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A Parents Love
by Michelle Sabrosky
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Parents have probably the single most difficult, challenging, important and fulfilling jobs in the known world. As parents we often have to make decisions that are excruciatingly difficult, to benefit our children in the long term.

Some parents may have to make their basketball star miss the state finals game, due to bad grades, attitude, inappropriate actions, and poor decision making. Some parents may have to give their young adult children a gentle push out of the “nest”, while other’s may have to give a great shove. It is not easy pushing your child out of the confines of a world you can control and monitor, nor is it easy to punish your children with the absolute worst thing that child can imagine at that time.

The fact is, we punish our children, help and encourage our children (yes that gentle push out the door is helping your child; you have to teach them to be self sufficient), because of the love we have for them. Everybody has been, or has needed to be punished at one time or another in their life. All, that is, except One.

We have sinned against our Father, and the sins we have committed require a punishment of eternal death. {Matthew 5:22-30, Mark 9:43-48, Romans 7:8-9} Our children, family members and outsiders may feel the punishment we give our children is to harsh for the crime, but they need to remember the punishment of sin. Telling one lie or fib in your entire life condemns you to an eternal death in Hell. {Matthew 5:22-30, Mark 9:43-48}; one act of disobedience toward your parents also condemns you to Hell. It doesn’t matter which command of the ten you break, if you break a commandment, you have fallen short of glory of God. {Romans 3:9-26, Romans 5:12-13, Romans 6:23}.

Our God loves us so much, that He was willing for his Son Jesus Christ, to take our punishment for us. Jesus Christ was perfect, without sin {Numbers 6:14, John 1:29, 1 Peter 1:19}, yet still came and bore the price of our sins. As a Father, our Lord allowed His perfect Son to be beaten, mocked, humiliated, and crucified; all because of His love for us. However, the price Christ paid is not valid until you accept it. Just like winning the lottery, you may hold the winning ticket, but if you don’t collect the money, that ticket doesn’t do you any good.

Just as with earthly parents, God, as our Father, wants to talk about what we have done wrong, through prayer. This is where prayer, repentance and asking for forgiveness come in. All things very similar to a child and parent communicating after the child has done something wrong. “Mom, dad, I am very sorry that I snuck out of the house, and took your car without permission. I feel very badly about the things I have done, I know they were wrong, please forgive me.” That same child should also go to Lord in prayer, as should we and ask the Lord the same thing. “Father, I have sinned against You and my parents. Lord, I was disobedient and deceitful, I took my parents car without permission, Lord, and I know that in Your eyes, that is the same as stealing. Father, I am so sorry I did these things, I ask that You would strengthen me, help me grow, that I would not do things like this again. Please forgive me, Lord and help make me new. In the name of Jesus Christ Amen.”

We also must remember that God was faced with the Christ baring our sins, a loving act not done so easily. God had to turn His back on His own Son, {Matthew 27:45-46,Mark 15:33-34,Luke 23:44-45}, as He is so Holy He can not look upon sin. Christ Himself sweat drops of blood in the garden when he was preparing for the “punishment”. Mary, the mother, could not interfere no matter how much she wanted to stop the things happening to her beloved Child and take her Son’s place. (A mother can relate: He came to take our place, and as a mother I can say the thought of offering to take her Son’s place had to be in her mind.) That was not God’s plan, and Mary knew that. She new the things that were happening to her Son right before her eyes, needed to happen for the greater good. It was painful for Mary, none of us can fathom how she must have felt, her Son was only person in the history of this world that did not deserve punishment at any time in His life, He was perfect, so perfect she knew that He had to make the ultimate sacrifice. {1 Peter 3:18}

As parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles it is sometimes very difficult to watch our children endure punishment. In most cases it is difficult, and in some instances more excruciating and painful for the parent than the child. Keeping in mind the long term, and looking past the here and now is the godly approach, and that is why it always the most difficult. Imagine if God changed His mind, and couldn’t bare to watch His Son endure the sins of the world? We would all be condemned to Hell, absent from the presence from the Lord for all eternity.

Our children are gifts from the Lord, we need to seek His guidance and wisdom as we raise them. The punishment may seem harsh at the time it is given, and sometimes it may be too harsh; we need to look past the present and look toward the long term. None of us would purposely seek to ruin or sabotage our children’s lives, and though we may get opposition from friends and family it is important to do the right thing for the child, and give them tools they will need for real life. They need to leave our nest (on their own or with a gentle push) with the things he or she will need to become a hardworking, self sufficient, godly person of noble character.

My heart goes out to all you parents everywhere, and I pray God gives us all wisdom, strength, and insight when it comes to raising our children.

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