December 7, 2022

Provoking To Good Works

It is easy to get frustrated with our children when they are not obeying, or when they are missing something that’s right in front of them.  How we respond, however, can make the difference between having a child prone to wrath and having a child with a loving spirit.

And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. – Ephesians 6:4

Fathers, provoke not your children [to anger], lest they be discouraged. – Colossians 3:21

I feel that Paul directed this at the dads because I believe we’re the biggest culprits in flying off the handle when children do not do what we say.  I think that we’re used to getting our way, or are less selfless than our wives (who should already be in submission to us (which should give us greater appreciation of where they are!)).

But how do we provoke our children to wrath or anger?  A few things leap to mind:

  • Inconsistency: Yesterday we weren’t supposed to touch the TV, but today you want me to turn it on and change the channels for you.
  • Unrealistic demands: Eat this food in five minutes! — when it took you fifteen to eat it on your plate.
  • Punishment doesn’t fit the crime: I forgot to do my homework, and you grounded me for a month!?

I’m sure you can come up with others.  The point is that we are sinners, and we don’t always stop to think about what our directions, our actions, and our discipline conveys to the person on the receiving end.  God wants us to step back and look at ourselves from their perspective.  We need to be doing things in love with the best interest of our children at heart– not doing them out of anger or selfishness.

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2 thoughts on “Provoking To Good Works

  1. You hit on the three biggies that really cause frustration and anger in children…of any age! Too many choices is another one…nothing like getting your child in the habit of having every choice in the book to suddenly being told “No”…watch out…big tantrum coming and you, the parent caused it by allowing them to have their way in all those choices. It’s a wise parent that gets their toddlers used to accepting whatever color cup, whatever drink choice mom decides, whatever color pants or dress mom chooses for them…etc. Otherwise, you’re setting yourself up for an upset child. Eventually, they earn the right to make their own choices now and then…as they are able to handle the responsibility.

    Another comment, I’ll never forget the resentment a friend from my past expressed about her parents. They were Christians, that were hard core against things like Halloween and Santa Claus…but when it came to certain other things, they weren’t consistent enough. Her example for her parents was that they didn’t tithe regularly. Scary isn’t it, how inconsistency can be seen and judged by the children in a household. Inconsistency and legalism will produce rebellion.

  2. MIN, I know this doesnt belong here, but my email is on the other computer… anyway,

    I was hoping you would go to “The Truth Laid Bear” and register your site to be in the ecosystem, so that you will boost my standing, and also so that we can see how big of a blogger you are! The ecosystem measures how many blogs link to you etc. and rates you according to that and some other things.

    Right now I am a multicellular microrganism, which is the second to smallest size.



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