There is an archaic word; integrity. It is not a word we use frequently in our language today. To speak of a personís integrity I think we use it even less. Normally we speak of the integrity of a bridge. A bride with integrity is a sound bridge. It is a trustworthy bridge. It is a bridge that can be relied upon to do what it was designed to do. (Uphold people, cars, or trains in day to day use). A bridge with integrity cannot fail. When speaking of a personís integrity similar thoughts out to come to mind. Websterís dictionary define integrity as strict adherence to a code, especially of moral values; incorruptibility. Honesty is considered a synonym. And each of these ideas conveys a since of what it means to be a person of integrity. A person of integrity is honest. His word is trustworthy. He has no need to make vows for his word is as good as gold. If he tells you he will do something, then it can be trusted that it will be done. He is faithful not just to his own word, but to the word of God. In fact, it is oneís faithfulness to Godís word that enables a personís own words to be faithful. For he is not a cheat, a liar, a thief, lazy, or a big-talker. The quality of his character is so sound, there is never a reason to not trust him, believe in him or his word. In Warren Wiersbeís Be Quoted he wrote, ďA person with integrity is not divided (thatís duplicity) or merely pretending (thatís hypocrisy). He or she is ĎwholeĎ; life is íput togetherí, harmoniously. People with integrity have nothing to hide and nothing to fear. Their lives are open book.Ē
It should also be noted that integrity is not something you just turn on or turn off. If you are not a person of integrity at work it will bleed over in other areas of your life. A liar at work will find a reason to lie at home. A gossiper at work will find a reason to gossip in the church. It is more than a full time job. You canít just clock in and clock out and expect to have been all that God has called you to be. It is not something you do. It is something you are. If it is something you do, you can make excuses as to why you havenít or why you donít need to do it. For instance, one of the reasons why so many children are lost right now is that parents think that being a parent is something you do. The clock out from time to time because someone else is watching their kids. Being a parent is something you are. It drives every decision you make. It affects every direction you walk. Likewise, being a person of integrity does the same so that in the end, when others see you they know, that person can be trusted to be there in my hour of need.
So how do we teach our children to be persons of integrity? It begins by teaching them Godís word. As mentioned earlier, being faithful to the word is what makes us a person of integrity. We have to take an active role in the spiritual upbringing of our children. We cannot rely upon the gospel preacher, bible class teacher, an eldership, or godly examples in the church to teach our children. (Not to say that those persons shouldnít be teaching). God blessed you with your children. It is your job to teach them. The other day I was talking to someone here in town and he was telling me about one of his mentors. He said that he had to learn what it meant to be faithful. His mentor had faithfully attended services. He brought his family with him. They worshipped God every time the doors were open. When the church had a get together or a function or some work that they were engaging in they were there. As this mentorís children grew up only one of the three were still attending services. Why? Because he admittedly failed to teach them about God. Our children will not be faithful because you are faithful. Your children will only learn of Godís word and thereby learn to be a people of integrity when you teach them.
And as we have stressed in each of the articles in the series, it is better to see a sermon than to hear it. We as parents must be upright with our children. If we promise to do something with them, we need to do it. Think about it, would we tell our boss that we are going to do such and such a thing and then fail to do it? Sure it might happen once in a blue moon when we get distracted. But would we continue to have that job if we make a habit of it? I have my doubts. And yet, when it comes to our children, how often do we say, ďI am too tired now.Ē ďIím just not in the mood.Ē ďMaybe next time.Ē We need to realize that when we tell our children that they can do something or that you would do something with them (unless things change due to punishment for them disobeying) we need to follow through. If we fail, we apologize, and truly repent by righting the wrong. Of course, this must extend beyond our children too (members of the church, neighbors, etc)
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Leading With Purpose: Teach Your Children About Integrity
Volume 4 Issue 37