Ephesians 6:4. “Fathers, don’t exasperate your children by coming down hard on them. Take them by the hand and lead them in the way of the Master.”
Everyone knows the verses that come before this one. “Children, do what your parents tell you. This is only right. “Honor your father and mother” is the first commandment that has a promise attached to it, namely, “so you will live well and have a long life.””
Adults quote them to children with glee as if to say; “Even the Bible is on my side!” And then they snap shut the Bible because the next verse – today’s verse is just too much to deal with.
In as much as this verse talks to fathers, mothers need to listen too. Exasperate, Provoke to wrath, stir up anger, make bitter about life and irritate are the different ways the various Bible versions tell parents to take a chill pill.
Mike Dankson in his sermon “If” – Seven Things I’d Do Differently As A Dad, references today’s verse and it’s comparative verse Colossians 3:21. Mike says;
“If I could go back – I would be less critical…
not so hard to please. I wish someone would have told me that you really CAN parent in a positive way. Instead of blowing a gasket every time they mess up, I would be more patient.
I would give them a more realistic model to follow. I would tell them about the weakness I had to overcome as a young person… that I stumbled and made mistakes, and often failed. I would help them know I understand and am cheering for them, and that they should never doubt that I am in their corner – even when they blow it.
You see, kids are often frustrated with the standard of perfection we set before them. Most kids really believe it is impossible to please their parents. Kids LONG for their parent’s approval – and they get frustrated when they feel like they will never measure up or make us happy. Don’t demand perfection. Sometimes I think we are more concerned with how we LOOK to our FRIENDS than how we look to our kids! If I could go back, I would lighten up.”
The beauty of the relationship with our Heavenly Father is although He is perfect and we are not, He is merciful in His dealings with us.
Think About This
Are we honoring our parents, are we irritating our children? How can we do better?
Dear Lord, I’m so glad You are merciful towards me even when I don’t measure up. Help me treat others the same. In Jesus name I pray. Amen