9 How can a young person stay on the path of purity? By living according to your word. 10 I seek you with all my heart; do not let me stray from your commands. 11 I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you. 12 Praise be to you, Lord; teach me your decrees. 13 With my lips I recount all the laws that come from your mouth.
When it comes to parenting, my husband Will and I desire above all that our sons would know the Lord and love His Word. One of the reasons we love classical education is for its focus on raising children to become men and women of virtue, who will seek truth in scripture first. Our world is full of so many conflicting voices, all of which challenge us in our pursuit of raising Bible-literate children, but this fact makes it even more vital for them to become discerning men and women who are able to choose the path of wisdom. One way we can do this is through simple scripture memorization -- to hide His Word in our hearts. We are no experts, but here is what it looks like in our home.
In the beginning of the year we choose 12 scripture verses, or passages, that we will memorize as a family. Focusing on just one verse or passage per month helps us really absorb and meditate in that scripture -- it doesn’t have to be a lot of content to be effective! We normally pick a virtue or attribute that we want to focus on that year and find scriptures that align with that characteristic. For example, one year we focused on courage and found twelve passages that applied. This year all four of us picked a word that we wanted to focus on personally. So, as a family, we will memorize scripture that will help us encourage one another in the pursuit of that virtue. This year, our scripture calendar includes verses on prayer, joy, kindness and fun. Yes, we found scriptures on fun! It’s great to choose verses on an area your family wants to grow in; meditating on those verses will give you comfort and strength as you go about your day.
Once we have picked our verses, I write the verse of the month in a place that is visible to everyone. We have a big chalkboard, set up where everyone can see it, and that works well. I also like to make a calendar on Shutterfly with family photos, and I add our scripture verses to that as well. Every morning while we eat breakfast Will and I say the scripture and the kids repeat after us -- a few words at a time. We repeat the verse at least four to five times. By the end of the month everyone has learned the verse.
Another tool we have used in the past are songs. “Seeds Family Worship” is a wonderful resource to help little ones memorize Bible verses. They create scripture music, and have CD’s on praise, character, purpose, courage, faith and more. I highly recommend checking them out.
What are some creative ways your family does scripture memory? Please share! I hope these tips will be helpful as you disciple your children, and I pray that God will multiply your efforts.