When George Got a Whippin’

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As parents, we are not loving unless we create a healthy fear in our children. This is similar to having a healthy fear of the Lord.

The fear of the Lord is pure, enduring forever (Psalm 19:9, NIV).

What does it mean to “fear” the Lord? When you think about God, do you picture an angry God who’s looking to zap you when you do something wrong? Wrong image, and it inspires the wrong kind of fear. To “fear” God has to do with reverence and respect. It’s done by trusting that God knows what is best in our lives. If we ignore what God says is best, we know we’re going to face some negative consequences, so we obey Him. That demonstrates a healthy fear of a loving God.

One day, when my oldest son, George, was about two years old, I saw him walking around with a screwdriver. I told him to give it to me, but he ignored me. Before I could take it from him, George stuck it in an electrical socket. And—BOOM! He flew back on the floor and sat there, stunned. Then he started to cry, and then he got a whippin’ on top of that!

You may think, What a mean ole daddy! No, that’s a loving daddy. I wanted it seared in George’s brain that certain actions bring about negative consequences. I assure you he got a lot of love and comfort after that, and as far as I know, he didn’t repeat the deed. We as parents are not loving unless we create a healthy fear in our children! It’s so similar to having a healthy fear of the Lord. Our heavenly Father loves and cares enough about us to teach us what is best. If we ignore Him, there will be negative consequences

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