…God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten?
In history, God has acted in the role of both parent and lover. Both of those roles are involved in the relationships God seeks to develop with us.
Babies depend totally on their parents for every need. They would die if the parents didn’t feed and care for them. And God wants us to depend on Him for what we need. But what is the goal of the parent? It is to teach independence so the children will develop self-confidence to go out into the world. And God wants us to grow and mature as well. Lovers have the freedom to be independent of each other, however, they choose to serve their partners. Their relationship is one of frequent giving. A healthy love relationship is one in which giving is done not out of obligation, but out of respect and love for the other person. God wants our love for Him to be given freely-not out of obligation but out of a sincere desire to love and serve Him.
Thought: If I feel “chastened” or lovingly prodded by God today, I will respond by realizing that it is for my own maturity rather than by getting angry at God for not letting me stay a spiritual infant.