I had already been living for God nine years before I became a mother. In those nine years, I learned of the joy He is able to bring into a life and knew Him as my strength.
For the joy of the Lord is your strength. Nehemiah 8:10
I gained knowledge of how to serve others out of a giving heart.
Every man according as he purpose in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver. 2 Corinthians 9:7
I was in the midst of people who lead spirit-filled lives and I was taught how putting Him first could lay out a firm foundation I could build my life upon.
For by wise counsel thou shalt make thy war: and in multitude of counsellors there is safety. Proverbs 24:6
But it was when I became a mother that I was able to fully understand what He meant in Hebrews 12:5-6
“My child, don’t make light of the Lord’s discipline, and don’t give up when he corrects you. For the Lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes each one he accepts as his child.”
Love. It is the basis of it all. My girls are able to cling to me right after I chastise them because love was established first. A hug was given far before a spanking ever was. A word of encouragement was heard long before a reprimand escaped my lips. A connection of the heart was made instantly way before an understanding of correction ever came into play.
I can easily see why someone would have difficulty hearing of anything the Lord disproves of before they had an understanding of just how deep His love goes for them. It would be very troublesome for me to have someone start pointing out some of my faults if I never had the chance to develop any type of positive relationship with that person.
Love. It makes discipline uncomplicated. Just like my children knowing that I will love them just as much after a punishment as I did before a punishment.
Respect. When you know the One giving the instruction truly has your best interest at heart, the heart He created, it eases the discipline He brings to your life.
Adoration. Having a deep understanding of just how deep, how far, and how wide His value of and love for you goes, in turn, gives you an open path to receive the guidance He has for you. Even if it doesn’t feel good in the moment, you will know that He is doing it for your good.
I encourage you to approach God with an open heart first. Let yourself be loved by Him. Crawl up in His lap, feel His arms wrap tight around you, and listen to His loving words. Then, let Him guide you, mold you, and move you along the path He has set before you. A path that may not always be trouble-free or easygoing but will always lead to a glorious eternity with Him.