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Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Get Excited About Bible Memorization

 How can a young person stay on the path of purity?  By living according to your word.   I seek you with all my heart;     do not let me stray from your commands.   I have hidden your word in my heart  that I might not sin against you.   Praise be to you, Lord; teach me your decrees.   Psalm 119:9-12

To teach memorizing effectively, we need to realize that memorizing is hard work.  This is some of the hardest work there is.  Therefore, we need to keep in mind that students will not be overly enthusiastic at the suggestion of memorizing yet another thing.

As a teacher we must be enthusiastic and diligent about your memory work in order to inspire the children.

The most effective way to inspire enthusiasm for memory work is to see the need.  Then set a personal goal.  Obviously, an adult will see the need long before a child, and the adult will set goals in accordance to the passages they desire to memorize, their competence, and the intensity in which it will involve.

However, a child will be slower to see the need and will need an adult helper to explain the urgency and help them to not only set a goal, but also to obtain that goal.

We must emphasize to our children that when we memorize Bible verses we are not just like Satan and the Pharisees who can repeat what we read, we are learning and remembering Gods message to us in order to obey Him.  The words that they are learning are the most  important words they will ever read, hear, or learn because they are the words of God.  It is our job to explain that only the words of God can help them to live a life according to God’s way.  The words of God show us the way to heaven.  The words of God can only be found in the Bible.

No matter how excited we get, or how excited our children (finally) get, if they have no idea what they are memorizing, none of our effort will ever matter.  If you are told to memorize a random ten-digit number what are the chances of you remembering it in a week?  A year?  What if that was your home telephone number?  I remember my first phone number from when I got my own phone line at the age of 13 (I won’t tell you how many decades ago that was). 

The same goes for Bible verses.  If the words have no meaning, they will not stick.  Conversely, if the passage is meaningful to the student and if they comprehend what the passage is saying to them, they are much more likely to remember that particular verse for a lot longer time.

One of our favorite tricks for getting excited about a new verse is to sing and dance to it.  The tune is usually silly, but catchy and the ‘dance’ moves are our own made up version of sign language.  It’s fun and interactive and the kids really remember the verse.  I still sing the books of the Bible when I am looking for a book. 

portions paraphrased from Teaching Bible Memory from Rod and Staff Publications, Inc.

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