I am a mean mom. No doubt about it. I enforce bed times. I make my kids eat what I serve for dinner, even vegetables. My kids have chores, and they don't receive an allowance for them. Just as I make their dinner for "free," the chores they do around the house come from being a member of our family, not as a service for pay.
I am a mean mom. I say "no" when they want to eat too much candy, or see a movie that they think would be fine, but I deem inappropriate. I make them go to church every Sunday, unless they're sick, when sometimes they'd rather sleep in or have a PJ day. I make my oldest practice her piano, and they both have to clean up their rooms.
Oh, I do nice things too. I make them special breakfast in bed sometimes, just because. I might let them stay up late occasionally for a movie night. But those things are quickly forgotten when I do the "mean" things. The truth is, the reason I enforce the "mean" things is not because I am mean, but because I love them and want the best for them.
Sometimes it's hard for us to know what God has in store for our lives. When He tells us no to the things we want, we may not see the bigger picture, we only know that he is being "mean" to us. God may "push" us to do things we don't want to do, and we will have consequences when we disobey. This may lead some to think that God is mean.
The truth is, just as when I'm a "mean mom," when God does something we think is "mean," I'm certain He is doing it because He loves us and wants what is best for us. But because we are children, His children, we can't always see the bigger picture. We just have to trust Him, like I hope my children trust me.
I'm really not mean. And neither is God. We both just love our children too much to leave them as they are. We want to teach them. We want them to grow up and be strong. My children know how much I love them. Just like I know how much God loves us.
My son, do not despise the LORD's discipline and do not resent his rebuke, because the LORD disciplines those he loves, as a father the son he delights in. Proverbs 3:11,12