From: David Foss
Everyone can truthfully say that God loves everyone and everyone can truthfully say that most parents love their children. Nearly everyone will agree that there are other aspects of parenting not just the love aspect. One other aspect is called discipline. Most parents discipline their children because they love them and because they are instructed by God to do so. Deuteronomy 6:6-7 Discipline is for their good...their lifelong good. Disciplining one’s children is not being unloving or cruel. It means that they are being loving and responsible parents. Proverbs 23:13-14
Does the parent’s love decline each time their child does something wrong? No. They probably love them just as much, but again there is obviously more to a relationship between a parent and a child than just love alone. Many other characteristics come into play in one’s life - joyfulness, peacefulness, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self control, meekness, fairness, etc.
If our son or daughter murders someone, should we say to the authorities, “You can’t send my child to prison! We love our child too much! It’s not fair that our child has to go to prison!” Now the parents should still love their child, and they should forgive their child. However, if the child does not repent of the crime, does this mean that God and the child’s parents no longer love this child? Absolutely not. God still loves the child, but He still hates the sin and He has a penalty for it because of the child’s unrepentive spirit.
What would happen if there was no penalty for sin? Without any deterrent for sin, we would be living in a very different, but much more frightening world. We can’t even imagine the wickedness that would be upon us. If there was no punishment for wrongdoing, we wouldn’t dare leave our homes, even though they could be broken into without any penalty of prosecution. Becoming a recluse wouldn’t even bring us peace.
Are we loving our children by not having them pay the price for disobedience? Are they going to be better citizens if they are never reproved for their wrongdoing?
As parents should we reward a child who is never repentant for disobedience? Are we going to say, “It’s okay that you disobeyed us and now we are going to give you a reward, even though you have an unrepentive spirit?” No, God would accuse us of hating our children and disobeying His word if we did not discipline them. Proverbs 13:24
Would this be a truthful statement? “You don’t love your children because you discipline them?” Of course not! Yes, there is much more than one side (love) to parenting. This wouldn’t be a truthful statement either: God is only a God of love - period. Yes, God is love, but we must remember that He is also a God of judgment.
Ponder Romans 14:10b-12 Hebrews 9:27 II Corinthians 5:10 II Peter 3:9 PTL