"Buddy, I love you, but you can't hit your sister."
"Fletchie, I love you, but you can't climb that."
"Lily girl, I love you, but you can't scream at us that way."
Recently someone mentioned that as parents we often say the phrase "I love you, but..." and how incorrect that is. When we discipline our kids or create boundaries for them it isn't in spite of our love, it's because of our love. In fact it would be unloving of me to let any of the above scenarios just play out uncorrected. In Hebrews 12 we see that God disciplines those he loves.
"And have you forgotten the exhortation that addresses you as sons?
“My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord,
nor be weary when reproved by him.
For the Lord disciplines the one he loves,
and chastises every son whom he receives.”
It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons. For what son is there whom his father does not discipline?" Hebrews 12:5-6
And this week as I was reading in Acts 21 about Paul being overtaken by an angry mob, beaten, and arrested something occurred to me. This riot that turned on Paul was provoked by some Asian Jews at the temple, and in chapter 16 the Holy Spirit had forbidden the apostles to go to Asia. God had a plan for Paul that included his suffering and He even knew the time in which it would take place. Even suffering does not come earlier or later than God wills it.God loved the apostles and used them to do great things for His Kingdom. Yet he still allowed them to be hurt and persecuted for the sake of the gospel.
"But rejoice insofar as you share Christ's sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed." 1 Peter 4:13
Whether it's for our discipline or for the glory of God in our suffering, God loves us AND sometimes life is really hard. God loves us AND he disciplines us. God loves us AND we endure suffering.
So even in such a small thing as the words I use to correct my kids, I want them to see that picture of God's love through me. ....Uh and now you'll have to excuse me, I literally have to go tell a certain little boy that "I love you and you can't climb that wall behind the couch."