A note from our pastor:
”And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.”Ephesians 6:4
Good Morning Dearly Beloved,
Our study verse this week stays in the realm of children and parents, but focuses specifically on providing a unique instruction to fathers. Leading up to this verse, the Apostle has given instructions for husbands and wives, and also for how children are to behave, but now he focuses on fathers and their unique role.
In modern “Christian” culture, it has become popular to blame many of the ills of society on the absence of dads in the lives of their children. In those circles, the accepted belief is the presence of a dad in the life of a child is always a positive. While certainly, if the situation is right, the presence of a father in the life of a child is a beautiful thing, scripture gives a far greater instruction than just presence.
In the time in which the Apostle was writing, the father more often than not ruled with an iron fist. The father was the authority in the house. His rules must be followed and if not there were strict and harsh punishments doled out. The father was not to be questioned and his authority was always present. With this toxic way of raising a child in mind, the Apostle wrote this instruction.
We often focus on the first half of this verse, and while it is important, the second half really emphasizes the true goal. The parenting of a child, whether done by mother, father, aunts, uncles, grandparents, or anyone else, should be a reflection of the love of Christ. The New Testament does not teach believers to indoctrinate their children with their religious beliefs, but rather through their love, teachings, and focus on Godly living to help them understand Jesus Christ and his accomplished work. If children are raised up learning the simplicity of Christ, the true nature of salvation, and what is asked of disciples today they will find a community of believers who seek out Christ in the same fashion.
With this in mind, the instruction for fathers to not push their children towards anger is all the more important. If the way a father, or for that matter anyone else, acts causes the child to hold resentment, anger, wrath, fear, or other negative feelings towards the father it will also cause them to tune out any messages regarding Jesus Christ. Even more so, if the child only knows their natural father as angry, strict, unreasonable, etc. they invariably will also apply those same traits to the one who is their heavenly father.
Thus, the instruction in our study verse lives us with this in mind — in all situations let us seek to love one another in mercy and grace.
Our Prayers are with you daily,