Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted. In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. And have you forgotten the exhortation that addresses you as sons? “My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor be weary when reproved by him. For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives.” It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons. For what son is there whom his father does not discipline? If you are left without discipline, in which all have participated, then you are illegitimate children and not sons. Besides this, we have had earthly fathers who disciplined us and we respected them. Shall we not much more be subject to the Father of spirits and live? For they disciplined us for a short time as it seemed best to them, but he disciplines us for our good, that we may share his holiness. For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.
The goal of parental discipline is not merely bare obedience. It is to bring our children to a place of humility that produces true repentance. David and I often have to explore different avenues to discover the discipline that is most effective for the individual personalities of our eight kids. To discipline effectively we must know our children intimately.
We must likewise remember that the Lord knows us intimately. Thus, when he disciplines us, He knows perfectly what will bring His children to humility and produce true repentance. We can trust the heart of our loving Father to restore us to himself and make us more like his Son. We can know our circumstances are uniquely allowed by Him because he knows us intimately. He keeps us in His hand. He has not left us alone, as His Spirit reminds us of His promises.