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. Proverbs 3:12 NIV
Have you ever taken time to look back at your childhood to try and figure out how various circumstances of the past relate to how you handle things in the present? When I look back at my childhood, I realize that most of my reactions and interactions in my daily life today are really an extension of how I was raised as a child.
I was brought up in what I would consider a fairly strict household. My dad was the son of an Army Colonel and my mom was the daughter of two very hardworking blue collar parents. I was an only child being raised by two very dedicated, hardworking Christian parents. To say my life was disciplined was an understatement.
Weekly, life consisted of everyday activities like going to school, piano practice, tennis practice, Wednesday night choir practice, and GA’s (mission class). Weekends were for cleaning your room and the bathroom, vacuuming, and working outside in the yard. Afterwards once the chores were finished, I could play with friends.
Because of my Christian upbringing, there were various activities I couldn’t attend. Certain types of music I wasn’t allowed to listen to and, of course, there were limitations to what I was allowed to watch on TV.
As I got older, strict adherence to parental rules regarding curfew and dating began to drive a wedge between me and my parents. In high school and college I began to spread my wings and make my own decisions. I decided to charge straight in the opposite direction of my parent’s disciplined lifestyle to a life of chaos, and disorder. I made some very poor and ill-timed decisions not based on anything but my selfish desires. Not only did I suffer the consequences of these decisions, but my lack of discipline found me lost and many times alone.
I began to realize that the consequences were a result of a lack of discipline in my life. My life had lost its purpose and direction. It was not until I got on my knees and prayed to God asking him to change my path that my life began to get back on track. I made several life choices which started with attending a local church. Slowly, I began to implement God’s truths in my life. I realized that this new disciplined lifestyle was what I was missing all along.
As I have gotten older and have my own family, I have carried over some of my parent’s ideas on discipline. Other ideas I have let slide as a sign of the times. Most importantly, I always remember to remind my kids that life without Godly discipline is a life without love. God created rules and discipline, not in spite of us, but because He loves us. It took me a long time to recognize that my parent’s discipline was an act of love not an act of punishment. God’s discipline is meant to free us not punish us. It is because He loves us that He gives us His Word to use as a guide.
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Action Item |
Take time to read Proverbs 31:10-31. Instead of focusing on the areas you need to work on, make mental checks next to the areas that are your strengths and give God a pat on the back.
Dear God, I am committing myself to put You first each and every day. Thank you for Your love and Your Word that help instruct me on the areas where I need more focus. Help me to develop more Godly character qualities. Guide me in the areas where I lack experience. Help me to turn my daily stress into lighthearted moments. Amen.
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