Teaching the Commandments

Tags: 10 Commandments, teaching commandments to children, love

This article from Group Publishing offers some great suggestions for helping kids understand and apply the 10 Commandments:

THE TEN COMMANDMENTS CAN seem intimidating—not just because they set a high standard but because they include some archaic language. Bring the law to children’s level with these age-appropriate adaptations:

#1: God is the one true God.
#2: Worship only God.
#3 Be careful with God’s name.
#4: Set aside a day for God and for rest.
#5: Respect your mom and dad.
#6: Don’t kill or hurt anyone.
#7: Keep your marriage promises.
#8: Don’t steal or take what isn’t yours.
#9: Don’t tell lies.
#10: Don’t feel jealous of other people and what they have.

In Synch
Give each person two paper plates. Practice “skating” around a room on them. Then form pairs and have partners try to do the same moves. Switch partners for more synchronized fun. Then ask: “As you skated, how did you get to know your partner?” Read aloud 1 Corinthians 8:3. Ask: “How does knowing and following God’s laws and rules help us stay in sync with him?”

No More Hard Hearts
Hand out hardboiled eggs. Decorate them with markers as you discuss how the outside of the eggs feel. Read aloud Psalm 95:6-9. Say: “God wants our hearts to be soft toward him so we obey out of love, but sometimes our hearts get hard and are closed to God.” Ask: “What might make people’s hearts hard?” Crack the eggs, peel the shells, and discuss how the inside of the eggs feel. Say: “When our hearts are hard, God can crack away the outer shell to reveal something soft on the inside.” Ask: “What helps make your heart soft toward God?” End with prayer—and eat the eggs.

Focused Followers
Have family members form pairs. Whisper a strange instruction to one person in each pair; for example, put socks on your hands or sit on your head. Each instruction recipient must then silently get his or her partner to do the task. Switch roles so everyone gets a turn. Ask: “How did you know what your partner wanted you to do? How do you know what God wants you to do?” Read aloud 1 Thessalonians 4:11. Ask: “How does living a quiet life help us focus on following God?”

Transformed Hearts
Say: “Because of sin, no one can perfectly obey God’s law. Sin makes holes in our hearts, but God’s Holy Spirit fills our hearts and covers sin.” Cut brown craft foam into a large person shape and write “sin” across the chest. Cut a red foam heart and staple a heart to the chest. Punch out a large hole in the heart so “sin” shows through. Bunch together strips of orange and yellow tissue paper, pinch the tip, and push it through the hole so the “flame” bursts through the heart. Display your creation where your family can see it as a reminder.

Stay on Track
Hide a Bible and give family members an easy map to find it. Then say: “The Bible contains God’s laws and shows us how to stay on track and follow them.” Read some “directions” and have family members tell you if they’re from the Bible or not. For example, “Love your enemies” (yes!); “Lie only if you have to” (no!).

This article appears in the February 2019 edition of Group Publishing’s Parenting Christian Kids, which we distribute through our KidZone children’s ministry at Antelope Springs Church. Click here to read the entire newsletter.