God designed a world of natural consequences, “if – then’s”. Over and over in the Old Testament God’s people are told, if you obey my commandments, then I will bless you. If you don’t then you will reap the natural consequence of discipline. God designed us to learn from the consequences of our actions.
Jesus knew that God had built natural consequences into our world and used it as a key to Jesus Parenting. Take for example the parable of the prodigal son. (Luke15:12-19) The wise father responds to his son’s unwise demand of to immediately give him his share of the family inheritance by giving it to the son. The father does not plead with the son to stay or send out the calvary after him. He lets him make his own decisions and experience the consequences.
Eventually the son spends himself in to poverty and is destitute. These natural consequences are the best teacher by far. The son says to himself, “I will go home to my father and say, ‘Father, I have sinned against both heaven and you, and I am no longer worthy to be called your son’.” (Luke 15:17-19) When the son comes back to his father, he is humble and ready for whatever discipline the father hands out. He is now ready to appreciate the father’s love and mercy.
Letting the natural consequences have their impact on our children (as long as it is not a life threatening situation) will generally be our best teaching tool.
If you like what you read, check out our children’s book, Hooked on the Book, on this website. It is great for parents because it provides the Big Story of God’s wonderful plan for His children in all 66 books in the Bible including colorful illustrations, rhymes and a surprise on every page.