Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.(Ephesians 6:4)
Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.(Proverbs 22:6)
- Children (of all ages) need their dad's love and discipline. And God specifically points out that it is their responsibility to instruct and disciple their children! It doesn't say "parents". It says, "fathers". (Not that moms shouldn't be involved in helping discipline.) But when I think of all the dads that I know, many of them fall far short of meeting that responsibility here. Either they are so harsh and overbearing or they are so lenient and inconsistent that their children don't learn the lessons they need to learn to grow up to be responsible Christian adults. Many fathers are too busy with work, church, and all the stresses of life that they just don't find the time to give enough attention to properly train their children one on one instruction on a regular basis.
- The other verse, in Proverbs, has always perplexed me. I know many children who were raised in loving, Christian homes who ended up living very ungodly lives as adults. I also have known children who grew up in the worst family environments imaginable, and yet become devoted Christians and responsible adults. I guess I hadn't noticed till just now, though, that it may not be until a child is "old" until he will turn to the "way he should go". The question may be, "How old is old?"
Parenting isn't easy! That is for sure! Especially today, it seems like our kids just aren't growing up and being as responsible until they are well into their 20's (and sometimes even older). I often wonder if our generation of parents have raised our kids in too easy a life. (I know I'm not talking about ALL parents and not all kids turn out bad, but it seems to be much more prevalent today that kids are not growing up as quickly as we did 20, 30, or 40 years ago.) I do feel that this generation of young people do feel more entitled to having their way, having more things, and being more self-absorbed. As parents, this becomes a never-ending battle of us teaching them right values and the world trying to teach them just the opposite.
As I'm writing, I'm speaking from personal experience. It is a battle that sometimes wears a parent down to complete exhaustion, times of feeling over-stressed, frustrated, and hopeless. If it weren't for our Lord and Savior, there would be no hope. This is something I need to constantly remind myself.
Favorite Scriptures for “Surviving A Prodigal”3 John 1:4 “I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.”
Deuteronomy 31:8 “The lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”
Joshua 1:9 “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”
Psalm 27: 14 “Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.”
Jeremiah 29:11-12 “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord. Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.”
Jeremiah 31:16-17 “This is what the Lord says: “Restrain your voice from weeping and your eyes from tears, for your work will be rewarded,“ declares the Lord. “They will return from the land of the enemy. So there is hope for your future, declares the Lord. Your children will return to their land.”
Luke 1:37 “ For nothing is impossible with God.”
Romans 5:3-5 “We also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that sufferings produces perseverance; perseverance, character, and character, hope; And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.”
Galations 6:9-10 “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.”
2 Timothy 1:7 “For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.”
Hebrews 12:11 “No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.”
James 1:2-4 “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”
As Father's Day approaches, may we honor the dads who have stepped up to the plate and trained up their children in the way they should go.
God, have mercy on parents with children of all ages and on our future generations! We need Your guidance and wisdom in these difficult times!! Amen.
Linking up at these blog parties: