Kay Warren, wife of pastor and author Rick Warren, says, “In parenting, if you don’t insist on anything else, insist that your kids learn to obey two words, “Come” and “No.” She explains that if your children learn to come to you when you call and to accept your “No” when you have to deny them something they want, they will learn to obey God when He uses those same two words.
Think about that for moment. Sometimes God calls us to Himself, saying, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28). But we’re stubborn. Even though we’re carrying a heavy, heavy load and we’re bone-tired, we tell ourselves that we have no time to come to the Lord. We’re much too busy. So we muddle through in our own strength instead of finding God’s help. God says, “Come,” and we say, “No.”
Other times it’s God who says “No” to us. “Don’t do that. It’s not good for you.” But we interpret that to mean, “God just doesn’t want me to have any fun, so He says ‘No’ to what I want to do.” Or perhaps we ask God for something that He knows is not best for us. Being the wise and loving Father that He is, He says “No” to our request. But we chalk it up to “unanswered prayer,” thinking God didn’t hear or doesn’t care.
If we want the best for our own children, surely we can trust God that He wants the best for us as well. Jesus said, “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 good gifts to those who ask him!” (Matthew 7:11).
It’s a great idea to teach your kids to obey those two key words “Come” and “No.” It’s also a great idea to learn to obey those same words when we hear them from our heavenly Father.