Teaching Our Children To Be Sensitive to The Temptation of Lying
April 21, 2021
Proverbs 12:22, KJV
“The LORD detests lying lips, but he delights in people who are trustworthy.”
To detest something means to intensely dislike it. The Lord teaches us in His word that He detests lying. To tell you the truth, I have always remembered hating it myself. I was around it a lot growing up, and it always made me feel uneasy. But oh the temptation to do it when we ourselves might avoid consequences—it is indeed tempting! I have watched marriages and friendships be destroyed by it. Chronic liars are often left feeling lonely, even after their greatest attempt to keep and maintain friendships. The Lord in His wisdom knows its destruction and in His love guides us away from it.
Are we also teaching our children to “detest” lying? Popular child psychology teaches that children are incapable of understanding what a lie is until the age of nine. I say that by that age, they are well on their way to becoming a pathological liar! This thinking comes from believing that lying is an abstract concept to our little ones, but I beg to differ. A child learns what a lie is when we plainly show them. Please, dear mother, put every effort towards observing your child’s conduct. After all, you are the keeper of their souls for this short period of time. You represent law and justice and truth to them. Be on guard and watch for fleshly ways to rise up in them and then be diligent in teaching them to walk in the way of righteousness.
In having nine children of my own, and I have watched each of them begin dabbling with lying around the ages of four and five. With my oldest, I was very firm because of my experiences in the past with other people who had struggled with the sin of lying. I had a very in-depth conversation with her about the dangers of lying and the heartache it brings. I told her frankly of the inevitable loneliness it brings. The problems she could expect to have later at jobs, or in her marriage, if her words were not true and she was not careful to maintain honesty. To my delight, she has become so sensitive to lying now! It is rewarding to watch your children grow in righteousness and your efforts well rewarded!
I cannot seem to say enough that the habits we form with our children when they are small will follow us with them into the teen years. Many people seem taken for surprise by how their children relate to them when they get older, but by my observations we have the ability to form good habits or bad ones when they are young. If you neglect these talks now because you think they may not understand, I fear you will be sadly mistaken later on when they are older and these bad habits have been allowed to take root in them. The way we train our children in their youth will set up our relationship with them in the future.
So, dear mother, train in righteousness! Let it be ever on your heart to instill the Lords ways so that your children may walk according to His great plan and bring glory to His holy name!