"One of the heavy costs of discipleship, I suspect, is not what my discipleship costs me, but what my discipleship (i.e. the discipleship that I’ve received) has cost others in the way of pain."
C. John Miller, The Heart of a Servant Leader: Letters from Jack Miller, (Phillipsburg, NJ: P&R, 2004) p. 172.
A parent knows the painful toil of disciplining a wayward child. It taxes the parents' time, emotional strength, and relational energy to form the child's character. The child will flourish to the degree the parent is willing to suffer on their behalf.
The same principle applies in spiritual formation. In order for a young believer to be fashioned after Jesus Christ, an older believer must walk alongside the younger one and provide training, correction, and at times a painful rebuke. The younger believer will mature to the degree the older believer is willing to suffer for them.
This principle is at work on an incalculable scale in the Gospel. Jesus Christ is the true shepherd who lays down his life for His sheep. He didn’t experience merely a tax on his time, emotional strength, and relational energy. He incarnated in weakness, poverty, and ignominy. He was condemned, spit upon, derided, and hung from a Roman gibbet. Far worse than this, He was severed from the Father. He experienced the Father’s righteous indignation for our sin. Yet, Jesus did it all gladly in love for us.
If you can see ways in which your parents suffered so that you could prosper, if you can see ways an older believer toiled so that you could mature, then know that those are small windows into the sufferings that Jesus Christ gladly experienced so that you could be forgiven, made righteous, and be received into His eternal kingdom. My your heart warm to love Him.