a good day to remember that “no” means “no”!
“Thou Shalt Not…” Various Scripture
These words appear in some form throughout the Bible in whichever translation one decides to keep close to them. The words carry with them an admonishment to not do something. The words, simply, mean “no”.
And, oh, how we hate that word or any phrase that instructs us to stop, or not begin, a particular action. Somehow we became programmed as children to exhibit a little more curiosity when we hear it, or to want what we want with a little more intensity. And when the shoe transfers to the other foot and it is our turn, as parents, to be the ones delivering the dreaded “no” to our children, it is often done with that peculiar “do as I say, not as I do” manner that we adapt as adults.
We are all aware that the largest single list of “no” in the Bible would be the Ten Commandments. God gave each of us the breath of life. Breathing comes naturally to us and is something that we do not normally give much thought. The act of living the life that God gave us requires instruction. As we instruct our children, God instructs us. Unlike many of us, however, God never tells His children to do one thing only to turn around and do something entirely different. He is the perfect example. While we can never be perfect, we must strive for perfection from a very early age and we must impart the fact to our children that ‘no’ means ‘no’. Of the utmost importance is for each one of us to understand and obey without making excuses, finding loopholes, thinking there are exceptions or simply disregarding those ‘no’s’ that we don’t like.
“Thou shalt not steal.” (Exodus 20:15 KJV). No taking things that do not belong to us. What part of that is complicated? Yet, Dad comes home with paper and printer cartridges from work and the kids hear Mom ask, “Do you really think you should be doing that?” We can all hear the response, “They won’t miss it.” Or “They don’t pay me enough.” Or “Everybody does it.”
How about one that may not be so readily discussed in front of the kids? “Thou shalt not commit adultery.” (Exodus 20:14 KJV). This is a tough one for many, many of us, unfortunately.
But ‘no’ means ‘no’, does it not? Therefore, it is critical that each one of us take a step back from ourselves and examine who we are, how we live our lives, and what sort of example we are setting for our children. We must demonstrate to God that we “hear” His words and we know their meaning.
Our children do not always like it when we say ‘no’ to them, nor do we like it when God says ‘no’ to us. But children of all ages need to understand without question that ‘no’ is not another way of saying ‘go ahead and do it if you want to.’
“No” only means one thing: “No!”
Taken from “TODAY IS….A Gift From God”, (C) 2013 Tony Casson