Raising Our Children
“And ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.”
God’s Word places the primary responsibility of teaching children with the father. He is the representative head of the home, and accountable to instruct them in a manner that causes them to learn of Christ.
What of an unbelieving father?
Is he any less accountable to raise his children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord?
Ignoring or denying the truth does not diminish one’s responsibility to it, any more than someone may plead innocent to a broken law out of ignorance, and expect the judge to acquit them.
As fathers, we must always keep in mind that although the Lord has entrusted us with the watch care of the children He gives us, yet, they are still His, and we are not to abuse our authority in provoking them to anger.
When they do wrong, do we see this as an opportunity to teach them the truth of the Gospel, their need of Christ and redemption in Him, or do we simply chew them out in anger because we are afraid of what others might think of us by their misbehaviour?
Raising the voice, yelling, or disciplining in anger can only provoke an angry response from them, and not teach them the proper reason for discipline which is loving correction, not punishment.
Have you ever found yourself saying, “I will get them to respect me if it is the last thing I do?”
While we all desire the respect of our children, it is something that must be instilled in them by patient, loving instruction, not merely demanded of them.
This is accomplished not only by insuring that they are in worship services with us, under the faithful preaching of the Gospel, but also by many informal times of teaching.
Sometimes we will endeavour to retain a tight-fisted control over our children in an attempt to guarantee their safety and demand their obedience. While this may be necessary in their younger years, as they mature, we must teach them to be responsible for the choices they make, and accountable to God and His Word.
Our goal in parenting is not to conform them to our image, but to teach them the Gospel, and pray for them that God in His grace conform them to Christ’s image.
We don’t want them to be our clones, but rather that God would truly transform and make them after the likeness of Christ!
By K. Wimer