“The Lord disciplines those he loves, as a father the son he delights in.” – Proverbs 3:12
“Let me tell you a secret about a father’s love / a secret that my daddy said was just between us. / Daddies don’t just love their children every now and then. / It’s a love without end, amen.” Leave it to that wise philosopher, country singer George Strait; for no one could have described a father’s love for his children any better than he did in that great hit song.
My own dad was like that. He didn’t just love my brother and me every now and then, meaning only when we were good enough or made him proud. I can’t speak for my brother, but God knows there were plenty of occasions when I didn’t deserve his love, yet he loved me anyway, even when I needed to be disciplined. And there were, in fact, occasions when my dad’s greatest expressions of love, as they should have been, came in the form of discipline rather than affection.
I will never forget the last time I was ever disciplined by my father. I was a grown man by then, married with a family, and about to start a career. I had two job offers in hand, and I was sure I was making the right choice when the phone rang and I heard my dad’s voice on the other end, except he didn’t sound like his usual jovial and friendly self, but business-like, stern and to the point. I should rethink my decision, he stated firmly, else I could be passing up the career opportunity of a lifetime. For once I didn’t argue, just listened, the whole conversation lasting no longer than two or three minutes. When it was over all I remember saying was, “Thanks, I’ll think about it.” My dad was right that day, his words prophetic, like the voice of God – and I give thanks every day for the way my life has turned out, and especially for that last time he disciplined me.
“The Lord disciplines those he loves, as a father the son he delights in.” My dad disciplined me that day, not because he was angry, but because he loved me and delighted in me, plus he knew my potential and had more confidence in me than I had in myself at that time. You see, “Daddies don’t just love their children every now and then. It’s a love without end, amen.” Happy Father’s Day to all my fellow fathers and grandfathers out there. And please join me in expressing gratitude for all the ones who have gone before. Theirs’ was a love without end, wasn’t it? Do I hear a big AMEN?