Q&A: What is the Best Way to Deal With Lying?

Question: On several occasions recently I have caught my 5-year-old lying. Now, I’m not certain when she is lying and when she is telling the truth. What is the best way to deal with the issue of lying?

Answer: Because it is important to parent from God’s perspective, you will want to include Him in the process. In this case, it would be valuable to seek the Lord’s involvement by asking Him to reveal to you when your daughter is lying. Ask God to provide you with the creativity necessary to teach her truth and for your child to have the desire to obey.

You can also seek God’s perspective by studying the subject in His Word. Concerning the subject of lying, the Bible says that Jesus is truth. Therefore, teach your child that Jesus can be fully trusted because He never lies. Jesus desires that those who live for Him tell the truth. Those who choose to lie do not obey Jesus’ teaching.

Also, point your child to Proverbs 12:2: The Lord detests lying lips, but He delights in men who are truthful. Then, discuss with her the difference between “detest” and “delight” to show how God distinguishes the act of lying from telling the truth. Also teach your child that even small amounts of false information can be deceptive and deceitful.

Some children who enjoy pretending or role playing will use this to excuse their behavior. Make certain your child understands the difference between pretending and lying.

Further teach your child that the habit of lying builds distrust in a relationship. You may want to read the book “The boy who cried wolf” to show that those who continually choose to lie will eventually lose the respect and trust of others.

When you know, for certain, you have caught your child telling a lie, show her the need to repent and receive forgiveness. Then, encourage her to ask the Lord to help her tell the truth.

Remind your child that consistently telling the truth reveals personal integrity to others and pleases Jesus.