When I was younger, there were a few things I couldn’t stand doing: cleaning the bathroom, going to the dentist, and memorizing Scripture. All three are necessary and incredibly beneficial, but all three brought feelings of doom, pain, and stress. But perhaps the one that brought the most anxiety of them all was Scripture memory.
I remember feeling the pressure of reciting the verses perfectly for an 80-something-year-old Sunday School teacher who scared the daylights out of me. I remember forgetting to learn the verse that week and fearing the wrath of Ms. Gertrude.
Chances are, Scripture memory went a lot like that for you. Or maybe, you have a very different story. Maybe you’ve always wanted to memorize Scripture and haven’t gotten around to it. Or maybe you’ve got the whole New Testament engraved in your brain.
As I’ve gotten older, I have seen firsthand the importance of this practice in teen girls, but more so, the importance of fostering a love for God’s Word in them. Scripture memory is so much more than retaining words on a page, but it is a way in which we fill our minds with truth and a way to worship God by loving, knowing, and applying His Word to our lives.
Here are five important reminders when teaching Scripture memory with your girls:
Emphasize the why: Challenge each other to memorize passages and hold each other accountable, but always emphasize the why! Before you even start memorizing, spend some time in conversation about God’s Word. Why memorize it? Why learn it? Why love it? Never allow Scripture memory to become routine or rigid. Let it come from a desire to love God more by loving His Word.
Get creative: Break out your inner camp counselor and put it to the tune of a song. Let someone beatbox and someone be the rapper. Write it on your hands or display it on your bathroom mirror. Scripture memorization doesn’t have to be boring and stiff. Allow it to be joy-filled and full of laughter.
Choose verses that apply to your girls’ life right now: What seasons are your girls currently in? What truths do you pray they cling to most? Make it personal to them.
Dissect the Scripture you learn: Spend time dwelling on the Scripture. Ask questions like, “What do we learn about God from this passage?” “What’s one thing you didn’t know about God before reading these verses?” Understanding is absolutely vital in the memorization of Scripture. Never, ever, ever let it become strictly word recall. Get to the heart of it; dig deep!
No shame in the memory game: Scripture memory should never be forced, but encouraged. Spark fascination and celebrate progress, but if one of your girls falls behind or simply struggles with the whole thing, always give grace. Don’t be a Ms. Gertrude.
Most importantly, be prayerful, intentional, and purposeful in the ways that you teach Scripture memory. Keep Jesus at the center of it all and watch your girls be transformed by the living and active Word of God.
McKenna Best is just a Carolina girl currently residing in the bachelorette and hipster capital of the world. I believe in Jesus, dancing in the kitchen, and ordering a Coke with dinner because life’s too short to always drink water. McKenna is an assistant youth director and spends her afternoons working in urban youth ministry with middle schoolers.