Why You Need to Be Intentional in Teaching Scripture Memorization Early

banner intentional parenting 7 day challenge

Often, we underestimate the ability for young tots to grasp Scripture. The whole of their existence seems to revolve around peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, building blocks, and the word “no.”


Therefore, it can become our default to wait until they have grown up a bit to teach the truths of Scripture.

We must remember, however, these little people have souls – souls created by God with a hunger and thirst to know the God of the Bible. These early years, before a child can even read, offer unparalleled opportunity to instill truth that will serve them later in life.

One of the ways we can do this is to read the accounts of men and women of the Bible – the feats of men like David and Samson, the humility of Mary, the prayer of Hannah and the miracles of Jesus. These are historical accounts and should always be presented to our children as truth rather than fairy tales.

I hope you are spending time inspiring your children in this way. But I especially want you to encourage your young children to memorize Scripture.

Now perhaps you are saying, “Well, my little two-year-old barely speaks!” or perhaps “I don’t think my three-year-old would ever be able to memorize Bible verses and certainly wouldn’t get anything out of it!”

Why You Need to Be Intentional in Teaching Scripture Memorization Early

Why You Need to Be Intentional in Teaching Scripture Memorization Early Character Corner

This may be true at the outset, but I’d like to share my experience with helping our young children memorize children, as I was intentional in teaching God’s Word early to them.

Memorizing Scripture Teaches Language

I’m a bit fascinated with the whole concept of language. Language is completely unique to humans, distinguishing us from all other living creatures.

True, animals have snorts, growls, snuffs and hoots that they call out as signals to each other, but none of these come anywhere close to the gift of language that humans possess. We do so much more than sound a signal.

Language develops a progression of thought, gives expression to feeling, and considers and turns over in words that answer questions about eternity, Creation, the Creator, and our fellow humans. It is marvelous. Our little ones, fresh and tiny, are created in the image of God with the ability to communicate.

At first, that communication is wrapped up in feeling, but before long, much before they can even speak, a little toddler begins to understand the world around him through the words – the language – he hears. His thoughts progress from mere feelings to thoughts defined by words.

This is where Scripture memorization comes in.

Even when our little ones do not yet have a very good grasp on spoken words, practicing Bible verses provides a consistent way to teach pronunciation and lends itself to producing a more verbal child.

Careful, clear repetition with a little bit of expressiveness thrown in for good measure, goes such a long way in giving words to benefit our child’s thought life. This is why children’s rhymes have had such popularity over the years.

While the repetition might grow weary for mom and dad, the predictability tends to appeal to children. They like what they are familiar with.

Not long ago we made the mistake of introducing our little three-year-old to the theme song to the old TV show “Green Acres.” That little wisp of a girl had not heard the song three times before she was belting out “FAHHHRM living is the life FOR ME!” with such emotion that our whole family had a chuckle!

Now, there is certainly nothing wrong with a cute little song, but, as believers, what could be better than instilling not only language lessons, but spiritual lessons, too, by using Scripture.

Memorizing Scripture Produces a Spiritual Awareness

Very soon, the little Bible verses that seemed at first to be a mere parroting of sounds and words become a foundation for the mind to awaken to the reality of God.

The statement “You are what you eat” has such a profound reality when it comes to our thought life. We are what we dwell on.

The best we could do for our children was to pass on flesh (John 3 speaks to this when it says “flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit”). When we see our little ones obsessed with, “Me, my and mine” we can only shake our heads at the person in the mirror and know where it came from. BUT! The Holy Spirit wants to do something in our child that revives the spirit and gives life – a life that is about Christ.

Having the Scripture hidden in the heart, memorized from early childhood won’t accomplish this, but it will allow a spot in our child’s heart that can be used by the Holy Spirit to draw him to Christ. This is part of what the Holy Spirit does – reminds us of the words of Jesus! Through helping our children memorize Scripture, we can help provide an opportunity for the Holy Spirit to work in our children’s hearts.

Memorizing Scripture Later Reaps a Reward

The benefits of Scripture memorization are often a long time in coming. But, I truly believe that the Word of God will not return void. What we seek to pour into our little people will bear fruit.

One of the fruits I have seen is that Scripture memorization provides a training ground for transforming our children’s attitudes. 

I don’t know about your home, but in mine, our children are prone to unreasonable attitudes. Selfishness, greediness, laziness … you name it, and it grows without any effort. One of my heart’s desires is to effectively reach out to my children when they are lost in the mire of self and show them the way of Christ. Obviously, I want to bring Scripture into these scenarios.

As they get older, part of my reasoning for Scripture memorization is that they will have an ability to counsel themselves with Scripture.

Investing in my children and memorizing Scripture together is a love of mine. I spent huge amounts of time memorizing Scripture when I was a young person, and those words have come back, again and again, to change me and guide me. I want it to do the same for my children.

What to Avoid When Memorizing Scripture

When thinking through why you need to be intentional in teaching scripture memorization early, it’s also important to note what you want to avoid. God’s focus is our child’s heart and we want their scripture memorization to reflect that. For instance; my current little three-year-old happens to be very expressive. We’ve been working with her on Scripture memorization. I can’t help but think it is just so stinkin’ cute to hear my little girl say her verses. I’ve found myself wanting her to “perform” for visiting grandparents and aunts and uncles. What I have sometimes seen develop, however, when we prop our children up in this way is a development I will call “spiritual pride.”

This is so far from what I really want to see cultivated! So, I remember, I must not allow the cuteness of this stage to get in the way of helping my little one see the importance of knowing the Bible. These are words of life and beauty that will serve her well in her life. I don’t want to taint or feed a strain of vanity by making it about performance.

Memorize Scripture Together

One of the best ways we’ve fought against a performance mentality in Scripture memorization is simply to do our memory work as a family, all together. As we learn, or review, we do it in unison, making it a matter of family togetherness.

Not that we never single out one or another to individually share from memory, but we’re seeking to do it in a way that puts the emphasis on encouraging our children in the value they are gaining in retaining the Word of God.

Perhaps it is akin to the difference between making a huge emphasis on how very pretty their outfit is and how nothing could compare to how cute they look to praising how right and good it is that they serve and help their little brother or sister.

The Scriptures say, “Even a child is known by his doings, whether they be right, and whether they be good.” We can’t do the work of the Lord in renewing and saving our children. But we have the ability to give voice to the Word of the Lord in their lives. We can instill truth that will give them the ability to ponder the ways of the Lord and give voice to His ways.

Our children are not dormant beings that will wake up spiritually at a certain age. They are eternal souls. To paraphrase C.S. Lewis “We don’t have a soul. We are a soul. We happen to have a body.”

Intentionally parenting means we feed and nurture the soul with the Truth in God’s Word.



  1.  Make a list of verses of passages that you’d like to memorize with your children.
  2. Choose a time to work on Bible memory daily.
  3. Pick one of the passages or verses and get started TODAY.


Brook Wayne is an author and conference speaker and homeschooling mother of nine. She is a co-founder of Family Renewal, LLC and co-author of the book, Pitchin’ A Fit! Overcoming Angry & Stressed-Out Parenting.


Don’t miss the other posts in the series! Sign up here and get the challenge delivered straight to your inbox each day!

A special thank you to today’s sponsor Attributes of God for Kids!

The Attributes of God for Kids is a seriously fun devotional or curriculum resource for kids ages 4-11. Based on the work of A.W.Tozer, this book helps kids understand 10 ways God is different than we are and 11 ways we can reflect Him as image bearers. Memory verses, Jesus Storybook Bible passages, prayer prompts, and Seeds Family Worship song recommendations are provided for each attribute.

The Attributes of God Giveaway The Character Corner Intentional Parenting Challenge

Author Lydia White is a mom of two living in Kansas City. She was involved with the Navigators while studying business at The University of Kansas. Prior to marrying her husband Kyle, she attended Dallas Theological Seminary. Although her childhood ambition was to ghostwrite Nancy Drew novels, she is thankful that God instead brought her love of writing, theology, and children together in this book. Her favorite attribute of God is Faithful.


Brook Wayne is an author and conference speaker and homeschooling mother of nine. She is a co-founder of Family Renewal, LLC and co-author of the book, Pitchin’ A Fit! Overcoming Angry & Stressed-Out Parenting.


Top Posts

2 Responses

  1. Singing Scripture songs is a GREAT way to memorize and retain Scripture verses!

  2. Listening to Seeds Family Worship songs (available for free on Amazon Prime Music if you have Prime) has helped my 3-year-old son learn so many Bible verses! He loves singing his worship songs, and I love the music (and have learned a few new verses) as well.

Leave a Reply

  • My Obedience Chart

    Add to cart
  • Building Godly character in your children

    30 Days Of Building Godly Character In Your Kids

    Add to cart
  • How to Respond to your Anger

    Add to cart
  • Image shows a book called Little Lads and LAdies of Virtue By Kathie Morrisey

    Little Lads & Ladies of Virtue Character Curriculum

    Select options
  • Spiral Cover Names of Jesus Advent Countdown The Character Corner

    The Names of Jesus Advent Countdown Printables Pack

    Add to cart
  • Spiral 30 Days of Biblical Motherhood Cover

    31 Days of Biblical Motherhood

    Add to cart
  • 60 Homeschooling Tips From 60 Years

    Add to cart
  • 30 days of Homeschool Encouragement Cover eBook


    Add to cart
  • Spiral Tween Parenting Encouragement Like Minded Musings Ebook

    3o Days of Tween Parenting Encouragement

    Add to cart
  • Stress Free Homeschooling

    Select options
  • Image shows a book titled "Lads and Ladies of Wisdom" by Kathie Morrissey

    Lads & Ladies of Wisdom Character Curriculum

    Select options
  • Sale! Training and correcting the heart

    Training & Correcting the Heart with Scripture

    Select options
  • Valentines Day Coupon book

    Valentine’s Day Coupon Book

    Add to cart

    Select options
  • Biblical blessing Scripture cards for children

    Biblical Blessing Scripture Cards For Children

    Add to cart