Emails to God – Submitting to Discipline (Hebrews 12:4-11)

14 Aug

4 In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. 5 And have you completely forgotten this word of encouragement that addresses you as a father addresses his son? It says,

“My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline,
and do not lose heart when he rebukes you,
6 because the Lord disciplines the one he loves,
and he chastens everyone he accepts as his son.”

7 Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as his children. For what children are not disciplined by their father? 8 If you are not disciplined—and everyone undergoes discipline —then you are not legitimate, not true sons and daughters at all. 9 Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of spirits and live! 10 They disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, in order that we may share in his holiness. 11 No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.

Dear God, the deeper I get into parenting the more I am breaking my priorities down to three things.

1. Show my children what it means to love you
2. Show my children that I love them
3. Teach them how to submit to authority

The problem I run into is that the second and third items can sometimes feel mutually exclusive—especially as they hit the teenage years. When they are in their twenties, perhaps they will look back and understand what I am doing/trying to do now, but for right now I think they see discipline and love and mutually exclusive things. That really frustrates me because I want more than anything for them to feel my love.

Father, I suppose it all starts with me accepting your authority over me and submitting to that. Then, from there, I will let your spirit flow through me as much as possible. So please forgive me for the times I’ve missed it and not found the right balance with them. Protect my children from my sins. Encourage them to love you and submit themselves to you. Help them to turn loose of their own agendas and wills and turn them over to you. And help me to love my wife as you need her to be loved.


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