BELT THROUGH THE LOOPS

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Submitted Date 07/13/2019
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While not the worst kid around, I was not always the best-behaved, either. Had there been such a condition in my day, I'm confident I would have been classified ADHD. My poor older brother got lumped in with me when our cousins called me, "Destructo," including him in the slight - I seemed to have a talent for breaking things. As a teen, my Bible Quiz coach told me I was the only person he'd ever seen who could wear out his clothes from the inside out.

 

Consequently, punishment (what we would now refer to as discipline) was a fairly common experience for me. While I can't remember a rod ever being employed, my parents certainly believed in, "Spare the belt, spoil the child." In addition, I would imagine I wrote several thousand sentences during those years, usually 100 at a time, as an alternative to corporal punishment.

 

None of those experiences were fun. In general, however, they were very effective in molding my behavior, if for no other reason than the fear of consequences. That is the purpose of such parental intervention in the life of a child. My own kids to this day talk about the ominous sound of my belt being pulled through the the belt loops as I came down the hall toward a recalcitrant bedtime crew.

 

The writer to the Hebrews uses this same example for the believer, pointing out that only because He considers us as His sons does God correct and redirect us. He even quotes a bromide from Proverbs to bolster his position, adding a scourging to the last line.

 

"My son, do not despise the chastening of the LORD,

Nor detest His correction;

For whom the LORD loves He corrects,

Just as a father the son in whom he delights." (‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭3:11-12‬ ‭NKJV‬‬)

 

Listen to the loving words of the Father, whose chastening is not forever. Learn to listen for the telltale warnings, like a belt through its loops, and self-correct. He chastens us for our good, and as our own fathers told us, "This hurts me more than it hurts you." Though it may not always seem so, He is making us in the image of His Son.

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