Hiding God’s Word in Our Hearts: Scripture Memory Cards

scripture via kimberlyanncoyle.com

As a kid, I attended a Christian school and participated in weekly Bible classes. We memorized scripture in exchange for good grades. On weekends, I followed the line of children filing out of the church sanctuary to the classrooms in the hall. I listened to stories illustrated by flannel graph, and recited my weekly verse for a single piece of candy. Sunday School was something to suffer through–fun and relevant wasn’t high on the list of priorities for sunday school teachers in the 80’s. They liked repetition, they liked flannel, they liked their Bible stories with little flair for the dramatic. Every morning at home, my parents slipped in a cassette tape of scripture set to music, and I curled my hair while watching my mom’s reflection in the mirror, blotting foundation on her face while humming along to scripture.

I didn’t realize it at the time, but life-giving words saturated my childhood. There was no flash bang. No grab-bag reward. Only black and red letter words winding their way into every corner of me. Scripture surrounded me at school, at church, and at home on a regular basis. Even now when I read scripture, I find myself digging the words out from a deeper place, where over time they buried themselves like hidden treasure along the outline of my childhood memories.

Without knowing it, I hid God’s word in my heart, and while it takes some digging to recover it, I know it’s still there. It’s as close as a heartbeat. I regret not memorizing more when I was younger, before time and information overload took over the little space left in my memory bank.

By contrast, my kids are saturated with media, with a constant bombardment of words and images and sounds that fill every corner and crevice. God’s Word competes for every square inch of space. I confess, I haven’t done enough to help them bury the treasure of scripture. I haven’t played the tapes or sent them to Christian schools or whipped out the standard 80’s Bible drill or flannel graph memorabilia. Sure, we read our Bible, and my husband bribes the kids with rides to school in which they must memorize scripture to hop in. But it never feels like enough.

I want them to find God’s word written across their thoughts, actively renewing their minds with it. I want them to bind scripture to their hearts, and allow the Book of Life to transform them from the inside out. I realized I had failed miserably when we visited Israel a few years ago, and one of my children admitted they didn’t know Jesus was a real live human being. Apparently, they thought he was a fictional character. Someday, I hope to laugh about this, but given said child’s recent behavior, today is not that day.

I find myself wanting to help them memorize and pray through scripture, but not really knowing where to begin. My friend Kimberly and I talk about this often, and while I like to complain rather than come up with solutions, Kimberly likes to take action. She created a set of Read It/Pray It Scripture cards to use as a tool to teach her kids about hiding the word of God in our hearts. As someone who is easily overwhelmed by the constant onslaught of media, I appreciate her commitment to simple over flashy. I plan to have a set of these cards in my hands by Friday.

Kimberly offers her Read It/Pray It Scripture cards as a free download on her website, which might work well if you’re into downloading and printing off your own set. If, like me, you’re a little lazy, head over to her Etsy shop. She will ship you professionally printed cards–you can choose your set–or sign up for a monthly subscription plan for a new set delivered to either your inbox or your door every 30 days. It’s brilliant and easy, just as it should be.

These cards would make a great gift for new parents to pray over their children, for recent graduates, for your kid’s ever-faithful Sunday school teacher, or even for yourself–because who doesn’t need reminding? You can find them here or here. Download or order yourself a set today.

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  • Kimberly, this resonance with me. I think we have much in common, although we are probably separated by 10-15 years in age, I think our upbringings were very similar. I, too, regret that I did not learn more scripture and that I did not instill that in my son when he was younger. I love this post. Thank you.

  • Kimberly,
    We are the same age and so I know exactly where you are coming from. However my childhood was a little unique in that I did not attend church until I started to attend Christian school in the 7th grade; so I missed the whole Sunday School thing. And I never attended youth group. But I see now how much I was blessed by having the Word of God powerfully preached to me 6 days a week from the age 13 to 18! It made me hungry for the Word. Just this week I have been thinking of how I need to be more deliberate in having the Word of God soaked into my children. Especially my 13 and 11 year old. And was trying to come up with a Summer Scripture Plan. I home schooled them for a year and half and we would spend an incredible amount of time in the Bible. Now they are in public school and hear one sermon every other Sunday. I still hold that personal Bible reading show flow naturally from the Holy Spirit’s leading, but know I have been too lax with not creating the space to teach The Word to my children. These cards are an answer to prayer! Like you I am lazy, and we never have any freakin ink left in our printer and so I have those cards in my Etsy cart right now!
    Cheers,
    Leah

  • George A. Carlson

    As somebody who is effortlessly overpowered by the steady attack of media. Kimberly offers her Read It/Pray It Scripture cards as a free download on her site, which may function admirably in case you’re into downloading and printing off your own particular set.