Blog Banners.001I would remember growing up that my mom would often say, “I am disciplining you because I love you.”

As a child, I would be confused.
“But mom, if you loved me, shouldn’t you give me everything I want? Why are you preventing me from getting the things I like which will add to my happiness?” This was how I would respond.

When I became a parent, I slowly started to understand what she meant.
But when I read certain verses from Hebrews, it made even more sense.

Reading through the book of Hebrews will give us a perspective.

You might ask, “How can hardship be an indicator of God’s love?”
“If God loves me, shouldn’t He always rescue me from tough times?”

An Act of Love

“For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives.” (Hebrews 12:6)

As a father, God disciplines us to prevent us from hurting ourselves.
There is a way that seems right to a man but the end thereof is destruction.
If it seems that what you want you haven’t been getting, maybe there’s a greater reason.  Though you may not see it at the moment, trust that He has something bigger in store.

Treatment As Children

“Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as his children.” (Hebrews 12:7)

There are times that hardship is discipline. When those moments come, remember that God is treating you as His son or daughter. He doesn’t only knows what’s best, He desires what’s best for you.

Painful But Productive

“No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.” (Hebrews 12:11)

Discipline is never pleasant. I have yet to see a child request discipline from his parents. Our sinful nature has the propensity to push the boundaries and when caught, we are more sorry because of the consequences we receive rather than genuinely being repentant.

Discipline may not be pleasant. But in the end, we are harvesting righteousness and peace as we are being trained… even through the discipline process.

But remember this, “He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion until the day of Jesus Christ.” (Philippians 1:6)
Because of this truth, we can be rest assured that He is at work though we may not see it at the moment.

What do you do when your faith gets weak? How do you pump your faith?

There are several reasons why this may happen – unanswered prayer, persecution, problems, trials…

The Apostle Paul wrote his protege Timothy an encouragement. He mentions that many have forsaken the faith and have even deserted him as he is now in chains for the gospel.

He exhorts Timothy to be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.’ (2 Timothy 2:1)

This will be evident in 3 ways.

Dedication of a soldier

Paul reminds Timothy to endure hardship. (2 Timothy 2:3)

The reason for this exhortation? There will come a time that as we follow Christ, hardships will come our way.

Giving up is not an option. His grace is more than sufficient.

Discipline of an athlete

An athlete competes according to the rules (2 Timothy 2:6).

Otherwise, he will be disqualified and all the months and years of preparation will all be for naught.

Part of the disciplines we’ve been called to imbibe is the discipline of reading His word.

Pastor Bernhard Wewege writes a good blog about this – Taking the 21 day challenge.

Diligence of a farmer

The farmer painstakingly plants and patiently waits.

Paul declares a promise in Galatians 6:9…

Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.

How do you pump your faith?

Well, after giving the 3 pictures of a Christian to Timothy, he proclaims a simple statement…

Remember Jesus, raised from the dead. (2 Timothy 2:8)

Absolutely simple but definitely not simplistic.  The statement is pregnant with truth.

The reason why we can is because He did.

When He said, “It is finished”, it meant everything that’s required for our faith to last has been accomplished by Him at the cross.

The same power that raised Jesus from the dead is the same power that will sustain you.

And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns. (Philippians 1:6, NLT)

 

My daughter came home the other night sad.

She recently got in the production of SOUND OF MUSIC at Resorts World Manila.  We prayed for it.  We believed God for it.  And God answered our prayers.

Press conferences have begun and she was chosen for the first one.

But for the one coming up this Saturday, someone else was chosen to be there.

She felt so sad. (Which is a huge understatement.)

But rescuing our kids from pain and disappointment can be the quickest response from any parent.

We can…

  • Be a scary stage parent and make a case to include her.
  • Sulk with her in a corner
  • Or see this as an opportunity to grow in character.

We made a choice to pick the 3rd option.

First, God knows what He’s doing.

Second, the production team knows what they’re doing.

Allowing our kids to go through disappointments in life will make them stronger.  It will build certain muscles that will be beneficial for them later on in life.

Remember, helping may not really be helpful always after all.

 

When Ryan was 5 years old, he attempted to disobey his mom (definitely not the first time).

Jenn said, “Ryan, if you disobey me you might not like the consequence I’ll give you.” (Implying that he might get a spanking…)

To this, Ryan quipped, “Mom, if you think I won’t like it, why give it to me?
Let’s just change the consequence.”

Whattakid!

I guess that’s how we respond to God’s discipline at times.  We know how unlikable the consequence will be but we still choose to do it and hope that God  changes the consequences of our disobedience.

Funny story but there’s a lot of truth that can be learned in real life.

“Blessed is the man whom God corrects; so do not despise the discipline of the Almighty.  For He wounds, but He also binds up; He injures, but His hands also heal.” (Job 5:17-18)

We’ve always tried to encourage our kids (to the point of nagging, unfortunately) to prepare their stuff the night before so that the next morning, they won’t get stressed preparing for school… especially because it’s early in the morning.

This morning, as I drove my kids to school, right when we pulled up at the school’s driveway, one them told me that a math book was forgotten and left at home.  The easiest thing to do is to be a super daddy, come to rescue by going home and bringing it to school.  Or… why not have our driver get it and pick it up.  That’s why we got one for emergencies like these, right?  Not really.

Well, my child might get a zero for this homework but I believe that would be one of the biggest lessons our children can learn.  I know you might be thinking, “what a monster dad!”  But learning consequences is one of the biggest lessons we can teach our children.  We cannot always rescue because that’s not how life works often enough.

There were times I’ve driven home to get something and bring it to school to illustrate grace and relate it with the grace of God in our lives.  But that’s few and far in between.

Teaching responsibility and realizing the consequences of being the opposite is a great lesson to learn early in life.

A man who refuses to admit his mistakes can never be successful. But if he confesses and forsakes them, he gets another chance. Blessed is the man who reveres God, but the man who doesn’t care is headed for serious trouble. Proverbs 28: 13-14

One of our goals as parents is that the older our kids get, the less control we exercise over them.  Time will come that we won’t be there with them 24/7.  We won’t and we can’t.

Therefore, as early as now, one of the things I need to teach my kids is to teach them self-discipline.

Self discipline is saying no to foolish behavior so that he can say yes to the plans and purposes God has for his life.

Our goal as parents is that our kids will eventually become their own disciplinarian.
Here’s how Steve Farrar puts it on raising self-disciplined kids, particularly boys:

  • A self-disciplined son learns to control his emotions and drives.  In other words, he can put a cap on his anger and exercise control in his sex life.
  • A self-disciplined son respects authority, even when he doesn’t agree with it.
  • A self-disciplined son grasps the value of future reward over immediate gratification.
  • A self-disciplined son has learned to see outside his own little world of his own needs.  In fact, he sees it as his honor and duty to sacrifice to meet the needs of those he loves.
  • A self-disciplined son is a self-starter.  He doesn’t need his mom to get him up every morning so that he won’t be late for his senior English class.

Discipline your children while there is hope. Otherwise you will ruin their lives. (Prov. 19:18, NLT)