photo by nyki_m
I’ve been running a series about how to teach the Ten Commandments to your children. This is the ninth commandment.
Self preservation ranks high with most people, and thus lying becomes one of the most difficult vices to curb for a lot of us. We don’t want to look bad, we want to save face, we want to stay out of trouble, or sometimes, out of jealousy perhaps, we’ll falsely say something to tear someone down in an effort to lift ourselves up.
Lying is a dirty little sin. You can never tell just one. You have to keep building one on top of the other in order to keep the original story (or lie) going. Before you know it, you’re buried under an avalanche of deception. It would have been so much easier to just have come clean up front.
But how do we teach that concept to our children? Some of it is by trial and error. We catch our child telling a lie and we call them on it. But if we’re smart, we’ll teach them proactively what we expect of their behavior.
- If you make a mistake, I’ll still love you, but you have to be honest with me about what you did.
- Honesty is a godly character trait I want you to have.
- God is truth, and I want you to stand for truth.
- Lies hurt people. They hurt relationships. Trust is so important to have between family and friends.
- I want you to be a young man/lady of integrity. That means God is more important in how you live than what your friends say.
Spend time in discussion with your child about how he’s been hurt by someone’s lying and how he can learn from that experience. Set up role playing scenarios and ask your child how he could respond truthfully, especially in situations where telling the truth can be a little dicey (does this dress make me look fat?).