I have to admit, I used to cringe at the words “Scripture memorization”. I preferred something softer, like “Bible verse learning” or any other term that didn’t make it sound like we were standing in a soldier-like line, demanding recitation of the entire book of 1 Chronicles.
But recently, I’ve begun to understand that memorization is a good thing. It doesn’t have to mean unthinking repetition that is quickly forgotten. Committing Scripture to memory has a lot of great advantages and a lasting impact on our lives as well as the generations to follow.
After all, “memorize” means to learn by heart! And what better place for the Word of God to be–in our family’s hearts! I wanted to share with you three reasons I believe Scripture memorization is important.
3 Surprising Reasons Scripture Memorization is Important
1. Scripture memorization helps us recall the Word to mind when we are in need of a Bible verse! There will be many times when a friend or one of my children is going through a difficult time and talking with them about it triggers a verse in my head. Now, I’ll be honest, I don’t always remember the reference…a lot of times I struggle with that part! But since it’s the Word of God, it’s still effective and helpful.
This is obviously a huge advantage for our children as well. Not every word of every single verse we memorize will necessarily be remembered, but kids learn so quickly and retain so much! An elderly missionary my husband knew had thousands of passages of the Bible put to memory throughout his lifetime. Even when he developed severe dementia in his 80s, amazingly he remembered the Scriptures!
2. Learning Scripture trains our minds to see things from God’s perspective. Psalm 119:11 (remembered the verse and book but–yep!–had to look up the exact reference) says “I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.” The NASB says it this way which I love: “Your word I have treasured in my heart, that I may not sin against You.”
When we make it a point to memorize Bible verses, the Word works in our hearts and minds and transforms us (Romans 12:2) so that we can literally be taught by the Spirit and understand spiritual truths (1 Corinthians 2:13). If we’re focusing too much on worldly things, we start to think and make decisions based on those viewpoints.
But when God’s word is hidden in our hearts through memorization, we begin hold everything up to the lens of Scripture. So incredibly important for everyone, but I especially think of preteens and teens, who are beginning to form their understanding of truth.
3. Memorizing Scripture helps us to pass it on to future generations and others who don’t have a physical copy of the Word. One of the things that really opened my mind to the understanding that memorization, in a repetitive way sometimes, is a good thing, was when a missionary friend shared that historically Scripture has been passed down orally through generations in many countries around the world.
Often orally spoken or recorded readings are the only access to the Bible many people groups have. This is made possible through the spoken Word that is able to be shared because someone memorized it, repeating it to themselves over and over again, or recorded it for the purpose of allowing others to listen and memorize.
There are many projects around the world that support oral memorization/translation of Scripture, including The Seed Company, who our friends serve with. Here is a video on their ministry–it’s really amazing how God works through oral learning of the Scriptures!
Memorization doesn’t have to be a dirty word. It doesn’t have to be associated with “rote repetition” of math facts or English grammar rules like you did in school, just so you could push through classes and get good grades.
It can be a beautiful, heart-changing way to learn the Scriptures and truths about our Father’s world so that we can share it with others when they need a word of truth or encouragement.
God’s Word in My Heart: A Scripture Learning Guide with Memory Verses, is a downloadable “mini Scripture memory program” I created that gives simple ideas for teaching your young children God’s Word at home. This is something I’m really passionate about and has been enjoyed by hundreds of families!
Recommended for ages 2 and up, it contains ideas for ways to commit Bible verses to memory, printable memory verses from A to Z plus verses on sin and salvation, as well as a list of songs and go-alongs that you can use to expand your Bible verse knowledge! (Available in 4 Scripture versions!)
Find out more about God’s Word in My Heart! Or just head to my store page to grab your copy!