The Proverbs Project

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Carrie Ward challenges parents to memorize Proverbs with their children.

A few years ago a friend of mine, (who shall not remain nameless) Nancy Leigh DeMoss, made a passing suggestion that I couldn’t seem to forget. I even remember where we were when she lobbed out this idea.

We were at Blue Coast Burrito in Little Rock, Arkansas. (I wish they’d open one in Michigan!) Our family was having lunch with Nancy and as is often the custom when we get together, Nancy asked our kids to say any verses they might be memorizing. (By the way, don’t think that the kids always have a verse to say, but this time they did.) I don’t recall what the verses were, but they recited for her, we enjoyed our lunch and conversation, paid the check and headed out to the car. Then it happened. She said these words. Or something very much like these words:

“Wouldn’t it be neat if some parents taught their children to memorize the entire book of Proverbs before they left home?”

I didn’t say anything, but what I was thinking was, "Oh yeah, that would be neat...for some other parents."

Her words slipped my mind for a while, but every now and then her idea of memorizing Proverbs would pop back in my head again. I would think “that’s just crazy!” and move on. Then sure enough, the idea would rear its “ugly” head again. (I was thinking it was “ugly” because I didn’t really want to be the one to “have” to try it.)

Finally after several years of thinking this idea surely didn’t need to be attempted by me, I had to throw up my hands and admit that I needed to give this a legitimate try. And so the kids and I began memorizing the first chapter of Proverbs.

Due to the mature content, some parents are somewhat squeamish about letting their children even read Proverbs 5, let alone memorize it. Let me assure you, I’m not the least bit concerned about Proverbs 5, because at the pace we’re going my children may be out of the house before we ever get there! We’re only on Proverbs 2.

We may not make it to Proverbs 31—or I may skip a few chapters and memorize that one for the sake of future husbands and wives—but even if we don’t, we have already hidden some powerful portions of God’s Word in our hearts. And now, with my oldest children entering their teen years, I have come to appreciate the words of Proverbs more than ever.

It may seem as though I’m giving Nancy a bit of hard time for making this suggestion, but the truth is I appreciate her boldly challenging us to set “big” goals for Wes and me and for our family. And I thank God for repeatedly bringing this idea back to mind.

So where are we? Well, so far we have memorized Proverbs 1-2:12.

If it’s been a while since you’ve read these passages, take a moment, slowly read them and re-discover how amazing these chapters are! It’s a gold mine. I know as you read them, you’ll be thinking about your kids. There’s so much wisdom in here for our children about godly living.

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