Parenting by Design - October 5

Love in Consequences

1 John 4:18:  "There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear.  For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love" (NASB).

Punishment can be defined as suffering, pain, or loss that serves as retribution for a bad act.  It is generally feared.  Fortunately, God saw fit to give us Jesus, who died on the cross to be the retribution for our sin.  God does not desire that we look to His judgment of us with fear.  Jesus dealt with that punishment on the cross.  While we may have to suffer the consequences of our sin from time to time as discipline, we will not be punished or condemned.

When your children require a consequence for something they have done, consider the difference between punishment and discipline.  Punishment creates a temporary break in relationship.  Discipline walks alongside them through the bad choice, the way God walks alongside us as a result of Christ's sacrifice.

Show God's love by walking with your children through their bad decisions rather than causing a separation from them through punishment.