It's Not Fair!
One of the hardest things I discovered about parenting is that saying "No" to your child is no small, easy task, especially as they get older.
I guess one of the inevitabilities of parenthood is that, at some point, your children begin uttering phrases like "It's not fair," "I never get to have any fun," and "You never let me..."
A parent's reasons for saying no can range from "You're too young" to "It's not appropriate for you." It may be an act of discipline, not the right "season" in the child's life, or a simple lesson in patience — that a child must wait for or earn a desired thing.
One thing I know for certain: I don't say "No" unless I firmly believe that I'd do more harm by saying "Yes." So, I always try to explain as carefully and fully as possible the reasons why, expressing that the decision is born from love and that I need my son to trust my judgment even if he does not understand the reasoning.
As he got older, I found that it wasn't as simple anymore. This little boy, as he grew, had powers of reasoning and arguing that rivaled his own mother's abilities, and, yes, there were times I resorted to uttering those famous words, "Because I am your mother and I said so."
During one particularly trying exchange — not knowing what else to say — I told him, "Take it up with God. He must've made a mistake and given you the wrong set of parents." That put a prompt end to the discussion.
When I think back to that time, it makes me pause and think, "Am I any different as a child of God?" How may times have I questioned His "No" in my life or His answer, "Wait, it's not the right time." And do I respond any better than how a small child does? Do I cry and carry on, thinking I am robbed of something I should have or want — that God has made a mistake?
Sometimes in life, it seems like God is not fair, especially when we see others enjoying some gift or benefit we desire and do not have. But the Lord, in His wisdom and mercy, is always just (Deuteronomy 32:4).
Can I trust His love for me, His timing, and His character, even when I cannot see the reason why? Jeremiah 29:11 says, "For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end."
The Lord is trying to grow me into a mature, responsible Christ-like woman, a citizen of His kingdom on earth. I need to be confident that He has a plan and purpose for my life and He'll finish the work He began in me (Philippians 1:6).
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This article has undergone ministry review and approval.