I hated discipline. Every form of it. Until I learned that disciple is not punishment.
Growing up we were punished for every slight infraction we made in my father’s kingdom. If you spoke or behaved inappropriately, a leather belt was waiting to connect with your raw skin. If you didn’t wash the dishes just right or left the sink dirty, you were woken up to his screaming, made to get out of bed and come down and correct it by washing ALL the dishes.
Any infraction, after he delivered his punishment, was underlined with his silent treatment for hours, days, weeks – depending on how much he wanted you to suffer.
I mistakenly believed my father’s actions were discipline.
Discipline means by definition the practice of training people to obey rules or a code of behavior, using punishment to correct disobedience. This is not God’s defined method.
I believe the discipline of the bible is a code of ethics you find through God’s love and exercising your own self-discipline. It is nothing another person imposes on you. That would be the righteous rules of religion. That’s not God either.
God could always discipline us, but He doesn’t.
Instead, God pours out His love on us. He doesn’t discipline us like He should. God knew my story so He knew what I struggled with. He knew that I wanted to be more and He saw my genuine struggles. I cannot recall a time where God disciplined me for struggling with sin or change or understanding. When I struggled, that is when I have felt Him the most. He poured out His love even stronger and helped me understand His grace.
Everything I once knew in life to survive, I have had to unlearn and retrain myself in the ways and standards of love.
My earthly father’s rules made me feel unworthy and that everything I did was wrong. The stamp of condemnation was forever coming down on me.
My Heavenly Father is all about His kingdom of love, grace and mercy. His rules are derived from the nature of Himself and He is love.