Posted by: ramonamom | June 10, 2008

The Second Great Command

“…you shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Matt. 22:39

I am currently reading Instruments in the Redeemer’s Hands, by Paul David Tripp. This is an excellent book for those wishing to counsel others and, as parents, shouldn’t that be every single one of us?

In Chapter 11, the author defines rebuke as, “bringing truth to where change is needed“. He then goes on to state, “But if we love God above all else, confrontation is an extension and expression of that love.” As a parent, it seems like I am in confrontation mode on a daily basis, but I confess that those confrontations are often not of pure motives. Rather, they are out of a desire to have one of my children do what I want them to in order that my life will run more smoothly. Or, on the other hand, I may choose to ignore some misbehavior rather than rebuke (bring truth where change is needed) in order to avoid what I suspect will be a scene. In fact, Mr. Tripp states that, “the truth is that we fail to confront, not because we love others too much, but because we love ourselves too much”. If that does not bring an “ouch” to your lips, you might want to seriously consider if you are being honest with yourself or not… It certainly did to mine.

Biblical rebuke is motivated by the Second Great Command…Often when people hear the words rebuke and confrontation, they think of a radical moment of truth telling, a long list of stern indictments against a person who is significantly rebellious or who has tragically wandered away. Yet, the model here is ongoing honesty in an ongoing relationship. Rather than one big moment of confrontation, the model here is many mini-moments of confrontation.

Rebuke does not mean that our love is conditional. However, the self sacrificing love of this passage exists at the intersection of patient grace and intolerance for sin. This means that I love you and I will not walk away from you at the first sign of weakness or sin. I will extend to you the same grace I have received. {Emphasis mine, from the mind of a parent of older adopted children}

Now, for a practical, day to day example of how to live this out in our own lives:

Often there is so little honest conversation between parents and teenagers that moments of rebuke are extremely uncomfortable. At one point in our family, there were important things we needed to discuss with our daughter. We decided to make weekly appointments to talk with her about them. The first time was very difficult, but each time got easier. Soon the ground we gained spilled over into our informal conversations. All our interactions began to be more comfortable and honest. This passage invisions a “constant conversation” model where the daily intervention of honest rebule is a regular part of all relationships.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: