In this Bible verse from Deuteronomy 11:18a, Moses is admonishing the Israelites to always remember what God has done for them.
So keep my words in your hearts and minds.
As our kids learned earlier this year, God provided freedom from slavery in Egypt. Moses goes on to instruct the Israelites to teach their children about these liberation stories.
Teaching these stories is still today a priority for us as parents/caregivers. But not only the specific stories of Moses; we also need to ensure that our children grasp the reality of God’s love. You’re probably already doing this task through many avenues:
- Reading and telling Bible stories,
- Praying with your kids,
- Teaching service to others,
- Naming instances you see in the world of God’s love and grace, etc, etc.
Here’s another way:
Encouraging the memorization of scripture.
And the perfect spot to start: John 3:16. (Read it in different Bible versions here.)
Etching God’s words of love into our children’s hearts.
This is not memorizing like you would learn facts for a test. This is a different sort of learning, for a different purpose. Tell your children: “We are keeping God’s word in our heart.”
That’s right, I said we. Because you’ll want your kids to do as you do. It will be a much more powerful lesson if you are working on this as well.
Learning God’s words by heart makes it instantly available when you need it. Your mind can pull them up faster than a smart phone, right?
How to go about this task? Here are some ideas:
- Refer to this past post for hints. (No sense in repeating myself!)
- Start ’em young: Age 2 has been suggested. (But it’s never too late to start! Though it does get harder with age.)
- Say it differently: Try a fun way of saying the verse. Use a cowboy voice, cheerleader style, opera style, referee style, or baby style. What other ways can you think of?
- More games: If you have a dry-erase or a chalk board, write out the verse. Then erase one word and say the verse with the missing word. Continue until all the words are gone. Don’t have such a resource? Arm your child with a stack of Post-it Notes. Write out the verse on a sheet of paper and use the Post-it’s to cover up the verse a word at a time.
- More songs: Try this one on YouTube to learn John 3:16-17. Search for other verses to find songs.
- Catch them on video: Once your child can say part of a verse, video them. I’ll bet they’ll like watching themselves, and saying the verse with themselves!
- After you’ve mastered John 3:16, learn verses based on the alphabet. Try these ABC Scripture cards.
What are your hints for etching God’s word upon our heart?
Water stories by Abigail Keenan, via Unsplash.
Heart clip art by rygle, via Openclipart.org.
Both licensed under CC0 1.0 Public Domain.
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