31 Question 4

Isn’t it amazing how that we never have to teach our children to do bad things?  The old fallen nature, which is in every one of us, will automatically lead us to sin.  As parents, we have the responsibility and privilege to raise our children in a proper manner.  Ephesians 6:4 says, “And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.”  It is so important that we teach our children the difference between right and wrong, but we also need to be sure that we instruct our children about the Lord and His desires for us.  We need to establish a basis for what is right and what is wrong, and we do that by teaching our children scriptural principles that will not only guide them as children, but will continue to guide them as adults.

Childhood is a training ground for adulthood.  As I’m sure you know, it’s not enough to have your children do the right thing because you make them.  We need to teach our children so that the values and principles we give them will guide them for the rest of their lives.  Because the principles of the world change so drastically and so often, we need to teach our children unchanging principles from God’s Word.

Your son is certainly old enough to understand that what he has done is wrong.  Your job is to teach him that lying is wrong because the Lord says that it is wrong.  It would be good to sit down with him, open your Bible, and show him what the Lord says about lying.  Leviticus 19:11 says, “Ye shall not steal, neither deal falsely, neither lie one to another.”  Colossians 3:9 says, “Lie not one to another.”  Romans 12:17 says, “Provide things honest in the sight of all men.”  Proverbs 22:6 tells us to, “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”  That doesn’t mean that our children will live perfectly, but when we train them properly in God’s Word, that teaching will always be with them.  Even if they rebel against the truth, the truth is still in them and will work to bring them back to the Biblical standards that they were raised with.

Should you discipline your son?  Just remember that the word ‘discipline’ means to teach.  Even as the Lord taught his disciples, you discipline your child by teaching them.  Do not be afraid to punish your son if you think it is needed.  It is through chastening that we often learn from the Lord.  Let’s read Hebrews 12:9-11, “Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live? For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness.  Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.”  While punishment or chastening is not pleasant, it does produce good results.  As we read, the chastening hand of the Lord produces the peaceable fruit of righteousness.

One of the worse things you do can do, it to do nothing at all.  I suggest that you sit down with your son, show him from the Bible why lying is wrong and try to measure his reaction to what you tell him.  If he genuinely seems to be repentant for what he has done, you may not need to go any further.  Psalms 34:11 says, “Come, ye children, hearken unto me: I will teach you the fear of the LORD.”  When we can teach our children to fear or respect God’s Word, then teaching them from God’s Word becomes so much easier.  When our children truly want to please the Lord, we use the Word to show them how to please the Lord.

You will teach your son in two ways: by what you say and what you do.  The example that you live in front of your son is so important.  Seek to live a life that will honor the Lord and your son will see that.  Live by the principles of the scriptures and your son will see that.  If you tell lies, your son will also see that, and he will learn from that.  If you tell ‘little white lies’ your son will learn that lying is an acceptable thing to do.  We read in 1 Timothy 4:12, “…be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.”  You must use both of these tools, teach your son to honor the Lord and show your son how to honor the Lord.  Be patient, loving, and consistent.  I’m thankful for your concern for your son; by that I can tell you are a loving parent.  You are so wise to want to deal with his behavior now before he gets too old to teach.  May God bless you and guide you in the raising of your son.