When our boys were in middle school, we did not allow them to roam the mall on their own without an adult in the building. I know; call us bad parents, but we believed their safety was more important than their coolness with other children.
Once, when our school system was closed because of snow, one of our boys spent the night with another boy his age. He told us they were going to a gym and would be home afterwards, but before he returned home, we received a call from another friend that had seen him at the mall. He was BUSTED! What was worse for him was when he found out that we would have been fine with him going to the mall because the parent was going also. That was a huge lesson for him in honesty. Years later, when this same son had another situation that required honesty, he told the whole truth and nothing but the truths… so help him, God. As an adult now, I would “honestly” say that honesty is one of his best qualities.
Scripture is very clear for the believer about how we are to approach honesty. We are told to “let your yes be yes and your no be no.” Honesty is a value, however, that is shared by believers and non-believers. It’s sort of a baseline moral standard of expectation of society. Raising our children to be honest, therefore, is an important part of our parenting.
With that desire in mind, that is the purpose of this post.
5 suggestions to encourage your children to be honest:
Model it – If your children see you being dishonest, even on the telephone with the telemarketer or with your employer as to why you are not going to work, they are learning bad habits. Be honest with your words and your time.
Teach it – The Bible is full of great stories about honesty. Spend time reading and discussing them with your children. A few suggestions are stories such as Joseph and his brothers, Esther and her situation with Haman, and the story of Jacob and Esau. Obviously, you will need to study them first so you can discuss them with your children. Ask questions to see if they understand and what their values are towards the issue of honesty.
Enforce it – There are some issues that should be handled more strongly than others in parenting. Enforcing honesty is one of them. If you allow even little actions of dishonesty to go unchecked, you are building a negative principle into your child’s life that you will one day see again and regret. Of course, the punishment should always fit the age and the severity of the wrong, but the issue of honesty is one area where zero tolerance should be a part of your disciple plan.
Encourage it – Honesty should become an aspired value in your home. Find examples of honesty around you and talk about them with your children. When you see good news of this value being demonstrated, whether in the news, the church, or community, make sure your children are made aware of the positive effects of honesty. Again, ask questions to make sure they understand the importance of being honest.
Reward it – When your children are found being honest, reward them. Our boys were told consistently that if they told us the truth we would respond much differently than if we had to figure out the truth on our own. Make being honest a big deal to them, even something to celebrate.
Working to establish honesty in your children early will help ensure they live honest lives as adults. Even though honesty is a shared value, most of us would agree, our level of trust in others has diminished in recent years. As parents, we play a large role in raising the level of honesty in our society, one family at a time.
What tips do you have for teaching children honesty?
Part of my work is helping people grieve. Or at least learn how to grieve. It’s not one of my favorite parts because it always stems from the reasons why they need to grieve. It means hurt. Brokenness. Pain. Disappointment. That never feels good.
Yet the fact remains… part of living in a fallen world… is living among the thorns. We must learn to grieve because there will always be reasons to do so.
As much as we need to know how to grieve, however, I continually meet people who either don’t know how or refuse to allow themselves to grieve. I’ve even met well-meaning believer who believe they shouldn’t. The Scripture is clear. We do grieve. We simply don’t grieve like the rest of the world.
So, here are 10 suggestions for healthy grieving:
Don’t deny the pain – It hurts. Admit it. Be honest with yourself with others and especially with God. If it’s anger… tell it. If it’s profound sadness… say it. You’ve got to grieve at some point to move forward, and you’ll grieve sooner and better if you’re honest about the need.
Learn to pray – Grieving can draw you close to the heart of God. See that as one blessing in the midst of pain. The Scripture is clear… draw close to God and He will draw close to you. He is close to the broken hearted. Use this difficult time to build a bond with God that you’ll never regret having.
Remain active – You may not feel like being around people, but if you’re normally a very social person, discipline yourself in this area. Granted, some people were never very social, even before their grief. We shouldn’t expect much more from them in grief, but even for them, community matters. Don’t shelter yourself from others.
Stay healthy – Eat well and exercise. Sleep as regularly as you can. Stick to a schedule. You’ll need the strength to carry you through this time.
Help others - There is a special blessing that comes from serving others that can help you recover from your own pain. Serve at a soup kitchen. Deliver toys to needy children. Find a way to give back and you’ll invest in the health of your own heart.
Journal your thoughts and feelings – One day you’ll be glad you did. You’ll see the process God has taken you through and the healing He has allowed you to experience. You’ll need these reminders again some day.
Give it time – Grieving doesn’t complete itself in a day… or a week… or even a year. The depth of the pain always is relative to the time of a sense of recovery. And some pain never leaves us. We simply learn to adapt to it. We learn to find contentment and even joy in the midst of sorrow and loss.
Share your story – You help others when you allow others to see you share and understand their pain. When you hide your story, you deny others of the privilege of healing through your experience.
Get help when needed – Don’t suffer alone. There are times all of us can use professional help. Don’t be ashamed to seek it.
Remember hope – If you are a follower of God… the best days are still to come. Even in your darkest days, remember, one day… every tear shall be wiped from your eyes.
You can get up, recover, and move forward again even stronger than you were before, but please don’t fail to grieve. It’s necessary. Vital. Healthy. Natural. Even Biblical. (1 Thessalonians 4)
Praying for you who need to grieve.
What suggestions do you have for healthy grieving?
“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted” (Matthew 5:4)
Ron Edmondson pastors Immanuel Baptist Church. Find out more at: http://www.ronedmondson.com/about
I saw this little tree while I was running in our local arboretum this fall.
It made me stop and take a picture. It also made me think.
You may not be able to tell from the picture, but this tree is not very big. Not a whole lot taller than me.
It reminded me of the Charlie Brown Christmas special.
And some other principles about little things.
This little tree, one of the smallest in the park, is doing its part, in a marvelous way.
Displaying God’s glory through the amazing colors of fall.
In fact, this was one of the prettiest trees I saw all season.
It made me look. It made me stop. It prompted this post.
And I was reminded.
Sometimes it is the smallest that brings the greatest impact.
When God chooses, He can use the smallest, or seemingly insignificant, to bring Him the greatest glory.
Because, ultimately, there are no minor players in God’s economy. He works all things for good.
Don’t overlook the small things in life today.
The small gesture. The one kind word. The small start. The beginning stages. The often overlooked. The gentle whisper.
The small things may actually be the big things.
“Do not despise these small beginnings” (Zechariah 4:10)
Ron Edmondson pastors Immanuel Baptist Church. Find out more at: http://www.ronedmondson.com/about
The Lord you God is with you, He is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing. Zephaniah 3:17
Take a moment and savor that verse. Read it. Read it again. Read it one more time!
Pretty amazing, isn’t it?
God takes delight in you! He rejoices over you with singing!
When my boys were little I loved the smile on their faces when I told them how special they are to me. It still seems to bring such peace to them to hear me brag on them. They seem to want to know my pleasure in them.
I find the same joy in my heart when I read this scripture!
The idea that God delights in me! I don’t know about you, but sometimes I don’t feel very delightful! Sometimes I wonder how I can even stand myself! Yet, God, the Creator, Sustainer, Lord Almighty, the Great I AM, takes personal delight in me! Me!
Picture this! God rejoices over you and me… enough that He does it with singing! What a wonderful testimony of the depth of our Father’s love!
As you lie down to sleep tonight, listen carefully for your Father’s tender voice, as He takes great delight in you and rejoices over you in song! Somehow I picture Him having a special tune… a unique lyric… words that are designed just for you.
The Lord your God is with you. He is mighty to save!
Ron Edmondson serves as the senior pastor of Immanuel Baptist Church in Lexington, Kentucky, and has an impressive history of church planting and church growth. A nationally known Christian leader, he was raised in a Christian home and active in his home church, First Baptist Church of Clarksville, Tennessee, serving as a lay leader, deacon, Sunday School director, and teacher. After twenty years in business, including time owning an insurance agency and a small manufacturing company, Ron heard God’s call to ministry.
A lifelong student of the Bible, Ron’s strong theological background guides him to teach faithfully from Scripture. Ron identifies himself as a wisdom seeker and a teacher.
Find out more at: http://www.ronedmondson.com/about