Every Bible narrative, hymn and prayer teaches the central idea of obedience to God out of gratitude for His mercy and blessings. Engaging children in activities with Christian obedience lessons lays a foundation for understanding concepts that are more complex in later years. As you introduce children to the idea of Christian obedience, they explore the Bible, which strengthens their religious education. Show children the many ways God calls them to obedience in their daily lives.
Adam and Eve
Adam and Eve set the stage in the Bible for the topic of obedience. Use a Bible-based activity to teach children the power of temptation, which can lead to disobeying God's will. The website of Sunday School Resources offers a temptation object lesson. Read Genesis 2:16-17. Place a bowl of saltine crackers and a bowl of candy on a table at snack time. Tell the children they can only eat the crackers. Talk about how the children feel when they see a bowl of candy but can only eat crackers. Ask the children if they would take a piece of candy if they thought nobody would know about it. Read Genesis 3:8-12, the passage in which God already knows that Adam and Eve have sinned even though they try to hide from him. Discuss how people feel free when they don't have to hide their mistakes. Emphasise that children can tell God anything because God loves them and wants to protect them.
God's laws establish Christian priorities. When children know the boundaries for acceptable behaviour, parents and religious educators can help refine the meaning of Christian obedience. Start with the basics as listed in the 10 Commandments. (Exodus 20) Play a memory game to teach children the ancient laws most people follow to ensure happy homes and societies. Shorten the commandments from the original versions in the Bible so children can recall each law with greater ease. Write the numbered commandments on the board. Recite them with the children. Erase key words in each commandment. Ask the children to fill in the blanks.
Reason for Obedience
The Bible often shows the negative consequences of disobedience. Inspire children to obey God's will by showing them the freedom that comes from obedience. Ask older children to imagine what might happen in Bible situations if the people had obeyed God's rules. Divide children into small groups. Ask the half the groups to write mini-plays, which show what life would have been like for Adam and Eve if they had not eaten from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Ask the remaining groups to write brief plays about life in today's world if Adam and Eve had obeyed God.
Children can easily confuse the idea of obedience with the idea of punishment. Teach them that God forgives when human beings make mistakes. Use the parable of the Lost Son in the Gospel of Luke to show children God's mercy for people who make bad decisions. Role-play the scene in Luke 15:11-17 in which the younger son asks for his inheritance and leaves his home and his family looking for good times, but experiences hard times. Play the father who, according to Luke 15:20-21, waited for his son to return and ran to greet his son with kisses and warm welcome. Discuss how the son must have felt when he was lost far away from home and how he must have felt when his father greeted him with such love. Explain that the father in the parable is God and the younger son is every person because all people make mistakes.