Several years ago, we took the kids to Ft. Knox to the Patton Museum. My husband wanted to get the boys’ picture with the tanks. Colin noticed a sign that said to stay off the tanks, and he informed his daddy of the sign. Jeff said it was fine, that nobody would know. Colin responded, “God will know.”
So much truth from such a little guy.
That truth is something I’ve tried to instill in my children, especially when they think they may be getting away with something.
No one wants their children to be dishonest. We want them to be trustworthy. However, it could be that we are creating little liars.
In chapter 9, Amber asks us to consider if our behaviors as parents, our tendency to fly off the handle, react harshly, or yell at our children could be causing them to lie. Basically, we need to ask ourselves this question: Do my children feel safe enough to tell me the truth?
That is a tough, personal question to ask, but one that must be considered.
I think the movie Footloose is a good example for us to look at. In the movie, Ariel partakes in behaviors that she knows her father would never approve of. Sneaking around, dancing, drinking, having sex, lying. And we can see that she is not safe in her home. Her father has made her feel “less than,” that she could never do anything to please him, and it seems that her only choice to be deceitful. However, at the end of the movie, Rev. Moore says this….
“I’m standing up here before you today… with a very troubled heart. You see, my friends… I’ve always insisted on… taking responsibility for your lives. But, I’m really… like a first-time parent… who makes mistakes… and tries to learn from them. And like that parent… I find myself at that moment when I have to decide. Do I hold on… or do I trust you to yourselves? Let go and hope that you’ve understood… at least some of my lessons. If we don’t start trusting our children… how will they ever become trustworthy?”
And it’s that question at the end that makes me think: How will they ever become trustworthy?
We’ve all told a lie. Whether it was a white lie or a whopper of a lie, some untruth has flowed from our lips. If you say you’ve never lied, well, you’re lying. It’s part of our sinful nature. However, we have to be comfortable enough, feel safe enough to admit what we’ve done. Without that security, the truth will not come out.
We have to provide our children with that security. Amber says we must have a gentle and quiet spirit. We must show our children the same loving-kindness that God shows to us to draw them to repentance.
As a mom, I expect my children to respect me enough to tell me the truth. When they don’t, it hurts. And honestly, it makes it difficult to trust them the next time I feel like they aren’t being honest. Frankly, sometimes it is very difficult to let the offense go which causes me to hound them to death the next time. Such a vicious cycle.
However, I love the message from Proverbs 19:11 “A person’s wisdom yields patience; it is to one’s glory to overlook an offense.” While these words may seem hard to digest because we don’t want our kids to get away with lying, we can back off and let God take care of them. When we are certain of their dishonesty, but can’t quite prove it, we should pray that the Holy Spirit would go to work and convict our children of their sin. We should remember, that just because we may not see and know the truth, God knows and He will take care of it.
What about you? Do you think that sometimes you are the culprit leading your child to lie?
What can you do to help your children be trustworthy?
What scripture touches your heart when it comes to the topic of lying?