God the Father. Abba, Daddy. God is depicted as a Father and we are His children. This is a great understanding of how our relationship with Him is and how He disciplines us and takes care of us. Not having children, I admit I didn’t completely grasp this situation until recently.
Teaching abroad helped me better understand this love. I struggled with understanding how you can discipline a child out of love and how you can be so angry at them and still love them at the same time. Introduce my kindergarten, elementary and middle school students and I learned this 100x over. I learned what it feels like when a child pushes you to your very limit and just when you think you’re going to explode, they do something sweet or something ridiculous that makes you laugh. Other times, you have to discipline them to ensure that they didn’t continue bad behavior.
Even though I’m not a parent, I was responsible for their well being and ensuring that bad behavior was corrected. It was interesting to see siblings and how what was seemingly cute or a “small” behavioural issue in the younger student grew into a much larger issue in the older sibling.
I also learned how God must feel sometimes when I am disobedient or when He has to discipline me. I learned what it was like to give gifts to all my students and have several of them complain about how they wanted X instead. I remember being disappointed in them and frustrated when I realized that I do it to God all the time. He gives me a gift and I complain that it’s not what I wanted or when I wanted it. He disciplines me when He sees bad behavior in me that needs to change.
He loves us no matter what we do. Part of that love means disciplining us and correcting our paths so that we can grow and be successful. Discipline isn’t a punishment but is a sign of His love for us. When He disciplines us it is because He loves us and wants what is best for us. If He is disciplining you, take heart, it is because He loves you.
How do you relate to God’s discipline? As always, we love hearing from you!