Sunday: Hidden in her heart

For years our family has done small bits of Bible memory on a sporadic basis.   But last summer when a pastor visited our church and spoke ALL of Ephesians from memory, we decided to raise the bar.

We began with Ephesians 6:10-20.  I printed out the words on cards for each person and laminated them.  We keep the verses at the dinner table, and simply read through the verse once or twice at the end of each meal until we learn it. It takes us 3-4 weeks to learn a verse. Once everyone can say it, I pick another verse to learn.

Everyone, even the three year old, has been able to learn the verses. In fact, it is usually someone age 10 or younger who learns it first. And let me tell you, it is pretty cool to hear a preschooler say, “Pray also for me, that whenever I open my mouth, words may be given me….” — and to know that those words are IN THERE — most likely for the rest of her life. No, she doesn’t understand them yet. But they’re there.

We are currently on our 4th verse this school year– Matthew 2:1-12, which is the Christmas story.  We don’t quite have it learned yet, but I think in another week or two we will.  I am thrilled that this tiny time investment is planting words in our hearts that will be there for the rest of our lives.


  1. You have convicted me. We do scripture memory through music often, but I would love for my kids to memorize more substantial portions of scripture and I would love to learn it with them.

    I wonder if we can learn a section of the Christmas story in time for Christmas? We will only know if we try.

    Thanks for the encouragement to do so.

  2. Love it.
    I am Jewish and am the director of a Jewish early childhood center. For years we have focused on Jewish/universal concepts and values and now we are putting the quotes and versus with them. It was a thrill to me when last week we did an exercise where the 4 yr olds taught each other something they knew how to do, and the children could say (from Ethics of the Fathers) “Ben Zoma says, Who is wise? The one who learns from everyone.”
    We can’t forget that we each have a base for our values and our teachings and while it is important to learn the value–it is also important to learn where it came from. Gives us something sturdy to stand on, something to hold us up.

  3. i love it! i learned the OLD ENGLISH to the prologue to chaucer’s canterbury tales that way during my senior year of high school. we had to read the entire prologue and were graded on our pronounciation, but i memorized it as well through all the repetition. i was 18, saying words i didn’t understand, and 11 years later, i can still say large chunks.

    you’re right — your little one will surely remember much of what she is memorizing today! and, she will come to understand the words, unlike me with the old english 🙂

  4. Great idea Mary! I have a three year old and have wondered when to start doing scripture memory. I’m gonna start ASAP. Thanks for the encouragement.

  5. Thanks! I think this is a great idea and a wonderful encouragement! I’ve always had my little ones pray but never considered memory work (3 kids, ages 5 and under). I think they are ready.

  6. First of all, your daughter has the most beautiful smile! And you have inspired me as well to really get going on memorizing scripture. As I’ve grown and matured in my faith, I’ve thought to myself many times how much more secure I’d feel if I could recall God’s promises -verbatim- from memory. How wonderful that you are cultivating this habit in your children- I hope to do the same!

  7. Way to go! My mom did this with us and it REALLY never does leave you!
    Our homeschool curriculum has a small verse for each week. The first week was, “Pay attention my child to what I say, listen carefully.” Proverbs 4:20. My 3 year old was SO cute to listen to and we’d have him say it over and over again for our listening pleasure. He ended it by saying, “Problems 4:20”.

  8. I think we’ll be joining for the Matthew passage. Thanks for your always encouraging words.

  9. My two-and-a-half-year-old memorized Psalm 23 and our friends thought it was amazing. My clue that she could do it? She was sick and watched a movie five times in two days and had a huge section of it memorized!

    I think it is a shame that the kindergarten Sunday school classes at our church teach the kids Bible “phrases” instead of verses. It is the verses I learned when I was very young that I still remember very clearly! But then, it isn’t the Church’s responsibility to teach them these things. It is ours!

    Good for you! –and your family.

  10. wow- I’m impressed. I’ve never been one to memorize. Rather I remember the “general gist” of the stories (“you know, that one story where Jesus turns a few loaves of bread and little bit of wine into a lot and feeds a whole group of people”). OK, now I’m actually kind of embarrassed. You’d think after nearly 30 years of being a practicing Christian I’d have memorized at least one passage along the way. Maybe that should be my goal for this holiday season… a gift to myself.

  11. I think I was going to send you a CD with Mom and Dad, but it got away from me. Sorry. Such limited opportunities to get things from here to there. Are you still interested? Or does one of our computer whiz kids know how to get it to you via the web? We could check with my oldest about that.

  12. Do you happen to know the name of the pastor that came to your church?


  1. […] Owlhaven I’ve written before about Bible memory work.  In case anyone is interested, I’ve added our current memory […]