“For the LORD disciplines those he loves, and he punishes each one he accepts as his child. As you endure this divine discipline, remember that God is treating you as his own children. Who ever heard of a child who is never disciplined by its father?” (Hebrews 12:6,7 NLT)
I remember thinking back a little while ago about my mother’s discipline. Those memories were triggered by the Adrian Peterson incident–when he used a “switch” to discipline his child. I remember having to get a switch and if I chose one that was too thin, I’d have to go back to that tree and get another one. If my mother went to get one, I would really be in trouble.
While the “whipping” hurt, it concluded in the desired effect–I didn’t get into trouble very often because I did not like the sting of that switch. She did not beat me with a tree branch; she disciplined me with a method that got my attention and she did it out of love–to teach me to be obedient. That’s what she had learned and it worked!
Now, to revisit history for a moment–I find it amazing that people who think whipping a child with a switch is such a crime, but no one thought much about “the slave masters beating people with a horsewhip” scarring and maiming them for life, sometimes unto death. Where was the outrage then? Adults and children were beaten at a whim and often because they simply didn’t understand what was being told to them. People were starved, but expected to work the land on empty stomachs and beaten when they could no longer stand. Where is the outrage for that time in history? These beatings did not occur out of love–but to instill fear and submission, and no one was decrying this injustice.
But because a father dared to discipline his child, out of love, he has lost his source of income and is being tried as an abusive parent. Why weren’t any of those people who beat slaves brought to court and tried for treating people worst than their did their animals (they fed the animals sufficiently)?
God’s idea of discipline–out of love–is designed to make sure we have long life and that more abundantly. He does not “beat us down to get us into shape,” but He allows us to suffer the consequences of our actions. We will reap, what we sow in life and when God allows the consequence–it is because He loves us enough to want us to learn from our mistakes.
Good parents discipline their children so they will learn to be obedient and have long life. No parent wants to see a child beaten down by life simply because they never knew discipline.
One of the reasons that our society is so out of order now–with total chaos reigning–is because the same government that allowed people to be beaten into submission, now wants to interfere with parental discipline–and children never learn discipline and often end up in jails or the morgue. I’d rather see a loving parent discipline their child and then see that child as a successful adult–knowing what it means to love enough to discipline.
I’m thanking and praising God for His love and correction and for the mother He gave me, who loved me enough to discipline me when I needed–and that has led to my being a disciplined parent and successful adult. Love–never wants to see a child go astray, but when they are undisciplined–we see the results, everyday in the media.