Wednesday, September 17, 2014
Discipline means "to teach and to train". It sounds negative because some disciplinarians are not loving. I raised four children. When they didn't do what they were supposed to do, when they did something they shouldn't have, when they said things that weren't appropriate for them to say - they heard, and sometimes felt what's been termed as "the wrath of Mom". Often, after being told they were grounded, I would hear the words "you hate me". Ah, little did they know that if I didn't love them, they would be allowed to do whatever it was they wanted. I was not interested in being their friend - I was their parent.
Today that's changed. Yes, I am still their Mom, but I've now become their friend as well. Knowing when to stop the "active" parenting and let them go it on their own is not something that's easily accomplished. Not everyone can let go. Some parents never do! I still tell them when I think they are making a mistake, and I offer advice (only when asked, for the most part). I rejoice with them in their successes and comfort them in their failures. I listen. Not all parents do that, either.
Our Heavenly Father reminds us that we are still "children" in his eyes - HIS children. He is the source of all love. He doesn't punish us because he enjoys inflicting pain on us, but because he is deeply concerned about our development. In order to become morally strong and good, we must learn the difference between right and wrong. His loving discipline enables us to do this.
Let that "moral compass" point you in the direction for faith and love. Take comfort in God's mercy and grace. Pray for guidance and wait...he's listening!
Tuesday, September 16, 2014
It's nice to know that there is strength available for us when we cannot seem to find any in ourselves. The strength of the Holy Spirit guides us, lifts us and intercedes for us! Sometimes we don't know what we need to pray for (do we ask for strength, patience, forgiveness...). The Spirit knows before we do! Sometimes there are no words, hence the "groanings". We need only know we need God's mercy and grace to pray.
When Jesus told his Apostles he would send the Holy Spirit, he knew there would be times life that. The Holy Spirit does, indeed, pray with us and for us, and God answers. With God helping us pray, how could we possibly be afraid to go before him and ask what we need? The Holy Spirit will plead for us according to God's will.
Don't be afraid to ask God for what you need. He will answer you one way or another. There are three answers that come from our Father...yes, no, wait! Once again, we see that when we talk...God listens!