I collect them. Parenting books. Yep, I’m still a paper-and-pages kind of girl. Books. I like to see them on my shelf. I like to hold them in my hand. I like to nuzzle my nose in the cranny of the binding inhaling the rich wisdom in print. Books.
But I must confess, I don’t always read them all. I have high aspirations with highlighter in hand, but my motivation often wanes as I journey through the pages. So, my shelves have many 1/2 read books lined up in neat, straight rows. Maybe through osmosis, the values will soak in. Just maybe. Or maybe not.
Why is it that I am compelled to collect these parenting books of wisdom? Why is it that I just can’t help myself as I surf the “free shipping if spend more than $25” on Amazon.com?
Because when my darling, precious, self-willed, determined, little men are left to themselves, they will self-destruct (like today on the way home from Target because he didn’t want to buckle up. Tears and screams.).
So, I need help!
I must respond with discipline in full compassion as they chose to act in ways that are not beneficial for their healthy development. Because of my love, I address their sin. In my love, I must discipline their sin. I love them too much to leave them to themselves.
Through the love story of Hosea and Gomer, we see that God promises to love us with this kind of love, a persevering love.
I will betroth you to Me forever;
I will betroth you in righteousness and justice, in love and compassion.
I will betroth you in faithfulness, and you will acknowledge the Lord. Hosea 2:19-20
As we continue to open the love gifts of God, we come to:
God knows that if left to myself I will self-destruct. I would:
- Eat too much. Sleep too much. Worry too much. Spend too much.
- Stay bitter too long, angry too long, insecure too long.
- Live anxiously. Live selfishly. Live like it’s all about me.
- Indulge in everything that feels good in the moment.
- Search for love, contentment, peace, and validation in everything other than Him.
So, He compassionately moves in my life to deal with my sin. It often hurts. It’s so not fun. I have to let go of what I want in order to embrace what He knows is right.
- If you are feeling the sting of a sinful choice, be assured that He longs to teach you not to do it again.
- If you are drowning in the painful consequences of your sin, be assured that God has not left you. But because you did not listen to Him, He is allowing you to “follow your own devices and has given you over to your stubborn heart.” (Psalm 81:11-12) But if you will listen and will follow His ways, He will quickly come to your help (Psalm 81:13-14) and bring you back to Himself (Hosea 3:2-3)!
His justice is the perfect gift of love to my self-destructive heart.
Join me on THURSDAY as we unwrap the next love gift from God to you!