One of the most important lessons for young Christians to learn is respect for their parents. The fifth commandment, in fact, requires Christians to honour their fathers. Sunday school is the ideal place to teach children this valuable lesson, and an effective way to do this is to play games to help them understand the importance of this rule.
Lesson From Ephesians
Read from Ephesians 6:1-3: “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. 'Honour your father and mother'—which is the first commandment with a promise—'that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.'" Ask students to pick out the active words in the reading, such as “obey,” “honour” and “live.”
Define these active words with the students, making sure they understand the implications. Discuss with the children what their parents do for them, and ask them why they believe parents do so much to take care of their children. Discuss why the Bible says that we will have longer lives if we obey our parents. Make sure students understand the idea that parents receive no reward for their actions unless the children thank them, and encourage the children to thank their parents and to offer to help when they can.
Examples of Honoring Your Parents
Have Sunday school students participate in an activity that provides examples, both good and bad, of honouring their parents. You can provide this as a handout and have students work in small groups, or you can conduct the activity with the class as a whole, depending on the number of students you have and how well they work together.
The list of scenarios should include good and bad examples of honouring one's parents. For instance, “Doing what your mom says without asking questions” or “Thanking dad for cooking dinner” may provide good examples, while, “Fighting with mom about cleaning up my room” or “complaining about what we have for dinner” may be bad examples.
Have students discuss with each other why each example is or is not a good example of honouring their parents. How could the bad examples be made better? Why is it important to honour one's parents?
What I Like About You
Have students create a card or letter for their parents (or just mother or father, depending on the family situation). The students should list on their letters things that they like about their parents: “I like the way you read to me before bed” or “I like the way you throw the baseball with me after school” are good examples.
Students should decorate their cards so that they are individualised for their own parents; you can even ask them to bring in a picture of their parents to paste on the card. While students decorate, ask them similar questions as above: Why is it important to remember that our parents do good things for us, and how can we thank them?
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