Fathers Do Not Exasperate Your Children….

From Colossians 3:21 – Fathers, do not embitter your children, or they will become discouraged.

From Ephesians 6:4 – Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.

It’s a tough thing some times, raising kids. Raising them in a godly way. Raising them to be responsible. Raising them with this verse in mind from the book of James:

Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.

So – how do I teach my kids to keep themselves from being polluted by the world, when they have already been so polluted by the world? I’m starting late in this area, and I have to confess I often beat myself up over this.

Don’t get my wrong – I have GREAT kids. Both of them are wonderful, pollite, caring people. Perfect? No, but I’d never expect perfection. But they are amazing, and I cherish them both.

Still – they were raised very much of the world early on in their lives. And now, it’s sort of a contest, if you will, trying to make the things that matter more attractive than the temporal, worldly, very often gross things of the world. And do this without turning them off or looking like a prude.

Bottom line – I’m the boss, and my foot can go down when they are in my house. But will they rebel, or will this threaten our relationship? What is our relationship? What should it be? Am I worrying too much about this?

The Holy Spirit often tells me, “Yes, Ted, you are worrying too much. Stop worrying, and just be obedient”.

But am I obedient? Not all the time. I tend to get lazy. And how am I being an example when I myself am not consistent. I myself seek comfort and pleasure in wordly things. Do as I say, not as I do? I’m not a fan of that at all. And I often find myself convicted of the things I do, or don’t do, that they may never even know about if I were not to tell them.  A hypocrite is not just a hypocrite when caught.  🙂 

Or – I get afraid to stand on the truth.  Nobody wants to be the bad guy.  But as a father, I am called to lead my children.  They are not mine, in fact, but charged to me by their Father in heaven.  So I need to raise them in accordance with his will, and as best I can, as he would raise them.  It’s a tall order!  But he charged me with this responsibility because he has faith in me – more, I must confess, than I do in him…..

Lord, I need your help to be the spiritual head of the house.  To lead my children and my future wife in the way your will dictates.  To be consistent.  To pick up my cross and follow you.  Without you, I cannot do it.  I ask for your mercy when I struggle or fail, and your grace to get back up again.  I bind up all attacks from the enemy – be it strife, or guilt or self-doubt, or laziness, and I acknowledge that I have a huge responsibility here.  You have called me to this, and commanded me to be bold and not to be afraid.  You are with me, always, and I thank you for that!  Let me lead my family with that promise and with your guidance, for your glory.  I pray this in Jesus’ name, the most beautiful of all names. 

Amen.

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