Two Letter Word
By Kellie Tipton
There were so many voices and sounds as I stood in line at the food court in the mall. It was overwhelming at times as the volume went up and then delightfully down a bit when I started making out a conversation going on behind me.
It was a mom who was explaining to her children the reason that they will not be going to the game room. It was almost painful because she took so much time and effort in explaining as well as having to hear the children debate with her in the process. She was avoiding the two letter word.
It is the word that ends all conversation of the matter, although I don’t think that would have stopped her children. It was clear there had been so many explanations and conversations about so many things over the years that they were accustomed to the process. It took everything I had to not lean over and say “the word you are looking for is NO.”
What I was picking up was that they did not have that much time or money to spend in the game room. This lunch was a treat for the kids and they just were not really that aware of that gift from what I could tell. I could tell it was stealing the joy of the moment for the mom and I felt for her. This observation really stayed with me as I started noticing it was a trend as I went around town on errands in the days to come.
I know as a mom I had moments that I struggled with the word “no” just because I had to say it so much to some of my children. They were always asking for things or to do things, and I wanted them to feel free to ask but it just seemed in that season the answer for many of the questions was “no.”
As they grew up, I did try different ways to say it just so they had more information and understanding, but I didn't do it all the time because I wanted them to trust me and not always question me. I knew there would be moments that I just needed them to listen. When the tension or moment was past I allowed them to ask why as long as they were not having a bad attitude.
Another way I tried to help them was that when they asked for something I would tell them the answer could be “yes” or “no” and to be prepared for the word “no.” Generally you don’t have to prepare for the word “yes,” it is the word “no” that can stir up a negative reaction. This became a great learning tool for them and I watched them learn to navigate through their emotions.
I have watched adults respond almost to the level of a child when given the word “no” and I realize they just have not been given the tools to know how to process and understand. Without it there is distrust and rejection, which can lead to so many other issues.
The reality is that in life we will be told “no” and we need to prepare our hearts and trust that God knows and has the bigger picture. He loves us more than we can ever imagine and we need to remember that truth.
How do you respond when you are given the answer “no?”
You never know when God just may be allowing it in order to bring growth into your life!
And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. ~Romans 8:28