Be a Better Dad
Ephesians 6:4 “Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.”
Billy Graham said, “A good father is one of the most unsung, unpraised, unnoticed, and yet one of the most valuable assets in our society.”
The word "exasperate" may not be frequently used, but it's a common struggle among many fathers. Essentially, it means to cause anger, annoyance, or irritation. In some versions of the Bible, the word "provoke" is used, which refers to intentionally angering someone. When our parenting goal is to anger or "get the best of" our children, we sin.
Perhaps you've disciplined your children randomly before. Maybe you were in a bad mood, and your children did something to irritate you, so you disciplined them to "put them in their place." However, this type of parenting, which is based on fear and coercion, is a sin, as stated in Ephesians 6:4. So, what's the solution? Firstly, discipline your children out of love and with the goal of training them in the Lord's ways. We should strive for our children to become more like Christ, not just more submissive to our will. Secondly, discipline them gently. Show restraint and stay calm. Avoid yelling, calling names, or degrading them. Finally, parent according to biblical principles. Let the Bible's words become your parenting words. Cite Sripture or biblical principles and remind your children that your family's goal is to become more like Christ.
Ask your children if they know why you are disciplining them, and what the goal is. Don't have debates or arguments over rules; instead, have consistent boundaries and consequences for breaking the rules.
Holy Spirit, guide me as I parent my children. They are a gift from you. Thank you for this opportunity and challenge. Give me a new attitude and help me lean on you. In Jesus' name, Amen.