PARENTING TIPS FOR DADS
(Eph 6:4) And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord.
Being a dad is one of the greatest experiences in the world. You hold in your arms a baby that will grow and become their own person. Everybody tells you don’t worry and it’s natural and you’ll figure everything out, but every dad wonders if they have what it takes to raise a child correctly. What if I mess up? How do you know what to do? How can I give my child the guidance he or she needs? Let’s encourage dads with advice from the apostle Paul.
Notice how the apostle Paul addresses the fathers. Fathers represent the head of the family on whom rests the main responsibility of child rearing and discipline. (1 Cor 11:3) But I want you to know that the head of woman is man . . . (Eph 5:23) For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church . . . Men, it’s so easy to relegate the authority of the home and children to the wife because moms are so naturally gifted by their nurturing instincts. But don’t default to this, brothers. If God has called you to fathering, then He’ll give you what it takes. Just pray for wisdom every day (Jms 1:5) and you will be gifted by the Spirit to raise that child and make the decisions you need to make for his or her growth and future.
Paul then goes on and says to not provoke your children to wrath. This means to not discipline them too harshly by means of unreasonable demands, petty rules, ridicule, favoritism and the like. (This will also create tension between you and your wife.) You can also exasperate your children by being too lenient with them and never drawing the line or following through with your warnings. Either way creates anger in the child that will be acted out and will eventually come back to bite you. Keep on top of your child’s behavior and remember discipline is loving correction and not punishment as an anger outlet.
Then the apostle says to bring them up. This means to nourish tenderly. Children should be objects of tender, loving care and treated in such a way that the children will want to obey. Men, our wives have that tenderness thing down, but we struggle with roughness because we are men. Therefore, we must memorize and exercise the nine fruits of the Spirit beginning with love (Gal 5:22-23). Next, dads are instructed to train their kids. This is an overall term that speaks of the time it takes to train children in every area of life, taking in the practical, ethical, and educational. This takes a lot of time but it’s so worth it as you see your child grow and develop and bring you tons of pleasure. Finally, Paul says to admonish. To admonish means loving verbal correction when called for.
All this is to be done in the Lord because dads, we can’t do it ourselves. But we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us. We can do this, dads! Let’s enjoy the children God has given us and watch for the rewards along the way as we raise godly kids for Christ. (Isa 8:18)