It is important to separate forgiveness from consequences. David confessed and repented of his adultery with Bathsheba and the murder of her husband, Uriah. God forgave David’s sins, but He didn’t relieve David of a very severe consequence — the death of his son. Don’t you know it grieved God to deliver the consequence to a broken man, but He knew the consequence completed the lesson?
Even when we forgive our child for an act of disobedience, a consequence still is necessary. It can be tough to follow through with consequences, especially after we’ve received a sincere apology, but it is necessary in order to teach them that their lives are truly affected by the choices they make. Forgiveness and consistent consequences are a mark of a parent’s love.
Kids can endure pretty strict consequences as long as they are secure in their relationship with you. It is important to keep this in mind when discipline is required, especially for little kids. Their greatest fear is that their bad choices will somehow drive you away from them, and that’s why your anger can be very scary.
A perceived loss of relationship can make a child hide, lie, blame others, and fear you. That is why consequences must be delivered with empathy. If anger is a problem for you, wait and calm down so consequences can be delivered empathetically. After all, anger is but for the moment; your favor is for a lifetime.
Our Perfect Parent’s assurance that we cannot lose His favor is a perfect example for us as parents on earth. We should “sing praise to the Lord” for that promise and thank Him every day that our sins don’t cost us His love.
Show your love by delivering consequences with empathy rather than anger.