Tough Love – Part 2

I want to begin the article with tough love is simply love with discipline.

It’s so important to be honest with ourselves, to reflect and ask ourselves probing questions. Am I the infant who cries for things from God and then gets frustrated when I don’t get what I want, when I want? I answered truthfully at times ‘yes’. We all want to hear yes and receive a pat on the back, but when discipline in love comes around we retreat back into our shells.

Our Heavenly Father wants us to be conformed into the likeness of Christ this is why He disciplines us in love. I love how Hebrews 12:5-11 is written in the Message Bible

“My dear child, don’t shrug off God’s discipline, but don’t be crushed by it either online viagra. It’s the child he loves that he disciplines; the child he embraces, he also corrects. God is educating you; that’s why you must never drop out. He’s treating you as dear children. This trouble you’re in isn’t punishment; it’s training, the normal experience of children. Only irresponsible parents leave children to fend for themselves. Would you prefer an irresponsible God? We respect our own parents for training and not spoiling us, so why not embrace God’s training so we can truly live? While we were children, our parents did what seemed best to them. But God is doing what is best for us, training us to live God’s holy best. At the time, discipline isn’t much fun. It always feels like it’s going against the grain. Later, of course, it pays off handsomely, for it’s the well-trained who find themselves mature in their relationship with God.”

Perfectly to the point. If God was to give into all our wants, or not to discipline us when needed He would surely spoil us. God is training us, yes the discipline won’t feel nice but the results are outstanding. In our eyes it’s short term pain but to God it’s long term gain!

The Bible says “A refusal to correct is a refusal to love; love your children by disciplining them.” (Proverbs 13:24 MSG) Thank God that He disciplines us!

What if God did not discipline us, look at the story of Eli and his sons. “Now the sons of Eli were corrupt; they did not know the LORD.” (1 Samuel 2:12 NKJV). Eli the prophet did speak to his sons about what they had done (verses 23-25), but he did not do something crucial which was to set boundaries and properly address the issue at hand! Later in the story we read how God tells Eli through a man of God that he has honoured his sons more than God, that there will be no old man in the generations after him (every descendant will die early) and that his two sons will die. Imagine if Eli had truly disciplined his children they may have been saved. Love in this respect had to be tough in accordance to God’s word, the temple was being violated.

This style of love without discipline reminds me of our world today, the mushy type where love is all about making you happy and feeling good. We as Christians can follow this type of love but remember just as Jesus was in the manger He is still Sovereign Lord and King. He is still in the job of loving with discipline. The same Jesus who taught us to love one another is the same Jesus who made whips and used them to whip the merchants who had set up shops in the temple (John 2:15). Jesus acted in love to save the people he wanted them to remember the true purpose of the temple, it was a house of prayer not a marketplace. This image seems graphic but it was needed, the place was in chaos. Jesus gave the people what they needed whether they liked it or not at that time.

God is willing to use tough love to bring about a glorious end, he doesn’t want us to walk our way into destruction and he is willing and ready to give us the wake-up call and tough measures that we all need at times in our lives. Oh what a loving God we serve! God’s tough love towards us is not to harm us but it’s because of his obligation to love us fully that’s why he implicates these measures so we will be fruitful and flourish.

“The people I love, I call to account—prod and correct and guide so that they’ll live at their best. Up on your feet, then! About face! Run after God!” (Revelation 3:19 MSG)

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