“But let your “Yes” be “Yes,” and your “No,” be “No.”
For whatever is more than these is from the evil one” (Matthew 5:37)
CHILDREN are intuitive and know when and how to bend their parents’ will. They know when your «No» is firm and final, and also when you utter a hesitant and unsure «No.» My first advice for you this morning is, never give in after saying «No.»
Remember that reasonable limits feed a child’s sense of security. When we respond to the children’s emotional extortion and allow them to bend our will, our word loses its strength and the child becomes a manipulator. So before denying or permitting something, we need to take some time to think before reacting, to act by principle rather than by impulse. Carelessly saying «No» can lead us to make hasty decisions forcing us to go back on our word, which makes house rules lose strength in the children’s minds.
Quite often, we find parents whose guidance is exercised with the basic premise of «I am the one in charge here.» This is called authoritarianism that has nothing to do with authority. Although it’s true that parents should firmly hold the reins of the home, it’s also true that a home’s disciplinary system should take into account that children are people with special needs that differ from those of adults.
Ellen G. White counsels’ parents to exercise loving authority: The father and mother «are to be firm and kind in their discipline, and they are to work most earnestly to have an orderly, correct household, that the heavenly angels may be attracted to it to impart peace and a fragrant influence» (The Adventist Home, ct. 1, p. 17}.
Are love and authority compatible? Yes, they are. A mother can exercise her authority with persuasion and empathy toward her child’s needs, based on this she can set up reasonable limits in order to safeguard the child’s integrity and protect the family’s harmony. The child will understand that everything is done out of love.
If we want to show our children the image of Jesus as a loving Father, let us exemplify it through our behavior.
Every time you look at your children, remember they belong to God and you will have to give account of them.