This week in Sunday’s school, we talked about hiding God’s Word in our heart.
Hide God’s word? What does that mean?
We call the Bible, “God’s Word” so this means we are hiding the Bible in our heart.
(If you’ve got a very literal kid they may wonder how one hides a book inside your body!)
How does God’s Word get into your heart?
It gets there when we know a verse (or verses) “by heart.” In other words, we have it memorized. This is not memory work like you would learn the facts for a test; this is a different sort of learning.
It’s the ability to roll right off of your tongue, a reassuring message from God.
This can be very useful when you’re faced with a challenge such as: Can I do this new task?
I can do all things through him who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13
Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go. Joshua 1:9
So what are some ways to “put God’s Word in your heart?”
- We used this one on Sunday: Learn the verse using Sign Language. We did this with Psalm 119:105 using signs for Word, Lamp, Feet, Light, and Path.
- We also tried this one on Sunday: Say the verse using different accents or enunciations. Try using a British accent, a frog croak, a cowboy voice, a mouse squeak, a cheerleader yell, a Southern accent, opera style, and underwater. What others can you think of?
- Use cup-stacking! (We also tried this one on Sunday.) Check out cup-stacking instructions for a 3-6-3 stack. (Refer to the free lesson we used on Sunday for a chart of how to count the cups.)
- Also, check out this post and this post, for more learn-it-by-heart ideas.
What ways do you learn up-lifting words?
Clip art heart in the Public Domain. Altered by moi and offered at Flickr.
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.