The Christian Broadcasting Network

When You Say "No," What Do You Really Mean?

By Kimberly Snider
Missionary to the Philippines - "When I planned this, did I do it lightly? Or do I make my plans in a worldly manner so that in the same breath I say, 'Yes, yes' and 'No, no'?"
(2 Corinthians 1:17).

Yesterday, I was watching a cute little girl and her mother at the mall. The 4-year-old kept her mother busy listening as she pointed out all the candy and toys she wanted.

Her mother was really tired. The child looked fully rested and ready to go.

" Chocolate, Mommy! Happy Meal! McDonald's!" This little girl was ready for any and all of the above.

I will say this for the mother; she tried to be firm. At first she said "no" to all the requests. She even sat down with her daughter and explained carefully that they didn¹t have enough money today. They had to buy school supplies for her brother. But the child persisted. She pouted; she started to cry; she kept begging. Soon she was stuffing her mouth with candy while her mother returned two notebooks to the shelf at the bookstore.

Who won here? The mother didn't. Neither did the brother. Neither did the little girl, really. But she learned something. Do you know what it was? She learned when she wanted her own way she could have it if she begged hard enough. She learned she had to be persistent and manipulative to succeed.

Here's what she didn't learn:

-Education is more important than candy.
-When her mother said "no" she meant it.
-Self-control and obedience.
-Loving her older brother by thinking of his needs.

We all get tired, but stay firm. You owe it to your child.

Kim Snider From "Moments for Moms," a free email subscription. Copyright (c) 2005 Women's Ministries of the Assemblies of God. Reprinted with permission.

"Moments For Moms" is written by Kimberly Snider, a missionary to the Philippines and host of the radio program "Moments for Mothers." The radio program is produced by Asia Pacific Media Ministries. The online edition, "Moments for Moms," is produced and distributed by Media Ministries of the Assemblies of God, Springfield, Missouri.

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