To love your child is to be able to look into his eyes, to know that he is right with you, and to jealously desire his affection. It’s to give him a purpose, a will for his life, boundaries in which he will prosper. It’s to discipline him in love, without anger or frustration, when he disobeys your commands.
To hate your child is to be too busy to notice his fallen countenance, to soothe him with cheap, plastic toys while your heart is far away. It’s to replace the love he needs from you with what he begs for — when his begging shows that something else is more important to you than his little soul. It is to set him in front of a TV to be filled with cartoons and learn the world of violence and sexual immorality. It’s to let him freely roam when danger lurks around him, when forces threaten to warp and distort the person he was meant to be. It’s to ignore his blatant disrespect and disobedience, until you must put him on medication because he is uncontrollable. It’s to give him an iPhone when he’s ten, so that he has full access to the world of lies and sensuality that lurks online. It’s to introduce him to “virtual communication” so he never gains his worth as a person able to express his heart to another human being.
Because I was loved as a child, I was comforted, yet not pampered. I was instructed, and then disciplined if I did not obey. I was taught that I was needed, that I could learn many things as a child, and did not need to be entertained so that my parents could do what they wanted to do. I have never known the anger of a frustrated parent whose repeated commands could not make me obey. I have never known the hurt of a teenager dreaming of love and having my dreams shattered.
Through love and discipline I learned that all we do has consequences. I was able to gain the character to wait for the man I would spend my life with. I have a child now who is desired and loved. Most of all, I know who God is. He gives His word and expects obedience, and there are consequences if you don’t. He is not an angry God who expects something from you that you are not able to give. He is a good Father who doesn’t bypass your will by bribing you into obeying. His word is an open challenge to your will, that strengthens your will and character as a human being.
It takes character and fortitude to live on this earth and do right, doesn’t it?
I will be grateful for the rest of my life for the parents I had who loved me with all they had. I’m grateful for the discipline, correction, and encouragement I have received. I will not do less for my own precious daughter.