" Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord."
This week has been a challenging week for us with parenting. We are learning everyday that we are inadequate on our own to do this job in the way the Lord has called us to , but thankfully if we ask for help in our times of need God is so faithful to answer our prayers! Everyday brings new blessings and challenges, almost like every day is my first day at a new job. You know what that feels like- excited, hopeful yet a little lost and unsure until you learn how things are done and the job becomes routine. Well with parenting I feel the same way but the job does not become comfortable or routine because the job description changes daily as our kids grow and change daily! Without the Lord I think I would be a ball of anxiety and hide under the covers from my responsibilities :) BUT God has given us His Word and the Holy Spirit so that we have EVERYTHING we need for life and godliness.
A few weeks ago, our pastor preached a great message about parenting from this verse that was so helpful! I thought I would share it. The passage addresses fathers, as the head of the house, but also includes moms as the chapter is for parents and children. It's a short verse but contains so much! Pastor John gave two "lists" that helped unpack this verse in a practical way, which I always need. First he addressed provoking our children to anger, so these are ways that could happen and that we should never do:
ways to provoke your children:
1. Overprotection- encourage them to make their own age appropriate decisions and sometimes learning by failure is ok!
2. Favoritism- favoring one sibling over another by saying things like "why can't you be like your older brother?" this can be very damaging and anger provoking
3.Pushing unrealistic achievement- too much pressure to excel will cause bitterness
4. Discouragement- not expressing approval, honor or acceptance. look for ways to honor your kids!
5. Failing to sacrifice for them - they will be convinced they are nothing but an intrusion, never make them 2nd class citizens in your home
6. Failing to allow for growing up
7. Neglect- never withhold love, sacrifice and discipline
8. Bitter words and physical cruelty
and then a list that addresses ways that we as parents can bring them up/ raise them in Lord
1. Recognize God as supreme
2. Love God
3. Obey His word
4. Teach by example
5. Use life as a classroom
6. Leave reminders of the Lord all around
7. Warn them about the evil in the world
I love that the first 3 on the list above must come before we can implement the last 4...We as the parents must believe that God is God and supreme over all, love Him sincerely and obey Him ourselves before we can teach our children to do the same!
I am encouraged and challenged to love and " bring up" my sweet boys in the Lord! Please pray for us :)