One of the greatest challenges I have ever faced is being a parent, knowing, KNOWING I had the awesome responsibility of growing responsible human beings who could function in society and carry themselves with dignity and respect for those around them.
It has been a *challenge* that I have taken seriously.
Denise and I were talking the other day and we began to discuss parenting. We talked about some people that we have known that have tried to fit in with their children and the end result.
I told her, "Denise, I'm your mother. And although we DO have a wonderful relationship that fact has never changed. I am your MOTHER."
We have all heard someone say, "This is going to hurt me more than it hurts you" as they prepare to correct their child.
And, you know what? It does. It hurts ME as a parent when my children do something that they know they should not do and that THING results in correction.
But...that doesn't stop me from correcting.
The Proverb "Spare the rod and spoil the child" that so many like to repeat is not saying, "hey, don't spank the little wee ones for being bad...just love them! Spoil them!"
No, it's saying if you don't correct your child they will become spoiled.
I used to love to quote Proverbs 23:13 to my children when they were little. "Withhold not correction from the child: for if thou beatest him with the rod, he shall not die."
And that is followed so aptly by "Thou shalt beat him with the rod, and shalt deliver his soul from Hell" in verse 14.
Do not misunderstand me, my children were in no way beaten at every turn....
They knew that when Daddy or Mama said "If you do this, THIS will be the consequence."
And they KNEW that if they did that they would GET the consequence.
I have told my children before a spanking that this was not my choice, but when they did that thing after I had told them this was going to be the end result they were forcing me to carry it through.
And, let me tell you something....I SURELY have never had perfect children. They have made mistakes and will continue to do so. But my husband and I have SomeHow managed to raise two young adults that we can both be proud to say they are ours.
And we didn't do it using the buddy system.
Now, I have said all of that to say this. I cannot understand this whole concept that seems to have taken hold of a majority of the church world today that God is just this big teddy bear that just loves everybody and accepts you no matter what!!
We, as Christians, become his CHILDREN.
In the book of Isaiah God is talking to his children.
Isaiah 1:18-20 Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool. IF ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land: But if ye refuse and rebel, ye shall be devoured with the sword: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.
Before He reached this place with them where He could reason with them He told them specifically what they needed to do.
Isaiah 1:16-17 Wash you, make you clean; put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes; cease to do evil; Learn to do well; seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow.
He says "Ok, this is what you need to do as my children. And IF you do what I say, if you are obedient, you shall have plenty. But if you don't...punishment will follow."
He gave them direction.
Proverbs 29:18 Where there is no vision the people perish: but he that keepth the law, happy is he.
You may wonder what has that got to do with anything?
If we do not have some set guidelines for our children to follow, if we as parents do not give them OUR vision of how you behave, how you carry yourself, of what is right behavior and what is wrong behavior....If we leave our children to raise themselves and not respect the authorities in their lives...we are setting them up for a life of unhappiness and strife.
When we do not give our children a clear path and boldly declare what the constraints will be...if we do not have a STANDARD for our children to follow, then they will have no convictions, no idea how to carry themselves or how to survive and be successful in this life.
The same goes with the church. If our Pastors and Leaders do not have a vision and do not boldly declare God's will and STANDARDS for the church, God's people will cast off their moral restraints and subsequently perish.
We need the correction of God. His Word does have guidelines for us to follow, and if they don't follow the way of the world at large there is a reason for that. Sometimes we have to taste some bitter medicine, like the Castor Oil of old, but if it keeps us from getting SICK, if it protects us from something we as CHILDREN cannot see, then I am willing Lord.
I do not want the Lord to withhold His correction from me. If I am doing something that could lead to me missing out on Heaven CORRECT your child. And I know that it is painful when that correction comes, to me and to my Father, but I would rather suffer a little pain than be lost.
Correction is not a lack of love. Correction is the fullness of love.
Train me up today, Lord, and make me into who You want me to be, because I am getting older, and I NEVER want to depart from YOUR presence.