In the New Testament, we are given two great commandments:
Luke 10:27 reads, "And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself."
In fact, throughout scripture, these sentiments are expressed. We are to love the Lord with all our hearts and love our neighbors as we love ourselves.
All of the commandments we are given really boil down to these two. If we teach our children to take these two simple commandments to heart, the rest will make sense. These teachings will help them navigate the rough waters of growing up with a better sense of purpose. They will help our children to love others - even those that give them grief.
Here is a look at how the 10 Commandments found the Bible in the book of Exodus, chapter 20 reflect these two great commandments.
Thou shalt have no other gods before me
We know that we are to worship our God and not put anything before him - not money, entertainment, worldly pleasures, our jobs or the pursuit of wealth. This is loving God with all our heart.
Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth
Making graven images would detract us from loving our God and his creations. He is who we love and worship.
Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain; for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain
Taking the Lord's name in vain, or even throwing it around casually, does not show love for him. If we love him, we will honor and respect his name and title.
Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy
If we love the Lord with all our hearts, we will want to dedicate at least one day to him, not to sports, shopping or entertainment. We will want to spend that day honoring him through good works, prayer, fasting, studying and serving. He set that example for us in by resting on the seventh day of the creation of our world.
Honor they mother and thy father that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee
This one is covered by both great commandments. Loving God means loving the families and parents he sent us to and they are part of the "our neighbors" spoken of. We were given to our parents, in trust, for a specific reason and we need to honor them so that our days may be long on the earth to serve.
Thou shalt not kill
Murdering any of God's creations would not show love and honor for him or his handiwork. We must love our neighbors as we love him and not kill them physically, emotionally or spiritually.
Thou shalt not commit adultery
Adultery is responsible for destroying many families. It is a grievous sin and goes against the love of God and the love of neighbor both.
Thou shalt not steal
Again, this stems from the loving our neighbor commandment. Taking what is not ours not only hurts our neighbors, it hurts our spirits. And it hurts our God.
Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour
Lying or accusing a neighbor does not show love for them. We need to be very careful with this one. It is so easy, at least for me, to point fingers and accuse others of doing things they may or may not have done.
Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour's
This is another commandment that is difficult to keep, but one that we must if we are to obey that great commandment of loving our neighbor. Wishing we had what they have means wishing them to not have it, which means that we consider ourselves above them in some way. We need to love our neighbors and be happy for them in their circumstance and not want to do anything to detract from that.
Other commandments like praying (showing our love of God by speaking to him daily), studying our scriptures (getting to know our God better so that our love for him is more complete and full), paying our tithes and offerings (which generally goes to support the Lord's work here on earth, showing him love) and all other commandments we may be asked to keep all stem from the great two. To love the Lord with all our hearts and to love our neighbors as ourselves. Let's teach our children not only these ten, but the two that they stem from, to give them the firm foundation to see them through. We can help them learn to love unconditionally and keep them from becoming cynical or bitter when others treat them badly.