Wednesday Wisdom Tip: How Do I know? Yes or No?

Any time I can I like to say it.


Yes! You can go there, do that, be with them.

Yet, there are times when I feel a hesitancy. Something inside whispers, “No, that’s not a good idea.”

And I wrestle.

Because I don’t really have a good reason for saying no. There is a fear in my heart: If I say no, I’ll look dumb. I be that helicopter mom, hovering over my kids not letting them grow up.

But still, what about that uneasy feeling?

Honestly, in my house, it’s not me who very often feels the careful emotions. Usually it is my husband Greg who can see and predicate what my phlegmatic “it’s going to be alright” personality misses. I’m grateful for the balance he brings to our parenting.

We need to listen to the voice; be aware of the “what if’s” we may sense.

I read today in Genesis 36 about Jacob, the father of Joseph when he sent his son, Joseph, to go and check on his jealously-filled brothers herding sheep on the hills in Israel. I thought Why, when Jacob knew just how jealous his sons were of Joseph, why did Jacob send Joseph out to meet his brothers? Couldn’t he sense trouble was brewing?

Maybe Jacob looked at it logically: Joseph was 17; more than capable of checking on his brothers by himself. In a normal situation, yes, that would have been true. I hear this same logic in my own mind, “Yes, my girl should be able to drive there. She’s a careful driver.” “Yes, it is ok for her to stay out a bit later. She’s always responsible.”

But this scenario was not normal. Hatred was brewing.

As a mom, you’ve had that feeling before. You can’t pinpoint why, but you don’t feel good about your child’s request. Is it unsafe? Does temptation lie ahead? Will something come up at home? You don’t know, but what you do know is you feel uneasy.

It may simply be worry. Pray. Ask the Holy Spirit for the wisdom He says He will give us in James 1:5 “If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask of God, who gives generously without fault, and it will be given to him.”  Wait. Slow down. Listen. Give the Holy Spirit time, even if your kids are pressuring for the quick answer.

Your discomfort might be the Holy Spirit, warning you for your child. If we sense the circumstances our kids are asking to be a part of are not safe, not “normal”, we need to say no.

If you’re like me, saying no without a good, logic reason feels like you’re not intelligent. Our kids may think we are wacko. To some degree, we are! We’re weird. Our decisions are not based on what their friend’s moms think is ok. Yes or no needs to be given to us by the discernment of the Holy Spirit.

Even if you feel weird, even if you have no good, logical reason other than that faint whisper inside your heart, you do it, Mom. Say “no”. Like Joseph’s danger right around the corner, the Holy Spirit may be speaking a warning to your heart for your child. Listen and follow Him.






  1. This is tough as they get older. I pray for wisdom. I talk it over with my husband. I will ask the girls what they want. Often they really don’t want to go and don’t know how to avoid it. That’s where the mom excuse can come in. I will ask my older kids too when they are around. They often have more insight than I do. Then I pray more. Time has taught me to slow down in giving permission if I have that whisper. I don’t like to disappoint but sometimes the no (or yes, you will) is the final word. I ahve totally cut them off from some kids adn even have had to go to the teacher becasue it really was so necessary for his protection.

    1. Lynn Cowell says:


      I absolutely love how you share the various steps you take, especially when you said “Time has taught me to slow down in giving permission if I have that whisper.” Yes…slow down to hear Him.

      Thanks so much, Linda!

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