Components of a healthy relationship
Healthy relationships have proven elusive for a lot of people. Everyone has an image of what they look like but it stills remains a mirage. There are a few success stories of healthy relationships and they all have a common denominator. Not all of them are rosy.
Human relationships have their high and low moments. They are marked by both joyful and sad moments. The defining moments are times of correction. How one perceives it determines the success of the relationship they are in. Do they handle it with grace or harbor a condescending attitude towards it?
Correction is Love
There are many ways to demonstrate love but the most unpopular one is discipline. The motive for correcting a friend is genuine love because you intend that they do better than how they are currently performing.
A parent disciplines his child to correct a wrong they have committed and make them chat a better way forward. Similarly, teachers discipline their students for them to abandon their erroneous ways and heed the right one. Love is a genuine motive for correction and it changes the fortunes of those who accept it.
God and His Children
The relationship between God and His people is like that of parents and their children. He chastens those He loves and their lives improve when they implement corrections from Him. God exhorts us through His word and His servants. He rebukes us when we go astray or when our faith in Him fails us.
3 Main Motives Behind The Chastening of The Lord
There was once a storm when Jesus was sleeping in the boat while crossing with his disciples across the sea. The disciples were afraid they would perish and they called on Jesus to save them. He woke up and rebuked the storm and there was calm. He then turned to his disciples and rebuked them for their little faith.
Jesus’ rebuke to His disciples was a demonstration of His love for them. He loved them enough to wish that their faith was mature to handle challenges coming their way like the storm.
Another time the disciples were presented with a case of an epileptic child and they could not pray for him. When the matter reached Jesus, He was disappointed and once again rebuked their unbelief but went ahead to pray for the boy. The boy was healed and the disciples followed Jesus privately to inquire why they could not heal the boy.
Out of love, Jesus wanted the disciples to do better. He explained that such kinds of demons could not go out except through prayers and fasting. Jesus understood their weakness and despite rebuking them, He taught them how to overcome challenges. His rebuking was not malicious but full of love.
2. A reminder that choices have consequences
God does not want us to misuse His love for us to frequently forgive our wrong acts. He chooses to discipline us at His discretion whenever we abuse His forgiveness.
King David, a man after God’s heart, was led by lust to commit both murder and adultery. He planned through the commander of his army to have Uriah killed in a battle that he may marry his widow because she was already in the family way with his child.
Although King David succeed in executing his plan, God sent prophet Nathan to him to warn him about what he had done. God was angry at David and punished him for what he had done although he repented. The child he had with Uriah’s wife died.
God wanted to teach David that choices have consequences. He loved him enough to spare his life but not the product of his sin.
King David also at one point conducted a census in Israel against God’s command. God did not spare him punishment. He sent prophet Gad to ask David what choice of calamity did he choose to befall Israel for his disobedience. He repented and chose to fall in the hands of God because He is merciful. An angel of the Lord slew seventy thousand men and God repented of the evil and stopped the angel from continuing further. King David was hurt by God’s punishment on Israel but he had to endure it as a consequence of his disobedience.
Sometimes God disciplines us not because he loves us any less but to remind us that we will carry our cross for the sin we commit consciously.
3. To inflict pain as a permanent memory of our indiscipline
God’s harshness is found in His love. The Israelites rebelled against the Lord severally and they strayed from His commandments. God was patient with them until He decided to punish their disobedience. He sent Israel captive in Babylon for seventy years.
They were slaves in the foreign land and served them until God’s appointed time was complete. Their slavery in Babylon did not render God powerless. Nothing reduced his stature as God but they learned their lesson through the painful experience they underwent in captivity.
God chooses to inflict pain in our lives that will serve as a constant memory of our sin. Whenever we remember our afflictions, we would not walk the path of destruction we once walked. Everything God does is out of love including humiliating us in the hands of our enemies when we persistently disobey Him.
It is human nature not to easily forget painful phases of their lives. This is the toughest path that God chooses for those who disobey Him.
Positive attitude towards correction
The bible records that the Lord chastens those He loves. Christians should have a positive attitude towards correction from the Lord. A bad attitude will make you not embrace His correction. It is disastrous to neglect the chastening of the Lord. It benefits us to please Him and gain favor in His eyes. Our obedience to God puts us in a better place to receive His promises to those who believe in Him.
God withdrew calamities to the people who embraced His correction when He warned them. King Ahab turned to God and repented His sin of killing Naboth to acquire his vineyard. God postponed His punishment on Ahab dying a disgraceful death to befall his son.
In conclusion, we should not shy from the rebuke of the Lord. It is an indication of His love for us. We gain from His rebuke than from His silence. Our candidature to heaven gets stronger the more we align ourselves to His chastening.