Near the middle of the night he ran down to our bedroom.
Tears were slung all over his face; he was scared.
“Mom, please let me stay, the dreams won’t go away.”
“Okay, come on, cuddle in with me.”
He snuggled in close and I could see and feel his body moving up and down as he tried to control his breathing and his crying and his fear. I rubbed his head, and kissed it, and whispered assurances into his ear. I told him when he was afraid he could sing (“When I am afraid I will trust in you…”), but he said he couldn’t remember any songs. He finally calmed down and closed his eyes.
I had sung to him many times, how could he not remember a song? But the truth is I didn’t teach it to him; I wasn’t intentional about it.
And like they seem to do, revelation swooped right into my soul: You have not prepared your son for battle.
Right there in the dark, I knew I had not been doing a good job of teaching my son scripture. How can he fight off the dark when he can’t remember the light?
Oh, my son knows the Word, but he forgets the words.
It is my job to tuck them in close, help him to remember.
If he knows the words, he can speak them, the truth, into the dark. I must prepare him.
“Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”
Ephesians 6:31-17, NIV
If you don’t have your sword in battle, you’re in trouble. My son will have a sword.
3 Ideas for Teaching Scripture to Our Children
1. Commit to teaching them. I have thought about teaching my children scripture, but the truth is, over the last couple of years I have not put much effort into it. When they were little, before Caroline was born, I would sing them scripture all the time to tuck into their hearts. Then I guess I got tired and life kept moving and I forgot some of my ideals. Or maybe I was just trying to make it. I don’t know, but I am recommitting to imperfectly tucking God’s Word into their precious hearts.
2. Start Small (and Don’t Compare). You don’t have to memorize whole books of the Bible or feel the pressure to keep up with the bible quizzers. Do what you can, but do something. A verse a month? A verse every three months? Even a verse a year is something! Ask God to help you, and commit to filling your heart and their hearts with truth so that you and your kids are prepared with truth.
3. Sing. Kids love to sing, and quite frankly, even though I stink at it, so do I. Just the other day as we were practicing our first verse of the year I decided to break out into a rap. My children thought it was hilarious, and the words began to stick. I’ve always found it easier to remember scripture by making up songs to it, and so this has been our preferred way of memorization (even though my husband says all our songs sound the same!). Click here to see an example of how we used a song to memorize the 10 Commandments.
Related Post: Getting Truth Into Our Children
When we have Scripture tucked into our hearts, and when we intentionally tuck it into our children’s hearts, we will have something to draw from when life and fears and darkness come. We won’t have to think about it, we will just know and be able to rely on it and speak it. God’s Word comforts us, teaches us, and reminds us. He is with us and He loves us.
Here’s to imperfect, lovingly, relying on the power of the Holy Spirit to help us, Scripture memory!
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