Truth vs. Lies: Can Your Kids Tell the Difference?

Photo 132837075 © Andreykuzmin |

Discernment. Do you have it? How about your kids? 

Culture presents the idea that truth is relative: You have yours. I have mine. Compromise is okay if you have a good reason. How do we help our kids navigate these minefields of truth and lies?

We train them in discernment.

When Harry Potter came out, I chose to read Rowling’s books with my kids. Why? Because I have strong-willed kids who would have read it behind my back had I banned it. Reading together accomplished two things. One, I knew firsthand what they had read. Two, we could talk through any issues I felt should be addressed. 

What surprised me was this. My kids didn’t trip over the witchcraft. It was the moral relativism that snagged their toes. Often Harry is placed in a position where he must choose between a right choice (follow the rules) or a wrong one (disobey). Disobeying an unlawful rule was not the issue here. Harry almost always chose a wrong choice but had a good reason—like helping a friend. 

When I pointed out that Harry could still have helped a friend and made a right choice, I was amazed at the pushback. 

But he did it for a good reason!

This led to constructive discussions, but I also learned that culture had a stronger grip on my kids than I thought. Wrong was okay if you had a good enough reason? I don’t think so. 

We all need godly wisdom and discernment, so how do we get there?

1.  Know the Truth. We need a standard, the absolute truth of Scripture. 

“Do not conform to the pattern of this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” Romans 12:2

God’s Word renews our mind and gives us a grid to examine thoughts, opinions, and arguments that come from the outside. Read it. Memorize it. Study it. Sing it. Make time at the breakfast table (See Devour the Bible: One Bite at a Time or Small Bites sheets below). Tape a memory verse on the bathroom mirror—or the fridge. Get in the Word.

2. Ask. Simply ask for discernment. King Solomon did, much to God’s delight.

‘So give your servant a discerning heart to govern your people and to distinguish between right and wrong . . .’ The Lord was pleased that Solomon had asked for this.” 1 Kings 3:9-10

Just ask Him. Father God wants to give you discernment.

3. Listen. Pay attention to those divine nudges, impressions, and words. Make note of what happens when you do—and when you don’t. 

“Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, ‘This is the way; walk in it.’” Isaiah 30:21

Tune your ear to His voice. Align your will with His. Listen, then obey.

4. Is Peace Present? If not, STOP. 

“And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:7

Questions will hit like hail in a spring thunderstorm. Did I hear Him? Did I miss something? Am I off track? When questions come, check for God’s peace. Its presence—or absence—will tell you volumes.

Charles Spurgeon said, “Discernment is not knowing the difference between right and wrong. It’s knowing the difference between right and almost right.” 

Training and practice sharpen our ability to hear and heed God’s discernment. God will expose lies, debunk foolishness, and conquer evil. Tune your spiritual ears to the Holy Spirit’s leading.

Hey friends, please help me by sharing this post and the resources in the Activities section. You can use the social media links below. I’d also love for you to join my team. Email subscribers receive monthly newsletters with additional resources and a heads-up on new content. Thanks for reading.


  1. You may find it helpful to role play. Ask your kids what they hear from other kids about: race, gender, marriage, . . .
  2. Talk through movies and books. 
  3. Share a time when you received wisdom, direction, and/or discernment from God. How did you discern God’s voice? How did you know what to do? What were the consequences of the action you took?
  4. Memorize Scripture with music. There are lots of options, both in music style and type of media: YouTube, Spotify, and downloadable albums. 
  5. Get into the Word with Gayle’s Devour the Bible resources: Small Bites for preschoolers and One Bite at a Time for elementary-aged kiddos.  If you have already downloaded the ones in the link, contact me and I’ll send you additional verses.

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