There is no end to the lengths a young boy will go to so that they do not have to hear their father utter those dreaded words, “I am very disappointed in you.” This point is made abundantly clear in the eloquent lyricism of one George Strait.
When Dad got home, I told that story just like I’d rehearsed.
And then stood there on those tremblin’ knees and waited for the worst.
Little boys are tough. They can take any kind of pain you can throw at them just to show their “manliness” as they perceive it to be. Do not get me wrong, those whippings I got did the trick, but there’s something about that talk that makes you almost wish you had just gotten your licks and been done. Those words, especially the “D” word, break a young man’s heart like nothing I have ever seen.
The pain is no longer something to be perceived as manly. It will not go away as soon as your rear end stops stinging. This pain hangs with you. It effects a change, not necessarily in behavior, but in attitude. Physical chastisement has its place and is one hundred percent necessary, but it does not carry with it the enormity of the pained expression on your father’s face as he explains that he is sorry for whatever wrong he has committed against you to make you misbehave in whatever deviant manner you have. But why is this the case? Why is this verbal assault to your hardness of heart so effective?
It is because you genuinely love your father as he genuinely loves you. This is not some speech he cooked up to make you feel bad. This is his deep-seeded sorrow at the acknowledgment that your behavior is his to answer for when you are young. And he has failed in his own eyes.
For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives.” – Hebrews 12:6
This is a picture of every Christian’s relationship with God. It is slightly different because God has made no mistake, but He still says to us, “I am very disappointed in you.” That is what conviction is. Conviction is the realization that you are disappointing God Almighty. It is a very similar feeling to that you receive after your earthly father has told you such a thing.
It is also different in our regards of it. We seem so calloused to the One who loves us so very much. We feel every pang of humiliation and angst possible when we hear it from our earthly fathers but turn away when our Heavenly Father pleads with us to repent of our actions that have grieved Him so. He indeed loves us more than our earthly fathers.
9 Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone?
10 Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent?
11 If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him! – Matthew 7:9-11
He will give us things our earthly fathers cannot even dream of allowing us to have. And yet we, every day of our lives, disappoint him. Let us heed our convictions from the Lord our God and adjust our attitudes toward Him Who has given us His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord in order that we may better serve Him. Let us not be afraid of the “D” word. Let us embrace our cross. Let us go forth into the world in the grace of God and attempt to do right by Him because we love Him as our Father.