Low Down Lying (2 of 3) | Devotions with Dad

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Low Down Lying (2 of 3)

For DAD Only:

How to Make a Liar

I remember when one of my children developed a professional knack for lying.  I was sure he’d been trained by a top politician.  I couldn’t figure out why he was doing this or where he had learned it.  And how could he do this to me without a twinge of conscience about it?

Then I read a piece of advice from Susannah Wesley, mother of nineteen children.  She has sixteen great tips on child raising.  I guess it stands to reason that however many children you have, that’s how many philosophies you will adopt about them.  For me, however, for the first two years of our marriage, I had five great theories on child raising, but no children.  Now, however, I have five great children and no theories.

Anyway, John Wesley recorded his mother’s advice on how to prevent lying kids:

Fear of punishment often leads children into lying, till they get accustomed to it and cannot stop.  To prevent this, my mother made a rule that whenever someone did something wrong, if they would sincerely confess it, and promise to change their behavior, they would not be punished.

Want to be sure your children learn to lie?  Punish them for telling the truth.  For example, Johnny comes running in and says, “Dad, I broke the cookie jar.”  Dad jumps up from the easy chair and yells, “Won’t you lousy kids ever learn to stay out of stuff?  That’s it, you’re getting a whipping!”

What will happen next time Johnny breaks the cookie jar?  He won’t tell you about it.  When you ask him, he’ll say the cat climbed up there and knocked it down.  High fives, Dad, he’s a quick learner.

Want to teach your children to tell the truth?  Reward them for painful honesty.  Help Johnny clean up the mess and make sure he’s repentant of his sin.  But don’t take away all his Saturdays for the next month.

Reinforce good behavior and it blossoms.  Punish good intentions, however, and you will warp your child’s character.

Portrait of Susanna Wesley


Dad, share this story with your kids:

Break Out

Last time, Misty had gotten herself trapped in an old refrigerator while playing hide-and-seek.

“Help!” Misty said.  “HELP!”  She pounded on the door with her fists.  She at back and listened.  Her heart’s drum beat sounded faster.  Her clothes felt sticky all over from sweat.  “Rusty?”

She couldn’t hear the other kids anywhere.

Finally, Misty put her feet up on the door and pushed as hard as she could… “Uuuh!”  A blast of fresh air hit her face as the door swung open.

“Wow!  Misty?” Rusty said, as he looked at her drippy hair and soaked clothes.  “What happened?”

“I’m thirsty,” Misty said.

“You’re not supposed to go in there!” he told her.

“Boy, I can tell you why,” she groaned as she stood up, trembling all over.

“Are you all right?”

“I need some water.”

“Come with me,” Rusty said, taking her hand.

He lead her up to the house and listened to her explain to Mom what had happened.  All four kids listened as Rusty and Misty’s mom explained how dangerous it could be to play in an old refrigerator. “Misty could have died,” she said.

Everybody played outside for a while, except for Misty.  She drank lots of water with electrolytes and then took a bath.

Misty had been reading books inside for a while when the other kids came in, later that day.

“Mom,” Rusty said, as he came through the door.

“Yes, honey,” his mother said from the kitchen.

“Um, you know those flowers you planted out front?”

“Yes,” she said, wiping her hands on a kitchen towel.  She looked down at Rusty’s friend, little Joshie, and saw he was tracking mud on the floor.  “Oh, Joshie!  Take your shoes off please they have dirt all over them.”  She stooped down and helped untie his little sneakers.  “Sorry, Rusty.  What were you saying.”

“The flowers are all knocked over,” he said.  “It looks like someone walked through them.”

“Oh no.”  She stood up and looked out the window.  “Now, who would have done that?”

Joshie looked up at her and rubbed his eye.

Rusty’s mom turned back from the window and looked down at the little boy.  “Joshie, were you in my flowers?”

Joshie stuck his hands behind his back and shook his head.

“Joshie?  Someone trampled my flowers.  Is that how your shoes got so dirty?”

“No,” he said as his bottom lip stuck out.  “Some mean guys did it.”

“Oh, they did, huh?” she asked.

“Yeah.  They walked wight thwough your flowers and said mean fings to me.”

Rusty’s mom looked at Joshie for a moment.  “Joshie, if there were mean boys in the yard, why didn’t you come get me?”

“Because they had sticks… and knifes… and said they would huwt me if I told.”  Joshie looked down at the floor.  Slowly, he started to walk away.


He looked up at her.

“How did your shoes get dirty?”

He looked down at the floor as little beads of sweat formed on his forehead.


He looked back up.  “The mean guys pushed me.”

She knelt down next to the little boy and pulled a flower out of his pocket.  “Did the mean guys put this in your pocket, too, Joshie?”

Joshie pulled at his bottom lip and shrugged.

Rusty remembered seeing Joshie in the flowerbed, but he waited and didn’t say anything.  Rusty’s mom put her hand under Joshie’s chin and turned his head up until he looked her in the eye.  “Now,” she said, “do you want to tell me what really happened?”

Joshie blinked as he looked at her shiny green eyes.  “I did it,” he said.

“Thank you for telling me the truth, Joshie,” she said.

“Aw you mad at me?” Joshie asked.

“No.  But guess what.”

“What?” Joshie asked, rubbing his eye again.

“We are going to go out and try to fix those flowers.”

Why do you think little Joshie told a lie?

Does Jesus like it when we lie?

Have you ever told a lie?

Have you ever seen someone have to keep telling lies to cover up the first one?

How do you think a liar feels about deceiving other people?

What should you do next time you are tempted to lie?

Children Who Tell Lies (Childhood Behavior Disorders)


Read the following scripture with the family:

Deceiving Dad

Genesis 37:22-35

And Reuben said unto them, Shed no blood, but cast him into this pit that is in the wilderness, and lay no hand upon him; that he might rid him out of their hands, to deliver him to his father again.

And it came to pass, when Joseph was come unto his brethren, that they stript Joseph out of his coat, his coat of many colours that was on him; and they took him, and cast him into a pit: and the pit was empty, there was no water in it.

And they sat down to eat bread: and they lifted up their eyes and looked, and, behold, a company of Ishmeelites came from Gilead with their camels bearing spicery and balm and myrrh, going to carry it down to Egypt. And Judah said unto his brethren, What profit is it if we slay our brother, and conceal his blood?  Come, and let us sell him to the Ishmeelites, and let not our hand be upon him; for he is our brother and our flesh. And his brethren were content.  Then there passed by Midianites merchantmen; and they drew and lifted up Joseph out of the pit, and sold Joseph to the Ishmeelites for twenty pieces of silver: and they brought Joseph into Egypt.

And Reuben returned unto the pit; and, behold, Joseph was not in the pit; and he rent his clothes.  And he returned unto his brethren, and said, The child is not; and I, whither shall I go?

And they took Joseph’s coat, and killed a kid of the goats, and dipped the coat in the blood; and they sent the coat of many colours, and they brought it to their father; and said, This have we found: know now whether it be thy son’s coat or no.

And he knew it, and said, It is my son’s coat; an evil beast hath devoured him; Joseph is without doubt rent in pieces.  And Jacob rent his clothes, and put sackcloth upon his loins, and mourned for his son many days.  And all his sons and all his daughters rose up to comfort him; but he refused to be comforted; and he said, For I will go down into the grave unto my son mourning. Thus his father wept for him.


What motivated Joseph’s brothers to lie to their father?

How do you think they justified their lie?

Does it seem worse to lie to your parents more than to some other person?

When have you lied to your Mom or Dad?


What would you do differently next time you are in the same situation?

Role play: You are one of Joseph’s the brothers.  What should you do?


Memory Verse

Proverbs 12:22

Lying lips are abomination to the LORD:

but they that deal truly are his delight.

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