One of my goals for this year is to become a more patient mother. No matter where I fall on the patience spectrum, I simply want to be more patient than I currently am. One tool that has been ridiculously helpful for me on this journey is the ever popular and exciting….wait for it….
Don’t click away just yet. I know it’s daunting, sounds far too much like ‘work’ and kind of makes your eyes roll up, but it’s so incredible how much truth is wrapped up in every little section of scripture. It’s like an onion. As I read, I learn one layer, as I memorize, I understand an even deeper layer and as I walk it out in my daily life, I uncover still more layers.
Some people memorize mountains of scripture every year. I’m not one of them. I’m more on the one verse a month track. But even at my turtles pave, it has proven to be water for my weary mommy soul. Here are a few things that have helped me.
3 Tips for Verse Memorization
1. Keep it simple.
Pick one verse and stick with it for awhile. Let it really sink in. Don’t just remember the word order, but live it out and absorb the truth into your every day actions.
My method has simply been to write down the verse each morning during my quiet time. I write the same verse every day for as long as it takes to feel like it’s grafted into my heart. It might be a week or it might be a month.
2. Put it where you’ll see it often.
That might be on an index card by your sink, in the car or in your Bible. Or you might laminate it and put it in your shower or on your mirror.
Just be sure to review it throughout the day.
3. Graft it into your life.
When situations arise in your home that the verse addresses, don’t be afraid to share that with your children. Tell them what you’re learning and how God is using that verse to change you. Not only will it keep you accountable, but it will also inspire them to memorize verses.
Lessons I’ve Learned about Patience
Here are two verses I’ve been working on lately and a few things they’ve been teaching me as I pour over them:
“…take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life God desires.” James 1:19-20
Our children deserve our listening ear. Even when they’ve been talking all. day. long. Even when it takes them eight minutes to explain why they haven’t brushed their teeth yet. Even when they’ve told 18,329,047 nonsensical knock knock jokes in the last 45 minutes.
Listening is more than just waiting for our turn to speak.
Our children deserve our patience. Even when we don’t feel that we have any left. We do.
Responding in anger may affect their actions for the moment, but responding in love will affect their hearts for a lifetime.
“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” Ephesians 4:29
I don’t know about you, but I let unwholesome words come out of my mouth far too often. They’re not curse words or insults, but they are words spoken more out of frustration than love. The words that proceed from my mouth can be building blocks or daggers. It’s better for me to close my mouth and not speak than let words, unfiltered by love, escape.
We have a phrase we use around our house, “Leave it better than you found it.” Normally, it is just used as a reminder to clean up after ourselves, but I also pray that it is true of our interactions with others. May each person we encounter, whether it’s our children, our spouse, a friend or a stranger, leave our presence better than we found them.
More encouraged. More loved. More hopeful.
Memorizing these two verses has deeply impacted how I choose to respond to those I encounter everyday. And to think, there are 31,100 other verses in the Bible yet to change me.
I guess I have some work to do.
Do you memorize scripture regularly? What are some tips you can share?