Siah lied. I don’t remember what it was about. It doesn’t really matter. What matters is that he lied. Lying is *so* much worse than the offense itself.
He knew it was wrong. He knew lying is worse. He knew I’d catch him (I have been trained in interrogation techniques, so I have the ability to tell when someone’s lying. The kids think I’m a walking polygraph.) But he lied any way.
“Why are you lying to me?”
“I’m not, Mommy,” he stares at me with those earnest big blue eyes. I’m tempted to doubt my lie detection skills, except I can’t. His words are telling me one thing, but everything in his body language is telling me something else.
“Yes you are, Siah. You are lying to me. And you and I both know I’m right.”
He breaks down crying. “I’m sorry, Mommy! I know it’s wrong. I don’t want to lie, but I just don’t have the strength to tell the truth! Please help me!! Help me to be strong enough to tell the truth!!”
I’m at a total loss. He needs some serious discipline — discipline that serves as a deterrent to lying going forward and that reinforces how absolutely wrong this is. And yet he’s being totally genuine in his weakness and cry for help. And I get it — telling the truth can be so very hard. As a mom, I feel completely stuck.
So I go for the hail mary. I tell him to talk to his Father. No, not Niki. But his Heavenly Father. That’s what moms do, right? When they’re at their wits end, they invoke the father (e.g., “Wait til your father gets home!”). This was my version of that — I told him to go talk to his Dad.
“Go pray about this. Tell Jesus how hard it is. Ask Him to give you strength. And then come and tell me what He says.” Siah didn’t want to. He was scared about what Jesus would say. (Isn’t that how we all are? Afraid of the disapproval and anger of God?) I explained to him that God isn’t a God of rules, but of grace. ‘Just go see what He says,” I said.
Awhile later Siah came downstairs with a note in hand. He recorded what God said to him. “Lying is bad for you. I will give you the strength (to resist the temptation to lie) sometimes. But other (times) I will be testing you. –God”
I was amazed! Sounded like God to me! In fact, I have experienced that very truth in my own walk of faith. Sometimes I have divine strength to resist temptation, and other times that same temptation seems to wallop me with no trouble at all!
And I also was amazed that Siah heard God. I mean, I know kids can hear from the Lord. But I think I often fall into the line of thinking that their spiritual maturity correlates to their physical and emotional maturity. Or, in other words, older people can hear God better because, well, they’re older. Might be true for most life circumstances, but scripture makes clear that when it comes to spiritual things, kids have fast pass access! The kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these. The rest of us older people have to wait in line behind THEM!
And I was so thankful for how God handled it. Getting that word will stick with Siah longer than dozens of disciplinary actions ever could. Makes me think I should have him talk to his Father more often!