I have a dear friend who is the mother of four children. One of her teenagers is a son – the only son – and he has a fondness for long, steaming hot showers. Even before he gets in the shower, he likes the bathroom to resemble a sauna. In order to turn his plain bathroom into a sauna to rival that of any fine, luxury spa, he turns the hot water on full blast. Once the steam is seeping out from under the door, he commences his near scalding shower.
And this is not an abbreviated shower. Once the steam hits his brain, he completely and utterly forgets that he has a family that might also desire some warmth with their daily bath. This teenage mutant child takes his time – reveling in the warmth – applying his manly scented body wash, shampoo and conditioner. He takes his time to make sure no soap or shampoo residue remains on him before finally shutting off the shower.
The freshly washed, relaxed and crisply dressed boy is ready for school when his father comes roaring out of the master bedroom.
“How many kids took a shower this morning?” he bellows. His boisterous outburst falls on one pink-cheeked son who seems mighty relaxed.
“Just me,” comes the honest, feeble response.
The mother begins to position herself between the two testosterone driven creatures – one with steam rising off his skin – the other with steam coming out his
“Well, son. I took a very, very cold shower because you used up all of the hot water! Did you even think for a minute that someone else might like to have a hot shower this morning?” He let that sink in before calmly adding, “For the next week, you will take tepid baths!”
“Yes, sir,” the son replied to his chilled father.
That night, when the time drew near to the hour when the son would normally begin to create his spa inspired sauna, his father filled the tub with a mere three inches of very tepid water and then threatened him with all sorts of horrific consequences if he so much as heard a drip of water being added. A few minutes into the bath, the family heard noises coming from the bathroom. The noises were coming from the teenager as he soaked in his tepid tub of discipline.
In a funny, Yoda-like voice the family heard him say, “Me doesn’t like
“Me likes hot showers.”
“Me thinks this punishment is too severe.”
“Me thinks one night of a tepid bath would be sufficient”
“Me thinks it’ll be a long week”
And on and on…
This teenage boy was taking his discipline, or “correction,” with a degree of rebellion. While not openly fighting against the punishment, he, nevertheless, used humor to make it known that he did not enjoy his correction.
No one does. NO one enjoys correction. How many of us sit in our tepid tub of correction and fight?
Proverbs 12:1 says, “Whoever loves discipline, loves knowledge, but he who
hates correction is stupid.”
Proverbs 1:7b states, “but fools despise wisdom and discipline.”
Proverbs 15:5 tells us that “a fool spurns his father’s discipline but whoever heeds correction shows prudence and 13: 18 says “he who ignores disciple comes to poverty and shame but whoever heads correction is honored.”
According to God’s word – we should love correction and strive to be thankful for
discipline in our lives. When we are being corrected, we often sit and complain.
What if when the steam-sauna-seeker received his sentence he celebrated?
What if he hugged his father and thanked him for saving him from stupidity?
What if he then planted a kiss on his mom’s forehead, picked her up and twirled her around exclaiming, “Yippee! I’m going to be saved from poverty and shame! I will be honored.”
What if, as the teenager lowered his body into the lukewarm water, he yelled for all the house to hear, “Hallelujah! I’m not a fool. I’m prudent!”
What a difference. What if, when the Lord disciplines us, we embrace and celebrate it? According to scripture, we should be grateful for the Lord’s correction instead of grumbling in our tepid tub.
Lord, help me to celebrate the tepid tub of correction, as well as, the warm shower of grace and mercy.
Help me to soak in your gentle washing of discipline.