My son, despise not the chastening of the Lord; neither be weary of his correction: For whom the Lord loveth he correcteth; even as a father the son in whom he delighteth.Proverbs 3:11-12
I remember a time in my childhood when I was outside playing but I was supposed to do a chore my mom had told me to do. I figured I would just do it later as my friend came to the house and asked if I could come out and play. I knew I had to do my chores, but I saw them as optional and not necessarily as a requirement. I told my friend I was cleared to play, and I ran out the door and did not let it hit me as I exited it. I was having a good time when I heard my mom yell my name in a way that I knew I was in trouble. My friend looked at me and laughed because he knew I was in trouble. I sauntered over to the house and my mom gave me the “what for”. The weather was nice so the windows were open and my friend heard everything my mom was telling me. I could have lived with that, but then she told me to put my hands on the couch and she spanked me. My friend could hear every swat and my yelps as they echoed off my bottom.
I tried to take the spanking but I was whimpering as the pain lingered and did not dissipate. I was eventually allowed back outside where my friend gleefully awaited my return. He was our neighbor’s grandson and he came over to visit from time to time. We had a love/hate relationship and it was not uncommon for us to get into a dust up or two. He smiled from ear to ear with the three teeth he had due to him losing his baby teeth, and those teeth were like a red cape to an enraged bull. The moment he laughed at me, I sought to knock those three teeth out of his mouth. I was embarrassed and angry and I took it all out on him as I swung him like the boy in “The Christmas Story”. I could hear my punches echo in his rib cage and he was saved by his grandpa who came out and separated us. He was now whimpering and crying, and I did feel a little better about things. His grandpa asked why I was so mad. My friend admitted to making fun of me, and his grandpa shrugged and told him he deserved what he got.
We made peace with each other and sat there as he rubbed his ribs and told me that he never got spankings. I was shocked by this and I thought he was luckiest kid in the world. Why was I saddled with the spanking stick? Why did my bottom glow like Rudolph’s nose? There were some spankings after which I could have led Santa all around the world. I wished that I was like him and did not have to get spankings, but I am thankful for them now. I am not sure whatever happened to my friend, but I imagine he has struggled as we were both in need of correction. I am not sure where I would be without the spanking stick and my parents taking the time to straighten a crooked tree that was bent on growing its own way.
I missed those old spankings as adult “spankings” seem to be a lot worse. The consequences are more painful and are not just relegated to the stinging sensation, but oftentimes have long lasting effects. I think of the times when I got caught doing something or the truth came out and it hurt more than a spanking ever did. The Lord loves His children too much to allow them to go too far. My parents loved me so they corrected me, and how much more my Heavenly Father whose desire is for me to be conformed to the image of His Son. If you are God’s child and experience chastening of the Lord, then you are experiencing His love for you.
Are you weary of the Lord’s correction? Do you relish in your sin? Are you experiencing the correction of the Lord? Ae you one of His children? I am grateful for the spankings I received as I am grateful for the love my parents showed me through correction. I am also grateful for a God who loves me too much to allow me to continue in my sin, and who will chasten me back to where I need to be. A spanking is a reminder of our wrong doing but it is also a reminder of God’s amazing love.