And stop lying to each other. You have given up your old way of life with its habits. Each of you is now a new person. You are becoming more and more like your Creator, and you will understand him better. (CEV) Colossians 3:9-10
I broke the triangle in preschool. There, I said it. The truth is finally out. When I was four, I loved school. I loved my teachers. I loved my class. And I loved centers. So much so that when I accidentally broke the triangle’s string in the music center, I fled the scene of the crime. I couldn’t stand the thought of ruining the music center and disappointing my teacher and classmates with a broken instrument. I didn’t lie by saying I didn’t break it. But I failed to come forward with the truth. And it tortured me. After getting home that day, I melted into my mom’s arms, a flawed puddle, full of triangle-shaped regrets. Thankfully, my mom knew the power of honesty. When we drove back to the preschool to tell the teacher the truth, I was set free. Suddenly, my mistake seemed a lot smaller, and my teacher showed me that we could find a new string to tie on the triangle. And it played as beautiful music as ever.
This week, explore the meaning of truth with your children. Dishonesty is not limited to lying; it is also when we fail to tell the truth. Like Adam and Eve, we run and hide from our mistakes. But God saw us from the beginning. And he is always ready to cover our sins with forgiveness that lasts much longer than fig leaves. Jesus said, “But everyone who lives by the truth will come to the light, because they want others to know that God is really the one doing what they do” (John 3:21). Explain to your child that we represent God best when we act in honesty. We worship God in spirit and truth. So how do we teach our kids to practice honesty as an act of worship? Try these ideas.
1. Show them how God teaches us about the truth in the Bible. Look at the story of Jacob and Esau. Jacob deceived his family because he did not trust in God. What happened when Jacob lied to his father? How did the lies of someone else hurt Jacob later in life? Then, look at the story of Esther. God used her to save her people when she relied on him and came forward with the truth. How can we help others by telling the truth?
2. Apply what you learn to everyday examples. When you see examples of lies in books and movies, point them out and talk about their consequences. Imagine how the characters could have made better choices by sticking to the truth. What effect would that have had on the story?
3. Be honest in your prayers. When you pray together, show that we can be honest with God about our mistakes. He listens and forgives us.
I’m so thankful my mom encouraged me to be honest with my teacher. It taught me that even when we are ashamed, the truth gives us another chance to do things right. And my teacher showed me a glimpse of God that day. When we come to God with our mistakes, he shows us how to take responsibility, welcomes us back, and finds us a new string. He even lets us pick the color. And he starts to whistle along when we go back to worshipping him with our triangles.
Want to do a deep dive? Check out Family Fire's article Speaking Truth