Bible memorization helps to give kids a foundation for their spiritual journey that will take a life time. As they grow older, it gives them the ability to have God’s Word on the tip of their tongue when they face trials and temptations. As the enemy attacks them, having those words written on their hearts can be their line of defense.
So, when should you start? I would argue that you should start your kids on the habit of scripture memorization as soon as they are able to speak. Indeed, you can help that process by reading scripture to them even before they can speak themselves.
The purpose of this article is to provide you with 12 verses (one for each month) that you can help your three, four and five year olds to write on their hearts for a lifetime. Before we get to the verses though, here are some ideas for ways to help kids that age memorize verses:
- Repetition: No one can learn a verse without reading, hearing and saying it over and over and over. Most kids that age can’t read which leaves you, the adult, the repeat the verse over and over to them.
- Practice Every Day: These verses are short and kids will be able to repeat them after you. Practice the verse with them at least once a day (more if you can). Move from having them just repeat after you to telling you what the verse is.
- Teach them the Verse Number: It’s not part of God’s Word, but if you’re memorizing the verse, why not have them memorize where it comes from? In doing so, you will give them exposure to books of the Bible and how chapters and verses work. This will be invaluable as they get older.
- Review: As you move through the months, continue to review earlier verses. This will help to further solidify them in your child’s mind.
- Make it Fun: This is not a chore. These words are God’s Words to us. Make memorizing them fun. Come up with creative ways to help your kids learns the verses. Draw a picture that reminds them of the verse. Make up songs with the verses in them. Play with your kids as they memorizing the verse. Make scripture memory an enjoyable time. Never, ever, make your child’s time in the Bible a chore or boring.
- Fight the Temptation to Work Ahead: One verse a month is not much – not even for a preschooler. You will likely see some success and want to move forward quicker. Add other verses if you truly feel your child is capable, but work on the verse of the month for the entire month. The more you work on the more likely your kids will be to retain it.
Here are the twelve verses I suggest you use for the first year of memorization with your child. You may want to mix them up a little, and that’s OK, but I believe they are capable of being learned by young children and will serve as a solid foundation for their spiritual growth. You can also trade out with some other memory verses we’ve posted on our website.
For the following, I have used the ESV translation for these verses. Some may argue that you should use a translation more geared towards kids, but I think the ESV does a fine job and also allows kids to grow into a translation they can use as adults. Remember, your goal is to give them the gift of scripture for their entire lives, not just for the time when they will be children.
MONTH #1 – Genesis 1:1 – In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
MONTH #2 – John 3:16 – For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.
MONTH #3 – Romans 3:23 – For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.
MONTH #4 – John 14:6 – Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
MONTH #5 – Hebrews 13:8 – Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.
MONTH #6 – Philippians 4:13 – I can do all things through him who strengthens me.
MONTH #7 – Colossians 3:23 – Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men
MONTH #8 – Psalm 119:11 – I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.
MONTH #9 – Proverbs 30:5 – Every word of God proves true; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him.
MONTH #10 – Psalm 139:14 – I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.
MONTH #11 – Romans 12:12 – Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.
MONTH #12 – Matthew 5:16 – In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.
There you have it – a one year plan for writing the Word of God onto the hearts of your precious children. Don’t delay. Go ahead and get started today!