Like it or not, we're living in the “Information Age.” We're bombarded with tidbits everywhere we go, aren't we? An update here. A newsflash there. A weather alert now. Wait, here's a status change! Google and Pinterest, smart phones and Amazon. It's nearly impossible to escape the deluge!
And all this information can be a good thing…as long as it's based in truth.
Unfortunately, all too often, that isn't the case. Our culture is saturated with lies. And guess what? Unless we know the truth, we won't recognize the lies.
And the same goes for our impressionable children. Perhaps even more so. That's why it's critical that we teach God's Word to them diligently. Because the Bible, after all, is the ultimate source of truth. It should be the plumb line against which we compare all of the information coming our way.
Here are a few popular lies I've been considering lately:
LIE #1 — Follow your heart. From Disney princesses to teen sitcoms to popular music, this lie is heralded as the key to good decision-making in life.
TRUTH: Jeremiah 17:9 – “The heart is deceitful above all things, and beyond cure. Who can understand it?” The heart is perhaps the very worst place to turn when we're uncertain. Feelings are fleeting. “But the Word of the Lord endures forever” (1 Peter 1:25).
LIE #2 — Independence is the ultimate prize. This one is so subtle. We refer to kids' post-high school years as the time they'll be “on their own.” We tell them they'll have to “make their own decisions.” We say things like, “As long as you're under my roof, you'll obey my rules.” And though I understand where these well-intentioned phrases come from, I fear they're sending a subtle message to our kids that the life principles taught in a Christian home somehow have an expiration date.
TRUTH: Psalm 139:7-10 – “Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.”
This passage reminds us that even when children leave the protective umbrella of their parents' authority, they are never away from God's authority. If we want our children to view God as their Rock, their Fortress, their Deliverer, their Refuge, and their Shepherd, perhaps we should carefully guard against phrases that imply they'll one day be “on their own.” God forbid my children are ever on their own! I long for them to be always with Him.
LIE #3 — Beauty is a priority. This lie is so pervasive and so obvious, I don't even think any commentary is needed. But our application of the truth might just be lacking…
TRUTH: Proverbs 31:30 – “Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.” Many of us know this truth. We also know Peter's admonition in 1 Peter 3 that we should focus our time and attention on our inner beauty rather than our external beauty. BUT what does reality reveal about our true beliefs? Do we spend more time perfecting and preening the external than we do pondering and purifying the internal? The way we spend our time reveals much about our true priorities. And it sends strong messages to our children, who are well aware of how Mom spends her time…and how she doesn't.
LIE #4 — We'll be happy when we learn to love ourselves. Some have even used Jesus' command to “love your neighbor as yourself” as a statement supporting this idea. But Jesus wasn't commanding us to love ourselves. He was commanding us to love our neighbors in the same way we already love ourselves! Self-love is our natural inclination. The fact that we feed, clothe, care for, and indulge ourselves is proof of this self-love.
TRUTH: Psalm 139:14 – “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” YES, we are fearfully and wonderfully made. We are God's cherished creation, and He loves each of us so much that He sent His Son to redeem us back to Himself. Every individual is dearly loved by Him, and we find happiness in accepting His love for us, and in returning it back to Him in a life of service and love for others.
What other lies have you detected in our culture? How do you counteract commonly believed lies in the lives of your children?