Gary's blog for couples and parents plus resources for individuals, leaders and churches.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

The Lies We Let Our Kids Believe

If there is one thing that parents hate as much as anything when it comes to disciplining our kids is when they lie to us. We can tolerate juvenile mistakes and actions much of the time but when they outright lie, that angers us more most of the time, right?

But have we ever thought about the lies that we consciously or subconsciously help our kids to believe? Yes, there are un-truths that they are exposed to all the time that if we're not careful they will adopt for themselves and even live according to much of their lives. Those lies probably come from outside of our home much of the time but some even originate with us at times.

Let me suggest a few that we would all be wise to respond to, oppose and teach the truth about in our parenting:

The lie that my (our) stuff will make me happy. Most families spend a lot of time, energy and money getting more and keeping up with their neighbors. And there is nothing wrong with enjoying some of the fruits of our labors. But if we keep giving our kids or filling our homes with the newest of everything, the latest, the best and the coolest we send them a message that all of those things matter more than they do.

The lie that I am entitled to most everything I have, get or am awarded. And yet nothing could be further from the truth. We don't deserve anything other than what we get for working hard, doing our best and receiving because of God's grace.  Our culture is now saturated with an I-deserve-to-get-this mentality that has sapped our government resources and caused parents to often demand of school and community leaders that their kids get special privileges.

The lie that mom and dad should provide and fix everything.  And if we do that where will our kids learn how to fend for themselves, take care of their own needs, save money and problem solve on their own? They won't. They'll bring this needy, whiny, helpless attitude into a marriage or other relationship that will tax both people more than is necessary.

The lie that casual sex and fun, party-filled relationships are free, don't hurt anyone and don't require any responsibility. And yet the social landscape continues to be littered with broken relationships, abuse, divorces and dysfunctional families because no one ever taught our young people how to grow a healthy, vibrant and caring relationship and home.

Finally, the lie that God, Jesus and the spiritual side of life are either mere fantasies and nice stories or at best just one option for people who actually care about such things or need that crutch. I am old enough to have watched for five decades the slow metamorphosis of our culture's views on faith and Christianity. It has certainly been under attack for centuries, even millenia, but never to the degree it is now.

Christians both here and around the world are not merely tolerated anymore. They're being beheaded in other countries and culturally killed everyday here. We must help our kids make our faith their faith. We dare not leave the teaching merely to the church, Christian school or helpful media. Scriptures tells us in Deuteronomy 6 that WE parents must be the foundation of their faith learning.

Ever look at an X-ray and not see the problem that the doctor sees?  I do that all the time. But I finally realized that doctor's can see the defect easily because they've seen the right version so many times. If we teach our kids truth, they'll know the lies more quickly too because we've shown them the right version over and over.

Gary Sinclair Writer | Speaker | Leader

Gary is currently a consultant, teacher, speaker and chaplain providing resources for families, leaders and churches.

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