Wednesday, July 14, 2021

The Lord disciplines those he loves

 Read Proverbs 3

We all know Proverbs 3:5-6, but for now we focus on two verses that come shortly thereafter—verses 11 and 12.

 

My son, do not despise the Lord’s discipline,

    and do not resent his rebuke,

because the Lord disciplines those he loves,

    as a father the son he delights in.

 

 This is going to be an age and gender check.  Few of you remember the sound of your dad’s belt popping out of its loops accompanied by the words, “This is going to hurt me more than it does you.”

If you were ever in that situation, your thoughts were—and I know this because I can read minds even decades later—your thoughts were, “I’m not believing that part.”

As a modern-day parent, the methods may have changed but there is still a hurt or some empathy that you feel when you discipline your child.  You don’t really want to ground him.  You don’t want to hold back allowance from her.  You want to bless your children, but sometimes the best blessing is discipline.

The counsel of the proverbs is to the one receiving discipline.  Do not despise discipline or reprimand.  Why?  Because God disciplines those whom he loves.

God disciplines those he loves.  Discipline—correction—is a sign of love.  If you don’t care about someone, you will not invest the effort, the heartache, or commit to the anguish that often comes from wrestling with the rebellion of your offspring.

Only love prompts a parent to give up self-gratification for the benefit of their son or daughter when that child does not yet have the wisdom to appreciate it.

The uncaring parent just lets their child do what he or she wants to do without any parental consequence.  The counsel to bring a child up in the way he should go inherently includes parental discipline.

If God disciplines those whom he loves—and he does—then we as parents should discipline our children because we love them.

Remember though that this counsel is targeted at the sons and daughters.  Receive the discipline of your parents.  Don’t ignore it.  Don’t reject it.  Don’t despise it.

Too often we equate discipline with punishment.  Sometimes, it is hard to tell the two apart, but when we focus only on negative actions for transgressions, we miss much of what discipline is all about.

The one who practices discipline gets up an hour early and runs 5 miles before school.

The disciplined student carves our 3 hours in the evening for reading and study even though mindlessly scrolling through his or her phone may be enticing.

The disciplined child takes 10 percent of his or her allowance and sets it aside for the tithe.

The disciplined child stands to greet an adult.

The disciplined child learns the memory verse without prompting or scolding from a parent.

The disciplined child eats the healthy food and dismisses the unhealthy. 

The disciplined child waits patiently and does not interrupt.

The disciplined child chooses his or her words wisely. There is no sass, balk-talk, or profane language.

Discipline goes far beyond punishment, but when consequences are necessary, discipline is received as a sign of love.

Somebody cares about you and cares enough to help you get back on the right track.

 

My son, do not despise the Lord’s discipline,

    and do not resent his rebuke,

because the Lord disciplines those he loves,

    as a father the son he delights in.

Amen.

 

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