This is the 12th and final lesson in our curriculum called “God’s Good Rules” that helps children study the Ten Commandments. This study will show that we can happily obey the Ten Commandments to show love to God and to our neighbors – because Jesus changes our hearts. Download the complete printable lesson plan below. See all the lessons and find bonus learning activities on the series page: God’s Good Rules – A Study for Children on the 10 Commandments.
“Love Rules” Lesson #12 in the God’s Good Rules Series
Bible Curriculum for Kids on the 10 Commandments
Main idea: When Jesus is in our hearts, we can happily obey the Ten Commandments to show love to God and to our neighbors.
Gather: Bible; dry erase markers or chart paper and markers; love commandments game; tape; thaumatrope printable; coloring supplies; scissors; glue sticks. For more teaching ideas, don’t miss our Ten Commandments for Kids. We feature lessons, teaching activities, and more craft ideas.
Memory Verses: Psalm 119:1-2 “Joyful are people of integrity, who follow the instructions of the Lord. Joyful are those who obey his laws and search for him with all their hearts.”
Scripture references: Exodus 20:1-17, Galatians 2:16, James 1:25, Matthew 22:36-40
- See our printable 10 commandments for kids version
- PDF Worksheets on the 10 Commandments
- Commandments Preschool Booklet [pdf] and Mini Book [pdf]
- Go Fish Guys sing the 10 Commandment Song
- See the 10 Commandments for Kids on Sunday School Works
Teacher preparation / Devotion:
Read Scripture references, Romans 2:10-15, Matthew 19:16-26, Deuteronomy 6:4-9, and Leviticus 19:18
Take time to meditate on this week’s Scripture and think about your own life. Congratulations for staying committed to teaching the Ten Commandments to your students! I pray that you too have learned something through this journey. The Ten Commandments are rich and full of God’s love toward his people. What a gracious gift he has given us in his law! As you reflect upon your journey over the past few months, remember that the heart of the law is love. The commandments are not a checklist meant to prove our righteousness in keeping them, nor a list meant to indict us for all our wrongdoing. They are a reflection of God’s character and some of the attributes of those who are called by his name. This week, I pray that you would live out the Ten Commandments by loving God and his people.
Lesson Introduction Game: Love Commands
This game will help review the Ten Commandments while getting your class up and moving. Before class begins, print and cut out two sets of the “love commands” printable for each relay race team you will have. It may help to print these on two different colors. Try to keep it to no more than five per team, so everyone can run twice. Tape one set of hearts for each team along one wall and the second set of hearts along the opposite wall. For the race, students must run across the room on their turn, grab a commandment off the wall, and run it back to their team. They then must match the commandment on the starting wall before the next player on their team can run. The first team to match all Ten Commandments, wins.
Alternatively, you could hide one set of cards per student around the room, and each student must locate every commandment. For this version, write the numbers 1-10 on the back of the hearts to make it easier for younger students.
You could also print these on cardstock and make a few sets of a memory matching game. Have students play in small groups. Lay two sets of cards face down. Students draw two cards and look for matches. If they find a match, encourage them to remind you and the other players what they learned about the given commandment.
Bible Lesson “Love Rules”
Open in prayer, then say, here we are, on the very last lesson on the Ten Commandments! We have spent the last few months digging deep into God’s word and learning about the rules he gave to the Israelites after he freed them from slavery in Egypt. We learned that these commandments are not just for ancient Israel, but they are for us to follow too! Remind me again class, why do we have rules? (Allow students to answer.)
Rules help keep us safe, and healthy, and help us to get along well with our neighbors. Let’s read the Ten Commandments in Exodus 20 one more time, and then we will talk about them a little more. (Read, or have a student read, Exodus 20:1-17).
Then God gave the people all these instructions:
2 “I am the Lord your God, who rescued you from the land of Egypt, the place of your slavery.
3 “You must not have any other god but me.
4 “You must not make for yourself an idol of any kind or an image of anything in the heavens or on the earth or in the sea. 5 You must not bow down to them or worship them, for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God who will not tolerate your affection for any other gods. I lay the sins of the parents upon their children; the entire family is affected—even children in the third and fourth generations of those who reject me. 6 But I lavish unfailing love for a thousand generations on those who love me and obey my commands.
7 “You must not misuse the name of the Lord your God. The Lord will not let you go unpunished if you misuse his name.
8 “Remember to observe the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. 9 You have six days each week for your ordinary work, 10 but the seventh day is a Sabbath day of rest dedicated to the Lord your God. On that day no one in your household may do any work. This includes you, your sons and daughters, your male and female servants, your livestock, and any foreigners living among you. 11 For in six days the Lord made the heavens, the earth, the sea, and everything in them; but on the seventh day he rested. That is why the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and set it apart as holy.
12 “Honor your father and mother. Then you will live a long, full life in the land the Lord your God is giving you.
13 “You must not murder.
14 “You must not commit adultery.
15 “You must not steal.
16 “You must not testify falsely against your neighbor.
17 “You must not covet your neighbor’s house. You must not covet your neighbor’s wife, male or female servant, ox or donkey, or anything else that belongs to your neighbor.”
When we first read this passage of Scripture, it seemed really overwhelming, but I hope now that we have taken time to study God’s word, that it is easier to understand and that you have prayerfully worked to obey these commands.
While it is important for those of us who love God to do our best to obey these commands so we can live happily with everyone, we have to remember that even if we obeyed all the rules perfectly all the time, the commandments are not what saves us and lets us live forever in heaven with God. Galatians 2:16 says,
“Yet we know that a person is made right with God by faith in Jesus Christ, not by obeying the law. And we have believed in Christ Jesus, so that we might be made right with God because of our faith in Christ, not because we have obeyed the law. For no one will ever be made right with God by obeying the law.”
We are saved by our faith in Jesus Christ. And when we have faith in Jesus, we are moved to do good things, like obey the commandments! Let’s have a sword drill. Take all fingers and bookmarks out of your Bibles and hold them closed above your head. When I say go, look up James 1:25. Go! (Read, or have a student read, James 1:25).
“But if you look carefully into the perfect law that sets you free, and if you do what it says and don’t forget what you heard, then God will bless you for doing it.”
My friends, I don’t want you to forget what you have learned about the Ten Commandments. The Ten Commandments help us to know who God is and how we can show him and his people love. I want you to do what the law, the commandments say, so you can get along well with others and so that others can see that you love God. But I understand how hard it is to think of the commandments all the time to make sure you’re obeying them. Thankfully, you don’t have to. Jesus summed up all the commandments in just a few words for us. Follow along with me as I read Matthew 22:36-40.
The Pharisees asked Jesus a question, hoping to trick him. They asked, “Teacher, which is the most important commandment in the law of Moses?”
37 Jesus replied, “‘you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.”
Everything we have learned about over the past few months can be summed up in one word: love. Love God, and love others. The Ten Commandments, the whole Bible, is all about love. God showed his love for his people by giving them good rules to follow. We show we love God when we follow his commands. We show other people love when we follow the commands.
Just think about it. If we are showing God we love him, we aren’t going to worship other made up Gods or have idols or use his name unkindly. We will take a special day each week to rest and worship him. If we are showing our neighbors love, we will honor and obey our parents, respect the lives of others, and keep our special marriage promises. We won’t steal or lie or be jealous for our neighbor’s things. When we show love, we are keeping God’s commandments. When Jesus is in our hearts, we can happily obey the Ten Commandments to show love to God and to our neighbors.
So, we have talked about this a lot before, so now I want to review a little bit before we move on to our craft. Let’s talk about ways we can show love to God and to our neighbors.
(Write students’ answers on the board. Discuss how their ideas fulfill certain commandments. For example, writing a letter to Grandma is a way of honoring our family, standing up for a kid who is bullied shows we respect their life, and going to church on Sunday is one way to honor the Sabbath. Try to get an example or two for each commandment before moving on.)
That is a wonderful list. Now that we know the Ten Commandments are ways to help us show love, let’s pray that this week, God will help us to love him and love others by obeying his commandments!
End in prayer.
Bible Craft: Ten Commandment Coloring Pages by Many Groce.
Take this time to assemble the coloring pages completed over the past several weeks into a book for each child to take home. Have children complete any pages they may have missed and discuss all they have learned as they staple together their books to take home. You can download the entire 10 Commandment Coloring Book on our website.
Cross heart thaumatrope
This fun little optical illusion will wow your students. Have students color in the circles, heart, and cross. They may also color the rectangle if they wish. Cut out the circles and the rectangle. Tightly roll the long rectangle to create a handle for your thaumatrope. Alternatively, you could use paper straws. Tape the edge. Glue the circles together, back to back, with the end of the handle in between them. Make sure you align the circles well. Once dry, you can quickly roll the handle of the thaumatrope back and forth between your hands, as if trying to warm them. As you spin, it will look like the cross is appearing inside the heart. Remind your students as they play with their thaumatropes that when Jesus is in our hearts, we can happily obey the Ten Commandments as a way to show love to God and to our neighbors.