God has given His rule for our benefit (Deuteronomy 10:13). His Ten Commandments are not exclusively about one group of people or one age group. They can be helpful to children and adults. And if we violate these positive rules, we’re going to have poor consequences.
The Ten Commandments teach us how to respect God. He has made us, and he loves us deeply. Knowing the first four commandments, therefore, lets us know how to love Him back.
The last six commandments teach us how to love others. It begins with our parents in the Fifth Commandment. The last five demonstrate how to get along with the others. Thinking about what they say will encourage children to be good neighbors and good potential husbands and wives. Obeying them will help make others happy. And we’re both going to be happier.
What are the Ten Commandments for Children — and for All?
The 10 Commandments
Thou shalt have no other gods before me.
Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.
Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain; for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.
Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.
Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.
Thou shalt not kill.
Thou shalt not commit adultery.
Thou shalt not steal.
Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.
Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour’s. [Exodus 20:1-18]
The First Commandment
We have to place God first in our lives, no matter how old we are. He is more important than anything else or anyone. He loves us profoundly, and so, with all our hearts, we can love him.
The Bible gives countless examples of young people who loved God. For instance, Samuel worked hard at God’s tabernacle as a young boy. He replied when God called, “Speak, for Your servant listens.” (That’s in 1 Samuel 3:10.)
The Second Commandment
God is so wonderful that neither image nor statue can represent Him. And other false gods’ images are useless. They’re leading people away from God.
At age 8, Josiah became king. He knew about the many idols of false gods even when he was young. He made a proposal for the whole of his kingdom to get rid of them. In “Josiah: The Boy Who Became the King,” read more.
The Third Commandment
The name of God is unique. We have no right to carelessly use it or to use it to curse other individuals. Sadly, people today all the time abuse the name of God. We have to stop letting our minds get like that. Jesus also said, “Swear not at all” (Matthew 5:34).
The Fourth Commandment
God rested on the seventh day and He wants us to rest too. It is a day to reflect on Nature, on His lovely creation, and on our families.
There are many things children and families can do to make the Sabbath memorable.
The Fifth Commandment
Paul pointed out the blessing God gave concerning the Fifth Commandment:
Children, in the Lord, obey your parents, for this is right. ‘Honor your father and your mother,’ which is the first promising commandment: ‘that it may be well with you, and that you may live long on the earth'” (Ephesians 6:1-3).
God wants us to respectfully treat our parents. He is our Father in Heaven, and we still have to learn to treat Him with great reverence. We will be blessed if we do.
The Sixth Commandment
God’s given life to us. He wants us to understand how important life is, and not even to worry about harming others or killing them.
Cain became very upset and jealous of his brother. He has allowed himself to get angrier and angrier. He murdered a brother of his own. In the Bible story “Cain and Abel,” we will discover why we shouldn’t think like that.
The Seventh Commandment
The family was created by God. Before they had children, he wanted a man and a woman to love each other and get married. He wanted a husband and a wife to be faithful to one another before and after marriage.
Satan is targeting families today. He’s trying to make people think it’s all right to have sex before they get married. He’s trying to make porn look all right. He wants people to do things that seem interesting, but they’re going to hurt them and their families.
Kids may follow the Seventh Commandment by choosing to escape the traps of Satan. They can choose to save sex for marriage.
The Eighth command
All we’ve got comes from God. We should be grateful for what we have, and we should aspire to make those things happen when we can afford them. Yet children and adults can be tempted to take things that are not theirs.
God is asking us not to cheat. We’re not supposed to concentrate on receiving, but on giving. God is a great giver, and we should learn to give, not to take.
The Ninth Commandment
It would seem too easy to lie. We can lie to try to avoid getting into trouble. We can lie to make us look better. But lying is still going to have poor results in the end.
God is the real God. He loves integrity, and he wants us to be honest.
The Tenth Commandment
Much of the 10 Commandments are concerned about what we do. The 10th Commandment is concerned about what we think. (Of course, what we think is sometimes what we do.)
Coveting — actually wanting something that we can’t or should not have — is another trick of Satan’s. He needs us to concentrate on what we can’t do. He needs us to be disappointed with him. He knows that thinking like this is going to make us miserable. It’s the opposite of God’s way of thinking. It’s selfish. God wants us to be giving and loving ourselves.
If we really think about all the laws of Heaven, we see that they are fine. And it’s for our benefit.
What happens when we violate the rule of God?
God knows we’re making mistakes. He knows that we may fall into the traps set by the devil. He knows that sometimes someone violates His rules. This is what the Bible calls sin. It says that everybody, including the heroes of the Bible, has sinned. Only Jesus Christ, the Son of God, did not sin.
As the Son of God, He was able to pay us the penalty of our sin. He was willing to die, man! If we repent — commit to change — God can forgive us.
So the Ten Commandments teach us what we did wrong. We’re telling God that we’re sorry to break His rule. We’re telling him that we don’t want to do it again. We ask Him to enable Him to follow His good rule. We’re worried about his rule. We’re trying to find out what to do to stop sin. We dedicate ourselves to living by His good and pure commandments.
God loves to hear from the children. Jesus Christ has made time for children. He pointed out the positive examples of them. And He is going to support you. He will direct you by being with you in His Holy Spirit. He will bring you to a time when you, as an adult, are ready to make a lifelong commitment to baptism. ii From then on, the Holy Spirit of God will not be with you, but in you (John 14:17).