Children with Boundaries

“Just say a simple, ‘Yes, I will,’ or ‘No, I won’t.’ Anything beyond this is from the evil one.” Matthew 5:37

Wise parents take the time to train their children as Proverbs 22:6 says “Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.” Well-meaning parents teach their children phrases such as “yes mam” and “yes sir”. They instill a respect towards those in authority and implement punishment when children are disobedient. As much as we encourage children to obey their elders, we must also make sure that children understand their boundaries.

In our efforts to rear children to be God-fearing adults, we must also teach children to have the power to say  “no” and “that’s wrong”.”When parents teach children that setting boundaries or saying no is bad, they are teaching them that others can do with them as they wish. They are sending their children defenseless into a world that contains much evil. Evil in the form of controlling, manipulative, and exploitative people. Evil in the form of temptation”. (B)

According to Dr. Henry Cloud, “Blocking a child’s ability to say no handicaps that child for life.’ ‘This leads to good children saying yes to bad things’. ‘These children will in turn “melt” into the demands and needs of other people’. ” (B)

As Christians, we have a great responsibility to become vigilant watchmen for our children. As much as we fight to safeguard our children from evil, we must also teach them how to fight evil by themselves. We must teach them to set proper boundaries and fences, and encourage them to stand up amidst a crowd of witnesses and say “no” without regret. Ask God to give us all the strength to train these children “in the way they should go”.

(B) = Boundaries by Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. Henry Townsend (Book)


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