Teach your kids that honesty is the only policy.
Say this: One of the most famous stories in all of American history is the story of George Washington chopping down the cherry tree. As the legend goes, shortly after receiving a new hatchet from his father a six-year old Washington damaged one of his father’s cherry trees. When confronted, young George bravely said, “I cannot tell a lie…I did cut it with my hatchet.” Washington’s father embraced him and rejoiced that his son’s honesty was “worth more than a thousand trees.” Ironically, this story about honesty never actually happened, and was added to the Washington story by biographer Mason Locke Weems. Even though history sometimes has a way of “stretching” the truth, God’s Word is always true and has a great deal to say about the importance of honesty. Let’s read a couple of verses together.
Read This: Colossians 3:9, Ephesians 4:25, Proverbs 12:22, Proverbs 19:1
Say This: In the cherry tree story, Washington’s father instantly praised young George for his honesty and integrity. Many times in real life making the decision to be honest can come with a heavy price and can be scary. God never promised that being honest would always be easy or immediately rewarded, but He did promise that “Whoever walks in integrity will be delivered (Proverbs 28:18).” Proverbs 19:1 tells us that is better to be poor and hold onto our integrity then it is to achieve success through dishonesty. Let’s watch an example of man whose integrity was deeply tested in a real-life situation that could happen to any of us.
Watch This: A powerful scene from the movie “Courageous”
- What excuses could Javier have used to “justify” saying yes to his boss? What are some excuses we sometimes use to “justify” our own dishonest choices?
- How do you think Javier’s decision impacted his wife? In what ways could your choice to be honest/dishonest impact others (Family, friends, co-workers, etc.)?
- Why is sometimes so difficult to tell the truth (Cheating on a test, making a mistake at work, etc.)?
- What are some specific things we can do to create a culture of honesty in our family? An example might be to reward the truth. We are often quick to scold, but slow to reward good choices. Reward honesty with lots of praise, high-fives and hugs.
Pray This: Dear God, thank you for our family and all the ways you have blessed us. I ask that our family be characterized by integrity. May each of us value the truth and be known as people who tell the truth regardless of the consequences. Thank you for your promise to deliver us when we choose to walk in integrity. We are grateful for your love and forgiveness of our sins. In Jesus name we pray, Amen.
Want more? Table Talks
Need a plan for leading your family? Take a look at the Dad Plan.
Collective Wisdom for Dads…DadsLife.org