Ephesians 6:4 NLT - "Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger by the way you treat them. Rather, bring them up with the discipline and instruction that comes from the Lord."
Immediately let me emphasize that the book of Proverbs says a lot about the mother's influence in the home and that the father is not the only one who has responsibility for disciplining and instructing his children. Having said that let it be clear that Paul takes aim at fathers when he talks about bringing up children. Too many men have taken a "back seat" or even a non-existent "seat" to the matter of raising their children. Too many kids are growing up in either fatherless homes or fathers who just don't seem to care about what happens to them. Now, in fairness, there are certainly many fathers who seek to do their best. But let's let Paul teach us.
First, he emphasizes what "not to do." Don't bring your children to anger, or in many instances, frustration. One of the biggest matters with performing good discipline in the home is CONSISTENCY!! A child is frustrated when either the rules or the correction keeps changing. They need stability in knowing what is expected of them and what corrections they can expect if they go astray. I've often said that for a father and mother to have good discipline in their family they needs three things: 1) Agreeable discipline - both parents agree as to what the discipline will be; 2) Reasonable discipline - don't threaten your kid with getting "skinned" if they disobey. Be clear what to expect which obviously should not be abusive, but don't worry about pain! A good spanking is still God's way of correcting misbehavior! And, 3) CONSISTENT discipline! This is where most parents go wrong. They yell like crazy one day and they seem to be oblivious to bad behavior the next day! That simply brings a child to frustration.
Second, Paul instructs fathers to know the instruction that comes from the Lord and teach and exemplify that to your children. They don't just need to hear instruction - they need to SEE IT! Fathers, your behavior is so very important. Remember the old saying, "Your actions are speaking so loud I can't hear a word you're saying."
Walk the walk before you talk the talk. Your kids will love you for doing so!
Daily commentary and insight from Pastor Eckardt.
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Mt Ephraim Baptist Church | 25 S. Black Horse Pike | Mt Ephraim, NJ 08059
Senior Pastor, Stephen A. Eckardt | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org | Phone: 856.981.7288