Family Life - Stories
Just Say, "No!"
As Published in Deaf-Light By the Christian Record
My 2-year-old granddaughter, Kassy, is one of the joys of my life. I do not see her often enough. When we are together, one of the fun times is bath time. Recently, we were having a delightful bath time. Kassy was scrubbing the animals and filling the bottles. Now, she was splashing the water. Kassy continued to splash the water, and the water was flying everywhere. Soon the splashing had to be stopped-enough was enough. I did not want to spoil Kassy's fun. I said, "Why don't we play another game?" Kassy did not respond. I tried again, "Did you give the whale a bath?" She kept on splashing. Finally, I had to say, "Kassy, you better stop splashing."
I was surprised at Kassy's response. She looked at me with her water-beaded baby face and said, "Grandma, just say 'No!", When I was thinking, I asked myself, "Why not-just say 'No'?" Eight-year-old Kevin was not enjoying sitting in church. He refused to be happy. The first 15 minutes he begged to sit somewhere else in church. Then the next 15 minutes Kevin changed between silent anger and loud anger.
The last 15 minutes he caused trouble for his very patient mother, who tried to please him. This family had 45 minutes of trouble. Why not "just say 'No'?" Four-year-old Devon knew how to make a deal with his mother. His mother always bargained with him. Devon knew how to control his mother. Devon learned not to accept the two-letter word "No." One day Devon wanted to see what was in the pan on the kitchen counter. Mother said, "No!" But "No" did not stop him. Devon did not know that hot applesauce was in the pan. There would be terrible pain if Devon tried to get the pan himself. "Just say 'No'!" and that would save the family from trouble.
Why is saying "No" so difficult to do? When we say "No" to children, their smiles turn into frowns and they become rebellious and unpleasant. That is a big problem.
God knows about this problem- crying, anger, and rebellion. When God called Jeremiah to stand for Him against the sin of the people, God gave him special counsel that has a command, a warning, and a promise.
God said: "Get yourself ready! Stand up and say to them whatever I command you. Do not be terrified by them, or I will terrify you before them. Today I have made you a fortified city, an iron pillar and a bronze wall to stand against the whole land-against the kings of Judah, its officials, its priests and the people of the land. They will fight against you but will not overcome you, for I am with you and will rescue you, declares the Lord" (Jeremiah 1:17-19, NIV).
God calls parents to stand up for Him against the evils that would destroy their children. So when danger threatens (physical, emotional, spiritual), "Get yourself ready! Stand up and say to them whatever I command you. Do not be terrified by them ... for I am with you."
Next time, "just say 'No'!" "No" is short, is direct, and sometimes is right.