There are consequences to everything we do. If you put off studying for your test until the night before, you will surely get a bad grade. When you are rude, conniving, or say something slanderous, or don’t show up on time, life —and God— have a board for every bottom.
As parents, we don’t have to teach everything to our kids. We just have to let them suffer some consequences in their lives. If they forget lunch, don’t run with a sandwich to school. Next time, they will remember to bring their lunch. If, after asking them a couple of times to bring a jacket, they insist on not doing it, instead of taking a jacket for them in case they are cold, lending them your jacket, or buying them one, let them freeze. Next time, they will bring their jacket.
If the consequence is physical harm, or there is some immoral or illegal consequence, you should jump in there. It is like when a red light happens, and mom hits the brakes and puts her arm up to protect her child. We jump in there. Don’t let the risk be too big. But if it is just normal stuff, stop to see what happens with that.
If you keep jumping in to rescue them, they will think the government’s going to jump in, or their boss, or their spouse, and they will end up in a whole lot of trouble.
“To train your child to be a delinquent: Give him everything he wants. He will think the world owes him a living. Never give him any spiritual training. Wait until he is 21 and let him decide for himself. Avoid using the word ‘wrong’. Condition him to believe that society is against him and that if he is arrested, he is being persecuted. Pick up after him. Take his side against neighbors, teachers, and policemen. Do everything for him so he will throw all responsibility to other people” (Chuck Swindoll).
Think about eternity. Our kids should understand that the consequence of sin is being separated from God forever and that the only way out is placing their faith in Jesus Christ and His work on the cross. He bore the consequences of our sin! Realize that the Lord loves us and our children more than we could ever imagine.