One of the sweetest gifts my parents gave me was the verses they trained me to memorize when I was a child. I remember my mom had typed out a full page of references on her typewriter 😉 and rewarded us with smiley-face stickers as we committed each one to memory.
The ultimate prize was an ice cream cone. (The only reason I remember this was because after all my hard work, I chose bubblegum flavor and I was sorely disappointed… turns out, it’s not fun trying to chew gum and enjoy ice cream at the same time. 🙂 )
Regardless of my flawed prize, and even perhaps my motives at the time for doing it, I am forever indebted to my parents for the investment those verses made into my future. As an adult I have memorized things. Some of them have stuck and others have completely vanished away, but the ones taught to me as a child are in the very fabric of my being.
The verses they encouraged me to learn have brought healing, peace, joy, and guidance to my life. They have been the words I have heard when I was nowhere near my parent’s voice, and the arms that have held me when I was completely out of their reach.
For this reason, every morning after breakfast, we do Bible verses with our kids. Since our kids are little we usually spend a whole week, sometimes two memorizing a verse (depending on the length).
There will come a day when those innocent, crumb-filled faces will be in the thick of life. They will experience happiness, sorrow, fear, anger, rejection, hatred, and possibly even suffering. And when that day comes, I want them to know where they can find the answers, how to ask for wisdom, what to do with hard things, where to get peace, and who they can pray to about it all.
Here are some of our favorites.