“Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? 11 So if you who are evil know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!” 

Words by Jesus. Matthew 7, Berean Standard Bible

I don’t have children, but I can only imagine that a good parent must feel “some kinda way” when disciplining their child. My parents told me that beatings hurt them more than they hurt me, which I know was physically impossible, but I do appreciate that they were not full of glee while spanking my “rump” (a word my grandmother used for my bare behind). 

As a teen, I recall wanting to go out to the skating rink with all the kids from the local high schools. The plan was to head to the NH Jones neighborhood for an after-party. Oh, I so wanted to go. 

My mother agreed to the skating rink but enforced the curfew, which meant no after-party for this girl. Her strictness left me feeling different and “uncool.” If the other kids were doing it, why couldn’t I? 

In those days, I missed out on most things teens could get into when unsupervised at parties with older kids, mainly older boys (the reason I wanted to go). I probably rolled both sets of my eyes behind my mother’s back and mumbled under my breath as she picked me up in front of the skating rink! As if she could not wait in the parking lot, where no one could see her. No, she always arrived on time and in full view of all the other kids (who were going to the next gathering). Most times, she picked up my best friend, too. We sulked as we sank into the car seats. 

My mother had her reasons for saying NO, and later the next week, we both would learn of the inappropriate things that happened to some of the young ladies who snuck off to hang out a little longer than I could. Some of those things we would now classify as rape or microaggressions perpetuated on women by men and other women in the form of bullying. Most of those acts are done immaturely and in the name of being “cool.” 

Upon learning through the grapevine that these girls were abused and later became known as “loose, easy, or sluts” I began to respect my mother’s decisions to protect me. She knew I was an inexperienced kid who needed guidance, and without her authority, I would make foolish decisions.

As an adult, I fully respect her decision and the other adults in my life. They keep me safe from my childish desires. They were tough for a good reason. With all the mistakes I still made, I am grateful that my mom and village of adults kept me from many others. 

I understand that they instituted boundaries that seemed harsh and overbearing from a place of love, not jealousy. Yes, I thought my mother was jealous of me. I can still hear my disrespectful thoughts: “She doesn’t want me to do stuff because she is too old to have fun anymore.” 

Yes, I was young, dumb, and full of unbridled passion. Thankfully to God, I was not insolent or left to my own devices. I had a healthy fear of my parents not to go too far. And I will never know the bullets I dodged by being obedient.

The more I learn about our Father God, and how we are to have a fear of God, I understand His commands are based on love, and to protect us from unseen harm, much like my parents had for me as a child. The Scripture in Matthew 7 asks, rhetorically, about gifts which include the gift of His love. If we can acknowledge the love of our earthly parents, how much more does the Father love us? 

People can say, His Word is outdated and times have changed all they want. But the Creator of us mere humans is not out of touch by any stretch of the imagination. Only those unfamiliar with His Word can say those things, and they are well within their limited scope of knowledge about God to believe so. 

But we, the sons and daughters of God, should know that every seemingly difficult edict is only out of love and always for our good. It is God’s will that we have a good life, an everlasting life. Furthermore, we should know that all will work out for our good when we, in turn, love God and work according to His purpose (which is to glorify Him and word and deed). 

Let’s lean into the seemingly “tough love” of our Abba Father today and every day by being His obedient child. He will not lead us astray. He will lead us to good. His Word is a lamp to our feet, and a light for our path.



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