Kid Talk Tuesday: Memorizing Scripture with the Very Young

photo-1453219562534-36e2ce0ea18e Is there anything more delightful than ending the day with your child on your lap as you read together by a dim evening light? The only thing that could make this moment more perfect would be knowing you were adding to your child’s knowledge and internalization of Scripture by your choice of reading material.

Have you ever heard someone rattle off a long passage of Scripture from memory? Often the words arrive in the form of a story, rather than as short snippets of the Bible presented out of context. The memorized words, a chapter or even a book of the Bible (!) keep the passage in context, painting a more complete picture.

For those of us who love the Word and know its power to transform a life, it’s important that our children learn Scripture at a young age. We hope to strengthen them with these words for when life is hard and decisions need to be made. But what’s the best way to make this happen?

Children don’t begin by memorizing a long passage or chapter, like adults. Children learn to memorize small bits of Scripture at a time. And most importantly, they need to learn the meaning of those passages, or else the exercise is futile. They need to be taught how the Bible relates to their lives and their behavior, and how it teaches about God’s love for them.

And learning is easiest at a young age, when their brains are like sponges. Children’s minds are still so fresh and uncluttered that they have the ability to absorb and remember words that might appear later in their lives at unexpected times. Think of song lyrics from your childhood that reappear unannounced years later (or those annoying television commercial jingles!).

We have a delightful series that will be memorable and effective in helping you teach your kids. Our new Sit for a Bit series (individual books include I Can, Be Still, and Give Thanks) provides a teaching method to prepare even the youngest child to understand and learn the Bible.

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Written for the three-to-six-year-old age group, each book takes just a simple verse, breaks it down, and teaches the meaning of the individual words or phrases before presenting the whole verse to your child. In I Can, the child learns Philippians 4:13: “I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.” Be Still teaches Psalm 46:10: “Be still, and know that I am God.” And Give Thanks teaches Psalm 136:1: “Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good!”

This series begins a wonderful discipline for kids, a discipline that can be difficult for the very young without appropriate teaching. With Sit for a Bit, they will learn to store away these words in their hearts and minds and enjoy many benefits later in life. Memorization is one of the best ways to literally hide God’s Word in our hearts. And adults will find this exercise beneficial, too!

Check back on the blog at the end of the month to receive a special Sit for a Bit giveaway.

We wish you success in your memorization! Enjoy!


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Linda Mackillop is the Acquisitions Editor of Children & Youth at Tyndale House Publishers.