Why Teach Kids Memory Verses (Part 4)

What’s so Important about Kids Memory Verses?

Kids memory verses–those I learned as a child–helped me go through the torment of chemotherapy. Here’s what I found.

This is part 4 of a series, “5 Life-Changing Lessons I Learned as a Cancer Patient.” Read the introduction here.

Part 1, “Who are the Majestic Ones?” is found here. Part 2, “What to say to a Sick Man?” is practical and something everyone needs to know. Part 3, “Love Doesn’t Let Anyone Go to Hell” will grip anyone with a heart.

It’s rough to have cancer. It’s rough to go through Chemo-therapy treatments. Chemo changes a human body and mind. Digestion, sleep patterns, energy levels, almost everything changes as those chemicals take up bodily residence. I have spent plenty of sleepless nighttime hours.  What’s a person to do hour after hour of drug induced sleeplessness?

The best idea is to meditate on Scripture. That’s where kids memory verses like Psalm 23 saved the day. (Or should I say, saved the night?) I don’t want to turn on the lights and get totally awake by reading something. Meditation on Psalms or other Bible verses can relax and induce sleep. But how can a person meditate on verses he’s never committed to memory? No way; the Scripture has to be learned in advance of the crisis.

My Great Discovery

The Psalms and other verses I’d learned as a child returned; the verses or chapters I’d memorized as an adult slipped so easily away. I was surprised about this. Normally, we’d think what we learned most recently would be most retained. In fact, the opposite was true. I knew it was easier to memorize as a child, but I was unprepared in my hours of need to recall the verses I’d memorized as an adult. John 3:16, Psalm 46 and other verses came back but only because I’d committed them to memory in my childhood.

What’s the “take home”?

Parents, do yourself and your children a favor by teaching kids memory verses now before their minds get cluttered with the affairs of life. Sunday School teachers and Children’s Church workers, do the same. Teach the children whose parents never come to church verses about God’s love and salvation through Christ. You never know—some of those verses may return in hours of suffering or crises during adult years.

I’m saying it again.  I learned this as a cancer patient. These simple kids memory verses carried me through the nights of chemo-induced torment. You will never regret teaching Bible memory verses, nor will they!



  1. How true, Mark! When I finally was born again some 28 years ago, the first thought that came to me was something I learned as a child in Sunday School. It was the beginning of the Shorter Westminster Catechism: “Man’s chief end is to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever”.

    Sorry to read about your trials with cancer and chemotherapy. I am praying for you brother.

    In jesus, Brian

Speak Your Mind