Monday, July 25, 2011

Because I said so???

Dear Ladies,

       NO!  NO!  No!  We have all heard the word and have had many reactions to its very mention.  When I was a little girl, I would hear that word and rebel.  I wish I had handled it differently, but I did not see the wisdom in doing so.  In fact, I missed that NO was mostly for my protection, provision and education.

        This is the typical reaction of our children too!  I have been training my children to accept the No without question.  This was my way of having them obey me, but maybe not with wisdom.  When they are teenagers and becoming adults, what will govern them?  Certainly not "Because I said so!"  There has to be a way to do both.

       Recently during a retreat I hosted in my backyard for about 25 girls between the ages 10-17.  I had a discussion with them about that word NO.  We know it is a word that sends the little attitude mongrels marching in the hearts of their hearers.  I wanted the girls to start looking for the wisdom behind the NO.  So I boldly proclaimed a plan.

       I told them the next time they were told NO in regards to something...I asked them to take it with strength and dignity.  Obey it!  Accept it!  Do NOT  challenge it whatsoever.  Take it immediately in prayer and ask God to have you accept it fully.  Once you have accepted the next few days, go to your parent who issued the NO and say this first.  "I accept the NO.  I am not here to change your mind, get my way or make a case...I am here to understand the wisdom behind the NO." 

        Do we desire that our children would one day answer for themselves with wisdom?   I think the evidence of their lack of wisdom is when they say something like..."My parents won't let me do that."  OR  My dad is too strict." OR "My mom doesn't understand."  These comments tell me that they are lacking wisdom and in fact complaining publicly.  Young ladies should not be about the business of complaining...let alone publicly. 

       I am just beginning to see the wisdom of teaching them the wisdom behind the NO.  My rule is...not at the time that I am asking for your obedience.  Seek me later, while we can sit down alone and speak about the day together in the cool of the evening under the stars.  Teach them to come with a heart looking to discern and understand.  Encourage it and foster it in patience and love.

       If  I sense the motive is to change my mind, I will hold the conversation over for another time.  I still want to teach the wisdom but when the heart is burning with curiosity not animosity. 

       There is no better wisdom than God's Word and I want all the opportunities I can to give our children application for His Word in their everyday lives.  There is unmeasurable joy in seeing a child's life governed by the blessed assurances of His promises and the precepts of His law that keep them from harm.   Oh, that we might save them from a thousand hurts by such talks in the cool evenings under the stars.

        God wants us to explain Him to our children (Deut. 6, Eph. 6).  Hence,  I can no longer live with..."because I said so". 


  1. This is excellent! It's something we've always done with our boys - obey me now (you never know when it's a time-sensitive issue, so we need you to trust us and work with us in the present) and if you are curious, if you don't understand the why, and you want to, then ask. It didn't take too many times hearing, "Are you asking because you want to know why or because you're looking for a way out of it?" before they grasped the concept. And it works! And it's beautiful!

    We talk, we teach, we guide. And with this rule in place, we are free to listen to them - to their questions and their needs and their perspectives - without having to be on the lookout for loopholes. Sometimes, there isn't time to argue the finer points. But our children know that we do care, about them, about their safety, and about their hearts.

    There's a lot we botch up, and we make our fair share of mistakes, but this is one area where we're happy with the route we've taken.

  2. Beautifully said. Thank you for taking the time to make this wonderful and helpful comment. Blessings!