Punishment or Consequence

Today my little KJ got in trouble about 30 minutes before nap time. His consequence was that he was no longer allowed to play and had to go to bed. He cried and screamed, calming down only to hear my decision and apologize. Then he asked me for cuddles.

 Cuddles?! Little boy don’t you know you are in trouble? Don’t you know what you did was wrong and you made me mad? Though it was just a moment, it was at this moment I had a choice to discipline or to punish my son.

See he already was informed about the consequence of his actions and he was experiencing that hurt but would me withholding my physical affection be to further add to the lesson or would it be in retaliation. A response based out of my anger rather than my love. So I caved…..

As I held him in my arms I began to think of how familiar this situation is in my life. I’ve made decisions and suffered consequences but God has never withdrawn his affection for me. Two scriptures whispered in my heart as I held this sweet, growing boy in my arms.

 “I will never, leave you or forsake you…” Heb. 13:5
Even when I mess up, even as I am experiencing the results of my decisions?
“I will never, leave you or forsake you…”
Even when I scream and yell with my life, or when I throw a tantrum with my actions?
 “I will never, leave you or forsake you…”

 The other scripture I was reminded of was Romans 8:1 “There is therefore no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh but after the Spirit.”

To condemn someone means to sentence them to punishment. My boy who has not yet decided to live his life in Christ sees first my example of God’s love. Through his 2 year old eyes, he cannot discern discipline from punishment. So, I must teach him. Though his actions may cause some unpleasant reactions God’s love wont fail, and this must be demonstrated through both my action and reactions.

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