Birthday Bible VersesFeb 11, 2024
“Fix these words of Mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Teach them to your children.”
A Bible verse might sound like a really strange birthday gift. The idea of giving a child a passage of Scripture to memorize might appear to you like asking them to do extra chores on their special day rather than a way of celebrating their birthday! We hope that we can all be so enthusiastic about the Word that it’s exciting rather than dreadful to consider memorizing it. We have stumbled upon some beautiful traditions in our own home and are glad to share those with you!
The Bible teaches us to raise up our children in the “discipline and instruction of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:4). Many parents rightly assume that this means teaching future generations right from wrong, but this goes well beyond simple moral rules. Christians are instructed to “take every thought captive to obey Christ” and to teach the law of God “diligently to [our] children” (2 Corinthians 10:5, Deuteronomy 6:7).
We cannot know the God of the Bible and how we should follow Him if we aren’t consulting His Word and taking it to heart. Because of this, Bible verse memorization with kids should be an essential part of a child’s discipleship journey. We’ve said it once; we’ve said it three times, we’ll keep saying it: your passion for the truth of the Scriptures will be contagious to your children. Perhaps even more powerful is that the converse is also true. Here is one way that our family has fought for joy in the Word together.
Birthday Bible Verses as a way of Celebrating Birthdays with Scripture
A couple of years ago, we started having the kids pick a “Birthday Bible Verse” each year around their birthday as a way of celebrating birthdays with scripture. It was an idea we picked up from attending a “Weekend to Remember” marriage enrichment event put on by Family Life and has become a valuable part of our birthday traditions. It has been a blessing to see each of our kids look forward to choosing a specific passage every year and see their excitement when their siblings pick their own verses.
Derek will sometimes provide a list of options that they can select from if they have trouble knowing what to memorize, but we have found this practice becomes most meaningful to the children if they pick their birthday verse on their own. Often their choice relates to something that they have recently been experiencing in life or an important biblical concept we have been discussing as a family.
Every evening as Derek is putting the kids to bed, they all recite together each of the Birthday Bible Verses that have been chosen over the years. Currently, this means over 20 verses a night! That wasn’t our original plan, but the kids wanted to continue saying all of the verses each evening rather than dropping off previously mastered passages in favor of new ones. New verses usually only take a week or two of recitation before they’re easy to rattle off, and it is an encouragement to us as parents to see biblical truth sink deep into the minds and hearts of our children!
Here are some of the verses we currently recite as Birthday Bible Verses:
Making It Count
Bible verse memorization isn’t just for the sake of it. It’s also critical that our children also understand that God has given us “all we need for life and godliness” (2 Peter 1:3). We try to bring these verses up during normal daily activities whenever possible to show our kids how the words they are memorizing play out practically in their day-to-day life.
For example, when multiple siblings are arguing or fighting, we will simply remind them of Ephesians 4:32 (which they recite each evening) and ask them if they are living in the words of the Lord. This practice catches on, and we will occasionally catch the kids reminding each other of these verses when they play together. They are learning that, truly, iron sharpens iron (Proverbs 27:17).
We make sure that everyone in the family knows the new verse that was selected on the latest birthday. This emphasizes the importance of Scripture memorization in our family and adds to the excitement of this routine we have started.
When we started this process of celebrating birthdays with scripture, it was a little bit of a chore for the kids to think of a new Bible verse when their minds were more easily occupied with the promise of birthday presents. We made it a point to encourage them in this practice when it was new and helped them select a passage that was meaningful or important to them.
Now, they look forward to picking their Birthday Bible Verse and occasionally will have one selected well before their birthday as part of this routine of celebrating birthdays with scripture. Their siblings are excited to hear what the new verse will be and to memorize it. We love that they have chosen to continue to recite every verse every night, rather than just the newest verses for that year. It is truly a joy to our hearts to watch our children know the words of Scripture and grow in grace.
- Bible verse memorization with kids should be fun and exciting for children.
- Giving them ownership by allowing them to select specific verses makes the practice of memorization more meaningful.
- Having a Birthday Bible Verse is one fun way that our family encourages the memorization of Bible verses.
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