Today's post was written by Beth Middleton. Beth is married to Jeff Middleton and is the mother of three children, Jordan, Elizabeth and Gaelan. She has lived in Birmingham for 12 years and is an interior designer, artist, and Mary Kay consultant.
I send Bible verses to my family weekly through text messaging and am currently writing my fifty-second Bible verse for this year. I believe it’s very important for my children to have the Word on them, especially while in college.
Five years ago, I started texting Bible verses to my oldest son, Jordan, when he started college. I searched for promises in my Bible to encourage him through college life. I would text verses to Jordan occasionally when a difficult situation would arise, like an exam, or just to send some encouragement. I always reminded Jordan that I was his cheerleader. What better way to cheer him on than with the Word of God? I knew he treasured the verses and saved them in his phone.
Two years ago, my daughter Elizabeth started college. At that time, the Lord really spoke to me about sending verses to both children as they started a new school year. Elizabeth had just begun the nursing program at the University of Alabama, and on her first day of class, she sent me an urgent text message that said, “Bible verse, Mommy, please.” I asked God to quickly give me a verse to help her anxiety, and He softly reminded me of Deuteronomy 31:6: “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you” (NIV). I was so overjoyed that my college daughter had asked me for a Bible verse. I wanted her to know that she had nothing to fear of instructors or classes because God is always with her. I decided after that to start sending Bible verses to my children weekly. I purchased a journal and began weekly recording the verse that God gave me.
The first Bible verse for the first week of school in August 2011 was Jeremiah 29:13: “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart” (NIV). I texted that verse to the four members of my family, my husband, son and daughter in college and my son in high school. My youngest son asked me to write the verse down for him because I was not writing out the complete verse in the message, just the reference. I copied the Bible verse on an index card and taped it to his bathroom mirror.
I also quickly realized that I could memorize the Scriptures easier upon writing them. I started writing the verses weekly in a journal and copying twice on index cards for my husband and son at home. I purchased index cards on a ring binder so that my children could have a complete set of our yearly verses, which then led me to copying the verse four times weekly. I presented my children an index card binder full of 52 Bible verses for 2011/12. I believed they had an easy way of carrying Gods promises with them in their backpack or purse. I also wanted them to have something special from their Mom to remember that their cheerleader prayed God's Word over them.
God has given me many verses as promises of encouragement, instruction and guidance. I keep a note of every weekly Bible verse in my phone for reference. I have a weekly text message that I send to family and a few close friends with a new Bible verse. I love knowing that, from the plea of my daughter for a Bible verse, that my obedience is sending forth God's Word which now is texted to 10 people. I am also encouraging each person to pass the verse along to at least one person weekly.
I am not trying to applaud myself by any means. I just know that at a crucial time in my life as a mother that I needed to send the Word of God to my children. Our family has bonded closer together because of the promised Word of God, and I’m thrilled to know that I have succeeded in faithfully keeping up with this endeavor for two years. Sometimes it’s been hard to remember, but God always reminds me. He faithfully lets me find just the right Scripture for the week. He’s given me verses of instruction from James, Colossians and Proverbs, and many promises in Psalms and Isaiah. I will never run out of verses weekly to be reminded of my heavenly Father's love.
Psalm 94 is fulfilling promises to start off a new school year for 2013. Psalm 94:19 is a perfect verse for college students: “When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought joy to my soul.” How awesome is God’s Word and timing. My daughter is anxious about nursing school. My youngest is starting college, and anxiety is expected for any freshman. My oldest is graduating in December and is stressed about his last semester along with getting a job. The Word of God will faithfully sustain them through everything they face. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 is handwritten on the first page in my Study Bible as a promised verse to remember: “All scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” As a mother and cheerleader for my college children, I feel led to make it my mission to encourage them with the blessed Word of God. “For the word of God is living and active” (Hebrews 4:17, NIV). I cannot emphasize enough how important it is to put Scripture verses before your children. Pray them, remember them, and always know they are breathed from the mouth of our Almighty God for us to glorify Him in everything we do.