Our relationship with God is a Father/Child relationship. We call God “Our Father.” God’s relationship with us should be the blue print for which parenting is modeled. It is easily noticeable that God will not readily bail mankind out of their mistakes. If a man or a woman decides to spend his or her money on drugs instead of paying the electric bill, God will allow for the electricity to be turned off. God will not readily interfere in the natural consequences of mankind’s mistakes. The reason for this, is that mankind must be allowed to make mistakes so that they may be judged according to their thoughts and actions. The other reason that man is allowed to make mistakes is so that they can learn from them. As we are making the mistakes, God continues to love us with a perfect unceasing love. Even in our darkest moment, when we have openly defied God, his love for us is still evident. The same principle applies with parents.
During times when adolescents are making mistakes, parents should continue to offer comfort, love, knowledge, and opportunity, but parents should not interfere with the natural consequence of the mistake. Providing opportunity for change is separate from bailing an adolescent out. Bailing a child out of mistakes inhibits the adolescent’s ability to learn. Providing opportunity for change assists the adolescent in making restitution.
Jack spent the night drinking with friends. On his way home, he got pulled over and was charged with a DWI. The police took Jack to jail and impounded his car. Jack’s father was called and he came to the jail to bail Jack out. He chewed Jack out and told him that he would not be allowed to hang out with his friends for the rest of the month. The next day, he and Jack picked up Jack’s car at the impound. He told Jack that he would have to pay him back for the price of bailing him out and for the impound costs. Jack was given a payment plan of $20 a month until he paid his father back in full, which he never did.
Zack spent the night drinking with friends. On his way home, he got pulled over and was charged with a DWI. The police took Zack to jail and impounded his car. Zack’s father was called with the expectation that Zack would get bailed out. Jack’s father did not bail Zack out of jail. Zack spent the night in jail. The next morning, Zack called into work and told them he would not make it in that day. Zack then walked home. Zack spent the next week walking to work until he got his paycheck. Zack spent all of his paycheck on getting his car out of the impound. Because he did not have money left over for gas, Zack walked to work again the next week. Zack’s father continued to encourage and show love toward Zack, but he would not give him a ride to work.