None of us like discipline. From my earliest remembrances as a child, I can still remember the discipline that I was given when I had done something wrong. I remember at 5 years old when I coaxed a neighbor boy to go behind an old barn to play with matches. It was exciting to see the fire burn the weeds that we piled up. Fortunately we didn’t burn down the barn. Unfortunately my father found out about the little escapade and I was disciplined that night. The discipline was painful, but I never remember playing with fire again. The discipline worked.
Solomon wrote about discipline when he said, “Do not despise the Lord’s instruction, my son, and do not loathe his discipline, for the Lord disciplines the one he loves, just as a father disciplines the son in whom he delights.” Proverbs 3:11-12 CSB. I had never looked at my father’s discipline when I was growing up as my father delighting in me. In fact I have never looked at discipline from the perspective of my father or my Heavenly Father delighting in me when I am disciplined.
Discipline is painful. Many times there is shame in the discipline because our wrong actions or wrong attitudes or destructive words are brought to the light of someone else. We only see the pain or shame we are experiencing, but fail to see that the discipline is being administered to us because our father/Father is showing his love for us. He is delighting in us.
Discipline from the Father in heaven can take many angles. It can be administered when we read His word and are convicted by the words we read. We can be sitting in church and hear a message from the pastor that brings conviction of an attitude or action that has been displeasing to Him. Discipline can come from a spouse who verbalizes a hurt that has occurred as a result of a wrong reaction that negatively impacted them.
On this journey when discipline comes, look at it from the perspective that the perpetrator of the discipline is actually showing his or her love and delight in us and wants us to change our actions or attitudes so that more intimate connection can occur.