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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).

10 Comments

  1. My Church group was talking about this Sunday Night. Great message. We can’t accept only the good from God and not the “bad”. He knows what is best for us and as a parent I know, correction is good for my child and it’s good for me to receive it from God.

    • Exactly. God can’t do “bad” to us, but we certainly can interpret it that way. It’s uncomfortable, it’s painful--but His love is there to meet us and show us His heart in all of it and every situation. Thanks TC.

  2. It is the immature in Christ that believe following Christ in this flesh is like fantasyland. This isn’t the Garden of Eden and we have the very words of Christ to know this truth. When I hear some of the doctrine tossed around by so called Christian leaders who ignore the very word of God, and teaches that a true Christian can name what it is they want and God has to do it, makes me shutter.

    Our true place in this flesh should be humility and thankfulness. Picking a few scriptures to back an argument doesn’t make it true. Even satan can quote scripture…

    • I know what you mean. We are called to a position of authority as sons in His Kingdom. Father certainly intends us to use that authority but it’s not simply self-betterment, it’s for Kingdom advancement. I think that’s what many miss. That and the reality that we will surely never COMMAND God. That’s silly and dangerous! Even Jesus never commanded the Father--He did what He saw the Father do and spoke what He heard Him speak. Yet He was well provided for and had much authority. Humility and submission. Definitely the way to go! Thanks Floyd.

  3. Without discipline we do not grow. I don’t like discipline (who does, right?) but it is necessary for my ongoing growth.
    Kevin Martineau recently posted..6 practical ways to confront people’s blind spotsMy Profile

    • Exactly. No discipline is pleasant at the time, but if we’ll be trained by it we’ll reap a harvest of righteousness. That’s a great promise! Thanks Kevin.

  4. “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.”

    I’m currently reading “The Discipline of Grace” by Jerry Bridges, and he hits on this over and over…discipline (both ourselves in self-discipline and the discipline from God) is important, empowered by the Spirit, to transform us into His image.

    Hope all is well with your family, Jason! Love the pic.

    • Sounds like a great book, Lisa. And yes, we’re doing very well. If you didn’t get to read it, check out yesterday’s post. We had a huge day yesterday and we’re so blessed! Thanks so much.

  5. My church background helped me a lot in this area. It seems I have always kept correction into my definition of love. Very glad for this and I hope to help others see it more clearly.
    seekingpastor recently posted..I’m a RapscallionMy Profile

    • That’s good, Matt. If we don’t see the connection, we can’t communicate it for sure. Thanks so much.