The Christian Home: Fathers and Children

Col. 3:21. “Fathers, provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged.”

Are you a dad who, no matter how well your child does, can always find something that wasn’t quite perfect? The child will eventually do one of several things. He will give up. He will become angry and begin to act out when he is old enough not to fear your anger. He will sink deep inside himself to protect himself from your critical spirit. He will become merciless toward others. His faith in God will be destroyed.

Dad, never forget that especially when your child is very young, you represent God to him. The kind of man you are is how he sees God. That’s a heavy responsibility. You’ll need prayer, God’s Word, and a humble spirit if the only reaction you know is anger, sarcasm, criticism. You probably had that kind of dad, and even though you hated it, you’re repeating the pattern. It is completely possible to break the pattern.

“But my child won’t respect me if I’m weak!” He’ll respect you more if you’re weak and kind than if you’re “strong” and angry ALL the time. Kindness is not weakness. Jesus was kind, but He was never weak. Anger is not strength. Proverbs 22:4 says, “Make no friendship with an angry man; and with a furious man thou shalt not go.” Anger, rather than denoting strength, shows a lack of self-control and a lack of godliness.

Anger and bitterness usually come from a lack of forgiveness. It’s a poison that eats you up from the inside. Do you want to reproduce yourself in your children? Do you want them to grow up angry and resentful, critical and impossible to please? No? Then you need to set a better example.

Micah 6:8. “He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?

To “do justly” is to be even-handed and fair. To love mercy is to be quick to forgive and pardon. To walk humbly with God is to recognize His holiness, and to know that without His mercy, we are lost.

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