By nature, I am not a disciplinarian. I have discovered this more and more in my job as a youth worker. It’s hard to believe, I know, but middle schoolers don’t listen well. At all.
I was reminded of this the other day during a challenge course where the unruly little 12-year-olds fought authority neck and neck all day long. It was painful. I left feeling beaten and overwhelmed. As if I had let the group down with my lack of discipline.
And so I realize that God is building this trait in me little by little. I dislike it. And I’d like to fight it. But I really ought to embrace it. After all, these skills are important to parenting. When I am the parent, I can’t just send the kids away at the end of the day. No, it’s me and their father day in, day out, laying down the law. Hopefully with relentless love and grace.
I grimace at the thought.
Oh I know I sound awful and heartless. It’s just that I like my peaceful little home and making dinner for two, not to mention enjoying said dinner in leisure and peace.
So in this process where I am taught and trained in the art of discipline, I’m reminded that my role as a disciplinarian will evolve and grow and mature, if I let it. And it will position my heart for a new perspective. Of a parent. For we know that no discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.*
And suddenly I just might understand a bit more about my Father’s love for me. His relentless, unyielding, perfect love. I treasure the thought.