Imagine a world where parents never instructed their children. No discipline, no guidelines. What if their aim was to be the child’s friend and they didn’t dare impose their values or common sense in fear of upsetting the child’s delicate psyche?
Well, in some cases we don’t have to imagine. But, for the most part, I think we’d agree children need parents to be..parents! There’s lots of harmful things and people in this world and parents must be the protector and very first teacher for the little ones God has given them. Let’s face it: kids would eat candy all day and run back and forth across busy roads holding live electrical wires if parents weren’t doing their job. We need reasonable and present parents to raise the next generation of kind, independent, able adults.
We parent and discipline because we love our children and we have a much better understanding of how the world actually works than they do, simply because we’ve been here longer and we’ve (hopefully) gained some wisdom during that time. We want to set them up for success and teach them not to be selfish or manipulative, but instead to be honest and responsible citizens of the world. Because life will go so much better for them that way.
In the same way, our Father knows more about this world than we could ever fathom. He created it, after all. He gives us guidelines and says “This is the way, walk in it.” Because when we don’t, things go terribly wrong. Here’s where I want to post a pic of Cardi B in her song WAP but then you’d have to cover your eyes and I don’t want to be responsible for you walking into a wall. But seriously, when we live outside of the good and reasonable parameters God has given us, we experience consequences and pain.
My life has been a prime example of this. For years I chased after relationships with men, drank too much, partied, and thought my “Christian” friends were lame and missing out by not experiencing all the world had to offer. Guess who ended up happy and who ended up miserable?
I had no one to blame but myself. I knew God’s way, but I chose my own. And there have been consequences, and I can’t be mad at God for them. Personal responsibility. It’s a real thing.
Ok, but here’s where the good news comes in. No matter how far off the path I ran (as fast as I could, mind you), God was right there waiting with open arms when I decided to change course and try things his way. His way is infinitely better than mine, and life without drama, regret, and self-loathing is actually pretty sweet.
Can I let you in on a secret? I am actually thankful for the consequences God allowed me to suffer. Ultimately, I experienced enough pain to realize I should probably stop living the way I was living. And I came back to the one who knows me better than anyone else and loves me anyway; loves me enough to tell me to stop when I’m headed towards destruction. Thank you, God.
Here is some truth: God loves you more than you can imagine. If you have been living outside of his good boundaries, there is nothing holding you there. Come home. He’s waiting with open arms, and he has a better plan. He’s a good Father.
Love you guys.