A Word from the Word

Discipline – A Mark of Love

Proverbs 3:11–12

My son, do not despise the Lord’s discipline, and do not resent his rebuke, because the Lord disciplines those he loves, as a father the son he delights in.     NIV

Discipline is a mark of love. Many have gone astray in our contemporary culture and misunderstood that. Unfortunately there has been a philosophy of bringing up children which omits discipline. You are to allow the child to do whatever he wishes, to indulge himself in every way; but that does not show love, that creates endless potential problems for your child in the future. True love in a parent expresses itself in discipline, in setting boundaries. There is security in set boundaries.

And the love of God for His children expresses itself in discipline. God’s discipline is not a mark of His disfavor; it’s a mark of His love. We need to be careful that we understand it that way. The Scripture warns us against two wrong reactions to the discipline of God. The first is despising it. The second is resenting it.

When God disciplines you, pay attention, don’t despise it, don’t resent it, don’t get angry, don’t complain, but learn the lesson that has to be learned and then the result will be blessing. The result will be peace. The result will be spiritual progress and development, because there’s no other way that God can teach us except by discipline. That’s true in the natural too. A teacher who doesn’t discipline really can’t teach. God is the great teacher, the great Father. He disciplines us in His love.