IN THIS EPISODE OF THE CHRISTIAN HOME AND FAMILY PODCAST, I WANT TO SHOW YOU HOW GETTING YOUR KIDS TO MEMORIZE BIBLE VERSES MAY NOT HELP THEM, AND HOW IT COULD EVEN GO FARTHER TO DESTROY THEIR LIVES.
Let me be clear. I LOVE the Bible. I believe it to be God’s word, divinely inspired, and profitable for our instruction, edification, and teaching. I can’t tell you how much I have grown because of the truths the scriptures contain. I read it every single day of my life.
BUT, I also know, from personal experience, that a head full of Bible verses can be a very damaging thing. You can know what the scriptures say, and have it do absolutely no good in your life. Memorizing scripture, by itself, is not enough.
The same is true of your children.
You can enroll them in AWANAs or Pioneer Club, or Child Evangelism Fellowship, (all very wonderful organizations, by the way), and you could encourage your kids to memorize all the Bible verses in the world, but if you don’t do one, vital thing, it won’t help them one tiny, little bit.
What is it you’ve got to do?
You’ve got to help them UNDERSTAND what all those Bible verses mean.
Picture a bible verse or a passage of scripture like a suitcase. You want to open up that verse or passage, and unpack all the nuggets of truth it contains. You want to walk through it, word by word, phrase by phrase, to make sure your kids are understanding, on their level, what the verse is actually SAYING.
That can be a very hard thing to do, can’t it.
I’m a busy man. I’ve got soccer to get the kids to, and work to do every day, and housework and chores, and meals to prepare, and friends to see, and groceries to buy, and homeschooling to do, and a hunting trip I’m planning for, and a men’s group at church, and honestly, I don’t have time to sit down with my kids between every Sunday school class or weekly AWANA meeting and help them understand the verses they’re being asked to memorize!
Wait a minute.
I hope you see how ridiculous that sounds. To believe, even for a second, that you’re too busy to help your children understand God’s word, is like saying you’re too busy to breathe. It’s like saying that all those activities and responsibilities that make up your life are more important than your children’s eternal well being and spiritual health. It’s ridiculous.
So, how do you do it? How do you help your kids unpack the Bible verses they’re getting week after week after week?
FIRST – You’ve got to reassess your life. If you have so many things going on, individually or as a family, that you can’t sit down for 15 to 20 minutes with your children, once a week, so that you can review and talk about their Bible memory lessons, you are WAY too busy. Something has got to go. I know that sounds radical, but Jesus is a radical Savior. He doesn’t just want your kids to know what His word says, He wants them to UNDERSTAND what it MEANS and how it applies to their young lives. So, if making the time for this seems overwhelming, that’s a good sign that you’ve got too much on your plate. Unload some things for the sake
of your kids.
SECOND – Do it. As you help the kids review their verses, stop and discuss each phrase in its logical sequence.
Here’s an example: If the verse says, “God so loved the world that He gave His only Son,” stop and talk about who God is – their Creator, King, and Ruler. Help them understand what the verse means when it refers to “the world.” Is that them, grandma, the boy down the street? Unpack what it means that God “gave” His Son, by describing the incredibly powerful loving act it was for Jesus to step out of heaven and become a human being. And behind all that, help your kids understand why God needed to give us anything in the first place. Help your children understand their own sin, and how it separates them from God. Help them understand their own need for God. Show them how His great heart of love motivated Him to do the most amazing, sacrificial thing ever, to overcome their sin problem and make them His own.
That’s just one example. And the Bible has hundreds of thousands of verses in it, all with their own deeply impacting, eternally significant meaning. If you let your kids cram the words into their heads without the meaning, your feeding them food without the nutrients, and it will wind up destroying them. They’ll become confident that they know the scriptures, when they really only know the words. They’ll become self-righteous little hypocrites instead of passionate followers of Christ.