Tough Love (Part 2)
God is a loving Father. All His acts towards us are motivated by His love for us. From our human and limited knowledge of love, we often think that love denotes sweet and lovely things happening to us.
Consider a newly wedded couple. They feel so much in love and it would seem that nothing could go wrong between them. After a while, they start noticing things about each other they don’t like and they begin to react to those things, in an effort to correct each other’s mistakes or behaviour considered offensive.
This causes friction and then doubts about their love for each other sets in. Before long, and if care is not taken, the love they had for each other gradually erodes until it gets to the point where they no longer find satisfaction with one another.
The same happens between parents and children. As long as the parents give the child everything she asks for, they are the best parents in the world. When however, they discipline the child for wrong doing, the tone changes to “My parents don’t love me”.
The analogy above is a poor one to describe the loving relationship God has for us. This is expressed clearly in Hebrews 12:5, ‘My child, pay attention when the Lord disciplines you. Don't give up when he corrects you.’ We can see from the verse of scripture that God does not focus on correcting those who are not His children. In fact the following verse says, “The Lord disciplines everyone he loves. He severely disciplines everyone he accepts as his child”. This shows us that God loves us even when He allows us face the consequences of our sins.
It is God’s desire that we would repent so that we can benefit from the benefits of walking right before Him. He wants us to enjoy the riches of His grace. He is however mindful of His divine laws which once we break, will prevent us from achieving His purpose for our lives. Sometimes we take the wrong route through the highway of life and sometimes God has to beat us right back to the route that would lead us to all that He has in store for us.
No one likes discipline, in fact no one enjoys it. It is a form of deterrent by a loving parent, to keep us on the right track. Earthly parents most times punish their children because they have been slighted or insulted by the child’s action. The parents’ action in this case is usually selfish and without any love element. However when the parent’s response is borne out of a deep desire to guide the child to do what is right, they would punish the child in a way that would make the child ashamed of what he or she has done.
This is the way God disciplines His children. He does not discipline us because His ego is bruised or because He was insulted, He does so because He loves us and disciplines us with the main purpose of putting us back on track.
What should be out response to God’s discipline? It is simply one word, ‘Endurance’. What is endurance? It comes from the word ‘endure’ , which means, ‘to bear without resistance or with patience’. Verse 7 of Hebrews 12 says, ‘Endure your discipline. God corrects you as a father corrects his children. All children are disciplined by their fathers.’
How many times have we lashed out while under discipline? Some of us even try to prove our case to God and even demand change because we feel we have earned it. There is no love that can ever compare with the love God has for us. We can be sure that when He deals with us, it is not in anger but in love.
I cannot discipline someone else’s child if he does wrong. I could try to reason with him but the duty to discipline the child lies with the parents. However I want the best for my children and when they do what they have been clearly told not to do because they run the risk of being harmed by doing so, the only way I can discourage them is by disciplining them as a deterrent.
God’s discipline is for our sakes not His. The next time you find yourself under his rod of discipline, remember this always.
© Biblepraise Fellowship Online,
Steve Popoola is the editor of Biblepraise Newsletter and the webmaster of Biblepraise Fellowship Online at http://www.biblepraise.org. He currently resides in London where he works as an IT professional. He serves in the ministerial team of his local church as well as in the music ministry. He is the Moderator/Editor of Biblepraise Newsletter. He can be reached through His email address, firstname.lastname@example.org