The Norman Transcript

January 10, 2014

Love can sometimes hurt

By Bruce Kessler
The Norman Transcript

NORMAN — She was hard and tough. There was only one way to deal with hyperactive boys in 1963. Paddling was her choice to administer swift discipline. Her technique was unusual, to say the least.

She would take a boy and lock his head between her legs. This created an effective headlock. Once in, well, you couldn’t squirm out.

What made matters worse was that the hose she wore on her legs felt like course sand-paper. Needless to say, because of the position you were, in the paddling was optimal and effective.

It hurt.

Once, she got so frustrated with us boys wrapping our lips around the water spigot that she secretly applied some hot ointment around the edges. My mouth burned for a whole week. Of course, I never put my lips on that spigot again.

I suppose you could say that my experience with this teacher was tough. She meant well and did her best.

Love hurt.

I had another teacher at the time who was different. Even though I was wiry, excitable, filled with uncertainty, affected by difficulties of a divorce, she, however, was tender-hearted, caring, hugged me when I needed it or just hugged me just because. This moved me beyond words.

However, things didn’t always go perfectly. Once, I was privileged to sit with her during lunch. We had hot dogs that day.

Everything was going splendidly until I shook the ketchup bottle and a stream squirted all over her leg.

Calmly, and with a winning smile, she said, “Are you going to eat my leg Bruce?” I was red-faced and horrified.

Somehow, she always managed to give me her full attention and never tired of my constant demands. When discipline was necessary I felt that she was hurting as much as me. I valiantly tried to please her but failed more times than not.

Love hurts.

Our discipline experiences shape us, drive us, motivate us and build character. Discipline, whether good or bad, forges the person we will eventually become. This is true in spiritual life, as well.

Even now, no matter your age, discipline continues to play an important role. The good news here is that this discipline from above is perfect, timely and will always have a purpose carefully tailored for you.

God loves you and knows that as His child, you will need special attention that requires discipline.

“For the Lord disciplines the one he loves and chastises every son whom he receives.” — Hebrews 12:6

God’s discipline is tailored for your good every time. God knows exactly when to administer discipline. He is always attentive to your needs. His discipline has purpose, having earthly and eternal ramifications.

“For they (earthly fathers) disciplined us for a short time as it seemed best to them, but he (God) disciplines us for our good, that we may share his holiness. For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.” — Hebrew 12:10-12

Experiencing God’s perfect discipline empowers you to rise above ugliness and have the means to focus on what is important.

“Therefore lift your drooping hands and strengthen your weak knees, and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be put out of joint but rather be healed.” — Hebrew 12:13

Yes, love hurts.

You may have painful memories and have experienced terrible abuse, but know that God’s discipline is perfect, timely and will always have a purpose carefully tailored for your good.

You are special and beautiful in His sight. Through His discipline you can overcome great obstacles to become focused and productive.

Are you resisting God’s loving disciplinary nudge?

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