Proverbs – God’s practical guide to a joyful life
Good day friends! I pray your week and weekend went well.
Today Solomon shares his wisdom on God’s discipline. Let’s top up our coffees and see what he has to say…
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.
When our children were little, going out for dinner was a big deal. We didn’t have a lot of money so we didn’t do it often. For me, it was such an exciting time to go out, to have a great meal without being the one who had to prepare it, and to be out in a social setting. However, these few and far between times were also learning opportunities where our children learned good behaviour. You see, our guiding rule was that we either stayed home or siblings had to get along with one another, there were to be no temper tantrums, and everyone needed to be on their best behaviour. If we arrived and behaviours were not conducive to the guidelines, after receiving a warning which usually was the ‘look’, we would leave- literally get up and leave. Yes, we would get up and leave each and every time the kids couldn’t get their behaviors in check, in order for us to follow through with our ‘restaurant or outing’ guidelines. However, it didn’t take long for the kids to learn how to behave if they wanted to go out, which they did. Our children became a joy to take out and they would help keep each other in check because they knew it only needed to take one of them to act up and we were gone.
To be honest, looking back, I am thankful that my husband did not care what other people thought. He did not care that the other patrons were staring at us and our brood of children and bags. He did not care that we may have inconvenienced the waitress. He only cared about having children who knew how to be respectful and considerate in public settings and with each other. I on the other hand, in my selfish desire to stay and socialize and get out of making dinner, did not want to go; it killed me inside each time to get up and leave. Yet, my momentary desire to stay would have nullified the learning opportunity and the real life lessons that it took for our children to become the caring, respectful adults they continue to be today. (Oh how it would have been easier to just stay and not follow through with what we said we would do. I can totally understand many parents’ responses of empty threats, but I would 100% encourage them to follow through, no matter how embarrassing or heartbreaking.)
In the same way, this is what Solomon is saying about God and his discipline towards us. God in his great love towards us, wants to raise up his children to be the best and safest they can be. He has given us guidelines to help us. He does not want his children throwing temper tantrums or doing things that will endanger their lives or souls. He loves us too much. He will guide us, follow through with the consequences of our ill behaviour, and continue to train and discipline us. God never lies; he never extends empty threats/promises. He will always follow through. Although we may as parents, be weak and not follow through, we can trust that God will always follow through.
Solomon’s words are closely related to Jesus’ words in John 15:1-2, “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.” Being pruned, having part of me cut off, is not fun or pleasing at the time, but in the long run, makes us better. God’s discipline is his pruning in us because of his great love for us.
So as dearly loved children, in the midst of trials and things in your life that are making you adjust your ways to be more in-line with his, don’t turn you back on God or be angry at him, but be thankful. Be thankful you have a Lord who loves you dearly and doesn’t care what the world thinks. He only cares about you and making you the best you can be according to his will, and you will be better for it. Trust him!
Prayer: Being disciplined is not pleasing at the time, but I know it is only because you love me, like any parent who loves and wants what’s best for their children. Help me to continue to seek you in the midst of hard times, help me to become whom you desire me to be as your child. Also, I ask that you be with all parents as they train up their children. Give them the strength and love for their children to follow through with their promises both in good and misbehaving times. Thank-you for Jesus who followed through with the punishment that should have been mine because of your desire to have me spend eternity with you. In his precious name I pray, AMEN!