One of my biggest blessings recently has been the memorization of Scripture. In June, I started reading the book, 100 Bible Verses Everyone Should Know By Heart, by Robert J. Morgan. In it, Morgan shares Bible verses, which he has separated into categories, and gives interesting devotional thoughts to accompany them, as well as memorization tips. I’ve learned a verse a day, and use the weekend as review days. So far, I’m up to verse number 90 out of the 100.
Let me say right here that memorization has never been easy or enjoyable for me. It’s usually been sheer drudgery and struggle. But not with this book. I’ve loved every minute of it. So much so, that I want others to experience the joy of memorizing God’s Word, too.
So when I started teaching the upper elementary Sunday school class at my church, I decided I’d have my students join me in this journey. I told them I hoped they’d learn 100 Bible verses by the time they left my class. I showed them the list of verses I had compiled
Their first question? “Can you do it?”
“Yes,” I told them, “I can.”
“Let’s hear it,” they challenged.
So I rattled off every verse on that list that I’d memorized. They were in awe. They also were touched by some of the verses they’d never heard before. They coached me if I stumbled and cheered me as I went further and further.
So what’s the point? I don’t think they would have been interested in learning 100 Bible verses if I didn’t know them. They wanted to follow someone who had already walked that path, who knew the struggle, who stumbled, but didn’t give up. Most importantly, they sensed my excitement about hiding God’s Word in my heart. They caught the vision and wanted to be able to do what I had just done.
That applies to way more than memorizing Scripture. Whatever we want kids to do or be, we must make sure they see us doing it, too, so they can follow in our footsteps.
Do I want kids to be more respectful? Then I have to model respect to them. I can’t interrupt them. I must respect their time and speak to them with respect, not shame or anger.
Do I want kids to read their Bibles? Then I must let them see me reading mine.
Do I want kids to clean up after themselves? I need to make sure I don’t leave things laying around either.
There’s not much that kids (or adults) like less than a double standard. Let’s make sure we live what we teach.