Teaching my kids through deflate gate, Ashley Madison, & politics in the 00's
Like many parents, I've sat and pondered at what things may be like for my children as they grow up. Probably more than that, I wonder how can I be teaching them now so that they're prepared for that time. I have a seven year old son and a six year old daughter and like many parents, my wife and I are trying to teach them about honesty. I think everyone would agree that lying is a bad thing, that's what we were told when we were younger and that's what we tell our kids now.
Then where did that change? At what point did we decide lying could be justified with a victory or a profit?
I think first we need to be reminded that, "the heart is deceitful about all things..." (Jeremiah 17:9). One of the greatest lies of this or any generation is 'follow your heart.' I've literally heard it said, "I know it's wrong to do that but you have to follow your heart to happiness." Read that again. Perhaps maybe the real deception is what 'happiness' is...
Proverbs 4:23 teaches, "Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it." This is definitely not telling us to wall off our hearts but to be wise at what we allow to influence it. It teaches us to shepherd our hearts. A shepherd led, took care of, and protected his flock. We must do the same for our hearts.
I think next steps to teaching or even grasping this is living above reproach, above the need of correction. "that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world." (Philippians 2:15) I'm not going to make my stand or even state my opinion on Tom Brady and deflate gate or Rick Pitino and the University of Louisville scandal, but what I will say is we need to be wise to keep ourselves our of positions that lead to questions. What this means for me is, if I don't have business counting the money, I keep my hands off the money. I'm married so I don't meet females for coffee, lunch, or any other meeting by myself. I've even learned to be wise about what I let myself watch on TV. Get the picture? We need to be wise about the situations we put ourselves in because it doesn't require proof to ruin a relationship or a ministry, just an accusation. If I were seen walking out of a bar 2:00 Saturday morning, even if I had just gone in to use the bathroom, what would be thought of me. No matter what happens with Tom Brady moving forward, there will always be a group of people that think of him as a cheater. It doesn't matter if it's true or not. It's about integrity...
I think this last part kind of comes if you're doing the first two. "In the same way let your light shine before others so that they may see your good works and glorify your Father which is in heaven." (Matthew 5:16) When you live a life of integrity and above reproach, you're going to stand out. It only takes a very small candle to light a dark room. Let's not neglect that last part though, "see your good works and glorify your Father..." It's not about me getting the credit, it's about my life glorifying God. It's about being a part of something bigger than yourself.
My son is a little athlete and we love watching sports together. I tell him often that it's good that he wants to win at games and sports. You should want to win! How you win matters though. I think the last thing is we need to champion our heroes that live this well and then try to be one of those heroes for those looking to us. When I see good sportsmanship or integrity out of coaches and players I point that out to my son so he can see what it looks like. Hopefully he sees some of that in me as well and not just in sports but in how I live, how I love him, his sister, and mother, and how I do ministry.