The Truth about Lying

Has your child ever lied, stretched the truth, or omitted important details? How did you handle the situation? In a day and age when 75 percent of American high school students cheat - and an astounding 50 percent think that's okay, parents need to take a hard look at honesty. The Bible is unflinching in this area; God expects complete honesty from us in all areas of our life. (See Ex. 20:16, Ex. 23:1, Prov. 6:12 and 19, Prov. 12: 17 and 22, Prov. 13:5, Matt. 15:19, Lk 8:15, 1 Cor. 13:6, 2 Cor. 4:12, Eph. 4:15, Heb. 13:18, 1 Jn. 2:21, for example.) I think all children lie at some time or another, but as parents, we must nip this nasty habit in the bud. The longer we ignore dishonesty, the harder the habit is to break. Most Christian parents are probably quick to discipline obvious lying, but what about "white lies," stretches of the truth, cheating, or misleading statements? The latter is especially prevalent among children, who often leave out information in order to escape punishment. If you haven't been vigilant in this area of parenting, I ask you to start today. Begin by being a perfect example of honesty. Children are masters of detecting hypocrisy - so if you have difficulties in this area, start praying. Vow that with God's help, from this moment on, dishonesty will not be one of your character traits. Then, expect honesty from others. When you encounter dishonest people, talk to your kids about why dishonesty is wrong. Ask them how life would be different if everyone was honest. What would be harder about life? What would be better?

When you catch your kids in any form of dishonesty, discipline them right away with whatever you consider a serious form of punishment (for example, removal of privileges). Be vigilant, praying for children who have a problem with honesty. Only when parents make honesty a priority will our children learn to be honest and godly adults.
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