4 Reasons I Love Memorizing Scripture with my Little Girl

Some of the sweetest times with my five-year-old girl each week are when we memorize Scripture together. Since I have been helping her learn her weekly memory verses for Awana, we have had the best time learning new verses and practicing them til we have a solid knowledge of the verse. Here are four reasons why I love memorizing Scripture with my little girl.


1. I'm memorizing verses that I wouldn't have otherwise. Not because I don't love these verses, but because my Scripture memory goal for 2014 is to memorize Philippians. I'm almost done with chapter one! :) For me, memorizing three verses of Philippians each week is plenty. As I've coached my little girl to memorize her weekly Awana verses,  I've been blessed that  those verses have become hidden in my heart too, because I wouldn't have otherwise attempted to memorize these on top of my Philippians verses.

2. It causes both of us to grow in the knowledge of the Lord. (2 Peter 3:18) As we both mediate on a verse to get the wording and phrasing straight, the Lord is so faithful to teach us more about Him and His will for us. For instance, when we were learning her "By faith" verses from Hebrews 11, I was able to explain to her what faith was and why the "Hero's of Faith" talked about in her memory verses, were great examples of faith.

3. It drives me to explain words and concepts, I otherwise would have thought were too advanced for her. When she had to memorize Hebrews 11:7, while she was very familiar with the story of Noah's Ark, the verse was not self-explanatory because of some of the phrasing. Consider what this would sound like to a five-year-old: "By faith Noah, being warned by God concerning events as yet unseen, in reverent fear constructed an ark for the saving of his household."  Concerning events as yet unseen? In reverent fear? Constructed? 


Memorize with Understanding

For me it is so important when I memorize that I memorize with understanding. I want to understand the meaning of what I'm memorizing. If some part of a verse isn't clear, I do a Bible word search at Blue letter Bible.  Then, additionally, I might read or listen to some of the excellent commentaries available at Blue Letter Bible or Precept Austin.

So when my daughter is learning her memory verses, it is equally important to me that she know what she is hiding in her heart--that she has an understanding of each verse she recites for her Sparks leader. For each verse we start I always check for understanding, and then clarify any areas if needed.  Checking for understanding is the easy part. It's the clarifying part that can be tricky at times. God was faithful to give me the words to help boil down the advanced concepts of Hebrews 11:7 for my little girl so she could understand. Here's how I explained it:

By faith Noah : Noah believed and trusted in God and His Word. If God said it, Noah believed it. He took God at His Word, just as the Roman Centurion took Jesus at His Word when Jesus said He'd come heal the servant. The centurion believed in God's Word so much that he said, “Lord, I am not worthy to have you come under my roof, but only say the word, and my servant will be healed." (Matthew 8:8)

 being warned by God: Why do we get warnings? To protect us from bad things that could happen to us. We might see a warning sign that a floor is wet so we don't slip and get hurt. We might see a shark warning at a beach to protect swimmers. Red traffic lights warn cars that they need to stop until the light turns green because ignoring a red light can lead to a bad accident. God warned Noah to protect him from something? What? 

concerning events as yet unseen: This is what the warning from God was about, to protect Noah about events no one had ever seen. An event is something that happens. What had not yet happened that God was warning Noah about? It had never rained. (Genesis 2:5) No one had ever seen a drop of rain fall from the sky, much less a flood of any kind. (Genesis 7:4,12) 

The Story of Noah from The Jesus Storybook Bible (Our favorite children's Bible)

in reverent fear constructed an ark: If you revere someone you respect them. You trust them. If we were at home having lunch, not knowing a big fire had broke out in the neighborhood down the street. If firefighters came to our door telling us to evacuate because it wasn't safe to stay here, "in reverent fear" we'd leave our house immediately. We wouldn't just sit here and keep enjoying our lunch and just go about our day and blow off their warning. No. "In reverent fear" we'd get out of our house as fast as possible.   

Likewise, because Noah respected and trusted God, when God told Noah a flood was coming and to build an ark, "in reverent fear [Noah]constructed an ark." This means because Noah believed and trusted God--and took His warning seriously, when God told Noah to build an ark, Noah didn't slap it together any old way, or look at God's directions for building the ark and moan "Ugh! That will take too long! I'll just do it my way." No. "In reverent fear [Noah]constructed an ark." Noah built the ark exactly as God said to do because Noah knew if God said a flood was coming it was coming and he wasn't about to take any shortcuts in building the ark. Building it God's way meant the ark would be roomy to fit Noah's family, all the animals, and all the food. But more that just not being cramped, building it God's way ensured that Noah's ark was watertight to prevent catastrophe for Noah's family during the flood.  

for the saving of his household: It was Noah's reverent fear of God and His warning of the flood that moved Noah to build the ark exactly as God wanted him to, no matter what, because Noah understood ultimately the reason for all his hard work on the ark was "for the saving of his household." This project was literally a life or death project. And not just Noah's life--but the lives of his entire household! (Not to mention all the animals.) A lot was at stake here. Perhaps that is why Noah choose to do everything according to what God commanded him to do. (Genesis 6:22) Noah knew if he did things God's way, he was sure not to fail.Smart man.  

4. Each verse we memorize is making us thoroughly equipped for every good work (2 Tim. 3:17) and supplying us with all we need for life and godliness. Because of just those two benefits alone, I know every minute we spend learning, reviewing, and reciting her verses is guaranteed time well spent. While my girl is just finishing up kindergarten this month, I know before I know it she will be all grown up. So, until then, I want to help make her thoroughly equipped for every good work (2 Tim. 3:17) and supply her with all she needs for life and godliness by helping her hide as much of God's Word in her heart as possible. Not in a burdensome way, of course. I never want memorizing God's Word, for my girl, to be a burden. I want it to be a joy. I am always seeking to make it fun, and only giving her what she can realistically handle--not imposing unrealistic expectations. 

It is my hope that our discipline to memorize a new verse each week now will become a lifelong habit for her that she'll continue long after she's grown and living out on her own with a husband and children of her own.  Until then, it's encouraging to know that verse by verse God is making us thoroughly equipped for every good work (2 Tim. 3:17). And oh, how we need that! And not only that, but supplying us with all we need for life and godliness. Awesome! 

Awanas wraps up this week til the Fall. But I do not want my daughter to stop this all important habit of hiding His Word in her heart, simply because it is summer. Next week, I'll share our plans for memorizing Scripture this summer. God bless your week!

 

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Copyright © 2014 Brooke Espinoza.

16 comments:

  1. I'm so glad you are memorizing with your little girl, Brooke. I did that for years with my own daughters and it was precious time (even though it sometimes taught me hard lessons about how impatient I was!). :) Keep up the good work!

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    1. Thanks, Lisa! I've learned a few of those hard lessons this first year of homeschooling her, so you're in good company. :) God is so good. God bless you tremendously!

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  2. This is a wonderful idea, Brooke. Our daughter is only 14 months old but it is such a sweet time to pray with her and read her Scripture. Can't wait til we can start learning together. Glad I dropped by from Unforced Rhythms link up. Blessings to you.

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    1. Thanks, Sharita! So glad you dropped by, too! That is awesome you are already washing her with the Word even now. They are never too young. I remember my daughter was 2 1/2 and struggling to get the buckles fastened on her dress shoes one day. We'd always encourage her, "You can do all things through Christ Who strengthens you." (Phil. 4:13) So when she was struggling with her shoes, one day, after a minute of struggling her frustration turned to relief as she joyfully exclaimed (as if a light bulb had gone off in her brain) "Ohhh, I know! I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!" And just then God rewarded her childlike faith, by enabling her to fasten her buckle. So sweet!Philippians 4:13 was the first verse she ever memorized, simply from hearing it in context applied to daily life. God bless you abundantly!

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  3. Wonderful in a hundred different ways.

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    1. Thanks so much! So glad you were blessed. God bless you richly!

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  4. That's wonderful to take time to memorize a Bible verse with your little girl. I think they should pick verses that are simpler for that age group. There are so many wonderful verses that aren't half as hard, but I'm not familiar with Awana, or else I forgot, since I have lived too many years abroad. I did Bible verse memorization with my big kids years ago and with a grade 4 class during their religion class last year (in South Africa), but I haven't made a point to do it with my 6 year-old. I should, because just like you said, it not only enriches your child's life, but your own too. Visiting from A Little R & R. Tina from Amanda's Books and More

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    1. I totally agree, Tina, that verses should be selected based on the age of the child memorizing. We don't want do burden them or discourage them with God's Word by giving them a verse that is too hard. Hebrews 11:7 was probably the most challenging verse my daughter had all year. Most times, they are much easier like "Oh give thanks to the Lord for He is good." Psalm 118:1. Hebrews 11:7 was a verse she learned after finishing her handbook for the year. Since it was an extra credit verse, perhaps that was why it was more challenging than the norm. Still I think because a more challenging verse came up in her extra credit cards to memorize, it forced us to really talk about what it was saying, and then have fun singing it, acting it out, drawing it, etc. so she got it hidden in her heart. It's been weeks since we covered that verse and she still sings it around the house. An easier verse would have caused us to probably not spend so much time discussing and having fun learning it, so perhaps all the time we poured into learning this verse is why Hebrews 11:7 is one of her favorite verses this year--it came with lots of Mommy/Daughter fun together time. :) We've done Awanas for two years now and absolutely love it! It is an amazing ministry that I am so super thankful for. If you have a church near you with that program, I encourage you to check it out. as the Lord leads. You will be blessed! God bless you immensely!

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  5. What a lovely, challenging post. You seem to have such a tender, supple heart. Thank you, Brooke, for linking with Unforced Rhythms this week. Blessings on your journey.

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    1. Thank you, Kelli for your sweet words of encouragement! God bless you mightily!

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  6. This is an encouraging AND challenging post. I have a one year old and am pondering things like this and how to implement them :)

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    1. Thanks, Stasia! Hoped this triggered some ideas for when your little one can repeat back a verse. My girl was 2 1/2 when she said her first verse. She started Awanas (Cubbies) at 3 years old memorizing a verse a week. But until then you can daily read Bible stories to you little one, sing Bible songs, and speak Scripture in daily life whenever applicable. God bless you richly as you seek to help your little one to grow in the grace an the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

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  7. Awanas is awesome! My girls love it & has kept me on my toes learning, or in some cases relearning(!!!:/) scripture.

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    1. I agree, Kaylene! Awanas is awesome! We are so blessed by it. I can totally relate to your frustration about relearning verses. There are verses I've learned but cannot say today, because before then I never learned how to review. Since I've learned to review and begun reviewing my verses, I've noticed the verses that I can say today without hesitation are the ones that I have continued to review long after I initially learned them. With a solid review program in place, relearning verses becomes a thing of the past. God bless you abundantly!

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  8. I memorize with my pair. The eldest is much better than me. But it has perhaps blessed me to most as I've explained things to them I understand clearer than before. Keep up the good work.

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    1. Thanks, Helene! I love that benefit of memorizing Scripture. It's amazing how much more we are able to observe in a verse by memorizing. God bless you immensely!

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Thank you for taking the time to share. May God bless you richly!