You know those slips of paper that come home with your kids every Sunday from Sunday School? They might have a “what we learned” and a “try this at home” and always a memory verse to work on during the week.
As a mom of two growing kids I have incredibly good intentions each week to tackle the memory verse. Especially at the beginning of the school year. And then I place the slip of paper on the top of my inbox to get it off my kitchen counter and it is lost forever. Or at least until that week’s verse is no longer current and there’s a new memory verse paper at the top of the pile. I know I’m not the only one!
Connected Families co-founder Lynne Jackson and I once heard well-known speaker and author Dr. Gary Smalley, his daughter Kari Gibson, and her husband Roger Gibson (founder of Man Up and Go) at the Christian Alliance for Orphans. A portion of Dr. Smalley’s insightful, humorous and grandfatherly message was to challenge parents to memorize scripture with their children.
Rather than feel the weight of guilt like I often do when I find a Sunday School slip of paper, this excited me. Perhaps it was the added layer of brain science behind his presentation that piqued my interest. He made the argument that hiding God’s word in your heart will activate your neurons, which will directly affect many areas of your life such as words, behavior, outlook, self-worth, etc.
Dr. Smalley had some fantastic suggestions of verses to memorize (see below). I also was tempted to have my kids memorize more behavior-based scripture such as “everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry,” which I also think are beneficial. But more than anything I want my kids to know who they are in Christ. This is what guided my decisions as I chose our five summer memory verses. I also took the liberty of editing pronouns to personalize the scripture.
But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.
 But when I receive him, and believe in his name, I have the right to become a child of God!
2 Corinthians 5:17
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!
 Therefore, since I am in Christ, I am a new creation. The old has gone, the new is here!
But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, 5 made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved.
 But because of God’s great love for me, God, who is rich in mercy, made me alive with Christ even when I was dead in my transgressions – it is by grace that I have been saved.
And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.
 My God will meet all my needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.
For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
 For I am God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared in advance for me to do.
With summer upon us, a much lighter and easier schedule, and several long minivan road trips, I’ve decided to make scripture memorization a priority for my family. Interested in joining me? If you try it, please let us know how it goes!
P.S. I fully support trips to DQ as a reward for memorized verses! =)