorized a larger chunk of scripture with your children, you really should try it! And don’t wait until they’re big – I started Psalm 19 with the boys mainly for Aidan and Gresham’s benefit (ages 9 and 6), but Owen amazed all of us! He’s three, turning four next month. He didn’t finish the psalm, but he memorized the first 10 verses and can do the rest with help. We work on our memorizing together for about 10 minutes each morning, for as many days as it takes to finish the section we are doing.

While I was writing the treasure box post, I began thinking of all the ways that I have been blessed by spending time in God’s Word. Scripture truly is a treasure… when I make the time for it to be a priority! I want to share these thoughts with you, and I hope that you will be encouraged to fill your heart and the hearts of your children with the Bible. I will also be coming back to this post myself as a reminder. It’s SO easy to let other things fill my mind and my time, but what a waste it is when I neglect God’s Word!

What I've gained from memorizing the Bible with my children

Five benefits of memorizing the Bible with your children:

God’s Word has the power to change us and our children.

The Bible is living and active (Heb. 4:12). God uses His word to teach us about Him, to convict us of sin, to encourage us with His faithfulness, and to show us how to live. We don’t experience victory over sin through our own power. His word has power!

Memorizing the Bible together leads to good questions from our kids.

When a child memorizes the Bible, they are not going to understand every word. In fact, I don’t understand every word of scripture! When we memorize together, it gives us a chance to really think about the words, and this has led to some really good discussions in our home. Aidan asked me one day, “Mom, what does it mean exactly to store up treasure in heaven?” A few hours earlier, he had gotten into an argument with a neighbor boy about some possessions of his that he was afraid would be damaged. I told him that storing up treasure in heaven means that we value things that will last through eternity more than we value temporal things. Eternal things would include people and God’s word, and that’s just about it! I told Aidan, “Storing up treasure in heaven means being more concerned about whether the neighbor boy knows Jesus than about whether or not your stuff gets damaged.” I could see a light bulb turning on in Aidan’s mind as he contemplated that thought. These are the conversations that we long to have as parents, and they don’t happen unless we have God’s word in our minds to think about!

Memorizing the Bible gives kids “footholds” to hang onto during the adult service at church.

Our three older boys sit in the service with us on Sundays and also attend Sunday School with kids their ages. When they’re in the service, I can see their eyes light up when they hear the pastor refer to a verse that we have memorized. It makes the sermon more real to them because while they may not understand much of it, they heard some words that were familiar!

When we see God work in our kids through His word, it’s easier to stop taking credit both for their progress and for their sin.

It’s easy to get off-balance on both sides of this. I often become frustrated with the boys’ poor behavior, forgetting that my job is not to convict them of sin! That is the work of the Holy Spirit. My responsibility is to teach them God’s word and to provide discipline where needed, and then to trust God with the results. When I’m too focused on producing the results myself, I turn to nagging, lecturing, and frustration rather than what is needed, which is a patient trust in the Lord while I diligently instructing them in God’s ways. But then when I see something good in my children, I need to keep in mind that this is also the result of God’s grace in their hearts and not the result of my good parenting methods.

Memorizing large sections of the Bible together makes it easier to present God’s word as water for their souls, and not just as a correction.

If we’re not careful, we can use Scripture only to show our kids where they are wrong. It is good to take our children to the Bible when they have done something wrong. They need to see that it is God who says that what they are doing is wrong, and that it’s not just our “rule.” But they also need verses like these:

“For You, Lord, are good, and ready to forgive,

And abundant in lovingkindness to all who call upon You.”

Psalm 86:5

“The law of the LORD is perfect,

restoring the soul;

The testimony of the LORD is sure,

making wise the simple.

The precepts of the LORD are right,

rejoicing the heart;

The commandment of the LORD is pure,

enlightening the eyes.”

Psalm 19: 7-8

Passages of Scripture that are good for memory work:


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  1. Katie Apr 29, 2013

    Thank you so much for sharing your experience. I have been thinking about starting simple Bible verses with my three year old, but haven't gotten around to it yet - now I feel much more motivated!

  2. sarahelisabeth Apr 29, 2013

    This is so true. We tend to go so slowly on memorisation. Any practical tips?

    1. Sarah Apr 29, 2013

      Hmm, I don't know if I have any helpful tips! I usually just have them repeat a phrase at a time, then work up to a sentence at a time. I have them say it one at a time first, then we all say it together a few times. Nothing too insightful!

  3. Anna - The Measured Mom Apr 29, 2013

    We do a lot of hymn/Christian song memorization, but we have not yet moved into Scripture memorization with our kids (6,4,2,1). I definitely think it's time - and you helped remind me. Thank you!

  4. Christina May 10, 2013

    I like where you said "I often become frustrated with the boys’ poor behavior, forgetting that my job is not to convict them of sin! That is the work of the Holy Spirit. My responsibility is to teach them God’s word and to provide discipline where needed, and then to trust God with the results." I am having a really hard time in this area, especially where my 8 yo son is concerned. Do you have any blog posts that expand on this or any resources to point me to? What you said makes sense to me, but I am not sure how to put that in to practice. I have been enjoying your blog. Thanks!

    1. Sarah May 10, 2013

      Thanks for your comment! I think that the difference is in my attitude. If it's all about me trying to change them, I end up saying things like "When are you boys going to stop talking so rudely? This is ridiculous Your behavior is so frustrating!" etc etc. I end up lecturing, getting sinfully angry, and so on. A better way is, "Because you boys are fighting over this Wii game, we are turning it off for today. The Bible says in Ephesians 4:29 that your words should build each other up, not tear each other down, and so that is why we are putting the game away." And then end of discussion!

      Another thing that I thought of while writing this comment is that keeping my mind on Scripture keeps my priorities in the right place. It reminds me that growing is a process, and that God is in charge of that process. It's easy to be frustrated because of the inconvenience that their bad behavior is to me, rather than embracing my role that God has give me as their mom!

      I'm not sure if this is helpful or not. Let me know if you have more questions!

      1. Christina May 13, 2013

        Thanks, it does make sense. Frustration is definitely where we are right now. I was talking with my husband last night about memorizing a passage of scripture and we now just have to chose one. I think the part about my attitude is right. I always considered myself a patient person, until I had 4 boys and 2 girls ages 8 and under. Now the quote "Patience is a virtue, it just isn't mine" comes to mind more often than I would like. :)

  5. Jean Sterner Jun 2, 2013

    When I had the youth group I Leesburg, I brought a branch that looked like a little tree, set firmly into a pot. When the teens had memorized a verse, they just had to recite it for me, and we wrote it on a leaf cut from green paper and attached it to the tree. It was a nice incentive and I'm sure that whenever they run across one of their verses, it has special meaning even today...


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