Teaching Children Memory Verses

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Teaching Children Memory Verses

written by Bisi Adeyi

 

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The Psalmist said, “Your word I have hidden in my heart, That I might not sin against You”- Psalm 119:11 (NKJV). Hiding God’s Word in your heart is what memorization is all about. As the teacher/parent, you need to understand the importance of memorizing God’s Word in both yours and the children’s daily lives. Therefore, you must commit to learning the Scriptures along with the children.

To effectively teach children memory verse, you need to let them know why such an exercise is important. What you consider important, you take seriously. Below are some of the reasons to present to them.

Memorizing God’s Word:

  • Helps you to be like Jesus—Mathew 4:1-10.

  • Puts God’s Word in your heart—Colossians 3:16.

  • Gives you a new way of thinking, helps you to know God’s will and changes your life for good—Romans 12:2.

  • Helps you not to sin—Psalm 119:11.

  • Helps you to encourage other believers—1Thessalonians 4:18.

  • Helps you to share the Good News about Jesus—1Peter 3:15.

 

If possible, get the children to discuss what has worked or not worked for them in the past concerning scripture memorization. This will help you to know what to avoid and what to incorporate. With the help of the Holy Spirit, address these issues in your preparation.

Most curriculums’ lessons come with memory verses which you are expected to teach the children. However, you may choose to teach them other Bible verses. If so, before the class, decide which version of the Bible to use and how many Bible verses to select for the children’s memorization. Feel free to use the version that best articulate the truth of the Bible verses in the language that the children will easily comprehend.

 

Prior to starting the memory verses recitation, remind them the importance of scripture memorization. Regardless of the memory verses (the curriculum’s or yours), explain to them how the Bible verses apply to them. Their understanding will aid their motivation. Be sure to teach the memory verses word-perfect to the children. Repetition is key to helping them retain the memory verses.

Teach the children to memorize the Bible verses using the method below:

  • Break down the Bible verses into the reference and several phrases (the number of phrases depends on the length of the verses).

  • Recite the reference a few times.

  • Then recite the first phrase a few times.

  • Now join both the reference and first phrase together and recite a few times until the children can recite them top of their heads.

  • Move on to recite the second phrase a few times, then join the reference and the first two phrases together and recite a few times until the children can recite them top of their heads.

  • Recite the next phrase and repeat the above procedure.

  • Keep adding the phrases one at a time until the children can recite the entire verses top of their heads.

 

Here are a few helpful suggestions to aid the children in memorizing the Bible verses faster and retaining them longer:

  • As much as possible, associate the key words or phrases with hand movements or actions to help the memorization. And ensure that the same hand movements/actions are incorporated with each recitation.

  • If possible, turn the Bible verses into a song.

  • Get them to write the Bible verses on a small card for easy reference.

 

Encourage the children to keep reciting the memory verses at home (at least 3 times a day). Suggest that they use their quiet times during the day to recite the Bible verses, for example, when they are lying in bed waiting to fall asleep, etc.

 

Know that Scripture memorization is not a one-time thing. In subsequent classes, provide opportunities for the children to recite their memory verses and praise them accordingly. Keep reciting the same Bible verses together with the children until they can recite them without your help. Before moving on, you should have the children recite the memory verses word-perfect individually to you. You may want to invest in token prizes to encourage and reward them.

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