This hurts me more than . . .
For the LORD corrects those he loves, just as a father corrects a child in whom he delights. – Proverbs 3:12
31 For no one is abandoned by the Lord forever.
32 Though he brings grief, he also shows compassion because of the greatness of his unfailing love.
33 For he does not enjoy hurting people or causing them sorrow.
One common phrase which many of us heard throughout our lives is, “This hurts me more than it hurts you!” Often it is associated with a parent disciplining their children by spanking or the like. I’m not sure that the child receiving spanking would agree with that statement.
Somehow this parental expression of regret rings hollow. Pain is pain. Physical discipline is not painless. And on top of that, there is often emotional hurt which may equal or exceed the physical pain. While the sentiment of the parent is understandable, is it accurate? Imagine the parent switching places and see if you concur. Many parents are simply angry and vindictive and take it out of their kids. How tragic!
Any form of discipline between parent and child should be accompanied by abundant love, reassurance, and comfort.
In 1962, the United States discovered, via aerial surveillance, that the Soviet Union was installing missiles capable of striking the US in Cuba. This precipitated the “Cuban Missile Crisis.” President John F. Kennedy announced that he was placing a naval blockade around Cuba to prevent the delivery of any more weapons. A naval blockade is normally considered an act of war.
Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev threatened war if Russian ships were stopped. Many Americans who were alive at that time recall that there was a rush from grocery stores as people prepared as much as they could for war. However, Khrushchev backed down and agreed to remove the missiles. A now-famous cartoon published by Edmund Valtman on October 30, 1962, shows Khrushchev as a dentist about to extract Cuban leader Fidel Castro’s teeth. The teeth are depicted as missiles.
Intellectually I understand the fact that affliction and suffering are a part of life as a child of the King. Further, the Father uses discipline to develop character and patience. He uses it to develop submissiveness and draw me into a closer relationship with Him.
Yet I reflect on the fact that my Father in heaven is all-powerful and can stop my pain at any time. I wonder, why doesn’t He? The children of Israel asked the same question 2600 years ago. The Father answered.
Ezekiel 18:25 Yet you say, “The Lord isn’t doing what’s right!” Listen to me, O people of Israel. Am I the one not doing what’s right, or is it you?
There are times when I wonder if the Father is perhaps more like A marine drill sergeant or inflexible judge rather than a loving, gracious, understanding Father. Sometimes I imagine myself as a nail and He is the hammer.
It is natural to have these doubts and feelings, but in fact, such feelings are totally incorrect and based not on the truth of His Word, but rather earthly, natural, and demonic wisdom (James 3:15).
The Father takes no pleasure in the death of anyone who dies (Ezekiel 18:32), not to mention suffering.
The Father may allow us to go through tough times, but He does all this to do us “good in the end.” We may not see that good right away, but if we trust Him, He will bless us in His time (Stanley). Enduring difficult times develops obedience and character.
Hebrews 5:8 Even though Jesus was God’s Son, he learned obedience from the things he suffered.
It is way too common for children of the King to get a bit frustrated and even angry when the Father disciplines them.
REFLECT & PRAY
So often we ask why? But, if we really knew why, would make any difference? Would anything change? Would it make our circumstances any better? During our difficulties, it seems like they will last forever, but in fact, they are only transitory. Paul calls them “momentary light afflictions” (2 Corinthians. 4:17).
Father I recognize it is so easy for me to doubt You and even to think the worst of You. Help me to remember that You are indeed my Father and I am Your beloved child. And to remember it grieves Your heart when You see me struggle.
“A Greek boy was expected to ‘work out’ in the gymnasium until he reached his maturity. It was a part of his preparation for adult life. The writer [of the book of Hebrews] viewed the trials of the Christian life as a spiritual discipline that could help a believer mature. Instead of trying to escape the difficulties of life, we should rather be ‘exercised’ by them so that we might grow (Hebrews 12:11)” (Wiersbe).
Hebrews 12:6, 10-11
6 For the LORD disciplines those he loves, and he punishes each one he accepts as his child.”
10 For our earthly fathers disciplined us for a few years, doing the best they knew how. But God’s discipline is always good for us, so that we might share in his holiness.
11 No discipline is enjoyable while it is happening – it’s painful! But afterward there will be a peaceful harvest of right living for those who are trained in this way.
The Greek word translated as discipline is paideuo and it means to child train. Pediatrics is the area of medicine that focuses on children). Paideuo originally meant to bring up a child, to educate. It was used of activity directed toward moral and spiritual nurture. The goal was to train the child and thus influence its conscious will and action. In a religious sense, it meant to chastise, correct to educate children of the King to conform to divine truth.
Punishment and discipline are not the same. Punishment looks back and attempts to administer appropriate penalties or consequences for what has occurred. But discipline looks forward. Discipline is child training. Godly parents provide their children with discipline in love. Sadly, many children of the King lacked one or even both parents who perform biblically-based parenting. Regardless, we are to persevere when we are child trained.
Hebrews 12:5 He said, My child, don’t make light of the LORD’s discipline, and don’t give up when he corrects you.
Child training is intended to humble us. It often brings us to an end of ourselves. It is preparing us for the future and the dream that the Father has for us. Discipline is a part of His loving care for us.
Does discipline “hurt” the Father more than it hurts us?
The Father sent His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ into the world to die on a cross. He had to watch the horror of it all. Can there be any doubt that both the Father and the Son both suffered terribly? Was it not horrific when the Lord Jesus Christ bore the weight and punishment of all the sins of the human race? As mere humans, we will never fully comprehend the pain and suffering that both Father and Son went through.
Suffering is not pleasant or easy and is part of life in Our fallen world. the Father took the Lord Jesus Christ through suffering. He does the same for every child of the King. The Father’s discipline demonstrates that He loves us, rather than a lack of love.