Teaching Your Kids The Ten Commandments (In A Way They Won't See In Sunday School)

teaching kids the Ten Commandments

My son is seven. For roughly the last six years, he has spent nearly every Sunday (give or take) in Sunday School. Lately he's been, shall we say "coloring outside the lines," when it comes to obedience (naturally) and I've struggled to figure out how to connect with him in a meaningful way on the subject.

Last week, my dad observed (via Face Time) one particular instance of disobedience and he quickly asked, "Grandson, what do the Ten Commandments say about how to treat your parents?"

"I don't know." he responded.


Okay, now I think most kids his age probably don't know all of them (especially when throwing around words like covet). But I figured that at least somewhere in the last 3 summers of VBS that he'd at least have picked up the honoring your parents one!

It's one thing as a parent to toot your own shofar and tell your kids that God says they have to obey you. Doesn't always work though (I mean in their minds, consider the source). But to teach your kid to actually open up the Word of God to learn the truth about something, that's the best way I've found to get the back up I need.

So we opened up our family Bible to Exodus and line by line, described all Ten Commandments in detail. And yes, it's a little challenging to describe concepts like coveting and adultery to a second grader but I think we at least got the Cliff's Notes version across.

Plus, there is a brilliant song that I listened to when I was in elementary school that we found on YouTube. He was hooked.

(Sorry to say I can't embed the video here but if you Google "The Perfect Ten" by Kathie Hill, you'll be happy you did. Catchiest tune ever.) 

Ten Commandments for Kids Conversation Notes

Number I- God comes first in our lives. Not ourselves. Not our toys. Not even our moms. The choices we make show what is most important, and we feel safest and closest to God when He is in the #1 spot.

Number II- Referenced Exodus 32 and how Aaron constructed a golden calf that the Israelites actually thought was God. He got a kick out of that one.

Number III- God's name isn't just a word to throw around. We use it to tell God how great He is and to talk to him. Saying "oh my (fill in the blank)" is actually blaming God for whatever you are saying it about.

Number IV- We rest on Sundays to make it different from all the other days. We make special time to be with God and share His love with others. 

Number V- Don't just listen to your mom and dad- do what they say with the best attitude you can have (also see the cheerful giver in 2 Corinthians 9:7).  

Number VI- Don't kill but most especially, don't sin when you're angry. To God, they are the same (see Ephesians 4:26).

Number VII- A husband and a wife are meant to be married forever. God gives them a special love and connection that is never supposed to be given to anyone else (see also Genesis 2:24). 

Number VIII- Don't take something that doesn't belong to you. Work hard to earn what you want (and see God's promise in Deuteronomy 15:10). 

Number IX- Tell the truth (and don't hide the truth or be sneaky about things either). God knows everything and loves you no matter what; lying will only make you forget that (see Luke 12:2).

Number X- Don't wish you had what other people have. Be thankful for what God has given you and share it- it will keep you from being jealous and you will actually receive more (Luke 6:38).

Teaching biblical truths to kids takes a LOT of repetition and different tools. Rarely does it click the first time. But remembering to take a pause and open up the Bible will give your kids the confidence to do it themselves after their Sunday School days are long behind them.

Do you have any stories about teaching your kids to use their Bibles to solve problems?