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Ephesians 6:4: Do Not Provoke Your Children

Ephesians 6:4
[4] Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord. (ESV)

The power that a parent has over a child is great. I can remember times when all my dad had to do is look at me and I felt cold terror go down my spine. He did not need to say many words, nor even speak in a loud voice to get my attention.

Parents, you have been given power over your children. If I may quote the Apostle Spiderman, “With great power comes great responsibility.” Some parents have abused the power given to them it ought to be taken away. It is so sad what some parents have done to their children. As parents you have greater control over your behavior than your children have over theirs. When you cannot act like a respectable human being in dealing with your children, you make it almost impossible to obey God’s call for them to honor and obey you!

Let’s go back to Ephesians 5:21:

Ephesians 5:21
[21] submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ.

If you are living a life that is not submitted to God, and to his Word, you are a prime candidate for a parent who is going to bring down your children. Here’s a few questions that I want to ask the dads and moms reading this:

1. Do you instruct your children in a normal tone, or do you scream?

2. Do you use insults and mocking words to bring instruction/discipline to your children?

3. Do you only give your children positive responses when they do the right thing?

4. Do your children know that you love them just as much when they fail as when they succeed?

5. Would you want to have yourself as a father/mother?

When we looked at how children were supposed to treat their parents we found that just as important as their actions was their attitude. As parents, I know that a bad attitude can be infuriating. But, it works both ways. When you try to raise your child with a wrong attitude it is infuriating for your child. Paul says in Ephesians, “Fathers, don’t provoke your children to anger.” In his letter to Colossae he phrases it this way:

Colossians 3:21
[21] Fathers, do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged.

I have met far too many people in my life, who are angry and discouraged. When I talk to them I discover that there is a mom or a dad who wounded them deeply. Don’t bring your children down, but rather, bring them UP!