Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest, and repent." Revelation 3:19
I love my children. As a father of two boys, very close in age, it can be difficult and challenging when they battle for the alpha position in the house. It seems every couple of weeks a huge battle ensues, words are yelled, arms and backs are punched and there maybe even is a little wrestling. One thing is for sure, there is always yelling! Very seldom, anymore, are there tears like there was when they were much younger.
This battling is challenging for me as the father because I understand it, I know why they are doing it and I get that it is part of human development. All that being said, I still don't like it. Therefore, I generally intervene after a few minutes. I've learned that if I step in too soon, it will just continue when I leave, escalating again until I have to come back. If I step in too late, someone is hurt. Never anything more than a bruise or a sore groin, yet the winner definitely feels triumphant.
When I do step in, the boys know they are in trouble! When Dad is mad, someone's getting in trouble! Ha Ha Ha! Yes, they will get disciplined, with a chore, or quiet time in their room or worse, they might have to sit next to me for a while and not do anything! Then, it's hug time. After the flames have settled, a few giggles can be heard from solitary confinement, it's time for apologies. I don't know how many times I've had to say, "do it again, this time like you mean it"! - all the while chuckling under my breathe. And it rarely fails, after the apology, life is good.
I love my children more than anything and would protect them with my life. Yet, I love them enough to know that discipline is necessary to develop good character, integrity, work ethic and an understanding of responsibility. I discipline out of love, not anger, and there is a difference. Our God, bless his holy name, is the same with us. Developing our spirit, our character and integrity is why we get rebuked and disciplined. Because he loves us so much.
The God I know and love, loves me more than I could possibly reciprocate. Words cannot create a a story or paint a picture bold enough to express the depth of his love for me, and you. Accepting the discipline and asking for forgiveness with intent and meaning builds a foundation of trust in God. When you know that you have that kind of love in your life, and the trust level is deep enough, the relationship goes to a new level and you find a new peace.
I pray that I may be able to continue to accept his discipline and repent with a thankful, open heart. For I know that he loves me. And for that alone, I am thankful.