It is a unique privilege to have the heavenly Father so involved with our lives that He accepts us as dearly beloved children. He teaches us by instruction in the Word of truth and by overruling our circumstances. Through these methods, if correctly received, we grow characters of righteousness. This glorifies God.
Hebrews 12:5-6 (NIV), “And have you completely forgotten this word of encouragement that addresses you as a father addresses his son? It says, ‘My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline, and do not lose heart when he rebukes you, because the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and he chastens everyone he accepts as his son.’”
The Greek word for chastening is paieduo. It means discipline, instruction, teaching. It does not always mean punishment and is especially used with regard to instruction in righteousness.
Paul is referencing a number of verses from the book of Proverbs, where Solomon writes about rearing children. Disciplines are what a loving parent provides to protect his child from suffering resulting from own wrong-doings or foolishness. God, as our Father, wants His children to be noble and upright. As part of His great love, He instructs us to drive foolishness from our minds and hearts.
Paul continues in Hebrews 11:5 saying, “No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.” It is hard to have our behaviors addressed when we are not in accord with righteousness and peace. Yet is not that what we truly desire?
In Psalm 32:8, God promises, “I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye.” The most obedient children need only a facial expression from a loving parent to be disciplined while the less obedient need firmer measures. I am so very grateful that God loves me enough to oversee my life. He redirects me when I am off the course of righteousness. He is truly my wise and loving Father.