“Mommy, I want to be good for God,” your little one whispers as you tuck him into bed. You smile because you know that he really does try to be a good boy most of the time. One way to help him accomplish his goal is to supply him with God’s rules for kids. You can use pictorial representations of the rules as reminders since he doesn't read yet.
1. Simplified 10 Commandments
The 10 Commandments you find in your adult Bible might be too complex for your little one to understand, so you can put them in a simplified version for her. You can begin with “Put God first” and “Only worship God.” “Treat God’s name with respect” and “Worship God one day each week” round out the first three commandments, defining your child’s relationship with God. The remaining seven commandments explain how your child should treat others. These are simplified as “Obey your parents,” “Treat others with kindness,” “Keep your marriage promises,” “Don’t steal,” Don’t lie” "Have godly thoughts" and “Be happy with what you have.”
2. Pictorial Commandments
Pictorial representations of the commandments could help reinforce your child’s memory of God’s rules. A big number one in the center of a heart can remind your child of the first commandment, while a picture of a statue with a red diagonal line through it can remind him not to worship false gods. A picture of a bearded older man with a name tag reminds him to treat God’s name with respect and a picture of a church can symbolize keeping the Sabbath. A picture of you reminds your little one to obey you, while a picture of two kids with their arms around each other symbolizes treating others with kindness. A picture of wedding rings symbolizes keeping marriage promises, while a picture of a wallet with money could remind him not to steal. A picture of a face with an “x” across the mouth symbolizes telling the truth, while a picture of a loving God reminds him to have kind and loving thoughts. A picture of a happy face on a child holding a toy reminds him to be happy with what he has.
3. Two Rules
In Luke 10: 25-37, Jesus explains that it really all comes down to two rules -- love God and love others as you love yourself. He tells the story of the Good Samaritan so people will know who their neighbor is -- and what it means to treat someone with kindness. You can use this simple story to teach your child God’s rules. You can summarize these two rules in a single picture -- a large heart with a picture of a cross in one lobe and a picture of people in the second lobe.
4. One Rule
In Matthew 7:12, Jesus summarizes another one of God's rules in a simple frame -- treat others as you want them to treat you. While you might not use a picture for this, you can remind your little one to consider how she wants others to treat her. This simple statement helps her consider the feelings of others, as well as their property and their physical bodies.