A few weeks ago my seven year old grand daughter and I were talking about the discipline she had received from her Daddy over disobeying him. I said, you know why your Daddy disciplined you? She said no. I said, because he loves you. Quickly she said, no, that's not true! Her little mind could not comprehend how a spanking and love could go hand in hand. I hope when she is an adult she will understand this truth. Sad to say, some never do.
Below is a few points from Effective Parenting in a Defective World by Don Dinkmeyer, after thoughts in red are mine. He is speaking to parents about disciplining their children but when I read over the list I thought to myself, if it's good enough for young children it's good enough for this older child of God.
1. The necessity of discipline: to deter destruction: (As an adult I understand this principal, that God loves me too much to let me get by for very long with disobedience).
2.The means of discipline: actions and words . In the Proverbs 3:11 passage that is quoted in Hebrews, two different Hebrew words are used: yasar (discipline), which involves God's actions; and yakach (rebuke), which refers to God's words. Hebrews 12:5 tells us not to make light of God's actions and not to lose heart at His words of rebuke. Yasar refers to disciplinary actions; yakach refers to corrective words. (God never, ever say something without backing it up with action).
3.The motive in discipline: to express love. (The more we believe this, the more we sink our life in Him instead of ourselves).
4. The goal of discipline: to teach obedience . When you teach your children godly submission, you're teaching them to do the right thing for the right reason. You want them to get beyond the point where they say "I've got to" and get them to the point of obeying out of love and trust. (Exactly what God wants to teach us adults).
5. The result of discipline: short-term pain and long-term gain. All discipline — not some or even most, but all — seems not to be pleasant, but painful. But there's a process involved; those who have been trained by it yield the fruit of righteousness. ( I would not trade the times God has had to discipline me for anything. Those times have taught me the truth that nothing can separate me from the love of God, not even my own disobedience).
Our 7 year old grand daughter will have to have her own children someday to really understand all the principals of a father and mother who loves their children enough to discipline them. When she does, she will thank her Daddy for loving her through discipline.
Final thought: God does not discipline us to subdue us, but to condition us for a life of usefulness and blessedness. Billy Graham