The kids are in another room playing. You're cleaning up the kitchen. All of the sudden, you hear shrieking screams followed by tears. You drop what you are doing and run to where your children are. One child is visibly hurting (but thankfully not bleeding) and crying. The other is standing a few feet away, paralyzed...by guilt. It's written all over his face.
You begin by comforting the hurt child, checking his body for cuts, bruises, or broken bones, and then you ask "What happened?" But you find that his tears are too intense at the moment to articulate how he was hurt, so you turn to the guilty-looking one. You ask him the same question and he shrugs his shoulders and says those infamous, cowardly words, "I don't know."
For a second you consider believing him because there are times the other child has hurt himself on his own accord. But your mom instincts tell you that this isn't one of those times. So you ask him again, "What happened?" The guilty and now nervous looking one refuses to look you in the eye and repeats himself, "I don't know mom."
The hurt child has now calmed down enough that he is able to speak. So, you direct the question at him and ask it for the fourth, and final time. Still sniffling (and with a now visible bump growing on his forehead) he tells you what happened. "He stuck his leg out and tripped me while I was running."
You turn to the guilty, nervous, and now defensive looking one and ask, "Is this true? Did you stick your leg out and trip him."
"Well, I put my leg out and he just tripped over it," he says.
You stare firmly into his eyes and probe him further, "Did you purposely stick your leg out to trip him?"
The guilt is too much to handle now and he looks down and whispers, "Yes."
Friends if you're like me, when this scenario happens you are more angry that the guilty one lied to you than you are that he tripped his brother. Had he been honest from the beginning the discipline would have been much less severe, but now that he's heaped sin upon sin by lying...he's in BIG TROUBLE.
This exact scenario happened in my household yesterday and so it's fresh and heavy on my heart. I know that my children will lie, every child does. But I do not want them to become habitual liars in which their hearts are completely calloused to any wrongdoing and they have no qualms with heaping sin upon sin.
Lying once, twice, or habitually is a sin no matter how one looks at it. For, "The LORD detests lying lips, but he delights in men who are truthful." [Proverbs 12:22]
Speaking the truth is God's way.
"Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices." [Colossians 3:9]
"Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to his neighbor, for we are all members of one body." [Ephesians 4:25]
So, let's pray that our children don't take up the habit of lying.
God, I pray that you would protect my children by exposing their lies; may they never get away with speaking falsehood. I pray they would have godly sorrow toward lying...hearts of repentance. I pray that their hearts would not become calloused to the sin of lying and that they would not turn into habitual liars who heap sin upon sin. I pray they would put off falsehood and speak truthfully. May they know in their hearts that You destest lying lips but delight in the truth.