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As our culture becomes more self-focused, honesty grows scarce. Facebook and Twitter, for example, provide countless opportunities for children to lie, stretch and embellish the truth. And the temptation is magnified in relationships that begin online, without in-person scrutiny.

We can help our children avoid a host of ills if we set a standard that insists on truth. Help your children see that the inclination to lie about something in a relationship is a tip-off that those actions themselves may not be good. Scripture teaches us: “Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God” (John 3:20 NIV).

We all need to remember that at the end of the day, only the truth sets us free. Embarrassment fades and memories dim. But absolute honesty is the best foundation for every facet our lives.

Rebecca Hagelin can be reached at