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, 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 really, the song I had in mind was one about not being afraid, and 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 Ways to Teach 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. I’ve gotten lax. No more. Now, I have a plan.
2. Start Small. I finally have a plan of action and it is simple: 12 scriptures a year, one a month. Our whole family is committed to learning just 12 scriptures this year. It doesn’t sound like much, but I know that I’m great at coming up with grand plans only to fail at them, so this year, baby steps. And hey, at the end of the year we’ll have sharpened our swords by 12 verses!
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.
For our first verse of the year, we have decided to memorize Matthew 6:33: “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” Before we began memorizing it, I read the verse in context and explained to my children what it meant. To set up a memorial stone of sorts, I ordered this print from DaySpring to hang on our wall:
And today, this is the gift I’ll be giveaway to one of you (remember, I’m giving away gifts every day in honor of the one-year anniversary of Desperate. Enter yesterdays giveaway here)!
To enter, just fill out the form below! (Email readers, click here to enter.)
Love, Sarah Mae
P.S. My friend Brooke wrote a book called, Praying for Boys: Asking God for the Things They Need Most, and it just released TODAY! This will make a great resource as your learning scripture and praying for you’re children!
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