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What Is Tough Love In The Bible

No Fruit Amongst The Leaves

Tough Love – Bible Month 1

Jesus used everyday situations to teach His listenersand to teach us as we look back on the stories in the Scriptures. I believe the story about the fig tree is about much more than the Lord not finding fruit among the leaves.

Have you ever known someone who looked like everything was as it should be? They looked like healthy, thriving Christiansfrom a distance. But when you got close, it was evident that there was no fruit. Their lives were not as they should have been.

As Ive said many times, the first life we must examine is our own. I know that some have thought more highly of me than they should haveand likely still do. I dont want to only look as if I am spiritually mature to those who dont know me well. I want God to look at my life and see fruit. I want others to see the fruit only His Holy Spirit can produce. This fruit is found in Galatians 5:22-23: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.

Principles Underlying The Loving Of Our Enemies

The precepts about loving our enemies, which our Lord has given us in verses 27-30 are based upon principles. Beginning from the lowest level principle and ascending to the highest, Jesus gives us several governing principles in verses 31-38. Let us briefly consider these.

Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

This principle is based upon a fundamental premise, that of reciprocity. We tend to respond to others in kind. Those who love us, we love. Those who are kind to us, we are kind to. Those who are harsh with us, we tend to be harsh with. The golden rule teaches us that that given the human tendency toward reciprocity we should treat others in the same way that we want them to respond to us. If we want people to be kind and gracious toward us, we must be kind and gracious toward them.

There is nothing particularly noble about following this principle, since we serve our own best interest by being kind toward others. Kindness shown toward others tends to be reciprocated toward us. We gain from what we give. Much of the secular counsel in how to relate toward others is based upon the principle of the golden rule. It does not rise above the standard which unbelievers set for themselves.

Do good unto others when they have done evil against you.

Do unto others, without looking to men for your reward.

Do unto others as God has done unto you.

Do unto others in the same way you want God to do to you.

Lest we fail to grasp what this means, our Lord explains,

We Must Take Indirect And Direct Action

When my sons were teenagers, I taught them to do their own laundry. The thing is, they really didnt enjoy doing laundry so, they would just wear dirty shirts, jeans, and very, very smelly socks over and over. I tried speaking to them first. Still, they refused to keep up with cleaning their clothes. Rather than nag, I decided to let the consequences eventually catch up.When my boys took an interest in girls, their desire for clean clothes shifted from unimportant to very important. But then another problem occurred. Often, when I needed to do my own laundry, I would find moldy wet clothes in the washer. I first spoke to the boys, warning them. When the behavior continued, I told the boys they would have to pay for the soap they were wasting. They didnt like it, but they paid. Unfortunately, I was still finding wet clothes in my machine.Finally, I took a very direct approach. I gave both boys a list of laundromats in our area. They were no longer allowed the privilege of using my machine even if they had bought the soap. Of course, I was not popular with my boys for quite some time. Yeah, they were quite angry with me. Today they understand completely.

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Gods Tough Love For Humankind

So you shall keep my commandments and do them: I am the Lord.

Leviticus 22:31

The dictionary definition of tough love defines it as enforcing certain constraints on a person for promoting their welfare or requiring them to take responsibility for their actions.

Keep His statutes and commandments, which I am giving you today, so that you and your children after you may prosper, and that you may live long in the land that the LORD your God is giving you for all time.

Deuteronomy 4:40

In the above verse, Moses tells the people that honoring God and following his rules for living as found in the Scriptures will bring prosperity and long life. God showed his tough love for humankind by giving rules to benefit, not oppress them.

When this failed, God took the unprecedented step of having his son live, suffer and die as a human to free humankind from the bondage of sin under the law by paying the price in their place.

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

John 3:16

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Scripture Requires Parents Show Tough Love For Children

Discipline your son, and he will give you rest he will give delight to your heart.

Proverbs 29:17

The Bible instructs parents to discipline their children properly. Out of love, some parents want to give their children all they can. Some never want to say no so that their children never suffer disappointment. But raising the child without discipline is more harmful to their well-being. According to the Bible, tough love is whats needed.

Whoever spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is diligent to discipline him.

Proverbs 13:24

At the same time, the Bible instructs parents to be respectful and loving toward their children.

Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.

Ephesians 6:4

As a father shows compassion to his children, so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear him.

Psalm 103:13

In the above verse, the meaning of the word fear is a synonym for the word reverence or respect.

When Life Gets Real

For the past year my husband and I have had to navigate some tough and uncertain times. We have seen loss of jobs, loss of friends, death of family members, financial changes and the list goes on.

As a type A personality, who likes to have control on every part of my life, these challenges created a bit of anxiety and worry in my life.

During the middle of the storm, which if I am honest continues to brew, I must have something to hold onto. Although I have been a believer since I was five, my walk with Christ has never been tested in such a real way. This past year I believe my faith has grown because of the tests and my willingness to search the Bible for answers and hope.

God has equipped us with everything that we need but its up to us to do the work.

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take YOUR stand against the devils schemes.

Are you willing to do the work?

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The Approach Of This Message

In this lesson I am going to do something a bit unusual, something I usually seek to avoiddeviating from the order of the text, as recorded. I am going to begin by characterizing the practices which our Lord required for us to love our enemies . Then, I will deal with the parables of Jesus, underscoring the importance of our obedience to His commands here . Finally, I will conclude by identifying the principles which underlie the practices .

Where Do You Draw The Line

What Is Love? Show Tough or Tender Love?

Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Does your adult child feel entitled to demand money?
  • Do you feel you live from one crisis to the next?
  • How much do you have to sacrifice to meet your adult childs needs?
  • Do you feel resentful, stressed, used and burnt out by the constant demands?

If you have answered yes to any of the above questions, you have a problem. You are enabling dysfunctional behavior and you need to draw the line. I know this is easier said than done but you need to find a way to be supportive and understanding but firm at the same time.

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Implementing Tough Love With Your Spouse

Many of you have probably heard the term tough love used in conversation. But, what does it mean to demonstrate tough love? What does tough love do? Can a Christian be tough and loving at the same time? The answer is yes.

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Pastor Steve addresses the specific issues we battle, those stumbling blocks that frustrate and defeat us over and over again.

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When Tough Love Is Necessary

Love isnt always meek and mild. Sometimes love is firm and tough, but its no less love. Consider Jesus response to the moneychangers in the temple.

They had turned from prayer to profit, but Jesus didnt sit idly by. When certain men turned religion into racketeering, He insisted that they leave the premises. His words are strong, It is written, He said to them, My house will be called a house of prayer. But you are making it a den of thieves . He overturned the tables of the moneychangers and the benches of those selling doves.

Harsh actions? Yes. Loving? Yes. Jesus loved too much to do nothing in the face of corruption. Did these men later return and become men of prayer? We dont know. That certainly would have been Jesus desire.

When physical abuse, sexual unfaithfulness, sexual abuse of children, alcoholism, or drug addiction persist in a marriage, its time to take loving action. In fact, a spouse isnt showing love when he or she accepts such behavior as a way of life. Such behavior destroys the individual and the marriage.

Love must confront. In the Bible, confrontation is always seen as redemptive. Jesus said that if someone sins against you, then youre to confront that person. If he or she listens and repents, youre to forgive, and the relationship is healed. If theres no repentance, you must take additional steps of tough love. The purpose isnt revenge, but redemption. Thats tough love. Thats real love. .

Tough Love In The Nt / Scripture Verses:


Taken from…


MT 3:1-12

In those days John the Baptist appeared, preaching in the desert of Judea saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!”… When he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to his baptism, he said to them, “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? Produce good fruit as evidence of your repentance. And do not presume to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ For I tell you, God can raise up children to Abraham from these stones. Even now the ax lies at the root of the trees. Therefore every tree that does not bear good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire. I am baptizing you with water, for repentance, but the one who is coming after me is mightier than I. I am not worthy to carry his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. His winnowing fan is in his hand. He will clear his threshing floor and gather his wheat into his barn, but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.”

MT 4:17

From that time on, Jesus began to preach and say, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”

MT 5:13

“You are the salt of the earth.But if salt loses its taste, with what can it be seasoned? It is no longer good for anything but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.”

MT 5:20

“I tell you, unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter into the kingdom of heaven.”

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Bible Verses About Tough Love

Bible verses related to Tough Love from the King James Version by Relevance

Sort By Book Order

1 Corinthians 13:4-8 – Charity suffereth long, and is kind charity envieth not charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, 2 Timothy 4:1-22 – I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom 1 Peter 4:8 – And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins.Matthew 7:12 – Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.Galatians 6:5 – For every man shall bear his own burden.James 1:1-27 – James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad, greeting. Matthew 7:1-29 – Judge not, that ye be not judged.

Topics and verses are auto-generated from user searches. If a verse or topic does not belong, please contact us. Some scripture references/categories courtesy of Open Bible .info under CC BY 3.0

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Both Dr Phil And Dr Laura Advocate It Theres Even An Organizationtough Love Internationalto Help Parents Deal With Out

In The Epidemic: the Rot of American Culture, Robert Shaw, a practicing family psychiatrist and head of the Family Institute of Berkeley, California, writes, Far too many children today are sullen, unfriendly, distant, preoccupied They whine, nag and throw tantrums and demand constant attention from their parents

Shaw lists 15 ways to ruin your children and your life, which include give in to your childs whims let your child think he is the boss of the universe and dont supervise your childs friendships. In contrast, the antidote to the epidemic so many of us have witnessed is, Shaw writes, a strong bonding experience, a routine, disciplined environment, moral training and good old down time. He says his book is not a how-to book, but a what is necessary book.

One of Shaws best observations is, Todays parents seem to have absorbed the notion that a childs life should be totally serene, totally self-expressive and totally free from frustration. But creating an atmosphere that feels satisfactory to the child all the time does her a disservice.


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