Tough Love

African Mother and Children StatueStrict, blunt, disciplined approach t teaching life’s principles and lessons by teachers, parents, or guardians . . .

Do not consider painful what is good for you. Euripides

Man must be disciplined, for he is by nature raw and wild. Immanuel Kant

There is nothing wrong with tough love and long as it is unconditional.  George W Bush

   Society in general is weak-willed, undisciplined, whiny, impolite, selfish, patronizing and has a long list of other undesirable traits and characteristics. There is a huge lack of love and concern, low expectations, and very poor accountability. There is a need for more tough love in so many of our lives.

    The true concept of love requires a degree of toughness. When raising children we have to say ‘No!’; be willing to discipline; withhold privileges and practice accountability. Some allow their children too much free reign. We can look around and see the undesirable results of children whose parents have not practiced tough love. Some can look back and be thankful for the tough love of their parents, and some can look back and wish their parents had practiced more tough love. The more faults and short comings we have today is probably directly related to the amount or lack of tough love we received from our parents.

     Many lack sufficient skills in self-discipline, accountability, delaying gratification, work ethic, patience, perseverance, and other traits. Those having some mastery of these are functioning and flourishing at a higher level than those who do not. Many of us are aware of our need to strengthen these skills. The more we tended to learn them from our parents, the more likely we acquired them earlier in life. Some of us are having to learn these things more on our own. As adults we need to practice tough love on ourselves as well as on our children.

     The need for discipline, motivation, and accountability never ends. Just as kids need tough love from their parents, adults continue needing to be held to high standards. We should practice tough love on ourselves in order to grow and reach our potential. Many of us are doing a poor job. When no longer under the authority of our parents, we have to become our own parent. We should be able to love ourselves while holding ourselves accountable to high standards. We have to practice self-discipline, delay gratification, be able to say “NO’, while limiting exposure to undesirable influences, and practicing many other ‘tough love’ activities. As parents fail his child when not practicing tough love, we fail ourselves when we fail to do so. Needing to learn and grow does not stop at adulthood, it is never-ending, ever-challenging, and a life-long need. Practice tough love on yourself!

Challenge:  Are you a person who practices tough self-love? Are you self-disciplined and self-accountable? These are very necessary life skills. Can you use some improvement in this area of your life? It behooves you to be aware of this need and responsibility. You likely have unused potential waiting to be unleashed. Commit to becoming a good parent to yourself; practice tougher self-love. You owe it to yourself to be all that you can be.  

Wisdom: No life ever grows great until it is focused, dedicated and disciplined. Author Unknown

Spiritual: (NIV)

I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength. Philippians 4:13

If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. James 1:5

In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3: 5, 6

God is the perfect parent. He would be imperfect if He did not discipline and teach us the lessons of life. He does not make bad things happen, but He uses bad things that happen to teach us and help us learn the lessons of life. This is tough love in action. God is the creator of love. We should learn to love from his example. We should be able to practice tough self-love on ourselves. The more we can do this, the more we will grow and prosper in life.

Prayer:  Help me to learn and to practice ‘tough self-love’. 


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