Last week, I caught David sneaking a candy snack. I hadn’t said he couldn’t have it, but he was obviously aware that I would not be pleased with what he had in his hands.
Do you know what his response was to my question about what he was doing? What are you doing here, mom?
You see, there was no real reason for me to find him. I had been taking care of Laurel and wouldn’t have seen him, except for providential direction. That’s what I told him. God sent me here. I told him that even if mommy doesn’t see him, God always sees him. About this time his eyes glazed over, and I removed the candy from his hand and sent him back outside to play. I wasn’t totally satisfied with my response, but that’s what I did.
Since I’ve noticed a little more sneaky behavior (not lying, but deceitful) lately, I’m interested in contemplating a good approach. I think he’s able developmentally to recognize truth (I’m not so certain with three year old sister), and I think he’s capable of understanding that deceit is just as wrong as lying (he’s precisely truthful most of the time). We’ve talked about this a little, but not to my satisfaction, so I know I need some more teaching on the topic. I also believe that lying is a sin that is serious, in that it should be dealt with before it becomes a habit.
I’ll need to brainstorm my Scripture knowledge to reexamine how God talks about lying. For example, I know right off that Paul reminds us that the solution to lying is not merely to stop lying, but to become a truth teller (Ephesians 4:24). That’s extremely helpful for me. I’ll also try to think of people in the Bible who lied. I’ll probably do a search on truth and deceit on biblegateway.com. I’ll look up lying in some of my childrearing books that have topical lists in them. That will surely keep me busy for awhile.