My child, don’t reject the LORD’s discipline,
and don’t be upset when he corrects you.
For the LORD corrects those he loves,
just as a father corrects a child in whom he delights
My son Andrew is what you’d call a gamer. He loves to spend his time on the computer playing games with his friends. They talk by video and play games of various kinds together and are constantly building something, blowing something up or scheming to take over some virtual empire.
Often times I glaze over as he begins telling me about some distant world venture where he faced certain death yet he and his friends managed to escape unscathed. For me, hearing about these adventures is synonymous to listening to an unlearned foreign language. One thing I can understand clearly is that he’s quite excited about this challenging and fun activity.
Ultimately, I want Andrew to develop in a wide range of skills and interests, not just this one. So we’ve intentionally limited his play time in the virtual realm and encouraged other activities like reading and physical activity outdoors. We’ve also placed a timer and a list of expectations including rules like; “Homework must be done first,” next to the computer. All this is with the goal that he should work toward self-management and self-discipline. So if he steps outside of the guidelines he loses time on the computer – simple concept, so you’d think.
God works with us in in similar ways to help us follow His guidelines. He gently instructs us and encourages us toward righteous living and ultimately He works in a way that allows us the freedom to follow or not follow. He wants us to be self-motivated toward obedience.
Sometimes I find this guidance easy and at other times I feel rather adolescent in my faith. Still because I love Him I want to learn to follow and obey.