When Love Says No
BY BARBARA RAINEY
I do not write these things to shame you, but to admonish you as my beloved children. 1 CORINTHIANS 4:14
One story that stands out among those contributed to my book A Mother’s Legacy is Vonette Bright’s account of the “kissing club” that she and some other teenage girls tried to start, in hopes of getting kissed by some of the boys in school. But whether through small-town “telegraph” or just a mother’s intuition, Vonette’s mother arrived home before the kissing had reached more than two or three pairings. Not surprisingly, she broke up the club’s first (and only) meeting and incited a new regimen of mother-daughter teaching on the
proper dynamics of opposite-sex relationships.
“There are only so many ways to show physical love,” Vonette remembers her mother saying, “and we need to be very careful to whom we display affection.” Rather than leaving her daughter to the confusing pull of peer pressure, this loving mom gave her daughter rules and reasons for making wise choices
with her heart and body.
“How grateful I am that Mother loved me enough to say no many times,” Vonette writes. “She took the time to develop a relationship with me where I learned I could trust her judgment and confide in her freely. It paid off. There are no skeletons in my closet, which contributed greatly to my happy and lasting relationship in marriage.” Parents must love their children enough to say no when it’s necessary. Parenting is not a political campaign or a popularity contest. “No” is a very powerful and important word, if you want to shepherd your children safely through the growing-up years.
Reflect back on a time when your mom said no to you and you are glad she did. In dealing with your children, where have you been letting things go when you should be saying no?
Ask the Lord to keep you discerning and perceptive, able to see clearly what your children need. Pray, too, for courage to give them what they need, not what they want.