I love Job. Seriously. I have been reading/studying his book for awhile now, and I just keep getting hit over the head with the revelation mallet every time I read. For example, today I read:
“As long as I have life within me, the breath of God in my nostrils, my lips will not speak wickedness, and my tongue will utter no deceit.” Job 27:3
The integrity of Job’s life SHINES through his book like nobody’s business. I continually find myself writing out the words of Job as prayers for my life. But why stop there??? Why not make them the prayers for our children’s lives??
The virtues and character qualities of God are blasting out of Job’s life, and should be out of ours as well. There is no better time than today to get out the virtue pitcher and begin to pour God’s character and values into your tiny tots’ lives.
How do you do that? One day at a time.
Sure, thanks, Ms Dawn, for that great valuable piece of advice.
Okay, here are a few more practical things you can do one day at a time. Let’s use honesty as the virtue we want to center on for now–thank you Mr. Job for your inspiration! There is no doubt it is sorely lacking and highly needed in our lives.
1) Pray for your children to be honest and upright.
2) Model honesty in your life–no little white lies, either in front of them or by asking them to participate in them with you. (Tell them mommy’s not home right now and can’t come to the phone)
3) Read stories about honesty and honest people with them. The Berenstain Bears and the Truth is a classic for tiny tots!
4) Do art projects that center around verses or even the word honesty. Here’s a recent post on painting– http://wp.me/p28HzR-px Paint the word honesty and talk about what it means.
5) As part of their discipline, praise your child for their honesty and respond appropriately to their dishonesty.
6) Share Bible stories of both honest and dishonest people and the consequences of each. For example: Job 1–Job was honest and upright in all he did or Achan in Joshua 7. Ultimately God blessed Job’s life, and Achan was punished. (You might use some discernment and not get too graphic about Achin’s punishment depending on the age of your child.)
7) Memorize Scripture together about honesty. Proverbs 16:13 is a great one for tiny tots: “Righteous lips are the delight of a king, and he loves him who speaks what is right.”
8) Sing songs about being honest. You can put almost any words to the song “London Bridge.” “I will always tell the truth, tell the truth, tell the truth. I will always tell the truth. Because I’m God’s child.”
9) Offer forgiveness. Even young children often lie to avoid punishment or disapproval. Be sure your child knows that they will be forgiven when they do wrong so that they aren’t afraid to admit mistakes or wrong actions.
10) Go Back to Number 1 and repeat.
As we tell the truth, and teach our children to tell the truth, honesty transforms itself from something we do, to who we are. We tell the truth because we are honest people.
Do you have any tips for teaching kids to tell the truth? Feel free to share them; I’d love to hear from you.