Why did the Lord give us parents? Why does He want us to listen to them? Includes a lesson, game, and craft.
Needed: white board or large piece of paper, drawing paper and crayons or colored pencils
Intro Game: Simon Says
Students follow your commands and motion when you say, “Simon says” first. If you don’t say, “Simon says” before the command, and they do it anyway, they’re out. If they follow a motion that doesn’t match the “Simon says” verbal command, they’re out. The winner is the last one in the game.
Momma or Poppa Says
Play again, but this time, tell students that you want them to practice not listening when their parents or grandparents tell them to do something. Instead of saying, “Simon Says,” you’re going to say “Momma Says” or “Poppa Says.” They should only listen to you when you don’t say “Momma” or “Poppa Says” first first. If anyone does do what you tell them when you say, “Momma” or “Poppa Says,” they’re out.
Play a couple of times if you like, letting the winner of each round be the new Momma or Poppa for the next game.
Afterward, ask, How does it make your parents feel when you don’t listen to them?
It makes your parents upset, doesn’t it? But we love our parents and we don’t want to make them upset, so when we go home, let’s be sure to listen when they tell us something.
Ask students, Does anyone remember why God gives us rules? (God gives us rules because He loves us. The rules He gives us are meant to protect us and others.)
How many of you have parents?
How many of you have grandparents?
Most of us have at least one parent or a grandparent. So, let’s look at how the Bible says we should treat our parents and grandparents.
(Have a student read Exodus 20:12 , quoted here in the NIV.)
“Honor your father and your mother,so that you may live longin the landtheLordyour God is giving you.”
God says that we should honor our parents. We can also say that we should honor our grandparents. What do you think it means to honor someone?
To honor someone means to show them respect, to obey them, and to be thankful for the things they do for you.
Why should we honor or show respect to our parents and grandparents? What are some things that they’ve done for us or still do for us that would make us want to honor and respect them?
(Write students’ ideas on the white board or paper and help them think of others. Here are some examples: gave us life, take care of us, teach us, buy us what we need, love us, spend time with us, etc.)
God gave us our parents because He knows that we need them. God made our parents to do all of those good things for us and He knows that we will learn the right things if we listen to and obey our parents.
So, because our parents do so many good things for us and because we know that God gave us our parents, we honor and respect them. What are some things that we can do to honor and show respect to our parents and grandparents?
(Again, write ideas on the board or paper and lead students into thinking of more. Examples: obey them when they tell us to do something, don’t talk back, offer to help them with the chores, tell them thank you for the things they do for us, etc.)
But what happens if our parents make a mistake or do something wrong? Have any of your parents or grandparents ever made a mistake or done something wrong?
Should we still honor and respect our parents and grandparents if they make a mistake or do something wrong?
Our parents and grandparents are still people, and every person makes mistakes. Every person does something wrong once in a while. We have to be able to forgive our parents and grandparents and still honor and respect them for the good things that they do.
But God is also our parent, isn’t He? The Bible says that God is our Heavenly Father because He made all of us and He takes care of us. He also gives us His rules, just like our parents give us rules, to keep us safe.
I think one of the reasons God gave us parents is to help us practice listening to Him. If we can learn to listen to our parents here on Earth, then we can learn to listen to our Heavenly Father too.
Craft: Thank You Letters to Earthly and Heavenly Parents
Give students drawing supplies and instruct them to write two letters. One will be a thank you letter to their parents or grandparents. The other will be a thank you letter to God.
Tell the children to start their letter by thanking their parents or God for all the things that they do for them. They should then end the letter promising to honor their parents and God as the commandment teaches.
If children can’t write, they can draw their sentiments. They can draw a picture of what their parents or God do for them followed by a picture of them listening to or honoring their parents and God.
Game: Momma or Poppa Says
This time, play it so that kids do listen when you say “Momma” or “Poppa Says” first.
Lord, we thank You for giving us our parents. We thank You for inventing the idea of the family. Help us to honor the parents You gave us and to honor You as our Heavenly Father in all that we do. In Jesus’ name we pray, amen.
This lesson is included in my book, The Lord’s Top Ten: Children’s Sunday School Lessons on the Ten Commandments.