"For whom the Lord loveth, he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth" (Hebrews 12:6).

Like most homeschoolers, the first few years were a struggle as I taught my children at home. The initial problems were not from a lack of quality curriculum, lesson planning, or teaching methods. Rather, the problems that tempted me to quit came from poor parenting skills. My children had the upper hand. I was bombarded with laziness, silliness, selfishness, and uncooperative spirits, and unfortunately, there was no super nanny to call to set things right. I needed to enforce the rules, so my children could learn to the best of their abilities. Boundaries needed to be set with a firm, but loving hand of correction. When I finally realized that parenting and teaching were synonymous, our homeschooling changed for the better.

Many times Christians slide backwards in their faith because they fail to understand God's nature as both a loving, heavenly Father (1 John 4:8) and a lover of justice (Psalm 37:28). We quickly see God as "the big meanie" when He corrects us in our foolishness and sin. Wanting to bask in His love as friend and Abba Father, we forget that God is also holy and just. When we realize God is all powerful and disciplines us because He wants us to share in His holiness (Hebrews 12:10), our spiritual understanding of God's love changes for the better.

What about you? Do you doubt God's love because you're suffering from the consequences of a past sin? God cares more about making you more like Christ than letting you have your own selfish way. Why not turn to Him and learn the lesson He is setting before you today? "For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness" (Hebrews 12:10).

Lord, You hate sin, and I know You want me to be more like Christ. Work in my heart and change my bitterness and doubt to praise and trust in Your goodness and love. In Jesus' name, Amen.