Hear, ye children, the instruction of a father,
and attend to know understanding.
It was quiet in our house that night as we all lay down to go to sleep. There were no radios playing and no movies being watched. Judgment had been passed and punishments had been given. There was nothing to be heard but the thoughts bouncing around in my own head.
Earlier that night, as the kids headed to bed, one of them looked at me and said, “I guess it will be quiet tonight, huh Mom?” I looked into those sweet little eyes and replied, “Yes, Son, it will be. Maybe that will give you time to think about what you did wrong.”
Hugs were passed out, and a final discussion was presented to assure that understanding had come. Then it was off to bed in quiet rooms as the punishment served its purpose.
Watching my children learn lessons is very difficult for me. I understand that they must learn, but my “Mother’s heart” wants to swoop them up and save them from any discomfort that may come upon them. I have to remind myself that it is important that they learn these lessons now, and that it is okay for them to be unhappy from time to time.
As I lay there that night, thinking about what had taken place that evening, I thought to myself, ” Will they ever learn these lessons we are trying to teach them?”
I am sure that as a parent I am not the only one who has ever felt this way. Anyone who has raised children will tell you that it takes time, but when you are in the middle of the battle it can seem like victory will never come.
I wonder sometimes if God ever feels this way about His children? We are God’s children and we, just like our own children, have to learn some hard lessons. God’s Word has given us standards to live by, and if we choose not to follow those standards we will find ourselves in a place where some hard lessons must to be learned.
There are many examples in the Bible of people who did not heed God’s warning and found themselves in some pretty trying situations.
1) Adam and Eve had to leave the Garden of Eden because they chose to disobey God. ( Genesis 3)
2) Jonah found himself in the belly of a fish because he did not go where God told him to go. (Jonah 1-2)
3) Samson found himself blind and on the verge of death because he did not heed the instructions of God and his parents. ( Judges 13-14)
Does God allow these things to happen because He is a mean God? No, our God is a God of love! He is also a God of truth and He has told us what we should do. If we choose to go against His word then we will be allowed to receive the punishment that we have brought upon ourselves. In each of the above stories you will find one common thread. Each of these people went against God’s commandments and found themselves in trouble.
God wants to see us succeed and prosper in life. He knows what is best for us, and He has laid out those guidelines in His word. Sometimes, however, we may have to go through the fire in order to come out on the other side, purified and refined for His glory.
We set rules for our children to follow. We also set punishments for disobedience. Do we do this because we want to be mean? No, we do it because we love our children. We want them to grow up healthy and able to contribute to society. We do it because we love them.
1 John 3:1 a
If we do these things because we love our children, how much more does God love us as His children and want to see us healthy and contributing to His Kingdom.
I want to encourage you today to study God’s Word, find out what the standards are for living a Christian life, and then follow them. God has not given us a long list of rules in order to control us and keep us from enjoying life. God has given us rules and commandments to keep us safe so that we can enjoy life in Him, and so we will be able to minister for His Honor and His glory.