One of the toughest things parents must do is to discipline our children when they do something wrong. When they are toddlers their offenses are black and white…cut and dry…right and wrong. But as they grow into their own independent lives choices are based on the unfolding of society’s feast. The culture offers a table of tempting dishes which are beautiful to the eyes and appetizing to the taste. Our jobs do not end when our children mature. There have been times when I had to have some very heart wrenching talks with my adult children. Those times were riddled with fear…fear that my attempt to continue to stand for right or wrong would be met with rejection. Those times were met with silent groans and private tears, as my heart anguished for them to walk in the freedom of Christ. I can remember as an adult child being on the other end of my parents’ disagreement of decisions I had made. They had it right. Although they cared immensely for my feelings, their love for me to walk in truth was greater. I am so grateful for those tough talks between my parents and myself. But as Paul wrote, his words spoken to them were difficult and gut wrenching motivated by his love for them. Sometimes loving someone looks much more like hurting someone. We cannot depend on the approval of others in dealing with those delicate matters of the heart.
“Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.” Col 3:13-14.