Hide Them In Your Heart and Watch Them Change Your Life

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This post is written by contributing writer, Kat. Check out Kat’s new free e-book Mission Statements for Moms.

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….

Scripture Memorization!

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?

About Kat

Kat blogs at Inspired To Action, a site dedicated to helping moms develop the habits and skills they need to effectively manage their homes and raise children who are prepared to change the world. Kat and her husband Jimmy live the great state of Texas and have 3 children ages 7, 5 and 2. Kat loves music, running, technology, Jesus and Tex-Mex food. Not necessarily in that order.

50 Responses to Hide Them In Your Heart and Watch Them Change Your Life

  1. louise l hay October 9, 2011 at 11:01 am #

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  2. Daniella September 20, 2010 at 11:03 am #

    Thank you so much for this encouragement! You are right, the first thing I think of when trying to memorize scripture is ‘daunting!!’ But your advice to write it out, read it over and over, write it each day, and most importantly, take as long as I need to write it in my heart so that I will not forget it, that was very encouraging to me. Better to take as long as I need and truly know and understand the verse so God can use the verse to speak to me and change me than to just hurry and memorize a bunch of verses. Thank you!

  3. Heather September 15, 2010 at 5:04 pm #

    Thanks so much for this post, Kat! What great ideas! Too often I’ve used the “busy Mom” excuse for not memorizing scripture. But there is so much wisdom in the Bible for us to benefit from. I currently have James 1:19-20 on my fridge. But I think I’ll move it to the sink as our dishwasher isn’t working and I’ve been spending more time at the sink than usual. God uses ALL circumstances! LOL

  4. Debra September 15, 2010 at 5:11 am #

    Another helpful verse is the one talking about “Let us not grow weary in doing good for in due time we will reap if we do not lose heart”. This is so helpful when it’s the 10th (or 100th) time you are about to unleash your anger and you wonder if it is even worth it to keep trying to harness your tongue (or hand!) and then this verse pops into my mind and help me keep going and doing the right thing by not spanking out of anger or yelling. So many times I have literally stopped my hand right before striking my child because I was doing it out of anger. Children are so wearying, especially when you invest the time to discipline properly, that it’s easy to lose heart.

  5. Mommy September 14, 2010 at 8:28 am #

    What a great post Kat!.It is so sad that we hurt the people we love most with our words and the easiest and yet the hardest thing is to love your own family (extended too, in-laws, etc). One thing we don’t choose is our family- mom, dad, siblings, and children. God gave them to us specifically and I think he knows our weakness and wants to mold us for his glory. I am the kind of person that I thought I could get along with almost anybody, and then I got married and I realized that I had work on myself. I have a particular sister in law that pushes me to my limit almost every time and it didn’t take me long to become bitter towards my husbands entire family. The bitterness started to poison my own family. I knew I needed help and I could not help myself. I thank God for touching my heart and for opening my eyes and for continually working on my heart whether it’s through a circumstance or through people like you. Thank you.

  6. Jess September 14, 2010 at 7:31 am #

    I’m a visual person. I have to see something to understand and remember it. So I draw pictures, (or take a photo of something), that reflects the verse. I associate the pictures with the verse, then to remember the verse I think of the picture.
    I’m not a great artist or anything, but even my stick figures can jog my memory.

  7. shorty September 14, 2010 at 4:42 am #

    Truly all your posts really make me think!! I love it!! This one really struck me. I will be honest here, I DO NOT like to memorize, for what ever reason I just don’t. I have tried and tried but as you said it seems like work. After reading this post I have to rethink my whole “it is too much work” philosophy. I work at a LOT of things, dishes, meals, laundry, raising children, etc. Those things HAVE to be done so they get done. They are still work non-the-less. Some things are work yet enjoyable, cooking, working out, planning(yes I like to plan), etc. They are still work non-the-less. Of ALL the things I like or dislike that are work this ONE thing seems to be of up-most importance yet I don’t do it. I can take my time, I can write the scripture out each morning, there is no teacher looking over me making sure I do it right. I can do this. I am a big girl.

    Not only did you strike a cord with my pathetic excuse for NOT memorizing you picked out two wonderful scriptures that I can start on ASAP! I was reading your post and started praying at the same time, asking the Lord to help me because I didn’t know where to start and then you talked about your scriptures. God is good. I thank you for sharing this with us this morning. I will give it my all to start here, start now. Thank you and God bless your willingness to share with us

    • Kat @ Inspired To Action September 15, 2010 at 6:07 am #

      I’m so glad this post encouraged you! I love your heart and determination to press on and do something even though it’s difficult.

      Your children are blessed.

  8. Lisa September 14, 2010 at 4:40 am #

    Thank you for this post! I, too, am trying to be a more patient person/wife/mom, and this was very timely for me. You are so right about Scripture memorization. Where we used to live, I would tack up Scripture on the walls to help in memorization, and to serve as daily reminders. (I had James 1:19-20 where I would take my ‘mommy time outs’.) I haven’t done that in our new home, but need to. It’s good for the whole family. You can even paint Scripture on wood (or paint a piece of wood or masonite paneling and write it with paint marker, then attach a sawtooth hanger on the back with either screws or Locktite glue), or type it in a nice font, print it out, and put it in dollar-store picture frames. You can sometimes even find discounted resume paper in close-out stores to print it on.

    • Kat @ Inspired To Action September 15, 2010 at 6:09 am #

      I adore the idea of putting James 1:19-20 where you take your “mommy time outs.” Simply genius.

  9. Leah Mick September 13, 2010 at 10:20 pm #

    Thank you for your post! I just read that someone puts note cards in sandwich or snack baggies, then when the shower gets steamy, sticks them to the tile in her shower and they can stay there up to a week..great idea considering I hate to laminate.
    2 VERY good verses. thanks!

  10. Emilee September 13, 2010 at 9:27 pm #

    Thank you Kat for this great post! I have been struggling in many of these areas and I’ve been very convicted about my anger issues and not being patient with my children. Your answer to gaining patience through scripture memorizing was surprising at first but it makes perfect sense! I’ve always been overwhelmed at the thought of memorizing scripture though, but you make it sound so simple! …everything you said here is exactly what I needed to hear right now, Thank you! I have been praying for God to change me, it’s so hard to get rid of these behaviors you’ve been raised up with…I want to break this cycle, I don’t want my children to grow up learning to treat others this way, I don’t like who I am when I am upset or angry. I’m so glad my friend posted this on her wall today, I really needed this! I’m printing this out and I’m going to start printing out scriptures and posting them around so I can read them all day! I don’t know why I have never done that.

    • Kat @ Inspired To Action September 15, 2010 at 6:11 am #

      I love when God puts things in our path right when we need them! I’m praying for you…

  11. NaturalMama September 13, 2010 at 7:12 pm #

    One thing that has helped me tremendously is praying the Psalms! I felt led of the Lord to take a chapter in the morning from the Psalm to pray. Most of them are David talking to the Lord, anyway, so I just apply the verse to my life or my situation. It has been a Wonderful turning point in my prayer life. Sometimes I will just weep at a verse that explains exactly how I feel about the Lord or that is exactly what I’m having trouble with at that time.
    Now, when I get to Psalm 119, I might have to have my Mom to keep the kids during prayer time. LOL

  12. Susan September 13, 2010 at 6:15 pm #

    You have inspired me to take another crack at memorizing….I try and then throw in the towel, but I think if I bite off small chunks it will be easier. So starting tomorrow I will pick a verse and post it everywhere and let God work!

  13. cassie September 13, 2010 at 4:58 pm #

    Thank you for this. Very inspiring!

  14. Gretchen September 13, 2010 at 4:50 pm #

    Last year a friend and I started meeting once a week to do a Bible study and be accountability partners regarding Scripture memory. We started the Navigators Topical Memory System (http://www.navigators.org/us/resources/illustrations/items/Topical%20Memory%20System) and we got all the way through it and we are now working on other verses but I have went back to many of the verses I memorized through there time and again. I like it too because if I need a verse on Faith I can remember the topic and then remember the verse. Thanks for writing this. I definitely think adults just think they don’t need to memorize Scripture like kids do.

  15. Grandma Patty Ann September 13, 2010 at 4:39 pm #

    This is so good! Your second verse is like we studied today in a Bible study. I know God is with me on the Internet as he keeps pointing me to the same things over and over.

    May God bless you!

    Love to you,
    Grandma Patty Ann

  16. Rebecca (Craving Simplicity) September 13, 2010 at 2:21 pm #

    Thanks for this!! One of my goals for the month was to make a real effort to memorize Scripture instead of just reading it. These are great tips!

  17. Katie September 13, 2010 at 9:28 am #

    Thank you Kat! Such a timely post! Last night at Bible Study we were talking about self control and the areas we needed to work on. One of the first things that came to my mind was patience. I memorized James 1:19-20 last year but have some trouble with remembering it now. Guess what verse is next on my list? =) My girls definetly do deserve my patience and not the excuse that I am out of patience. I live with and care for 16 Mexican Deaf girls ages 5-19 91/2 months out of the year, not always easy to practice patience with so many girls every where, but worth it for sure. I don’t want them to grow up a look back at their time with me as a time when “mama” was always frustrated and didn’t have time for them. Thanks for the encouragement!!

  18. daniella September 13, 2010 at 9:05 am #

    Kat, it’s true; We really are kindred spirits. This won’t affect you in any way but know that you are now part of a family with 6 girls because patience is not our forte. Actually, sometimes we wonder if God forgot to include the seed/molecule in our DNA.

    I thoroughly enjoyed this and was more than just inspired. I was convicted…in the best way possible. When I have a freak out moment and start praying really hard asking Him to part the red sea so I can be delivered out of it, the first thing that happens is I randomly remember a verse or part of it that I memorized decades (ok, years) ago. If you asked me right now to recite a verse I couldn’t even if you gave me a pair of free Jimmy Choo heels on a silver platter. But during a freak out session when I’m hyperventilating and praying? Every verse I learned just washes over me. I will challenge my sisters to the action of verse memorization as well. Lord knows our family reunions could benefit from it!

  19. K (Barking BabyMama) September 13, 2010 at 7:39 am #

    After a weekend filled with strife with my husband, who is a servant-hearted kind man who happened to wake up on the wrong side of the bed a couple of days, I was already thinking I needed to meditate on James 1:19-20 (the quick to listen, slow to speak, slow to become angry verse), and this has motivated me to be more intentional about that. I need to be willing to extend him (and others) grace past my own comfort level or “rights”.

  20. Janette September 13, 2010 at 7:25 am #

    We all need to be encouraged to memorize God’s Word because it is so powerful and can change us. I have found the Scripture Memory System at this link http://simplycharlottemason.com/timesavers/memorysys/ to be very effective for memorizing and like you said you don’t have to worry about how long it takes to memorize a verse. “Hiding God’s Word in your heart is not a race; it’s a lifelong habit.” Also this is something your whole family can do together. My daughters are three and five years old and they have amazing memories and they help me remember to do our memory cards every day. We use a calendar on the refrigerator and we cross of the day at night before bed and my girls are learning which numbers are odd and which are even since you have two cards with those headings. So it’s a great learning tool to teach kids numbers as well. I have found this is a great way to keep the verses fresh in your memory and not forget them like I have done in the past.

    Thanks for your honesty and for this encouragement to be a better mom. God bless you!

  21. Christine September 13, 2010 at 7:08 am #

    I am working on memorizing & this was so encouraging. We are going through a book called, “War of Words” by Paul Tripp & how convicting! Thanks for your post!


  22. Suzanne September 13, 2010 at 6:40 am #

    This post came at the perfect time in my life! I have just started teaching Sunday School and my class is doing a memory verse challenge this fall. Because of that, just yesterday my husband and I decided we’d start doing Scripture memory work with our oldest son who is 4. This morning I thought that I should start working on my own. And your point about our children deserving our listening ear cut right to my core. Our oldest is a BIG TIME TALKER and sometimes it’s easy to ignore him. But his whole body lights up when he has our undivided attention, and that makes it work the zillions of words we listen to each day :)

  23. Debra September 13, 2010 at 6:28 am #

    I feel so much better that I don’t feel like I have to memorize a scripture a week. It’s a weight lifted off!I love that you let it really sink into your heart before moving on. This gives me encouragement to keep going with some scripture memory and I don’t feel like a failure for not memorizing one a week! I think the two verses you highlighted today are good places to start or pick back up. They can speak to every mommy because let’s all admit that we all speak unkindly to our children on a daily basis. They are little sinners afterall and drive us crazy!

    • Kat @ Inspired To Action September 13, 2010 at 6:33 am #

      “They are little sinners afterall and drive us crazy!” I LOVE your honesty!

      Always remember that we never fail so long as we are moving forward…even if it’s at a snail’s pace.

  24. Amanda September 13, 2010 at 5:36 am #

    Thank you. These are two things that were on my heart this morning during my quiet time, and reading your post has re-emphasized what God was telling me. I memorized loads of scripture as a child, went to Bible college and minored in Biblical Studies, and yet I feel as if I really lack the ability to recall actual words of Scripture throughout my day (without using biblegateway!). Being a mom makes knowing God’s word even more important to me, and now is the time to make a change. Thank you for giving me some tools to begin!!

    • Kat @ Inspired To Action September 13, 2010 at 6:22 am #

      You’re welcome Amanda! I love it when God puts something on our heart and then sends little reminders throughout the day.

  25. Nichola September 13, 2010 at 5:13 am #

    Thank you for the reminder and the encouragement.

    One thing I do is write scripture in my bathroom. I write it on the walls, cabinet, toilet lid, =) mirror, etc. This really helps to have it in front of us several times a day. =D

  26. heidi @ wonder woman wannabe September 13, 2010 at 4:53 am #

    SO true! Memorizing scripture is life-transforming. Thanks for the encouragement in regards to quantity memorized – its easy for me to get down on myself for not memorizing scripture on more of a rigid basis (hhhmm, wonder where that voice is REALLY coming from??) I find new freedom in an approach that more resembles what you described.

    • Kat @ Inspired To Action September 13, 2010 at 6:24 am #

      I’m totally the same way. Sometimes I think that if I can’t do something big, what’s the point? That’s so bogus. Baby steps are better than sitting on my behind doing nothing. :-)

  27. Brooke September 13, 2010 at 4:51 am #

    This is perfect timing. Not only have I been feeling as thought my patience is short, my 5 yr old was in trouble last week at school for saying unkind words. Ephesian 4:29 is perfect to talk to him about it again. We did discuss how we want Jesus to shine through us and using unkind words is not letting His light shine, but I couldn’t come up with a scripture off the top of my head and was in the moment not wanting to hunt for a reference. Not only that but I need that simple reminder as well. How am I talking, in tone, inflection, etc. God always knows what we need.

  28. Dana September 13, 2010 at 4:04 am #

    Thank you! I appreciate reading this here and a reminder regarding patience, especially with our precious children. I haven’t really thought about Scripture memorization for many years, but I am going to work on changing that. I believe it will help me in my day to day activities, many of which have, as of late, become a bit mundane feeling. Thanks so much!

  29. Anna B September 13, 2010 at 3:14 am #

    Thanks so much for this perspective on scripture memorization. Too many places focus on NUMBER of verses memorized – you are actually planting these in your heart! I think that’s great. And, frankly, I also think it’s harder than being able to recite 100 verses from your head. You’re actually reciting these from your HEART. And that’s really inspiring to me.

    Thank you for showing me how to take my walk with God deeper!

  30. Becky September 13, 2010 at 3:10 am #

    For a while now, I’ve known that I need to be more patient with myself and my little toddler. I don’t like getting upset, but it’s easier than being patient :( . I’m so thankful I read this :) . I am going to write out that verse, tape it over my counter, and start memorizing today! I know that it will help me during those moment where I can either freak out, or pause and think.

    • Kat @ Inspired To Action September 13, 2010 at 6:28 am #

      “I don’t like getting upset, but it’s easier than being patient” So true.

      We all struggle with patience, Becky. I pray these verses would truly change us.

  31. Emily September 13, 2010 at 3:06 am #

    This is exactly what I needed today! Thanks!

  32. colleen September 13, 2010 at 1:48 am #

    Hi, I am so encouraged by this post today. It’s something that has been weighing heavily on my heart lately, my lack of patience, the words I speak in anger or sarcasm or even just the ones I speak that don’t come from a kind, loving heart. I’ve flet as though I really need to root out these problems and habits yet it seems like a daunting task so I appreciate reading this here and pray that these changes can be made in each of us!

    • Kat @ Inspired To Action September 13, 2010 at 6:32 am #

      It is daunting, that’s why it’s so encouraging that it’s not entirely up to us. Too often, I just “try harder” and that never works like I wish it would. The power of scripture is the reminder that I’m not journeying alone. It’s more about my surrender and His triumph than pursuing victory on my own.