Many may say that integrity is built in when we’re children. I believe integrity is taught by parents’ words and example. Let’s look at a couple of examples.
SCENARIO #1 We go to the movies and the price is higher by one dollar for Max, who just turned 6. We decide we will “just say” that Max is still 5, so we can save money.
INTEGRITY – Pay the extra dollar with a clear conscience and be an example to our children.
LACK OF INTEGRITY – It is dishonest to cheat the theatre out of the higher admission price. We show, by our example, that cheating and lying are acceptable, however, we get mad at them when they lie to us. Hmmm. Think about it…for the sake of the kids.
SCENARIO #2 We are right in the middle of a t.v. show, and we get a phone call. We quickly instruct our child, “Answer the phone and tell them I am not here!”
INTEGRITY– Either let the phone ring and let voice mail pick it up, or answer it and tell the caller that we’ll need to call them back.
LACK OF INTEGRITY – It’s dishonest to tell someone we’re not home when we are. Telling our child to lie for us tells them two things: 1) It’s okay to lie whenever you want. 2) You have to obey your parents even if you know it is wrong.
The definition of integrity is: “The quality or state of being of sound moral principle; uprightness, honesty and sincerity.” Isn’t that what we want our children to be?
You may have been raised in a family that did not practice good integrity and lies were part of everyday life. Maybe you saw your parents calling in to work sick when they were not sick at all, or you heard one parent lie to one another so there wasn’t yet another argument.
Kids are highly observant, and they take everything in like sponges. They see the inconsistencies, the double standards, and they learn what is acceptable behavior and what is not. They also begin to hide and keep secrets from their parents, learn to lie and cheat, and find ways to “get away with stuff.”
Look at what God’s Word says about living a life of integrity.
- “In my integrity, You uphold me and set me in Your presence forever.” Psalm 41:12
- “The man of integrity walks securely, but he who takes crooked paths will be found out.” Prov. 10:9
- “Whoever walks in integrity will be delivered, but he who is crooked in his ways will suddenly fall.” 28:18
Eph. 5:1-2 – “Be imitators of Christ, as dearly loved children, and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave Himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.”
Robyn Besemann is a busy event speaker, author, a Toginet Talk Radio show host, singer/songwriter, and recording artist. She has dedicated her entire life to Him by serving others. She developed and directed Family Connections, a large single parent family ministry in Oregon. She has had years of experience as the leader/trainer of “Divorce Care For Kids” and “The Big D…Divorce Thru the Eyes of a Teen” in her local church. Her ministry passion has always been and will continue to be to help people understand who God says they are and not what anyone or any experiences have told them. For more information, visit www.robynbministries.com.
The Life of a Single Mom Ministries is a global nonprofit committed to seeing no single mom walk alone. Having served more than 46,000 single mothers and 1,500 churches, the goal of the organization is establish support groups for single mothers in cities around the world, while also empowering single moms to grow spiritually, emotionally, physically, financially, and parentally. For more information, visit www.thelifeofasinglemom.com.