DO What’s Right
In order to help kids understand the idea of having integrity, tell your kids to do what you say. The hard part will be when you say one thing, but DO another. (For example: Tell them to pat their head, but you will pat your belly. Tell them to kick their leg, but you will move your arm. Tell them to turn around, but you will touch your toes. Tell them to march, but you will run in place.)
Was it confusing when I said one thing, but did another? (YES)
Did you pay more attention to what I said or what I did? (Probably what you did)
Integrity means that your actions match your words. If you SAY you are a Christian, you should DO things that a Christian would DO.
What are some of those things? (Loving others; being kind; working diligently; giving; worshipping; etc.)
***Integrity comes from the Latin word integer (whole numbers), referring to whole, perfect, or complete. Integrity is doing or saying the right thing…even if no one is looking.
You’re a What?
Write the name of an animal (any will work—horse, duck, snake, hummingbird, alligator, etc.) on a slip of paper. Take turns choosing a slip and acting out (no words) the actions of the animal for others to guess.
How were you able to guess the animals? (By looking at what the animal did; etc.)
The Bible says that even a child is known by what he or she does. (HYPERLINK “http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Proverbs+20:11&version=NKJV”Proverbs 20:11). The actions we do can show others that we are Christians and want to live like Christ.
Hardest Part of Integrity
Perhaps the best way to teach your kids to have integrity is to live it out day after day. Believe me, that is much easier to SAY than DO.
When my oldest son received his first ticket (for speeding), I wanted to tell the judge, “Just give it to me because I’ve been a poor example for him.” The truth is, I had a bad habit of speeding (but of course in my case, there was always a justification: It’s just a little over; We’re in a hurry; I’m still being careful; I’m just keeping up with the traffic…) and I realized (a little too late) that kids are more influenced by what we DO than by what we SAY.
We can “preach” all the “sermons” we want, but our kids are watching 24/7 and what we DO speaks louder than what we SAY. Let me encourage you today to BE a good example. Day by day, week by week, month by month…you are influencing your kids without even realizing it. Stop and take a minute to ask God for His wisdom and strength to set a good example today.