Short But Powerful Bible Verses to Teach Your Little Ones
Have you started doing memory verses with your children yet? I am getting ready to start with my 3 year old, and I wanted to share the process I used to choose which verses to start out with and how I plan to implement them. The goal is to find easy to learn, short but powerful Bible verses, and the best way to help my child understand, internalize, and remember each one!
I wasn’t raised memorizing scripture, even though I had a Catholic upbringing and attended Catholic church and elementary school. I feel like I should have, and maybe I did but just can’t remember? Mom brain has unfortunately been affecting me long before I got pregnant (and has just gotten worse!). Anyway, I feel like I am at a disadvantage here because of this. Luckily, I’ve been very determined to help my son cultivate a personal relationship with Christ rather than the more traditional and legalistic way I thought of Him as a child, and God has blessed me with the spiritual gift of teaching–so I think I’ve got this!
Memory Verses for Little Ones
As is obvious from the title, I focused on choosing short but powerful Bible verses. I didn’t want to choose long passages of scripture or use a verse or translation that would be too difficult for a young child to understand. Of course, you will probably still need to explain many of them in a more age-appropriate way and open some conversation to make sure they are really understanding the true meaning. Finally, I wanted these verses to be the beginning of a firm foundation in Christ–maximizing on who He is, who we are in Him, and the callings placed on us as His children! Disclaimer: These are by no means the best or only verses to choose from, and may not work well for your little ones. Below, I will go over some tips for choosing verses that are a good fit for your family specifically, but here are those short but powerful Bible verses I found to start with:
- Matthew 21:22 And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith. (ESV)
- Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. (NKJV)
- 1 Corinthians 16:14 Let all that you do be done in love. (ESV)
- 1 Corinthians 8:3 But if anyone loves God, he is known by God. (ESV)
- Psalms 56:3 When I am afraid, I put my trust in You. (ESV)
- Proverbs 24:26 An honest answer is like a kiss on the lips. (NIV)
- Job 9:8 He alone stretches out the heavens and treads on the waves of the sea. (NIV)
- Psalms 86:10 For You are great and do wondrous things; You alone are God. (ESV)
- Psalms 136:26 Give thanks to the God of heaven, for His steadfast love endures forever. (ESV)
If you don’t find that your child is understanding or taking to these, that’s perfectly okay! God has provided us with SO much–and that includes His amazing word. You are sure to find some great verses that are right in line with what your children are currently learning, experiencing, and understanding!
Short but Powerful Bible Verses Personal to Your Family
Children seem to learn best with lots of reinforcement and integration of the specific skill or information in their daily lives. With that in mind, choose verses aligned with what they are learning at church, school or that you are currently studying individually (or as a family!)–this will help each verse or topic to be reinforced as well as show them that God and His word are relevant in every aspect of their lives! Our church sends home a handout each week with what the kids learn so that we can reinforce at home, but if yours doesn’t you can always ask what story or verses they covered and build on that during the week. Pay attention to any crafts or homework they are bringing home from school or daycare as well.
Choosing topics that you are already knowledgeable about will maximize opportunities to pass on what you know, and you are able to continue learning yourself by looking up answers to the questions they ask that you are unsure of. Keep in mind, “I don’t know,” is a solid and important answer for many questions! We aren’t going to know everything about the Bible, even after researching and studying–God has chosen to be silent in some areas.
Methods of Memorization
So, I have to say right off the bat that I am no expert here. My son hasn’t officially started memorizing scripture just yet, but I did get him to learn how to spell his name super quickly so I am going to go with what I know from that as well as from what helped me as a child! Use what already works for your kids. Songs, books, repetition, hands-on activities, real life translation/relevancy–there are so many different methods and only you know what will work for your child. I mentioned teaching my son to spell his name; I just used a song since most of the letters rhyme and he caught on SO fast. That method won’t work for all kids, so use what works for your own. This may take a little bit of work, and trial and error, to figure out. Just take your time and have fun learning! It also helps to solidify the verse in their daily life by showing them how it relates or applies to their regular routine (I share some examples in this post on doing just that!).
If you need some inspiration or just want to steal my idea, I made a song out of Psalms 136:26 (to the tune of She’ll Be Coming Around the Mountain):
Give thanks to the God of heaven for His steadfast love (steadfast love),
Give thanks to the God of heaven for His steadfast love (steadfast love),
Give thanks to the God of heaven,
for His steadfast love endures forever,
Give thanks to the God of heaven for His steadfast love (steadfast love)
It doesn’t have to be perfect! I think kids like it best when it isn’t, anyway. I wonder how many short but powerful Bible verses have been made into songs already!
If you or your child aren’t ready to implement memory verses, or it is turning into more of a struggle for them than a joy in God’s word, maybe it is best for now to stick with discussion! There are tons of short but powerful Bible verses to choose from to focus on and study with your little ones!
Short but Powerful Bible Verses: Practical
By choosing verses that are practical and relevant to our daily lives, we are teaching our little ones that the values we hold important within our families are rooted in scripture. I think it is important to be teaching our children the REALLY important things they need to know about God, themselves, and the behaviors that are pleasing to our Lord, and most of them are probably already unwritten rules in your home: Love God, be kind, help others, tell the truth, love others, obedience, self-control, and the scriptural truths that they are important, cherished and loved by God (and you!). Here are a few practical verses for little ones:
- Colossians 3:20 Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord. (ESV)
- Deuteronomy 6:5 You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. (ESV)
- Matthew 22:39 And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. (ESV)
Short but Powerful Bible Verses: Thought Provoking
Choose some thought provoking verses to get their questions flowing! These verses will probably be best suited to go along with topics you are most knowledgeable about since they will open the door for explaining more complicated concepts in a way that a child can understand. For example, I have done a few Bible studies that focused on different aspects of Heaven, so I may choose a verse related to that in hopes that my little man will shoot off some questions that we could explore together. Using Heaven as the example, you could choose a verse like the one below describing how it looks, and your little ones may ask “How do you get there?” or, “Who goes to Heaven?” Questions like these can open the door to a discussion about salvation (and what mom, at least reading this post, doesn’t want that for her child?!). Other topics that could invite discussion are the various miracles as well as why different people were able to perform them, the Trinity, or pretty much any common children’s Bible story if your child is as curious as mine! Here are some verses to explore:
- Revelation 22:1 Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb… (ESV)
- John 6:19-20 When they had rowed about three or four miles, they saw Jesus walking on the sea and coming near the boat, and they were frightened. But He said to them, “It is I; do not be afraid.” (ESV)
- Genesis 7:6 Noah was six hundred years old when the flood of waters came upon the earth. (ESV)
Share Your Scripture!
Now that you have an idea of where to start, I’d love to hear your thoughts! I imagine that as you were reading, some short but powerful Bible verses probably popped into your head (and if not, you at least chose a few here that sounded like a good starting point). Let me know in the comments what you chose or those special verses that the Lord gave you!
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