Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Discipline Is A Good Thing!

I sit here in my quiet time reading my Bible. The Lord is admonishing me AGAIN! Not a bad thing, it’s just tough to face him as I realize that I have been disobedient AGAIN! I love how living His Word is. How he speaks so clearly to us through it, yet at times it seems so cloudy and confusing. I am sure that perplexity is my own weakness because God is not a God of confusion. Thank you for making it discernable today LORD! Thank you for using your word to correct me.

Sounds strange doesn’t it? Who appreciates correction and discipline? I have been around long enough to know that when the LORD is correcting me, I should pay attention. In fact, I invite him to do so because I am well aware that he knows better than I what path is best for me.

As many parents do, I have been praying for my children for a long time; Praying for obedience, integrity and many other qualities that I want for my children. Today wasn’t any different but as I was conversing with God and reading his word, he gently reminded me of my own sin in this matter through the unlikely story of a priest and his sons.

From the time Israel became a nation, the tribe of the Levites served as high priests in the temple. Eli, a Levite, was serving in the temple with his two sons whom the Bible says were wicked because they had no regard for the LORD (1 Samuel 2:12). They were treating the LORD’s offering with contempt, sleeping with women who served at the entrance to the Tent of Meeting amongst other sins. Eli wasn’t ignorant to it; in fact he reprimanded them for it but the Bible says that they didn’t listen to their father’s rebuke (v25). The LORD reminded Eli that he had clearly revealed himself to Eli’s family and asked him why he honored his sons more than he honored God himself. Both of his sons died on the same day and Eli’s family never served in the temple again.

God used this unassuming story to remind me that he has already revealed himself to my family in the matter of obedience and if I don’t deal with the sins of my children correctly, my family will suffer for it. You see, parenting in a godly manner is a lifestyle, not something that you check off your list. For me, it ebbs and flows. I focus on godly discipline for a while, the children respond well and I slack off only to resort to reprimanding them as Eli did with his sons. Soon enough I find myself becoming the threatening and repeating parent that lacks godly discipline and I discover that my sons are disobedient again. Maybe one day I will become more consistent. I pray it is soon because reprimanding is not enough. It wasn’t enough for Eli and his family suffered the consequences. I for one don’t want my family to suffer for my disobedience and inconsistency. I am convinced this is one of the many reasons God hates divorce because there is no one to balance the other person when they are lacking. No one to remind in times of absent-mindedness. No one to give strength when the other is too weak and tired to discipline. But God always provides. He has graciously put people in my life who have the freedom to point out the sins of my children when I don’t see it. Who have the freedom to look at me and say “are you going to deal with that”. It’s easy to reprimand, it’s hard to discipline.

So now it’s time for the hard part. This is where the rubber meets the road. Will I take this word from the LORD and simply hear it as I have in the past or will I make a plan and put it in to action. I think I will choose the latter and not only that I think I will invite someone to hold me accountable to the plan. Thank God there are many friends in my GFI Community who parent the same and are willing to come along side me for accountability. Thank God there are people like my boyfriend Rob and my friends Julie and Kathy who love me enough to tell me the truth, even if it hurts. So in the midst of my own correction from the LORD, I am grateful. Grateful that he loves me enough to discipline me and for showing me that discipline is love!

Proverbs 13:24 ~ Whoever spares the rod hates their children, but the one who loves their children is careful to discipline them.

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