Liar, liar, pants on fire. The sing-song words are familiar to most everyone, regardless of age.
No one wants to be known as a liar. And of course, no one wants their child to be a liar. But children do lie. It comes naturally at a young age. They lie to avoid consequences or to make themselves look better. They learn from friends that if you cross your fingers behind your back, it’s okay to not tell the truth.
And it’s possible your child is learning to lie from…you.
That can’t be, can it? We would never teach our children to be untruthful, would we?
Unfortunately, we do exactly that—more often than we’d like to admit.
Think of the last time your friend asked if you liked her haircut. “Oh, yes,” you said. Only to later tell someone else it was hideous.
Or the time your mother-in-law called, and you told your husband to say you weren’t home.
Or when you wanted to take a three-day weekend and called in sick to work.
And little eyes were watching and little ears were listening…while we called it a fib. An exaggeration. A bluff. A misstatement.
Anything but what it really is. A lie.
But the Bible tells us God is a God of truth (Psalm 31:5). Truth is what He desires for us in our innermost being (Psalm 51:6). And of course, Jesus is truth (John 14:6).
So how do we begin to teach our children to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth? We start with ourselves. We tell the truth whether little ears are listening or not. Whether it’s convenient or not. This doesn’t mean we beat up people with the truth. The apostle Paul reminds us we should be “speaking the truth in love” (Ephesians 4:15).
Then we teach our children to tell the truth and hold them accountable for telling lies. Let them know the consequence for telling a lie compounds the consequence for the wrong-doing. Help them see that truth-telling doesn’t just please us, it pleases the Lord (Proverbs 12:22).
Let’s say a final goodbye to the words, liar, liar, pants on fire.
What do you think?