Scripture memory. Those two little words struck a bit of fear in me for the longest time. Not because I didn’t want to do it; I truly desired to know God’s Word more and have it ready on my lips. I had friends who could quote entire chapters of Romans, friends whose counsel was peppered with Scripture as if it was their first language, yet each time I tried to really commit passages to memory, I’d lose steam and motivation, stop for a good chunk of time, be reminded of the importance of it once again, then start the cycle over and over again.
If this sounds all too familiar, you are not alone. Needless to say, Scripture memory was not a strong suit of mine! But when we look at the world we are living in, as well as what God’s Word says about committing Scripture to memory, combined with the Holy Spirit softening our hearts to obey what His Word says, I think we will be hard pressed to fall into the cycle mentioned above any longer.
Let’s start off with the why. Why is Scripture memory so important, for ourselves, but also for our children? Let me give you four reasons (not exhaustive, of course) why I believe, from what I see in God’s Word, Scripture memory is so important.
1. Memorizing Scripture helps us to readily have the truth on our lips.
When we look at the world around us, we are bombarded with a new definition of truth what seems like every single day. Things like gender or God’s plan for marriage and family are under attack, and if we really want to know what the truth is, we must go to the source. We must turn to God’s Word. Knowing what is true in a world where the standard for truth is ever changing is so necessary, now more than ever.
2. Memorizing Scripture will help us to fight sin and temptation.
When Jesus was in the wilderness being tempted by Satan (Matthew 4), what was His response to fighting that temptation and overcoming it? He wielded the Sword of the Spirit and fought temptation with Scripture.
“Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.”
If Jesus did so, and we are to follow His example, then we must have His Word readily on our hearts, minds and lips for when temptation strikes. Parents, you are not able to be with your children every moment of every day. You cannot be there for every second of their lives, knowing when temptation will strike. But by teaching them God’s Word, which is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword (Heb. 4:12) a lamp to our feet and a light to our paths (Psalm 119:105), and is profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction and for training in righteousness (2 Timothy 3:16-17), you can be sure that they have the right weapon they need and will be well-equipped to fight the battle of temptation.
3. Memorizing Scripture helps us to meditate on “whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable…” (Philippians 4:8).
Social media is ever prevalent in our society. Now, I love Instagram and Facebook and curating a pretty Instagram aesthetic as much as the next person, but if we let it, social media, movies, TV, video games, etc. can easily be what our heart and mind meditate on, rather than on the truth of Scripture. If our thoughts should be directed Godward, then what better way to do so than to fill our minds and hearts with Scripture.
4. Memorizing Scripture helps us to live our lives in purity and holiness, as we are called to live according to God’s Word.
Psalm 119:9 says, “How can a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it according to your Word.” Jesus bled and died to take the punishment for our sins. The wrath of God that was justly supposed to be poured out on us was poured out on Christ in our place, and three days later, He rose victoriously over sin and death, so that the one who places their faith in Christ for their salvation by grace alone, they will be saved. What kindness! What mercy! We don’t live lives of holiness and purity or instruct our children to live lives of holiness and purity out of a sense of legalism. It does nothing to merit salvation or favor with God. Yet, if you are a follower of Christ, then the response should be a desire to obey Christ out of a heart of love and gratitude for what He has done. And we are told that we are to keep our way pure. How so? By guarding it according to the Word of God.
I’ve listed four “why’s” of why Scripture memory is important, for you and for children, but you may be asking how?
There’s no right or wrong answer to this question, and you can make it as simple or complex as you like. Some methods work wonderfully for some people, while that same method may be completely unhelpful to another. This was me in 2019, trying out several different methods of memorization, and yet none seemed to stick. That’s when I decided to do something about it.
I have always loved music, and more often than not, I have a song running through my brain (anyone else?). I have also written my own music, so writing and composing was not a foreign concept to me. So, in 2020, I decided to start memorizing Scripture by music, and out of curiosity, decided to put my project, Melodically Memorizing, on social media to see who else would join in. A little over a year later, by God’s grace, almost 18,000 people have been memorizing melodically with me and I could not be more thrilled! Getting to share God’s Word with that many people truly brings me so much joy. If we want to know God accurately, have the truth readily on our lips, be able to fight sin and temptation, meditate on what is true, and live our lives in purity and holiness for God’s glory, we must know His Word. And I am humbled to be able to have a part in helping others do so.
About the Author: Abby Houston was part of the True Girl (formally Secret Keeper Girl) cast! And now she is dedicated to memorizing Scripture, one melody at a time. You can listen to her album on iTunes, Spotify, YouTube, or your favorite listening platform, and feel free to follow her on Instagram and Facebook to hear a new passage put to music every single Sunday.