The Love of Discipline
6For the Lord corrects and disciplines everyone whom He loves, and He punishes, even scourges, every son whom He accepts and welcomes to His heart and cherishes. –Hebrews 12:6 (AMP)
Children are as unique as their DNA. Each of our four children are an intricate blend of David and myself, yet they are exclusively their own. Even our daughter Mathea whom we adopted from Kazakhstan bears the marks of both of our characters. I cannot number the times I have been told, “You went half way around the world to get your daughter, that’s for sure!” And although they do each carry the combination of David and my personalities, they are inimitably their own person.
Discipline and punishment are inevitably a part of every parent’s life in the molding and guiding of your child. With each of our four, it has been as different as the children in the house. Some listen better than others, some are pleasers and others seem to have to learn every lesson by taking the most difficult route.
One Christmas when our oldest son Rudy was around five, he and I went toe to toe. We had a fourteen foot ceiling in one room of our home so we put up a ten foot artificial tree on a very detailed Toy Soldier tree stand. The stand itself was over two feet high. It looked like a fat, Toy Soldier, dressed in his most colorful Christmas uniform, holding up our tree. Rudy was fascinated by this.
It started with me finding Rudy sitting beneath the tree. I made him come out and explained that it wasn’t safe under there. After feeling confident in my explanation and his understanding, I went about my business. Walking back into the room, where did I discover Rudy? You guessed it!
Now my tone was rising. Rudy was five, Ryley was three and Reagan had just been born on November 24th and was less than a month old. To say this was trying my patience would be an understatement. I made him come out from under the tree, again, and told him to quit crawling underneath there.
Upon entering the room a third time, finding Rudy perched beside the Toy Soldier, I lost it! Didn’t I tell you to quit crawling under that tree? Do you know how this five year old boy looked at me and answered with his big, beautiful, innocent eyes? “I didn’t crawl, I walked lowly”!
Technicality…and what do you do with that?
I often look at God and wonder how He does anything with all of His children. We see Him as Father God and recite the Lord’s Prayer to our Father. Do we see Him more like a pastor, priest or the Pope: an authority figure to put our best foot forward in front of? Or do we know Him as a daddy?
My second son Ryley is the pleaser. He will do whatever you ask of him, no arguments at all. My third son is my child that counts on grace. He counts on me being “Mom” and understanding. My daughter is more complicated. She gets it and understands, and she will even acknowledge that she knows, yet her response is motivated by whether she feels like doing it or not.
We can all probably associate some aspect of our children’s behavior to our own in relation to God. But as His children and recipients of His love, we must be willing to accept His correction and discipline. It is a part of being cherished by Him as today’s Scripture indicates.
The love of a parent is a driving force that desires the very best for your children, a willingness to do what it takes to see that they become the finest version of themselves that they can be. Sometimes we need to pray God to enable us to see them through His eyes in order to direct them more clearly to Him. That is the greatest gift we can give to them.
Connecting to God as His child and receiving His loving correction and discipline can be challenging. We all want to receive the blessings, prosperity and favor, yet like my son Rudy at five, we are looking for a technicality. Often we err on the side of grace.
The truth is that the correction of God is a blessing. He does love us too much to leave us where we are. He longs for us to become the very best that He created, to fulfill the plan He has for our individual lives. He wants us to learn that there is blessing, prosperity and favor at the end of it. Embrace that today. Draw near to Him, cherish Him, and thank Him for the love of His discipline.