If you were to take a poll in your kids’ class or church you would probably find that lying is the sin that kids struggle with the most. It’s in a child’s nature to want to please everyone by telling them what they want to hear. In some cases, children see grown-ups telling lies at home or television too. That makes teaching against this sin a bit tougher but no less important. It’s important to show kids the result or fruit of lying. I use an object lesson to show kids that lying produces a sour fruit.
I place a small artificial Christmas tree or a potted silk bush on a table or desk. I bought two sets of plastic fruit from the dollar store. Before the class, I spray paint one set of plastic fruits black. I glue a thread loop at the end of each fruit. When they dry, I use them as hangers — like Christmas ornaments.
I arrange the nice-looking, unpainted fruits on the tree so the kids can see it. Next, I teach kids what God says about lies including the commandment and the story of Ananias and Sapphira. I tell the kids that everyone has told lies at least once. Nobody was perfect but Jesus; however we must try to have honest tongues.
I say to kids, “You are like this tree. See all this good fruit? This is joy, peace, happiness and faith. Many good fruits appear in our lives when we live holy. However, once we begin telling lies, this fruit changes.”
I slowly replace the good fruit with the black fruit. Pretty soon, the tree is full of ugly black fruit. I tell kids that this bad fruit is unhappiness, sadness, broken trust and many, many unwanted fruits. “This is the fruit that lies bring us but we can change that with God’s help. If you have told a lie, you can replace that bad fruit with good fruit. All you need to do is confess to God that you have lied. Ask Him to forgive you.”
Together we replace the black fruit with the good fruit. If kids want to pray, I give them the opportunity. Teaching kids to live holy is important to God and should be a key focus of any ministry.
Read more from Mimi by visiting her blog at Encouragement for Christians.