It really works
It may feel simple or lame to some, but using music to memorize Scripture is an effective yet underused tactic. I didn't personally learn music to help with this growing up. When I went off to college and got involved in some evangelical organizations on campus, I met other Christians who had, and I must confess, I thought it was lame. It was my own immaturity and pride, or possibly jealousy thatI had not learned scripture though song.
Three reasons have convinced me that it is actually a very worthwhile and important strategy for memorizing Scripture (and just about anything else).
My son's experience
The first reason is my experience with my son. He is three and a half years old, and has already memorized multiple passages of Scripture, and almost exclusively through songs. Even at two and a half, he would randomly break into singing a Scripture song he had heard. He doesn't always realize that he is memorizing Scripture, but it is getting into his head and heart.
My own experience
As I have listened to the music with my son, I have also begun to memorize some passages I had not previously committed to memory. Galatians 5:1 is the first song on one our CDs, and it will pop into my head every now and again. Over the summer, I did an extended study in the book of Galatians, and every time I read chapter 5 verse 1, I would begin to sing the song in my head. Music sticks with us, and I have seen the effect on my own life.
Plain and simple, it works. If memorizing Scripture is as important as we say it is, then why wouldn't we use any and all tools to memorize its words. When I think about how important it is to commit Scripture to memory, and as I have seen how effective music is at helping, I am convinced that it is an essential yet underused tactic.
We must remember the goal
I mentioned earlier that I was immature, prideful and jealous of others who had grown up learning songs to help them memorize Scripture. And I really believe that I was, but as I reflect more, it was a source of pride in them as well. The songs became flippant and trivial to some, and the fruit of memorization was severely truncated, never getting applied to my life.
The goal of using songs to memorize Scripture, is not just so we can have it memorized or show off to our friends. We want the Scriptures, under the influence of the Holy Spirit, to change our lives. We need to remember the goal, and if we are introducing Scripture to our children through music, teach them the ultimate purpose as well.
We have really enjoyed the Slugs and Bugs CD in our home. The music is geared toward children and can be a bit goofy at times, but the melody's are good and our children enjoy the songs. The songs help you memorize Galatians 5:1, Deuteronomy 6:5, John 13:34-35, and many others. There are also two songs on the CD to help you memorize the 66 books of the Bible. It is a great CD, and I recommend it highly.
I wrote a post about this app earlier in the week, and highly recommend the app. One of the tools within the app are songs for the verses you are trying to memorize. The songs are not anything special, and are not amazing from an artistic and musical perspective. However, the impact of putting the verse to music is profound in its help for Scripture memorization.
We have all three oftthe Scripture Lullabies CDs. The music is beautiful and sung with soft and soothing tones. Our children fall asleep to these songs every night. One of the best parts of putting them to bed is being able to listen to the music with them once they have settled down and begin to drift off to sleep. If you want some beautiful music, set to Scripture, that will bring peace and serenity to your mind, then I would recommend you get these CDs.
Songs based on Scripture
I also love to listen to music that is based on Scripture passages. They differ from a CD like Slugs and Bugs, because they are not necessarily designed to help you memorize the particular passage. However, they do help you get the truths of those passages into your head and heart. Personally, my favorite band that does this is Shane and Shane. They have produced song after song that are based on Scripture. Sometimes, when I am reading my Bible, I will come across a passage that has inspired one of their songs. As I read the words of Scripture, their song will be running in the background of my mind and my future memory and recall of that verse will instantly increase. Some of the songs on Jon Foreman's solo albums are also based on Scripture. I could list many, many others, but when you listen to music that is inspired by particular passages of Scripture, even when you don't realize it, you are "memorizing" Scripture.