I couldn’t help but notice the theme in today’s chapters of being well-disciplined. I feel particularly tuned in to the verses directed towards children and parenting, as I am right in the middle of the formative years of my son’s life.
Even if you don’t have kids, we are all children of God and under his perfect parenting.
“A foolish child is a calamity to a father.”19:13 “Even children are known by the way they act, whether their conduct is pure, and whether it is right.” 20:11 Our reputations matter.
“Discipline your children while there is hope. Otherwise you will ruin their lives.” 19:18 “Physical punishment cleanses away evil, such discipline purifies the heart.” 20:30 God disciplines us and corrects us out of love, not to flex his power or dominate. (Hebrews 12:6) I’ve always trusted this, but I don’t think I fully understood it until I was coming down hard on my son for running out in the street. What a reminder to correct people out of love and not pride.
“Children who mistreat their father or chase away their mother are an embarrassment and a public disgrace.” 19:26
“If you insult your father or mother, your light will be snuffed out in total darkness.” 20:20
I notice there’s not a disclaimer on these last two verses. We are called to respect the authority over us whether they are worthy of it or not.
What can feel like a monotonous list of rules and regulations is actually shaping our heart and developing our character. Sometimes I feel like I’m just bombarding my son and dictating his behavior. If there’s something really intentional behind what I’m asking him, I get eye to eye with him and explain it. But sometimes, I just want immediate obedience. I want him to respect my authority and trust what I’m asking him to do, not argue with me or negotiate partial obedience.
How do you respond to God’s authority in your life?
How do you steward authority he’s given you?