Even though it was a movie, it was disturbing and thought provoking for me as a child. The memory is a bit fuzzy, but the incident I recall well. It involved a family, which included a husband, wife, and young boy.
It was a western movie and the family was traveling through Indian territory traveling west when they were attacked. After a short battle, the family was surrounded and their capture was imminent.
As the attackers were closing in, the man took his pistol and shot his child and wife. As a lad, I was quite rattled and confused. I asked my oldest brother, (who probably shouldn’t have been letting me watch it anyway), “How could someone kill his family”? My brother explained simply, “He loved them and didn’t want them to be tortured to death.” The man was captured before he could take his own life and was tortured.
That’s a pretty extreme test of love to be sure. Since that time, I’ve slowly learned that sometimes love is hard… Especially with kids.
Once again I was confused as a kid when my parents told me before good ole fashioned discipline, “This is gonna hurt me a lot more than it is you”! Although out of reverent fear, I didn’t say what I was thinking… “No. It’s not”! – “I’m the only one getting hurt here”!!!
It’s difficult for kids to understand the mind of wisdom. Love isn’t the “feeling” our society has transformed the meaning into. Love is a choice, a discipline, the ascent of our will. I shared some time ago about when my dad wouldn’t allow me to accept a free motorcycle from his best friend, even though that would have been the easiest thing for him to do.
As an adult with an extreme advantage of wisdom from my parents and siblings, I’m baffled by parents who believe love is only a feeling, not a discipline. God himself proves the fact that in His perfection, there is justice which equals consequences in our lives.
I honestly can’t count the number of severely damaged lives of young people I know personally in my life that were made that way by parents who couldn’t grasp that love is hard. That love is not always giving… Sometimes love is taking… I believe that can be the most difficult test of true love.
If a person can’t live with the disappointment of their child for a time to ensure the overall well-being of that child, is that really love of the child? Or is it love of self, not wanting to deal with the immediate consequences that usually accompanies the wisdom teaching process?
If a person lived their whole life not living inside a house, had never witnessed a home with conditioned air, indoor plumbing, the comforts of electricity, and then were asked to clean and care for those amenities, how would they know what to do?
How on God’s green earth can we expect the next generation to have self-discipline when they’ve never witnessed discipline? It’s like sending our children to war with toothpicks! It is insanity, veiled in modern enlightenment.
When a mother threatens a child with discipline, says something like, “I’m gonna count to ten”! Then after five minutes of restarting the countdown, what has that child learned? They’ve learned that lying by their role model is not only acceptable but preferable. That child will not get to witness their role model demonstrating self-discipline.
They won’t get to witness true love… Then again… Love isn’t always easy…
In fact, it can be downright hard… But, that’s what makes it true love…