BUT BRING THEM UP
I was meditating on the 4 words of Ephesians 6:4 “but bring them up” for fathers today. First “but” means what follows will be in contrast to what was just said, “Do not provoke your children to anger.” The emotion of anger is one that expresses destruction. When anger is used righteously, it focuses on destroying unrighteousness. When anger is unrighteous, it usually destroys the person directed to and yourself. Provoking a child to anger only leads to destruction. The call in Ephesians 6:4 is to not contribute to such a situation “but bring them up.”
This phrase “bring them up” is also used in Exodus 3:8 and note the parallels for us as fathers, “and I have come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land to a good and broad land, a land flowing with milk and honey, to the place of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites.” (Exodus 3:8 ESV)
Do you see that God came down to the Israelites to deliver them and to bring them up and out of their slavery. God took initiative and moved to them in order to bring them up. That tells me as a father, to bring up my children, I need to first move towards them. It is as if I bend over and swoop them up in my arms and take them to a good and broad land that is flowing with milk and honey. But even in such a good land, there are perils that need to be prepared for; the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites of the world. However, they are being brought there and I am to discipline and instruct them with the Word of God.
As we move towards Father’s Day, let us come down to our children and by our presence in their lives and strong outstretched arms, bring them up.