“I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.” -Psalm 119:1
Growing up, I had a great example of walking in the way from my parents. My dad always carried a thick stack of index cards with Bible verses printed on them in the front console of his car. We would beg to ride with him and quiz him on those verses! I was always amazed if I could say the first word of a verse and my dad finish it and tell me the reference! We made a game of me trying to stump him, but I never could! It didn’t matter if I said one word in the very middle of the verse or just a partial reference, he could always recall the rest from memory! So I learned at an early age how important it was to “Hide God’s word I our hearts so that we might not sin against him.” Psalm 119:1
We began reading the Bible together as a family when our firstborn was very young, with just a toddler Bible. As the kids grow, we read more age appropriate Bibles and stories. Two years ago was my favorite when we read through the Bible using the Egermeiers Bible storybook. The kids hung onto every word they loved hearing lesser known stories. This is the first year we have read through the King James Version Bible, or sometimes I prefer the NIrV for the kids. We started in the New Testament, the Gospels, and then the Old Testament. Right now we are in the last half of Numbers and it’s not so much fun for me. (Gasp. I know. I know, but I haven’t been able to get excited this week about the laws and feasts.)
From experience, it’s so much easier to follow a plan. Find a devotional or a kid’s Bible reading plan and follow it. Bible time is easier for us at bedtime when the kids are confined to their rooms and cannot run around or be distracted while we are reading. I actually do our homeschool read alouds and history at bedtime too. We usually take a good 1-1 ½ hours of reading and winding down at bedtime but I love it. Reading is a passion of mine and the discussion that follows is intimate and personal. It’s a special time of bonding with the littles before sleeping.
Scripture memorization is a priority in our home. In Deuteronomy 6:5-9, we are commanded to “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. These words which I am commanding you today, shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand and they shall be as frontals on your forehead. You shall write them on the door posts of your house and on your gates…”
The only way we will soak up the Scriptures is by diligently and consistently reading and memorizing it. As far as Scripture memory, just practice with your children’s Sunday school verses. I like to search online for a cute printable for whatever verse we are learning that week and taping it on our fridge so we see it often (like 587 times a day because that’s how many times my kids open the door!). We also use a dry erase or wet erase marker and write verses across the top of the bathroom mirrors. Sticky
notes work just fine for writing verses on them and placing them wherever you will see them the most! Stick those notes on kitchen cabinets, front doors, washing machines, etc. Picture frames with a cute Bible verse printable inside work well too, if it’s placed somewhere you will often see it. If you have reading age children, just have them read the verse out loud whenever they walk past it. If your children are too young to read, then make a game of reading the verses out loud to them whenever you are in the room with them. I like to include hand gestures, silly facial expressions, and voice inflection when we are learning verses together as a family. My children think it is funny, but it really works well for memorization! Buy a CD of Bible verse sing-a-long songs for in the car or to play in your children’s rooms as they drift off to sleep. Seeds Family Worship has phenomenal music for Scripture memorization and I love the upbeat, catchy tunes!
We encourage our kids to hide God’s word in their heart so that we might not sin against Him. So when temptations come, He is faithful and He will not let us be tempted beyond what we can bear. But when we ARE tempted, He will also provide a way out so that we can stand up under it. (1 Corinthians 10:13).
If we have hidden God’s word in our heart, then when we are tempted, God is faithful and will remind us of those scriptures we have memorized. I don’t know about but if I’m tempted to yell at my children because I’m frustrated or tired and they are disobeying and misbehaving and God reminds me, “A soft answer turns away wrath but a harsh word stirs up anger,” then immediately I’m convicted and less likely to yell at them. (Proverbs 15:1)
“Whether therefore ye eat or drink or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.” 1 Corinthians 10:31 This is one of my favorite verses because it is applicable to every are of our life. Whether we are doing laundry, or schoolwork, or eating foods to fuel our body, or changing diapers, or playing a soccer game, it is an encouragement to recall this verse and remember no matter what we do, we are doing our best and we are doing it “all to the glory of God.” NOT to the glory of ourselves.
“Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” Proverbs 4:23
So once you are in the habit of memorizing Scripture, make a point of choosing verses that are applicable to you, your family, and your season of life. Someone has a bad attitude? Memorize a verse for that. Feeling lazy? Memorize a verse for that. Struggling to eat in a way pleasing to the Lord? Memorize a verse for that. Before long, you will be saturated with Scripture and “Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you saying, This is the way, walk in it.” Isaiah 30:21.