I was recently reflecting on a particularly difficult period of my life, a time when my wife, Barb, and I were going through an intense trial. At the time, my reflexive reaction was, “What is this? Why me, Lord? How come this is happening to us?” But almost instantaneously a scripture entered my thoughts: “We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” A sense of calm and peace settled over me.
At my moment of intense need, Romans 8:28 had washed over my mind. I was grateful to the Holy Spirit for being the Comforter that he is described to be in John 14, amazed at how this passage had come to me in my moment of difficulty. That’s when it hit me how valuable my parents’ work had been of instilling the word of God into their children. I doubt they ever stopped to think, “This memory scripture will some day come back to Jeb at a time when he needs it most.” But indeed it had.
What are some ways we can help our children or grandchildren learn the Bible and memorize scriptures that contain words of life?
One effective way, especially when working with small children, is to use fun songs that are based on Scripture. My children memorized all the books of the Bible from a song. At my church, the worship leader often encourages members to “sing the words of God into their hearts.” Numerous times throughout the week I find myself repeating in my mind a song we’d sung during the Sunday service.
Websites such as www.mywonderkids.com provide age-based music and songs for children that help them memorize Bible verses or become familiar with biblical characters and stories.
Another suggestion is to find a time during the week when the family can gather for Bible study. A newer Bible translation, such as Eugene Peterson’s The Message, is relatively easy even for young children to understand.
When our children were younger, my wife and I committed to reading the entire Bible to our children. We found that breakfast was a good time to pursue this goal. Our intent was not to race through it, but rather to take just a few verses every day. After reading a verse or two, I would ask my children questions to see what they thought about the passages.
When I was young, my parents gave my sister and me scripture memory cards. At the time, it seemed like drudgery, but since then I have become grateful that my parents spent the time. Many of the scriptures I memorized with them have brought me reassurance and comfort during difficult times.
A final thought is to use websites that specialize in activities or games geared to help children learn the Bible. One such site is www.bibleactivities.com.
No matter how you do it, helping children learn the Bible is an important responsibility for Christian parents and guardians. In his book Revolutionary Parenting, George Barna writes, “Most of our children are biblically illiterate.” But that does not have to be true in your household. When you stop to think about all the things that could fill our children’s heads, what is better or more important than the timeless words of the Bible?