My family had a wonderful Monday evening last week. We went to a gospel meeting. I appreciate Tom Stafford for inviting me to come to Buffalo Valley to hear Dwight Fuqua preach on “Seek Ye First the Kingdom of God and His Righteousness.” The kids behaved very well and we enjoyed a spiritually driven night that we all needed. I am looking forward to other opportunities this summer to take my family to a VBS or a gospel meeting in our area – it is nice when you don’t have the next morning of school staring you in the face – you have more time in the evenings for such things.
During the sermon brother Fuqua talked about one lie in particular some parents are telling their children. Before I give the details I will mention that Dwight was once in the Cincinnati Reds farm system, and I believe he still holds the high school record in Kentucky for home runs in a season. He was a sports star and in his early years his life was dedicated to the pursuit of major league baseball. So he understands the desire to achieve in the athletic arena and he knows the sacrifice it takes to do so. So I believe he is fully qualified to speak on this subject. He often preaches out of town meetings, staying in local hotels. Going down on Sunday morning to the breakfast area before worship, what does he commonly see?: children in ball uniforms – going to tournaments. They are playing games on Sunday and often they, along with their families, are forsaking the assembly.
So what is the lie? It is when some parents tell their children, “God and the church come first.” Parents may say this, but they are not being truthful about it. I agree with his sentiments completely. When everything you are doing in your life says something other than what is coming out of your mouth – words become meaningless. Our behavior in front of our children will always have more influence than the words we chose to explain it.
Are you lying to your children when you say:
- “I love your mother/father very much.”
- “I promise to do that with you soon.”
- “It is a bad habit but I am trying to quit.”
- “I would never hurt you for any reason.”
- “I will always be there for you if you need me.”
- “I love you more than anything else on this earth.”
It all depends on what you are doing. Lies often become lies, not because we don’t intend for what we say to be true, but because we live in such a way that we allow our own selfish concerns and desires to trump our intentions to be God’s people.
Parents, be real. Don’t tell your children anything from your mouth that you refuse to back up by your life. They deserve the truth. They are a reflection of you.
“The truthful lip shall be established forever, but a lying tongue is but for a moment.”
– Proverbs 12:19
Photo background credit: Kathleen Conklin on Creative Commons