Jan 20, 2010

Memory Verse How To

I confess I never set out to memorize scripture until my firstborn came along. It was then I realized memory verses were an excellent way to teach my child about the Bible - and in the process of teaching her Bible verses, I naturally memorized some myself. Which got me to thinking: Why should we bother to memorize the Bible when we have multiple Bibles in the house?

-- Because God tells us to. See for example Deut. 11:18 ("Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds, tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads")


-- To help us worship God. During our busy lives, verses will come to mind that remind us to stop and worship or talk to God in the midst of busy-ness.

-- To remind us of God's commands. ("I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you." Ps. 119:11)

-- To help others in troubled times. How many times have you wished you knew the right thing to say to someone who is suffering? The Bible offers the truest hope there is, making it the perfect thing to quote in troubling times.
-- To comfort us when we're troubled.


-- To witness and answer questions of unbelievers.

If you haven't yet begun teaching your child memory verses, start today! And be sure to memorize along with them. Here are some ideas to make this a fun, easy project for the entire family. Try out several, and discover which ideas work best for you:

* Print out a verse (along with an accompanying clip art picture) in large type and tape it someplace where you and your children will see it many times throughout the day.
 
* Read the entire verse many times, out loud. Then try to say it without looking.
 
* Instead of memorizing the entire verse all at once, memorize parts of it. Repeat a phrase several times, then try to say it out loud without looking. When you can do that correctly, move on to another phrase.
 
* Write the verse over and over.
 
* Write the verse on several index cards, then place the cards throughout the house, where you’re likely to see them.
 
* Print out a bookmark with the Bible verse on it. Place it in a book you’re currently reading, making sure to read the entire verse each time you open and close the book.
* Try implementing the verse throughout the day, reading it (or repeating it in your head) as you do so. For example, if you’re memorizing the Golden Rule (Luke 6:31), think of several practical ways to do for others. A child might do dishes for her mother, teach her little sister how to tie her shoes, and give her dad a back rub, for example. As you do each of these things, r
ecite your memory verse.

* Draw a picture representing the Bible verse, as someone else recites the verse to you repeatedly.

* Write your memory verse on your mirror with lipstick or soap.

* Keep a copy of your memory verse by the television’s remote control. Every time there’s a commercial, read the verse over and over until your program comes back on.

* Make a collage of magazine illustrations that relate to your memory verse, while someone else reads the verse out loud.

* Print your memory verse on your lunch bag, or tape it onto your lunch box, so you can read it repeatedly at lunch time.

* Write your memory verse out on a dry erase board. Read it over many times, then try to recite it. If you fail, rewrite the verse on the board and try again. 


* Once you think you know a verse by heart, recite it twice a day for a week before moving on to another verse.
* Make sure verses stay in your memory by using chore time and waiting time to review verses you’ve already memorized. Washing dishes, taking out the trash, ironing, waiting at a stop light, waiting in the doctor’s office, and a million other mindless things eat up our days. Use that time for good by keeping memorized Bible verses fresh in your mind!

* Introduce a new verse at dinner, right after prayer. Discuss it, then have everyone read the verse at least once. Then try to recite it perfectly. Who gets it right first?

* Make up a melody for the verse. Sometimes putting it to music makes it easier to memorize. You can make up your own tunes, or try the ones at Pursuing Life Ministries.

* Set realistic goals. Your children should be able to memorize a verse a week, if you make it a priority. Adults who have a more difficult time memorizing should set a personalized goal: Perhaps one verse every two or three weeks.

* Choose verses ahead of time. Although it makes sense to choose verses that will help your family with current problems (like fear or anger), try to choose at least a month’s worth of verses in advance. More is better. Type them into a Word document, so all you have to do is scan the verses to choose your next one. This prevents putting off memorization.

* Before you start memorizing, read the verse in context. It will help you understand the true meaning of the verse.
* Record the Bible verse on your MP3 player. Play it over and over in the car, while you exercise…

* Use bathtub crayons to write out the verse on the side of the tub or shower. Read the verse repeatedly while bathing each day.

* Use a reasonable amount of time to work on memorizing scripture each day. Try at least five minutes in the morning and five minutes in the evening.

* Start memorizing short verses first. When you are confident that you can do this, move on to longer verses.

* Ask God to help you memorize Bible verses.

* Work out motions to go with a Bible verse. This especially helps small children.
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