Encourage; Don’t Exasperate
Throughout all cultures and eras, it seems that child rearing is thought of as women’s work. There’s a reason for that. Childbearing and nursing can only be carried out by the mom, and it is just natural that little ones should be nurtured primarily by her.
But it was never God’s design for men to be absent. The apostle Paul has this charter for all Christian dads: “Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:4).
Authority can become controlling, and controlling can become abusive, so Paul reminds fathers to temper their authority with mercy, patience, and kindness so that they won’t exasperate their kids. A child damaged by too harsh a home will act out his anger and rebellion for the rest of his life. A father’s leadership is supposed to diminish the anger level in a home, not increase it.
Instead, Fathers, bring them up. Nourish them. Feed their souls and spirits. Protect them, take care of them, and see to their well-being. Make sure they know the name of their Creator. Make sure they have heard the great stories of their redemption through Jesus Christ. See to it that their faith is fed and the Holy Spirit’s wisdom and guiding power are always present.
Everything tangible in your life will be taken from you when you die. The only thing you can take with you to heaven is people.
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