As a child growing up in the Church of the Nazarene, I participated in Children’s Bible Quizzing. Each year, children in grades 3–6 would intensely study one book of the Bible (Genesis, Exodus, Matthew, and Acts were the four books used on a rotating basis). Church teams would then compete against each other in local and regional events to test their knowledge.
My parents were faithful leaders of this ministry for many years, and I loved being a part of it. I served as captain of my team for several years. The captain is required to memorize multiple verses from the book being studied and repeat them very quickly (it was timed!) to earn bonus points for the team. I often credit this with my abilities as an adult to speak quickly and even memorize well (although this part is deteriorating!)
Last year, my daughter had to memorize a short poem every week as part of her schoolwork. I was amazed at how quickly she could do this, even remembering some poems weeks later. It instilled in me a desire to see her also memorize Scripture while she is young and able to do it easily. I then attended a workshop at a homeschool conference given by Scripture Memory Fellowship (SMF) on the importance of Scripture memorization for children and adults. Wait a minute—I have to do this too! My almost-40-year-old brain doesn’t work like my seven-year-old daughter’s brain. But at the same time I know how assuring it has been to me when the Holy Spirit has brought to mind verses I have memorized, especially when going through various trials.
So I purchased a book from SMF, and in the car on the way to school we have started memorizing Scripture together. We have memorized eight verses is just a few weeks. Elizabeth enjoys reading the verses to me and helping me memorize them—the teacher has become the student! SMF has some great tools for helping both adults and children memorize Scripture, and I encourage you to visit their website. What a blessing this has been to both of us to live out Psalm 119:11, “Your word I have hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against You.”