10 Ideas to Help You Memorize Scripture with Your Family

Originally published Wednesday, 05 July 2017.

memorize scripture | scripture memory | memorize Bible verses | family | kids


Whether we intend to or not, we are always teaching our kids.

Oh how I wish I could take back some of those lessons. And now that I've launched my older kids to make their way in the world, I realize what I never taught — either because I didn't know they'd need it or I just never found the time.

Truth is, there isn't enough time to teach all the lessons. Even when we start out with the highest ideals and best intentions, life rushes in fast.

Eighteen summers is all we get. And the seasoned parent will tell you those last few summers? They look altogether different as jobs, sports, clubs, youth group and school pull our kids away from home and family more and more.

“When did you first start feeling how fast time was going with your kids?” a friend asked the other day, both our girls now in college. 

The days of childhood rush past and there are only so many lessons we can teach.

But here’s what I’ve learned: while there may be lessons I regret teaching and things I didn’t even know my kids needed, one thing eclipses all of it: the words of God.

Memorizing scripture is hands-down the best kind of lesson we can give our children and ourselves. Whether you memorize on your own, with your spouse, with children or grandchildren, scripture memory is one of the best ways to deepen and strengthen your faith life. {Read 7 reasons to memorize scripture here.}

And today’s the perfect day to get a plan and push go. Be the woman who gets God’s word down to her very bones. Be the mom who learns with her kids. Be the grandparent who challenges her grandkids.


But how to memorize scripture?

10 Ways to Help You Memorize Scripture

1. Memorize whole chapters or large chunks. Memorizing large chunks gives you context for scripture and helps the verses stick long term. The lyrical quality of many psalms and passages make them easier to memorize. (I listed some of our favorites at the end.)

2. Start young. We so underestimate our kids! Chances are your child is already memorizing Disney’s latest ballad so why not turn him to scripture? I started memorizing with my kids so even the babies and toddlers were listening to the words and cadence as the olders worked through passages. As they grew, they joined as they were able and by 3 and 4 years old, they were memorizing scripture along with us.

3. Use hand motions. Hand motions are an incredible way to nail down scripture. We’ve used American sign language but also make up hand motions for key words and phrases to prick our memory as we move through a chunk of scripture. This site lets you plug in words and gives a video for the corresponding sign.

4. Sing the scriptures.  If you can still recall songs from a childhood musical, you know music helps store memory work forever. Put words to your own melody like my fun friend and her daughter here.  Or digitally download scripture songs like these from Seeds Family.

5. Use an app. If you love all things tech, an app can help you memorize scripture. One of the most popular is Scripture Typer, a free app that helps you memorize verses through recordings, illustrations and interactive exercises.

6. Write it out. Write verses on index cards and put them where they’ll be seen: on your bathroom mirror, computer screen, above the kitchen sink or carry them with you as you walk or exercise. You can also have children copy the verses (hello, handwriting practice!).

7. Record your words. Record the scriptures you’re memorizing to play back while you’re in the kitchen or while kids are building with legos. Listening to these recordings in the car is a great way to use commute time!

8. Review often. This is key. We usually add one verse a day, and once that’s memorized we recite from the beginning to the point we’ve memorized. Even you finish a chunk or chapter, put the scripture into a rotation where you review it on a monthly basis.

9. Play Round Robin. One of the review games we play is to go around the room and have each person recite one verse. Do it again, starting with a different person so that each person recites a different verse each time.

10. Reward your work. Time to celebrate your hard work! This is a huge incentive and commendation for kids. We had a treat bag with cheap goodies that was a hit for my kids. Your celebration might be an outing for shaved ice or a reward of privileges.

And bonus: If you’re a grandparent, uncle or aunt, coach or mentor, consider this amazing experience a friend shared. A family friend offered to give her children a dollar for each verse they recited by heart. Little by little, her boys learned James, reciting each chapter as it was memorized. Even after the teacher moved, her boys continued to call monthly and recite their learned verses.  By high school graduation, each son had memorized loads of scripture, including the whole book of Proverbs. Even better, each boy had developed a relationship with a godly mentor who’d encouraged and rewarded their hard work.

{ Read here to see which chunks and chapters to start memorizing together! }SaveIf you’d like encouragement delivered right to your inbox, 

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ways to memorize scripture | scripture memory | kids memorize scripture | family