Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.- Ephesians 6:1 (ESV)
“NO! NO! NO! NO! NO!, and for the thousandth time NO!” Martha told Harold. “You may not have a skunk for a pet!” “Well, maybe dad will say yes.” Harold said and stomped off to find him but all hid dad would say was “NO! NO! NO! NO! NO!, and a thousand times NO! You may not have a skunk for a pet.”
“What if I want something else for a pet?” Harold decided to ask, thinking about the large rat he saw the night before. “Would you say yes to something else?” “That depends on what that something else might be.” Bill said not wanting to say yes until he knew what Harold was up to. “Do you have something in mind?”
“Well,” Harold said, “On my way home last night I got an idea for a smaller pet and I know I've seen them at the pet store.” “I've seen all the pets at the pet store.” Bill replied, “And I wouldn't want to be caught living with half of what he sells for pets. What is it that you think you want?” “Just a rat.” Harold calmly replied.
“NO! NO! NO! NO! NO!, and a thousand times NO!” Bill stated firmly, “There is no way in the world I will ever let a rat in my house.” “Well, it's my house too!” Harold shouted and stomped of to find his mom. “I'm sure mom will say yes.” but his mom didn't say yes. “NO! NO! NO! NO! NO!, and a thousand times NO!” was all she would say too.
Not wanting to give up, Harold decided that if his parents wouldn't say yes, he would try someone who would and that someone was Grandpa. “Do you think I can have a pet?” Harold asked once he found him. “Of course you can.” came his grandpa's reply. “Then can you tell my mom and dad so they will let me. They keep telling me no.”
“No problem, Harold,” Robert told Harold, “Let's go right now. By the way what kind of pet do you want?” “Um,” Harold stuttered, “Just a rat.” “A rat!” Robert shouted out, “You want a rat?” “Yeah,” Harold sheepishly replied. “ “NO! NO! NO! NO! NO!, and a thousand times NO!” Robert sated, “I will not tell them you can have a rat and don't ask Grandma for she hates rats more than I do.”
“It's not fair!” Harold scowled and took off for his secret hide out. “I bet other kids' parents don't tell them no.” he mumbled “I'll start a petition and get everyone to sign it and then my parents will have to say yes. I'll show them who's boss.”
You may be the parent saying No! and if you are you were more than likely a child and chances are pretty good that if you were a child or you are now, you had your parents say NO! To you. Eben God as our heavenly Father will say No!.
So, what do you do when a parent tells you No!. Do, you like Harold try to divide, you know, if one parents says no maybe the other will say yes? Or try to get your parents' parents involved. As children, we need to be able to honor our parents as well as obey them. Here's a wonderful example from Luke
Every year Jesus’ parents went to Jerusalem for the Passover Feast. When he was twelve years old, they went to the feast as they always did. After the feast days were over, they started home. The boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem, but his parents did not know it. Thinking that Jesus was with them in the group, they traveled for a whole day. Then they began to look for him among their family and friends. When they did not find him, they went back to Jerusalem to look for him there. After three days they found Jesus sitting in the Temple with the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. All who heard him were amazed at his understanding and answers. When Jesus’ parents saw him, they were astonished. His mother said to him, “Son, why did you do this to us? Your father and I were very worried about you and have been looking for you.“ Jesus said to them, “Why were you looking for me? Didn’t you know that I must be in my Father’s house?“ But they did not understand the meaning of what he said. Jesus went with them to Nazareth and was obedient to them. But his mother kept in her mind all that had happened. Jesus became wiser and grew physically. People liked him, and he pleased God.
Luke 2:41-52 (NCV)
Did you read what Jesus did? He went with his parents and obeyed them even though He wanted to be doing something else.
It was at Mount Sinai where God first made it know that parents were to be honored / obeyed and when he gave the fifth commandment He said - “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land that the LORD your God is giving you.” Exodus 20:12 (ESV)
Not only did God lay down the law to honor and obey He placed the death penalty on extreme disobedience. "If a man has a stubborn and rebellious son who will not obey the voice of his father or the voice of his mother, and, though they discipline him, will not listen to them, then his father and his mother shall take hold of him and bring him out to the elders of his city at the gate of the place where he lives, and they shall say to the elders of his city, 'This our son is stubborn and rebellious; he will not obey our voice; he is a glutton and a drunkard.' Then all the men of the city shall stone him to death with stones. So you shall purge the evil from your midst, and all Israel shall hear, and fear. Deuteronomy 21:18-21 (ESV)
Throughout scripture children are encouraged to be obedient. Here are just a couple examples.
- Proverbs 1:8 - Hear, my son, your father's instruction And do not forsake your mother's teaching; (NAS)
- Ephesians 6:1-3 Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. "Honor your father and mother" (this is the first commandment with a promise), "that it may go well with you and that you may live long in the land." (ESV) – God even attached a promise to those who would honor / obey.
Here's Something To Ponder
- How have you reacted when you were told no by a parent?
- Do you react the same way with God?