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Lowell Brueckner

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The Glory of God in a Home II


The Love of God in the Home

Tom, Raquel, 5 children, 2 spouses, 3 grandchildren
Raquel: “I always remember how my parents took that time for us.”

“They were very faithful and disciplined in the way they brought us up.  We didn’t get into a whole lot of trouble, because we knew there would be consequences for disobeying the rules.”

 Dan: “You guys are getting older and I thought I’d better write and let you know how thankful I am for the both of you. I love you a lot.”

“One time after a meeting, I remember you and Dad coming to each of us kid’s beds and praying for us, going from bed to bed – in the middle of the night. Thanks for praying for us and for continuing to pray for us.”

“When I was in 5th grade, Dad asked me what things I really liked in school and was interested in. Science was what I was interested in at that time. You let me know that you would help me pursue those interests.”

Dan Ruth Shelley Anna
“Dad sat down with me and asked me if I thought he’d been too strict with us. I remember saying ‘no’, I didn’t think so. I don’t know of one spanking that I did not deserve. I deserved every one of them. I remember when we were in Pinotepa and you’d come back from a trip. You would ask Mom how we behaved while you were away. We knew we hadn’t and knew a spanking was coming – Mom had already forewarned us. We went into the bathroom. You asked us what we did wrong, you spanked us and then prayed with us. Dad spanked harder than Mom, although Mom’s brush could be painful too. I don’t ever remember you spanking us in anger. It was torture though when you sent us to a room and waited a while before coming in and disciplining us.”

“I can remember numerous occasions when people would tell Mom how well behaved we all were, when we walked into McDonalds with eight kids. This happened quite a bit. Aunt Joanne told us after visiting with Grandma & Grandpa Peterson when we were boys: ‘Your dad only had to say it once, and you would obey.’ She seemed to be so impressed by the way we were brought up. Thank you for all you’ve done for us and the way you invested in our lives.”

“He who withholds his rod hates his son, but he who loves him disciplines him diligently.” Proverbs 13:24
The love of God is unique. In this world there exist certain natural attributes and emotions that are evident between family members, friends, sweethearts, spouses, etc… I’m not sure whether these can be correctly called “love” or not. There are different intensities and strengths in these attributes and emotions, depending on the closeness of the relationship between these people. In the great majority of cases, the strongest sentiment and the one that we hear most about is that which exists between a mother and her child.   

Many hard-hearted sons, violent criminals, recall with tears the love of a mother. Nevertheless, the love of a mother for her son is still a natural love that exists independent of the religion of the mother or the lack of it. All the relationships built on human love, without exception, can fail. The Psalmist affirmed, “If my father and my mother forsake me, the Lord will take me up” (27:10). To be abandoned by parents is not a hypothesis, but an actual reality that is increasingly more frequent.

The Apostle Paul wrote a hymn extolling God’s love in 1 Corinthians 13, but the love of God is unique, I repeat, and also incomparable. Because there is nothing, by which to compare it, it is impossible to find a way to use something familiar to us, by which we can define it. The word infinite must always be a part of any definition of it. God’s love is infinitely intense, passionate, kind and faithful.

We can be sure of one thing: The love of God always does what is best in every case. God is 100% faithful to His children in applying whatever means perfectly necessary to their lives, in order that their spiritual condition might grow and improve. The truth is that this work is extremely difficult. The process of sanctification, in all its aspects, so that a human being can gain the victory over his carnality and become truly humble, compassionate, and possess many other attributes of godliness, requires acts of divine wisdom and the application of discipline that often must be very severe. Jesus said to the church in Laodicea, “Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline” (Rev.3:19).

Let’s look at the case of Joseph, the favorite son of Jacob. God had plans of utmost importance for him and, because his father was not fulfilling his parental responsibilities very well, God had to intervene. We know the story. At 17 years of age he was sold into slavery by his brothers and taken to Egypt. The Bible leaves it very clear that God’s hand and will was behind all that took place. Thirteen years later, when his brothers came to Egypt and were treated harshly, they recognized their guilt and cruelty towards Joseph, and spoke of the anguish of his soul, pleading with them not to sell him to the Ishmaelites. They showed no compassion and God Himself did not respond to his grief. Thirteen years of slavery and prison were necessary to mold the favored and protected youth into a wise and compassionate governor.  

Overall, God was cultivating His love into the heart of Joseph, the only love with which, in the end, he could gain and save his family. Christ interceded to His Father, asking that the divine love that the Father and Son had enjoyed since before the foundation of the world… eternally… should be in His disciples (Jn.17:26; 15:9). Our love is not sufficient to carry out divine purposes, and for that reason God wants us to reflect His love (1 Jn.2:15, 4:10, 12, 19, 5:3).

The Christian parent must clearly understand the doctrine of God’s love in us, in order to bring his children up rightly. In no way can he do it with human, parental love, because it is, in fact, an obstacle that stands in the way, so that the child cannot experience what is best for him. The father that does not discipline, in a practical form, impelled by the love of God, according to the text at the head of this article, hates his son. He might try to justify himself, saying that his reason for not applying the necessary discipline, is because he loves his son too much to spank him, but this is a deception and the biblical truth tells us the opposite.

Loving discipline is the most important demonstration of God’s love, put of course, there are many more. We have already mentioned some and Raquel and Dan also have written about their childhood and youth. They write of the interest and the time dedicated to them. They speak of our prayer for them, something that continues to this day. We could certainly tell of other ways to show God’s love. However, what is badly misunderstood these days, is not only parental discipline, but the love of God itself… something of supreme importance, which, if not correctly understood, will have a disastrous effect upon the church, in doctrine and practice.  


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