Ephesians 6:4 “Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.”
In first-century Rome, men were “real men.” Or at least, they had a very limited definition of real manhood. During that time, the fathers in the families ruled with an iron hand. They could even sentence their children to death, if they wanted to! Many fathers were cruel, harsh and demanding. It would seem that some of them have survived, and can be found even today, harshly frustrating and provoking their children. This kind of parenting almost always results in the child being angry, even hating the parent.
There is another type of parent that can be found today. This parent is gentle and permissive, and is reluctant to instruct or discipline their child at all. They worry about limiting their child’s creativity, or squelching their spirit. They don’t want to make their child angry or upset. So, they sweetly smile and permit their wild little rascals to do whatever they want, whenever they want. This kind of parenting usually results in . . . well . . . everyone else being angry at, even hating, the child.
But Paul calls for gentle, loving discipline and instruction. Children don’t learn when they are terrified – they simply act out of fear. They also don’t learn if no one teaches them at all. As parents, we must gently, lovingly discipline and instruct our children.
Our Heavenly Father loves us. He instructs us, but there is always that love. He disciplines us, but there is always that overwhelming, never-ending love in the midst of it. Everything He does for us, everything He teaches us, is always grounded in love.
As parents, we should strive to imitate the One, True, Ideal Parent. We should love. Yes, we must instruct our children, and discipline them. But in the midst of it all, we must seek to communicate love. That kind of parenting leads to healthy, well-balanced children.
Dear Father, Please help me to love my children, and to teach them and discipline them the way You want me to. Help me, in all things, to point them to You.
I have been working this last week, working and discussing with my husband. Your 101 Marriage counseling was the reason why.
Being raised in a Pentecost Church means being familiar with the Bible and all it’s seemingly contradictions.
Often would the pastor choose which place in the Scripture to emphasis, and equally often would I argue against (being in my early teens.)
I had not thought of the verses from the Ephesians for many years, until you wrote about the male crave for respect gen.
I had to give you right; men and women are fundamentally different in their basic needs.-From Venus and Mars- is another expression.
I guess I could never live with a man I did not respect or to be honest was not cleverer than me in basic skills like cars, computers, machinery, carpentry, walking on roofs, reading maps, and actually also better educated than I am.
My hubby has all these virtues and many, many more.
And I love him.
Even so, I guess this submission issue has not come easily to me.
We talked about our needs and you were right, there is a specific want for respect gen in the male DNA.
“But you know I respect you and always will,” I said.
“Just as I love you without so many words,” he replied.
I was trapped. It just needs to be said and showed in everyday life.
Thank you, Renae, for being a sharing thinker.
This sure has made a difference in our lives.
From yours still working Felisol
Oh, Thank you, Felisol! I am so glad to hear that my post spurred you and your husband to discuss God’s Word in more depth. That passage is a tough one to swallow, I think, until we look at it from the point of view that God made us differently – and that passage simply helps us each, as men and women, to get what we need.
Thank you so much for your encouragement to me, as a writer. It means more than you can know.
Blessings, dear friend!
I really needed to read this today! Thank you!
Glad to see you, Haley! I think all parents need to be reminded of this verse, at one time or another. 🙂