I never thought I would have to deal with lying when I first had children. I figured that if I taught them to speak the truth from an early age, there wouldn’t be an issue. Boy, was I wrong!
Our fallen human condition makes lying an inevitable struggle for each of us. Kids lie for a number of reasons: for example because they want to avoid punishment or other times because they’re afraid we will be disappointed in them. How do we help our kids through these challenging times?
Here are three tips to help you as a parent have a Biblical conversation with your kids about lying.
1. Address the reason why they are lying. Ask a few questions to understand their motivation to keep the truth from you. It will be easier to get to the root of the problem if you’ve taught them so far how important it is to tell the truth. If you’re struggling with how to broach the subject, and you know for sure they are lying, sit down and first tell them how much you love them and that you want to have trust in your relationship. Providing a feeling of security before asking probing questions will make the situation easier and help your child to feel safe in telling the truth! Once you know why they believe they are lying, you can ask questions and address their reasons in a Biblical manner.
2. Talk about what Scripture says about lying and telling the truth. Remember to do this with kindness and not in a “scolding” tone! God is kind and gracious to us when we admit we have done wrong, and He calls us to be the same with our kids. Here are 11 Bible verses that address lying and telling the truth. They are a great starting point for a conversation.
After sharing some of these verses with your child, ask them how they think these verses can apply to their situation. The goal is to have them internalize the truths of these Scriptures and allow the Holy Spirit to encourage and change their hearts through them!
3. Let the Lord do the work—and be patient. Patience is a virtue, but it’s not one that comes easily! When we are addressing things like lying with our children, we need to remember that it takes time for their behaviors to change. God is the one who does the work in their hearts and changes them from the inside out! Even if it seems like you are dealing with this issue continually, try to keep an eternal perspective in mind. Continue to ask God to help you speak the truth just like you are asking your children to do. Trust Him to refine your child’s character and teach you something in the process too!
Looking for a more in-depth study on speaking truth? If your kids are currently struggling with lying, being bossy, being unkind to their siblings or just simply having self-control over their speech, check out Minding Your Mouth, a brand new Bible study resource that will help you as parents teach your kids what the Bible has to say about “minding our mouths” and “taming the tongue” and how they can put it into practice!
This study contains 10 lessons that dig into the Scriptures so kids can see how God’s Word addresses how we speak, how we can live peacefully with others and the many ways His Spirit can help them mature in character so their speech can reflect God’s mercy and goodness to us!
Also included are printable Scripture cards, Scripture copy work, coloring pages and a free Scripture art print for your home!