My husband thinks it’s wrong to lie to one’s kids. On the surface, that seems just dandy, but you might be surprised how common lying to kids really is.
Easter, for instance, is prime time for lying to children: “While you were sleeping, a giant bunny rabbit hopped into our house and left you this basket full of toys and candies. Oh, look there! He hid a bunch of Easter eggs for you, too.”
The Easter bunny, along with his friends Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy, are firmly off-limits for our family. At first, I was a little heartbroken over this decision. As a child, I loved those silly little stories and the fun that came with them. Josh says that it will be fine for our kids to pretend that these characters exist, but they need to know it’s pretend and that their parents never lied to them.
Still, it was hard for me to deal with until this spring as Easter approached. I was teaching children’s church last Sunday and held up an Easter egg for the kids to see.
“What does this make you think of?” I asked.
Hands shot up instantly. Some children shouted, “Candy!” “The Easter bunny,” others said. Then one boy, full of conviction, said, “It makes me think of how the tomb was empty after Jesus rose from the dead.”
Then it suddenly dawned on me: This is why it’s so important to tell your children the truth.
I’m not saying we’ll be extreme. We’ll still take part in traditions. Today, Anastasia will receive an Easter basket that has a sippy cup, sunscreen, baby spoons and maybe a jar of baby food, since she’s still too young for candy. Then we’ll head to church for the Easter service and luncheon, followed by an Easter egg hunt.
We’ll still give presents for Christmas, and we’ll still place them beneath a Christmas tree.
Telling the truth at Easter, or even Christmas, isn’t about destroying fun or taking away from tradition. It’s about making sure your children know the true meaning of these holidays.
When we celebrate Easter, it’s not because of a treat-toting rabbit; it’s because Jesus died on the cross for our sins, then rose again and still lives today.
And someday, our kids will know that’s so much more exciting than foil-covered candies.