Discipline = Love? Yuck!

The words of Hebrews 12:6 on a background of wood, “For the Lord disciplines those He loves, and He punishes each one He accepts as His child.”

I grew up in a home of discipline. I got spankings. I was stood in a corner. I was given the “I’m disappointed” talk. The thing was, there was no ambiguity in that discipline. I knew what was required and if I broke the rules, I received the consequences.

I didn’t like those consequences. At all.

My parents always said that it hurt them more than me. I didn’t believe that then. They said that they did this out of love from me. I didn’t believe that either.

Now, having raised one son and two stepsons, I believe. Parents are charged with developing those cute little babies into productive and godly adults. To do that, they must teach the little ones of the things that will hurt them — maybe not in the instant, but in the long run.

The role of parent is a tough one, done well. True parental love refuses to allow the child to develop on its own, making decisions without the benefit of experience and wisdom. Instead, it blocks paths the child shouldn’t be on, it renders painful consequences for poor choices while the child is under the parental supervision so they learn how to make better choices once on their own.

We are taught all this through the love of the Heavenly Father. He sets boundaries for us to live within, not because He wants to prevent us from enjoying life or having fun, but because He knows what is the best for us.

When we step outside our boundaries, He disciplines us, not because He hates us for breaking a rule, but because He loves us enough to allow a small acute pain to teach us how to avoid the larger, more permanent pain.

When we receive discipline/punishment of a parent, we shouldn’t feel anger and hurt. We should feel blessed that someone would love us so much to put our relationship on the line to protect us and teach us.

When we receive the discipline/punishment of the Lord, we shouldn’t feel like an outcast. We should feel blessed that the Almighty see us and cares enough about us to bring us back into His fold of love and protection.

Coffee, Bible, Journal.

Note: The discipline and punishment discussed here is not abusive. It is rendered from a heart of love for the wellbeing of the child. It is never spirit-breaking, nor bruise-leaving. That sort of “punishment” is not for the child’s good, but for their detriment and should be reported to all legal authorities. 

Faye Bryant

Faye Bryant is an author, coach, and speaker who helps individuals escape the lies of the enemy, live into God’s truth, and build a better life by first feeling, dealing, and healing their way through a stuck future or an abused past, toward a deeper path of purpose, and into the unhackable life of their chosen legacy. Hers is a story of resurrection: from death to life!