Proverbs 10:1 New Living Translation (NLT) 10 The proverbs of Solomon: A wise child brings joy to a father; a foolish child brings grief to a mother.
After a recent incident with one of our children, I was surprised to find myself completely overcome with grief. As I retreated to my prayer corner (otherwise known as my bedroom) my tears quickly turned into sobs. I then began crying out to God about all the things that were breaking my heart about this child…
Once I became quiet, the Lord began downloading the following revelations to my soul:
He loves me sooo much that He sacrificed His perfect son to be with me.
He loves me sooo much that His heart grieves when I disobey Him.
He loves me sooo much that He disciplines me when I act out of a heart of foolishness.
He loves me sooo much that He expects me to discipline our children when they act out of a heart of foolishness.
Proverbs 22:15 New Living Translation (NLT) 15 A youngster’s heart is filled with foolishness, but physical discipline will drive it far away.
As I began re-playing the “incident” in my mind, I quickly realized that the action was not a result of sin. It was just a mistake. Mistakes happen- and although there may be natural consequences to them, discipline is usually not needed to correct them.
Why then was I still so grieved?
1. resulting from or showing a lack of sense.
2. lacking forethought or caution.
3. insignificant or paltry.
When confronted with the consequences of the mistake, the child in question became angry and began blaming me for the mistake. To make matters worse, she never apologized. Instead, I was left to suffer the consequences of the action, because the mistake included a personal item of mine. My grief was not about the item, but of being falsely accused AND not being shown compassion for the loss.
When our children were toddlers, “physical discipline” was easy to comprehend & administer. If mommy said “no” or “don’t touch” and was not obeyed, a smack on the hand or the rear end usually changed the behavior. As our children have grown, this type of discipline became obsolete. We realized that “physical” discipline needed to be changed from corporal punishment to a loss of something they wanted (privileges). Now-a-days, the loss of an electronic is a devastating blow to our teenager, pre-teen, 10 & 6 year old. Not having their gadgets IS physically painful for them! They also don’t appreciate giving up their free time to perform extra family chores (scrubbing toilets is also physically painful for them!). Of course, all of these disciplines wouldn’t be very effective if we didn’t administer them out of a heart of love. We don’t always get it right, but Doug and I both try to talk to our children before or after the discipline about the foolishness in their character that we are trying to eradicate. Of course all the discipline in the world isn’t effective if Doug and I aren’t willing to model the godly character that we expect of our children. Kids are very resistant to the “do as I say, not as I do” attitude.
I’ll be 38 years old in October, and it has taken a good majority of those years to come to realize why God disciplines me. It’s because I am His beloved daughter…and He loves me…. more than I can fathom. So now, when He rebukes me, or sends others to rebuke me, I don’t throw a complete hissy fit (well, at least not ALL the time!)
Proverbs 3:11 New Living Translation (NLT) 11 My child, don’t reject the Lord’s discipline, and don’t be upset when he corrects you.
Instead, I humble myself before my Father who loves me, repent of my foolishness & seek His forgiveness….as a result, my character is refined and our relationship is restored.
Just a few moments ago, our child repented, apologized and sought my forgiveness….as a result, her character is being refined and our relationship is restored.