So, before finally getting to bed in those early morning hours, we set the date for two weeks later. We told him that he would have to wait to hear the consequences until then.
The wait unnerved and frustrated him. Every few days he would try to get a hint of what the consequences were going to be, but I just kept reminding him, “We’re still praying through it. You will have to wait.”
It was during this time period that I began to wonder where he got the money for alcohol, marijuana and vaping from over those months of rampant sin. He didn’t have a job, nor did he have much of an allowance. But, whenever he needed money for food, he’d call me and ask me to transfer some. Ten bucks here, twenty bucks there, adds up over time.
After checking out my bank statements from the previous school year I noticed a whole bunch of transfers from my account to his in these smaller amounts. So I asked him, “Jeremy, when I transferred money last school year were you buying food or alcohol, marijuanna and vape stuff?” Bowing his head he told me the truth. Most of the money I had transferred into his account ($500 over a five month period) was for his fleshly appetites, not his hunger pains.
This realization wasn’t helping Jeremy’s cause. His fear of the potential consequences was growing by the day. The one thing Jeremy had going for him was that he had come to us and confessed to us. He hadn’t been caught by someone else.
The big night of consequences finally came. All through that day Jeremy was twitchy. We had scheduled our meeting for that night and, as the time was approaching, the twitchier he got.
Finally, we all sat down at the kitchen table. I handed him a piece of paper. On that piece of paper I had listed down all the sins he had committed:
- Underage vaping
- Underage drinking
- Getting drunk
- Buying marijuana illegally and using it
- Breaking the law
- Breaking the honor code at his school
- Breaking the honor code of our home
- Breaking the heart of God
- Lying to us for four months about what he was doing
- Stealing $500 from us under the pretense of buying food.
I also had listed the potential consequences that ranged from turning him into the Christian school to grounding him for the rest of the year to having him pay back every last dime to taking away his phone for good.
The list of infractions and potential consequences was long. The white piece of 8 x 11 paper was chock full of agreed upon transgressions, infractions and painful consequences.
After he scanned the paper briefly I asked him, “Jeremy, how do you respond to all of this?”
He just said, “Dad, mom, I’m guilty. I deserve whatever you give me. Please just tell me what the consequences are.”
I said, “Okay. Your mom and I have been praying about this and the Lord gave us an answer. Here is your consequence…”