Monthly Archives: November 2012

19 posts

What to do about Lying

  Children’s lies are a harsh reminder of the nature of sin. To fully appreciate the immense power and value of the cross in our lives, we must have a profound sense of the ugliness of sin. This awareness must extend to your children as well. My children and your children come into this world as natural enemies of God. Telling the truth and avoiding deceit  is not natural for them. They seek first and foremost to gratify their own passions and desires, even if it means that others will be harmed. They are by nature children of wrath.  As the Psalmist & Paul say: Even from birth the wicked go astray;      from the womb they are wayward […]

Lying to God

  In one sense all lies are lies to God. However, as the passage below shows, there is a particular type of lie that qualifies specifically as lying to God. This is “lying on steroids.” Often, this lie is not only about hiding things that are wicked, but about misrepresenting things that appear to be good, even righteous. This is where the greatest danger lies for children raised in Christian homes. That is why your parenting must go beyond addressing behavior.  “Now a man named Ananias, together with his wife Sapphira, also sold a piece of property. With his wife’s full knowledge he kept back part of the money for himself, but brought the rest and put it at the […]

Why Children Lie – Part 2

Children tend to lie in two types of circumstances. We looked at the first reason in the last post. The response of immediately trying to deny responsibility comes naturally to us and to our children. Children are fearful of the consequences of their sin and lie to avoid them. Christ must be shown as the one who can bring peace to a fearful heart. It is vital that this pattern be addressed quickly and thoroughly. If it is not, then the habit lying will take root and become a means to other ends. The next progression in lying is to lie when there is something to be acquired. This type of lie can range from trying to make someone else […]

Why Children Lie

When children lie it is often tempting to see the reason for the lie as a mystery. For example; “Why would my child lie about taking that toy from his brother, when it is so obvious that he did do just that?” Then, deepening the mystery, parents often ask, “Why would he make up such a far-fetched story to cover up his actions? The lie and cover up seem so illogical and unnecessary.” Thus, parents sometimes tend to treat the problem as one of logic and intelligence; they puzzle over why their children would lie. Scripture solves the mystery. Children are born liars. When we sin, we lose the ability to be logical. We are blinded by self-interest (Proverbs 4:19). […]

Thought for the Lord’s Day

Psalm 72 proclaims that it is God alone who does wondrous things. If there is anything good and wonderful in this world, it comes from God and none other. The holiday season can obscure this truth in at least two ways. The first way is to attribute the gift of good things to someone other than God.  Even when you receive a wonderful gift from someone it is important to realize that the mercy of God is ultimately behind this blessing. For example, the bounty under the tree should not be seen as gifts from mythical characters.  Good fortune, fate, karma, or Santa all can masquerade as the reason for good things. If something is truly good, it comes from […]

Thankful for What Matters

  What we live for can be measured by what we are thankful for. Jesus said that where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. If your treasure can be measured by what you see, then what you see is what you live for. There is real danger in living for what can be seen. Paul urges that we fix our eyes on what cannot be seen.    Today, Thanksgiving Day, amidst the blessings of physical bounty, ask yourself where is your treasure – is it seen or unseen?   What is of real value cannot be seen. May God grant that we would be thankful for unseen treasure.

Commanding Your Children to Praise

  Parents have no problem commanding their children to obey quickly or to be kind to others. There is no dispute about teaching children that they should not hit each other or that they should respect authority.  But what about commanding your children to praise God? Does that seem a bit unusual?   Let’s explore this for a moment. The statement praise God is not just about saying the words praise God. Psalm 78 exhorts Israel not to hide the praiseworthy deeds of God from their children. As you read the psalm, you see that this is exactly what occurs. God’s deeds are listed so that he can be praised!   So, when the scriptures state “Praise God”, it is […]

Thought for the Lord’s Day

When the people of God come to worship, our vision and our trust must be singular. God and God alone is to be the object of our trust. Too often we live and worship with other options on the table. We say, sing, and pray that God is all that matters, but in the hidden corners of our heart we value, trust, hope in something other than God. We trust in God to make our circumstances what we want them to be. But this is not trust, it is doubt. We trust in God to make other people appreciate us. But this is not trust, it is idolatry. Jesus knew that the heart of man is not to be trusted. […]

Moses’ Challenge

  Some 3,600 years ago, Moses delivered his final thoughts to the people of Israel. Among them were these words: “This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live and that you may love the Lord your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him. For the Lord is your life, and he will give you many years in the land he swore to give to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.” Each day you have a choice, you can follow the path of death or follow the path of life. Sound […]

Understanding the Difference between Influence and Authority

  Perhaps the key to not treating your teenagers as their sins deserve is understanding the difference between influence and authority. Recall with me once again Tedd Tripp’s focal points for the three stages of child development found in Shepherding a Child’s Heart:   Ages 0 to 5: focus is establishing biblical authority Ages 5 to 12: focus is on the development of godly character Ages 12 & beyond: focus is on internalization of the gospel   You never want your children, especially your teenagers, to believe they are being treated as they deserve to be treated; nothing is more antithetical to living out the gospel. This reality must be grasped by parents and teenagers alike. As Psalm 103 teaches, […]