Last year I took a Bible study called “Entrusted with a Child’s Heart.” I think it was one of the best studies on parenting from a biblical perspective, that is out on the market today. I don’t say that lightly, as there are few books I would recommend women study outside of the Bible. But this one was excellent.
One of my favorite parts resulted in me teaching our son this phrase: “When mommy says yes, she means yes, and when mommy says no, she means no. And your job is to say, ‘Yes, mommy’.”
It has revolutionized things around here with the now six year old. He knows I mean what I say and I say what I mean. I was pretty clear beforehand, as I have always felt very strongly about Matthew 5:37. But adding this little phrase to our daily routine has stopped perhaps hundreds of questions in their tracks.
If I say we are going to the go-cart place on Thursday, short of a dire emergency, we are going to the go-cart place on Thursday! And he knows this, because I’ve said it, so all I have to say when he starts asking is, “What did I say?” Similarly, if I’ve said, “No, you may not play video games today,” then when he asks if he can play a game, all I have to say is, “What did I say?”.
It’s not a perfect system, yet, to be sure, but I have seen a sense of peace and safety wash over him, especially when we are in an unsure environment, because our son knows that I mean what I say every single time. My word is true.
I grew up in a large independent Christian church, singing hymns every Sunday. Hymns that contained truth – if they didn’t contain word-for-word Scripture, they contained deep theological truths. These hymns are still in my head to this very day.
When bad things happen…when good things happen…when nothing happens…I believe in God, because I believe He is who He says He is in the Bible. I believe His Word is true. I believe He loves me, He is watching over me, He cares about me, He has a plan for my life, He wants me to love Him, and He sent His Son, Jesus, to die on the cross to forgive me of my sins so that when I die, I can live in heaven with Him forever. I can stand on the promises of God if I trust and obey Him.
It sounds like a seven year old’s plan of salvation, doesn’t it?
We sang those hymns frequently: “Trust and Obey,” and “Standing on the Promises.” Do you remember those hymns? I took the words to heart as a child – I can trust God because He is good, because He is with me, because He will never leave me. If I put myself right into line with God’s Word, I have nothing to worry about, nothing to fear.
God is saying to me, “When I say yes, I mean yes, and when I say no, I mean no, and all you have to say is, ‘Yes, Daddy’.”
I have advanced degrees in theology, exegesis, original biblical languages. I love to study how the Bible was put together, and the cultures in which it was originally written. I love to spend hours cross-referencing, digging into commentaries, studying the Greek.
But deep down, I’m just a child, looking up at her Father, trusting, and obeying, taking Him at his every Word, standing on His promises.