Hanger. Sinturon. Walis. Tsinelas.

“Grounded ka.”

“Hindi ka lalabas.”

Yung iba sa atin, ganyan tayo dinisiplina ng mga magulang natin. I think, generally speaking, most if not all of us have been disciplined by our parents or guardians. I guess no one actually enjoyed being disciplined; I know I didn’t. Minsan naiisip ko kapag dinidisiplina ako kung mahal pa ba nila ako. But years after those crying moments, I realized I am thankful for the discipline I got.

When I became a Christian, I was told that I can call God as Abba, Father! The God of the universe is my Dad, and He calls me as His son! It was an amazing thought for someone who mostly grew up without a dad. This newfound relationship gave me confidence, strength, and hope. There was a season in my life that every prayer I have gets answered! I felt like a spoiled child.

But that didn’t last long.

Problems and challenges started coming my way, and the prayers that I was uttering now were either a ‘no’ or would take a looooooong wait.

“What’s wrong? May problema ba tayo diyan, God?!” I remember sharing about this in one of our Victory groups back then in the campus. My kuya back then showed me Hebrews 12:5–8:

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? If you are left without discipline, in which all have participated, then you are illegitimate children and not sons.

God disciplines the one He loves.

God disciplines His sons.

God disciplines me because He loves me.

God disciplines me as a son.

These thoughts kept flowing in my head and I was overwhelmed.

Discipline is not a biblically exclusive practice. Parents have been disciplining their children throughout history, and this is crucial in not just raising a child but even in building a society. Hindi lang pala pamamalo ang pagdidisiplina!

Plato said:

“Education (paideia, the Greek word for discipline in the verse) is the constraining and directing of youth toward that right reason which the law affirms, and which the experience of the best of our elders has agreed to be truly right.”

Habang inaaral ko itong topic na ito, I found out that discipline is generally for 3 things:

  1. Instruct the right way and behavior
  2. Correct the wrong attitude or behavior that is destructive to self and others
  3. Train in self-control

If the law promotes discipline and our parents discipline us for whatever seems good for them, the Word says that the discipline of God to us is for our own good (Hebrews 12:10). Previously the discipline I got from my parents taught me how to be more confident, to wait, and to respect others. And for those times that I was corrected and taught what was right, I am forever grateful.

Ngayon na ako ay isang ama, nag-iba na ang pananaw ko sa pagdidisiplina. I will discipline my son because I love him. If I don’t discipline him, it means that I don’t care for him.

Malamang kaya tayo nahihirapan sa konsepto ng disiplina kasi akala natin na kapag mahal natin ang isang tao, dapat hindi natin siya sinasaktan. Pero kung ang isang bagay ay alam mong lubhang makakasira sa buhay ng taong mahal mo, maipapakita mo sa kanya ang tunay mong pagmamahal kung ipagtatanggol mo siya mula rito, kahit na masakit ito para sa kanya sa umpisa. God knows that sin and the undisciplined parts in our lives will eventually destroy us. He is loving enough to discipline us patiently.

Discipline should not just include the pain, but it should always be in the greater context of love. Yung iba sa atin, hindi disiplina ang naranasan kung hindi abuso. Abuse is not discipline. Violence is not discipline. Discipline needs to always be accompanied by affection. Some may have a traumatic experience with “discipline” because of the abuse or there was no affection or affirmation afterwards. The discipline of God doesn’t mean He rejects you. When God deals with our sins, there is discipline, but there is always love and affirmation.

The Lord DISCIPLINES the one He LOVES.

Pain and love can meet.

Pain and love met.

The writer of the letter to the Hebrews was addressing those going through intense persecution, pain, and challenges because of their faith. He wrote them an encouragement saying, “God is disciplining you. Endure.” And when the concept of love and pain seem too hard to grasp, he encouraged them a couple of verses earlier:

. . . fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.

Hebrews 12:2,3

The cross of Christ is where love and pain met, and where punishment and acceptance intersected. The perfect, sinless Son took upon himself the sin and evil in our hearts. He was broken so we could be made whole.

Kung nahihirapan tayo sa disiplina ng Panginoon sa buhay natin, tingnan natin ang Kanyang Anak na Siyang dumanas ng sakit sa krus upang ang kaparusahan na dapat ay para sa atin na mga kaaway Niya, ay maging disiplina sa mga ginawang anak na Kanyang pinatawad, minahal, at tinanggap.