Loving Parental Discipline

          Sometimes our parents have to get on our case. It ain’t pretty. It certainly isn’t comfortable. If we’re honest, at least 99% of the time, they are right in their assessment of our wrong. And if we’re even more honest, about that same percentage of the time, in spite of their previous teaching and warnings, we have brought their disappointment and wrath upon ourselves. They have no choice but to speak up and act because they love us enough to want to keep us on the correct and safe path. However, despite said tongue lashings, punishments, curfews, or restrictions, our parents still loves us, home is still home, and the relationship that was temporarily damaged by our disobedience or stupidity will be repaired and restored.

           That’s how loving parental discipline works. God, our Grand Parent, uses the warning/punishment/restoration parenting technique with us. Watch how He dealt with the backslidden Israelites in Hosea, chapters 5 and 6:

  •  [God says], “For I will be like a lion to Ephraim, and like a young lion to the house ofJudah. I, even I, will tear them and go away; I will take them away, and no one shall rescue. I will return again to My place till they acknowledge their offense. Then they will seek My face; in their affliction they will earnestly seek Me.”
  • [Then the prophet Hosea says], “Come, and let us return to the LORD; for He has torn, but He will heal us; he has stricken, but He will bind us up” Hosea5:14-6:1 (NKJ).

        All through the Old Testament, God had been warning His people against following other gods and copying the practices of the people of the land who didn’t know or honor Him. The Israelites refused to obey, so now God is reading them the riot act and doling out the punishment. However, Hosea knows His Father. “Let us return,” he says. What God has torn, He will heal and what God has stricken, he will bind up.

         We parents can take a lesson on loving parental discipline from God’s playbook. After we’ve had to lay down the law to our kids and they’ve seen the error of their ways, we need to provide for them a loving path back into fellowship with us. As God’s children ourselves, we can appreciate the provision of such a path when we have to return to the Lord after we’ve messed up. Both us and our kids need the reassurance that home is still home. We will find that sticking close to home – either by honoring our parents or by honoring God—and abiding by His council brings nothing but good to our lives. Psalm16:11says it this way: “You will show me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy; at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore” (NKJ).

         God’s discipline does not mean He no longer loves us; it just means it’s time to pull even closer so He can heal and bind up our wounds. If we follow God’s parenting example, our kids need only to return; it’s our job as godly parents to do the healing and binding.

________________________

©2011 Sharon Norris Elliott. Feel free to forward this devotion in its entirety, including this copyright line. Leave comments, ask questions, read past devotions, or subscribe to receive these devotions daily in your e-mail at www.sanewriter.wordpress.com. Also, periodically check in at www.LifeThatMatters.net to see what’s going on in the ministry.

 And pick up a copy of Sharon’s new book, Power Suit: The Armor of God Fit for the Feminine Frame, available at Christian bookstores, online, from New Hope Publishers, and from the Life That Matters Ministries’ website.

 

~ by sanewriter on December 10, 2011.

2 Responses to “Loving Parental Discipline”

  1. Your home is valueble for me. Thanks!?

  2. Hi. Basically wanted to write a short comment and indicate to you you that I wholly agree with your particular posting. Definitely spot on.

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