“Do not revile the king even in your thoughts,
or curse the rich in your bedroom,
because a bird of the air may carry your words,
and a bird on the wing may report what you say.”
In raising our four daughters, I often reminded the girls of this Bible verse. As the girls reached junior high and high school age, Corene and I many times emphasized the importance of honesty and integrity as character traits by which to live. We also stressed the importance of obedience to our parental decisions, even when those decisions seemed unfair from their standpoint. We encouraged the girls to realize that the matter of trust was something every individual earned; if the girls wanted us, as parents, to trust them, then the girls needed to demonstrate they were trustworthy. We did not trust them just because they were our daughters; we trusted them because they earned it! Telling the truth at all times resulted in an outcome where serious, undesirable consequences were avoided by the girls.
What is the point to this little story? It was pointed out to the girls that we, as parents, did not just expect truth, honesty, and obedience to our face and in our presence when various decisions were made about dating, acceptable movies, various activities, and parties. It was important to maintain these character traits at all times, even in the most private spot a teenage has, their own bedroom. It was important to maintain these character traits when they were out with their friends without Mom and Dad close at hand to check out what they were doing.
We told the girls that we would not be checking out their activities on the weekends as they were out with their friends! Why? Because , based upon the Bible, “a little birdie” would land on my shoulder, whisper in my ear and make the matter known! As their father, I did not need to sneak around trying to find out what my daughters were actually doing after the Friday and Saturday night high school games. I did not need to find out whether they were obeying the decisions and directions that Corene and I had given. But we reminded the girls often that if you lose the trust we have in you, it is very, very difficult to earn that trust back……..very difficult. So responsibility and accountability for the development of these character traits, including self-discipline and self-control, was firmly placed upon their shoulders. Tell the truth; obey and accept decisions; good consequences. Tell lies; disobey decisions; bad consequences. The choice belonged to the girls.
It actually took a couple of instances before the girls realized the truth of Ecclesiastes 10:20! A couple different occasions occurred in which a daughter did not obey a decision and then lied about it. This daughter had failed to realize that the Bible means what it says and that “a birdie” had, in fact, landed on my shoulder and shared with me exactly the activity my daughter had been involved in; an activity in disobedience to a decision that had been made. When the consequences of this bad choice were dealt with, it goes without saying the impact this had on our other three daughters! They came to understand the truth of the Word of God and the fact that He can make matters known through any little birdie He chooses to use!
The best thing about this story is that now my daughters are teaching the truth of Ecclesiastes 10:20 to their children! What a great legacy!! To God be the glory!!