In today’s blog post, I have put together a great discussion starter for your Ten Commandments Sunday school lessons. The following discussions will help children understand and remember the Ten Commandments better by naming things that each exemplifies.
For older classes with more thought and longer attention spans, you can discuss all of the questions below, but you’ll probably end up with two minutes discussion on each. Hence it may be better to pick five (5) of God’s commands that apply directly to them. For younger classes, you might want to focus on three (3) of God’s commands that apply directly to young children, such as honoring parents, not stealing, and not lying.
Ten Commandments Sunday School Lessons Discussion Starters
Do your mom and dad have rules for your house? What are some of the rules that your parents have that you’re supposed to follow?
Let children list some, like brushing teeth before bed and saying grace before eating.
God has rules, too. The rules help us to know Him better. God likes good and doesn’t like bad, like when people hurt each other or hurt Him. He gave us the rules so we know right from wrong and we would know what He likes and doesn’t like.
Here are God’s Rules:
1. You shall have no other gods before me.
2. You shall not make graven images, nor bow down to them.
3. You shall not misuse the name of the LORD your God.
4. Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy.
5. Honor your father and your mother.
6. You shall not murder.
7. You shall not commit adultery.
8. You shall not steal.
9. You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.
10. You shall not covet your neighbor’s belongings.
Pick the topics you want to discuss, or you can use all if you have a very thoughtful and talkative group. As children think of ways to honor the commandment, remember to say, “Yes! That would make God happy!” as the discussion is a way to help children know God’s character.
What does God mean by “have no other Gods before me?” “What is a god?”
Something you care more about than God.
Can a TV show be a God? How about an outfit from Hollister? How about a friend?
Yes, yes, yes because we can love them more than God when we’re not thinking.
What does it mean to misuse the name of the Lord? Discussion about bad words, especially those with the Lord’s name in them.
What is the Sabbath? Sunday. What things can we think of do to that would make the Sabbath Day special? Ideas for fun family things, being kind to others.
How can we honor our mom and dad? Discussion on ways to show kindness to mom and dad, chores they can do, and ways to help out.
What does murder mean? Does it mean that we shouldn’t swat a fly on our arm? Pursue some thoughts on where the lines are—people kill animals so they have meat to eat, but God doesn’t want us to be bitten by flies. Also, for older children discussion on the military protecting their country would be interesting.
What does adultery mean? You’re married and you go out with somebody else. This conversation doesn’t need to turn sexual. Children understand very well the concept of marriage and love combined with loyalty. It is a great opportunity to start teaching at a young age that God designed human beings to be monogamous. Here is a good quote: “The human heart is not meant to be broken over and over, any more than the human leg bone is meant to be broken over and over.” Hence, when you get to be a teenager, it shouldn’t be a goal to go out with twenty-five people! You’re only hurting yourself !
We all know what stealing is. But there are unusual ways to steal. How about if you look on someone else’s paper during a test in school? Is that stealing? Have kids think of stealing in terms of more than just material items. Later, they could steal someone’s heart romantically (if they’re married or planning to marry). They can steal time from their parents if the parents have asked them to do chores and they’re loafing. If the parents have limited TV watching and they go overboard, is that stealing time?
Bearing false testimony against your neighbor means to “lie.” Have you ever said a made-up thing about one kid to another? How does gossip play into this? Discussion can pursue on gossiping—being jealous of a friendship and saying something to wedge one friend out so you can get closer to the other. Blaming something you did that was wrong on somebody else is also good for getting out confessions and discussing forgiveness.
What does coveting mean? Being jealous. The word “snob” is big today. When we hear people say that somebody is “snobby,” could it be that those people are jealous of something the person has? Either a nice house or a pool or a fantastic finished basement with a ping-pong table? Discuss how it often takes an act of the will for us to be happy for somebody’s good fortune, especially if we don’t have that item ourselves. If someone has something we don’t, we should try to be happy for them…and maybe they’ll invite us over! If not, we’ll see what God has in store for us. God loves to root for the underdog.