FATHERS: WHAT WE MUST NOT DO ACCORDING TO EPHESIANS 6:4 Part 2
Continuing from Lou Priolo’s book “The Heart of Anger” (Calvary Press), twenty-five conditions or behaviors are identified that represent common ways that parents tend to provoke their children to anger. The command from Ephesians 6:4 is that fathers are not to contribute to the situation and to whatever degree I as a father may be contributing, I must stop it!
Here are the last 12 conditions or behaviors. For a thorough teaching on the topic, please read Lou Priolo’s excellent book. You might want to keep the towel in your mouth to bite on because the pain from the first 13 only gets worse!
14. Not Making Time “Just to Talk” – James 1:1; Eccl 3:7
Relationships are impossible to build without communication. If you do not build a good relationship through communication with your child, they will seek it elsewhere which could be dangerous. Watch the pressures and “pleasures of life” do not rob you of time with your children to talk.
15. Not Praising or Encouraging Your Child – Rev 2:2-4
Accurate evaluation is necessary for all of us, including self-assessments. It helps us know what we need to correct in our lives. Too often parents focus on only what is wrong and the child may incorrectly evaluate themselves in the same light. Keep your child regularly bathed in a solution of praise, especially to those things that are pleasing to God in their life so when reproof comes, they see it is an element of biblical love. It is looking for evidences of grace in their lives when they are living out Galatians 5:22-23.
16. Failing to Keep Your Promises – Matt 5:37; Ps 15:4-5; Col 3:9
Promises and commitments are usually made with every intention to keep them and not to deceive. However, when they are not consistently kept, regardless of the reason, disappointment can turn into anger. A string of broken promises may have a child begin to see the parent as undependable, unreliable, and deceitful. If we need to break a commitment we should go to the child and let them know as soon as possible or if we did break a commitment, we need to seek forgiveness for we have sinned against our child.
17. Chastening in Front of Others – Matt 18:15
The Lord’s instructions for discipline apply to the home and should be followed by parents and spouses. The circle of confession and correction should only be as large as the circle of offense. If your child sins in front of others, he may in certain cases be verbally corrected (not physically) in front of them. If the sin is not public, the discipline should not be either.
18. Not Allowing Enough Freedom – James 3:17; Luke 12:48
Children earn freedom by demonstrating faithfulness. Faithfulness is demonstrating to God and others that you can be trusted with increasing freedom based upon two things: the successful fulfillment of specific responsibilities and the successful competence to make wise biblical decisions. Some parents withhold freedom due to insecurity, overprotective, unbiblical standards, concern about what others think.
19. Allowing Too Much Freedom – Prov 29:15; Gal 4:1,2; Heb 12:6-9
When children are allowed to (1) practice sinful behavior (2) participate in non-sinful activities before demonstrating the appropriate level of responsibility and maturity to handle it (money) (3) live an undisciplined life – other problems develop. Parents will suffer along with their children. Children who grow up in homes where discipline lacks, will quickly conclude that they are not loved.
20. Mocking Your Child – Job 17:1-2; Ex 4:11
There are 2 main categories of teasing our children that can be provoking: Making fun of inadequacies about which they can do nothing about (intelligence, athletics, physical features, motor coordination.) These are not sinful and God takes responsibility for them. The other is making fun of things that are sinful. Sinful behavior in children is not a laughing matter to God and should not be for us.
21. Abusing Them Physically – I Tim 3:3; Num 22:27-29
The story of Balaam is similar to a parent out of control
1. He struck the donkey in haste before he collected the relevant data. Jumping to hasty and unfounded conclusions and disciplining our children for the wrong reasons.
2. Balaam struck the donkey because he was embarrassed – making sure our motives for discipline are biblical – to not is to be vindictive and abusive.
3. Balaam was out of control – if he could have, he would have killed his donkey. Do not discipline when you are out of control.
22. Ridiculing or Name Calling – Eph 4:29
There are proper biblical categories to call different behaviors. Use biblical language to your child so the behavior or attitude are properly isolated. Names are to be tools for teaching and motivation to change, not weapons. When a weapon, it embarrasses, shames and antagonizes the child.
23. Unrealistic Expectations – I Cor 13:11
We should not impose on our children standards or expectations that they developmentally are incapable of achieving. Our emphasis is to always be character and not achievement (academics, sports, music)
24. Practicing Favoritism – Luke 15:25-30
Every child is different and should be treated as individuals. The standard however is that they are to be evaluated and responded to the same. When a child perceives that the treatment of a sibling is different, you need to assure them that they will be treated the same way if they are in similar circumstances.
25. Child Training with Worldly Methodologies, Inconsistent with God’s Word – Eph 6:4
In Eph 6:4, notice the word “but” and the “instruction of the Lord.” A contrast is being stated that there is a right way and a wrong way. One way will provoke anger and the other will not. Using behavior modification therapy techniques will prove temporary results but will eventually frustrate the process. You cannot replace Christ and the Scriptures with worldly wisdom.