Written on Their Little Hearts

You know, sometimes I really don't give my kids enough credit.  I think, oh, they're too little to do this, or that... we'll wait til their older.

Like with praying.  I had been praying for them and over them since they were in my belly, but WITH them?  No, I thought it was better to wait til they were older... until I realized, WHY Wait?!  We began night time prayers and progressed with meal time prayers, and now, 9 times out of 10, they remind ME to pray with them!

But still, I didn't give them credit.  I still wanted to wait til they were older with Bible verse memorization.  I figured that it was going to be too difficult, and honestly, would they REALLY remember these verses word for word for life?  Probably not... I know I don't!  Try as I might, I have a hard time memorizing scripture and especially references... I'm always like "somewhere in the Bible I know it says"... which is about the most unhelpful thing ever.  Thank God for Google... seriously!

So I figured that my limitations would also be theirs, I mean, they're PREschoolers!  But oh, how I was proven wrong.

One day, coming home from church, Marco (at the time he was 3), began reciting the Bible verse they had learned, and Jonas (at the time he was 2) was following along slowly behind.  I.Was.Amazed.

I began thinking about the whole point of scripture memorization.  Yes, of course, it's so that you can bring it up to help others, to answer questions, to offer encouragement or share the Truth... but that's all outward.  What about the inward reason?  Isn't it important to learn, meditate and memorize these verses to help US daily?  To help us remember that we are children of the one true God.  To help us resist temptation and lies when they come at us.  To have the Truth so so so engraved on our hearts and minds that we don't even have to THINK about it... it's second nature.  To know the Word is Truth as simply and obviously as we know that the sky is blue or that the grass is green.

This is exactly what I want for my children.  And what better time than RIGHT NOW to begin putting those words in their mouths that will be written on their hearts.

So that hopefully, when (not if) struggles come their way, they can lean on the truths that they have been declaring since before they can remember.  So that they can hang on the promises and goodness of God.  So that they know that even if they don't have each other, or me, that they have Him and He is enough.

I bought a white board and hung it in my kitchen.  My plan was to teach and review one Bible verse a month.  I don't drill it or shove.  I teach it by repetition and using hand motions.  We say it sometimes when I'm in the kitchen preparing their food and always at night before bed.  They love it and always ask for more or want to also recite the ones from the past.

Here are some of the scriptures we have already done:
- "I praise you because you made me wonderful" Psalm 139:14
- "Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your mind" Matthew 22:37
- "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me" Philippians 4:13
- "The Lord is good to all" Psalm 145:9
- "God saw all that He had made, and it was very good" Genesis 1:31
- "Give thanks to the Lord for He is good; His love endures forever" Psalm 136:1 *This month

As you can see, we haven't been doing it that long at all, but it is something I love and cherish and plan to continue.  We started when the boys were 3 and 2, but I wish we hadn't waited so long.

If this is something that's important to you and your family, let me encourage you not to wait!  Start today!  Give your child some credit... even if she/he's too little.  Try it and you might be surprised, as I was.  They are little sponges and are picking up more than we think.  And even if you have a baby, who will obviously not recite after you... pray these verses over her.  Let her hear you speaking the Truth to her.  We are planting a seeds in our children's hearts and I know that this is just one of the ways He has showed me how to water it.

"I will my law on their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people"- Jeremiah 31:33