I don’t know how many of you are parents, or if you have parents, but I am one and I have some. Do you ever say or do you remember your parents saying, “I’m only doing this because I love you.” Even though what they’re doing doesn’t really feel like love at the time. Maybe you’ve said it yourself, and what you’re doing is more along the lines of mean than it is love. You know that it’s what’s best for your kids, but there is no way for them to see that right now.

Isn’t it amazing how just a little bit of perspective can change how we view things? Something we saw as negative and ridiculous when we were kids, is the very same thing that we now do. We don’t just do it, but we understand that it’s the right thing to do.

Proverbs 3:11-12

11 My child, do not despise discipline from the Lord,
and do not loathe his rebuke.
12 For the Lord disciplines those he loves,
just as a father disciplines the son in whom he delights.

We can gather from the context of this verse that the kind of discipline being talked about in this verse is the punishment kind and not the structured life kind. The question I have about this verse, but don’t have a good answer for is, “what does discipline from the Lord look like?”

For a long time I assumed that when things went wrong in your life, it must be because God has something he wants to teach me. Or that I’m doing something wrong. But, I’m not sure that is the case. I guess it can be. But, there are lots of people who do wrong and never receive punishment for it. So, if God “punishes” the people he loves, then does that mean he doesn’t love this person who deserves punishment? Well, it doesn’t seem like God would work that way either.

And I’ve also gone through things that I haven’t felt like I deserved. It doesn’t seem like I should be getting punished by God, and yet I’m going through this awful thing. (Which is actually a ridiculous thought, since we all make mistakes every day, and deserve nothing from God.)

But then, as a father I also realize there are things that I either do to my kids or allow to happen to my kids because I know they need it. I know they might not like it at the time, but I know they will be better off in the long run if I let it happen. It’s not necessarily punishment. It’s a learning experience.

I’m sure you’ve heard that term before, and it might even be cheesy to you, but it’s true. “There are no bad days, only learning experiences.” I don’t agree with the first part of that statement, because there are very definitely bad days. But, in every bad day and every bad experience there is an opportunity to learn and grow.

So, for now, that’s where I’m landing on this passage. I might change my mind down the road. Maybe you have a different opinion. If you do, I’d love for you to leave your opinion in a comment below.

But for now, if you’re going through a rough time and you don’t know why, (and if it helps) try to think of your difficult situation from the perspective of a father. He’s right there and sees everything you’re going through. He can see all the dangers that surround you. He knows you’re scared. He knows you don’t feel like you can do it. But, he also knows more about you than you think he does. He even knows more about you than you do. He knows how far he can push you before you break, and how far you need to be pushed.

And one more thing, he doesn’t just see it all…He’s in it all with you. Better than that, He’ll be right there to catch you if you fall. Sure, you might just fall. But, He’ll be there to catch you. Every Time.