Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Teaching Honesty

Submitted By David Miller
“Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator.” Colossians 3:9-10

Honesty is a value that is shared by believers and non-believers alike. It’s sort of a baseline moral standard of expectation of society. And more importantly, a standard for Christians that should not be compromised.  Raising our children to be honest is an important part of our parenting.
With that desire in mind, what type of example are we setting for our children when it comes to honesty?  Do you tell your kids never to lie but when someone calls that you do not want to talk to, you tell your kids to tell the caller you are not home?  What about calling in sick when we are not really sick?  You see the old saying, “Monkey see, Monkey do” applies.  If we want our children to be honest in life, we, as parents, must instill this value in them. So how do we do that?  Here are 5 suggestions. 
Model it – If your children see you being dishonest, even on the telephone with the telemarketer or with your employer as to why you are not going to work, they are learning bad habits. Be honest with your words and your time.
Teach it – The Bible is full of great stories about honesty. Spend time reading and discussing them with your children. A few suggestions are stories such as Joseph and his brothers and the story of Jacob and Esau. Ask questions to see if they understand and what their values are towards the issue of honesty.
Enforce it – There are some issues that should be handled more strongly than others in parenting. Enforcing honesty is one of them. If you allow even little actions of dishonesty to go unchecked, you are building a negative principle into your child’s life that you will one day see again and regret. Of course, the punishment should always fit the age and the severity of the wrong, but the issue of honesty is one area where zero tolerance should be a part of your disciple plan.
Encourage it – Honesty should become an aspired value in your home. Find examples of honesty around you and talk about them with your children. When you see good news of this value being demonstrated, whether in the news, the church, or community, make sure your children are made aware of the positive effects of honesty. Again, ask questions to make sure they understand the importance of being honest.
Reward it – When your children are found being honest, reward them. Make being honest a big deal to them, even something to celebrate.

Working to establish honesty in your children early will help ensure they live honest lives as adults. As parents, we play a large role in raising the level of honesty in our society, one family at a time.

Scripture to Claim:
Train up a child in the way he should go, Even when he is old he will not depart from it.Proverbs 22:6:  

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