My son, despise not the chastening of the LORD; neither be weary of his correction: For whom the LORD loveth he correcteth; even as a father the son in whom he delighteth.(Proverbs 3:11-12 (KJV)
Love is a funny thing. Depending on the source of love, the object of love, it carries with it a wide variety of emotions. Love makes you feel – joy, happiness, excitement, nervousness, fear. Most of these emotions we welcome; some we do not care for at all. But there is one emotion, one feeling, that most of us despise. Unfortunately, it is the one that God uses to shape us into what he wants us to be.
According to Wisdom, love – real love - makes you feel pain. The thing we have to remember is that it is not needless pain. Love’s pain is for a purpose. Wisdom says that we are chastened because we are loved. The analogy here lets us know that God is to us as a father is to his children. It is he who is responsible for our upbringing, our provision, our protection. In his role as our father, he is also responsible for training us to walk upright.
When I was a child, I didn’t always have a father – my stepfather was around for a time – but I always had discipline. My mom firmly believed in applying the rod, the extension cord, the belt – well, you get the picture. Unfortunately I did not always appreciate her fervency. So I did what most children who despise discipline do – I ran away from home. But I found out that other people don’t treat you like your parents. They may let you go without discipline, but it’s really because they don’t have a vested interest in how you turn out.
Wisdom warns us not to get tired of the Lord’s discipline – don’t run away from God when you are chastised. Just take your punishment and get back in line – repent and change. Nobody you can run to will love you like your Father. He has a vested interest in your outcome – he wants to see you make something of yourself with all of the gifts and abilities he has placed inside you. He delights in you; therefore, he does what is necessary to keep you on the right track. We are loved so much that we are not allowed to ruin ourselves. Some people say there is no love stronger than a mother’s love – but I disagree. The Father’s love is stronger still.