Theme of the week: God takes care of His children
God promises to discipline His children in love.
Know then in your heart that, as a man disciplines his son, the Lord your God disciplines you. Deuteronomy 8:5
All promises are fulfilled in Christ.
Please read Luke 22:31-34 and John 21:15-17.
Twenty-ish years ago I was a mother to a 3 year old, a 4 year old, a 6 year old, and an 8 year old. Not only was I "mommy" to these darling-made-of-dust-angels, I was also their homeschool teacher. By God's grace, much of these years are a distant blur, but let me just say, when I couldn't handle some of these small but stubborn pupils in my class, they were sent to the principal's office. Of course, the principal was none other than their no nonsense, but fun-loving daddy.
Now fast forward a very long blink to ten years later: 13, 14, 16, 18--with emphasis on the word "teen." These four bigger and more complex earthlings entered a whole new world of public school. New challenges were met, new rules were laid down; and yes, more than we wanted, these rules were broken. Thus, consequences followed. There was even a time when my husband and I made a trip to the real principle's office in the real high school on account of one our delightful offspring.
After writing these two paragraphs, I need a nap.
In all seriousness though, as I consider today's focus of "God disciplines His children in love," I think back on these years of my own parenting and ask myself, "What if we didn't spank, or use time-out, or deal appropriately with our toddlers? Or in the later years, what if we didn't take away the phones, or car keys, or other privileges for our teenagers?" It was our sincere hope that our loving discipline would contribute to a maturing child.
Likewise for you and me, God disciplines us to mature us. We as humans innately think that our way is better than God's choice path, so we stubbornly or defiantly (or even innocently) go for it! Thankfully, our good, good Father enters our waywardness not only to mercifully rescue us, but also to gracefully teach us.
We see this very thing in our focus verses today. Jesus knows Peter is going to deny Him, but in spite of this He says, "...but I have prayed for you, that your faith may not fail" (Luke 22:31). Ladies, HE PRAYS FOR US, even in our self-induced messes of life! He knows it's all redeemable within His loving, teaching hands. Again, we see this on the other side of Peter's denials when Jesus says to the now forgiven and more mature disciple, "Feed my sheep."
Discipline does not feel good, but it is good. Whether we are in our toddler, teenage, or twenties concerning our faith-walk with our loving Father, let's receive what He gives us with a teachable heart. He says to each one of us, "You are mine; I love you, and I want the best for you. Sweetheart, it's time to grow up."
Trust His gentle love; submit to His refining hand.
For further reading: Proverbs 3:12; Hebrews 12:5-11
Thank you for your patient love. Thank you for your appropriate discipline. Train us up to be more and more like you. Yes, please groom us and grow us to look like our Daddy in thought, word, and deed. Amen.