Tough Love

"For I have chosen him (Abraham), so that he will direct his children and his household after him to keep the way of the Lord by doing what is right and just, so that the Lord will bring about for Abraham what he has promised him." Genesis 18:19 [NIV]

The Lord knew that Abraham would be able to convey the Divine teachings to future generations, because He knew Abraham to be capable of overcoming his intense love and apply stern discipline when it was needed. Although Abraham loved his son Ishmael, he did not allow these feelings to deter him from the necessary discipline. (Genesis 21:9-14)

Love is a wonderful feeling, but it can be destructive if it is misdirected. Sometimes we must rein in our love and apply strict measures. While doing so will cause us great distress, our failure to do so will ultimately cause even greater distress to all concerned. "Tough love" is not cruelty, but, like some life-saving medicines that taste bitter, it is helpful albeit unpleasant.

[ Reference Scriptures ]

Genesis 21:9-14 [NIV]
9 But Sarah saw that the son whom Hagar the Egyptian had borne to Abraham was mocking, 10 and she said to Abraham, "Get rid of that slave woman and her son, for that slave woman's son will never share in the inheritance with my son Isaac." 11 The matter distressed Abraham greatly because it concerned his son. 12 But God said to him, "Do not be so distressed about the boy and your maidservant. Listen to whatever Sarah tells you, because it is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned. 13 I will make the son of the maidservant into a nation also, because he is your offspring."
14 Early the next morning Abraham took some food and a skin of water and gave them to Hagar. He set them on her shoulders and then sent her off with the boy. She went on her way and wandered in the desert of Beersheba.

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