Learning how to encourage sincerity in your child can be a challenging process. If a child tries being dishonest just once and gets away with it, it can be easy to fall into the routine of not being sincere in things they do.
I am unsure if there is a saying for this or not, but I tell my kids this all the time. It is really easy to do wrong. It is way harder to do what is right.
Even as children, we are prone to self-preservation and deceit. Sounds horrible, right? Unfortunately, it’s in us. BUT God.
The first thing I want to share about sincerity is that it is fleeting, and it means nothing apart from God. I think that came out a little harsher than I would have liked. I still will leave that statement right there.
Maybe this is a little bit more for us than it is for our kids. However, we have to be clear in teaching our kids this as well. See, sincerity alone in our beliefs is not the ideal.
Some people are sincere in their own beliefs and can be completely wrong. I was reading about sincerity in GotQuestions.com, and somewhere it said that many people are sincere about what they believe.
They said that just because someone sincerely believes in martians does not mean that extraterrestrial life exists. There are sincere Muslims, sincere Buddhists, yet that still doesn’t make them right.
So when we are teaching our kids about sincerity, we must teach them the truth first. Teaching them God’s word is key. Once they know there is a basis for truth, everything else can stem from that truth.
So like other character training, we start with God. Start with what should be our child’s, first love. The Lord.
How then can we encourage our kids this idea of sincerity?
Sincerity – the absence of pretense, deceit, or hypocrisy. Synonyms for sincerity are honesty, genuineness, truthfulness, and good faith—purely motivated eagerness to do what is right.
Notice how I didn’t say “teach” sincerity.
Sincerity is not something we can teach with a worksheet. I am not saying we can’t teach sincerity, but I am saying it is better to encourage our children to be sincere because being taught something doesn’t mean we can apply it.
I don’t know about you, but when I see this sincere trait or the hint of sincerity in people, I automatically feel as if I can let my wall down some. There is nothing like a person who is genuine with you, truthful with you, and whose intentions are in good faith.
On the other hand, when someone displays the absence of pretense, deceit, or hypocrisy, guards automatically go up for me.
Encourage kids to think for a time and pray before making decisions.
We all understand how detrimental it can be to make rash decisions. I am not saying to over-analyze or be at a point where they are afraid of making decisions.
However, an emphasis can be made to stop, weigh options, and pray before making a big decision.
We had to do this with my son. My husband can have him out doing sports during the year almost every day of the week. It got to a point where I could tell it was too much for him.
My husband and I asked him to think about which sport he was willing to let go of, pray, and get back to us. He took ownership of his decision, and we can tell he became more confident in his focus of doing well in the other sports he chose to stay in.
Study sincere characters in the Bible.
God has left us with his spirit-breathed guideline for life. I am sure there are so many other stories of people he has touched, yet the people in the Bible he chose to leave with each of us to learn and glean from.
A few characters to study to teach sincerity can be found below:
- Ruth (Ruth 1) (Memory Verses: 16-17)
- Esther (Esther 2:5-18) (Memory Verse: 4:16)
- Zacchaeus (Luke 19:1-10) (Memory Verse: 8)
- The Good Samaritan (Luke 10:30-37) (Memory Verses: 33-35)
Teach kids about “The Boy Who Cried Wolf” in Aesop’s Fables.
Kids lie. That sentence needs no further content. They lie because they are confused or afraid to get in trouble, to make you happy, or they have different thoughts of how things should be.
With this particular fable, our kids can learn how lying can cost them gravely. It teaches the value of honesty, how actions affect others and so much more.
Make everything a practice moment, and let your kids make their own choices when possible.
Letting your kids make their own decisions when possible allows them to know they can be trusted. It also builds their confidence.
Let them decide a few things. Let them decide a dinner meal a week. What exercises to do which day they would like off during the week or discuss what chores to do on what days.
Ultimately, you are teaching your child that their honest opinion, choice, and view is respected. When they are comfortable with these three things, they are more comfortable being sincere, no matter what others may think.
Be truthful and sincere with your children.
Rejoice in your child’s victories. Be there for them in their defeats. Don’t lie to them in either of these things. Find ways to tell your kids the truth without breaking their spirit.
When they lose something, don’t deny they lost, but point to what they did right and what they can do better next time. A loss doesn’t have to be a defeat but can be a learning experience.
Be real in your trials as well. Pretending everything is perfect is just unrealistic. Be sincere if you are going through trials, and your child asks you what is going on.
Kids know when something is up, don’t lie your way through it. They don’t know details, but they can be told that you are going through tough times.
Ask them to pray with you to pray for you. Modeling sincerity with your child and with others is an example your kids can glean from.
We recently released a Bible study just for kids that helps correct some bad habits. The Keep Quiet Challenge for Kids focuses on areas that children tend to struggle in: talking back, grumbling & complaining, whining, begging, lying, and more!
Grab some of these resources to help you encourage sincerity in your child:
Being a Truth-Teller: How to Be Wise with Integrity (This one is for us)
Honesty for Kids: FREE Printables | Sunny Day Family
Teaching Children About Honesty w/FREE Printable Worksheets | Simple at Home
FREE Coloring Pages (Sincere) | Tricia Goyer
Sincerity Stories | The Character Journal a ministry of home life ministries
Raising Kids Who Genuinely Love Jesus | Club 31 Women
Sincerity is important to the Lord. Time and time again, he reminds us in his Word how He values the sincerity of the heart. That is why it’s essential for our children to be raised with sincerity and to practice sincerity.
I leave you with a few verses you and children can memorize throughout your time studying and practicing how to be sincere.
Ephesians 6:24 – Grace be with all those who love our Lord Jesus Christ with incorruptible love.
Joshua 24:14 – “Now, therefore, fear the Lord and serve Him in sincerity and truth.
1 Timothy 1:5 – But the goal of our instruction is love from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.
2 Corinthians 2:17 – For we are not like many, peddling the word of God, but as from sincerity, but as from God, we speak in Christ in the sight of God.
Jeannette is a wife, mother and homeschooling mom. She has been mightily, saved by grace and is grateful for God’s sovereignty throughout her life’s journey. She has a Bachelor in English Education and her MBA. Jeannette is bi-lingual and currently lives in the Tongan Islands of the South Pacific. She posts daily freebies for homeschoolers!