Fake or Real?
Serve fake food (borrow from kids’ play set) for a meal. Put it in a bowl or on their plates. (Of course, keeping real food hidden somewhere.)
Why don’t you want to eat this food?
Serve the real food.
What’s the difference between the fake and real food? (Fake food is not real; you can’t even eat the fake food; the real food is good; etc.)What is a real Christian? (One who believes in and love God; one who still makes mistakes, but asks for forgiveness; etc.)
How could one be a “fake”? (He could say or do things so others would think he believes in Jesus, but he would not really believe; he could pretend to be a Christian to please others; he could do what’s right just when others are looking; etc.)
Just as you were disappointed to think you would have to eat fake food, it is disappointing for people to be less than sincere in their words and actions. God sees our heart and knows if we are true believers. We want to be real and not fake.
Big Truths About Truth-Telling
One big area where kids need to be sincere is in their words. This is a struggle for all of us. Abraham, the father of God’s people lied to the Pharaoh when he was in a tough spot (Genesis 12:10-20).
- Model honesty. Don’t lie about your kid’s age to get a cheaper price at the restaurant.
- Help them discern between lying and truth-telling. For younger kids, “If I say there is a dragon outside, am I telling the truth?” Also, explaining to older kids that sometimes you don’t need to say what you are thinking—“that is an ugly shirt.”
- Give them a chance to tell the truth. “I’ll find out if you are not telling me the truth. Please be honest. Would you like another chance to tell me what happened?”
- Give an extra consequence if they lie. There may still be a punishment for the offense, but try to give grace if they tell you the truth.
- Praise honesty. “I know it was hard to admit that you broke the glass, but I am so proud of you for telling me the truth.”
- Explain the consequences. (There are always consequences—even if one doesn’t get caught; it can cause one to think he/she can get away with sin. Lying breaks trust and people won’t know when to believe you.)
No One is Perfect
Help your kids know what to do when they sin. No one is perfect! (Read the Bible and you will see that!) Even Paul, the apostle wrote about his struggle to do the things he should do and NOT do the things he shouldn’t (Romans 7).
Read 1 John 1:9 together. Ask kids to look for things (in the verse) they should do when they sin.
- Admit it. Be willing to admit what you did was wrong.
- Tell God you are sorry for the sin—name it. “I’m sorry I disobeyed.”
- Receive God’s forgiveness. He loves to forgive our sins!