Know then in your heart that as a man disciplines his son,
so the Lord your God disciplines you.
Our parents disciplined us for a little while as they thought best;
but God disciplines us for our good,
in order that we may share in his holiness.
My son, do not despise the Lord’s discipline,
and do not resent his rebuke,
because the Lord disciplines those he loves,
as a father the son he delights in.
I learn so much about my relationship with God from children. When one of my girls was about seven, she had an exceptionally bad morning. These weren’t unusual for her. She always had a hard time focusing on getting ready, and on this particular morning, she’d fussed around so much that my husband had to leave without her to get the other two to school on time. She’d almost been left many times before, but this was the first time she was really left behind.
This seven year old was quite upset about being left, but when she discovered school absences not related to illness or doctor’s appointments meant being exiled to the bedroom all day, she regretted missing school even more. The surprising thing about the day was how difficult it was for me to just ignore her all day and force her to suffer the consequences of her actions.
I imagine our Heavenly Father has the same feelings when we must be disciplined. How difficult it must be for Him to separate Himself from us for our own good. He loves us so much.
Our children can’t learn from their mistakes if they never any ramifications; and I’m confident God knows it’s the same with us. Even after we repent, it’s still sometimes necessary for us to live with the consequences of our sin so we’ll learn the lesson.
So, when we’re going through those seasons of discipline, remember the times you discipline your children. Remember that true discipline is done out of love, and it’s just as hard on the parent as it is the child. Your Heavenly Father loves you. If you hurt when your child hurts, God suffers when you suffer. But He allows it to happen so you might share in His holiness and because He delights in you!