Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid. ~ Proverbs 12:1
A few weeks ago a nutritionist told me that if I would stop eating gluten my gut troubles would go away. I was skeptical because it seems almost like a cliché today to be “gluten-free.”
Well, actions have consequences.
Every time I eat bread my gut responds negatively. I am starting to believe the nutritionist! Bread does not look nearly as appealing to me when I anticipate the consequences. The consequences are bringing about change.
What is interesting is that this is not a new lesson for me. When my children were young and doing things I wanted to teach them not to do, I tried talking to them about stopping the behavior without any effect. Then I tried to tell them in a different way, using different words or a new tone of voice, making sure to sound very serious.
Unfortunately, my “talking tos” were not enough consequences to bring about change. If I really meant business, I had to make it hurt. As my kids got older, this was usually by means of taking what they loved or keeping them from playing with other kids in the neighborhood (one of the things they loved).
They would try me.
The first set of consequences were rarely enough because I had been inconsistent with punishment early on. My children’s behaviors didn’t change until the consequences were consistent.
I do the same thing every time I eat breads. I seem to be testing if it’s true “every” time I eat it. So far, the response is consistent. Consequences can be good as well as painful. When I resist the temptation to eat the bread, I feel great.
As Christian parents, one of our responsibilities is to teach our children the Truth about God (as the Trinity) and His authoritative Word, praying God draws them to faith. This requires us to be disciplined and to discipline our children.
If a child cannot trust parents to discipline his/her behavior with appropriate consequences, why would he/she trust God to do it? Understanding earthly consequences can lead to an understanding of spiritual consequences.
Understanding earthly consequences can lead to an understanding of spiritual consequences.
With children, there are never any guarantees that they will grow up to love and fear the Lord. But, they are more likely to if we apply what we learn from the scriptures about parenting. No consequences, no change.
Obedience, authority, peace, patience, self-control, humility, faithfulness, etc. There are so many good attributes we can teach children through the discipline of discipline. When we fail to provide consequences when they disobey, our children fail to receive God’s blessings. (Deuteronomy 11:27)
By the time I realize I am sick, it is too late to undo the damage the gluten has caused. We do not want to wait so long to discipline our children that we are experiencing consequences good discipline could have prevented, the kind that brings about changes.
My gut has taught me that consistent consequences for disobedience will bring future obedience.