refrigerator magnets that spell honest

Using Bible Stories about Honesty to Teach Integrity to Children

As a parent, there are times when you need an object lesson to help your child understand something.  These Bible stories about honesty or dishonesty provide examples of what can happen when a person tells the truth or doesn’t.

These Bible stories about honesty can help your child learn the value of telling the truth.  As you explore and share these Bible stories with your child, pray that God will help your child develop integrity and be honest in all they do.

Each of these Bible stories about honesty has severe consequences for the liar or for other people who were impacted by the lies.  Honesty is something that impacts more than the person telling the truth or lies and sometimes those consequences can cost other people their lives, their possessions, or their happiness.

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Reading and sharing stories about honesty and lying can help children develop integrity. Stories help children think through the consequences of actions.

Abraham and Sarah (Genesis 20)

After God called Abraham to follow Him to a new land, he and Sarah set out on a journey that didn’t have a known destination.  As they traveled through enemy territory, Abraham was concerned that his wife was beautiful and anyone who saw her might try to take her.

So he and his wife, Sarah, conceived a plan to tell people that she was his sister.  This was partial truth and she was his half-sister, but she was also his wife.

As they traveled, Abimelek, the king, sent for Sarah and took her.  God spoke to Abimelek in a dream and told him not to touch Sarah because she was really Abraham’s wife.

Isaac and Rebekah (Genesis 26)

This is a repeat of the story above with different characters.  During a famine in the land, Isaac went to Abimelek, the king of the Philistines to live during the famine.

The men of the land asked about Rebekah, Isaac’s wife, and he told them she was his sister.  As the story unfolds, the king finds out that she is really his wife and is upset because of the lie.

Jacob and Esau (Genesis 25:27-34 and Genesis 27 and 28)

You probably already know this story about twin brothers who were each especially loved by one parent.  This in and of itself created issues because Rebekah wanted Jacob to succeed and Isaac wanted Esau to succeed.

This battle between parents and sons turned into outright lies and deception as Isaac was on his deathbed.  Rebekah encouraged and helped Jacob dress in his brother’s clothes, fix his brother’s favorite meal and then go to his father to tell the untruth and take his brother’s blessing.

The story ends with two brothers in dispute and Jacob running for his life to protect himself because he knew he had been deceptive and his brother was rightfully angry with him.

Rachel and Leah (Genesis 29)

After Jacob ran away from Esau, he ends up going to his uncle’s home and ends up working for his uncle Laban.  He falls in love with Rachel and makes arrangements to work for 7 years to be able to marry Rachel.  At the time of the wedding (after 7 years of working for his uncle), Laban deceives Jacob and brings his other daughter, Leah, to marry Jacob.

Jacob ends up having to work for another 7 years to be able to marry Rachel.  Jacob had worked hard and God had blessed him with flocks and herds and expanded his family.  But Laban kept changing his wages and promising different things.

The story ends with Jacob fleeing from Laban and taking his family, flocks, and herds with them as they ran away.

hand holding sign that says "be honesty" as you learn from Bible stories about honesty

Joseph’s Brothers (Genesis 37:12-36)

The story of Joseph has two sides of truthfulness and integrity.  When Joseph is sent to take supplies to his brothers, they see this as an opportunity to get rid of him once and for all.  They sell him to some slave traders and send him off to Egypt.

They realize they are going to have to tell their father a story to cover up their actions and they kill a lamb and spill blood all over the beautiful robe that Jacob had made for Joseph.  They take it to their father and let him think that a wild animal had killed Joseph.

The contrast in this story is that Joseph is sent to Egypt as a slave, he is falsely accused and sent to jail, but through it all, the Bible tells us that “the Lord was with Joseph and gave him success in whatever he did.”  (Gen. 39:23)

The story ends with Joseph’s brothers having to tell the whole story to their father after years of grief, Joseph forgives his brothers and brings his family to Egypt so they would have food during the famine.

The previous five Bible stories about honesty and integrity are further entangled because they are one generation after another.  Abraham and Sarah’s son was Isaac.  Isaac’s son was Jacob.  Jacob’s son was Joseph.  Four generations were affected by lies and deception.

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Achan’s Sins (Joshua 7)

After the walls of Jericho fell down as the Children of Israel were marching around the city, the next town they needed to conquer was the town of Ai.  The spies had checked out the city and found that it was a small town and would be easy to conquer.

When the Israelite army went up to defeat the town, they were chased back to their camp with many people losing their lives in the process.

As the story unfolds, God tells Joshua, the Israelite leader that the defeat was because of stealing and lying in the camp.  As the questions begin, it comes down to Achan who had stolen some items from Jericho when they had been explicitly told not to take anything.  He had buried the robe and gold under the floor of his tent.

As a result of the lies and deception, many people died in the fight with the city of Ai and then Achan and his family were stoned to death.

peaches hanging on a branch to show that the words we speak are a reflection of what

A Tree and Its Fruit (Luke 6:43-45)

One of the short illustrations that Jesus used when talking to his disciples and followers was the story of a tree and its fruit.  A good tree doesn’t produce bad fruit and a bad tree doesn’t produce good fruit.  So it is with people.  The mouth speaks from what is in a person’s heart.

This lesson is critical to apply and recognize that the things that are allowed to enter our hearts and minds become the things that come out of our mouths and the actions we produce.

When reflecting on the Bible stories about honesty above, you can see that each of these stories is related.  The person who told the lie and wasn’t honest had a significant impact on their own life and the lives of others.

3 Ways to Use Bible Stories about Honesty to Teach Integrity

As a mother, you have a huge responsibility to train and teach your children to do what is right.  Your influence and example will have a tremendous impact on what they do and who they become.  This can seem like an overwhelming task and responsibility.

But God knows this difficult task and He will give you the courage to stand up for truth, to be a good witness to your children, and to provide the wisdom as you train your children to follow God’s commands.

  • Take these stories to heart as you direct your children through your example and your words.  Make sure that everything you do is setting an example that will help your children make good choices.  Remember that a decision that is made can affect generations in the future for good or evil.
  • Talk about honesty and integrity with your children.  Help them to discern the truth and understand what it means to tell a partial truth. Read stories that help to build their character and talk about the good choices and bad, that are being made in the stories.
  • Fill your mind with scriptures to help you and your children make good choices. Memorize promises of God to help you as you raise your children and find verses to help your children learn integrity and honesty.

RELATED: 52 Bible Verses to Memorize

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