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Fathers: Do not exasperate your children

Published: Wednesday, 18 June 2014 Written by Carlton L. Arnold

In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. And have you completely forgotten this word of encouragement that addresses you as a father addresses his son? It says, “My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline, and do not lose heart when he rebukes you, because the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and he chastens everyone he accepts as his son.” Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as his children. For what children are not disciplined by their father? If you are not disciplined—and everyone undergoes discipline—then you are not legitimate, not true sons and daughters at all.

Hebrews 12:4-8

Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother”—which is the first commandment with a promise— “so that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.” Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.

Ephesians 6:1-4

I cannot express strongly enough how disgusted I am when a Father makes fun of one of his children. I do not know where men got the idea that ridicule would strengthen their children so that they could face the world of reality. Fathers who aggravate their children have no sensitivity to the feelings of their children. I do not believe God is pleased with such Fathers. Mothers, on the other hand, are not as flippant about making fun of their children. Call it the “love” of the Mother, but there is a tremendous difference in the discipline offered by fathers versus mothers.

 

Fathers tend to be in a hurry with discipline, because they appear to have something else to do, usually sports related. Their tendency is to put off discipline to a time that would be more convenient to the father. Guess what! That time seems to never come. Another thing that Fathers usually do not do is to give their own response to discipline some thought so that the discipline is commensurate with the wrongdoing. By this time, the Father wants every one to believe that it is the child’s fault for delaying discipline. One of the best ways for a Father to distract attention from himself is to embarrass the child. This totally exasperates a child to a point of anger and frustration toward their father.

The verses above talk about how God disciplines His children, and that would include Christian men. All of us men should learn from God about how He disciplines. God makes it clear that His discipline is because He loves you. He corrects those of us who are His children. After every incident of discipline to your children, they should know that you love them and that they are your children. The verses above also make it clear that parents are to bring their children up in the training and instruction of the Lord.

Christian men: do you have family times each week where you can share what happened

during the week, especially, if God was involved? At mealtime, do you spend time talking about what you have comes from God. As your children mature, do you add topics like the following?

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Philippians 4:8

In a lot of cases, I get laughed at when I make such suggestions. I could not be more serious when it comes to a Father developing a strong and healthy relationship with their children…just like God expects of all of us.

Do you encourage your family to think only of the good things about other people? I overheard two four-year old girls talking about whom they liked and whom they didn’t like. I can guarantee you that this type of training of these young children came from the parents.

The training and instruction that God wants parents (especially, Fathers) to use comes from the life of Christ. I strongly encourage you to make the four Gospels something that you will read and study two or three times per year. Read them to your children out of a children’s Bible.

There are so many things you can do to help your children grow in the Lord. It will take patience and creativity to keep children involved, but the one key ingredient that every child will identify with is love. Love your children at all times.

 

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