Seated in a taxi from Kabuga to Kigali, a gentleman picked his call and informed the caller on the other side of the line how he is in a bus travelling to Burundi and that he has just crossed the Kanyaru border.
The way he said it with so much ease and sincerity was worrying. Just a few minutes later, a lady who seemed to be in her early forties told her caller she was at the hospital nursing her son ‘Kevin’ who was so sick. She even changed the tone of her voice to match her deception.
This made me wonder if God said lying is okay. Anyway, this didn’t sit well with an old man who was seated next to me; he accused ‘mama Kevin’ of being a bad mother. “How can you say you are in a hospital when you are not? You will definitely burn in hell for lying,” he erupted. She told him to mind his business and when he kept poking thorny words at her, she said, “Let he without sin cast the first stone.”
According to Islam, lying is a sin even when one is joking. But today people do not show much concern about its prohibition; we even went ahead and created a whole day of lying. April 1st. If you ask most parents, they’ll try to convince you that some lies are not that ugly. Take the example of stories about Santa or the tooth fairy - most parents tell them comfortably.
Some parents even ask their children to lie for them. Like if a landlord comes for his money or an unwanted visitor comes to visit, a parent will comfortably ask the child to tell them he or she is not around. Children look up to their parents and elders as their role models; they copy and learn from them. There’s no better way of letting them know that lying is okay than getting them involved in a lie.
If we are ‘training’ our children to lie at a tender age, they surely won’t disappoint; they are likely to graduate before they hit their teens and by this time it will be impossible to put them in line.
Truth is it takes a lot of courage to tell the truth-for anyone-at any age. It doesn’t always come naturally, but it’s a parent’s responsibility to practice what they preach. This one depends a lot on you.
Talk with your children very early about how much you value honesty in your family. Tell them how important it is to all of you that you can always count on each other to tell the truth-even when it’s difficult.
Remember, everyone has the ability to be honest, but if you don’t practice it, your kids may develop the habit of cutting corners and telling lies because it’s easier.