Earlier this week I read a parenting site blog post called something like “How to Trick your Child into Leaving a Favorite Toy Home from School.” The author then proceeded to give an outline of ways to convince your child that you (the parent) needed the toy to protect the house, do the laundry, etc.

Several people commented about their own rather complicated tricks.

Then a mom wrote, “How about saying ‘No?’”

Ah, good point!

We are so into being our kids’ friends, protecting their self-esteem and making them happy, we’ve become fearful of simply saying “no.” Instead we reason, trick or bribe them into doing what we want them to do.

Often (unfortunately), our “final answer” is to give in to the child’s demands.

Our Heavenly Father does not hesitate to say “no” to us. He is our Creator and understands what’s best for us – and does not apologize, reason, bribe, or trick us into figuring out how we should live our lives. He’s not worried about crushing our self-esteem either – in fact, when we obey Him, our identity with Christ (which is where we should get our self-esteem) grows.

Look at this one passage from the Bible. (And this is only one of many). Notice how often we are emphatically told “no.” (This is from Ephesians 4.)

26 Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, 27 and give no opportunity to the devil. 28 Let the thief no longer steal, but rather let him labor, doing honest work with his own hands, so that he may have something to share with anyone in need. 29 Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice.

Hmm … no hesitation here.

We are our children’s parents. We have a responsibility to teach them God’s standard of right and wrong. We have a responsibility to be the loving authority guiding them through life.

Let’s not transfer to the friend department when we should be doing our job as dads and moms.

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