My daughter has memorized passages of the Bible. Not just verses, passages. I say that not in boasting, but in giving glory to God. There are no limits to what He can do through each of us. He can use her now-while she’s only 3! He can do anything. I’m completely amazed every time. I did not at all start out with intentions for her to memorize an entire passage. It just happened. I just wanted to read the Bible to the kids during breakfast time. Breakfast is not rushed at our house so we have time to do this. I think the importance here is just picking the same time every day to read the Bible out loud so that a) you can remember to do it and b) it becomes a consistent routine for them. There are mornings that I forget to get the Bible, but my daughter is quick to remind me to get it. It’s a part of her routine now, and hopefully we are laying the foundation to keep it a part of her routine as she gets older and does her own Bible time.
What do we do? All I do is pick a passage and read it out loud EVERY morning at breakfast. THE KEY HERE IS: I read the same passage every day for about a month. And that’s it. Just read it. Examples are Jesus Feeds 5000 found in Luke 9:10-17, and The Armor of God in Ephesians 6:10-18. Just pick a passage, or choose a story from their children’s Bible they like to read and read it from your Bible. I love her children’s Bible, but I want her getting the true Word too, especially for memorizing. And the more we read a story, the more it becomes like an old friend-they become well acquainted with it.
I will throw in some hand motions here and there. For Jesus Feeds the 5000, some of the hand motions I do are breaking the bread, holding the bread up to heaven, moving my fingers along the table for “walking,” holding up numbers 2 and 5. For the armor of God, I put my hands together to show “pray,” I hold up my shield and then move it around with fun noises to block “flaming arrows,” I touch my head for “helmet,” and I will hold my Bible up for the “sword.” But hand motions aren’t necessary, that’s more personality preference. Sometimes I will pause while reading to see if she knows the next word I am about to read. We don’t discuss it much after reading, but my daughter will reenact things on her own while playing. Sometimes I join in. Acting out a story is a GREAT way to remember it! And super fun for boys.
A couple of ways we act it out:
Noah and the Flood: take a blanket and lay it on the floor and pretend it is Noah’s ark. We get all the stuffed animals in the house and put them on the ark with us. The kids LOVE this!
Jesus Feeds 5,000: We take the duplo blocks and get 7 out for the five loaves and two fish. The kids “tell the (pretend) people to get into groups of about 50 each. Then they each take a bread or fish (duplo) to a group, and while they do this I am getting more out of the bin so then they come back and there’s more-it’s multiplying! And we do this over and over until the living room floor is covered up. And then we look at how God multiplied a little of giving to a lot.
I also love that we are starting our day with the Lord. There is a big difference in the days I start with the Lord and those that I don’t. I NEED him and His strength. I definitely cannot do it in my own strength. I pray this time being in the Word together is establishing a habit of spending time with the Lord every morning.
“In the morning, Lord, you hear my voice;
in the morning I lay my requests before you
and wait expectantly.” Ps 5:3
Like I said, we did not start out with intentions to have her know so many verses at once, but after three weeks she just started reading it with me (on her own) word for word. I knew it was God working in her life. Nothing special I was doing. All I was doing was reading it to her. Planting seeds. Lord help me be diligent. Another thing to note is that I believe the Lord gave my daughter an extra large storage space for memorizing. It may not be that my other children will memorize like she does and that’s ok. The point of reading the Bible to them is that they are hearing the Word of God every day.
****Now that my kids are older, my daughter is now 6, son is 4, daughter 3, and son is 2, we still do this and it is still working for memorizing lots of scripture!