I laugh out loud as I type it, but I sure wasn’t laughing when my dad said it all those times. But when my children became a certain age, I realized how much it broke my heart to discipline my children. At the same time, I would be doing them a greater disservice if I did nothing and allowed their rebellion to follow its natural course.
I love my children too much for that. My dad loved me too much for that.
How much more does our Heavenly Father love us? We read the inspired words from King Solomon in Proverbs 3:11–12
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.
We tend to think of God’s discipline exclusively in terms of our pain, but have you ever stopped to think about the pain it causes Him? At the same time, our Heavenly Father knows where our rebellion will go should He do nothing and allow us to destroy ourselves. What kind of love would He have for those who put their trust and hope in Him if He simply allowed us to do whatever we want?
I don’t think He would love us much at all—any more than an earthly parent does when they don’t love their children enough to correct them when they are disobedient. We train our children. Should we expect any less of our Daddy in Heaven?
No, He loves us too much to let us rebel and destroy ourselves and those around us. He loves us too much to let us wallow in the mud we really enjoy jumping into. Our gracious God has clothed us in the best garments imaginable and He doesn’t want us getting dirty.
But even when we do, He punishes us, cleans us up, helps us see the error, and puts us back on the path of greatest blessing. So the next time you jump in the mud hole, just remember this: the pain of your punishment hurts His heart more than it hurts your pride.
You are loved by your Creator.