Train Up A Child Day Ten
10. Train them to a habit of always speaking the truth.
Truth-speaking is far less common in the world than at first sight we are disposed to think. The whole truth, and nothing but the truth, is a golden rule which many would do well to bear in mind. Lying and prevarication are old sins. The devil was the father of them, — he deceived Eve by a bold lie, and ever since the fall it is a sin against which all the children of Eve have need to be on their guard.
Only think how much falsehood and deceit there is in the world! How much exaggeration! How many additions are made to a simple story! How many things left out, if it does not serve the speaker’s interest to tell them! How few there are about us of whom we can say, we put unhesitating trust in their word! Verily the ancient Persians were wise in their generation: it was a leading point with them in educating their children, that they should learn to speak the truth. What an awful proof it is of man’s natural sinfulness, that it should be needful to name such a point at all!
Reader, I would have you remark how often God is spoken of in the Old Testament as the God of truth. Truth seems to be especially set before us as a leading feature in the character of Him with whom we have to do. He never swerves from the straight line. He abhors lying and hypocrisy. Try to keep this continually before your children’s minds. Press upon them at all times, that less than the truth is a lie; that evasion, excuse-making, and exaggeration are all halfway houses towards what is false, and ought to be avoided. Encourage them in any circumstances to be straightforward, and, whatever it may cost them, to speak the truth.
I press this subject on your attention, not merely for the sake of your children’s character in the world, — though I might dwell much on this, — I urge it rather for your own comfort and assistance in all your dealings with them. You will find it a mighty help indeed, to be able always to trust their word. It will go far to prevent that habit of concealment, which so unhappily prevails sometimes among children. Openness and straightforwardness depend much upon a parent’s treatment of this matter in the days of our infancy.
God is very clear on the importance of speaking truth. I would have to say that in all honesty this is probably the biggest struggle of all mankind. This is why it's importance MUST be taught and practiced in our homes.
We can find all kind of reasons why we think we need to lie about something. We will lie to not hurt someone's feelings, or to not get ourselves in trouble. We will lie because we simply fear speaking the truth.
We will lie to keep a business deal in place or to get a job or keep a job or too simply stretch the truth or omit information to make more money.
What is desirable in a man is his kindness,
And it is better to be a poor man than a liar.
And it is better to be a poor man than a liar.
In all honesty I have had a lie come out of my mouth and immediately once it passes through my lips I think "where in the world did that come from and why on earth did I say that?" Usually this happens when I fear that I am going to make someone angry at me or someone is already angry with me and I do not want to make it worse...
I have learned that fear is the root of the lies that have always come out of my mouth... it might not be every one's root, but it was/is mine.
As I am learning not to fear anyone more than I fear God speaking the truth at all times is becoming much easier and more my nature, because in Christ I received a new nature and I am being transformed more and more into the image of Christ.
As I have learned this about myself through the Holy Spirit and through the study of His Word I am also learning to ask my children the "why" behind their lies. I want them to look at their hearts, to examine themselves, to discover what thing in their flesh led them to speak the lie.
You are of your father the devil,
and you want to do the desires of your father.
He was a murderer from the beginning,
and does not stand in the truth
because there is no truth in him.
Whenever he speaks a lie,
he speaks from his own nature,
for he is a liar
and the father of lies.
This passage of Scripture is a sobering truth. It was this passage of Scripture that I sat down and shared with my children the first time I caught them in a spoken lie. I believe they were both around the age of 2 yrs old. I sat down with them in my lap and I shared this with them in love and with kindness.
I explained to them that in the future lying to us will bring grave consequences. There are two things in our home that we dealt with using spanking as the discipline... blatant disobedience to something we knew they understood fully and lying. We explained to them how important it was that we could take them at their word and we also shared with them how once trust is lost... it is a long time regaining.
Another sobering passage...
But for the cowardly
and immoral persons
and all liars,
their part will be in the lake
that burns with fire
which is the second death.”
Only the truth shall last until all eternity...
If we want to share eternity with our children and with our Father we must be people of truth, for our God is the God of truth, our Jesus is the way and the truth and the light.