Sunday, January 20, 2013

"Love"ly Thoughts - Day 7 - Tough Love

"Do not despise the Lord’s instruction, my son, and do not loathe His discipline; for the Lord disciplines the one He loves, just as a father, the son he delights in." Proverbs 3:11-12

One of the hardest things a parent does is to discipline their children. 
I say that unequivocally without any hesitation. Can I get a witness??

It has been a pretty tough couple of weeks here in our home. 
Tough because we have one of the best daughters in the world. 
And she rarely messes up, but when she does it catches us so off guard that we have one of those "who are you and what have you done with my daughter" moments. 

Tough because she's so mature that when we do have to mete out discipline, she accepts it. Doesn't argue. Doesn't cry. Doesn't try to bargain. 
She just accepts it and gets on with the business of being her. 
And she obeys it. Which is really surprising - because I'm here to tell ya' that her Momma didn't always.....
But those are stories for another post. 

Two weeks ago, we had to get her attention, pretty quickly. So we are temporarily holding over her head the only thing we had left that would do it. 
And she broke. Huge, gasping sobs and the biggest tears I'd ever seen. I'd never seen her react that way to a punishment and it just about broke me with every shake of her shoulders. 
Sometimes though, and you know it's true, is that it just has to be done. 
The hardest part for us has been sticking to it. 
In fact, I just want to tell her never mind, we'll find something else because she's being amazing - all the while the angst is eating her up inside, just making her miserable.
But I know we can't rescind what we are promising to do because, well, then the trust that she has in us would erode - ever so slightly, but it would. And we can't risk that. 

Because if a child needs anything, it's to know that they can trust their parents word. That when they say something, they mean it - even if it's discipline. 
Discipline is Tough Love. 

Just like it's breaking my heart to take the Tough Love stand with my daughter, I know that when God disciplines us, it breaks His heart too. 

But, because God LOVES us so much, He doesn't hesitate to get our attention with discipline when it's called for. 
He has promised it in His word. "The Lord disciplines the one He LOVES."
And what He promises, He keeps. 
It's why we TRUST Him. Because He always keeps His word, even when it hurts His heart. 

Which means we can always trust in His great LOVE for us. He'll never do anything to contradict Himself. He'll never play false with you. 
And His discipline leads us closer to the life He has planned for us. 

With a Courageous Heart, 


  1. Thanks for today's message. Dealing with tough love right now for my 13 year-old son.

  2. Wow. I'm late reading this one but I think I was meant to now instead of some other time. Nothing like a little tough love to make me question my parenting skills. Like your daughter, our son doesn't often give us any huge reason to discipline. Just last week though, it built up a little too much. And like you, I asked who are you and what did you do with our kid? At any rate, thanks for the thoughts to ponder Robin.


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