Children and Parents
March 21, 2022
“Children and Parents” is the title used in some translations for Ephesians 6:1-4 and this passage has also become one of the most discussed scriptures concerning children and parents. One of the centers of this discussion is the phrase, “Do not provoke your children”.
I have heard some explain that this phrase is simply saying, “Do not upset your children, and make them angry.” Some even apply it as a guideline and a reason not to discipline their own child.
Okay, here is where the questions come…
What does God really mean when He says, “My son, do not take lightly the discipline of the Lord, and do not lose heart when He rebukes you. For the Lord disciplines the one He loves, and He chastises every son He receives.” (Hebrews 12:6, BSB) Did Jesus really require us to do what the Father does? (Matthew 7:21) Do I really need to keep His commands, just as the Old Testament instructed, “These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.” (Deuteronomy 6:6-7, NIV)
My dear parents, I urge you to aware of the mistake Eve made, rather than contemplating the question, “Does God really require me to discipline my children?” Do not allow yourself to take the easy way out and avoid losing your patience. Instead, spend time to seek understanding of the Word God has for you.
“Do not provoke your children”, the word “Provoke” does not mean to avoid discipline, even if it may upset your child. And you as a parent should not have fear while you are teaching them what is righteous in the sight of God. Listen, God does not want to see you follow your flesh, which is emotion, desire, and nature. And He does not want to see you as a parent encourage your children follow theirs. Just as God has a duty for children towards their parents, He has a duty for parents towards their children as well. When a child honors their father and mother, God shows us how to respond to them. He demonstrates that we cannot simply claim our authority and be unjust to them. If we as parents do this, we will bring frustration to our children and cause them to be exasperated and lose heart. Rather, through grace and love, we are to help them not act in anger, bitterness, and unforgiveness. We must learn the balance between discipline and discouragement. We must guide and teach them with affection and compassion, and yet remember we must show love to them just as God loves us. “Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” (1 Corinthians 13:4-7, ESV)
Parents, train your child with patience, and love them with kindness. You may know better than they do, but you must never think you are better. You must not become arrogant or rude, insisting your own way without seeking to understand or consider them. Do not keep a record of wrongs or irritate them, instead show what is right by living it out as an example with joy and hope.
Do not be discouraged and neglect the duty God has for you as a parents. You are doing a great work to train and disciple your children for the Most High God. God knows it requires your endurance and that you will be challenged with the difficulties of parenting in this world, and He will give you strength when you need it. Trust in the Lord and He will make your path straight. Troubles may come, but they will not overtake you!