Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Memorizing Bible Verses

Little Bear has completely surprised me by how quickly he can memorize!

When I was a child, I memorized Bible verses at school, particularly in Kindergarten (we memorized 26 Bible verses, one per letter of the alphabet).  I enjoyed it and can remember some (but certainly not all) of them even today.

In fact, one little Bible verse really impacted me as a young child.  I would often crawl up in my younger sister's bed (we shared a room) during thunderstorms and say the verse over and over and over and over.  It was very comforting to say, "What time I am afraid, I will trust in Thee."  It was my kindergarten teacher who taught me that saying this Bible verse when I am scared can remind me that God is always with me.

So, with this, I desire to teach Little Bear Bible verses too.

I was a bit apprehensive at first on how to teach him to memorize.  I know children have an incredible ability to memorize alot quickly.  But I wasn't sure how little ones actually memorize when they can't read.

What I realized is they simply need repetition!

So, I began with a simple Bible verse first, "O, give thanks unto the Lord, for He is good.  Psalm 118:1"

I read it to him once or twice and then began to make a game of it.  I would say, "O, give thanks unto the Lord, for he is..."  And I would prompt Little Bear to finish the sentence with the word, "good!"  We learned the reference for the Bible verse once he had memorized the entire sentence.

What I was surprised to find was that Little Bear learned the entire thing within a day or two and enjoyed saying it over and over.  Of course, I would cheer and praise him (with kisses galore) when he memorized it.  Sometimes, I will actually hear him say the verse (with no prompting) if someone tells him "thanks."  It's pretty funny.

The next verse we learned was "Children obey your parents in the Lord for this is right.  Ephesians 6:1".  I actually sometimes get the tail end of these two verses switched around.  But Little Bear never does.  He knows them by heart better than me. 

I never use this verse to discipline but sometimes, shortly after a situation that involved discipline, I will remind him.  "Remember, Children obey their parents..."  And he will often reply, "for this is right!"

Memorized Bible verses are never to be flashy or showy.  I do not desire that my child know a hundred of them so I can show all my friends how smart he is.  I never want to use a Bible verse to shame him or exasperate him.

Bible verses are merely wisdom that I want to imbed in my child's heart and mind early.  I want him to believe truths about God and about the world.  I believe Bible verses can help him hold these truths near.

Our next verse to learn is the very one I held on to most.  This is a perfect time for him as he often explains he's fearful at night or that noises scare him. 

I look forward to hearing from him one day about a Bible verse that made an impact on him.  Until then, I will provide him plenty of verses for him to memorize.

My goal right now is to teach him one for each alphabet.  I will list on the blog the ones I will choose in a few days.

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