The Midrash in this weeks Parsha says ‘Any love that does not include reproval (Tochacha) is not real love.’ The message is obvious. Real love and caring requires “tough love”. When things get tough, when we see someone doing what we feel is wrong or bad for them, if we really love them we get involved. If not, we “live and let live” and “let them make their own mistakes”.
Now obviously even if you love someone you must also use those attitudes as well, but when you really love them its painful and challenging to hold yourself back. We must keep this in mind when we do need to get tough with our kids, especially if they don’t understand or resist this type of love, and try to make us feel guilty or get angry. We love them and will do what is necessary and hard for them, we will make the tough decisions they cant and will risk even their resentment and anger because we love them.
Rabbi Ari Deutscher MSW