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)
Grinnell church of Christ
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Leading With Purpose: Teach Your Children About Integrity

The Light
Volume 4 Issue 37