{Parenting} Yes, No, Maybe Later!

By: Sarah Oates-Walker

As I was reading my bible this week, I came across one of my favourite verses:

“So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.” (Luke 11:9-10)

I have always loved the promise that God will answer my prayer! “For everyone who asks receives…” I love that part! The door WILL be opened for my request! My prayer WILL be answered. As I continued to read on, this passage spoke to me in a brand new way…

“Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”

My children ask me for countless things each day. I delight in fulfilling their needs, but “yes” is not always the answer they receive when it comes to their “wants.” When they are asking for a toy or candy at the store, the answer is usually “no”. I would love to always make them happy, but I know that if I were to give them everything they want on demand, it would make them spoiled, and ruin their character. I would be contributing to creating selfish, impatient people, with a false sense of what brings happiness, and I would be setting them up for difficulties later in life.

When my kids are begging for a cookie before dinner, my answer is not really just “no” – it really is a “maybe!” Maybe, once they have eaten a good dinner, they can have a cookie as a treat, giving them something to work towards.

Then there are times when my answer is always “yes!” When they are looking for a hug, kiss or cuddle, my answer is always “yes!”

Regardless of the question, I will always answer them. I might take some time to think about their request before I answer, but they will always get an answer.

God promises that every one who asks will receive an answer and that we will always receive good gifts. Sometimes our prayers are not answered in the way we want, which can be frustrating.

My daughter told me today that I was a “bad mommy,” because I would not let her do what she wanted. I love her immensely, and it is my desire to see her happy. However, I am older and wiser than her, and I know that my “no” was in her best interest. When she looks back on her life, she will understand the reason for the “no’s” and the “maybe’s.” Hopefully, she will be grateful for parents who loved her and were invested in her overall well-being.

There will also be a day when we look back over our lives and understand the answers to our own prayers. Like a good Father, God knows us and sees our future. He is watching over us, ready to answer our prayers with good gifts – gifts that will help us have a strong and successful future!

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