I know it sounds like those two words have nothing in common except that I caught one of my sons lying about putting his boogers under the table.
“What are you doing?” I asked my son as I watched him slide his fingers under the glass table. “Are those your boogers?”
“No,” was his suspiciously unconfident reply. I looked directly at him and said, “mommy loves you very much, you don’t have to be afraid. You don’t have to lie to me.” I knew he was guilty. He looked it and sounded like it.
Then I asked him again and he admitted to his uncivilized crime. My other son blurted out, “Next time, just flick it on to the floor!” (My goodness! Raising three boys can be such a challenge when teaching propriety!)
Anyway, going back to lying…Recently I have been praying for my son (the first one I mentioned) to be truthful. The root cause for his lying seems to be insecurity and fear. I am not excusing the fact that lying is clearly wrong and he needs to understand that it is sinful and displeasing to God. But I also realized today that he needs to be assured that he is loved no matter what. Imagine! Lying about boogers! Really?! Did he really think I would get upset at him for smearing them under the table? It really wasn’t that big a deal, just totally gross.
But I am glad this incident happened. God showed me that there is a character issue Edric and I need to address in our very sweet boy. If left alone and unnoticed this truthfulness issue could blossom into full blown deceitfulness.
I must say that this is one of the reasons why homeschooling makes so much sense. When a parent wants to prioritize character instruction, the homeschooling lifestyle affords the elements necessary to do so.
If this son of mine was in school and made small fibs here and there no one may catch it. But at home, because I am with him so often, I can interpret his gestures and facial expressions pretty well. I know if something is up. I get to deal with his heart right away…not a day or week or year later during “parent-teacher conferences.” I just conference with him — one-on-one. There is instant feedback.
Today’s swiping boogers (I should stop saying that word) gave me the opportunity to correct his wrong behavior right away. And he was responsive and teachable about it.
Praise God there is still a moldable quality to his heart. But give it five or so years and his value system will be pretty defined. This is why I am just sooo thankful that homeschooling redeems the time in between now and then so Edric and I can shape the hearts of our children.
Oh how I pray that my kids will choose to follow God. And it pains me to know that I cannot force them to believe in truth. They are all on a personalized path to discover who God really is. But I cling to the hope that their youngness of mind and heart is the best time to plant the seeds of faith.
One day I know that Edric and I will have to step aside and release our children. When that day comes, I pray we can look back and know that we were there to instruct and guide them when they needed it most…just like now, with our son.