Does a Good Parent Allow Consequences for their Child?

Hebrews 12:7-8 – It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons. For what son is there whom his father does not discipline? If you are left without discipline, in which all have participated, then you are illegitimate children and not sons.

Sometimes, a good parent allows a child to experience a bit of the painful consequences of their foolish or sinful decisions to correct their behavior and spare them total devastation in the future. 

Hebrews 12:7-11 explains the Father heart of God saying, “It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons. For what son is there whom his father does not discipline? If you are left without discipline, in which all have participated, then you are illegitimate children and not sons. Besides this, we have had earthly fathers who disciplined us and we respected them. Shall we not much more be subject to the Father of spirits and live? For they disciplined us for a short time as it seemed best to them, but he disciplines us for our good, that we may share his holiness. For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.”

This is what we see unfolding in the days of Deborah, “the LORD sold them into the hand of Jabin king of Canaan, who reigned in Hazor. The commander of his army was Sisera…he had 900 chariots of iron and he oppressed the people of Israel cruelly for twenty years.” (Judges 4:1-3) The iron chariots made the army of Jabin led by Sisera virtually unbeatable.

If you can envision armored tanks up against farmers with sticks and rocks in battle, then you have some sense of the hopeless situation for God’s people who were brutally mistreated. Various English translations say of Judges 4:3 they were “oppressed cruelly” and “ruled with cruelty and violence”, which “made life unbearable”, as they were “forcefully” and “ruthlessly oppressed”. 

With peace and freedom now being overtaken by oppression and tyranny, a Bible commentary says, “The focus of attention now switches from the southern to the northern tribes, and the threat from Jabin and Sisera, far from concerning relatively small tracts of territory, involved six of the tribes in actual conflict. It was the first major threat of the period of the judges.” (1)

If you’re a parent, when have you had to let your child learn a lesson the hard way? Have you seen God do this in your own life as your Heavenly Father?(1)   Arthur E. Cundall and Leon Morris, Judges and Ruth: An Introduction and Commentary, vol. 7, Tyndale Old Testament Commentaries (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1968), 82.

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