Friday, October 10, 2008

Mom, the stalker

"Mom! That's like....like...stalking me!"

Ouch! My son caught me in a lie the other day. Not a big lie...just one of those little lies parents might tell their kids to cover some secret parental spying that might make their child mad but is actually for their own good. You know, one of THOSE lies. I'm not even going to say what it was because it was really stupid. But it mattered to my nearly grown son and he knows what it was. I will tell you the shameful details. When I was first caught, I denied it. I even tried to blame his sister. Then I tried to blame my son. This was all in the first couple of minutes. As words came out of my mouth, I was disgusted with myself. Why was I lying? I hadn't done anything wrong. I was just embarrassed. I'm 48, a pretty good parent and here I was making really stupid lies. I quickly recovered, told him what I had done and gave my justification. What I had done wasn't wrong; lying about it was. God is good and He helped us in the next few days to have two good discussions about it. I have apologized to my son; no amount of good parenting can justify a lie...at least not the way I did it.

I cringed today when I read Pastor Walter Snyder's excellent commentary on lying, Leaving a Life of Lying. Ouch! How did he know? ;) He knows because we all are liars, whether we admit it or not. Some of us have practiced it too well and others battle some other sin, but we've all lied.

Like all their descendants, you’ve inherited our first parents’ sinful natures, including a similar gullibility regarding lying and honesty. As a Christian, you’ve also discovered the truth of Saint Paul’s lament: “I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing. (Romans 7:19)” Lutherans call this situation simil iustus et peccator, meaning “at the same time saint (a justified believer in Christ) and a sinner.” Read more...
Ok, here's what I did. I was looking at his Facebook page one day - a given in our household. I have the right to see what my kids are writing when they are under age 18 and living at home. I visited some of his friends' pages and copied a few photos of him and his friends to my hard drive. As I was doing it, a little voice in me mentioned that, perhaps, I should ask him because I knew he might get weird about it, but I instead justified my actions by reminding myself that I had so few photos of him and his friends. The pics sat on my desktop for a month before he noticed them (I had forgotten). He immediately got upset, I think because of a photo of him and a particular girl, and him and a boy who is now in jail. That's when I started lying....ugh! Like I mentioned already, it turned out well, but I do wish I had quickly asked God for the grace to just be honest. Am I a chronic liar? No. Will I lie again in my lifetime? Probably. God give me strength!