What do our children need to grow into healthy members of society? In my opinion, they need Jesus in their home 24/7; they need love; they need to be taught to obey and they must experience discipline at appropriate times. When any of those are missing, our kids are going to struggle. Even if they are present, they still might struggle to some extent, but keeping them at the forefront definitely helps. Discipline is not normally a favorite part of parenting, but it is essential to our children's future success. I suspect that God hates having to discipline His kids, but He does so because He, too, wants the best for each of us. It has to hurt Him to take stuff away that we love or to make our lives more difficult to get our attention, but He does it. He uses Jeremiah to remind His people that He will discipline them when they get out of line. They can argue and fight against it, but He will not stop until we have grown enough to overcome our sin. This, by the way, is love! If I love my kids, I discipline them; and since God loves me, He disciplines me when I step out of line or go my own way. The writer of Hebrews went so far as to say that if He did not discipline our sin, He does not love us. God looked at His people in Israel and Judah and His heart broke over their sin. He wanted the best for them, but they would not repent and return. They forced Him to take action, and He did. What about us? God loves you today just as much as He loved His people in the Old Testament. If He loves us the same way, then He will respond to sin in our lives in the same way.

Help me, Lord, to see Your discipline from a different light today. Help me to enjoy Your incredible love and to know that when I get out of line You will do what is needed to get me back to that straight path because of Your love for me.