Some time ago, I was caught off guard in regards to the importance of discipline. And God showed me where He instructs about it in Hebrews.
“We have all had fathers here on earth who disciplined us, and we respected them. So it is even more important that we accept discipline from the Father of our spirits so we will have [eternal or true spiritual] life.” Hebrews 12:9. (EXP)
My childhood was one of frequent and what seemed to be merciless encounters of discipline from parents who thought they were doing their best, at that time. I believe now that my parents meant to express love through their disciplinary actions but were without the tools to express such love.
Though I have reconciled with my painful past, as an adult, I have struggled with the harsh reality of flashbacks and have errored in the opposite direction. I realized that my skewed thoughts of discipline were, in part, responsible for creating a negative result in one of my daughters.
My fears of rejection and abandonment had allowed me to become lax in my parenting. Subconsciously, I thought my children had suffered enough through various life changes which had been unexpected and undesirable. I didn’t want to interject any more pain into their experience.
Slowly, over time, I became tolerant of things that I should have guarded against. I began to allow a little too much of this . . . and a little of that . . . until I found myself making excuses for their poor behaviors. Oh, you know, like, “they were too tired or upset” or “maybe they didn’t understand the direction provided.”
But then, unruly behaviors were growing as a direct result.
I never meant for my excuses, or enabling to create such changes in character. I obviously had not considered how their life would be effected in the absence of boundaries and clear expectations. In addition, I had not considered that it was developing a negative impact in their lives until things were simply out of control and I didn’t understand why . . .
But God has an amazing ability to draw me close to his heart. In a moment of closeness he provided an answer to my prayerful searching. He reminded me that He built consequences into the very fabric of nature and that even really great excuses do not prevent poor attitudes from yielding poor results. Even God disciplines the ones He loves for our own good, so that we might truly be his child and live, so that we may inherit and experience eternal life.
“No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.” Hebrews 12:11 NIV
There is a clear purpose for our lives…..and it requires discipline.
It made me think about the pain that I have afflicted on the heart of my Heavenly Father at each and every unruly action he was calling me out of.
It provided a new understanding about discipline, it gave me a new way to look at how God loves.
Dear Heavenly Father,
Thank you for giving us your word as a source of direction for each and every moment that arises in question. Thank you for disciplining us out of love, and providing a way to live by your instruction. Father, forgive us when our hearts become unruly. Guide us back to your ways and offer a chance to learn more about the harvest of righteousness and peace. I give you praise and glory for all that you are, all that you say and do, and for teaching us who we are to become in you.
In Jesus Name, Amen.
~ Baring His Beauty,