Don’t miss the video at the end of this post. It’s very sweet.
[Character building, love, and rewards]
Andrew and I both grew up with loving fathers who understood the importance of discipline. Correction and guidance are simply necessary and mandatory components of our upbringing; meant to shape the person we’ll become and keep us safely on course. Boundaries are set for our protection, and discipline that’s accepted establishes fundamental character traits like kindness, giving, and thankfulness. While we understood that our fathers meant business, we also understood that they loved us very much. The fact that they took the time to teach and train us even proved this for us.
“Whoever does not discipline his son hates him, but whoever loves him is diligent to correct him.”
Unfortunately, some parents don’t set boundaries for their children (God isn’t one of those parents), and instead they’re allowed to make their own poor choices. Without discipline however, we don’t develop as we should, and can run right off the rails. Some parents may also refuse to accept their obligations and bail entirely on their child, but thankfully God is willing to fill that gap and be a Father to the orphan, the abandoned, abused, and the lonely.
It should be noted, that not all children are spoiled for lack of discipline; some children simply refuse that correction, and as adults we may refuse this correction from God as well– due to our lack of understanding, our fear, or our rebellious nature. God nevertheless, doesn’t fail to teach and train us, and even searches for us when we go astray (Luke 15:1-7).
Listening to God then, is for our own benefit. In order to be kept safe we have to accept that instruction. If instead we go ahead and do things our own way–which will always be the wrong way–we then have to accept that our actions have consequences. (A man reaps what He sows.) If we choose to do nothing, we’ll also gain nothing, and If a man takes it a step further and sows something distasteful like dissension (strife, conflict) he’ll have to live with the outcome of those poor choices. Those who don’t listen to God are simply refusing His help, but God–as the loving Father that He is–desperately wants us safely in His care.
If we accept that help, then under His supervision we can begin to mature and grow. In time we’ll even “bear fruit,” which are the character traits that we need to have; those qualities that will help us achieve the greater things that God has in store for us. The things we go through over the course of our training also gives God the opportunity to show us His power. We want to see His power at work; this builds our confidence and trust in Him.
”But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” –Galatians 5:22-23
While God doesn’t cause our afflictions, We can sometimes get lost in our adversities, but God has always intended to use them to prepare us, and strengthen us for what He’s planned for our lives. We sometimes say “The end justifies the means” meaning that some things are simply necessary to achieve the desired end result; so we all must go through the things that God has allowed, and we all must buckle down to reap the rewards.
Unfortunately, because God has given all of us free will we may have to endure the heart aches that others cause because of their disobedience, but here too He will lovingly take our hurts and struggles, and rework them for our good if He’s allowed the go ahead. (Romans 8:28).
Lastly, be encouraged that as a father disciplines his child for a short time, God too disciples us for only a time, after which we will reap the rewards of that discipline. For God says He will protect those who make Him their refuge. That’s our loving Father’s promise.
“And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.” –1 Peter 5:10
The LORD says, “I will rescue those who love me. I will protect those who trust in my name. When they call on me, I will answer; I will be with them in trouble. I will rescue and honor them. I will reward them with a long life and give them my salvation.” –Psalm 91:14-16
The song below is from one of my favorite Disney movies “Tangled” I’ve always felt that this particular song depicted perfectly how I see God; as the loving Father He’s truly been to me. I was therefore thrilled to find this very special rendition sung by a father and daughter duo. It’s so incredibly sweet. I hope you too see God as I do. ❤