Parenting by Design - Feb. 9

Learning from Experience

Num. 11:18b-20a: Now the Lord will give you meat, and you will eat it. You will not eat it for just one day, or two days, or five, ten or twenty days, but for a whole month—until it comes out of your nostrils and you loathe it (NIV).

In the desert, the Israelites complained about the manna God provided. They wanted meat and they wanted it right away! Because they were impatient and ungrateful, God gave them what they asked for, but in quantities that made them sick.

That story reminds me of when I turned sixteen. I wanted a car right away! My parents allowed me to buy a car that fit my criteria: sporty and affordable. I didn't check into the quality of the engine and, as a result, I had to deal with a never-ending string of mechanical trouble.

Sometimes God's best discipline is giving us what we ask for. In many cases, our ability to discern what is best for us is flawed. The things we trust to make us happy often turn out to be painful mistakes that force us to grow and mature. As parents, it can be tough to allow our kids to make mistakes, but lessons from experience are usually the most effective.

Allowing your kids to make mistakes and suffer consequences can be a form of loving discipline.

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