Have we lost sight of the need to memorize Scripture, in our digital age? Many feel this discipline is close to impossible to practice. Kids today are raised with instant access to Scripture and even faster answers to their questions via Google.
We’ve gathered three reasons why Scripture memory for kids is still a relevant teaching tool for both parents and pastors and four ways that the Hidden in My Heart Bible can help.
1. Scripture memory helps children make good choices
Scripture speaks to us in times when our conscience is uncertain, telling us what is right and what is wrong. “I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you,” (Psalm 119:11) the psalmist writes. It is just as useful in our modern age as it was in the days of King David.
2. Scripture memory wires children’s brains for increased cognition
That’s right: Scripture memorization makes kids smarter. Our brains are flexible, meaning we can learn new things and develop new habits and thinking patterns, long into life. This “plastic” state of our brains is something scientists call neuroplasticity. Scripture calls this “renewing your mind,” which will lead to transformation (Romans 12:2).
A child’s brain is even more moldable than an adult’s. This means kids actually develop new patterns easier, based on what they’re learning. In their book How God Changes Your Brain: Breakthrough Findings from a Leading Neuroscientist, authors Andrew Newberg and Mark Robert Walkman make the case for ruminating on the love of God and what positive effects this can have on cognition. They claim increased memory and increased compassion toward others are just two of the benefits.
3. Scripture memory gives children something positive about which to think
Our culture thrives on negativity and fear. Whether from the news or the popular media children consume, negativity can easily creep into their minds. The thoughts the average child struggles to shoulder today are much different and far more anxious than those of previous generations, according to the leading psychological research. Scripture gives an anxious child something positive to think about when his or her worries rise. It can also prevent anxiety from becoming an unmanageable problem in a child’s life.
But how on earth do we get today’s kids to put down the screen to memorize something from a book?
Good memorization practices can be harnessed to engage your kids in Scripture memorization. The benefits of addressing unique learning styles in teaching children are well known.
And the Hidden In My Heart (HIMH) Scripture Memory Bible addresses each of these while emphasizing Scripture memorization. Each of the 100+ memory verses encourages different activities to reach all the learning styles. This Bible incorporates the following tactics to help kids memorize Scripture:
1. Hearing it
This is especially helpful for audio learners. But every learning style benefits from words being set to music. HIMH Bible includes 100 verses that have been set to music so that little ones will be able to sing along as they learn. Scripture set to music also has benefits for those tactile learners, as you can include hand motions or dance moves to go along with the songs.
2. Seeing it
Learning through multiple approaches solidifies the knowledge, even if the child is not primarily a visual learner. This is why it’s beneficial to give young readers a children’s Bible using a simple translation they can understand and learn to read for themselves.
3. Interacting with it
Kids love to use games and activities to learn. This is why the HIMH Bible includes PDF activity downloads kids can work on while they are listening to the Scripture. Activities like these are great for tactile and visual learners especially. Another way to encourage kids to interact with Scripture is to ask them how the verse relates to their own lives. After learning this verse, how might you live differently?
4. Verbalizing it
Finally, help your kids by having them recite Scripture back to you. This gets everyone involved and helps the kids see how they are progressing.