To Show Ourselves Approved

Read with MeBoth in our homeschooling and our daily living, our children have been highly encouraged to study and memorize scripture. It is not enough for them to rely on our knowledge and memory, they need to be reading for themselves.

There are several reason we believe our children should be memorizing scripture. We must study to grow in faith, joy, righteousness, discernment, and wisdom; to have prosperity in our relationships, to defend the gospel, and to have a true knowledge of Christ.

There are several ways that we can help our children to commit scripture to memory:

  • Make sure that you are mentally alert. No fuzzy heads!
  • Start off with just the first phrase and work your way to the end of the verse. No sense in tackling the whole thing in one go; start off easy!
  • Put the verse to music!
  • Use hand motions, if you can.
  • Repeat often! Don’t say the verse a few times and then leave off for the day; give a pop quiz every time you pass each other in the hall or every time you get a drink from the fridge.
  • Make it a game! See who can memorize it first or how long they can keep it committed to memory.
  • Join an Awana group. Our children were a part of this ministry for several years. In one year alone, my oldest daughter memorized 450 verses! She still knows most of them to this day!

No matter how we choose to teach our children Bible memorization, I need to make sure this area of study is not skipped over; the benefits are enormous and unending. We are seeing the advantages of this daily and love to see our children become excited over their achievements.

Is Bible memorization a part of your homeschooling day? What helps your children memorize long passages of scripture?

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14 thoughts on “To Show Ourselves Approved

  1. Amen! I totally agree with making scripture memorization an integral part of your homeschooling. AWANA is fantastic if you have one nearby. I also found it helps to do one verse for each letter of the alphabet so that by the end of the school year we have 26 verses that go along with our theme for that year. Much easier to keep track of them mentally that way. Long passages are best done as a whole family with a big reward for extra motivation. My mom-in-law bribes the whole extended family with a Christmas bonus this way. Loved all your tips. Right on (and write on)!

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  2. Okay, this isn’t because I’m trying to be rude or critical. I’m curious what the purpose of memorizing scriptures is. We are not religious and religion isn’t a part of our homeschool experience, but I was raised Catholic, even went to Catholic school. Memorizing scriptures wasn’t a part of our education, so seeing that it’s such a huge part of so many homeschool educations I’m curious as to why. It’s something I’ve never understood and would really like to have a better understanding of. It’s easier to be tolerant of other religions if you better understand them, if that makes sense.

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    • Fox, asking honest questions is a prerequisite to learning, so everyone should be encouraged to ask questions. Those who discourage honest questions are peddlers of ignorance.
      Regarding your inquiry, if one does not believe in the truth of the Bible, then obviously one would believe he has no more obligation to memorize it than he does needing to memorize “The Wizard of Oz”. However, for those who accept the truth of the Bible, the scriptures themselves encourage the believer to both hide it in his heart to keep him from sin (Psalm 119:11), and to study it so that he might properly understand it (2 Timothy 2:15).
      Regarding the Roman Catholic church, it has historically, in the past, did little to encourage its members to do personal Bible study (heck, for much of the time, the mass was only done in Latin, which prevented many from even understanding what was taught by priests). I could suggest why that is, but my intent isn’t to get into a debate about the motives of the Roman church. Suffice it to say that one ought to run away as fast as one can from any “Christian” church that doesn’t encourage its members to study the Bible on their own, or which insists that only its leaders have the ability to understand the scriptures, such that you must defer to them.
      Regarding tolerance of other religions: the classic understanding of “tolerance” begins with the premise that the other guy is wrong, which is why one should tolerate him, i.e., allow him to freely hold his belief without persecution (note that, though one should be free to believe what one wills, one should not be allowed to engage in just any behavior, e.g., we can tolerate the person who wishes to believe in pedophilia, but we don’t tolerate his engaging in any such behavior). Note that if we don’t hold to the other guy being wrong, then there’s nothing to tolerate, e.g., we don’t need to “tolerate” another’s belief that 2+2=4, since we take that to be true. Thus, “tolerance” is reserved for allowing others to hold beliefs we take to be false.
      Now, there’s a post-modern version of “tolerance” peddled in certain ideological circles which views “tolerance” through a relativist understanding, i.e., such a view rejects the notion of absolute truth, and so its insistence of “tolerance” is really a demand that others share in their relativism. Aside from the logical absurdity of this pseudo-tolerance, one should also note that such persons are more often than not intolerant of anyone who doesn’t capitulate to their relativistic version of “tolerance”, which makes their cry for “tolerance” ring hollow, if not downright hypocritical.

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      • Your discussion of tolerance is definitely an interesting one. I can honestly say that, while I don’t think Christianity is “wrong” as per say, I don’t necessarily think that it is right, or true. I guess you could say I see it as a possibility, but not one I’m pursuing, if that makes sense. At that rate, perhaps religious acceptance would be a better term from my end.

        Of course, when it goes the opposite way I’ve found that religious tolerance really is the right term. Many people merely tolerate alternate spiritual paths, or worse, push their own faith and enforce their rightness on other people. Living in Texas there has been a lot of tolerance on my fault as I’ve had to tolerate other people attempting to convert my family and push their faith on me, or worse, persecuting or insulting me because my choice is different than theirs and is therefore unacceptable. Sometimes I think being Catholic would be easier than not being Christian at all.

        As for memorizing the scriptures, I get the idea of holding it close to the heart, but I still don’t truly understand the need to memorize them. Does this perhaps tie back to a time when families either couldn’t read or wouldn’t have the ability to later reference a Bible? I guess I’m coming from the standpoint of logic and science. Not all facts must be memorized if you have a reference book on hand.

        Again, it’s just pure curiosity and looking to understand. I hate that I have to say that (especially since there are so many fantastic people who want to help others understand and encourage curiosity), but I’ve found in my local community that sometimes my curiosity is met in a very negative and hostile way because it’s taken as judgmental or critical, so I feel it’s better to state that I’m just curios.

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      • @Fox —
        Logically, a proposition is either true or it’s false. Now, if one simply doesn’t know whether any particular proposition (e.g., Christian theism) is true or false, then it’s perfectly reasonable to adopt an agnostic position, while continuing to ask further questions. However, it seems one would, for the sake of intellectual honesty, accept any religious position for which there are sufficiently good reasons. It’s not a matter of pursuing religion. It’s a matter of pursuing truth, whether that truth is religious in nature or not.

        By “religious acceptance”, are you referring to a classical notion of “tolerance”, wherein we allow others to freely hold their beliefs without persecution? If so, I certainly agree that we should all exercise that kind of tolerance. However, when it is later noted that “Many people merely tolerate alternate spiritual paths, or worse, push their own faith and enforce their rightness on other people”, the term “tolerate” seems to be used in a negative sense, given that it’s followed by, “or worse”. If so, in what way is such tolerance negative?

        Also, what is meant by the locution, “push their own faith”? Is this a reference to others who make truth claims about their beliefs? If so, how does making a truth claim constitute “pushing”? Certainly no one is putting a gun to anyone’s head or making threats (well, except perhaps, for example, in those muslim countries today where they are killing Christians, Jews, or others who do not follow Mohammed). On the other hand, if someone is insulting you or actually persecuting you, then of course that’s unacceptable behavior. But it should be noted that the truth or falsehood of any proposition (religious or otherwise) is logically independent of the behavior of its adherents. For example, if Islam were true (though I don’t think it is), no amount of abhorrence we feel about the killing of non-muslims would falsify it. After all, we wouldn’t deny the existence of gravity merely because we don’t like the fact that people fall down and die.

        Regarding the memorizing of scripture – you asked whether it comes from a time when people didn’t have direct access to Bibles. I think that’s clearly part of the reason people memorized things in ancient cultures. However, can you imagine a brain surgeon attempting to operate while consulting a textbook, or a driver consulting a manual for operating his vehicle while attempting to drive? Even in our day of instant information, we don’t always have access to that information at our fingertips at all times, nor is it always convenient to have to consult reference material, as in the examples I gave. Part of learning means to have knowledge at hand in your mind, without having to constantly consult a textbook. After all, isn’t this why we take tests, i.e., to see if we’ve committed the information to memory and understand it?

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  3. Hey Fox! I don’t think the question is rude or critical at all and bravo for asking it. As a philosophy major I love going back to the “why” of things. I noticed on your profile that you enjoy knitting, playing video games and the guitar. All these hobbies are much better excelled at if you memorize the patterns, paths, and chords associated with them. If you know the pattern you are knitting by memory, your fingers will just fly without even thinking about it. If you’re playing a video game and have done it often enough that you remember what’s coming you’ll be one or more steps ahead of the game. Same with the guitar. Obviously having to stop every few notes to check the chord chart doesn’t make for very pleasant music. The Bible isn’t exactly a hobby but it becomes much more meaningful, practical, understandable, livable and personal if we have taken the time to commit key portions to memory. If the Word is dwelling inside us its patterns, paths and “chords” will be manifest in our lives regularly, naturally and harmoniously. Keep asking questions!

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  4. Hello all!

    Fox, as long as a question is genuine and not spoken with disrespect, they are greatly appreciated! Never think you cannot ask something; I am never offended by questions nor do I fear them.

    I believe God Made Known did a wonderful job answering the question. I don’t know that there is a better way to answer.

    We believe that everyone has the right to choose their faith; I will never pressure someone to follow me in my faith. However, if I say I believe this is the truth, wouldn’t I be foolish NOT to share the truth with other people? How selfish would I be to keep the truth to myself while other people around me buy into a lie? People are free to choose their beliefs, but I would like the freedom to at least share my own.

    Excellent question! Keep them coming!

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  5. i am teaching beanster Scripture. i pick one out every week that begins with the alpha letter we are doing. it is fantastic for me, too, because i have forgotten a lot of Scripture i had memorized. as we drive places, i quote them in alpha order (but i don’t always remember the verse number!). it helps me and he hears it. as the Word says, The entrance of the Word brings light”.

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