Psalm 23 – Should it be memorized?

Did you learn Psalm 23 as a child? I don’t remember how old I was when I learned it; I might have been a teenager. All I know is that it sure is hard for me to learn Bible verses at my age! I wish I’d learned a lot more of them when I had masterly memorizing skills.

Should our kids be encouraged to learn Bible verses?

A multiplication facts practice toolIn today’s educational settings is memorization still taught? Why should we memorize a Bible verse, let alone a whole chapter’s worth; we can just look it up on our ipod/ipad/smart phone, right?

In a dire moment would you take the time to look it up?

The key is to have readily accessible the words that can steel us in times of trouble. The only way to do that is to put God’s word into long-term-readily-available-brain-storage, often known as “learning it by heart.” (Call it memorization if you must, but maybe not in front of your kids.)

Hints for memory work with kids:

  • Repeat it. Have your child work on a memory task for only 5 minutes at a time. Repeat every day, always reviewing what was learned in the past before adding something new.
  • Tie it. Tie your memory work to a certain event—while waiting for dinner, or while in the car.
  • Write it. Ask your child to make a set of flash cards for reviewing verses. If you have a kinesthetic learner (one for whom learning takes place by doing a physical activity as opposed to listening) repeatedly writing out of a verse may be helpful.Bible Memory App for Kids
  • Type it. If you let your child use phone apps here’s a great one: The Bible Memory App for Kids. I use the adult version. I’m up to 30 verses memorized! (Hmmm, maybe my memory skills aren’t as bad as I thought!
  • Sing it. Make up a tune or use a well-known tune.
  • A sketch of a sheepDraw it. Encourage children to draw pictures that represent a verse.
  • Dramatize it. Enact being a shepherd or walking through a dark valley or an overflowing cup. I can see it!
  • Game it. Write out the verses on slips of paper then cut the slips in half. Play a matching game to see who can fit two strips together.

What other ideas do you have?


Photo credits:
Multiplication by licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY 2.0).
Sheep Sketch by Jennie L.C. who had originally licensed this photo on Flickr under Creative Commons (CC BY 2.0).
App screen shot from

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