So, we’re heading up to Minnesota for a couple of reasons; to attend a good friend of mine’s wedding and to spend time with family and friends (as an aside I was wondering if I just refer to our friends and family as “supporters” because we are missionaries with Campus Crusade does that minimize their relevance in our lives or, conversely, if I don’t allude to the fact that they are supporters does that minimize the fact that they are the foundation for our ability to stay in full time ministry—thoughts to ponder ;)).
Anyway, we’re heading up I-35 and my 17 yr old daughter, Jaclyn, wants to use my computer to watch a movie. “OK”, I replied. Soon, she pulled the laptop out of my briefcase and began loading the DVD. After a few minutes I assumed she was well into the movie when her fingers starting scurrying faster than my dog chasing after a treat. Interesting concept, I thought to myself…movie 2.0 (meaning interactive for you non-techy types). She wasn’t watching the movie. All she said was, “I’m writing something and I’ll let you read it after I’m done.”
I have to admit I was curious. After an hour or so, she handed me the laptop and I read her musings. She had taken it upon herself to write an article from the “kids perspective” for our DadPad blog. Very interesting. What 17 yr old wants to help a bunch of middle aged men get readership to their blog site (convinced that she will draw more interest than we have … LOL)? Without any further ado, here’s the blog post that she rendered about why a father needs to make sure that he’s disciplining his child, in love, for her benefit. Thanks, Jacs!
Thoughts from a Daddy’s girl
Jaclyn Abramovitz 5/27/09
Whenever Mom’s gone, we party. Not saying my mom’s not fun, but when we’re with my dad, we get pizza, movies, ice cream and other good stuff. 🙂 I think most dads are just wired to be the kids who’ve never grown up and therefore like to party it up with their own kids. This is a great thing, don’t get me wrong but I think sometimes Dad’s forget their other big responsibility…disciplining. Bet you never expected to hear a child say they need their dad to discipline, but regardless, it’s true.
Think about it, if you were never punished, you’d grow up thinking that whatever, whenever was acceptable. Think about what a shock it’d be going to your first job and for once being disciplined! What a wake-up call, do you mean to tell me that the world has consequences for poor choices and sometimes a negative answer to your whims? Even though you never want to hurt your kids, and, as my own dad has said, it’s hard to say no to someone who you love and have to deny them something they want, it’s harder to see them walking into something that’ll hurt them. That’s why discipline is so important, it’s because you want what’s best for your child and don’t want them to make some of the same mistakes you made. And while we don’t appreciate it and certainly don’t like it while we’re being disciplined, it doesn’t mean we won’t look back and thank you for doing it. As my dad has said many times before, “you’ll thank me for this later!”
The second part of this is how we see God as our ‘discipliner’. This is probably the hardest thing for me to grasp. I hate being corrected and told ‘no’ to. It’s definitely not my favorite thing. So when I ask God for something, most of the time I wrongly expect a gumball machine response. I put in my prayer and out pops what I want. But sometimes God has a different plan. It’s the hard times that shape us the most. I can’t emphasize it enough that if you never go through hard times, your relationship with God would still be the relationship between a big God and a little child. You mature through hard times, through God’s discipline and it makes you a better, stronger, more mature person. In Hebrews 12:6 it says, “For the Lord disciplines the one he loves…” He does it because he loves us. So just because I don’t have a car and I’ve been asking him for one for forever, I know there’s a reason. Maybe I’d wreck it if I got it now, maybe I’ll get a much better one since I’m waiting instead of forcing the issue, I don’t know.
Maybe you’ve made some bad choices and are feeling the repercussions of those choices. It’s all because God loves you and wants to let you know that he’s your loving father and is teaching you what not to do. Even though the road may not be fun, the end result, a diligent, faithful, stronger person was surely worth the discipline and hard times it took to get there.