For the first time since we have had our sons, I had to spank my seven-year old. He kept doing the opposite of what he was asked and told to do. It was not pleasant for him since he had a full day of disobedience. Three swats and it was done. He cried. I kept from crying. Mom stood in shock. Brother didn’t say a word. After speaking to my father the other day, he asked me how things were going with the boys.
Me: So far so good, Dad.
Dad: Have you had to spank them yet?
Me: Yes, my two-year old, but not my seven-year old.
Dad: After I spanked you for disobedience, Son, I would go into my room and pray and cry.
Dad: Yes. That was the one thing that I did not want to do but I had to. I had to teach you and your siblings discipline because this is what God does as a loving Father — He disciplines us.
Me: Yes, He does do that. And it’s not too pleasant either.
I remember learning a great deal from my two older brothers. As Dad would discipline them, I made mental notes not to do what they did! But all in all, I am grateful for my Dad spanking me. Now that I look at my life, it really isn’t all that bad. I am disciplined in what I do in ministry and I am disciplined at home. Did I enjoy being spanked? No, of course not. Neither do my Sons. But as a loving Father I explain to them the reason for the spanking and I tell them that if I didn’t discipline them that would mean that I don’t love them. I discipline them because I love them.
The writer of Hebrews says this of God:
You have not yet resisted to the point of shedding blood in your striving against sin; and you have forgotten the exhortation which is addressed to you as sons. “My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor faint when you are reproved by Him/ for those whom the Lord loves He disciplines, and He scourges every son whom He receives. It is for discipline that you endure; God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom his father does not discipline? But if you are without discipline, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate children and not sons. Furthermore, we had earthly fathers to discipline us, and we respected them; shall we not much rather be subject to the Father of spirits, and live? For they disciplined us for a short time as seemed best to them, but He disciplines us for our good, so that we may share His holiness. All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness. (Hebrews 12:4-11)