Children Can Memorize

Linda Weddle_130114_022_sm-2
By Linda Massey Weddle

Children can memorize – often more easily than adults. They recite sports statistics, umpteen jokes, song lyrics and can repeat dialogue from movies or television shows with precise accuracy.

They also can memorize For God so loved the world …

Sometimes adults say that children can’t memorize or that they don’t understand what they’re memorizing. So why bother trying?

I’ve been in children’s ministry for a few decades and here are some truths I’ve observed.

1. Knowing Scripture brings a child in closer communication with the Lord. When you love someone, you want to be in contact with that person. (How many texts go back and forth between friends during a day?) The Bible is God’s message to us. The Bible is living (Hebrews 4:12) which means the words are as up-to-date and relevant as if the Lord Jesus Himself were sitting across from us. Yes, we can go to His Word and read His message (and we should), but we don’t always have access to a Bible (even when it’s downloaded on our smart phones). How much better to have those words in our mind for instant recall?

2. Knowing Scripture is the compass for life’s situations. You probably aren’t always present when your children need to make life decisions. God’s words embedded in a child’s mind can help him make those right versus wrong choices. God’s Word is a light to guide them (and us) along the path of life. (Psalm 119:105) When your child faces a tough choice or someone is tempting him to do wrong, don’t you want God’s words filtering through his brain?

3. Knowing Scripture can bring comfort in difficult times. When my husband was diagnosed with cancer, Isaiah 26:3 played over and over in my mind. You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you. That verse was literally a lifesaver for me, but I have no idea when and where I learned it – though I know it was when I was a child. Even though I might not have understood that verse at age five or six, I had no trouble understanding it when the Holy Spirit brought it to my mind as an adult.

Children can memorize. We need to be intentional in teaching them Scripture. The words they embed in their hearts and minds as children will affect them not only now but also throughout their lives.

Linda has worked at Awana for more than 20 years as a writer and program designer. She also has worked in just about every facet of children’s and youth ministry (other than anything musical!). She is the author of several hundred short stories/articles and 13 books – the most recent: How to Raise a Modern-Day Joseph, published by David C. Cook.
Exciting News! We are giving away 5 copies of Linda’s book, 10 Ways to Instill a Biblical Worldview in Your Kids. Anyone who comments will be entered for the drawing. Random Number Generator will be used to select 5 winners on Tuesday at midnight. Winners will be announced Wednesday morning on the blog.

35 comments to Children Can Memorize

  • […] (BTW – I guest posted on Janet’s blog today … and there’s STILL ANOTHER giveaway there, so you might want to check it out. Click here.) […]

  • Melinda Anderson

    I am so thankful for all the verses I memorized as a child and young adult! I hope to teach my daughter many verses that the Lord will use in her life too!

  • Chérie

    What a complete privilege to read your post. I am a memorizer because of AWANA. Not because I was in AWANA as a child, but I taught AWANA to 4-6 graders, and at the end of my 1st year teaching I promised my class an ice cream party if they could memorize Romans 8:31-39. I did this because the children had become so precious to me and I’d no idea if I would see all of them the following year, or ever again, and I wanted them to leave with a longer passage that might influence them as they grew. I had to memorize it too, and that was the beginning of my story. Almost 5 years later and I’m starting my 51st chapter. AWANA is such a fantastic program. Thanks for sharing with us!

  • Natalie

    Thank you so much for sharing encouragement to teach scripture to our children! My mom taught us scripture passages as children and I still remember so much of it. Great hearing from you on the blog today!

  • Stephanie

    Thanks for your giveaway! Our kids love AWANA, and we are also thankful to attend a different church that promotes scripture memory as well (for all ages).

  • Amy

    I’m envious of how quickly my children learn verses compared to their ol’ ma. Memorizing Bible verses is so worthwhile though, no matter the age. In addition to AWANA, Bible Bee is a great tool for encouraging Scripture memory.

  • Mark Zinke

    I never thought if kids could or couldn’t memorize. Having kids seems kinda of huge and I’m not always sure of the best way to go. I know the bible is a sure, correct path for life so I figure I can’t go wrong having my kids memorize scripture.

    I just started our family memorizing bible passages after dinner most evenings. I always use passages I already know and have my wife Julie and 3 kids age, 13, 14 and 16 recite after me. I started this maybe 5 or so years ago. Sometimes there is reluctance, but not usually.

    Now we all know Psalms 1, 8, 23, 25, 139, 150 and Is.53. As dinner ends someone picks a passage which we recite, and then we pray to end our meal. Its kinda cool because kids can memorize so much better than me and now I have 3 other sharp corrective minds that will quickly pick up any missed or incorrect word.

    Peace, Mark Z.

  • Angela Gerber

    I homeschool our children and we are now doing ABCs for Godly Girls. The verses my daughter has memorized are already making changes in our whole family (as we memorize them too) thank you for the give away opportunity!

  • I wish we had a local AWANA, I would definitely take our children! I hope Canadians can enter :). Mark, we memorize many Psalms as a family as well.

  • Barbara

    I was not a memorizer of Scripture as a child, as I was not raised in a Christian household. The majority of my Scripture memorization I have done has been in my 30s and 40s as I earned my Citation Award in 2010….and I’m still memorizing….know how important it is to have children memorize as well as all four of my children were in Awana Cubbies through Journey and all earned their Citation Awards. And now my 2 grandsons are in Awana!!

  • Barbara Rivera

    Kids have great memories! The time to memorize is when they are young. They will have these scriptures with them for their whole life. I love to have my son teach me the verses because he learns them so much quicker than I can.

    • Hi Barbara, So many people tell me that that the verses they remember easily are the ones they learned as a child. Let the little children memorize.

  • Lori Jolley

    I know the verses I memorized as a child are imprinted in my mind & on my heart. I am excited when it dawns on our clubbers that they “know” these verses after they have memorized them. When they can recall them in council time as it applies to that night’s session. These are verses that change lives and lifetimes!

  • linda

    Thank your for telling this to the world. I keep telling people at church this and they tell me cubbies / sparks are too young to be expected to memorize this without more helps. (on a personal note… when I was 3 I can remember reciting Psalm 23 and John 3:16-17 often. I liked doing it because I got oss and ahss because people were amazed I could do it. (At 3 you dont know it is, ‘hard’,
    it is just fun)

  • Sidney Carter

    Thank for for sharing. We just started up Awana this year and TREK and JOURNEY have found difficulty with memorization. Our younger guys are doing great! Its all it what they are “choosing” to fill their minds with. So we’re still plugging away!

  • Theresa

    Scripture memorization is so important. I love working with my Awana kids and my own kids to help them hide God’s word in their hearts so that God will be able to bring them to mind when they need them.

  • Ginger

    In years past I was an AWANA leader and there is no question that even the youngest children can memorize. I am challenged to begin a memory program with my 11 year old.

  • Great post, not just for kids, but for everyone.

  • Johnathon Ralston

    I would like to say that I’m starting this year memorizing scripture to get closer with Jesus. I feel there is something powerful in hearing the word. So when I memorize scripture I tend to memorize it be saying it out loud until I get it. I am presently working on romans 8.
    Also some of my favorite verses is proverbs 3:5-6 and really trying to get that application down.

  • Janet Shaw

    We have been doing Awanas at our church for the past 6 years and the kids do fantastic memorizing! I remember memorizing verses actually in 3rd grade in public school and that has stayed by my side for all of these years! Shame kids don’t have the same opportunities in schools now. I was blessed with an awesome Christian 3rd grade teacher!

  • Lauri Bogart

    I just did a Bible lesson showing T&T clubbers how easy it is to use those verses they’ve memorized to answer questions about their faith and share the gospel with others. It was exciting to see how much they really have learned and are able to share.

  • Very good. Children can memorize.

  • Bobbi Peppin

    I have been working with AWANA (started in Cubbies when my oldest was 4, now 16 and now in Sparks). I have seen so many kids memorize verses even many special needs children. It warms my heart to hear these little ones say these verses from memory.

  • We teach kids that they need technology as a useful tool in life. If we and other parents viewed learning and applying Scripture the same way, we would have more confidence in us and our children memorizing God’s Word. Thanks so much for sharing Linda!

  • Thank you for your commitment to helping parents instill godly values in our children. I have worked in AWANA for 15 years and love seeing the kids soak up scripture! This year I am working on memorizing more myself.

  • Mandy Eley

    Very interested in your book.

  • Tee Bowers

    This is my 22nd yr. serving in Awana. During that time I have earned my Citation and completed all the extra credit work for Sparks & TnT as well as every one of the old Take it to Heart and new TruthScripts passages. I tell the children that I would not expect them to memorize God’s Word if I was not willing to do so myself! Even though I serve in Sparks, I still love it when one of the older children ask me about my pins & how I got them – memorizing God’s Word of course!

  • I would like to read this book!