Blows that wound cleanse away evil;
strokes make clean the innermost parts.
I read Proverbs 20 this morning and was struck by this verse (pun intended)
It would be easier in some respects to let you do what you desire. It would require less discipline from me. I could learn to deal with the chaos as long as I gained the comfort of not having to get off of the couch. But I love you too much and I love Jesus too much to allow that to happen. It is hard work. I don't enjoy having to spank you. And yet, I can feel the purpose in it when I do it well. I feel hopeful and faith-filled as I talk you through the clear instruction, the clear offense and the clear penalty for your willful violation. As I hold your little bodies after the spanks, kissing you and cuddling you, restoring your hearts and reconciling the brokenness your sin caused in disobeying me and God, I feel encouraged. I believe the promise or the general truism of these proverbial statements. Spanks don't just tan your hide, they minister to your soul and shepherd your heart. That is my desire and that is my goal. I want to lead you well and teach you to follow me as I follow Christ so that we can follow Him together forever.
Spanks aren't meant merely to bruise bottoms, but to soften and tenderize stiffened hearts. I am grateful for the discipline of the Lord in my life. It never feels good at the moment, but it feels good overall to know that I haven't been abandoned to my own devices. I feel safe knowing God is guiding and correcting my steps.
I love you children. I am praying for you this morning and this verse gave me hope and faith as I imagine all God will do for and through you by placing you in my home. I love being your shepherd, your father, your counselor and ultimately you brother in Christ.
For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.