Hello Jack! :)
Thanks for writing, it is so encouraging to hear from you.
Yes, I well remember the old discipline teachings I learned and also taught to others. And I remember the nagging thoughts that the Bible refers to discipline and/or correction, but how to fit it was very difficult.
First of all though, know that he is actively involved in our lives, but not from the sin-conscious perception we were raised with. Our problems with discipline are logical, for we discussed it in the context of wrong-doing. But discipline is a father's constant care in raising his son. The son's perception of this care is that it seems to be against him. It's not about punishment, it's about being raised in love through many difficulties. It seems that our Bible-thumping has missed the point of the majority of child-raising when it considers the verse:
All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowfulHebrews 12:11
Why do we only think this refers to whippings? Hey, every chore, every time-schedule, every morning I had to get up early, etc. was included in the meaning of discipline. And I can tell you that it was NOT joyful. I didn't want to have to wash the dishes, or pull the weeds, or go to school, or even take a bath. I didn't like the spankings either, but the fact is that I got very few of those. Growing up under my parents' guidance was simply a difficult proposition all the way around.
Now, our parents may have often made the issue about punishment, but that was probably because they were fed up with our crap. :) But most of the time the desire is that parents simply want to see the best for their kids. We've just gotten so used to thinking in terms of the spankings as discipline that, as parents, we get short-sighted concerning the overall picture. As children, we just didn't understand this until much later, after we had grown.
The reality of our total acceptance is the basis for true discipline, for our Father is faithful in maturing us. He works in us FROM the image of his son TOWARD the image of his son. In other words, beginning and ending in the reality of Christ in us. He is teaching us who it is we really are, and He uses whatever means He desires to cause us to see this. You see, HE has no misunderstanding as to who we ARE and who we are NOT. WE are the ones who get confused over the matter. :)
Looking forward to hearing more from you!