No one likes to be corrected. No one enjoys being disciplined. When I was a boy, my parents never administered discipline with smiles on their faces. On the contrary, they often carried out their parenting duties with teary eyes and sagging shoulders. Though I couldn’t understand it then, I see now that it really did “hurt them as much as it hurt me.”
So why did they do it? Why did they fight the battles and endure the pain of administering discipline? The answer, obviously, is love. They wanted something better for me than the direction I was traveling; they wanted something better for me than the choices I was making. Love demanded discipline.
Keep that in mind as you read Proverbs 3: 11-12, and ask yourself whether you have resisted God’s discipline in your life. After all, God wants what is best for you. He longs to see you walking healthy paths, and making Godly choices. He wants to see you grow in wisdom and stature, and watch you accomlish great things on this earth. But doing that, often, requires pruning, and correction, and rebuke, and discipline.
Children, don’t resist correction. Parents, don’t neglect it. Christians, praise God for it. This is the way of wisdom.
This prayer was penned by Charles Swindoll: Thank You, Father, for being the perfect Parent. Thank You for those times that You’ve taken us to task, though the reproof sometimes seemed more than we could bear. Encourage us with the truth that whoever the Lord loves He reproves, even as a father corrects the son in whom he delights. Forgive us, our Father, for our prodigal ways, for our selfish desires and self-willed decisions. Forgive us for our pride in wanting to look like winners as fathers and mothers when the truth is we have failed at every point.
Help us to be real with our children—authentic, loving, forgiving, firm when we have to be, strong when we need to be, gentle at all times. Help us, Lord. Help us with our grandchildren, to be there for them when they need us to be supportive and affirming of their parents, to be a part of the answer rather than a part of the problem. Enable us to come to terms with things that weren’t dealt with in our own lives so that we don’t pass them on to these precious, innocent children who follow us.
Lord, we give You thanks for the genius of the family. It’s all Your idea. We pray we’ll have very sensitive hearts as we grow in these areas of nurturing and discovery.
In the dear name of Christ. Amen.