Youthful lusts and lying go hand in hand. Teenagers are unlikely to tell their parents that they want to borrow the car to go to a party for drugs, drinking, sex or looking at porn. No, the story will more likely be along the lines of "... a couple of the guys want to go catch a movie and a pizza. And since Joe is going out of town a I'll be later than normal, okay? Thanks Dad!" This is what happened with Amnon. He didn't care about what God wanted. He didn't care about his father. He only cared about what his father could provide for him -- in this case the object of his lust, Tamar. Notice that Amnon doesn't even question whether it is appropriate to lie. He eagerly buys into Jonadab's scheme. When you see this pattern emerge in your children, pray for courage to acknowledge it for what it is. Self-pity is often at the base of these lies. Amnon in the throes of self-pity and lust acted without hesitation in following Jonadab's scheme. It was a fatal decision.
Parents, if your children are sullen or aloof, they are especially vulnerable to this type of crafty scheming -- or to following the direction of those who will scheme for them. Find out why your children are sad, withdrawn, or sullen. This behavior is not simply a phase. It indicates a self-centered, troubled heart. If you fail to address thoroughly the lies of young children, these lies will grow to be life-dominating sins. Merely correcting behavior cannot be the goal here. You must address the heart. Christ alone can take the focus away from self-centered pity. Psalm 139 speaks of this reality.