googlef87758e9b6df9bec.html A Sure Word: You Don't Have to Teach Kids How to Lie

Sunday, August 8, 2010

You Don't Have to Teach Kids How to Lie

I have two kids. As I write this, my daughter is 17 and my son is 7. I've helped them learn to walk, talk, read, ride a bike, and many, many other things. One thing I've never taught them was how to lie; they seem to have figured it out all by themselves.

My daughter was on hand to witness one of my son's very early lies. I used it as a lesson for her how people have an inherent nature to sin. It happened when my son was only around 3 years old. I was off work one day and my wife had gone out leaving me with the kids. It was a usual practice when I was home with the kids to take them to eat at McDonald's. At lunchtime, I had fixed my son a sandwich but he didn't eat it. After not having eaten his sandwich, he kept following me around asking when we were going to McDonald's. I told him every time that we would go to McDonald's, “later.” My daughter and I sat watching TV while he persisted.

At one point he got right in my face and said, “Dad, take us to McDonald's.”

I looked him square in the eye and said, “Kyle, I just fixed you a sandwich and you didn't eat it.”

He thought I was punishing him for not eating his sandwich so he said, “I'm not hungry.”

To that I responded, “Then we'll go later when you're hungry.”

There was a sudden pause in the conversation. I could see the little gears turning in his head. He had misunderstood why it was significant that he hadn't eaten. I wasn't punishing him; I was waiting until he was hungry to go. After he figured this out, he looked at me again and said, “I am hungry.”

My daughter thought this was hilarious but I'm glad she saw this first hand. He had just lied to me. As cute and seemingly innocent as kids are, they are sinners too. The Bible says that “the heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” (Jeremiah 17:9). People may think it's awful for me to say this but I believe babies don't lie only because they lack the ability to speak. Sin is like an instinct.

We don't need to teach our kids how to sin. Rather we need to help them understand what sin is. They need to understand that lying isn't just about violating polite social norms. When they lie, they've violated the law of the God who is the Judge of the universe. When they break God's law, it makes God very mad and very sad. No age is too young to begin teaching our kids the need for a Savior.

No comments: