Ephesians 6:4 lays out four basic principles:
1. “Fathers, do not PROVOKE your children to anger.”
Literally: “Don‘t exasperate them”
“Don’t overcorrect them”
“Don’t be harsh with them.”
How easy it is when we return home from work to bark at the kids… Let ’em know who is boss!
2. “Fathers… BRING THEM UP… ”
Literally: “Cherish them”
“Treat them with tenderness”
“Esteem and appreciate them”
When was the last time you took your kids off “trial,” gently embracing one of them and saying, “You are precious to me… I love you… ” .
3. “Fathers… bring them up in the DISCIPLINE… of the Lord.”
Literally: “Training” — Visualize the training necessary in turning a floppy puppy into a prize-winning show dog.
“Correcting” — Visualize the painful resetting of a poorly healed broken arm: Excruciating initially, but promising long range usability.
4. “Fathers… bring them up in the… INSTRUCTION of the Lord.”
Literally: “Mild rebuke“: Reprimand, disapproval
“Admonition“: Counsel, advice, exhortation
“Warning“: Caution, forewarning, prediction
Kids need your mature perspective on the potholes that lie in the road ahead.
As busy as we are, God has entrusted the primary responsibility of discipline and instruction to us Dads.
May God grant us the wisdom and the resolve to discharge with dispatch our responsibility in a Biblical fashion.