Instructions For Christian Fathers (Parents)
Scripture Text: Ephesians 6:4
“And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord.”
This verse has two imperative and absolute commands.
They are mandatory…
- DO NOT make your children angry (provoke, stir, continually annoy and nag, enrage, exasperate, aggravate) by the way your treat them.
- DO bring (nurture) them up in the nurture (training by action such as discipline and correction) and admonition (instruction; training by word; put in their minds words of warning, encouragement and the value of positive virtues and morals) that is approved (or ministered) by the Lord.
The apostle Paul shows that God’s design is for the father to take the lead in teaching and training (as in Old Testament times and throughout history). He is to be sensitive to his children’s needs and feelings, just as he needs to be sensitive to his wife’s needs and feelings. The father is not to teach and train in such a way as to encourage frustration and rebellion. Parents should strive for kindness in their correction and discipline.
The method and content of a father’s teaching and discipline must be that of Christ. For example, how did Jesus treat people? What did He teach by example? How and what did He teach others? What was His focus and outlook on life? What is taught in the New Testament about how Christians are to treat each other and other people? What does the New Testament teach about how to live life to the fullest in Christ?
Parallel Text: Colossians 3:21
“Fathers, do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged.”
If one continually provokes (unreasonably irritates, anger) his children, they may become bitter, rebellious, disheartened, discouraged and give up. So parents (especially fathers), don’t be a fault-finder, hard to please and severe. Don’t break a child’s spirit. Let all things be done in love, in the best interest of the child and “in the name of the Lord Jesus” (Colossians 3:17).
Why is it important for Christian parents (especially fathers) to be involved in the spiritual upbringing of their children?
- They would be fulfilling a part of God’s eternal purpose and expectation (Ephesians 1:9, 10).
- They would be honoring Christ by submitting to their children and their needs (Ephesians 5:21).
- They would be obeying divine commandments (Ephesians 6:4).
What are some other Biblical/Christian injunctions and counsel regarding the parent – child relationship? What are some anecdotes and examples from your own experience?