10.31.2015

Hiding God's Word in Your Heart || Part 2 in the Motherhood Series

Well, this post has been "brewing" for about 3 months now.  More than once I have written it in my mind but it just never connected with the key pad. I have been quite busy in the past 3 months but I have also felt rather inadequate in writing this post.  At the same time, God has given me a BURDEN for mothers of young children.  The burden is that they would be so very careful about what they "write" on the pure white slates of those sweet, little people in children's bodies.  Being a mother is such a huge responsibility.  There is a responsibility to bring our children up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. We are talking about making daily decisions that will have an effect on eternity!!  
The purpose of this post is to plead with all the mothers to not only get serious about memorizing God's Word for yourself, but to make it a top priority to inspire your children to hide God's Word in their hearts, too.
But before we get to that part, I am going to remind you that we need to "seek first the kingdom of God".  If you are going to have time to dedicate to Scripture memory, you will need to clear the slate of some less important and sometimes ungodly, activities.  Look at your daily life in the light of eternity.   We have this wonderful Scripture song that we sing at our house: "Whether therefore ye eat or drink or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God."  Let's fill our days with edifying, God honoring, pure activities.  
Let's get back to the subject at hand which is hiding God's Word in our hearts.  I am amazed at how lazy I am about this discipline!  I would rather read the Bible for 15 minutes than memorize for 5.  I find it easier to kneel in prayer than to subject my mind to the rigors of Bible Memory.  But I will tell you that I have been so blessed with the verses I have memorized in the past year.  I just completed memorizing my second chapter in Psalms.  I chose 2 favorites-Psalm 27 and 33.  Even as I type this, I am convicted by the words of a precious saint about 70 years old who told me a few years ago that everyone should memorize 2 verses a week. My total of about 43 verses for the past year is less than a verse a week!!
Last month, our family had the privilege of meeting a godly couple who is serving God by putting radio stations in countries all over the world, including countries where it is difficult for missionaries to live.  She shared her passion for getting children to memorize Scripture, so I asked her to write for this post.  Here are her thoughts:

{Guest post by Mrs. Barbara Zarris, written in bold below}
     I have never written a blog; I've never even read one, but I have experienced sixty-six years of life during which I have recognized several important truths. 
For fifty-six years I have been on a journey, seeking to know God. Believe me, I did not know at the start that my purpose in life was "to know God and to make him known". Although I had good parents, they were not saved; so, no one ever taught me to pray or read the Bible. However, my first Sunday School teacher, Mr. Frank Crall, challenged me, at age ten, to memorize the scriptures. We raced to memorize James Chapter 1, and I won! Other chapters followed –John 14:1-6, John 3, Ephesians 6, and Psalms 1, to name a few. I read the Bible as well and was so excited when I won a Bible contest because I knew that the crucifixion was in Matthew chapter 27.
     Ten years later, I was required to memorize hundreds of doctrinal verses as part of my Christian college training. I did my homework, (what a novel idea!) and those verses have been the core of my beliefs throughout my life.
     Decades have passed. I have read my Bible through more than forty-five times. I have been to church three times a week since I was fourteen. Competent, dedicated pastors have expounded the scripture in my hearing.  I have a solid understanding of God as revealed in his Word; but, nothing has meant more to me than the random, instant recall of Bible passages to elucidate truth. Amazingly, the verses I learned before the age of twenty-two have stayed with me. I can quote them readily. They have been the mainstay of my life. My only sorrow is that I didn't teach them diligently to my children at home. I made time for music, choir, speech, vacations, serving, and all sorts of church meetings, but I didn't emphasize Bible memory or prayer. Somehow I thought my six children would get this by osmosis.
     Clouds on the spiritual horizon are warning that persecution is coming. I wonder if my children and grandchildren stand up under fire. Will they know why they are persecuted and choose "to suffer affliction with the people of God" rather than to "enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season.?"  If the Bible is taken away, will my progeny have enough hidden in their hearts to draw strength from its eternal words? Do they really believe, or are they Christian in name only?
     I encourage all parents with children still at home to read the Bible out loud as a family. Then, memorize it together. If you learned one verse per day, you would know 365 in one year; 3650 verses in ten years! That is HUGE! If an average chapter had 25 verses, you would know 146 chapters of the Bible.
     Is there anyone out there who is really doing this with her children? 
I would love to hear from you. My email is --    barbararzarris@gmail.com.  





Let us take seriously her admonishment to help our children in this endeavor. It should be the MOST important part of everyday. Honestly, this is an area in which my children have done so very much more than I ever dreamed of doing. I have seen that as they memorize large portions of Scripture, it has helped them in nearly every area of life. Some of the benefits I have seen in the lives of our children are a deeper love for God and His Word, a greater spiritual understanding, improved work habits (I think this comes from the discipline it takes to memorize), a love for truth, wisdom in making decisions, and a willingness to stand up for God and His Word.
The only reason that we ever need for memorizing Scripture is found in Psalm 119:11 "Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee."
In addition, God's Word is so quick and powerful to help us stand against temptation when it is hidden in our hearts. Psalm 119:105 "Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path." I love the 9th verse from Psalm 119, "Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy Word."
Is there a better way to redeem the time than to have a daily time for memorizing and reviewing God's Word?


{posted by Becky. Photography credit Mr. Rich Heki}

3 comments:

  1. As a mother of young children I truly enjoy and appreciate these blog posts. Please continue them! This post is a great reminder to memorize and study God's word with our children even when they are little.

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  2. Hi Mrs. B - I really appreciate the reminder to memorize, and resonate strongly with the value of this discipline as it plays out in every other area of life. I can still remember my grandfather challenging my siblings and I to memorize Psalm 119. To us, it was just a challenge; to Grampa, I believe he saw the big picture of what it would do to our hearts/minds to strive for weeks and months over memorizing God's Word. That first chapter took a couple of years to master, but by the end, memorization/meditation had become an integral part of who I am as a follower of Christ. So thank-you to all parents, grandparents, and wise mentors who encourage young people like me to memorize Scripture - it is an investment of incalculable value. -Curtis

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  3. Thank you, Mrs. Bontrager! I shared this post with my mother and she enjoyed reading it as well! It's amazing just how much even little children can pick up-my 2 and 4 year old brothers have lots of verses memorized almost word-perfect{with their little voices<3} just from hearing the Word quoted by all of us older siblings{we enjoy memorizing verses as a family at mealtimes!}
    Thanks so much again for the reminder! Blessings<3

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