Do I have to? Thought of Memorizing Scripture: Proverbs 15:13 Part 2

Earlier this week, we spoke about how to help a child understand Proverbs 15:13. To read our introduction, click here.

Now, we continue. The step in effectively teaching your child a Proverb after memorization is to make sure they understand it. Having verses memorized is great. But if they don’t know what they mean, then it’s pointless.

So why memorize at all then?

Because it keeps the wisdom with us. I can recite so many marketing slogans. I can sing along to car dealership commercials. Can I recite scripture?

Remembering scripture is meaningful. It is powerful. It helps us, and we can help others with it.

“A happy heart makes a face look cheerful. But a sad heart produces a broken spirit.” – Proverbs 15:13 (NIrV)

So, what does this Proverb mean?

In the ancient world, the heart was more than merely the seat of emotions. It was the source of thoughts and attitudes as well. So, when we read that ‘a happy heart makes a face look cheerful’, we’re reminded that what goes on in our minds has a huge impact on the way we carry ourselves.

If we’re thinking on good things and cultivating a positive attitude, we’re going to be more likely to treat others in a ‘cheerful’ and ‘happy’ manner. People will be able to see what our hearts look like by noticing our faces. The same thing is true of a ‘sad’ heart. When we allow our mind and emotions to dwell on sad things, our spirit’s will fall and be broken.


This is the reason that Paul encouraged the Philippian believers with these words: “whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things” (Philippians 4:8 NIV). Paul understood that the thoughts we think about directly impact the way we live our lives, including our words, our actions, and our attitudes.


As you explain this to your children, ask them to think about times that they were sad. How did that impact the way they acted or the words that they spoke? Give them examples from your own life. Explore the meaning of this Proverb together.


Finally, don’t allow this lesson to be the last time that you bring up this verse. Scripture encourages us to meditate on different verses. This word was the same word used in the Old Testament to refer to the way that a cow would chew his food over a long period of time. Let this verse come up in conversation over the next week and month.

When you or your child is excited, expressing joy, remind them of the role our ‘hearts’ play in that joy. Likewise, if they’re feeling down, you can gently encourage them with these words. Yes, our circumstances can discourage us and make us feel bad – but ultimately, our attitude and the thoughts we dwell on can make a huge difference in the way that we feel.


Let Proverbs 15:13 be your meditation this week.

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