Elisabeth Elliot wrote, “God will go to any lengths to bring us to acknowledge who He is” (Elliot, A Lamp unto My Feet, p. 21). If He is your Father, Savior, and Lord, it should be no surprise when He treats you accordingly. Being a “son” or “daughter” of God does not mean that you are exempt from chastisement and suffering. It just means He is with you.
The ability to endure suffering is to be learned through the parental process of discipline. Only a parent can and should discipline children. Children need loving parental care for their personal development.
Biblically, parents are obligated to discipline their children. If they do not, the children will inevitably have to learn from the harsh, cruel world.
When disciplined properly—-without anger or rejection—-children “respect [their parents] for it” (Heb 12:9). Children learn that they are punished “for a little while as [their parents] thought best” (12:10). After the punishment is over, life goes on with another lesson learned and the family bond intact.
Sometimes parents want their children’s friendship and affection so much that they refuse to inflict any pain in punishment. The closing argument of Hebrews 12:7 is a rhetorical question: “Today, what father never disciplines his son?”
One of the most glaring conflicts between the Bible and psychology is found in Proverbs 13:24: “Those who spare the rod hate their children, but those who love them are diligent to discipline them.” Likewise, in Proverbs 29:15, “a child who gets his own way brings shame to his mother” and to the rest of his family. So it is in the family of God. He dares not allow us to be “spoiled children.”
God promises to undertake the responsibility to break our will—-but not our spirit—-in order to make us humble and obedient in our walk with Him. We are to “continually endure our suffering as discipline.”
A wise man once said, “The measure of your character is what it takes to stop you” (from a sermon by Bob Jones Sr.).
“Dear Lord, You are our loving Father who will not allow us to stray far from Your plan. I praise You for the security Your discipline affords.”