It can get pretty comical when one of my sons gets caught doing something, and he lies about it.
The other night I put my son to bed and I asked him, “Did you brush your teeth?”
“Yes,” he said.
So I asked him, “When? When did you brush your teeth? Remember, I’ve been downstairs with you all evening. Then 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. They know it’s just because I 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.
Well, after a few minutes, my son said, “Dad, I didn’t brush my teeth.”
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 and 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 teach them that they don’t have to lie. They can always be truthful. They need to be! A truthful leader will always attract more followers than a liar.
In the same way, the Holy Spirit encourages us. Maybe you’re not lying, but you might have something else going on. You might be looking at something you shouldn’t look at, or wanting something you shouldn’t want. Perhaps you are thinking about doing something you shouldn’t do. In those moments, there’s a feeling. There’s an intuition inside of you saying, “Hey, I wouldn’t do that. Here’s why.”
That’s the Holy Spirit!
I knew my son hadn’t brushed his teeth, because I’d been with him the whole time. It’s the same with the Holy Spirit.The Holy Spirit is always with you. The Spirit sees everything you do, or don’t do. My son couldn’t get away with not brushing his teeth, because I was there the whole time. It’s the same with us. The Spirit is there the whole time! And you know what? He forgives everything.
But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you. John 14:26
That’s what Jesus told the apostles about the Spirit, the Helper. I think that this is what families can do for each other. This is what it’s all about.
More on this next time. See you Tuesday.