Heavenly love, misunderstood
“For whom the Lord loves He chastens, and scourges every son whom He receives.” Hebrews 12:6
Over the past few generations the belief of parental love has been redefined as giving a child what they want, when they want it. Therefore correction is seen as a lack of love or even abuse. However, our scripture teaches that the Lord’s chastening and corrective hand upon His children is a firm hand of parental love and not punishment.
This reminds me of how those pioneers mothers would teach their children around the wood-burning stove. As the little ones would stumble around learning their environment, the mother would be teaching them the two-letter word – No! Well, there would be a time when the mother would have to let the little one learn by experience. So as the wood-burning stove would cool down to where it was very warm to hot, the mother would purposely walk away from the stove and get some butter. She would stand back holding the butter and allow her little child to touch the hot stove. Once the child touched the stove and got slightly burnt the child cries. Then the mother comes in immediately to comfort her child with the cool butter to help soothe the burn. So did that mother ever stop loving her child? Absolutely not! What she did was out of love. The reason she allowed her child to touch the hot stove was to teach her child a greater lesson, and also to show that she is there to comfort.
So it is with us dear child of God. When we do not listen to God when He says, “No!” Our Heavenly Father will many times lovingly step back and allow us to get burnt by sin. Then when we cry out, He is quickly there with the cool butter of His grace to soothe our spiritual pain. However, the Lord never stopped loving us. Even though His correction may be uncomfortable, God’s love never changes like the degrees of a thermometer. Never! Therefore when our Heavenly Father corrects us it is always out of love and never out of anger. The very fact that He corrects us demonstrates that He has paternal care for us, and that our Father’s chastisement is not punishment. In fact, our Heavenly Father does not punish us. God’s punishment is reserved for the wicked, the unbelievers, and the devil. With regards to His children, God sternly corrects us because He is going to have godly children and not spoiled brats.
There are times in our Christian walk when we are disobedient that our Father correct us with a firm loving hand, but it is always with the intent to draw us back to His loving arms. Heavenly love is often misunderstood, but what our Father does is always for our greater good. If you have experienced His firm and loving hand that is evidence that you belong to Him.
David C. Hale, pastor