July 27, 2013

Today you should read: Jeremiah 17:1-18

When I was a kid I hated when my mom got angry with me. She would grind her teeth together and yell at me and eventually, I would get spanked. Many of us had similar experiences as kids and, at the time, we were probably not thinking, “Wow, thanks for disciplining me so that I will learn right from wrong”. For many of us our thoughts were sadness, anger, fear or resentment. We did not see the good in our situation and, at least for me, I did not see my mom as someone to run to and find refuge while my backside cooled down. In today’s passage we can learn a valuable lesson, especially for the parents out there:

God is both the disciplinarian and the one who holds us while we cry

Many parents tend to fall into one of 2 basic categories: The first is a strict disciplinarian. This type of parent is characterized by being quick to correct and dish out punishment accordingly when their kids misbehave. This type of parent can be easily angered and annoyed and desires their kids to fall in line and obey. The other type of parent is the best buddy. This parent buys their kids stuff, takes them lots of places and does what they can to make sure their kids are happy and that they are “bff’s.” This parent has trouble controlling their kids and is very inconsistent with discipline. God is a perfect balance of these two types of parenting and today’s parents are called to be that as well. God disciplined the nation of Judah for its sin and the punishment was severe. But Jeremiah shows us at the end of the passage that God, even in the midst of punishment, is still available for us to run to for love, comfort and refuge.

You see, our hearts are “deceitful above all things” (verse 9) and the cure for that is found in Christ, but the refinement of a regenerate heart comes through loving discipline and instruction (Proverbs 22:15, 2 Timothy 3:16-17). God does that with us and parents should be ready and willing to do the same for their children. And it must be done with truth and love. Discipline without love breeds resentment in a child and Proverbs actually tells us that not disciplining your child is being a willing participant in their death (Proverbs 19:18).

So be sure to lovingly instruct your kids, allowing them to feel the full weight of consequences but also being available to hold them and comfort them as they deal with pain. That is what God does for us.

Posted by: Robbie Byrd

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Author: Center Point Church

A multi-campus church in central Kentucky. Our mission is to take everyone we meet one step closer to becoming a true disciple of Jesus Christ.

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