The budget does not allow for new furniture, so you decide to rearrange your living room to meet that need in you for change. You push the sofa and the end table moves, the lamp falls off, and it smashes. You think, “Wait a minute, all I did was push the sofa. How did the lamp smash on the ground?” You keep moving things and decide to move the dining room table. When you do, it pulls the bed in the bedroom; it goes cockeyed. You begin to look more keenly at things and realize that in between each piece of furniture there is a rope that when pulled, pulls on something else. Everything is interconnected, and you learn a new concept: unintended consequence.
You didn't mean to push the sofa and break the lamp—that was an unintended consequence. This term might come in handy when it happens at your next family gathering: everybody in your family is going to bring some food. You’ve never liked broccoli, so you’re bound to walk up and say, “I don’t really like broccoli.” You’re then going to hear your aunt say, “Well, I don’t really like you,” … because she made the broccoli. You didn’t know that when you pushed the broccoli away there was a rope connected to Aunt Thelma’s heart which pulled her to react the way she did. It was an unintended consequence.
There is an unintended consequence when we do not abide in Jesus Christ. Jesus tells us that if we do not abide in Him, we will accomplish nothing. Do you intend to accomplish nothing for your family, workplace, or friendships? No! We intend to accomplish great things.
To truly rear your kids on the way of the Lord you have to abide in the Lord. Mom and dad are great parents when they’ve abided. When we don’t abide in the Lord, we end up with unintended consequences. We want our kids to be involved in clubs and sports, so we don’t eat dinner together as a family on a regular basis. Their involvements are below the importance of sitting together around the dinner table. When we abide in Christ, we spend time with the Lord. He gives us the wisdom to say, “If we are going to do this, but we are going to lose that… Let’s not do this."
Are we going to be people who live by unintended or intended consequences? It is a choice.