Beautiful Fear

ID-100108866By Yay Padua-Olmedo

Huwag!” “Bawal!” “Don’t to that!”

Are your kids used to hearing these from you? How do they respond?

Two ways, probably: they’ll obey; or do the exact opposite to test how far they could push their boundaries.

One school of thought cautions against too much “don’ts”. Its proponents believe that imposing too much don’ts reinforces a fearful and over-cautious attitude, rendering a child averse to risk-taking and thinking outside the box.

But good don’ts are necessary. We certainly don’t want our kids driving off the cliff just because we didn’t warn them about the dangers of overspeeding or drunk driving.

“Don’t engage in promiscuity,” should be said even if we encourage them to enjoy their youth. Because they should be aware of the boundaries.

Curiously, even God’s first ever written training manual highlighted eight don’ts. The only two affirmatives dealt with keeping the Sabbath holy and honoring one’s father and mother.

A “don’t!” packs a wallop, doesn’t it? “Don’t play in the mud,” certainly sounds more imposing than, “Keep off the mud and stay clean.”

When God says, “Don’t,” the red light flashes. He doesn’t mince words to make sure we don’t veer to the left or to the right.

Consider His first and second commandments: “Thou shalt have no other gods before me. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.”

But He right away explains why…

“For I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me…”

And finishes off with a revelation of His heart and His grace:

“… and showing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.” Those who heed His warnings get to experience His mercy and love!

He has set the example. By all means warn, forbid. But don’t end with that. Explain the consequence. Use the warning as an opportunity to reaffirm your love for your child, as well as the rewards that follow as a result of obedience. Fear will have no place in a home dwelt in by God’s love and grace.

A beautiful kind of fear will instead guide them:

Give instruction to a wise man and he will be still wiser, teach a righteous man and he will increase his learning. The FEAR of the LORD is the beginning of WISDOM, and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.” Proverbs 9:9-10

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Ms. Celia “Yay” Padua-Olmedo is aaccomplished author of three inspirational books. She is also a consultant and resource speaker on business and motivational topics. Yay is a part-time college instructor at the Southville Foreign University. She is well-rounded in marketing, public relations, advertising and broadcast communications. Yay is wife to Carmelo V. Olmedo and mother to Carmela and Carlo.

For more parenting and grandparenting insights, check out the author’s book: “Grandparenting: Happiness and Hard Work” at OMF Literature, PCBS, National Bookstore and Powerbooks. Ebook version at

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