ON TRAINING A CHILD TO BE HONEST, Dan Mayfield

Let me offer a story I read in Biblical Illustrator which speaks of loving patience: “It avoids giving occasion for sin. It has been said that if you have a favourite horse, which always takes fright and shies at a certain point in the road, you are careful to come along another road, if possible, or to coax him, by speaking to him kindly, to go by without fear. So if you are aware that a certain subject will always
invoke an outburst of hot temper in your friend, true love will lead you to avoid it. You will not needlessly incite to sin if you know how to avoid giving the first inducement.” (Notes on 1 Peter 4). This loving patience is needed when training a child to be honest.
The question came up recently about how to deal with a small child who almost always lies when asked to tell what happened or what he did. When the rider of the horse knows he is approaching the place that will be difficult for the horse, he begins to speak kindly and coaxes the horse to navigate through the difficult point. Similarly when a parent knows a child is about to reach that difficult point where he inevitably lies, the wise parent can coax the child with both promise of praise and warning to be truthful. Part of learning the blessing of doing right is also learning the consequence of doing wrong. A parent can help his child to navigate through the difficult point to become truthful. Doing no pre-thought in this matter is like setting the child up to fail. But a wise parent sets her child up to win.


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