Not long ago my kids were having struggles with their kid. The topic was homeschooling. He wouldn’t do what he was supposed to do. They saw the problem wasn’t school, but the need to crack down on him as he’d become unruly and disrespectful and outright rebellious at times. His little heart was hard towards them and others. He was controlling them and his environment with his bad attitudes and behavior.
So they began the process of disciplining him for even little infractions. Not spanking (except when needed), but mostly, mainly, not letting him have everything the way he wanted it. There were some big battles and some small skirmishes.
But, once they as parents had reestablished that THEY were the parents and not to be controlled by the kid….they had his heart. The next time I saw the little grandkid, the whole spirit and demeanor about him had softened. He was sweet and happy, kind and respectful, and feeling secure in his parents’ control of things.
I totally see this in the spiritual. It’s how God does with us. Exactly the same.
We want to control things. We may not be outwardly disrespectful, but we want to control things. We may not be outwardly rebellious, but we want things the way we want them. We may not be outwardly sulking with a bad attitude, but we like our way and think it’s best and think God should do it that way.
We want to control things.
And so God has to be our Father. He deals with us as sons. Heb 12:5-7. He allows situations, people, and just plain hard stuff into our lives to discipline and train us. ..Because we want to control things.
Our hearts get hard towards God and others when we control things and have everything the way we want it.
No discipline for the moment feels joyous. Heb 12:11. It feels like our Father is against us and stepping back from us. But the reality is, he’s softening our hearts by loosening our control and not letting us organize our lives into the way WE WANT.
And once we’ve been trained by this discipline of the moment, peace comes to our hearts and (w)holiness towards the Lord. Love abounds. Humility reigns. The hardness and drama dies out. Quietness fills our hearts as we feel secure in the Father’s boundaries and wisdom.
Therefore, allow yourself to be trained, to be disciplined. Let God be your Father. Be his little child. Give up the controllingness that’s so precious to all of us. Go to him for Grace to deal with his discipline and training without bitterness. Heb 12:15. Don’t be like Esau and give up your spiritual inheritance because you have to have what you think you have to have. Heb 12:17-18.
This particular grandchild of ours is the first born. If his parents can get him to the place of softness and submission, then he’ll be an example, and they won’t have so much trouble with their other children. For this reason, the first born often bears the brunt of the parents’ high expectations and discipline.
Think of it…. Jesus is the first born of many sons. Romans 8:29. He bore the brunt of the Father’s expectations and discipline. Life for us will be fruit-filled if we’ll follow his example of giving the Father complete control in the measure we’re able. ?