Thursday, June 06, 2013

Knowing the Consequences

We had a girl come home yesterday with apologies the first thing out of her mouth.  She did something wrong, she knew it, and she was sorry. 

She was afraid of how much trouble she'd get into...

...but yesterday evening ended up being one of the best family nights we've had in a long time.

We discussed the issue over supper, but when it came time for the discipline, we asked, well, what are the consequences for that?  And she knew.  So, well then, that's what you have to live with.  No need to yell, no need to berate you for making a wrong choice, you just need to live with what you knew was coming. 

And then we went off to get ice cream to celebrate being done level 10 swimming.  Because just because you are being disciplined for one thing doesn't mean that we shouldn't celebrate when you do things well.

It struck me this morning that this was a great example of the Old Testament being relevant today; I'm reading through Joshua, and just passed where Joshua re-read all the blessings and curses, all that Moses commanded and wrote, as a reminder to all the people.  What he read would have included all the laws with their corresponding consequences, and what we know as Deuteronomy 28, which is a clear summary of the consequences for obedience and disobedience. 

God wanted his people to know what would happen as a result of certain actions.  He wanted them - he wants us - to be able to choose wisely.  Does it help you make a right choice when you know what the fallout will be for the wrong one?

That's the idea behind our consequence list at home here.  We all know what will happen for {most} infractions, and there's the hope that maybe that might help a better decision be made.  It certainly helps as parents to not have to come up with something appropriate on the spot; it was thought through and decided already when there was no high emotion involved.

This time the wrong choice was made in spite of knowing the consequences... and living with the consequences will help the right choice look better next time.  Hopefully.

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