Christians Gathered and Sharing Theirs Lives Together

A daily devotion for April 3rd

The Need for Struggle

Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame…

Romans 5:3-5a

Struggle is necessary for a solid home. One of the most deadly enemies of a successful home is the attitude that parents often take, which is I don't want my children to go through what I had to go through. I'm going to make things easy for them, I'm going to let them have things that I never had. But it is far better to endure hardship than it is to make life so easy that there is no struggle at all, for nothing destroys character like the absence of struggle in human life. I am convinced that the major source of weakness in our Christian homes is the desire of parents to keep children from making mistakes. We think that if we can keep them from making mistakes until they are grown up, they won't make any mistakes at all, but this is a fallacy. What happens is that they grow up and they have no defenses at all with which to meet the temptations to make mistakes, and they make them all around, every day, and they have no way of overcoming them.

The glory of the way of our Lord's treatment of the disciples is to see how he let them make mistakes and experience difficulty. Do you remember that he said to Peter one day, Peter, Satan has desired to sift you like wheat (Luke 22:31). Evidently he had granted permission for Satan to sift Peter, tempt him and test him. And He said, I pray for you, Peter, that your faith fail not. He stood by, figuratively, with his arms folded and let Peter go down into the crushing mill of temptation and experience that awful pressure until he denied his Lord and cursed and swore and fled into the night. But when he came back, he came back repentant and ready to listen.

What is discipline? It's programmed struggle. An athlete disciplines himself by setting up certain obstacles and opposing to his body certain forces, struggling against odds, that he might discipline his body and make it therefore more effective. That's what discipline is. Therefore a parent that withholds discipline, wise, loving discipline from his child, is destroying that child, weakening him, tearing away his foundation and making it impossible for him to grow in strength. Character is only built by struggle. Scripture says that tribulation produces perseverance, and perseverance, character, and character, hope, and hope doesn't make ashamed. That is, when you come to the end of the process, there is something to be proud of, something to be glad over, and that's what tribulation is for. Struggle is part of life, and although it needs to be controlled in the home it ought definitely to be introduced in order to develop character. And therefore one expression of love will be wise discipline.

Thank you, Lord, for how you have allowed me to experience struggle and failure through it in order to grow deeper in my walk with you. Grant me the wisdom to allow you to do that same work in the lives of my loved ones.

Life Application

Do I let my loves ones make mistakes and experience the consequences?

This Daily Devotion was Inspired by one of Ray's Messages

What Is the Home?

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