Love and Sadness
“His father had never at any time displeased him...”
An effective discipline has two key ingredients: Love and sadness. Love is the undergirding principle, not only of a good discipline, but of every human and Christian action.
Sadness is also vital for a complete discipline. When a child is being subject to correction, it’s very important to apply a touch of displeasure to our discipline. Sadness, will (hopefully) lead him to repentance and repentance ultimately will lead to a change in overall behavior.
David was a great king, but a poor father. He never displeased or saddened his children. Amnon, Absalom and Adonijah, were rebellious and wicked sons of David, who were never corrected. Why did David fail as a father? Perhaps he didn’t have time or interest, or maybe he felt “unqualified” to discipline his children after his unfortunate incident with Bathsheba.
God uses love and contrition every time he disciplines us. The Holy Spirit fills our heart with a godly sadness after we have sinned. His purpose is for us to seek his forgiveness and be restored.
This holy sadness must never be confused with feelings of guilt or remorse. Such feelings are not from God, and lead to depression, despair and even suicide (e.g. Judas).
The sadness that leads to repentance comes from God and it’s always for our good. Do not fear God’s discipline and don’t ever refrain from disciplining your children with love and...Sadness. Do not make David’s mistake.