Can’t Separate Love & Correction
My son, do not reject the discipline of the Lord
Or loathe His reproof,
For whom the Lord loves He reproves,
Even as a father corrects the son in whom he delights. —Proverbs 3:11-12
Does God love you? For most Christians, that would be an easy, quick, and possibly emphatic, “Yes!” We could quote you John 3:16 that God so loved the world that He gave us Jesus. Being part of the world and in the company of those who need redemption, He loved me enough to send Jesus.
I know that those I love, and especially my children, I am going to direct and guide. I may not always get it exactly right, but I try to correct them out of love. I want them to understand that what I’m doing and saying is to promote their health and safety or character and integrity.
I know if that’s my heart, then the Father’s heart is a billion percent greater so why then do so many try to separate the love of God from His correction and discipline?
Interesting how many choose to conceive of God’s love as ooey-gooey and nothing more, like the crush of a teenage girl who is so “in love” with Jimmy and will be with him “forever.” Of course, that’s nowhere near true because next week she’s onto Paul and the week after that, it’s Kevin.
The Father’s love is different. It’s unconditional and unmerited for sure, but it’s not blind and when we allow Him room, He makes a great transformation in us. There must be respect for what He speaks and how He directs.
In an echoing of this thought, the author of Hebrews in chapter 12 tells us to endure hardship as His discipline. The love (and therefore, correction) of my Father are not because He despises me or has forsaken me. He’s shaping me for something better, a greater fulfillment and blessing.
At times we will endure the consequences of hasty decisions or bad actions. Sometimes we will go through hardship by no fault of our own. That discipline is forming something amazing in us and brings forth an unshakable hope.
I would dare say that if you’ve found God’s love and it is ever without correction and discipline, you have not found His true love and you can’t be a true son (don’t get mad at me, it’s in Hebrews 12:8).
Is this a glimpse into why we can rejoice in suffering and trials? Just maybe. The real experience of His love will meet us even in the most desperate of times.
Do you or have you ever been tempted to promote a divine love that didn’t involve discipline? What has been your experience with this?
Another in a series of monthly posts where I go through Proverbs a verse or two at a time and share the whispers of the Holy Spirit to my heart (click here for more verse by verse posts).