Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Missing the Point

So I have just finally calmed my ten year old daughter down after her meltdown.
What was the cause of the meltdown?
Scripture verses!
Yes, that's right... Scripture verses.

We have a particular Wednesday night program that we do at our church for the children. The purpose of the program is wonderful. It is focused on Scripture memorization and the leaders are to work with the children to help them understand the Scriptures they are memorizing. The point is to hide God's Word in their heart. It is a good program and I understand that it must have guidelines and such. There must be a plan that makes and markets it as this particular program in order to differentiate it from all the other programs.

One of the leaders who worked with my daughter told me how nervous and uptight my daughter was as she tried to say her verses. She lovingly told her to relax and remember that this was the Word of Peace.

Now my ten year old is a perfectionist and she is also possibly a little ocd. So when the leader, who is also dear friend, mentioned this to me a red flag of concern went up. When we came home tonight and was getting the girls ready for bed my husband asked what verses they said. Our youngest spirted hers off with her careless giggles as she recited three verses back to back. Then our ten year old, under the pressure, oh my, I do believe the child broke out in a cold sweat. She couldn't get past the first part of the first verse...

Right then I knew we were having a problem... she was missing the point...

As I was kissing her goodnight I tried to explain to her that memorizing Scripture was for her. It was not to get points or a signature. She was learning these Scriptures so that God could bring them back to her when she needed them, whether it be for a problem she was facing or a problem someone else was facing. She was learning these Scriptures so that she could know when God was telling her what she needed to do and where she needed to go in all the how's and why's of life.

Yet she lay there crying because she was under the understanding that she was incompetent because she could not say these verses the way she thought this program said she had to in order to receive the approval of the program... a signature... a point.

Oh my are we missing the point?

This is not the view that I want my child to have of the Word of God. Learning it should bring her joy and peace not frustration and stress. Have we maybe pushed the "programs" a little too far?

"I have a respect for tradition but I have a passion for the truth."
~ Uncle Johnny from Seven Days in Utopia


  1. Nicole, hey I have the same problem with my 7 yr. old gracie,and this is one thing that really bothers me that she feels the exact same way. I am very right...its not about the points or recognition its so they can have the peace to be able to turn to Him everyday if they chose to..I loved this and needed thisgonna read this to her and let her know you are so ..thank you so much. Amanda

  2. It broke my heart when I realized what was going on in her heart... I am just thankful that God opened my eyes to it now and that I was willing to see the real issue and not cause further damage by just telling her to try harder... trying hard was not the issue... she had forgotten the whole purpose and was so focused on trying harder that it had become a burden for her to carry instead of a learning to the path of the Word that brings the way of peace in all circumstances

  3. I would have to agree with you. Having participated in such a program, and volunteered as an adult, so many times the kids are memorizing their verses just for the "prize". Or only reading it several times before class just to be able to say and get their book signed =( I believe we are missing the point altogether! Their needs to be a pull back to what it's all about, God's Word hidden in our hearts, so times of stress and fear, like with your sweet little girl, His Word comforts, and not causes grief. Your poor daughter sounds so much like me =( I am still struggling through the life of a perfectionist and I am almost 30. But God's grace is sufficient and I know He is able, each day is one step closer to Him and being out of this imperfect body anyway. Thanks for sharing your story, I hope your family is able to come along side your sweet daughter and help her along this battle with herself. May you cover her with prayers and trust that God is faithful.