I’m honored to present this guest post to you from Dakota Lynch of Scripture Memory Fellowship. Mr Lynch is the IT & Communications Manager, and has been a wonderful help to the homeschool community. Please enjoy his thoughts on Scripture Memorization and visit the Scripture Memory Fellowship website to see the amazing program there.
Over the last two years, I’ve traveled to homeschool conventions and book fairs across the country. As I chat with dozens of homeschool moms at each of these events, I frequently turn to their young children and ask if they can quote any Bible verses. Of course, John 3:16 or “Jesus wept” is recited quickly by most, but when asked if they know any others, the response is often disheartening: blank stares, sheepish grins, and a somewhat embarrassed parent.
Granted, most of these kids are being raised by well-meaning parents who want more than anything for them to know Christ and embrace a biblical worldview. But tragically, many parents mistakenly think they can do this without teaching the actual words of Scripture.
This might seem like a minor omission at first, but it couldn’t be any more serious. Why? Because a biblical worldview cannot be said to exist apart from a deep and wide knowledge of God’s actual words. We cannot omit the study and memorization of God’s Word from Christian education any more than we could omit the Constitution and Founding Fathers from our study of American history. Without God’s Word, Christian education is not Christian education at all, but moralized secularity.
Of course, you probably already believe memorizing Scripture is important. After all, the whole reason you decided to homeschool in the first place is likely because you place some value on the Bible’s principles for living. Scripture memory, then, automatically gets your parental stamp of approval. “Sure, memorizing Bible verses is a good thing,” we say — yet relatively few of us make it an integral part of our lives.
The problem, as is so often the case, comes down to prioritization. It’s one thing to mentally assent to the value of knowing Bible verses; it’s quite another to stop what you’re doing and make a focused effort to memorize a few. We know memorizing is important, but we tend to put it in the same category as exercise and eating healthy. Running three miles and then eating a salad is admirable, but sleeping in and having a donut probably won’t kill us, right?
It’s not that we fail to see the importance of memorizing Scripture; it’s that most of us fail to see the indispensability of it. And if you are homeschooling your kids in hopes of them embracing a biblical worldview as adults, then knowing God’s Word is foundational to the success of your homeschool. Let me say that again, just in case you missed it: if you are homeschooling because you want your kids to have biblical values, then instilling the actual words of Scripture in their hearts is vital.
At Scripture Memory Fellowship, our mission is to motivate and equip believers to memorize God’s Word. Over the years, we’ve learned that a few simple steps will get your family on the road to successful Scripture memorization:
- First, decide what you’ll memorize. Goals and deadlines are part of every core subject, and Scripture memory should be no exception. So, set a definite goal with specific verses to memorize.
- Second, set a target completion date and share your goal with at least one person outside your immediate family. That added measure of accountability will help you stay on track for the long haul.
- Third, make a weekly appointment with a well-chosen person to hear you recite until your goal is reached.
If you’re not sure where to start, our Jonah memory program is great for beginners and is especially suited for integration in any homeschool program. Details and signup info are at scripturememory.com/start.
Whatever your family chooses to memorize, I can guarantee you’ll be richly blessed as you resolve with the psalmist, “I will delight myself in Your statutes; I will not forget Your word” (Psa. 119:16).