It seems as though a lot of us have ourselves convinced that we just can't memorize scripture, as much as we feel like we should or want to. My husband and I have heard this so many times from our students and even adults and I know I have felt that way myself before. But, what I have found out about myself is that its not so much about why I can't memorize but how much time I actually spend trying. Through the years I've learned a few things about memorizing scripture that have helped me. This is not a quick and easy trick for memorizing scripture but ways to help get us started on the right track. Memorizing takes times, just like a true relationship does.
1. Spend Time Reading Scripture - I know this seems obvious but this is the first step to knowing God's word. You have to take time to start reading. Lots of the time when we feel far away or unsure of what God's plan for our life is its because we aren't spending time reading His word. Scripture is from God and for our benefit. He speaks truth into our lives through it. There is no way to be disciplined into knowing scripture unless you are actually reading it.
2. Find Someone else to Memorize with you - This is probably the best thing that helps me when keeping on track. Justin and I have at times set up lists of scripture we wanted to memorize and taken a week at a time memorizing one together. This helps so much when you know you have someone to be accountable to. Plus, the other person is helping you along the way.
3. Read in Context - This may seem like the first but its actually different. When memorizing scripture its so important to take some time to read that particular verse in its correct context. After choosing a verse you want to memorize, spend time reading the whole chapter around it. It will help you put the words into the right perspective and help you remember the truth its teaching. And you will probably learn something new, which will in turn strengthen your faith.
4. Write it in places you see Daily - This is a simple way to keep you on the right track. I try and right the verse in several obvious places I see daily. Then when I see it, I make a mental pause to say it in my mind (or even out loud). Just pausing a few times daily will really help!
5. Start Easy - Don't get overwhelmed too early. You have to build some foundations and routine first. Choose some simple verses or even just one verse and stay there until you feel comfortable with what you know. Even choosing one verse, reading it in context for a week everyday would be a great start.
Bonus Tip - Memorize the Reference, not just the text! - This is something I have to get better at! I'm learning its so important to not only know the verse but to know the reference as well. There are so many times when you will be reminded of a verse you want to share with someone, or even just something you need to look back to and you can't find it! Knowing the reference is so important so take some time memorizing that as well!
Some of the benefits of knowing scripture - Strengthens your relationship with God, Helps you grow in your faith, encourages you, brings you peace and understanding, comfort...I could go on. God speaks through scripture and He wants you to know what He has to say. Spend some time getting familiar with God's word this week!
A few simple verses to start to Memorize:
1 John 4:19