Background: Driving home from church with the youngest boy in the car, he asks for the umpteenth time if he can watch a movie. The response is the same, “No. We don’t watch tv or movies during the week”. The message we just heard on discipline (not the kind that involves touch but the kind that involves will) comes to mind because we are training the boys that the weekend is devoted to tv and movies and the week is for focusing on school. We’re attempting to build their tolerance or develop discipline for focusing on academics during the week and play on the weekends.
So this word discipline is not a friendly one. It requires work and it usually means exercising restraint in an area, with the knowledge that you’ll get something better for making the changes in that area. Let’s use diet and exercise as an example. Discipline is necessary to follow an exercise program or diet regimen and get the results you want. Parenting. If you want a respectful child, you must teach them and repeatedly reinforce how you want them to be. I don’t know about you, but I’m a results driven person. I want a decision to be made and a plan in place that has an ending or result that is in my favor. So I have no problem with discipline because I see what I want and agree to the terms that are necessary to obtain the goal. I push toward my goal, fully expecting it to uncomfortable at times, but steadily focusing on the result. I assume the P31 had to be similar to me, in that she was results driven.
v 18 She perceiveth that her merchandise [is] good: her candle goeth not out by night.
v 27 She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness.
Verse 18 says it all. She makes sure what she does is good and doesn’t go to bed til its right. And verse 27 says she’s not lazy, because she has to ensure that her home is taken care. We have to take this same attitude toward the things that God has put into our possession and under our jurisdiction. In order to have a goal there must besomething to strive for. God is creative, and I strongly believe he has put something unique inside of all us that must be developed and used in the Earth. He’s given us families, marriages, talents, careers, influence, knowledge, Jesus! We have to be just like the P31 and say “I will not be lazy, I have to make sure these areas of my life are doing well, and I’ll burn the midnight oil to make sure its done and double check it to make sure I’ve reached my goals concerning those things”. And we must understand that the situations and possessions God has placed in our lives are tameable and have potential for greatness. But discipline must be exercised to extract the greatness.
Restraint. Uncomfortable. Delay. Pain. Work. These are just a few words that come to my mind when I think of discipline. None of these should be scary or foreign to a woman. We were built to withstand all of these (no offense to men, y’all can do it too). And just as Jesus endured pain, humiliation, the cross and death to achieve his glorious goal, we have to see the people and things in our lives with that same level of importance. The outcome of our lives depends on how disciplined we are to make every person and thing in our lives a success. I could probably keep going but I’ve reached my limit. Extract as much greatness as you can from you and yours and embrace the discipline that’s necessary to obtain it.
References: Proverbs 31:18,27