Thursday, May 06, 2010

The purpose of grief and pain is 'relationship'

This past week I was blessed to spend time with a dear sister in the Lord....this friend inspires me every time I hang out with her....the funniest thing is that she basically has no idea just how much she affects others simply by being herself.

I got to see her mothering and we talked about a shared struggle of which we both have yet to be victors......and it's been on my mind just how closely parenting our children and being a child of God are related.

I saw her calmly tell her daughter that there were going to be consequences for her when they got home because when we were out and about, she disobeyed. Her sweet little 3 year old cried and pleaded "mommy, I will obey you, I will obey you mommy"
because she did not want any sort of discipline. My friend is a very very good mother....when we got home she reminded her of the consequence and her little one began bawling again and mom hugged her and showed her compassion, and yet still followed through with the discipline.
This hit me, because little kids who go unpunished grow up to be adults who never apologize for their actions, they see no need to confront the wrongs they have done to others, and they never want to admit fault. I've worked with many people (and am guilty of it myself, sad to say) that tend to blame shift.......whatever it was that went wrong could "NEVER be their fault"
They want to get the light that is beaming at their wrongdoing shifted off of them quickly so that the issue can be swept under the rug by some distraction, and life can continue with a peaceful calm. Such people have a hard time believing that God will judge their wickedness too......but sadly, God will not tolerate blame shifting....check out Genesis when Adam blamed God by blaming the woman "that God gave him, because SHE tempted me and I ate" and the woman blamed the serpent for her's human nature to want to hide from blame.....which is why little children hope that mom forgets the pending discipline by the child's plea to now be compliant.
I remember this EXACT scenario when I was young. My dad had told me that I was going to get a discipline for lying.......and that was when we had just left the house and were going to be out and about for the day. I had it in the back of my mind that maybe if I'm good all day, he'll forget, or change his mind.
He didn't.

The goal of parents (should be) in discipline should be to repair the relationship between parent and child. When a child disobeys, the relationship is thrown because the roles are rocked. When a child is trusting their parents directions are for their good and obey their parents because they trust their parents love them and want what is best for them.....the relationship flourishes. The parent is filled with joy at knowing their child's trust, and the child feels loved and secure in their parent's care.

When it comes to the Lord and his discipline of us, whether it be - allowing us to continue on in certain sins AS the disclipline because we are choosing it (get your mind around this- Jesus predicted that Peter would deny him Luk 22:34, and Peter was powerless to do anything BUT sin by denying Jesus those 3 times........but Jesus did not let him fall UTTERLY....when Peter sinned against Jesus the first and second time by denying him, it did not hit him......but the third time he said "I do not know him" - His heart broke in half and he wept over his sin, obviously he was not given over to unbelief, but God restored him)
OR if the Lord gives us flat out blatent consequences for sin - (ie...if someone gave into lust and contracted an STD)

The Lord KNOWS how to discipline each one of his children to get their draw them back to trusting in Him, and faith that what he has commanded is good for us thereby repairing the relationship.

I have a friend who has 3 little ones. The youngest one who has down syndrome didn't get a time out or consequences like the older two......all that the parents had to do to get the child to recognize their error was look at them directly in the eyes and say with a bold tone "that's a NO" - the child's spirit was broken, they cried and wanted to be made right with their parents immediately - and showed it by reaching for a hug with all their might.

So, with some of God's sheep He knows he only needs to have them get in a fender bender to show them their idolatry of their car.......for others, he may let them go on a skid ....and humiliate them in front of other people to humble them.....for others, he might just prick their hearts as they read his word. He loves HIs children immensely and knows them intimately as we are to know our children.....and how to REACH their hearts to pursue the mending of relationship with them.

We want them to know the kindness of God, and how God pursues his children even if he needs to cause them pain - whatever it takes - to bring them back to lovingly trust in Him. I've heard discipline referred to as God setting up "roadblocks to hell"
Blessed are those who heed instruction and set their face toward God and hear him say "you are forgiven" and "I've called you by name and you are MINE"

"The Lord disciplines those whom he loves and a Father does a son in whom he delights"

May we love our children enough to get to their hearts that they may see the love of the Father in our parenting.
in Jesus Name,


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