Dads And Discipline
by Joy Martin, Co-Founder Set Me Free Ministries
Yesterday we celebrated Father's Day. At our house, we spent the evening with the whole family–on both sides–enjoying good food and fun times together. It was our first family get-together at our new home, and I'm pleased to say that the evening was a success. I am incredibly blessed with the fathers in my life. I have a dad who has always been supportive and active in my life. He taught me what a husband and father should be, and for that I am eternally grateful. I have a husband who loves our children more than life itself. He is the disciplinarian when he needs to be, and at the same time, he's always ready with a hug and kiss. And if that weren't enough, I have an amazing father-in-law who has welcomed me into his family as one of his own. Yes, I am truly blessed by the fathers in my life.
Now, I know this isn't the case in every household, but in my experience, both growing up and now with my own children, Dad tends to be the parent who is better at doling out discipline. That's not to say that my mom never dished out a a dose or two of her own or that I don't with my own children, but I definitely feared the wrath of Dad more than that of my mom. I think the same is true with my children, although I sometimes wish that weren't the case.
I can honestly say that I remember more than one incident when I faced the wrath of Dad. You may think that those memories are unpleasant and filled with sadness or fear, but you would be wrong. Interestingly enough, I remember those incidents as times when my dad was trying to teach me a very valuable lesson–honesty, integrity, safety, or teamwork. So even though no one likes to get in trouble, I realize looking back the importance of those times with my dad, and I'm thankful that he cared enough about me to sit me down, teach me about consequences, and talk things out.
In the same way, our heavenly Father cares enough about us to show us the right way to live. And when we screw up, sometimes God has to dole out a little discipline of His own. For example. sometimes God disciplines us by letting us face unpleasant consequences to our actions. And although it may feel like nothing more than God's wrath, the truth is that God disciplines out of love. Proverbs 3:11-12 says, "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."
In keeping with our Father's Day theme, I'd like you to take a minute next time you feel a little discipline coming your way to step back and thank God, your heavenly Father, for loving you enough to correct you with His loving discipline.