I was reading the other day in the book of Ephesians. And I admit I felt a bit of a prick when I read the words “provoke not your children to wrath…..”
We have been struggling lately with our oldest son. He is very headstrong and extremely independent. He is also a very bright boy yet he really struggles when it comes to obeying. If it’s something he doesn’t want you who in the past was always so eager and willing to please.
So reading those words really made me pause and think hard about how we are training up our son. When I think about the word provoke all kinds of nasty things come to mind. The words certainly doesn’t make me see or feel any Joy or eagerness to please another. In fact just saying the word provoke brings to mind War and anger and fighting.
As much as I don’t like to say it it seems that these are all things that occur between my son and I as of late. And while I may not see myself as provoking him to wrath by telling him that it’s time to get his work done or study his Bible verses for the day comma, clearly there is something and some way in which I am provoking him.
God’s word says that we are to bring up our children in the instruction and information of the Lord. This means that we need to be tender and nurturing to them. Instead of beating them down we need to lift them up at every opportunity. We are to use our authority as mothers and fathers moderately and always to God’s glory.
So I wonder how I can use my Authority for God’s glory. And I guess when I think about it it all starts with how I Live. Less of what I say and more of what I do? We have to be able to say do as I say and as I do. And that’s hard because I remember often being told that I need to just do as I was told regardless of what I saw before me.
How often do I tell my kids that they just need to be good? And I forget but it’s not about being good but about being holy. I forget about the heart issues. It’s so true but God he looks at the heart. And well that doesn’t excuse sin we also need to be mindful of the condition of the heart in all that we do. As my son and I were working outside today he reminded me but we ought to do all that we do to the glory of God. It’s refreshing to hear that. Even more so to see it in action.
After all for a fisherman the goal is to catch the fish. So it ought to be for us. Our goal is not simply to teach good to see those things being caught. As we teach our children about the value of holiness and the beauty of obedience to the word of God. In all that we do not teach may we see the actions being lived out of the lesson itself. Only then are we truly fishers of men.