Memory Verses: Implement a Plan for Retention

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I’ve just gotten home from a second week of summer Bible clubs with my kids. There are so many verses that they learn during VBS and 5 Day Clubs during these events. I don’t want them to lose the progress they make in memorization and, as usual, I find myself needing a plan. The goal is to retain these verses forever.

Psalm 119:11 I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.

Honestly, I lose track of what each child has memorized throughout the years. We have books from AWANA, lists of verses from youth group and all these little pieces of paper from VBS and 5 Day Clubs. I even have a few posters with verses we have memorized! So much to keep track of.

The challenge before me is to put this chaos into order. First, I need to find a way to organize all of the verses that we are learning and have learned in the past. Second, I need to make sure I am finding a way to review so that the memory muscle doesn’t get weak. I had a good system with my older kids but I have fallen out of the habit over the years and it is time to bring it back!

I happen to love 3×5 cards. I have stacks of them ready to use for any occasion. When in doubt, use a 3×5 card! I index the cards by color, or with dividers for about anything. There are several organization systems built around index cards. I don’t think I need anything too elaborate here, just a simple system to keep track and keep fresh.

First off, if we have verses that we want to highlight or encourage in our family, I write them on an index card. The cards are posted in very obvious places. The bathroom mirror and refrigerator door are popular locations. Sometimes I tape a verse behind the toilet for standers, and on the wall across from the toilet for sitters! I’ve also found that if I run the papers through my laminator, they stick really well to the walls in the bath and shower stall.

Another good place for verse learning is the van. There is so much driving involved in motherhood (do I see you nodding your head?) that we may as well utilize that space as well. Often I have a card on the dashboard (or even taped to my steering wheel) so that it catches my eye. As we pull out of the driveway and before conversation gets started, I call out the verse and we say it together a few times. It only takes half a minute!

Since we are adding scripture memory into our life regularly, I want to make sure I have record of what we have done. In the past, I have kept verse cards in a recipe box where they are handy for review. The box could be organized with dividers for each child in the family and their memory work. We often memorize together so keeping them in a family box works for me! Even if the younger kids haven’t memorized all of the same verses, it will only be to their benefit to listen as the older ones review. As we master a new verse, ideally we will drop them into the memory box. If the papers we have been gathering (from VBS, clubs, etc) don’t fit well into the box, we will copy the verse onto a 3×5 card!

I know I don’t do this often enough but, we need to take the verses out and review them. I will lose the memory if I don’t go back over them from time to time, we all do. The repetition is great for everyone, no matter the age! A great time to pull out a verse and quote it is before a meal or as we gather for evening worship. It’s not possible to go through ALL the verses each time but every time we go back to one it solidifies it a bit more. This is where the memory box will come in handy… no more mislaid or forgotten scripture fallen under a table or into the couch cushions.

I would like to challenge you to make hiding God’s word in your hearts a habit in your home. In a future post I will tell you about the annual “verse night” that we do with our kids. Until then, this summer, make it a goal to have a common place for the memorized verses to be held. Then, regularly pull out the cards, rotating through them and adding more! To quote a dear and wise friend Nancy Campbell, “Things don’t just happen. You have to make them happen!” I know that you can memorize loads of scripture when you have a plan.

Published by tendingfields

Moving a little further into that “older woman” stage in life....hoping to encourage other moms along the way.

4 thoughts on “Memory Verses: Implement a Plan for Retention

  1. Great post. I’ve been using a box of index cards for our scripture memory for about a year now and it’s working great! Thanks for the challenge and encouragement to make scripture memory a priority!

    1. Oh, I’m so glad to hear it is working for you. I had gotten out of the habit and needed to remind myself to use the box for review. Just talking to a cousin today about the fact that these things aren’t hard….. we just need to remember or have them brought to our attention. 🙂

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