ORANGE TIP: Too lazy for consequences?
This week I had to make the choice of letting one of my kids face the consequence of their actions. On the surface this seems like an easy choice. We know that it is good for kids to deal with consequences and it helps them learn. But, in this case, letting my offspring learn from their mistake actually entailed quite a bit of work on my part. It would have been easier to just let it slide, to sort it out myself and make the odd passive-aggressive comment about ‘entitled youth these days’.
But what if our young people struggle to learn to take responsibility for their actions not because of their laziness, but because of ours? It is all too easy for us as parents, leaders and mentors to take the easy way out when it comes to accountability, correction and consequences.
Often we are the ones who are too lazy.
Too lazy to deal with the consequences to us of letting our kids face the consequences of their choices. I’ve certainly found that it can be hard work not to ‘rescue’ my kids. It is hard emotionally. I want to protect my kids. I don’t want to see them struggle or be hurt or disadvantaged. But also, truth be told, I want them to like me, to see me as their protector, their hero.
But that’s about them meeting my needs, not about me loving them well.
It usually takes hard work and patience to walk with my kids through the consequences and the growing pains that come for us both in trying times.
And no-one looks forward to dealing with the ‘fallout’ that comes with enforcing or allowing consequences to run their course. It is usually easier on me not to have to deal with conflict, disappointment, sulking, anger, mistrust or feelings of abandonment that they (or I) might be feeling. It’s just easier to ignore the problem or ‘forgive’ or pick up the pieces myself and tell myself that I’m a great parent for loving them unconditionally.
But is that love, really?
Christian Swartz says that one of the great misconceptions about love he encounters in churches is that “love is always soft”. He talks about the three important aspects of love as being Grace, Truth and Justice. These three can be, and perhaps must be held in tension with each other, but not with Love itself. “Love is the very nature of God. Just as “grace” is an indispensable aspect of love, so also are “truth” and “justice”…Love that bypasses truth would no longer be love” (The Three Colours of Love, 2004).
This week are you, am I, brave enough, willing enough to love our kids so much that we will face the consequences of letting them face their consequences?
What is ‘Orange’? Orange is a visual reminder that to help our kids follow Jesus the church and families need to work together.
If RED represents the love and heart of families for their kids…
And YELLOW represents the light that the church should be in the world…
Then ORANGE is when we come together, work together and guide our children together.
February 11, 2021
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