Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord. Ephesians 6:4
Paul addresses Ephesian fathers with teaching they may have never seen modeled in their homes. While he addresses fathers specifically, the principle applies to anyone who raises or interacts with children. Because of what Jesus has done for them, parents should not exasperate or anger their children. Instead, parents are to treat their children with love in a manner that teaches and models God’s way. This contradicts their culture’s view that children don’t have much value, whether in the household or in society. Rather, they are to see children as Jesus did—with incredible value, worth and purpose (Mark 10:13-16).
Parents—and all who care for children today—have the same responsibility to model and teach them God’s love and his Word. Even when they are adults, we can continue to influence and live out the Gospel in our relationship with them. Yet we can easily operate out of fear. We fear what the world around us might do to our children. We can fear for their future and fret about their choices. And if we’re honest, we may even attach our sense of self-worth and value to their behavior or performance. Yet, knowing we are deeply loved and secure in Christ frees us to extend his love and speak life into our children. We can help them root their identity in Christ rather than in what they do or achieve. We can extend grace for their mistakes. When we mess up, we can model confession and ask for forgiveness.
IN YOUR CHAIR TIME TODAY
Reflect on your interactions with children or teenagers in your life. Note ways you may need to stop exasperating them and instead bring them up in understanding the Gospel and who they are in Christ.
2023 SPIRITUAL PRACTICES
Join us all of 2023 developing a different spiritual practice each month. SPIRITUAL PRACTICES are intentional regular activities to deepen our relationship with God and mold us to be more like Jesus.
March is FASTING. Keep track of our spiritual practices at beyondtheweekend.org/spiritualpractices.
Download a printable PDF of the BTW week here.