Just a White Lie?

The 10 Commandments: Lying

Teaching your children the importance of the Ten Commandments is so important to their foundation of faith. A common area of disobedience with children, starting when they are very young, is lying. One of the ten commandments addresses this topic specifically: the New International Version of Exodus chapter 20 verse 16 states, “You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor”. So how do parents teach their children about obeying this specific commandment?

Talk It Out

Addressing lying before it occurs is key. According to an article on the parenting website Moments A Day, if parents wait to address lying when the child has already done it, emotions could be running high and the child might be less likely to hear and understand the correction and teaching. Discuss the difference between the truth and a lie. Create a game of learning truthfulness by asking the child whether certain statements are the truth or a lie such as “The sky is purple” or “The grass is green”.

Memorize Scripture

Memorizing the ten commandments themselves are obviously very important; however, there are other scripture references you can teach your children regarding truth telling. The Kids of Integrity website by Focus on the Family has several of these valuable verses listed including:

“Keep me from deceitful ways; be gracious to me through Your law. I have chosen the way of truth; I have set my heart on Your laws.” Psalm 119:29-30

“The Lord detests lying lips, but He delights in men who are truthful.” Proverbs 12:22

Post these verses around your home for all to see and recite them with your children often in order that they might learn them and apply them to their lives.

Be a Role-Model

Children are observers and often mirror what their parents and other individuals of authority are doing. Be sure that you are always telling the truth and avoiding even those “little white lies”. Parents.com warns against even the littlest of lies such as telling your children to answer the door and tell the person you aren’t home or calling in to tell your boss you aren’t feeling well when you just want a day off.

Every sin starts small, including lying. Teach your children while they are young about God’s commandments and how to keep them. Truth telling is a valuable lesson to learn at a young age.

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