I am not a stalker, really, I am not! All I was doing was catching up on some Facebook traffic and I saw a very interesting post that I just had to read. Remember, Facebook is public domain and the whole world can see what you post - - so be careful.
Well, on this particular day a discussion caught my eye because the post was both very honest and well thought out. Here is the gist of it: A very caring mom was asking her teacher how she could help prepare her children for kindergarten; a great question. The teacher whom she highly respects said, "What kids need is the ability to hear and take no for an answer." The author of the post was rather shocked, "Kid's aren't used to hearing no at home, really?!?!?!?" And then her next comment is what got me really thinking, "How in the world do you live your life not telling your preschoolers "no"?"
From that question a fire-storm of comments was unleashed; there were moms who completely agreed with saying "no" while some others "focused on remaining positive, offer grace, try to avoid 'no' as much as possible, and foster obedience through personal interaction." All great ideas, but let's be honest, "no" is often the greatest expression of love a parent could ever use... Let me explain:
When my daughter Ginger was 2 1/2, she grabbed our cat by the throat, and with a swift movement of the hand, put a zip-tie over the cats head and around it's neck. Then, she started to tighten! Walking into the room, my instant reaction was, "No, no Ginger, let go of that cat." I grabbed the poor trembling animal and instantly cut off the zip-tie so air could once again fill it's lungs. The terrified cat then ran away to go hide under our bed for the next five weeks. Now, was I wrong for saying no? (And to all you sick cat haters... I am not asking you.)
I think "NO" was the only response love would take in that moment, and here is why:
(1) Love must rein in the works of ignorance. Just because your child wants to do something, maybe they are curious or full of pent-up energy; that never gives them the right to destroy what is beautiful. Love protects the beautiful from being damaged by ignorance.
(2) A significant boundary line was being challenged, and if not stopped, it could reinforce a behavior that could warp your child's soul. If I allowed my daughter to kill that cat, would she not grow callous toward precious things later in life? There was a kid in my neighborhood who liked to catch cats, dig a hole, bury them up to their neck, and then...well I won't say it. How did he get to that point? It's obvious, no one ever stopped him when he did lesser things with cats!
(3) I am my child's keeper! Jesus will call me to account concerning the things I taught and allowed in the lives of my children. God has given us a role as a parent that carries with it "authority & seriousness." If we never exercise these tools of the parenting trade, we will be held responsible by God himself! And not only that, as our kids grow up they will see no reason to respect authority & everything will become a joke. (If you want to read a book on this, "Shows about Nothing.")
(4) Wrong is plain wrong, and the word "no" makes it clear immediately!
As I pondered the question of "how do you live your life" not hearing no, I realized it is easy to ask this about pre-schoolers; but what happens to young adults and adults who rarely heard the word "no" from a loving parent? (And loving parent is the key to this question). Simple, reverse the four points:
(1) Ignorance destroys beauty: did you know marriage between a man and a woman was considered good in Genesis? Jesus said it was God's design in Matthew. Now, people have allowed curious wickedness redefine beauty and even shatter it's once wonderful visage!
(2) Boundary lines are broken all the time: Look at the title of this magazine article that went viral last week, "Model Stephanie Stephanie Seymour's Sexy Poses With Sons in 'Harper's Bazaar' Are Uber Creepy." Uber creepy? How about sick? But when boundary lines are crossed, it is nearly impossible to get them back.
(3) We no longer care about what God says.
(4) Wrong becomes right! We now live in a world where people who try to mind their own business, teach their kids how to have a beautiful life are being called wicked. Significant influencers in our culture like Richard Dawkins, liberal judges from the East Coast, and the majority of Hollywood, believe teaching your children standards of purity and faith is akin to "brainwashing." When you don't say no, evil thrives; and with stealth precision moves in to capture your child's heart!
A final question: Does God ever say "no" in the bible? Surely Jesus doesn't, he is the nice guy of the Trinity. Oh yeah, he did say something about, "Go and Sin NO MORE!"