Dear Sisters in Christ,
I am thrilled that we get to spend a little more time together learning God’s word. God’s teaching on courage was something that I really needed, how about you?
During our session the Lord brought out the fact that He allows us to suffer the consequences of our sin, not to punish us, but to make us aware of the destructiveness of our sin, to strengthen and restore us, and to coax us back into His loving and safe arms.
Consequences are what He has laid on my heart to share with you today.
Consequence – something that is the effect or result of an earlier occurrence.
In our session we discussed that the Israelites had been oppressed by the Midianites for seven years. That was because of their disobedience to God in worshipping false gods. The oppression was the effect or result of the earlier occurrences of idolatry. After 7 years they had had enough of their natural consequences. They felt the results of their sin and realized they needed God and cried out to Him.
We learn best when we experience the consequences of our own bad behavior. Consequences have a way of holding us accountable for our actions. Consequences teach us responsibility.
If we choose to become bitter and resentful towards God concerning our consequences (self-imposed I might add) we will lose fellowship with our Lord (which blocks blessings and comforts) and suffer through them seemingly alone.
The better response is to RUN into our Lord’s presence, ask for forgiveness, and renew that sweet fellowship which will open the channel for blessings and comfort.
Isn’t that what we all desire from our children when they suffer consequences for their misbehavior, for them to run to us asking for forgiveness and us seeing their repentant hearts? God does His greatest works through people with grateful, contrite, trusting hearts.
So many times we “bail out” our children before they suffer their consequences, or we fail to impose consequences for bad behavior, and they never learn the lesson or learn to “cry out to the Lord”. We think we are doing it out of love, saving them from difficulties, but what we are actually doing is depriving them of learning responsibility for their actions. Inevitably they will get themselves back into another bad situation because they have not learned to connect the sin with a consequence.
When your children experience appropriate consequences, you are freed from threatening, screaming, yelling, nagging, and complaining. (No child likes a Mom like that – they lose respect for you and that renders you ineffective to train up your child in the “way he should go”.)
Proverbs 29:11 “A fool vents all his feelings, but a wise man holds them back.”
Proverbs 18:21 “Death and life are in the power of the tongue.”
Actions—that is, applying consequences—speak louder than your words ever will. To decide what actions to apply will need discernment from God.
Phillippians 1:9-10 “And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in knowledge and all discernment, that you may approve the things that are excellent, that you may be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ…”
Choices of consequences must also be bathed in prayer “before” being carried out.
My next blog will be about some specific tips on using consequences.
Dear friends, if we learn to model this lesson in our own lives, and are honest and transparent with our children in dealing with our own consequences, they will see that we practice what we “preach”. We will become believable. We will gain respect and will become much more effective as a parent. This is all a part of “becoming”!
I love you ladies, have a fabulous week!
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