By: Lou Yeboah
Oh, how we so hate it, but, boy do we forever need it! Tough Love! Although difficult to give and difficult to receive, when we acknowledge the serious and eternal implications of our choices, we come to understand why tough love is so important. Case in point: When King David committed adultery and had his lover’s husband killed, the prophet Nathan was the only one who confronted him about his sin [2 Samuuel 12}. Nathan spoke the truth to David in such a way that David became immediately repentant. I tell you, one of the great characteristics of the Ephesian church was the fact that they were, in one very important way, intolerant. Much of the professing Christian church today has forgotten that Jesus wants His church to be pure. It has forgotten that God has commanded His people to be holy. The world today wants the church to turn the Bible’s teaching upside down. It wants us to call what is evil, good, and to call what is good, evil. But as the prophet Isaiah wrote, [Isaiah 5:20] “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter.” No matter how difficult tough love is to give or receive, people who are going astray need to be told that they are on the path to destruction. They need to be told that they need to change. They need to be dealt with with tough love.
You see, Jesus who taught us to love one another is the same Jesus who made whips and used them to whip the merchants who had set up shops in the temple. He is the same one who openly rebuked the religious leaders of his day, calling them snakes and vipers. Jesus showed us many examples of tough love. He never backed away from saying exactly what his Father told him to say, even if it caused people to stop following him. He knew he was acting in love because he was offering them exactly what they needed to hear, whether they liked it or not. The message He preached was not negotiable, not on the table for compromise, not up for a vote.
I tell you, there are times in life when we “need” tough love. There are times in life when we “need” to be warned that we are in a dangerous situation and that we “need” to listen up or face some pretty devastating consequences. Instead of being hateful or take offense, we should be grateful and thankful that God loves us so much that He will send a messenger with a message for our mess instead of wrath. Tough love – embrace it, love it, welcome it. Why? Because, ‘Tough Love’ is a love that doesn’t let evil get the upper hand. Because, ‘Tough Love is Real Love!”
In concluding, to those who have chosen to allow the Lord to use you as His mouthpiece, as God warned the prophet Ezekiel in regards to his vocation as messenger and mouthpiece of God. Know that there are no variables when it comes to being God’s faithful messenger. Speak the words that God gives. He gives them for a reason and they need to be heard. “If you don’t tell them what He gives you to say: if you choose to try and play nice they will still suffer the eternal death of Hell only now you will be held accountable for it.
Biblical tough love, based on eternal truth.
“Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby; wherefore lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees… [Hebrews 12:11-12]