Monday, October 18, 2010

The Blessing of a "No"

I wrote this piece when my son Lian Ed was 8 months old. That was about six years ago. I still find it true to this day.

The Blessing of a ‘No’

If your children ask for a fish, which of you would give them a snake instead? Or, if your children ask for an egg, would you give them a scorpion? Even though you are bad, you know how to give good things to your children. How much more your heavenly Father…” (Luke 11:11-13b)

Now that I am already a mother, I started to appreciate more when God withholds something from me. From a parent’s perspective I have learned the wisdom of God’s denials of some of my requests and when he answers my prayers other than the way I wanted them to be answered.

At eight months old, Lian Ed has learned to go for what he wants and even scream in an effort to get it. Hard as it is to say ‘No,’ there are just times that I simply must deny my son of what he wants. It’s cliché, but it’s a timeless truth that parents always know what’s best for their children. I know that to give in to Lian Ed whenever he wants to be carried would eventually make him think that everything revolves around him and that people can just drop whatever they are doing in order to obey his bidding. Of course, when he grows older, he will realize that in this world, people don’t always do what we want and we don’t always get what we want. If we don’t say ‘No’ to our son, he would just put in his mouth whatever he gets hold of and may actually poison himself in the process. When he gets older, the poisons of life will take the form of fame, fortune, illicit use of sex, substance abuse, arrogance, bitterness, anger, bad company and many other things. If at an early age, he doesn’t learn to stay away from what he shouldn’t bite, then when he’s an adult it will be harder for him not to swallow whatever poison the world offers to him, especially if it is nicely garnished. If we don’t use the paddle to help him understand at times then we are sure to spoil our child and not teach him in the way he should go.

I thank God for He is a parent. Indeed, we earthly parents can give to our children the best because we have received the best from our Heavenly Father.

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