It’s a comical part of the child’s life when they get caught doing something, and they lie about it. The other night I put my son to bed and I asked him, “Did you brush your teeth?” He told me, “Yes.” So I asked him, “When? When did you brush your teeth? I’ve been downstairs with you all evening. I walked you up to your bedroom, I put you in your pajamas, and you jumped in bed. In all that time, you never brushed your teeth. So let me ask you again: Did you brush your teeth?”
“Yes!” he said. “I brushed my teeth!”
“Now,” I said, “I highly advise you not to lie! I’m going to give you a few minutes. I want you to think about whether you should lie to me, because I know you didn’t brush your teeth. If you lie to me, there’s going to be a consequence. You know I don’t want you to lie! So think about it.”
My sons know there are consequences to lying. They also know that the consequences don’t come from anger. I just don’t want them to lie. Lying is breaking trust, so I have to teach them to be truthful. I will take away an iPad, or whatever else I’ve got to do, to let them know that they can’t break trust. We have to trust each other here.
After a few minutes, my son said, “Dad, I didn’t brush my teeth.” So I said, “Okay! And remember, you don’t have to lie. You’re not in trouble. I just want you to brush your teeth.”
When it comes to our children, it’s best if we’re able to encourage them. We don’t have to condemn them. We don’t have to judge them. We don’t have to use fear tactics to manage or control them. We can just encourage them. I try to constantly remind my sons of the leaders I think they are. I tell them I’m proud of them. And I try to teach them that they don’t have to lie. They can be truthful, and they need to be. A truthful leader will attract more followers than a liar.
I think encouragement is what the Holy Spirit gives us. You might be looking at something you shouldn’t look at, or wanting something you shouldn’t want, or thinking about doing something you shouldn’t do, and there’s a feeling or an intuition inside of you saying, “Hey, I wouldn’t do that. And here’s why.” That’s the Holy Spirit.
Obviously the Holy Spirit sees everything, because He’s with you the whole time. You’re not going to be able to get away with something, because He will see it. My son couldn’t get away with not brushing his teeth, because I was there the whole time.
The Spirit sees everything, and He also forgives. And I think that is what people inside the church can do for each other. Help and encouragement is what it’s all about.
See you Thursday.