Don’t Fear No 11/5/2019

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by Sherry Chamblee

Don’t be afraid of “no.”  

For a long time, psychologists have been telling parents to try not to tell your child no. There’s so much emphasis on positivity, on enabling their children’s dreams, on encouraging them to do everything and anything their little hearts desire. We’ve gotten away from putting restrictions on them of any kind and it’s actively harming these kids.  

Reality is that, no, that child cannot rip the Lego bricks out of that other child’s hands. And no, your child should not think they can demand you do things for them that they ought to be able to do for themselves.  

Kids need both definite yes and definite no in their life. This is called structure and they thrive on it. Without structure it’s like being adrift on a raft in an ocean – every wave buffets you around, every storm in the sky beats you up, creatures threaten from below… it’s unstable. But with a structure around the child he feels like he’s got something to grab onto when those storms come or when that shark swims past.  

Isn’t that the same with God? God gives us His Bible to provide structure for our lives. That structure – the rules, let’s call it – give us something to hold onto. The rules don’t save us – absolutely not. We are saved through faith in Christ alone. Following a set of rules doesn’t gain you salvation or make you any more acceptable to God.  

What those rules does now in this life though is provide structure as we walk through our day. They teach us how to interact with others, how to interact with God, how to provide ourselves with the care we need.  

You know what else a loving “no” does? It teaches us that someone saying no to us is not rejecting us as a person. It allows a child to learn that when mom or dad say no, it doesn’t mean they’re pushing their child away. It’s not the end of the world. It’s something they can live through and come out as a better person on the other end.  

A child who is constantly rescued from everything uncomfortable, constantly told yes, whose parents never tell him no and avoid anyone else who tries to tell that child no – that child will very quickly be completely unable to hear it from anyone. Their whole self-worth will be called into question whenever someone else does stop them from doing what they want – and it will be the parents’ fault for that, not the person who finally says no.  

Because believe me, other people in this world will tell that child that he cannot do everything he wants. Eventually it’ll happen. Are you equipping your child to handle it? Or coddling them to the point that they have a meltdown every time they’re contradicted?  

This is again how God treats us. He tells us no all the time, but too often we take His limits as rejection. We act like we’ve never been told no before in our life and it must mean God doesn’t love us anymore.  

That’s not how it is. God says no out of love. He’s got something better in store, or He’s just got a different plan. It’s not a reason for us to call our entire self-worth into question or act like God has rejected us.  

Let God say no when He needs to.  

God still loves you. It’s okay. It’s not the end of the world. You’ll be all right.

About the Author:


Sherry ChambleeSherry grew up in various cities around northern and central California. This gave her all sorts of stories that sat and festered in her brain, waiting to be let loose. She eventually went to college in Wisconsin, where she met her equally frenetic husband, Rich. They have six (yes, count them) children, two dogs and a cat, and currently reside in a madhouse in the southern California area. As a family, they enjoy being active in their local church. Sherry spends her time writing when not caring for Granny, the kids, the dogs, the cat and any number of strays in the neighborhood.

Sherry Chamblee can be found at Or check out her books at

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