My kids still act shocked by it, but on occasion, I tell them “No.” I usually have a good reason, or insight, or hunch that they may, or may not see– or agree with. But the answer remains a no. And, I still love them. I have begun saying to them, “My No is as loving as my Yes.” I want to plant in them that I am not mad when I say no. I am not delighting to torment them, or purposely spoiling their idea of fun.
As a parent, I have to look at the big picture, the overall story of what they want and what I want, who else is involved, the long term effects, even the unforeseen consequences or rewards. Out of love, I tell them–yes. Out of love, I tell them– no. But both are love. My kids Love my yes answers. I get all kinds of gleeful responses. My no answers are not greeted with such enthusiasm.
I ask my kids to trust me even if they disagree. I ask them to trust that I am moving out of heart of love for them. Obvious, right?
Now if I do that so imperfectly, how much more trustworthy is Our Father? When the Spirit tells us ‘no, you can’t have that, do that, go there, say that,’ how much love is He showing us? He cares so much for us that He walks with us, in us. He says because of His goodness and abundance we can run full out.
God says with a smiling whisper, “Go!” When we fall, no worries, He is there. Just get back up and keep running.
But then He says—no, stop, wait. He wants us to respond with as much love and affection as we do when He says run full out. Picture His face when He says no. Is He scowling, condemning, smirking, or ridiculing? God forbid.
He is still smiling, with a secret twinkle in His eyes, and whispers, “No. But trust Me. I can only give you good.”
God does say “no.” And He still loves you. It’s obvious. But we need to translate it rightly. His no is as loving as His yes.