One of the most difficult things for any parent to accept is the act of their child lying. As a parent you want to believe that your child is being truthful with you. What parent does not want that? You want to believe that your child will do the right thing when it comes telling you the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. You want to believe them. BUT…there is something that speaks to the human condition, and by condition, we mean sinful condition that gets in the way of this.
Let’s take a look at what scripture says. In the book of Jeremiah, we are told this:
“The heart is deceitful above all things, And desperately wicked; Who can know it?”
Our Creator is telling us three things here. First, that the heart is deceitful. Why is that? It all began when Adam pointed to Eve and blamed her for his action. Yep…he was in a perfect world and his heart revealed a deceitful side. We all have this within us…including our kids. It is not that they desire to be deceitful. It is simply part of their DNA as flawed human beings living in a broken world.
The second thing our Creator tells us is that the heart is not just wicked…but desperately wicked. When someone is desperate, they will do almost anything. When you combine desperation with wickedness, we should not be surprised when we see someone do something that protects them from punishment. Sound familiar? It happens all the time. Both with children and adults.
The third thing is conveyed by way of a question: “Who can know it”. What is He saying here? Let’s paraphrase this with a statement: There is no way you can know what a desperately, deceitful heart will do. Think about that for a moment. God is saying we should not be surprised when someone we want to trust will do something that breaks that trust. That is what Adam did. And, if you go back and read the account in Genesis, it is pretty clear that he is trying to protect himself from God’s wrath.
So let’s get back to the topic of your child lying. Is it possible, when you ask him or her a question about a behavior or performance issue at school, that a lie, in the form of either an outright deception or an omission of certain facts, might be spoken? The answer is yes. Remember that when you are having one of those stressful, and possibly confrontational, conversations with your child. We are not saying that they are incapable of telling the truth. But we are saying that lying is very much within their natural capacity. One more thing: as a child, did you ever lie to someone? To your parents? Now be honest.