While reading in the Psalms recently, a verse of Scripture reminded me of a song that our children sang during their elementary school days. My wife, Marian, had put music to this particular verse. Psalm 37:31 states: “The law of his God is in his heart, none of his steps shall slide.” KJV We desired that our children would keep God’s word in their hearts. Truth that would support them in knowing the right path. In life, many choices will beckon for their attention. How will they be equipped to know the right way to go? We desired that they would grow up knowing that God’s word will guide them. To keep their feet from slipping. Putting the verse to music was often Marian’s way of adding fun to the process and she threw in actions as well. A very good addition to channel the abundant energy of our children.
Last year in my travels west, I stopped by to visit a godly couple that I had not seen for many years. Now in the latter days of life’s journey, they are rejoicing in God’s goodness to them, still active in ministry and enjoying their extended family. During our visit, I asked them about their early years in raising their children. How did they seek to disciple them to follow Jesus? They shared many insights. One of those insights was in regard to Scripture memory. They modeled memorizing God’s Word and encouraged their children to do likewise. I asked them if their children, who are now in their 40’s and 50’s are still memorizing Scripture. They said “yes.” I was amazed, so I asked them if they could find out why. After my return home, a note arrived from them providing an answer to my question. One son noted the value of God’s truth to stimulate his thinking. Another son highlighted the image of his father‘s example of knowing the Bible when he conversed with others. (An example his father had demonstrated again the previous week.) Their daughter recounted the value of Scripture memory to support her as she persevered through a lengthy medical crisis with one of her children. Their stories are a living testimony to the power of God’s word and the investment their parents made many years ago.
Scripture memory has a multitude of benefits, not the least of which, is to raise up sons and daughters who will be equipped for life. Paul’s last letter to his adopted son Timothy reminded him that all of God’s word comes from Him and is to be used for teaching as well as training in living a godly life. In meeting young Christian men, I will often ask them whether Scripture memory has been a part of their life. Many have stated that during their growing up years, they were part of a Scripture memory program, generally through their church. My follow up question would generally seek to see how many of those verses they still remember. Thus far, very few have been able to quote even one verse. At that point, I ask one final question about family life during their growing up years; “Did your Dad memorize Scripture with you?” My sample size to date is small, but I have yet to find one who has said “yes.”
There will be many competitors in the world for the hearts of your sons. The book of Proverbs instructs us: “Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.” (4:23) NIV One of the ways we guard their heart is through Scripture memory. His Word will help to keep their feet from sliding away.
"And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men." Matthew 4:19