Saturday, April 16, 2011

Scripture Passages for Young Children to Memorize

Breakfast time is when we practice Scripture memory in our house, and lately I've begun to notice something interesting with the girls.  

Some passages are a breeze for them to memorize and seem to give them delight (like Psalm 23); others just don't stick no matter how many times we go over them (like the Beatitudes).  The difference seems to be the absence or presence of concrete imagery to which they can relate. 

It's a familiar idea to me that young children don't relate well to abstract ideas, but I haven't thought as much about implications of this fact for child spirituality.  I think there is something to be said for memorizing things that will benefit them later on, but if I really want to touch their hearts NOW then pictures (word pictures in the case of Scripture memorization) are key. 

So I've begun making a list of Scriptures that convey foundational truths by means of concrete imagery that a child can relate to.  Here's my list of passages so far- along with the imagery that I think would capture a child's imagination.  I'd love to hear other thoughts and Scripture passages!

Psalm 23- green pastures, still water, leading through paths, walking through shadows
Proverbs 18:10- The name of the Lord is a strong tower.  The righteous run to it and are safe
Ephesians 6:11-17  The armor of God.  (I know a three year old boy who "puts on" and names each piece of armor every morning when he wakes up)
Psalms 119:103- God's words are sweeter than honey (one of my girls' absolute favorites)
Hebrews 4:12 The Word of God is a sharp sword.
Isaiah 53: 1-6  The Suffering Servant grew up like a plant, people hid their faces from Him; He was crushed; we ran away like sheep
Psalm 51:10 Create in me a clean heart
Matthew 6:26  God feeds the birds; we are worth more than the birds
John 8:12  Jesus is the light of the world
Proverbs 8:11 Wisdom is better than jewels
Proverbs 28:1  The wicked run away when no one chases, but the righteous are as brave as a lion
Psalm 1 The righteous will be like a big tree with fruit planted by the water. Its leaves will never dry up or lose their color (wither)
Revelation 3:20 Jesus standing at the door and knocking, people hear His voice and open the door.  He comes in.
Isaiah 1:18- Though your sins are scarlet they will be as white as the snow, crimson, wool

Please leave other verses you can think of along these lines in the comments.  We'll probably use them around the breakfast table!


Sue said...

"I Am the Good Shepherd; the Good Shepherd giveth His life for the sheep." John 10:11 (good idea)

Sue said...

"I Am the Light of the world; he that followeth Me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life."

Chelsea said...

What a great idea! I will have to think of some to collect too.

Sue said...

"I Am the Light of the world; he that followeth Me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life."

Junemslay said...

I just realized in an instant how much I miss being a Sunday School teacher.  This is perfect list of verse for children to learn and they will always come back to them later in life.