When I was growing up, my father loved me enough to discipline me when I needed it. Sometimes his discipline was to correct wrong behavior. For example, if I talked back to Mom, I lost my phone privileges.
Sometimes Dad’s discipline was for the purpose of teaching me something I needed to know to succeed in life. For instance, Dad chose me to rake the pine straw in the yard. This was not a simple chore. Twenty-four pine trees grew on my parent’s half-acre lot.
As an adolescent, I saw no point in this task. Even if I did rake, the grass would soon be covered again. Yet I grudgingly obeyed. Now that I am a parent myself, I appreciate Dad’s training. I learned that every member of the family needs to contribute. I learned to persevere through unpleasant, but necessary tasks. I learned that a job done well brings pleasurable results.
Discipline is one of the primary responsibilities of a parent. We’ve all seen children whose parents have obviously shirked their duty! They are not doing their children – or the rest of humanity – any favors. Discipline is necessary for a child to grow into a fully functioning, law-abiding, productive adult.
Our heavenly Father disciplines His children. In Hebrews 12:7-11, we learn God disciplines us out of love. When we experience His discipline it proves we are His children. Although it can be painful, God disciplines us for our good. His purpose is spiritual growth and the development of Christ-like character.
The Greek word translated as “discipline” in Hebrews 12 is paideuo. It carries the ideas of both correcting or chastening and education or training. God’s discipline in the lives of His children corrects wrong behavior and equips us for the road ahead.
God picked you out for Himself and adopted you to be His child. Now He lovingly fulfills His responsibility to you as a parent through discipline. He moves to correct wrong behavior so you can share in His holiness. He teaches and trains you so you can grow into the spiritually mature woman He created you to be.
In what ways do you sense God’s discipline in your life today?