Mommy, the puppy is outside!

Posted on February 9, 2016 · Posted in Communication, Lying, Wisdom


Wisdom teaches your child that telling the truth is more than just saying things that are true. Being truthful means speaking accurately, without exaggerating or being misleading. Your child needs wisdom to be truthful. Truth telling is a conscious effort to supply accurate information that honors God and not self. It is possible to say things that are accurate and still hide the truth. This is the distinction that you must teach to your children.

No child is born wise. Wisdom is a skill that must be acquired. If you are waiting for your child to grow up and begin to make wise choices, you will be waiting a long time. In order to be truthful, wisdom is required. This is why Proverbs is adamant that we must get wisdom.

Your child needs wisdom to be truthful. God’s wisdom is much more than information transfer. Wisdom is living a life that is oriented toward honoring God in each decision that is made.

Each one of us is born with the natural inclination to manipulate what is true for our own advantage. Here are two examples:

“Mommy, come quickly, the puppy is outside!”

These words are true, but they are selective words. They leave out the fact that the puppy was taken out to play with even though that was not allowed today. Here true words are used in an attempt avoid getting in trouble.

“I am sorry I was angry and yelled at you. Mommy is just really tired today.”

Everything said in this example is true. Mom was angry. She was sorry for yelling. She is really tired. But this collection of true words is not the reason Mom became angry and yelled. Tiredness is not the problem. The problem is using circumstances as a reason for disobeying God and becoming angry.

Wisdom that flows from a heart won over by the gospel will guard your heart. Your heart’s natural inclination is to deceive, to use true words to make yourselves look good. If you want your children to wise and truthful, lead them by your example as well as your instruction.

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge,
    but fools[ despise wisdom and instruction.
Proverbs 1:7

The Lord detests lying lips,
    but he delights in those who tell the truth.
Proverbs 12:22

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Jay Younts
Jay Younts is the Shepherd Press blogger. He is the author of Everyday Talk and other materials on parenting. He has been teaching and speaking on parenting issues for 30 years. Jay and his wife, Ruth, live in Fountain Inn, South Carolina. He serves as a ruling elder at Redeemer Presbyterian Church in Moore, South Carolina. He and Ruth have five adult children.